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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.


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 05, 2020] As long as people continue to waste their vote by voting for a duopoly candidate, nothing will change

Oct 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Oct 4 2020 18:26 utc | 23

Yves at nakedcapitalism.com sneaks in an endorsement of Trump?!?

Why not? After all, the Democratic Party is practically trying to elect him as they stumble from one self-inflicted wound to the next.

Naturally, the reader that explains why he's voting for Trump complains that he's doing so for rational reasons while ignoring the evident set-up. Nor does Yves offer any critical analysis that might connect dots that have been memory-holed.

So, lets review: the Democrats went 'all in' on bogus Russiagate; on "all victims must be believed"; and then on a failed impeachment while supporting Trump's domestic agenda (tax cuts, nominations, etc.) and lending verbal/moral support for his foreign policy agenda (increased militarism, anti-Maduro, TWO missile attacks on Syria, persecution of Assange, etc.). With this in mind, more people should see that it's likely that Hillary threw the election in 2016 this seasoned campaigner : screwed progressives, ignored blacks, insulted white "deplorables", and chose not to campaign, in the closing weeks of the election, in the three states SHE KNEW would decide the election.

But there's more. The history of recent Presidential elections indicates a persistent manipulation:


As long as people continue to waste their vote by voting for a duopoly candidate, nothing will change. Democracy propagandists that play along by, among other things, urge others to vote for the lesser evil, promote disinfo and do a disservice to their readers/followers.

What is needed is a root-and-branch reform of the corrupt, money-driven electoral system. There will not be any real change until/unless that is done. Only real Movements and third-party candidates offer the hope for such reform to happen peacefully.

!!

[Sep 29, 2020] Trump Confirms U.S. is Israel's "Protector", by Philip Giraldi

Not that foreign policy is high priority for most of the USA electorate, but still it looks like some potential Trump voters do not approve this message.
That's why many of them probably will not vote for Trump in 2020, or will not vote at all because there is no difference in this area between Trump and Biden: you can call the same Zionist cutlet with two different names. but it is still the same cutlet.
People voted in Trump to be a protector of workers and lower middle class against financial oligarchy. Instead, they got "Ziotrump", a marionette of Israel lobby who is first and foremost the protector of Israel, MIC and the billionaire class.
The question is: Is Zionism an official ideology of the USA ruling elite? Zionism as any far right nationalism has it pluses and minuses, but why this important decision is not discussed?
Notable quotes:
"... I like being energy independent, don't you? I'm sure that most of you noticed when you go to fill up your tank in your car, oftentimes it's below two dollars. You say how the hell did this happen? While I'm president, America will remain the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We will remain energy independent. It should be for many many years to come. The fact is, we don't have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We've been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don't have to be in the Middle East." ..."
"... Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is ..."
Sep 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

For many years the security framework in the Middle East has been described as a bilateral arrangement whereby Washington gained access to sufficient Saudi Arabian oil to keep the energy market stable while the United States provided an armed physical presence through its bases in the region and its ability to project power if anyone should seek to threaten the Saudi Kingdom. The agreement was reportedly worked out in a February 1945 meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, just as World War 2 was drawing to a close. That role as protector of Saudi Arabia and guarantor of stable energy markets in the region later served as part of the justification for the U.S. ouster of the Iraqi Army from Kuwait in 1991.

After 9/11, the rationale became somewhat less focused. The United States invaded Afghanistan, did not capture or kill Osama bin Laden due to its own incompetence, and, rather than setting up a puppet regime and leaving, settled down to a nineteen-years long and still running counter-insurgency plus training mission. Fake intelligence produced by the neocons in the White House and Defense Department subsequently implicated Iraq in 9/11 and led to the political and military disaster known as the Iraq War.

During the 75 years since the end of the Second World War the Middle East has experienced dramatic change, to include the withdrawal of the imperial European powers from the region and the creation of the State of Israel. And the growth and diversification of energy resources mean that it is no longer as necessary to secure the petroleum that moves in tankers through the Persian Gulf. Lest there be any confusion over why the United States continues to be involved in Syria, Iraq, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump remarkably provided some clarity relating to the issue when on September 8 th he declared that the U.S. isn't any longer in the Middle East to secure oil supplies, but rather because we "want to protect Israel."

The comment was made by Trump during a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C . as part of a boast about his having reduced energy costs for consumers. He said " I like being energy independent, don't you? I'm sure that most of you noticed when you go to fill up your tank in your car, oftentimes it's below two dollars. You say how the hell did this happen? While I'm president, America will remain the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We will remain energy independent. It should be for many many years to come. The fact is, we don't have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We've been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don't have to be in the Middle East."

The reality is, of course, that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been all about Israel for a very long time, at least since the presidency of Bill Clinton, who has been sometimes dubbed the first Jewish president for his deference to Israeli interests. The Iraq War is a prime example of how neoconservatives and Israel Firsters inside the United States government conspired to go to war to protect the Jewish State. In key positions at the Pentagon were Zionists Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Feith's Office of Special Plans developed the "alternative intelligence" linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and also to a mythical nuclear program that was used to justify war. Feith was so close to Israel that he partnered in a law firm that had an office in Jerusalem. The fake intelligence was then stove-piped to the White House by fellow neocon "Scooter" Libby who worked in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

After the fact, former Secretary of State Colin Powell also had something to say about the origins of the war, commenting that the United States had gone into Iraq because Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bought into the neoconservative case made for doing so by "the JINSA crowd," by which he meant the Israel Lobby organization the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

And if any more confirmation about the origins of the Iraq War were needed, one might turn to Philip Zelikow, who was involved in the planning process while working on the staff of Condoleezza Rice. He said "The unstated threat. And here I criticize the [Bush] administration a little, because the argument that they make over and over again is that this is about a threat to the United States. And then everybody says: 'Show me an imminent threat from Iraq to America. Show me, why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?' So I'll tell you what I think the real threat is, and actually has been since 1990. It's the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it's not a popular sell."

So here is the point that resonates: even in 2002-3, when the Israel Lobby was not as powerful as it is now, the fact that the U.S. was going to war on a lie and was actually acting on behalf of the Jewish State was never presented in any way to the public, even though America's children would be dying in the conflict and American taxpayers would be footing the bill. The media, if it knew about the false intelligence, was reliably pro-Israel and helped enable the deception.

And that same deception continued to this day until Trump spilled the beans earlier this month. And now, with the special security arrangement that the U.S. has entered into with Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the ability to exit from a troublesome region that does not actually threaten American interests has become very limited. As guarantor of the agreement, Washington now has an obligation to intervene on the behalf of the parties involved. Think about that, a no-win arrangement that will almost certainly lead to war with Iran, possibly to include countries like Russia and China that will be selling it military equipment contrary to U.S. "sanctions."

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .


geokat62 , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:10 am GMT

Trump Confirms U.S. Is Israel's "Protector"

Protector? Is that a fancy word for "Bitch"?

JWalters , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:28 am GMT

Excellent synopsis of the situation. And if we look into the founding of Israel, we find it was founded by war profiteers. This would explain why peace has been so "elusive". It has been relentlessly dodged. "War Profiteers and the Roots of the 'War on Terror'"
https://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com/p/war-profiteers-and-roots-of-war-on.html

JWalters , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:32 am GMT
@geokat62

It means Netanyahu is the de facto president of the US.

Derer , says: September 29, 2020 at 5:13 am GMT

Trump Confirms U.S. Is Israel's "Protector"

This declaration is against the will of the American people. Hawkish policies of this nature, that endanger the American lives should be confirmed by a referendum of the people. Of course that would be logical step in a democracy but USA is not a democracy but a diktat of backroom unellected ruling clique.

sethster , says: September 29, 2020 at 6:07 am GMT

990. Jews are the scapegoats for all the deficiencies of low-IQ whites just as whites are the scapegoats for all the deficiencies of low-IQ non-whites. Let me explain how that works.

Why do we observe Jews at the forefront of many cutting-edge industries? (for example the media/arts and financial industries are indeed rife with them). The low-IQ answer is, of course, a simplistic conspiracy theory: Jews form an evil cabal that created all these industries from scratch to "destroy culture" (or at least what low-IQ people think is culture, i.e. some previous, obsolete state of culture, i.e. older, lower culture, i.e. non-culture). And, to be sure, there is a lot of decadence in these industries. But, in an advanced civilization, there is a lot of decadence everywhere anyway! It's an essential prerequisite even! So it makes perfect sense that the most capable people in such a civilization will also be the most decadent! The stereotype of the degenerate cocaine-sniffing whoremonging or homosexual Hollywood or Wall Street operative belongs here. Well, buddy, if YOU were subjected to the stresses and temptations of the Hollywood or Wall Street lifestyles, maybe you'd be a "degenerate" too! But you lack the IQ for that, so of course you'll reduce the whole enterprise to a simplistic resentful fairy tale that seems laughable even to children: a bunch of old bearded Jews gathered round a large table planning the destruction of civilization! Well I say enough with this childish nonsense! The Jews are simply some of the smartest and most industrious people around, ergo it makes sense that they'll be encountered at or near all the peaks of the dominant culture, being overrepresented everywhere in it, including therefore in its failings and excesses! This is what it means to be the best! It doesn't mean that you are faultless little angels who can do no wrong, you brainless corn-fed nitwits! There's a moving passage somewhere in Nietzsche where he relates that Europe owes the Jews for the highest sage (Spinoza), and the highest saint (Jesus), and he'd never even heard of Freud or Einstein! In view of all the immeasurable gifts the Jewish spirit has lavished on humanity, anti-semitism in the coming world order will be a capital offense, if I have anything to say on the matter. The slightest word against the Jews, and you're a marked man: I would have not only you, but your entire extended family wiped out, just to be sure. You think you know what the Devil is, but he's just the lackey taking my orders. Entire cities razed to the ground (including the entire Middle East), simply because one person there said something bad about "the Jews", that's how I would have the future! Enough with this stupid meme! To hell with all of you brainless subhumans! You've wasted enough of our nervous energy on this stupid shit! And the same goes to low-IQ non-whites who blame all their troubles on whites! And it's all true: Jews and whites upped the stakes for everybody by bringing into the world a whole torrent of new possibilities which your IQ is too low to handle! So whatcha gonna do about it? Are you all bark, or are you prepared to bite? Come on, let's see what you can do! Any of you fucking pricks bark, and we'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

From http://orgyofthewill.net

Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 6:46 am GMT

Honestly, I like way better out in the open like this. Now there is no reason to worry about all the other BS excuses, it's all on the table.

So now, as a public, we have been informed; so what are we going to do about it? Or are they so confident about their position that they know they can announce it to he world openly and be sure that there will be zero consequences?

GMC , says: September 29, 2020 at 9:59 am GMT

Protector, personal armies, saboteurs, financiers, assassin's, propagandists, liars, thieves, rapists, slavers, and that is just for starters – which includes inside and outside of the former country called the USA.

Oracle , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:22 am GMT
@sethster

No, you are wrong. The problem with the 'industriousness' is that it is characterized by the principle of profit before all, no matter how immoral the activity. People who do that don't care about a civilized society and should not be able to reap the benefits of one.

Also high IQ isn't exemplified by trickery, lying, subverting and eroding the morals of the host society.

Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:58 am GMT
@Hess of Germans, what are those homeboys up to lately ?
Ugetit , says: September 29, 2020 at 10:59 am GMT

The US is not only the protector, but has been the enabler of the mafia from the start.

Chaim.Weizman and Nathan Sokolow approach the British with a dirty deal. The Zionists offer to use their international influence to bring the US into the war on Britain's side, while undermining Germany from within. The price that Britain must pay for U.S. entry is to steal Palestine from Ottoman Turkey (Germany's ally) and allow the Jews to settle there. Zionist agitated anti-German propaganda was unleashed in the US while the Zionists and Marxists of Germany begin to undermine Germany's war effort from within. Wilson establishes the Committee on Public Information (CPI) for the purpose of manipulating public opinion in support of the war.

-M.S. King, The Bad War, p 50.

Similar scenario for "WW2" which was little more than a continuation of the previous biggie. They really ought to be known as the One World Wars since they were obviously part of the plan for the world to be dominated by the International mafia through such creations as the League of Subjects and the United Slave Nations with the capitol at Tel Aviv.

Tommy Thompson , says: September 29, 2020 at 11:23 am GMT

Yes, Dr. Giraldi, you hit the nail on the head again.

However, the problem is that most White Middle Class Americans, are satisfied and fully compliant with this situation where the USA is a Megalethon Vassal and Servile State for the poor little Israeli state .

Also, let us be honest with ourselves, Blacks and other minorities on more occasions do dare to speak out on this issue, only to get trounced upon by the MSM and silence and snickers by the stay safe White American Middle Class. Do you ever find a Main Line White Politician speaking up for America's interests and placing them first vis a vis our best little ally ??? Only when it comes to Afro or the Hispanic – Americans sticking their heads up a little does Middle White Americana get all worked up and emotionally charged.

The White Middle Class and most certainly the well moneyed Corporate Class of America, does not mind giving away huge transfers of their tax dollars, national debt, high technologies, military hardware, and even their uniformed sons and daughter, upon command from the likes of Trump and their political opportunists managing the country (Rep and Dem alike). Serving and making America serve the Greater Zio Agenda for their ME and Global domination has become the norm and unquestionable. Try raising this issue at a dinner party and see how many people role their eyes and turn their heads away.

I doubt that the RU followers here, who seem more bent on street brawling with the false bogeymen like BLM and ANTIFA, are the ones that will stand up to the in your face take over of WDC by AIPAC and the Israel First Crowd, including front man Trump for the Kushner-Bibi WH.

Let us not forget the thieving and scamming Sunday preachers who tell them it is great to be in full service of the Zio (Jewish Talmudic based) domination agenda– as it has become a direct ticket to a Raptured Heaven . Jesus for them was been thrown under the bus long ago or strangely converted into a gun machine toting Israeli nut case extremist settler, clearing the land and villages of the indignies children and all.

Let us be frank, some elements of the America First Jewish intelligentsia are more likely to call out and the whorishness ( extremes only) of the Washington's ZOG policies than Middle Americana, who dare not risk their creature comforts, Game Time or corporate positions.

As the old adage goes, you get the Government That You Deserve .

lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:29 am GMT
@sethster

Are you all bark, or are you prepared to bite? Come on, let's see what you can do! Any of you fucking pricks bark, and we'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

Well your tribe has been incredibly effective at genocide and mass murder on an unprecedented scale of barbarism in the past, and I have no doubt you remain just as capable of such barbarity and cruelty today. Your rant makes that very clear.

Too bad the high IQ does not seem to correlate in a positive way with morality.

But thanks for the warning! Trust me, many of us are quite aware of your capabilities.

lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:36 am GMT
@Talha

Germans are a totally deracinated and brainwashed people.

Germany sold Israel submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles!

A more cucked-up people are impossible to find!

It should be no mystery how Jews have gained such control over the Gentile.

It was granted to them, willingly.

lavoisier , says: Website September 29, 2020 at 11:43 am GMT
@Talha

Most Americans do not care that their country serves the unethical territorial ambitions of the Jews.

Most Americans believe Israel is a noble country filled with noble people that would never do anything unjust or immoral.

Most Americans believe Israel is our greatest ally.

This is sad, but it is true.

Hence the predicament and the peril of our fealty to Israel.

And the predicament and peril of all those who come into conflict with this rogue nation and people.

God's Fool , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:11 pm GMT

The only reason Trump "spilled the beans" about how we are in the Middle East to protect Israel and not to keep oil flowing is to get himself reelected and nothing else. As to war with China, Zuckerberg alone would be able to bribe the administration in particular, and both the parties in general, with his extra billions to keep them out of the war being that he has married a chink, er, Chan. All will be back to business as usual after the election at least, for four more years.

HallParvey , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
@JWalters

It means Netanyahu is the de facto president of the US.

Not quite. He is much more powerful than that. The entire Congress of the United States stands and applauds when he arrives to speak. They would never do that for Trump, or any president. The fear of being unpersoned keeps them in line.

Malla , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Ugetit endence and freedom but things actually became more messy. Also the "hated" Russian Romanovs were got rid off, Russia pushed under Communist Jewish dictatorship. Also the destruction of the Caliph, imagine a united Turko-Arab Empire, no way Israel would have survived that. Even T.E. Lawrence who helped the Arabs fight the Turks was totally disappointed with the behaviour of his own Zionist controlled government. He was going to speak to the British people about the great betrayal to the Arabs and being a war hero they would have listened to him. But before he could do so he met with an "accident" while riding his motorcycle. Yeah, very convenient.
Miville , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT
@sethster re good at gathering Nobel Prizes, which is best arranged by jury-rigging and string-pulling thanks to their talent for networking, but no so good as making real inventions. In Israel proper the mean Jewish IQ, 94, is not only disappointing but a few points below even the Palestinian one. Spiritually the Jews have no longer been a chosen people for ages and most of the intellectual development they knew from about 1850 onwards was due to their being emancipated en masse from rabbinical authority, not by conforming to it : now that are falling back under an even worse collective authority with Zionism they are reversing the intellectual gains they once made.
Z-man , says: September 29, 2020 at 12:55 pm GMT

A bit off topic but RIP Steven F. Cohen.

anon [461] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:14 pm GMT

Back in the second half of the 80s the big war games were all IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ!!1! There was a strong push from all the interagency pukes with their dotted-lines reports to Langley – to aim at Iraq, and to suppress any practical considerations that might interfere with this very lucrative debacle. We watched these moles countering evidence and analysis with declamatory bullshit they made up. Way back then CIA had decided. April Glaspie's headfake sprung a trap set in Kuwait by the NOCs infesting Bechtel. That horizontal-drilling rhubarb was years in preparation.

Iraq was one big war with three phases: beating up on the Iraqi armed forces; ten years of blowing shit up; the occupation.

It turned out great. CIA got money-laundering nirvana, a chaotic zone where they could ship pallets of money around. They got an arms entrepot that lasted 20 years.They got a great network of sites for the torture gulag, with secure impunity – when Iraq tried to accede to the Rome Statute in 05, the CIA torturers were on the spot to nip it in the bud. The tame jihadi boogeymen the torture camps produced were invaluable in creating Rumsfeld's "terrorist corridor" in the Sahel and justifying the P2OG and the Pan-Sahel Initiative. That put AFRICOM garrisons, US-trained warlords, and CIA torture sites in one of the most diplomatically recalcitrant regions of the world:

So turn that frown upside down! Your old bosses got a lot out of that charlie foxtrot.

Realist , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
@sethster re all conceived and started by Gentiles Henry Ford is a great example and he knew Jews quite well. The only industries , as you call them, that Jews are involved in are leech enterprises financial corporations are excellent examples of leech enterprises. The financial products they contrive are methods to extract value from productive industries.
A large percent of Jews are devoted obsessed with gaining wealth and power from the efforts of others which is the reason for their inordinate involvement in the Deep State and also for the abject loathing by many Gentiles throughout the ages.
Moi , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm GMT
@geokat62

Fact is you can fool all Americans all the time. We are a nation of ignorant people.

Moi , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Talha

Whether the truth is hidden or now out in the open doesn't matter to a people so stupid as to believe the Creator's offspring walked, eat and crapped on this little planet 2k years ago.

Exhibit B of their stupidity: Electing Trump (and more than a few of his predecessors).

Anonymous [311] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm GMT

The NWO won't come to America as Greta Thunberg marching ahead of the Democrats in Mao suits under LGBTQ and GND banners and tumbrels of Christians headed for the guillotine, but as one transnational compliance regime after the other enacted by treaty, such as mandatory bi-annual vaccinations with largely inefficacious vaccines carrying not just behavior modifying chemicals and sterilants as adjuvants, but DNA-altering horrors. Anyone want to argue the threats posed by these DNA- or mRNA-modifying vaccines made from, among other things, insect DNA?

Some think it's over the top to talk about the NWO that's on the horizon as a Sino-Judaic, world-hegemonic NWO, but the United States government is itself already little more than a collection of compliance regimes in service to International Jewry. The 29 standing ovations from a Congress afraid to be the first to stop clapping for a kitchen cabinet salesman-turned-Caesar made that clear enough. The rest of the story, like the nonsense that Congress and DJT are voluntarily protecting Israel, is eyewash for fools when International Jewry owns them all like the trained seals who perform in the Central Park Zoo.

Old and Grumpy , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:01 pm GMT
@God's Fool

The Holy Rollers were never going to bail from Trump after the embassy move to Jerusalem. Jews on the other hand are likely not amused about such a revelation. So his words were unlikely about the election.

Old and Grumpy , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:04 pm GMT

How is this foreign policy now not a violation of the church-state separation? Especially since Israel describes itself as a Jewish state.

The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:17 pm GMT
@lavoisier nd stern conversation, "For me, the new Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel and the Jewish people." He's a brilliant intellectual and a thoughtful politician, and we don't need to worry – he won't give up his existential friendship so easily. And certainly not because of Bennett or his colleague Orit Strock, the party whip.

A very symbolic photo posted by the Israel Defence Forces' Twitter account, in the tweet linked to by user Talha

Heil Judea!

Realist

Realist , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT

@lavoisier

Too bad the high IQ does not seem to correlate in a positive way with morality.

Exactly.

Gidoutahere , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
@sethster

Weinstein, Epstein, Maxwell, Maddof, –cking geniuses. I thought your principal asset was "God's chosen people". Now I see it's your penetrating mind.

anon [143] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 2:56 pm GMT

It is time to be more honest. A foreign war that the US loses may be the only way out of the political, moral and social impasse that currently afflicts the US. The forces that control the US government need to be removed and that seems increasingly unlikely to arise from simply domestic opposition.

It took World War II to remove Adolf Hitler from power in Germany. Why should anyone expect anything less to change the government of the United States? The US wants a war with Russia and China. Perhaps it is best that it be granted one? Let's see some articles on this proposition.

The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT
@Talha

The odd thing is how so many Jews still support immigration despite the fact that a lot of the immigrants are (from the Jewish/Zionist perspective) at best indifferent to Israel and at worse outright hostile and want it gone.

Or perhaps they realise democracy is a sham and the Jewish elite have got their backs? Hence their plans to mongrelise Europeans nations don't really conflict with their Zionist ambitions.

One thing is for sure, when things start to get hairy in the West, all Jews will have a nice First World ethnocracy to move to.

anon [108] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT

Trump's greatest contribution to the US/World might be exposing the naked ambition and evilness of the Ziocons. Before Trump, Ziocons lurked in the background as puppet masters, with their many plans obscured behind "diplomacy" and propaganda like "freedom" and "human rights", now thanks to Trump they are showing their true colors. Trump has managed to expose to the whole world including all our allies who is really running America and the extent they will go to destroy their perceived "enemies" to achieve world domination -- the end justifies the means. It is making our allies esp. Europe think twice about their alliance with JU.S.A.

anon [108] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT

Trump's greatest contribution to the US/World might be exposing the naked ambition and evilness of the Ziocons. Before Trump, Ziocons lurked in the background as puppet masters, with their many plans obscured behind "diplomacy" and propaganda like "freedom" and "human rights", now thanks to Trump they are showing their true colors. Trump has managed to expose to the whole world including all our allies who is really running America and the extent they will go to destroy their perceived "enemies" to achieve world domination -- the end justifies the means. It is making our allies esp. Europe think twice about their alliance with JU.S.A.

karel , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm GMT
@lavoisier

You must have been misinformed if you think that "Germany sold Israel submarines". Not really as you can find out from the link bellow. The first two submarines were donated and the third was "hawkered" for about half the production cost.

https://rotefahne.eu/2011/01/brd-1108-mio-steuergelder-fuer-israelische-u-boote/

Harold Smith , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm GMT
@anon the empire starts WW3, e.g. the "big one" at Yellowstone, which will do so much damage as to make it impossible for the evil empire to continue it's pursuit of world domination and control.

BTW on a positive note, it looks like there is now some resistance from the private sector against the evil orange clown's self-destructive economic war against China:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-tariffs/some-3500-u-s-companies-sue-over-trump-imposed-chinese-tariffs-idUSKCN26G31G

Talha , says: September 29, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT
@The Spirit of Enoch Powell a massive forward operating base for the West declined any normalization.

I do think it is game over for quite a while in the West regarding opposition to Israel. Israel may collapse or have to come to the table or something due to some game changer in the Middle East, but I don't see it happening due to lack of support from the West anytime soon.

Peace.

Note: This is a good analysis of various views:
https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/265898/american-jews-politics-israel.aspx

[Sep 28, 2020] Ziocon Trump is a master of deception: has not delivered on any of his promises, hired neocons, assholes, and morons

Highly recommended!
Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 7:06 pm GMT

@Realist d on him and tried to remove him from office. This is actually the greatest political scandal in American history, yet nothing will be done about it. The magic negro will never face any consequences and he and his ugly wife will remain free to race bait for another 30 years unimpeded.

Trump and the GOP allowed the covid hoax to wreck the economy and allowed massive riots to go on for many months. They allow the left to run wild while whites live under anarcho-tyranny.

If Trump wins, which is likely, he will just go right back to blabbing about how much he loves blacks and mexicans and gays and you will never hear another word about white people.

Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm GMT
@restless94110 p> Obama fired many upper level military and replaced them with leftist cucks.

Besides Trump not getting rid of people he should have gotten rid of, he hired a shitload of scum, neocons, Goldman alums, etc., people who were obviously not going to promote his America First agenda.

From the looks of it he never intended to make good on any of his promises.

And as Ann Coulter says, immigration is really the only thing that matters. Trump didn't deport the 30 million illegals that don't belong here. He didn't do anything about birthright citizenship, E-verify, etc.

We still face the very same demographic disaster as before.

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan

Trump doesn't even have the balls to go after the people who spied on him and tried to remove him from office.

I agree on your points

Here is a video of Tom Fitton explaining the situation to Lou Dobbs.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5thJyj5I7I?feature=oembed

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:21 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

I don't think anyone was actually trying to remove him from office (they could've added his war crimes and violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to the impeachment charges if they were serious about removing him). Most likely it's all political theater to fool the people who need and/or want to be fooled.

This is a charade designed by the Deep State to distract any thought that both parties are just two sides to the Deep State coin.

restless94110 , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan did get rid of some military, he clearly didn't get rid of the right people.

You seem to think it's easy. It's not obviously.

I like Ann, but she is hysterical. Yet that is ok in a journalist/editorialist. Her function is to keep pushing. And she is doing that.

But Trump is moving at his own speed based on his own instincts. Meaning it might be faster for some, slower for others. Coulter is not able to understand that. But she does not have to. I still read her. And then I analyze her as a person in fear that the wall won't be built.

Looks to me like Ann is wrong. It's just not happening quickly enough for her.

[Sep 23, 2020] Another sign of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite: FBI Agent Who Discovered Hillary's Emails On Weiner Laptop Claims He Was Told To Erase Computer

Highly recommended!
It would be interesting if Durham prove result revealed in October, not matter how whitewashed they are.
From comments below it is lear that for this particular subset neoliberal elite lost all legitimacy
Notable quotes:
"... Told to Erase Laptop Containing Investigation of Anthony Weiner Laptop ..."
"... Robertson alleges that the FBI did nothing for a month after discovering Clinton's emails on the Anthony Weiner laptop. It was only after he spoke with the U.S. Attorney's office overseeing the case, he claims, that the agency took action. ..."
"... Robertson's assertions match up with a Wall Street Journal report from 2018 . In that report, text messages between agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, lawyer Lisa Page, indicated the former had been called to discuss the newly discovered emails on September 28th. Those emails wouldn't be revealed until former Director James Comey notified Congress about them on October 28th. ..."
"... A book written by James B . Stewart in 2019 asserts that FBI agents had referred to the discovery of Hillary Clinton's emails as an "oh s***" moment." One agent admitted there were "ten times" as many emails as Comey admitted to publicly. ..."
"... These allegations make it difficult to say Comey did not lie to the public – if not Congress . ..."
"... Recently released documents from the DOJ show multiple FBI officials had "accidentally wiped" their phones after the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) requested them . ..."
"... Erasing evidence is a consistent theme for the Obama-era FBI. Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has voted to authorize over three dozen subpoenas and depositions of some of these officials, including Comey. ..."
"... The difficulty is not just that Comey and his underlings were obstructing justice to benefit Clinton, and made a total **** show of it. It is that Sessions was, "to protect the DOJ"... and Barr, also, clearly, as long he continues to run interference for Comey, Clinton, et al, is also obstructing justice. Barr has crafted a veneer, it seems... in the Durham probe... to provide himself plausible deniability. That veneer can remain plausible only as long as Durham does nothing, and fails to make the files public. ..."
"... It was the NYPD. And, that cadre of NYPD officers recognized what was likely to happen when they did turn it over to the FBI. So they made copies. And, the copies got distributed to the cloud. ..."
"... The emails are in the stellarwind database , according to William Binney. So are all the texts that the Mueller crew "erased." IntercoursetheEU is correct - every email and text ever sent is archived in that database. ..."
"... Where is that slimy, former CIA Director who wouldn't shut-up on national TV from late 2016 to early 2020? Hhmm, not a freaking peep nor have I seen any recent images. How about the dirtball, prior FBI Dir? His Twitter acct has only had "quotes" posted for about a month now. ..."
"... Clapper? Another Trump trasher on constant TV the last few years.....where is he? NOT A PEEP. Why wouldn't he keep trashing to diminish DJT's election chances? ..."
"... Brennan was on an MSNBC panel last week pale, sweating, moving around in his seat at the mere mention of John Durham. Not his usual cocky self that's for sure. ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Rusty Weiss via The Political Insider blog,

FBI agent John Robertson, the man who found Hillary Clinton's emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, claims he was advised by bosses to erase his own computer.

Former FBI Director James Comey, you may recall, announced days before the 2016 presidential election that he had "learned of the existence" of the emails on Weiner's laptop .

Weiner is the disgraced husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Robertson alleges that the manner in which his higher-ups in the FBI handled the case was "not ethically or morally right."

His startling claims are made in a book titled, "October Surprise: How the FBI Tried to Save Itself and Crashed an Election," an excerpt of which has been published by the Washington Post .

Told to Erase Laptop Containing Investigation of Anthony Weiner Laptop

Robertson alleges that the FBI did nothing for a month after discovering Clinton's emails on the Anthony Weiner laptop. It was only after he spoke with the U.S. Attorney's office overseeing the case, he claims, that the agency took action.

"He had told his bosses about the Clinton emails weeks ago," the book contends . "Nothing had happened."

"Or rather, the only thing that had happened was his boss had instructed Robertson to erase his computer work station."

This, according to the Post report, was to "ensure there was no classified material on it," but also would eliminate any trail of his actions taken during the investigation.

FBI Did Nothing About Hillary Clinton's Emails For Months?

Robertson's assertions match up with a Wall Street Journal report from 2018 . In that report, text messages between agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, lawyer Lisa Page, indicated the former had been called to discuss the newly discovered emails on September 28th. Those emails wouldn't be revealed until former Director James Comey notified Congress about them on October 28th.

A book written by James B . Stewart in 2019 asserts that FBI agents had referred to the discovery of Hillary Clinton's emails as an "oh s***" moment." One agent admitted there were "ten times" as many emails as Comey admitted to publicly.

These allegations make it difficult to say Comey did not lie to the public – if not Congress .

Robertson's story is being revealed as U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating the FBI's role in the origins of the Russia probe into President Trump's campaign.

Recently released documents from the DOJ show multiple FBI officials had "accidentally wiped" their phones after the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) requested them .

Erasing evidence is a consistent theme for the Obama-era FBI. Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has voted to authorize over three dozen subpoenas and depositions of some of these officials, including Comey.

Democrats seem skittish about what Durham is uncovering .

Four House committee chairs last week asked for an "emergency" review of Attorney General William Barr's handling of Durham's probe.

"We are concerned by indications that Attorney General Barr might depart from longstanding DOJ principles," a letter to the IG reads .

They contend Barr may "take public action related to U.S. Attorney Durham's investigation that could impact the presidential election." Top Democrats have also been threatening to impeach Barr over the investigation.

Kevin Clinesmith, one of the FBI officials involved in gathering evidence in the Russia investigation, pled guilty last month to making a false statement. He was accused by the Inspector General of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

President Trump's Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, said in July that he expects further indictments and jail time to come out of Durham's probe. Democrats, Comey, and others at the FBI might be a little nervous.


DaiRR , 12 hours ago

DemoRat operatives still pervade the DOJ and to a lesser extent the FBI. Treasonous F's all of them. Andrew Weissmann is an evil a Rat as any of them and he should be tried, disbarred and punished for all his lying and despicable crimes while at the DOJ. Of course MSNBC now loves paying him to be their "legal analyst".

MissCellany , 13 hours ago

What, like with a cloth or something?

RoadKill4Supper , 12 hours ago

"What difference, at this point, does it make?"

FBGnome , 3 hours ago

The current election would be at stake.

Unknown User , 14 hours ago

Unless the Swamp does it. Not just a post or a website disappear, people disappear.

Sense , 13 hours ago

The difficulty is not just that Comey and his underlings were obstructing justice to benefit Clinton, and made a total **** show of it. It is that Sessions was, "to protect the DOJ"... and Barr, also, clearly, as long he continues to run interference for Comey, Clinton, et al, is also obstructing justice. Barr has crafted a veneer, it seems... in the Durham probe... to provide himself plausible deniability. That veneer can remain plausible only as long as Durham does nothing, and fails to make the files public.

Only if Durham proceeds to use the files, and/or makes the files public, will we find out if we get prosecutions, or if we get more obstruction under Barr's watch. So, Barr is carrying a pretty big hammer. It isn't at all clear what he intends to do with that hammer, or how he intends to use it if he does.

A wild card, perhaps, in the potential for an Senate or House investigation including Barr's forced participation... in response to which he might be compelled to answer the unasked question ? Makes it kind of hard to see how "investigating Barr"... poses a threat to Barr, or Trump... rather than a threat to those investigating him ? The fact they're even twittering about it suggests more than awareness about the content of that information... and thus maybe complicity in the effort to cover it up ?

That would explain most of the events of the last four years.

And, as a note, it wasn't "the FBI" that "found the e-mails" (and other files) on the Weiner laptop.

It was the NYPD. And, that cadre of NYPD officers recognized what was likely to happen when they did turn it over to the FBI. So they made copies. And, the copies got distributed to the cloud.

It is not possible, I'd think, that Julian Assange didn't get a copy... in case you wonder why Barr's DOJ is still prosecuting journalism. I doubt they're doing that because of past publication... rather than in an effort to prevent future publication. Because Assange... in all likelihood... might be the only journalist left in the world... who will not be coerced into withholding publication.

ElmerTwitch , 12 hours ago

The emails are in the stellarwind database , according to William Binney. So are all the texts that the Mueller crew "erased." IntercoursetheEU is correct - every email and text ever sent is archived in that database.

The DOJ is indeed protecting Obama, Hillary, Comey, Brennan, Clapper et al. by claiming "the emails are gone! The texts are gone, too!"

sparky139 , 12 hours ago

What is the stellarwind database

TheReplacement's Replacement , 1 hour ago

Look up NSA.

takeaction , 15 hours ago

As all of us here on ZH understand. NOTHING WILL EVER HAPPEN... And Trump Team....if you are reading this... THIS IS THE BIGGEST LET DOWN OF YOUR ENTIRE PRESIDENCY...

No_Pretzel_Logic , 14 hours ago

takeaction - I disagree. I think things are happening right now....out of the country.

TRIALS.....

Where is that slimy, former CIA Director who wouldn't shut-up on national TV from late 2016 to early 2020? Hhmm, not a freaking peep nor have I seen any recent images. How about the dirtball, prior FBI Dir? His Twitter acct has only had "quotes" posted for about a month now.

Clapper? Another Trump trasher on constant TV the last few years.....where is he? NOT A PEEP. Why wouldn't he keep trashing to diminish DJT's election chances?

I'm telling ya, I think they are on a certain Caribbean Island. And my wager is that Trump is going to toss a wild curveball into this election about the 3rd week of Oct.

Treason convictions announced, is my bet.

maggie2now , 13 hours ago

Brennan was on an MSNBC panel last week pale, sweating, moving around in his seat at the mere mention of John Durham. Not his usual cocky self that's for sure. HRC was online flapping her yap with Jennifer Palmieri not too long ago trying to convince the Biden campaign not to concede the 2020 election under any circumstances. As for Clapper, I don't know - maybe hiding in a remote location ****ting himself?

MoreFreedom , 12 hours ago

They've shut up because their actions betray them. Publicly they say Trump is a Russian spy or puppet, while under oath, in a closed room, representing their former government position and top secret clearance, they've no information to support it. That shows an anti-Trump political motivation, regarding their prior actions in government. It's also defrauding the public and government.

YouJustCouldnt , 2 hours ago

Couldn't agree more. How many times have we been here before!

20 years on from 9/11 - From the thousands of experts on the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth , the latest news is that The National Institute of Standards and Technology ( NIST ) is now more than a week late in issuing its "initial decision" on the pending "request for correction" to its 2008 report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7. Big Whoop - and just another nothing burger.

Ms No , 15 hours ago

Uhhhh.....yeah.

We have seen this type of thing since JFK. If you hadn't long ago figured this out then you are either an amateur or a paid internet herd-moving troll/anti-human.

Some of us aren't part of the herd.

(((Anthony Weiner))), just like (((Mossad Epstein honeypot))) and (((lucky Larry Silverstein))), countless other examples that blow statistical likelihood way beyond coincidence.

Not rocket science. Its a mob and these are their puppets and fronts. They dont just own the FBI. They own all branches of your government and all the alphabets.

Enjoying the covid hysteria and run-up to WWIII?

Unknown User , 14 hours ago

If by (((they))) you mean the British who created the OSA and then the CIA. They also created all the think-tanks, like the CFR. They own the Fed and run the worldwide banking cartel. The British Crown owns all the countries of the Commonwealth. And they started the COVID-19 delusion. Yes. Make no mistake. It is (((THEY))).

VWAndy , 15 hours ago

An he didnt go public with it either.

occams razor. they are all corrupt.

Stackers , 15 hours ago

Anyone who thinks that anybody beyond this low level flunky, Kliensmith, is going to get any kind of prosecution is dreaming. None of these people will face any consequences to their outright sedition and they know it. Disgusting.

radical-extremist , 15 hours ago

She created a private personal server to purposely circumvent the FOIA system and any other prying eyes. Her staff was warned not to do it, but they refused to confront her about it. They were so technically inept that they didn't understand emails are copied on to servers everywhere...including the pentagon and the state department. And Huma's laptop that her perv husband used to sext girls.

She maintained and exchanged Top Secret information on a personal/private/unsecured server in her house. That is a crime punishable with prison time...and yet she skates.

High Vigilante , 15 hours ago

This guy should avoid walking out in dark.

His name was Seth!

Bay of Pigs , 13 hours ago

We have to face reality. If Durham doesn't indict some of these people before the election, nothing is going to happen. It's the end of the line. Time has run out.

"We bullsh#tted some folks...."

dogfish , 13 hours ago

Trump is a charlatan and a fraud. The only winners with Trump are the Zionist they are Trumps top priority.

play_arrow
OCnStiggs , 13 hours ago

Good thing NYPD copied the HD on that laptop for just this occurrence. There reportedly at least two copies in safes in NYC. Criminality of the highest order that eclipses by 100,000,000 whatever happened in Watergate. These FBI people need to hang.

Sparehead , 13 hours ago

Safe in NYC? Like all the evidence of criminal banking activity that was lost in World Trade Center 7?

4Y_LURKER , 12 hours ago

Oh look! We found passports even though steel and gold was vaporized by jet fuel!!

NIST is a cornspiracy theory!

you're cornfused

[Sep 20, 2020] Democratic-Defense-Against-Disinformation-2.0.pdf by Alina Polyakova and Daniel Fried

Counter disinformation network can't revive the dead chicken of neoliberal ideology.
Neoliberal elite lost legitimacy and as such has difficulties controlling the narrative. That's why all this frantic efforts were launched to rectify the situation.
Anti-Russian angle of Atlantic council revealed here quite clearly
Sep 20, 2020 | www.brookings.edu

The paper's biggest single recommendation was that the United States and EU establish a Counter-Disinformation Coalition, a public/private group bringing together, on a regular basis, government and non-government stakeholders, including social media companies, traditional media, Internet service providers (ISPs), and civil society groups. The Counter-Disinformation Coalition would develop best practices for confronting disinformation from nondemocratic countries, consistent with democratic norms. It also recommended that this coalition start with a voluntary code of conduct outlining principles and agreed procedures for dealing with disinformation, drawing from the recommendations as summarized above.

In drawing up these recommendations, we were aware that disinformation most often comes from domestic, not foreign, sources. 8 While Russian and other disinformation players are known to work in coordination with domestic purveyors of disinformation, both overtly and covertly, the recommendations are limited to foreign disinformation, which falls within the scope of "political warfare." Nevertheless, it may be that these policy recommendations, particularly those focused on transparency and social resilience, may be applicable to combatting other forms of disinformation.

[Sep 02, 2020] 400,000+ Americans sick of political duopoly turn out for virtual 'People's Convention' vote to launch new anti-corporate party

With "first after the post" election rules no third party can succeed.
Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "major new corporate-free political party in America." ..."
"... "There is only one choice in this election, and that is the consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump, or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden," ..."
"... "The oligarchs with Trump or Biden will win again, and we will lose." ..."
"... Only one thing matters to the oligarchs, it is not democracy, it is not truth, it is not the consent of the governed, it is not income inequality, it is not the surveillance state, it is not endless war it is the primacy of corporate power, which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class and the working poor in misery. ..."
"... We have reverted to aristocracy; it is now a corporate aristocracy. ..."
"... "It is health insurance companies, it is big pharmaceutical companies, it is big oil, it is food companies and of course, it is the military industrial complex," ..."
"... "we are in a fight for our lives and for future generations," ..."
"... "We don't believe in the lies and the bribes and the contentment in a lousy peace," ..."
"... "How can we have peace in moments like this, when over 90 million of our sisters and brothers are either uninsured or underinsured?" ..."
"... "How can we have peace when on the streets of America right now, black lives have been reaching out, calling out the racism and the white supremacy and the bigotry of a system that was created for black lives to languish." ..."
"... How can we have peace when you got a Congress that goes on recess while millions of people are facing evictions from their homes? ..."
"... "We need a third or fourth entity to step in. The lesser of two evils is still evil," ..."
"... "We are living in a moment of massive imperial meltdown, spiritual breakdown, and we need prophetic fight-back," ..."
Sep 01, 2020 | www.rt.com

Fed up with decades of two-party rule, hundreds of thousands of Americans tuned in for the People's Convention, where they voted to form a new political alternative unbeholden to corporate power or the military-industrial complex.

The event drew more than 400,000 viewers to its livestream on Sunday, organizers said. It continued to trend on Twitter through more than 5 hours of speeches that culminated in a vote to create a "major new corporate-free political party in America."

Among the speakers at the convention were several disgruntled Democrats, from Sen. Bernie Sanders's 2020 national co-chair Nina Turner to a candidate in this year's primaries, Marianne Williamson. The roster of speakers also included former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, comedian Jimmy Dore, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who summed up the spirit of the convention in a fiery address.

ALSO ON RT.COM No cooperation allowed? Twitter suspends cancel culture prof's 'Articles of Unity' call for bipartisanship & BLOCKS website

"There is only one choice in this election, and that is the consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump, or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden," said Hedges, who also hosts RT's ' On Contact .' "The oligarchs with Trump or Biden will win again, and we will lose."

Only one thing matters to the oligarchs, it is not democracy, it is not truth, it is not the consent of the governed, it is not income inequality, it is not the surveillance state, it is not endless war it is the primacy of corporate power, which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class and the working poor in misery.

www.youtube.com/embed/t6u5xPJaW2s

The People's Convention was held on the heels of the Republican and Democratic national conventions earlier this month, which event organizers said "erased the needs of poor and working people in a time of mounting national crisis." It ended with a vote to create the People's Party in 2021, in which some 99 percent of its 400,000 viewers took part.

Williamson, who made an unsuccessful bid for Democratic nominee in the 2020 race, slammed an economic system that for decades has stranded "millions of people without even a life vest," concentrating massive amounts of wealth upward and leaving the American middle class "completely devastated."

We have reverted to aristocracy; it is now a corporate aristocracy.

"It is health insurance companies, it is big pharmaceutical companies, it is big oil, it is food companies and of course, it is the military industrial complex," she said.

A former Ohio state senator and a senior figure in the Sanders campaign, Turner told the convention that "we are in a fight for our lives and for future generations," adding "We don't believe in the lies and the bribes and the contentment in a lousy peace," quoting from a 1938 poem by Langston Hughs.

"How can we have peace in moments like this, when over 90 million of our sisters and brothers are either uninsured or underinsured?" Turner asked. "How can we have peace when on the streets of America right now, black lives have been reaching out, calling out the racism and the white supremacy and the bigotry of a system that was created for black lives to languish."

How can we have peace when you got a Congress that goes on recess while millions of people are facing evictions from their homes?

ALSO ON RT.COM Rigged US primaries aren't the problem – the rigged election system is

"We need a third or fourth entity to step in. The lesser of two evils is still evil," said Ventura, who was elected Minnesota governor on a third-party ticket in 1998 and has since been involved with the Libertarian and Green parties. Ventura has also hosted RT's ' Off the Grid ' (ending in 2015) and ' The World According to Jesse .'

Harvard professor and social critic Dr. Cornel West also addressed the event, calling to "transform the American empire into a more democratic space," while dubbing the two major parties the "neo-fascist" and "neo-liberal" wings of the "ruling class."

"We are living in a moment of massive imperial meltdown, spiritual breakdown, and we need prophetic fight-back," West said, arguing the new party would provide just that.

The Movement for a People's Party, the organization behind the project, now says it is working to establish local branches around the US, which will "form the building blocks of state parties" and work through the long and often arduous process of securing ballot access. The group has set a lofty goal for the new anti-corporate outfit, hoping it will be "poised to sweep Congress and the White House" by the next election cycle in 2024.

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Sinalco 16 hours ago

Sadly, it's the same all over the world - the corporations have bought all politicians... Governments & Politicians no longer work for us; they work for the highest bidder...

ratfink222 Sinalco 3 hours ago

In the USA it is even worse, CEOs give themselves multimillion dollars raises and bonuses for screwing up and screwing Americans. Their pay is at least 10,000 times higher than employees. They act like they are laying golden bricks but they are robbing everybody.

GottaBeMe venze chern 5 hours ago

This one will be a grassroots organization and has pledged to never accept corporate donations. They are planning to get online funding from individuals as did Bernie Sanders. It can be done. When they have enough momentum, they will work to eliminate corporate money from politics. You should watch their convention. I saw all but the first 45 minutes. It was inspiring.

Juan_More 15 hours ago

There are already other parties running in the election it is just that these also ran parties can't get any traction against the two main parties. Part of the reason that RT got trouble last time is that they gave airtime to these also ran parties. Ross Perot made a good try at it but he failed. These also ran parties have to start winning elections at lower levels and building momentum. The other would be to get a high profile candidate with name recognition like Jesse Ventura or Oprah

GottaBeMe Juan_More 5 hours ago Certainly the game is rigged against alternative parties.

They are not allowed to participate in debates, the media tries to ignore them, election rules are designed to make it nearly impossible to get on a state ballot. (This is why I vote 3rd party in the absence of a decent D or R candidate: a threshold of votes can provide a bit of financial relief and if enough, could mandate ballot access.) I truly hope the People's Party succeeds. I intend to support it as much as I can.

Alan Ditmore Juan_More 5 hours ago

No. ONLY ONE viable strategy and that is to get 1000 MAYORS before running any higher, for which you need a municipal platform. houses 13 hours ago Workers' parties are the only alternative to corporate parties.

The British Labour Party was just that, but it was infiltrated by tory fifth columnists and turned into tory lite, thus depriving the electrorate of any meaningfull choice.

Corbyn is real Labour, and was voted leader by a landslide of the national membership, but the Blairites in the PLP simply undermined everything he did, contradicted everything he said, supported tory fake news and lies, and even campaigned openly against him at the general election. The fact is the corporate fascists will not ALLOW any opposition to their kleptocratic establishment.

[Aug 23, 2020] Unconstrained Economic-Elite Domination under neoliberalism

Aug 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

james charles , says: Next New Comment August 23, 2020 at 11:12 am GMT

Hands up those who think the election will only have a 'marginal' effect?

"Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page

Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics -- which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism -- offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. "

https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

[Aug 21, 2020] Warren's DNC Speech was more appropriate for Republican's convention

Aug 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

hough it was quickly overshadowed by the big-ticket appearances of Barack Obama and Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren's Tuesday address to the Democratic National Convention deserves some consideration.

A probable VP nominee before the events of the summer made race the deciding factor, Warren is an able representative of what might be called the "non-socialist populist" branch of the Democratic Party. Her economic populism -- though it does have an unmistakably left-wing flavor -- has caught the eye of Tucker Carlson, who offered glowing praise of her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap ; her call for "economic nationalism" during the primary campaign earned mockery from some corners of the Left and a bit of hesitant sympathy from the Right. A few days ago in Crisis , Michael Warren Davis referred to her (tongue at least somewhat in cheek) as " reactionary senator Elizabeth Warren ."

There is some good reason for all of this.

As I watched the first half of Warren's speech (before she descended into the week's secondary theme of blaming the virus on Donald Trump) I couldn't help but think that it belonged at the Republican National Convention. Or, rather, that a GOP convention that drove home the themes addressed by Senator Warren on Tuesday would be immensely more effective than the circus I'm expecting to see next week.

Amid a weeklong hurricane of identity politics sure to drive off a good number of moderates and independents, Warren offered her party an electoral lifeline: a policy-heavy pitch gift-wrapped as the solution to a multitude of troubles facing average Americans, especially families.

It was rhetorically effective in a way that few other moments in the convention have been. Part of this is due to the format: a teleconferenced convention left most speakers looking either like bargain-bin Orwell bogeymen or like Pat Sajak presenting a tropical vacation as a prize on Wheel of Fortune. But Warren, for one reason or another, looks entirely at home in a pre-school classroom.

The content, however, is crucial too. Warren grounded her comments in experiences that have been widely shared by millions of Americans these last few months: the loss of work, the loss of vital services like childcare, the stress and anxiety that dominate pandemic-era life. She makes a straightforward case for Biden: his policies will make everyday life better for the vast majority of American families. She focuses on the example of childcare, which Biden promises to make freely available to Americans who need it. This, she claims, will give families a better go of things and make struggling parents' lives a whole lot easier.

It's hard not to be taken in. It's certainly a more compelling sales pitch than, "You're all racist. Make up for it by voting for this old white guy." It's the kind of thing that a smart campaign would spend the next three months broadcasting and repeating every chance they get. (The jury is still out as to whether Biden's campaign is a smart one.) This -- convincing common people that you're going to do right by them -- is the kind of thing that wins elections.

But there's more than a little mistruth in the pitch. Warren shares a touching story from her own experience as a young parent, half a century ago:

When I had babies and was juggling my first big teaching job down in Texas, it was hard. But I could do hard. The thing that almost sank me? Child care.

One night my Aunt Bee called to check in. I thought I was fine, but then I just broke down and started to cry. I had tried holding it all together, but without reliable childcare, working was nearly impossible. And when I told Aunt Bee I was going to quit my job, I thought my heart would break.

Then she said the words that changed my life: "I can't get there tomorrow, but I'll come on Thursday." She arrived with seven suitcases and a Pekingese named Buddy and stayed for 16 years. I get to be here tonight because of my Aunt Bee.

I learned a fundamental truth: nobody makes it on their own. And yet, two generations of working parents later, if you have a baby and don't have an Aunt Bee, you're on your own.

Are we not supposed to ask about the fundamental difference between Elizabeth Warren's experience decades ago and the experience of struggling parents now? Hint: she had a strong extended family to support her, and her kids had a broad family network to help raise them. Not too long ago, any number of people would have been involved in the raising of a single child. ("It takes a village," but not in the looney Clinton way.) Now, an American kid is lucky to have just two people helping him along the way. As we've all been reminded a hundred times, the chances that he'll be raised by only one increase astronomically in poor or black communities.

Shouldn't we be talking about that? Shouldn't we be talking about the policies that contributed to the shift? It's a complex crisis, and we can't pin it down to any one cause. But a slew of left-wing programs are certainly caught up in it. An enormous and fairly lax welfare state has reduced the necessity of family ties in day-to-day life to almost nil. Diverse economic pressures have made stay-at-home parents a near-extinct breed, and left even two-income households struggling to make ends meet. (Warren literally wrote the book on it.) Not to mention that the Democrats remain the party more forcefully supportive of abortion and more ferociously opposed to the institution of marriage (though more than a few Republicans are trying real hard to catch up).

Progressive social engineering has ravaged the American family for decades, and this proposal only offers more of the same. It's trying to outsource childcare to government-bankrolled professionals without asking the important question: Whatever happened to Aunt Bee?

Republicans need an answer. We need to be carefully considering what government has done to accelerate the decline of the family -- and what it can do to reverse it. Some of the reformers and realigners in the party have already begun this project in earnest. But it needs to be taken more seriously. It needs to be a central effort of the party's mainstream, and a constant element of the party's message. Grand, nationalistic narratives about Making America Great Again mean nothing if that revival isn't actually felt by people in their lives and in their homes.

If we're confident in our family policy -- and while it needs a good deal of work, it's certainly better than the Democrats' -- we shouldn't be afraid to take the fight to them. We should be pointing out, for instance, that Warren's claim that Biden will afford greater bankruptcy protections to common people is hardly borne out by the facts: Biden spent a great deal of time and effort in his legislative career doing exactly the opposite. We should be pointing out that dozens of Democratic policies have been hurting American families for decades, and will continue to do so if we let them. We should sell ourselves as the better choice for American families -- and be able to mean it when we say it.

If we let the Democrats keep branding themselves as the pro-family party -- a marketing ploy that has virtually no grounding in reality -- we're going to lose in November. And we're going to keep losing for a long, long time.

[Aug 19, 2020] People vs money: oligarchy almost always wins

Notable quotes:
"... Are you arguing that sociopaths have an inalienable right to hold office, even though they will inevitably use that office to aggrandize themselves at the expense of everyone else, and could spark a general war just for their own enjoyment and to gather yet more power to themselves? ..."
"... How do people who don't share your beliefs get represented if you rig the system to exclude them? People unlike you are sociopaths? It isn't even tempting. Your cost benefit study benefits you. The world is destabilized if your guys don't get in? No surprise. ..."
"... The under-employment rate is also very informative. People working less hours or in lower positions than their investment in education should have returned to them. They are working, but not enough to be able to independently sustain themselves, which makes them insecure in variety of ways. ..."
"... It all depends on what the penalties are. Confiscation of hidden assets would chill that behavior, strike one. Loss of the privilege to conduct business with federal and state entities would also chill such behavior, strike two. Finally, for persistent violations of the cap, loss of citizenship and expulsion form the country, three strikes and you are literally out, would be the ultimate penalty. ..."
"... The United States is actually both a federation (hardly unique by the way) and a representative democracy. Whether you call them members of Parliament or members of Congress, their representatives are elected by the people. ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

apacheman -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 23:32

Excuse me?

Huge numbers of people who disagree with me and don't share my particular beliefs are not sociopaths, nothing would stop them from running or holding office, and I've no problem with that.

Are you arguing that sociopaths have an inalienable right to hold office, even though they will inevitably use that office to aggrandize themselves at the expense of everyone else, and could spark a general war just for their own enjoyment and to gather yet more power to themselves?

THAT I'm not ok with, are you?

DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> apacheman , 7 Jul 2018 21:12
How do people who don't share your beliefs get represented if you rig the system to exclude them? People unlike you are sociopaths? It isn't even tempting. Your cost benefit study benefits you. The world is destabilized if your guys don't get in? No surprise.
HauptmannGurski -> Aseoria , 7 Jul 2018 20:26
I know, and Bush I was head of the CIA. Strange that one matters and the other does not.
Sisyphus2 -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 20:05
Love this line: "the gig economy combined with record debt and astronomically high rent prices cancel out any potential economic stability for millions of people."

The under-employment rate is also very informative. People working less hours or in lower positions than their investment in education should have returned to them. They are working, but not enough to be able to independently sustain themselves, which makes them insecure in variety of ways.

Aseoria -> ildfluer , 7 Jul 2018 19:52
Do you think the interpreters might turn out to be agents, or perhaps even assassins, from other governments? Or maybe everybody will be knocked out with fentanyl gas at dinner. In the dining room.
Aseoria -> consumerx , 7 Jul 2018 19:47
Typical Good-Cop Bad-Cop from here in the vaunted "Two-Party" system of the USA gov
Janaka77 -> petersview , 7 Jul 2018 19:05
I like the way the Republic of Ireland puts strict restrictions on political spending for their elections - including their presidential elections.
apacheman -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 19:02
1. It all depends on what the penalties are. Confiscation of hidden assets would chill that behavior, strike one. Loss of the privilege to conduct business with federal and state entities would also chill such behavior, strike two. Finally, for persistent violations of the cap, loss of citizenship and expulsion form the country, three strikes and you are literally out, would be the ultimate penalty.

The alternative, continuing to allow unlimited wealth accumulation will ultimately destroy democracy and end in a dictatorship nearly impossible to remove without massive casualties. Is that preferable to trying to control the behavior of wealth addicts? Make no mistake: billionaires are addicts, their uncontrollable addiction to more is an extreme form of hoarding dysfunction, one that, like all uncontrolled addictions, has had disastrous consequences for everyone but them.

3. Fewer Representatives means you are concentrating power rather than dispersing it. More means smaller districts, which in turn means more accountability, not less. As it stands now, Congresscritters can safely ignore the wishes of the public, because when someone "represents" nearly a million citizens, it means they actually represent only themselves. If taken in conjunction with item #2, more citizens would be invested in the political process and far more likely to pay attention.

4. The Hare test is a standard written exam that is difficult to cheat. Getting caught at cheating or attempting to cheat would mark one automatically as a sociopath. The latest studies of brain structures show that sociopaths have physically different brains, and those physical differences are detectable. Brain activity as shown by fMRI also clearly marks a sociopath from a normal, since while they can fake emotional responses very well, their brain activity shows their true lack of response to emotionally charged images, words, etc. Using a three-layer test, written>fMRI>genetic should be robust enough to correctly identify most. The stakes are too huge to risk a set of sociopaths and their lackeys control of the machinery of government. The genetic test is the most likely to give problematic results, but if the written is failed, the fMRI would then be done to confirm or reject the written results, while the genetics would be a supplementary confirmation. Widespread genetic testing of politicians and would-bes would undoubtedly advance research and understanding dramatically.

When you do even a casual cost-benefit study, the answer is clear: test them. Ask yourself: is the thwarting of an individual's potential career in politics really that great a cost compared to preventing unknowingly electing a sociopath who could destabilize the entire world?

Janaka77 -> scotti dodson , 7 Jul 2018 18:55

Another big difference of course is a little thing called the law.

Are you under the impression the British don't have rule of law? Their elected representatives make their laws, not their ceremonial royal family. Their royal family's job is to abide by the same laws as every other UK citizen, stay out of politics and promote British tourism and gossip magazines.

Janaka77 -> Ben Groetsch , 7 Jul 2018 18:15

The United States is actually a federal republic, not a democracy.

The United States is actually both a federation (hardly unique by the way) and a representative democracy. Whether you call them members of Parliament or members of Congress, their representatives are elected by the people.

WillisFitnurbut -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 17:57

If we move the cheap manufacturing to the US, and wages are lower due to a depression, people will take the jobs, and the job numbers will improve. And China will be toast.


We will never beat China at manufacturing cheap and efficient products using human labor. Robotic labor maybe, but that might not happen for a decade or more at least--if they or another country doesn't beat us to retooling our factories.
Labor and manufacturing will never return in the US--unless we have another world war we win, in which all global production is again concentrated in the US because the rest of the worlds factories are bombed to rubble. Besides, they have the most central location for manufacturing in the world and a cheap source of endless labor.

What they don't have is innovation, tech and freedom to try products out on a free market. We are squandering those advantages in the US when we cut education and limit college education to the masses.

memo10 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:48

The system is not crooked,

Are Americans the most immoral people on earth? I don't think so. Do we have the strictest code of laws on earth? I don't think so either. Yet we have the highest incarceration rate on earth. Higher than authoritarian countries like China & Russia.

This alone should tell you something is wrong with our system. Never mind the stats about differing average sentences depending on race & wealth.

WillisFitnurbut -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:42
Doubt implies a reason behind the wrong, where uncertainty implies an unknowing trait--a mystery behind the wrong.

The right, what with all its fake news scams, deep state BS and witch hunt propaganda, is uncertainty at best, a mystery of sorts--it provides us with a conspiracy that can neither be proved or unproven--an enigma.

Doubt, about if Russia meddled in the US election in collusion with the president or at the least his advisors, surely implies something is wrong, especially in the face of criminal charges, doubt is inherent and well intentioned, but not always true and can be proven false in the face of doubt.

Byron Delaney -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:00
At one time the US was agrarian and one could subsist via bartering. Consider reliance on for-profit healthcare, transportation systems, debt, credit cards, landlords, grocery stores, and the lack of any ability to subsist without statewide and nationwide infrastructure. Right now, people in the US already die prematurely if they can't afford healthcare. Many are homeless. And this is when things are better than ever? What will happen here is what happened in Europe during WWII. People will suffer, and they will be forced to adopt socialist practices (like the EU does today). People in Europe really did starve to death, and people in India, Africa, and other countries are starving and dying today. China doles out food rations because they practice communism. That's why they have cheap, efficient labor that serves to manufacture products for US consumers. Communism and socialism help American corporations big time.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> kmacafee , 7 Jul 2018 16:51
Citizens United is a First Amendment decision. Which part of the First Amendment do you want moot? What gives any government the right to decide which assemblies of citizens have no free speech rights?
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:47
Doubt is everybody's political currency.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 16:46
You are aware, I imagine, that the US can adjust its money supply to adapt to circumstances? We can feed ourselves. We have our own power sources. We can improvise, adapt, and overcome. Prices go up and down. No big deal. Scaring people for political gain doesn't have the clout it onvce did.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> tjt77 , 7 Jul 2018 16:40
Are you opposed to people deciding who moves across their nation's borders?
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> Elephantmoth , 7 Jul 2018 16:38
Open Secrets Top Donors, Organizations.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 16:35
Too many virtue signalers seem to think that only the innocent are ever convicted.
The system is not crooked, but if you can set up a better one that doesn't bankrupt every community, have at it.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:29
You really, really, really like screaming racist, don't you? And slide in a Godwin. Wow. The concept that black pastors would be negatively impacted by financial attacks on their churches never ever occurred to you, did it? You get off on pretending to care about people that you have no direct, routine connection to. How virtuous of you. Wouldn't deliberately harming black churches make you the racist storm trooper?
Byron Delaney -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:08
Violence will break out when credit cards stop working. Can't even imagine what will happen if people are starving. No problem in a socialistic country like Finland, but a big problem here. My guess is that Trump knows the economy is hanging by a thread, so needs to create an alternate reason (trade wars). Or he figures he might as well have a trade war if it's all going to pieces anyway. Of course China manufactures just about everything for the US. If we move the cheap manufacturing to the US, and wages are lower due to a depression, people will take the jobs, and the job numbers will improve. And China will be toast.
WillisFitnurbut -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 15:49
Don't forget as the Trump trade war heats up and China decides to sell off US bonds en-masse (they own 1.17 trillion in US debt). That's gonna put a hurt on the already low US dollar and could send inflation soaring. China could also devalue its currency and increase the trade deficit. Combine those with all the things you've pointed out and you've got financial troubles the likes of which no large government has ever dealt with in human history.
Starving people--China can handle in droves; not so much the US. We're talking nasty violence if that kinda stuff happens here.
Melty Clock -> happylittledebunkera , 7 Jul 2018 15:43
True, but the POTUS is a head of state and the PM is not, so there's a limit to how far we should take comparisons.
WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 15:05
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 15:02
Occupy Wall Street began due to income inequality when the worst effects of the Great Recession were being felt by the population. Wealth inequality has only increased since then.


Right now, the population is held at bay because the media and politicians claim that the economy is so incredibly hot it's overheating. But we know that's a lie. For one, the gig economy combined with record debt and astronomically high rent prices cancel out any potential economic stability for millions of people. This year, 401(k) plans have returned almost nothing (or are going negative). This was also the case in 2016. Savings accounts have returned almost nothing for the last decade (they should be providing approximately 5% interest).

The worker participation rate today is 3.2% below what it was in 2008 (during the Great Recession). The US population, meanwhile, has increased by approximately 24,321,000. That's a 7.68% increase. The labor force has increased by 5% during this time (unemployment rate was relatively similar, 5.6% vs 4%). From June 2008 to June 2018, the labor force increased by approximately 8 million. However, if the worker participation rate was the same now as it was then, there would be approximately 8 million more people in the labor force. If you add 8 million people to the current number of people who are counted as unemployed by the BLS, the unemployment rate is approximately 9%. This is about as high as the unemployment rate got during the depths of the Great Recession, right when Occupy Wall Street was born.

Now, OK, sure, the economy has REPLACED lost jobs, but it has not ADDED jobs for the last decade. The unemployment rate is false. It should be at least 8%. There's many millions of Americans who do not have steady, gainful employment - or any employment - and they are not counted.
The billionaires and their bought politicians are responsible for fixing this. They can fix it and should fix it. Otherwise, the economy and their profits are going to fall off a giant cliff any day now. The next recession has basically already begun, but it can still be alleviated. If things continue as they are, unemployment could be 16% by 2020, with the U6 measure approaching or exceeding 25%. If stocks drop enough, people may starve to death.

kmacafee , 7 Jul 2018 14:11
Who supported Citizen's United? All cons and republicans

Who supports campaign finance reform and legislation that would make Cititzen's United moot? Democrats and progressives

Really tired of the false equivalencies. Republicans are now the polar opposite of Democrats in policy and principles. Vote Blue this November and get rid of the republicans; every single one of them. It can be done if people get out and vote.

memo10 -> apacheman , 7 Jul 2018 14:10
1. Anything is possible but I don't think this is practical. The rich can just cheat on the definition of ownership, pass it around between family members, offshore it, sink it into their businesses in token ways, etc. When you try to take wealth (power) away from the most powerful people in the country they will start devoting SERIOUS resources to getting around it.

3. I'm not saying we need fewer people doing congress's job in total. But we should be electing fewer of them, and letting those fewer people do more hiring/delegating. The way things are now, most of the public only knows much about the president. Everyone else is mostly just a vote for a party. But if the country only voted for 50 Congressmen in total - or even fewer - then we would all have a more careful eye on them. We would know them better and see them more individually. They would have less pressure to toe the party line all the time.

4. As long as there's a written test then it will get cheated. Right now the testing is rarely given and the specific consequences don't determine powerful people's careers. Make it a widespread & important thing and people will learn to cheat it.
The genetic + fMRI research is interesting but the whole thing opens up serious cans of worms. We're talking about DQ'ing somebody from an important career based partially on the results of a genetic screening for a character trait. That's a dangerous business for our whole society to get into. Although I do realize the payoff for this specific instance would be very big.

apacheman -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 13:34
1. Why do you think that? Using teams of forensic accountants and outlawing secret accounts would go a long way towards increasing enforceability. But you are viewing it as a legal problem rather than a cultural problem. If an effective propaganda campaign aimed on one level at the public and another level at the billionaires, it could work. Many billionaires are already committed to returning their fortunes to the economy (mostly after they are dead, true). Convince a few and the rest will follow. Give them the lure of claiming the title of the richest who ever were and some would be eager for that place in history.

Anything can be done if the will is there.

2. Income taxes are just a portion of the federal revenues, ~47%. Corporate taxes, parkland fees, excise taxes, ~18% taken together and Social Security make up the rest. Revenues would increase as taxpayers topped off step amounts to keep control. The beauty of it is that Congress would see very clearly where the nation's priorities were. Any politician trying to raise fines so that they had more money under their control would soon find themselves out of office. Unpopular programs would have to be financed out of the 18%, and that would likely make them increase corporate taxes. But most importantly, it would cut the power of politicians and decrease the effectiveness of lobbyists.

3. Actually, we have too few, not too many. The work of governance suffers because there is too much to be done and too few to do it. Spreading the workload and assigning responsibility areas would increase efficiency. Most importantly though, it would break up the oligarchic duopoly that keeps a stranglehold on the nation's politics, and bring more third party candidates into office giving Congress a more diverse culture by adding viewpoints based on other things than business interests.

4. Actually, advances in fMRI equipment and procedures, along with genetics and written testing can prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not someone is a sociopath, do some research and you'l see it is true. False positives in any testing regime are always an issue, but tens of millions of workers submit to drug tests to qualify for their jobs, and their jobs don't usually run the risk of plunging the world into war, economic or environmental disasters. False positives are common in the workplace and cost many thousands their jobs.

And there's an easy way to prove you aren't really a sociopath: be honest, don't lie, and genuinely care about people...things sociopaths cannot do over time.

Seriously, it is a societal safety issue that demands to be done, protecting the few against false positives means opening the floodgates for the many sociopaths who seek power over others.

WillisFitnurbut -> ConBrio , 7 Jul 2018 13:25
Not just eliminate--alter and add to it, but since it takes 2/3 majority of the house and senate to amend the constitution--it's not an easy feat--that's why there has only been 17 amendments altogether and two of them are there to cancel each other out!
You see, the beauty behind the National Popular Vote Bill is that it's done on a state by state basis and will only work when the required 270 electoral votes are gained with the bill--this means all voters would have their votes tallied in a presidential election and it eliminates swing states with a winner takes all approach. The electoral college and state control of elections are preserved and every one is happy.
I feel like you've not read up on any of this even though I provide a link. 12 of these bills have been enacted into state law already, comprising of 172 electoral votes and 3,112 legislative sponsors. That's more than halfway there.
To continue to say that changing the way we vote by altering the EC is a fantasy is in itself a fantasy because obviously it is gaining traction across the country.
tjt77 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 12:51
Which 'side' do you imagine I'm on Mike ? FYI.. Im not a member of any tribe especially regarding the republican or democrat parties... you may have noticed that as part of the progress towards a globalized economy, 'Money' now has open borders...but the restrictions of movement for people are growing as nationalism rises and wealth and the power it yields, becomes ever more concentrated in fewer hands...this is a dangerous precedent and history repeats if lessons of the past are not learned.
I can well recall when humanity and the ability of the individual to attain freedom and liberty based upon the merit of the individual was once celebrated.
What really irks me and causes me to voice my opinion on this forum, ( thank you Guardian for your continued efforts at informing us all and especially for promoting participation) is how easily people are duped .. when 'others' can easily see that they are being lied to. My parents fought for freedom and liberty against vicious tyranny in Europe and paid a HUGE price..by the time the scales had tipped the balance towards fascism, it was far too late for anything other than all out war... the fact that they survived the required sacrifice to pitch in to protect democracy, and the freedom and liberty which comes with it, still seems miraculous..
Gary Daily , 7 Jul 2018 12:20
Billionaires on the left should put some of that money into paying for and distributing subscriptions to newspapers and magazines which live up to the standards of professional journalism. These papers should be made available, free, at high schools, colleges, libraries, and commercial centers of loitering and "neighborly" discussions. May I suggest the NYT, WP, The Guardian, and The Economist.
ConBrio -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 12:16
The "fact" that there have been 700 attempts to eliminate it should tell you that in all likelihood the The Electoral College will continue.

Whether or not a group of states can effectively circumvent the Constitution is an open question.

aquacalc -> ghstwrtrx7 , 7 Jul 2018 12:01
"What the country sorely needs is a new constitution."

No thanks! The Founders were quite a bit more intelligent than the current national 'brain trust' -- on the both sides of the Aisle -- that would be charged with writing a new Constitution.

memo10 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:48

A defense attorney once told me that his job was one of the toughest out there because an astonishing percentage of defendants are guilty as charged.

That's true. But it doesn't excuse the crooked system whatsoever. It doesn't make the innocent poor people any less innocent.

Dorthy Boatman -> scotti dodson , 7 Jul 2018 11:36
Since when have politicians and rich people ever followed the law? And what recourse would that be exactly?
WillisFitnurbut -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:17
I like how you immediately expose your racism, right out of the gate. Haven't you got a storm trooper meeting to head out to soon?
Elephantmoth -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:14
Sorry I forgot the link: http://www.http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/318177-lobbyings-top-50-whos-spending-big
Sisyphus2 -> NYbill13 , 7 Jul 2018 10:41
Back to the days of Dickens, workhouses, indentured slaves, etc.

[Aug 19, 2020] People who strive for "democracy" have two choice and that most common is "managed democracy" on behalf of neoliberal financial oligarchy, which strip mining your "resources"

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

G. Poulin , says: December 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm GMT

So if propaganda is so easy and effective, remind me again why democracy is such a great idea?
El Dato , says: December 12, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT
@G. Poulin You have two choices:

1) Democracy with a population that is at least minimally engaged and angrily stays that way (including removing powerful special interests from premises with pitchforks)
2) Being "managed" on behalf of various power centers. This can be liveable or can turn into strip mining of your "resources".

Sadly, there is no algorithm that allows you to detect whether your are engaged or are being engaged on behalf of others. That would be easy. But one should start with a minimal state, hard money and the sons of the upper crust on the front lines and forbidden from taking office in government.

That being said, this article is a bit meandering. Came for Bellingcat but was confused.

Who presented the Emmy Award to the film makers, but none other than the rebel journalist Chris Hedges.

Maximum Clown World.

Johan , says: December 12, 2019 at 11:49 pm GMT
@El Dato "1) Democracy with a population that is at least minimally engaged and angrily stays that way (including removing powerful special interests from premises with pitchforks)"

There are no revolutions by means of pitchforks in a democracy, everything is weakened by compromise, false promises, infiltration, manipulation, etc. You cannot stay angry all the time too, it is very bad for your health, it needs to be short and intense to be effective, which is exactly what democracy prevents.
Democracy turns you into a petted animal.

[Aug 19, 2020] 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.

[Aug 19, 2020] Some Shocking Facts on the Concentration of Ownership of the US Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Oligarch owners assert their control

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 19, 2020] Smash the Oligarchy by JOSIAH LIPPINCOTT

Oligarchy owns the USA political system and tune it to their needs. Proliferation of NGO is one such trick that favor oligarchy.
That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense—and it yields results. In April, Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn’t quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high.
Notable quotes:
"... Non-profit activity lets super-elites broker political power tax-free, reshaping the world according to their designs. ..."
"... The American tax code makes all of this possible. It greases the skids for the wealthy to use their fortunes to augment their political power. The 501(c)(3) designation makes all donations, of whatever size, to charitable nonprofits immune from taxation. ..."
"... For the super-wealthy, political power comes tax-free. ..."
"... No one ever elected Bill Gates to anything. His wealth, and not the democratic process, is the only reason he has an outsized voice in shaping coronavirus policy. The man who couldn't keep viruses out of Windows now wants to vaccinate the planet. That isn't an unreasonable goal for a man of his wealth, either. Gates's foundation is the second largest donor to the World Health Organization, providing some 10 percent of its funds . That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April , Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high . ..."
"... Eliminating the tax exemption for charitable giving would make it simple to heavily tax the capital gains that drive the wealth of America's richest one thousand people. One could also leave the exemption in place for most Americans (those with a net worth under $100 million), while making larger gifts, especially those over a billion dollars, taxable at extremely high rates close to 100%. Bill Gates wants to give a billion dollars to his foundation? Great. But he should pay a steep fee to the American people to purchase that kind of power. ..."
"... There is nothing socialist in these or similar tax proposals. We are not making an abstract commentary on whether having a billion dollars is "moral." These are simply prudential measures to put the people back in charge of their own country. Reining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy. ..."
"... An America governed by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and George Soros will be -- arguably, already is -- a disaster for the middle class and everyday Americans. Cracking down on their "selfless" philanthropy, combined with antitrust enforcement and higher progressive tax rates, is a key way for Americans to leverage the power of the ballot box against the power of the banker's vault. ..."
"... The rotting edifice that is the United States is coming down one way or another. Just accept it. ..."
"... I would end tax exempt status for organizations. When everyone pays taxes we all become better stewards of how that money is used. ..."
"... To think both Mr. Dreher and Mr. Van Buren just recently posted about the superwealthy leaving the big cities, citing as the main reasons the Covid thing on the one hand, and "excessively high" income taxes on the other. Most comments that followed were in the line of "that's what happens when you let socialists run things" and "stop giving money to the poor, then they'll work and get rich." And here we have someone proposing more and higher taxes on the wealthy to bust their political nuts. ..."
"... It's an interesting proposal, but it seems that if you're worried about super-elites brokering political power tax-free, you might focus on direct brokering of political power. For example, we could pass a law requiring full disclosure of all sources of funding for any political advertising. ..."
Aug 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Non-profit activity lets super-elites broker political power tax-free, reshaping the world according to their designs.

America's super-wealthy have too much power. A republican regime based on the consent of the governed cannot survive when a few hands control too large a sum of money and too much human capital. A dominion of monopolists spells ruin for the common man.

The Federal Reserve calculates that, at present, America's total household wealth equals $104 trillion . Of that, $3.4 trillion belongs to America's 600 billionaires alone. Put another way, 3% of the nation's wealth belongs to 0.0002% of the population. Those 600 names control twice as much wealth as the least wealthy 170 million Americans combined . This is a problem. Economic power means political power. In an era of mass media, it has never been easier to manufacture public opinion and to manipulate the citizenry.

Look no further than the consensus view of Fortune 500 companies as to the virtues of Black Lives Matter. That movement's incredible cultural reach is, in large part, a function of its cachet among American elites. In 2016, the Ford Foundation began a Black-Led Movement Fund to funnel $100 million into racial and social justice causes. George Soros' Open Society Foundation immediately poured in $33 million in grants.

Soros and company received a massive return on investment. The shift leftward on issues of racial and social justice in the last four years has been nothing short of remarkable. Net public support for BLM , at minus 5 percent in 2018, has surged to plus 28 percent in 2020. The New York Times estimates that some 15 to 26 million Americans participated in recent protests over George Floyd's death.

And the money keeps flowing. In the last three months, hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into social and racial justice causes. Sony Music Group , the NFL , Warner Music Group , and Comcast all have promised gifts in excess of $100 million. MacKenzie Bezos has promised more than a billion dollars to Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as other racial and social justice organizations. Yet, as scholars like Heather MacDonald have pointed out -- America's justice system is not racist. Disquieting anecdotes and wrenching videos blasted across cyberspace are not the whole of, or even representative of, our reality. But well-heeled media and activism campaigns can change the perception. That's what matters.

The American tax code makes all of this possible. It greases the skids for the wealthy to use their fortunes to augment their political power. The 501(c)(3) designation makes all donations, of whatever size, to charitable nonprofits immune from taxation.

A man can only eat so much filet mignon in one lifetime. He can only drive so many Lamborghinis and vacation in so many French chalets. At a certain point, the longing for material pleasures gives way to a longing for honor and power. What a super-elite really wants is to be remembered for "changing the world." The tax code makes the purchasing of such honors even easier than buying fast cars and luxury homes.

For the super-wealthy, political power comes tax-free.

No one ever elected Bill Gates to anything. His wealth, and not the democratic process, is the only reason he has an outsized voice in shaping coronavirus policy. The man who couldn't keep viruses out of Windows now wants to vaccinate the planet. That isn't an unreasonable goal for a man of his wealth, either. Gates's foundation is the second largest donor to the World Health Organization, providing some 10 percent of its funds . That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April , Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high .

No one ever voted on those lockdowns, either. Like the mask-wearing mandates, they were instituted by executive fiat. The experts , many of them funded through donations given by tech billionaires like Gates , campaigned for policies that radically altered the basic structure of society. Here lies the danger of billionaire power. Without adequate checks and balances, the super-wealthy can skirt the normal political process, working behind the scenes to make policies that the people never even have a chance to debate or vote on.

A republic cannot be governed this way. America needs to bring its current crop of oligarchs to heel. That starts with constraining their ability to commandeer their massive personal fortunes to shape policy. Technically, the 501(c)(3) designation prevents political activities by tax-exempt charities. Those rules apply only to political campaigning and lobbying, however. They say nothing about funding legal battles or shaping specific policies indirectly through research and grants. America's universities, think tanks, and advocacy organizations are nearly universally considered tax-exempt nonprofits. Only a fool would believe they are not political.

One solution to the nonprofit problem to simply get rid of the charitable exemption all together. If there is no loophole, it can't be exploited by the mega-wealthy. Most Americans' charitable giving wouldn't be affected. The average American gives between $2,000 and $3,000 per year . That is well under the $24,800 standard tax deduction for married couples. Ninety percent of taxpayers have no reason to use a line-item deduction. Such a change likely wouldn't affect wealthy givers either. In 2014 , the average high-income American (defined as making more than $200,000 per year or having a million dollars in assets) gave an average of $68,000 to charity, and in 2018 93 percent said their giving had nothing to do with tax breaks.

Eliminating the tax exemption for charitable giving would make it simple to heavily tax the capital gains that drive the wealth of America's richest one thousand people. One could also leave the exemption in place for most Americans (those with a net worth under $100 million), while making larger gifts, especially those over a billion dollars, taxable at extremely high rates close to 100%. Bill Gates wants to give a billion dollars to his foundation? Great. But he should pay a steep fee to the American people to purchase that kind of power.

There is nothing socialist in these or similar tax proposals. We are not making an abstract commentary on whether having a billion dollars is "moral." These are simply prudential measures to put the people back in charge of their own country. Reining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy.

Incentives to make more money are generally good. The libertarians are mostly right -- people are usually better judges of how to spend and use their resources than the government.

But not always. The libertarian account does not adequately recognize man's political nature. We need law and order. We need a regime where elections matter and the opinions of the people actually shape policy. Contract law, borders, and taxes are all necessary to human flourishing, but all impede the total and unrestricted movement of labor and money. At the very top of the wealth pyramid, concentrated economic power always turns into political power. An economic policy that doesn't recognize that fact will create an untouchable class that controls both the market and the regime. There's nothing freeing about that outcome.

An America governed by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and George Soros will be -- arguably, already is -- a disaster for the middle class and everyday Americans. Cracking down on their "selfless" philanthropy, combined with antitrust enforcement and higher progressive tax rates, is a key way for Americans to leverage the power of the ballot box against the power of the banker's vault.

Josiah Lippincott is a former Marine officer and current Master's student at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College.


Kent13 hours ago

I'd like to thank the author for actually discussing policy proposals that actually make sense. That's a rarity on TAC. However, he needs to keep a couple of things in mind:

1. You can't just say something isn't socialist on a conservative website. Conservatives have been conditioned for decades to believe that anything the GOP considers to be bad is called by the name "socialism". And taxes are bad. Therefore socialist. To bring any nuance to that word will be devastating to long-term conservative ability to argue points.

2. This proposal won't just hurt the ability of left-leaning tech giants, but also right-leaning oil and defense industry barons. A double-edged sword.

AlexanderHistory X12 hours ago

This is an interesting idea that might have had a shot, big maybe, 50 plus years ago. America is too far gone to fix with political changes, not that you could make any major changes like this in the current political environment.

The rotting edifice that is the United States is coming down one way or another. Just accept it.

joeo12 hours ago

I would end tax exempt status for organizations. When everyone pays taxes we all become better stewards of how that money is used.

bumbershoot joeo10 hours ago

Certainly! Just so long as the word "organizations" encompasses churches as well, I think lots of people on all sides of the political spectrum would agree.

Ted joeo10 hours ago

Starting with the Roman Catholic Church.

YT14 joeo7 hours ago • edited

Complicated argument. Basically, charitable people will always give charity, even from taxed income. However, if people give charity from taxed income, the state can no longer control what the institutions given money do with that money as long as salaries and surplus are taxed.

YT1412 hours ago • edited

Interesting proposal. Removing tax deduction should of course throw IRS out of monitoring charitable giving. So less power to Lois Lerner and colleagues.

Woland11 hours ago

To think both Mr. Dreher and Mr. Van Buren just recently posted about the superwealthy leaving the big cities, citing as the main reasons the Covid thing on the one hand, and "excessively high" income taxes on the other. Most comments that followed were in the line of "that's what happens when you let socialists run things" and "stop giving money to the poor, then they'll work and get rich." And here we have someone proposing more and higher taxes on the wealthy to bust their political nuts.

Note that the author carefully left out any mention of conservative megadonors shaping public policy. Must be the quiet part, to avoid tarring and feathering by his own side.

bumbershoot10 hours ago
Reining in billionaires and monopolists is a conservative free market strategy.

It certainly never has been one before, but we on the left welcome this new appreciation of the perils of growing inequality.

Now all you have to do is convince the entire Republican Party that this isn't "socialism." Good luck!

AdmBenson10 hours ago

Say you like the game of Monopoly so much that you want it to last longer than the few hours it takes for one player to dominate and beat the others. Well, you could replace $200 as you pass Go with progessive taxation on income, assets, or a combination thereof. If you do it right, you can make the game last into perpetuity by ensuring that the dominance of any one player is only temporary.

gnt8 hours ago • edited

It's an interesting proposal, but it seems that if you're worried about super-elites brokering political power tax-free, you might focus on direct brokering of political power. For example, we could pass a law requiring full disclosure of all sources of funding for any political advertising.

If we wanted to be aggressive, we could even pass a constitutional amendment to specify that corporations are not people. It seems odd to worry about the political power exercised by institutions with no direct control over politics, and ignore the institution whose purpose is politics.

Another approach to deal with the direct influence of the super-elite would be to make lobbying expenses no longer tax deductible. I'm sure you could find support for that.

YT14 gnt7 hours ago

You are aware that this way IRS will lose control? Lois Lerner will be able no more to go after conservative non-profits?

Pete Barbeaux4 hours ago

This is the 5th TAC article since May to take something word-for-word from a Bernie Sanders-esque Leftist platform and call it something "Conservatives" want. GTFOOH.

GeorgeMarshall653 hours ago

Mr. Lippincott: That kind of influence over expert opinion is immense -- and it yields results. In April, Gates called for a nationwide total lockdown for 10 weeks. America didn't quite sink to that level of draconian control, but the shutdowns we did get absolutely crushed small businesses. Massive tech firms, however, made out like bandits. Microsoft stock is at an all-time high.

So the argument here is that the experts were not going to call for a lockdown, but Mr. Gates' outsized influence made them do it? The experts weren't going to do it anyway? Did that outsized influence extend to every other country in the world which imposed lockdowns? Was there a secret communique between Mr. Gates and the NBA so they suspended their season in mid-March? In the US, CA, Clark Cty in NV, Illinois, Kansas City, MA, MI, NY, OR, and WI all began lockdowns in March. Around the world, 80 countries began lockdowns in March. No matter what Mr. Gates said, lockdowns were deemed to be appropriate. Plus, Mr. Lippincott admits that Mr. Gates' proposal was not followed. In terms of "massive tech firms making out like bandits" v small businesses, might that have anything to do with their value?

L RNY2 hours ago

I very much agree with this article and I think we need another Teddy Roosevelt Monopoly (oligarchy) buster but much has changed in the 100 years since Teddy Roosevelt was President. The first thing that comes to mind is that the aristocracy was mostly protestant and the business class was mostly domestic with high tariffs keeping foreign competitors out so we could break up these companies without a foreign country purchasing them and possibly creating a national security risk.

Today's aristocracy is much more diverse. Its more Jewish and it has much more minority representation from African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, etc so that creates the first problem in breaking up a monopoly or an oligarchy which would be the accusation of targeting minorities for discrimination. The second problem is that many of the aristocratic class in the US consider themselves global citizens and have dual citizenship. They can live anywhere anytime they choose so if you target them the way say Cuomo and DiBlasio and Newsom do then they will leave. Third problem is our global society particularly the digital / virtual society. If you break that up without safeguards then you will only be inviting foreign ownership then you will have a national security issue and even less influence.

The biggest problem is the NGOs, nonprofits that the rich set up to usurp the government on various issues from immigration to gender identity to politics. These NGO nonprofits arent your harmless community soup kitchen doing good works. The anarchy, arson, looting, rioting in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, NYC, Baltimore these are paid for by NGO nonprofits and they have the money to threaten local government, state government and federal government. Trump was 100% correct when he started to tax college endowments but he didnt go far enough. The tax laws have to be rewritten with a very strict and narrow interpretation of what exactly constitutes the public good and is deserving on non-profit status. If you say education then I will say you are correct but endowments are an investment vehicle under the umbrella of an educational nonprofit. Thats like a nonprofit hospital buying a mutual fund company or a mine or a manufacturing plan and claiming its non-profit. For me its relatively simple unless someone has a some other way. If you look at the non-profit community good...what are the budgets for say hospitals, schools, orphanages, retirement homes, etc. Put monetary limits on nonprofits which can vary depending on industry and the rest is taxed at a high rate. We simply cannot have NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) using a nonprofit status to bring down a country's financial system, over-throwing a country, financing civil strife and civil war, usurping the government on things like immigration, etc.

[Aug 19, 2020] Why the Superrich Keep Getting Richer by Grace Blakeley

Aug 19, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

July 25, 2020

Billionaires like Jeff Bezos aren't obscenely wealthy because they work harder than everyone else or they're more innovative. They're obscenely wealthy because their corporate empires drain society's resources -- and we'd all be better off without them.

This week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw the largest single-day increase in wealth ever recorded for any individual. In just one day, his fortune increased by $13 billion. On current trends, he is on track to become the world's first trillionaire by 2026.Those on the right wing of politics argue that extreme wealth is a function of hard work, creativity, and innovation that benefits society. But wealth and income inequality have increased dramatically in most advanced economies in recent years. The richest of the rich are much wealthier today than they were several decades ago, but it is not clear that they are working any harder.

Mainstream economists make a more nuanced version of this argument. They claim that the dramatic increase in income inequality has been driven by the dynamics of globalization and the rise of "superstars." Firms and corporate executives are now competing in a global market for capital and talent, so the rewards at the top are much higher -- even as competition also constrains wages for many toward the bottom end of the distribution.

According to this view, high levels of inequality are a reward for high productivity. The most productive firms will attract more investment than their less productive counterparts, and their managers, who are performing a much more complex job than those managing smaller firms, will be rewarded accordingly.

Read also: Sat. Jan. 25 Global Day of Protest - The People of the World Say: No War With Iran!

But here again the narrative runs aground on contact with reality. Productivity has not risen alongside inequality in recent years. In fact, in the United States and the UK productivity has flatlined since the financial crisis -- and in the United States, it has been declining since the turn of the century.

There is another explanation for the huge profits of the world's largest corporations and the huge fortunes of the superrich. Not higher productivity. Not simply globalization. But rising global market power.

Many of the world's largest tech companies have become global oligopolies and domestic monopolies. Globalization has played a role here, of course -- many domestic firms simply can't compete with global multinationals. But these firms also use their relative size to push down wages, avoid taxes, and gouge their suppliers, as well as lobbying governments to provide them with preferential treatment.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon are a case in point. Amazon has become America's largest company through anticompetitive practices that have landed it in trouble with the European Union's competition authorities. The working practices in its warehouses are notoriously appalling . And a study from last year revealed Amazon to be one of the world's most "aggressive tax avoiders."

Part of the reason Amazon has to work so hard to maintain its monopoly position is that its business model relies on network effects that only obtain at a certain scale. Tech companies like Amazon make money by monopolizing and then selling the data generated from the transactions on their sites.

The more people who sign up, the more data is generated; and the more data generated, the more useful this data is for those analyzing it. The monetization of this data is what generates most of Amazon's returns: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most profitable part of the business by some distance.

Read also: What Really Worries South Koreans: Trump

Far from representing its social utility, Amazon's market value -- and Bezos' personal wealth -- reflects its market power. And the rising market power of a small number of larger firms has actually reduced productivity. This concentration has also constrained investment and wage growth as these firms simply don't have to compete for labor, nor are they forced to innovate in order to outcompete their rivals.

In fact, they're much more likely to use their profits to buy back their own shares, or to acquire other firms that will increase their market share and give them access to more data. Amazon's recent acquisition of grocery store Whole Foods is likely to be the first of many such moves by tech companies. Rather than the Darwinian logic of compete or die, the tech companies face a different imperative: expand or die.

States are supporting this logic with exceptionally loose monetary policy. Low interest rates make it very easy for large companies to borrow to fund mergers and acquisitions. And quantitative easing -- unleashed on an unprecedented scale to tackle the pandemic -- has simply served to raise equity prices, especially for the big tech companies.

As more areas of our lives become subject to the power of big tech, the fortunes of people like Bezos will continue to mount. Their rising wealth will not represent a reward for innovation or job creation, but for their market power, which has allowed them to increase the exploitation of their workforces, gouge suppliers, and avoid taxes.

The only real way to tackle these inequities is to democratize the ownership of the means of production, and begin to hand the key decisions in our economy back to the people. But you would expect that even social democrats, who won't pursue transformative policies, could get behind measures such as a wealth tax.

Read also: L'Eurogroupe maintient la Grèce sous le joug de la dette illégitime

"Building back better" after the pandemic will be impossible without such a tax -- and the vast majority of both Labour and Conservative voters support such an approach, according to a recent poll. And yet it appears that Labour's leadership are retreating from the idea.

In an interview the other day, I was asked why we should care about Jeff Bezos's wealth if it makes everyone else better off. But the extreme inequalities generated by modern capitalism are making obvious something that Marxists have known for decades: the superrich generate their wealth at the expense of workers, the planet, and society as a whole.

In a rational and fair society, the vast resources of a tiny elite would be put to use solving our social problems.

[Aug 19, 2020] The pendulum swings back to sensible taxation rates for the ultra wealthy

Wishful thinking. The neoliberal oligarchy is in conrol of all political power centers. Looks like neoliberal ideas became completely discredited. Even Krugman abandoned them.
Notable quotes:
"... In the age of AI the US needs a grand rebuilding of our infrastructure including electrical grids, bridges, highways, mass transit systems, and conversion to renewable energy. ..."
"... Elizabeth Warren showed her chops years ago when she was a guest on Bill Moyer's PBS show, and I've been a fan ever since. But - we don't just need more of Teddy Roosevelt - we need a good dose of Franklin Roosevelt, too ..."
"... In Senator Warren we finally have a politician who understands the difference between wealth and income and is willing to start taxing wealth. This is especially important as the truly wealthy receive very little of their money in the form of income and are therefore taxed on far less than they are actually worth. This only serves to exacerbate our inequality problem. ..."
"... Extreme income inequality is damaging to social capital and to public health - and thus in the long run to sustainable prosperity. The American epidemic of depression, opioid abuse and suicide is is correlated with the acceleration of income inequality. ..."
"... Finally, Senator Warren's proposal seems like an acceleration of the estate tax. ..."
"... Having worked in trusts and estates law for decades, I suspect that this proposal will invite use of the same techniques used by estate planners, lawyers, and accountants to drive down the fair market value of assets. Her proposal may work, if it is ever enacted, but the devil, as usual, will be in the details. This is a very complex concept, simple as it may seem at first blush. That is not an argument for not trying, but for being very careful in the implementation, beginning with the statutory language. ..."
"... This tax will require staffing up the IRS and that will require dems control over both houses of Congress as the GOPers have defunded the IRS. ..."
"... Pretax income concentration at the top increased starting in the 1980s as a direct result of the large reductions in the top marginal income tax rates. ..."
"... Even if a 70% top marginal tax rate did not raise a penny more in tax revenue it would still be justified on the grounds of preventing extreme concentration of wealth and income. Recent economic research has shown that in a purely capitalistic society in which there is no taxation nor redistribution all wealth in the whole society will ultimately be owned by a single household. https://voxeu.org/article/what-would-wealth-distribution-look-without-redistribution ..."
"... I applaud Elizabeth Warren and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for espousing Teddy an Franklin Roosevelt's ideas about reducing the concentration of 90% of wealth in the upper 1/10th of 1 per cent (0.1%). That is the situation which can lead to major social unrest, widespread crime, and ultimately, civil war as happened in England in the 17th century, in Russia in 1917, and in the French Revolution that beheaded Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - along with thousands of other members of the nobility. ..."
"... "wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined." The corrupt neoliberalism of the 1% is unsustainable but is reflective of a downward spiral of decline. While we experience continuous political campaigning the U.S. is, in reality, a criminal and corrupt corporate state enriching the 1% and masquerading as a democracy, an Inverted Totalitarianism. ..."
"... Great. The pendulum swings back to sensible taxation rates for the ultra wealthy. Hard to feel sorry for hedge fund managers. I can just see Sean Hannity railing against it now. He would have to cough up. ..."
"... Fascinating article. Thanks for sharing. Her Accountable Capitalism Act also addresses the root causes of inequality, although some critics have stated that it would lead to the semi-nationalization of business. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Grindelwald Boston Mass Jan. 29

@Horsepower the tax bill has, as predicted by almost everyone but the GOP lawmakers, caused the deficit to balloon. Currently, the resulting debt must be paid by the descendents of all of us but the ultra-wealthy. The alternative to that approach, openly proposed by the GOP, was to take away vital services from most of us, like medical care, public education, and retirement support. I'm surprised that you don't find those things "consequential to the life of most Americans".

Doug Johnston Chapel Hill, NC Jan. 29

There is no reason -- economic, social or moral -- why anyone needs a personal fortune above $500 million dollars.

Eddie Cohen M.D ecohen2 . com Poway, California Jan. 29

In the age of AI the US needs a grand rebuilding of our infrastructure including electrical grids, bridges, highways, mass transit systems, and conversion to renewable energy.

It also needs a medical care system that provides a high level of to all of our citizens including the poor and those with pre-existing conditions. What better down payment on these costly necessities than a tax on the ultra rich.

Mary Ann Seattle, WA Jan. 29

Elizabeth Warren showed her chops years ago when she was a guest on Bill Moyer's PBS show, and I've been a fan ever since. But - we don't just need more of Teddy Roosevelt - we need a good dose of Franklin Roosevelt, too.

Given where this country is at, taxing the uber-rich alone isn't going to be enough to solve our problems. We need a jobs program - good, family wage jobs - that have been chipped away at for decades by both automation and off-shoring.

Taxing will help fund much needed gov't infrastructure problems, but it's purchasing power that drives the economy - and we can't have one without a vibrant middle class that's actually making and doing stuff. Since the Clinton years, the USA has spawned a bloated investor class, making a lot of money shuffling paper, but what do they produce that drives this country forward? Our infrastructure is fast becoming 3rd world.

John Murphysboro, IL Jan. 29

In Senator Warren we finally have a politician who understands the difference between wealth and income and is willing to start taxing wealth. This is especially important as the truly wealthy receive very little of their money in the form of income and are therefore taxed on far less than they are actually worth. This only serves to exacerbate our inequality problem. The big banks, in particular, are very worried about what would happen should Warren become president. Like that other Roosevelt - Franklin - she welcomes their hatred. Good for her.

Barry Fogel Lexington, MA Jan. 28

Extreme income inequality is damaging to social capital and to public health - and thus in the long run to sustainable prosperity. The American epidemic of depression, opioid abuse and suicide is is correlated with the acceleration of income inequality.

Worldwide, countries with high income inequality have more depression, more suicide and less happiness, even when their per capita GNP is higher than their neighbors'. The toxic effects of inequality are especially great in a nation like the US where children are taught that anyone can make it if they work hard enough. In fact, there's a lot more upward mobility in those awful socialist Nordic countries, where teaching public school is a prestigious and well-paid job, college and vocational training are taxpayer-funded (not 'free'), and no one goes bankrupt from a serious illness or injury.

Steve Tripoli Hull, MA Jan. 29

Without endorsing anyone's proposals here, a couple of examples from recent history on what's actually possible, despite what people may think: -- Six weeks before the Berlin Wall fell and reunited Germany, the then-West German government issued a report projecting that German reunification was at least 20 years away. -- Japan went from a highly-nuclear power dependent country, with no prospect of changing, to one that drastically cut its dependence on nuclear in just one year after the Fukushima disaster. -- One of my favorites: FDR sits down with the leaders of General Motors at the dawn of WWII and says I need so many tanks, so many trucks etc etc for the war effort. A GM exec responds on these lines: "Mr. President, we can't fulfill those needs and still produce X-hundred-thousand cars a year." FDR: "You don't understand. You're no longer a car company." So the lesson is, no one knows what's possible in a society till you try.

Silas Greenback Guilford, CT Jan. 28

Eliminating carried interest seems perfectly rational. Compensation by any other name is compensation and taxable as ordinary income as it is for everyone else in this country. Once upon a time, capital gains were taxed at 15% and ordinary income at rates as high as 91%. That led to all sorts of devices to game the system, including the infamous collapsible corporation.

But with the difference down to around 10-15%, we may as well bite the bullet and tax income from capital at the same rate we tax income from work. I doubt this will hurt savings, investment, or capital formation.

It is still nice to have money, and owning capital assets will still beat the alternative.

Finally, Senator Warren's proposal seems like an acceleration of the estate tax.

Having worked in trusts and estates law for decades, I suspect that this proposal will invite use of the same techniques used by estate planners, lawyers, and accountants to drive down the fair market value of assets. Her proposal may work, if it is ever enacted, but the devil, as usual, will be in the details. This is a very complex concept, simple as it may seem at first blush. That is not an argument for not trying, but for being very careful in the implementation, beginning with the statutory language.

Lisa Bay Area Jan. 28

@Taz Bernie talks in bumper-sticker slogans; Elizabeth talks substance.

Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@Steve B People receiving Social Security only pay taxes on the benefits if their income exceeds the same thresholds that apply to people who go out and work for a living, and pay Social Security taxes that go to the elderly. Ellen, stop treating Social Security like it's a savings bank.

Your Social Security taxes paid for the generation before you, and the Social Security taxes raised now are paying for you. The average Social Security recipient today will receive twice as much as they paid into the system during their earning years.

So please give the "I'm just getting back the money I paid into the system" routine a rest. It's a fiction. The wealth of the over 65s is growing faster than any other age group in our society, and the fraction of government spending on over-65s is the only part of government that has grown in decades.

If you're making enough to pay income taxes, pay your taxes and stop complaining. That means you're doing OK. You'd better hope young people don't wake up and realize just how much of their hard-earned pay is going to pay for retirees.

Kodali VA Jan. 29

The seriousness in her policies is in her work ethics and brilliance. She means what she says and works her heart out to achieve those goals. There isn't anyone out there that matches those qualities.

RobertF Acton Ma Jan. 28

This tax will require staffing up the IRS and that will require dems control over both houses of Congress as the GOPers have defunded the IRS.

The ultra right, ultra rich will be paying more and more of their fortunes to their already privately-owned senators to defeat this and any other progressive tax proposals. We need more, more and more people to get into the democratic process and VOTE to recapture the nation's leadership in 2020!

Doug Rife Sarasota, FL Jan. 28

Pretax income concentration at the top increased starting in the 1980s as a direct result of the large reductions in the top marginal income tax rates. Those who complain that a 70% top marginal tax rate is confiscatory need to understand that's the whole point.

When top marginal tax rates are confiscatory that leads to lower pre-tax income inequality because tax aversion of the wealthy leads they to pay themselves less income to avoid paying the government so much in taxes.

Unlike most workers, corporate executives can easily arrange for their boards to pay them far more than their marginal product would justify.

Furthermore, wealth tends to concentrate automatically when top marginal tax rates are low. This is simply due to the math of compound interest. When investment returns are not taxed sufficiently by the estate tax or by capital gains taxes, they will be reinvested leading to extreme wealth accumulation over generations that is automatic and not the result of any kind of investing skill.

Even if a 70% top marginal tax rate did not raise a penny more in tax revenue it would still be justified on the grounds of preventing extreme concentration of wealth and income. Recent economic research has shown that in a purely capitalistic society in which there is no taxation nor redistribution all wealth in the whole society will ultimately be owned by a single household. https://voxeu.org/article/what-would-wealth-distribution-look-without-redistribution

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Baldwin Actually, it's 2% on what is on top of those 50M, so 2% on 100M, if you have a net worth of $150M. That being said, nobody with $150M net worth just "sits" on his money for 35 years. To get there in the first place, in the 21st century you usually have to pay an expert and engage in financial speculation (= speculation about financial transactions, not an investment in the "real" economy), and of course you won't stop paying that expert once you reach $150M, so you continue to add millions to your wealth anyhow. On the other hand, if you belong to the middle class, you easily pay $30,000 taxes a year.

After ten years, that's $300,000, and after 33 years that's a million dollars paid in taxes. Seen in this way, even having the middle class paying taxes seems "unfair", because when they only earn $75,000 a year, why should they pay a million in taxes over 33 years ... ?

Conclusion: taxes are paid year after year not in function of how many you will have paid in total at the end of your career, but in function of what we collectively need to run this country smoothly (military, government, education, roads and bridges, EPA, ...).

A "fair" tax code is a tax code that allows anyone who works hard to live comfortably, weather your a hedge fund manager or teacher. And in order to get there, we can't continue the GOP's constantly lowering taxes for the wealthiest all while cutting services to the 99%. NO one with $150M will suffer by paying $2M in taxes a year ...

San Francisco Voter San Framcoscp Jan. 28

I applaud Elizabeth Warren and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for espousing Teddy an Franklin Roosevelt's ideas about reducing the concentration of 90% of wealth in the upper 1/10th of 1 per cent (0.1%). That is the situation which can lead to major social unrest, widespread crime, and ultimately, civil war as happened in England in the 17th century, in Russia in 1917, and in the French Revolution that beheaded Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - along with thousands of other members of the nobility.

We see this anger and violence today in the United States - in mass shootings, in failing public schools (the salaries are not sufficient to attract qualified teachers who instead will work in more remunerative fields, like law and computer technology. What works better is to reduce the concentration of wealth so people in the lower 90% can have more prosperity and social stability in their lives.

All people need a reliable source of food, healthcare, and a place for them and their families to live. All people need access to good education, family planning, and higher education sufficient to alllow them to work. With so much reliance on mechanical work, we also need for all people to have a minimum income - something that no one talks abou yet - but enough to live safely.

There is support for this not only among Democrats but also among Republicans. The help should be for everyone, not based on need (Marxism). This is common sense not socialism.

Dadof2 NJ Jan. 29

It was hilarious to read that Rush Limbaugh is SO terrified of AOC and Liz Warren that he, the grandmaster of Goebbels-like mis-information, is calling them "hitlerian" as he and Hannity push Trump every day to emulate Mussolini! But why is simple: I read that Limbaugh makes about $100 million a year, which puts him in the super-rich category. I doubt highly that he's paying the maximum 37(?)% on his income and if he is he needs better accountants and tax lawyers! But AOC's proposal means that $90 million of his $100 million would be taxed at 70%, leaving him "only" a measly $27 million a year to try not to starve on. Along with whatever millions are left after taxes on the first $10 million, say, $5 million (again, needs better tax advice). So he's stuck trying to survive on $32 million! (BTW, Hannity only makes about $29 million before taxes, Oh! The Humanity!--Or is it "Oh! The Hannity"?) That's really why they are vitriolic. Taxes are for the "little people", the suckers who call in and rant, who watch Fox and believe, no matter how illogical their logic. Rush and Sean see a REAL movement to tax their excessive income and will fight it tooth and nail, with fact and fiction (mostly fiction) to protect themselves and their wealth.

Mike L NY Jan. 29

Interesting how it is almost exactly a hundred years since this problem was dealt with in the last Gilded Age. Enough time so that the generations that remember are long gone and so the problem came back.

The Uber rich did this to themselves with their complete disconnect from the economic realities facing the 99%. TARP was the kicker - we gave a trillion dollars to the 1% while the 99% were left to fend for themselves. Despite the protestations of the 99%. Now that's political power in the hands of the few for the benefit of the few. Time to stop it now.

Ken McBride Lynchburg, VA Jan. 29

"wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined." The corrupt neoliberalism of the 1% is unsustainable but is reflective of a downward spiral of decline. While we experience continuous political campaigning the U.S. is, in reality, a criminal and corrupt corporate state enriching the 1% and masquerading as a democracy, an Inverted Totalitarianism.

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis D. Brandeis

6 Recommend
Henry's boy Ottawa, Canada Jan. 29

Great. The pendulum swings back to sensible taxation rates for the ultra wealthy. Hard to feel sorry for hedge fund managers. I can just see Sean Hannity railing against it now. He would have to cough up.

6 Recommend
Fran B. Kent, CT Jan. 29

This column makes a good case for Elizabeth Warren as Secretary of the Treasury, or head of the Consumer Protection Bureau which she invented following Dodd Frank legislation. But the best way to reach the widest audience is a Presidential campaign. Most of the responses here focus on enough wealth, extreme wealth and self-interest. Beyond their tax liabilities is the reality of the power the the rich wield through lobbyists, campaign contributions, corporate takeovers, and tax dodges over our politics, governments, and over us, the people. It's a pity that any proposed tax fairness adjustments are reduced to epithets against socialism.

6 Recommend
David Dyte Brooklyn Jan. 28

The problem is that the big money against this will say (ie: fund ads saying) anything (true or false) about any other subject to swing votes against any candidate who's a serious chance of pushing such a tax increase. One can only hope I am wrong.

6 Recommend
Seabiscute MA Jan. 29

@Socrates, another trenchant and witty comment! Thank you.

6 Recommend
Cindy California Jan. 29

Fascinating article. Thanks for sharing. Her Accountable Capitalism Act also addresses the root causes of inequality, although some critics have stated that it would lead to the semi-nationalization of business. I think its effect would be commonsense regulation of the economic playing field so that excesses do not occur in how rewards are distributed. It has the potential to address issues early enough to prevent problems.

6 Recommend
Steve Scaramouche Saint Paul Jan. 29

@George Thanks to the Republican budget busting tax holiday for rich folks we will need every penny of revenue just to keep our fiscal boat afloat. We should add AOC's 70% rate just to patch our leaks in infrastructure, healthcare, education and social security for the retirees who were gutted by the 2008 Republican Great Recession.

6 Recommend
cslaftery NY, NY Jan. 29

Since the super-rich are already paying 2+20 for their wealth management, paying another 2 to the government hardly seems like it would kill incentive...

6 Recommend
Gary Upper West Side Jan. 28

Throughout most of the history of civilizations, governments have been funded by a wealth tax. This was in the form of property tax, as that was the only wealth there was. Somehow when financial wealth started to build, it was made largely exempt. Proposals to close this loophole are well overdue. It's not so radical as it is just restoring traditional funding methods.

6 Recommend
texsun usa Jan. 29

A sure sign of health when Warren, a veteran politician and Ocasio-Cortez, a first term member of Congress publish ideas early in the election cycle. The next steps are laws that dismantle Citizens United and protect voting rights.

6 Recommend
Wayne Campbell Ottawa, Canada Jan. 28

Elizabeth Warren had better take care. If she doesn't tread softly on these plans to progressively tax the rich and make them spread the wealth to all those millions of people out there who have had a hand in generating their economic success, she'll be called something equally invidious to a 'socialist' -- a 'Canadian'.

6 Recommend
stu freeman brooklyn Jan. 29

Prof. Krugman is speaking truth to power but power tends to speak back, telling our citizens that progressives like Sen. Warren are aiming to increase taxes across the board. Never EVER do they narrow the stated target of such projected increases to the uppermost economic stratum. And progressives always manage to let them get away with this. Democratic candidates for political office need to assign members of their campaign staffs to Republican events and arm them with bullhorns for the expressed purpose of shouting out the words "for the rich" every time a typically disingenuous Republican opponent announces that a specific Democrat has a plan to raise Americans' taxes.

6 Recommend
Andrew Michigan Jan. 29

"More important, my sense is that a lot of conventional political wisdom still assumes that proposals to sharply raise taxes on the wealthy are too left-wing for American voters." It's just shocking to me that conservative voters supposedly hate liberal elites, yet refuse continuously to tax the mega rich and/or ignore the tax cuts for those households. Do they not see the hypocrisy they're being fed by Fox News?

6 Recommend
Tom Pauloski Highland Park, IL Jan. 29

I know that it's inconvenient, but the US Constituion prohibits a direct tax that is not apportioned among the states on the basis of population. Hard to see how Ms. Warren's "plan" meets this standard. Serious presidential candidates need to propose plans that actually have a chance to work. After what we're experiencing now, we don't need four additional years of bombast.

6 Recommend
Kem Phillips Vermont Jan. 29

@Mkm Can you give any arguments as to why this is unconstitutional, or a source as to when it was declared so? Note that once (ie, just a few generations ago) abhorrent laws concerning voting rights and segregation were considered just fine.

6 Recommend
Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Paul Wortman We indeed tend to believe that the poor and lower middle class must be (more) ignorant, and as such easier victims of the GOP's massive fake news campaigns. Studies show however that a majority of those earning less than $100,000 a year voted for Hillary, whereas a small majority of those earning more than that voted for Trump. That's because her platform included VERY clear and urgent, fact-based measures that would have helped the poor and middle class, after Obama already made serious progress on these issues (a public option added to Obamacare, and many other things). So imho the only ones risking "forgetting" about the needs of the 99% when it comes to voting, are those who don't carefully fact-check politicians' achievements and campaign agenda, before voting (or deciding not to vote) ...

6 Recommend
CA CA Jan. 29

@BC The current standard deduction of $12K for single people means that the first $12K is not taxed ($24K joint) which means that your wish has already come true.

6 Recommend
Paul Rogers Montreal Jan. 29

@Socrates Please run for office.

6 Recommend
boourns Nyc Jan. 29

Fundamentally, a fallacy of modern American society is a perversion of the golden rule. Let's call it "tax not lest ye be taxed." Even though the electorate will never in their wildest dreams make this kind of income, their wildest dreams persist. And thus they will not permit the thought of "unfair" taxation on the ultra-rich, using all the talking points the richest 1% have lobbied deep into our political system at every level.

6 Recommend
Doug Lowenthal Nevada Jan. 29

At this stage in our history when wealth hasn't been more concentrated, raising taxes on the ultra-rich is exactly what populism is about. Think TR and FDR, not DJT.

6 Recommend
pjahwah Iowa Jan. 29

@Socrates Oh Socrates, you do have a way with words! Your first and second paragraphs are lol gems! I hope you keep coming back.

6 Recommend
michaeltide Bothell, WA Jan. 29

@Ronald B. Duke, I think I remember people saying that during the civil rights movement too. Be patient. You'll get what you want by'n'by. Waiting for dynastic fortunes trickle away is sort of like waiting for the mountain to be worn away by the wind. It's not gonna happen in our lifetime. There's always a reason for not depriving the wealthy of any part of their fortunes. Each time we fail to do that, the need to do it becomes more dire. Things just don't get better by waiting for someone to voluntarily or even accidentally, divest themselves of money or power. It can be done by legislation, and that's better than by revolution. And, you know, the wealth accumulation has already begun. What has to happen now is to keep it from falling over and crushing all of us (Make that almost all of us).

6 Recommend
Tom Maguire Darien CT Jan. 28

@Rockets Pual Krugman is almost surely right about incentives on the individual level since few of us will hold off just because the second $50 MM is slightly less lucrative. Buts its funny how he ignores the macroeconomic effect. If the Bezos tax bill was $1 billion, I think we agree it would come exclusively out of savings. *IF* the government simply used the proceeds to reduce spending (below some credible prior baseline) then the net effect on national savings is zero; interest rates unchanged, economic activity unaffected, and so on. But if the government spends the money (as seems likely under President Warren) then national savings is reduced and the fed will (in the current environment) probably feel obliged to push back against a stimulative fiscal policy with a restrictive monetary policy: higher rates, less investment, less consumer spending, etc. So Bezos has no incentive to invest less but as a nation we will do just that. Is that good? Maybe - it would have been great in 2009. Seems to merit a discussion.

6 Recommend
Harold Winter Park, Fl Jan. 29

The 2020 campaign for POTUS is shaping up to be very interesting. That is, if Trump makes it. Combine Warren and Harris we would have a great team. Warren adds specifics with intellectual heft and Harris inspires us with her open, honest and intelligent persona. Just need to find room for Amy K. on that team.

6 Recommend
DJS New York Jan. 29

@FunkyIrishman Your "radical plan " has been tried, and has failed.

6 Recommend
Native Tarheel Durham, NC Jan. 29

This is far better than changing the rate on capital gains, which would tend to punish middle class retirees for having invested over the years (Mr. Rattner's proposal today) and, I think, would be difficult for the uber-wealthy to avoid. I'm not sure that $50 million is the correct starting point (perhaps a meager $25 million of net worth should be taxed) but this is a brilliant new concept that offers promise of slowing wealth inequality while not terribly constraining the wealthy.

6 Recommend
Henry Crawford Silver Spring, Md Jan. 29

"We seem to be heading toward a society dominated by vast, often inherited fortunes." Welcome to kingship, 21st Century style.

6 Recommend
Mathman314 Los Angeles Jan. 29

In reading this column and the associated comments, there seems to be one glaring omission: the necessity of overturning the Citizens United decision which provides the ultra-rich avenues to continually push their lower taxes agenda by hiring hoards of lobbyists, by "buying" politicians with campaign contributions, by funding misleading and excessive political advertising, and by controlling various media outlets that are little more than propaganda mills. Until Citizens United is overturned much-needed, rational progressive taxation reforms have little chance of becoming reality, and with the current composition of the Supreme Court overturning this decision is unfortunately extremely unlikely.

6 Recommend
stan continople brooklyn Jan. 29

@Yabasta Yeah, Dr. Krugman must have sustained a hit to the head since 2016 and would not recognize a photo of Hillary Clinton if it was flashed before him. His incessant savaging of Bernie was positively embarrassing to witness and never adequately explained. Only goes to show you that our much vaunted reason is designed to justify our emotions and that even Nobel laureates have deep subconscious axes to grind.

6 Recommend
Rosebud NYS Jan. 29

Under Eisenhower marginal tax rates were approximately 90%. This "Greatest Generation" built the interstate system. We can't even maintain the interstate system we have let alone build a new one. Our national-level political system is dominated by the rich. Our economic policies are totally skewed towards the rich. Our educational system is biased towards the rich. We've let capitalism trump democracy. If making America Great Again means taxing the rich back into reality, I have no problem with that. My only annoyance with Mr. Krugman's essay is his monomaniacal avoidance of saying the word, "Sanders." What's that about?

6 Recommend
Steve NJ Jan. 29

This makes perfect sense to me. Under Senator Warren's plan households with more than $50 million of annual income would pay a 2% wealth surcharge. I can't imagine this would have any significant effect on any of the 75,000 wealthiest U.S. households. I'd much rather see Michael Bloomberg and his financial peers support broader efforts to make college free or reduce student debt levels than make more lavish gifts to elite institutions like John Hopkins.

6 Recommend
Rima Regas Southern California Jan. 28

cks, broken promises, scandal. and a presidency in trouble – all pushed Bill Clinton into taking a brand new tack: triangulation. In addition to the definition of triangulation offered by Dick Morris in his Frontline appearance on PBS, here is a quote from his book: "The idea behind triangulation is to work hard to solve the problems that motivate the other party's voters, so as to defang them politically The essence of triangulation is to use your party's solutions to solve the other side's problems. Use your tools to fix their car." The problem with that is that triangulation has not quite worked out that way. "Their car" wasn't what was actually being fixed. What the "tools" did address, however, were the goals of the Republican party. https://www.rimaregas.com/2017/09/04/triangulation-when-neoliberalism-is-at-its-most-dangerous-to-voters-updated-dem-politics-on-blog42 /

6 Recommend
Schrodinger Northern California Jan. 28

@Jonathan....Current S+P 500 dividend yield is 2.02%. That would provide cash to cover most of the wealth tax. A wealth tax might impact the market for high end art and collectibles, but that is probably a very small fraction of total wealth.

6 Recommend
Peter Wolf New York City Jan. 29

@Duane McPherson I realize Warren may have some limitations re emotional appeal (also re men not wanting to vote for a woman), which is why I said I put her "at the top of my list for Dems, SO FAR." I'll see how this plays out on the campaign trail. Someone else may emerge who has both the smarts and the charisma- or Warren may find an emotional niche. Time will tell.

6 Recommend
skier 6 Vermont Jan. 29

@George Warren Buffet has said, "There's class warfare all right. But it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

6 Recommend
mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

@Phyliss Dalmatian I'm afraid Sherrod is not liberal enough. Nowadays, if you talk about bi-partisanship and reaching across the aisle, you're talking about making a deal with the devil.

5 Recommend
faivel1 NY Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian Very passionate and authentic comment!

5 Recommend
UtahSteve 1953 Gardiner, NY Jan. 29

This is a pie pie-in-the-sky comment, but I'll stand by the overall premise based on our history. It's all about the velocity of money and resources. You have to spend it to grow it. Infrastructure also includes 100% healthcare cradle to grave, baseline living standards, Social Security clean water, clean air, clean power, full education, etc. Infrastructure is the key to everything throughout history, period. Close all tax loop holes. Reduce all business taxes by at least half or more. Create a progressive tax rate starting at 0% raised all the way to 80% up the ladder. If you don't like it, renounce your citizenship with all of what that entails and leave. Completely get rid of the cap on Social Security. Everyone except those at the 0% tax rate pays in 7%. That is fair. Make the business contribution 3% of the first $100,000 Reinstate a stronger set of anti-trust guard rails. Re-instate a stronger form of Glass/Steagle. Reinstate a stronger Fairness Doctrine Realize that a corporation is NOT a person and if we think they are, subject them to the 13th amendment regarding one person owning another. They also are not allowed participate in anything of a political nature, in any way shape or form. Period. Full stop. Invest in the poor and middle classes in all ways. Raising standards from the bottom up raises all boats. It's not "trickle down" it's "trickle up". It's all about the velocity of money. You have to spend it to grow it. We can do this in this country.

5 Recommend
James Ricciardi Panama, Panama Jan. 28

Why do by indirection what is better done directly? Income tax rates should be adjusted to push the marginal rate to a percentage needed to produce the estimated revenue from Warren's proposal. This would (1) not require creation of a new beauracracy and a new wealth tax code to administer the new wealth tax, (2) not create incentives for lawyers and accounts to redefine net worth and would (3) not change incentives for investments by wealthy individuals, with unknown and unknowable side effects. If we also want to reduce fortunes directly, enact a truly functional estate tax, not the joke which we have now.

5 Recommend
Truthbeknown Texas Jan. 29

One other thought, the high tax rates of the 1950s and 1960s carried with them many, many deductions which are no longer available -- -which were surrendered politically in exchange for lower overall ages. Maybe something additionally to be considered would be combing through the tax code and addressing the special interest provisions which conflate social policy about certain companies/products/goals with tax policy.

5 Recommend
Tom Maguire Darien CT Jan. 28

@A P As you note, simply giving the money to their foundation can spare them the tax bill. They don't actually need to have the foundation disburse that much of it. And my casual impression is that Bill Gates' ability to direct billions through his foundation has preserved his "social capital" - he is still invited to Davos, can tour Africa with Bono or the Pope, get his phone calls returned by Important People, get his kids into whatever college he chooses to endow, hop on private jets to wherever, and so on. As punishments go forcing him to chair a major foundation is not much.

5 Recommend
John Coctosin Florida Jan. 29

The government has never proven itself to be a good steward of capital. They will tax and spend, tax and reallocate, tax and waste. No thanks. Would rather the incentives remain and America push back against socialist notions. So expected from Krugman.

5 Recommend
Jonathan Lincoln Jan. 28

@CDN Eh? Real estate is already valued every year and taxed accordingly, it's called property taxes. Art and antiquities are already valued for insurance purposes. It's not difficulty at all.

5 Recommend
b fagan chicago Jan. 28

@Shiv "I'm completely unable to determine how Jeff Bezos's work building Amazon has caused me or anyone else to be worse off. In fact, we're all better off." So you know nobody who had been making a decent living with a bookstore - or in publishing - or in many other small businesses that have been priced into oblivion by Amazon if they'd been lucky enough to survive the WalMart effect that came before. Robert Reich in "Supercapitalism" was right. The consumer side of a person can so easily derange the thinking of the rest of the person. Not following me? Than picture the dream world of big tech companies with their dreams of stupendous individual wealth by "disrupting" something where people have been making their livings. Each wave of disruption leaves people without their jobs. And these days, the chance of getting into a better-paying job after being disruptive aren't all that terrific if you look at the statistical outcomes. So is your view of morality served by the relentless push to undercut older businesses that provided employment, simply because the disrupting model is "more efficient"? Reconsider what "efficiency" is supposed to accomplish in the bigger picture of society rather than just shareholder (and top executive) financial reward.

5 Recommend
usa999 Portland, OR Jan. 29

As an authentic Republican, not one of the brigands who hijacked the party as a means to plunder and pillage, I heartily endorse the Warren proposal. To make it somewhat more palatable for voters I would suggest it earmark 50% of the revenue generated go to starting to pay down the national debt. That would mean, using the 2.75 trillion estimate, that in the first decade we would reclaim from the wealthiest approximately what Republicans gave away in the deficit-financed tax cuts of 2017. In effect having had an interest-free loan from us for a decade they would return the cash we have been paying interest on. Would be quite big of them, actually.

5 Recommend
WAXwing01 EveryWhere Jan. 30

Excellent!

5 Recommend
Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Alice It's not as if we ignore which tax loopholes for the wealthiest have to be closed and how to do so, you know. Democrats have been trying to do this for quite some time already, but the GOP blocks it. And Obamacare already includes a tax increase for the wealthiest - that's one of the reasons why it cuts the deficit by $100 billion, rather than adding to it. That proves that the wealthiest DNC donors and Democrats (such as Obama himself, and Pelosi) FULLY agree to increase their own taxes. Conclusion: cynicism never helped us move forward, fact-checking does ... ;-)

5 Recommend
stan continople brooklyn Jan. 29

@Vink Why do you think they all own a dozen sprawling properties scattered around the globe? They are all Bond villain wannabes never far from a secret citadel. I hope they've got plenty of toilet paper on hand for the siege.

5 Recommend
Jeoffrey Arlington, MA Jan. 28

@Michael Blazin You think that... why? It's not at all clear. But it is clear that the law could be written so that any transaction could be taxed. So unless the billionaires want to hide their money under their mattresses.....

5 Recommend
Joe Sneed Bedminister PA Jan. 29

A progressive wealth tax is an"idea whose time has come". See Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century . Harvard University Press. Use the revenue generated for infrastructure repair.

5 Recommend
Jim Gordon So Orange,nj Jan. 29

@carl bumba You'll need to visit those other countries to see how wrong you are and how right Socrates is.

5 Recommend
John Homan Yeppoon - Australia Jan. 29

@Rajiv The discussion is not about 'attacking' income, but taxing wealth.

5 Recommend
mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

@Blue Moon As far as Social Security and Medicare, all we have to do to fix that is tax the millionaires' income the same as we do the peon- every dime that goes in their overseas accounts should be taxed, same as the rest of us.

5 Recommend
Zdebman Central US Jan. 29

There are numerous holes in this proposal, none of which have anything to do with "greed". 1. What Krugman, Saez and Zucman fail to mention is that Denmark repealed its wealth tax in 1996 and Sweden repealed its wealth tax more than a decade ago. Not hard to understand why -- it is ultimately a self-defeating tax policy that just drives wealth out of your economy. Krugman doesn't mention that Saez and Zucman's basic premise is that every country has to implement a wealth tax for it to work, which is never going to happen. 2. Warren's proposal is blatantly unconstitutional as a direct tax, so she would need to garner the political support not just to pass the tax but amend the constitution similar to what was done for the income tax. Highly unlikely. The bottom line is that the only way to actually pay for all of the middle-class goodies that Democrats want to be provided by the Federal government (free college, Medicare for all, free daycare, paid leave) is to tax the middle-class like what they do in Sweden and Denmark through VAT and much lower income tax thresholds. Of course, once everyone figures that out, those proposals won't poll nearly as well, which is why AOC is now claiming that it will be magically paid for through the hocus-pocus of Modern Monetary Theory.

5 Recommend
PV Wisconsin Jan. 29

For Warren's tax proposal that "wouldn't lead to large-scale evasion if the tax applied to all assets and was adequately enforced ..." the IRS needs more staff and a bigger budget. Past Republican congresses have purposely gutted the agency's audit and enforcement capabilities at the direction of the very interests Warren's proposal targets.

5 Recommend
Charlesbalpha Atlanta Jan. 29

"Would such a plan be feasible? Wouldn't the rich just find ways around it?" The most likely way around it would be to bribe Congress not to vote for it. Isn't that why they

[Aug 16, 2020] CIA Behind Guccifer Russiagate A Plausible Scenario

Highly recommended!
Aug 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

If Zerohedge comment reflect general population sentiments this is clear sign of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal élite.

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

William Binney is the former technical director of the U.S. National Security Agency who worked at the agency for 30 years. He is a respected independent critic of how American intelligence services abuse their powers to illegally spy on private communications of U.S. citizens and around the globe.

Given his expert inside knowledge, it is worth paying attention to what Binney says.

In a media interview this week, he dismissed the so-called Russiagate scandal as a "fabrication" orchestrated by the American Central Intelligence Agency. Many other observers have come to the same conclusion about allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections with the objective of helping Donald Trump get elected.

But what is particularly valuable about Binney's judgment is that he cites technical analysis disproving the Russiagate narrative. That narrative remains dominant among U.S. intelligence officials, politicians and pundits, especially those affiliated with the Democrat party, as well as large sections of Western media. The premise of the narrative is the allegation that a Russian state-backed cyber operation hacked into the database and emails of the Democrat party back in 2016. The information perceived as damaging to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was subsequently disseminated to the Wikileaks whistleblower site and other U.S. media outlets.

A mysterious cyber persona known as "Guccifer 2.0" claimed to be the alleged hacker. U.S. intelligence and news media have attributed Guccifer as a front for Russian cyber operations.

Notably, however, the Russian government has always categorically denied any involvement in alleged hacking or other interference in the 2016 U.S. election, or elections thereafter.

William Binney and other independent former U.S. intelligence experts say they can prove the Russiagate narrative is bogus. The proof relies on their forensic analysis of the data released by Guccifer. The analysis of timestamps demonstrates that the download of voluminous data could not have been physically possible based on known standard internet speeds. These independent experts conclude that the data from the Democrat party could not have been hacked, as Guccifer and Russiagaters claim. It could only have been obtained by a leak from inside the party, perhaps by a disgruntled staffer who downloaded the information on to a disc. That is the only feasible way such a huge amount of data could have been released. That means the "Russian hacker" claims are baseless.

Wikileaks, whose founder Julian Assange is currently imprisoned in Britain pending an extradition trial to the U.S. to face espionage charges, has consistently maintained that their source of files was not a hacker, nor did they collude with Russian intelligence. As a matter of principle, Wikileaks does not disclose the identity of its sources, but the organization has indicated it was an insider leak which provided the information on senior Democrat party corruption.

about:blank

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me title=

William Binney says forensic analysis of the files released by Guccifer shows that the mystery hacker deliberately inserted digital "fingerprints" in order to give the impression that the files came from Russian sources. It is known from information later disclosed by former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that the CIA has a secretive program – Vault 7 – which is dedicated to false incrimination of cyber attacks to other actors. It seems that the purpose of Guccifer was to create the perception of a connection between Wikileaks and Russian intelligence in order to beef up the Russiagate narrative.

"So that suggested [to] us all the evidence was pointing back to CIA as the originator [of] Guccifer 2.0. And that Guccifer 2.0 was inside CIA I'm pointing to that group as the group that was probably the originator of Guccifer 2.0 and also this fabrication of the entire story of Russiagate," concludes Binney in his interview with Sputnik news outlet.

This is not the first time that the Russiagate yarn has been debunked . But it is crucially important to make Binney's expert views more widely appreciated especially as the U.S. presidential election looms on November 3. As that date approaches, U.S. intelligence and media seem to be intensifying claims about Russian interference and cyber operations. Such wild and unsubstantiated "reports" always refer to the alleged 2016 "hack" of the Democrat party by "Guccifer 2.0" as if it were indisputable evidence of Russian interference and the "original sin" of supposed Kremlin malign activity. The unsubstantiated 2016 "hack" is continually cited as the "precedent" and "provenance" of more recent "reports" that purport to claim Russian interference.

Given the torrent of Russiagate derivatives expected in this U.S. election cycle, which is damaging U.S.-Russia bilateral relations and recklessly winding up geopolitical tensions, it is thus of paramount importance to listen to the conclusions of honorable experts like William Binney.

The American public are being played by their own intelligence agencies and corporate media with covert agendas that are deeply anti-democratic.


me name=


lay_arrow desertboy , 13 hours ago

Well - who set up them up, converted from the OSS? The banksters.

"Wild Bill" Donovan worked for JP Morgan immediately after WWII.

"our" US intelligence agencies were set up by, and serve, the masters of high finance. Is this in dispute?

meditate_vigorously , 11 hours ago

They have seeded enough misinformation that apparently it is. But, you are correct. It is the Banksters.

Isisraelquaeda , 2 hours ago

Israel. The CIA was infiltrated by the Mossad long ago.

SurfingUSA , 15 hours ago

JFK was on to that truth, and would have been wise to mini-nuke Langley before his ill-fated journey to Dallas.

Andrew G , 11 hours ago

Except when there's something exceptionally evil (like pedo/blackmail rings such as Epstein), in which case it's Mossad / Aman

vova.2018 , 7 hours ago

Except when there's something exceptionally evil (like pedo/blackmail rings such as Epstein), in which case it's Mossad / Aman

The CIA & MOSSAD work hand in hand in all their clandestine operations. There is not doubt the CIA/MOSSAD are behind the creation, evolution, training, supplying weapons, logistic-planning & financing of the terrorists & the destruction of the Middle East. Anybody that believes the contrary has brain problems & need to have his head examined.

CIA/MOSAD has been running illegal activities in Colombia: drug, arms, organs & human (child-sex) trafficking. CIA/MOSAD is also giving training, logistic & arms to Colombia paramilitary for clandestine operation against Venezuela. After Bolsonaro became president, MOSSAD started running similar operation in Brazil. Israel & Brazil also recognizes Guaido as the legit president of Venezuela.

​​​​​​CIA/MOSSAD have a long time policy of assassinating & taking out pep who are a problem to the revisionist-zionist agenda, not just in the M-East but in the world. The CIA/MOSSAD organizations have many connections in other countries like the M-East, Saudi Arabia, UAE, et al but also to the UK-MI5.

The Israelis infiltrated the US to the highest levels a long time ago - Proof

  • Israel has & collects information (a database) of US citizens in coordination with the CIA & the 5 eyes.
  • Israel works with the NSA in the liaison-loophole operations
  • Mossad undercover operations in WDC & all over the world
  • The American Israel Public Affairs Committee – AIPAC
  • People with 2 citizenships (US/Israel) in WDC/NYC (the real Power)
  • From Steve Bannon a christian-zionist: Collusion between the Trump administration and Israel .
  • D-Trump, Ivanka Trump & husband Kushner (orthodox Juus)
  • Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell, members of the MOSSAD ran their entire pedo-honey-pot operation for the CIA/Mossad
  • CIA/MOSSA want to punish Iran for its role in Syria's victory over ISIS (created by CIA/Mossad) - PROOF: McCain Armed ISIS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziNlUuc167E

New book details Israel's secret history of assassinations
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge-mnC2wGss

CIA Assassination Manual Revealed (CIA = Cover action agency)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3gQfoFCpPs

GreatUncle , 6 hours ago

Well I never expected anything different.

They have a hand in everything and probably the murder of JFK.

Hell the CIA have even had their own president.

They are supposed to be commanded by the president but personally I think they are a rogue operation controlled by somebody else.

Lyman54 , 16 hours ago

Millie Weavers documentary explains everything quite well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFxVvrXjCg

sborovay07 , 15 hours ago

Funny how a number of the right wing conspiracy stories according to the MSM from a couple years back were true from the get go. 1 indictment over 4 years in the greatest attempted coup in this country's history. So sad that Binney and Assange were never listened to. They can try to silence us who know of the truth, but as Winston Churchill once said, 'Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.' KDP still censors my book on their advertising platform as it promotes conspiratorial theories (about the Obama led coup) and calls out BLM and Antifa for what they are (marxists) . Yet the same platform still recommends BLM books stating there is a pandemic of cops killing innocent blacks. F them!!!! #RIPSeth #FreeJulian #FreeMillie

smacker , 11 hours ago

Yes, and we all know the name of the DNC leaker who downloaded and provided WikiLeaks
with evidence of CIA and DNC corruption.
He was assassinated to prevent him from naming who Guccifer 2.0 was and where he is located.

The Russia-gate farce itself provides solid evidence that the CIA and others are in bed with DNC
and went to extraordinary lengths to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they instigated
a program of x-gates to get him out of office any way they could. This continues to this day.

This is treason at the highest level.

ACMeCorporations , 12 hours ago

Hacking? What Russian hacking?

In recently released testimony, the CEO of CrowdStrike admitted in congressional testimony, under oath, that it actually has no direct evidence Russia stole the DNC emails.

Nelbev , 9 hours ago

"The proof relies on their forensic analysis of the data released by Guccifer. The analysis of timestamps demonstrates that the download of voluminous data could not have been physically possible based on known standard internet speeds. ... a disgruntled staffer who downloaded the information on to a disc. That is the only feasible way such a huge amount of data could have been released. ... William Binney says forensic analysis of the files released by Guccifer shows that the mystery hacker deliberately inserted digital "fingerprints" in order to give the impression that the files came from Russian sources. ... "

Any computer file is a bunch of 1s and 0s. Anyone can change anything with a hex editor. E.g. I had wrong dates on some photographs once, downloaded as opposed to when taken, just edited the time stamp. You cannot claim any time stamp is original. If true time stamps, then the DNC files were downloaded to a thumb drive at a computer on location and not to the internet via a phone line. However anyone can change the time stamps. Stating a "mystery hacker deliberately inserted digital [Russian] 'fingerprints' " is a joke if denying the file time stamps were not tampered with. The real thing is where the narrative came from, political spin doctors, Perkins Coie law firm hired by DNC and Hillary campaign who hired Crowdstrike [and also hired Fusion GPS before for pissgate dossier propaganda and FISC warrants to spy on political opponents] and Perkins Coie edited Crowdstrike report with Russian narrative. FBI never looked at DNC servers. This is like your house was broken into. You deny police the ability to enter and look at evidence like DNC computers. You hire a private investigator to say your neighbor you do not like did it and publicise accusations. Take word of political consultants hired, spin doctor propaganda, Crowdstrike narrative , no police investigation. Atlantic Council?

Vivekwhu , 8 hours ago

The Atlantic Council is another NATO fart. Nuff said!

The_American , 15 hours ago

God Damn traitor Obama!

Yen Cross , 14 hours ago

TOTUS

For the youngsters.

Teleprompter Of The United States.

Leguran , 6 hours ago

The CIA has gotten away with so much criminal behavior and crimes against the American public that this is totally believable. Congress just lets this stuff happen and does nothing. Which is worse - Congress or the CIA?

Congress set up the system. It is mandated to perform oversight. And it just sits on its thumbs and wallows in it privileges.

This time Congress went further than ever before. It was behind and engaged in an attempted coup d'état.

Know thy enemy , 10 hours ago

Link to ShadowGate (ShadowNet) documentary - which answers the question, what is the keystone,,,,,

https://www.pscp.tv/Tore_says/1RDGlrYynRgxL

"Comey here, and Holder, while I get a rope for Lynch, and don't forget Brennan."

Kudo's to Millie

DontHateMeBecauseImABureaucrat , 9 hours ago

Neither google nor Apple will open the link. Or it's not there.

bringonthebigone , 8 hours ago

currently it is up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFxVvrXjCg

I Claudius , 5 hours ago

It's time for Assange and Wikileaks to name the person who they rec'd the info from. By hiding behind the "we don't name names" Mantra they are helping destroy America by polarizing its citizens. Name the damn person, get it all out there so the left can see that they've been played by their leaders. Let's cut this crap.

freedommusic , 7 hours ago

...all the evidence was pointing back to CIA as the originator [of] Guccifer 2.0.

Yep, I knew since day one. I remember seeing Hillary Clinton talking about Guccifer . As soon as uttered the name, I KNEW she with the CIA were the brainchild of this bogus decoy.

They copy. They mimic. These are NOT creative individuals.

Perhaps hell is too good a place for them.

on target , 4 hours ago

This is old news but worth bringing up again. The CIA never wanted Trump in, and of course, they want him out. Their fingerprints were all over Russiagate, The Kavanaugh hearings, Ukrainegate, and on and on. They are just trying to cover their asses for a string of illegal "irregularities" in their operations for years. Trump should never have tried to be a get along type of guy. He should have purged the entire leadership of the CIA on day one and the FBI on day 2. They can not be trusted with an "America First" agenda. They are all New World Order types who know whats best for everyone.

fersur , 7 hours ago

Boom, Boom, Boom !

Three Reseachable Tweets thru Facebook, I cut all at once, Unedited !

"#SusanRice has as much trouble with her memory as #HillaryClinton. Rice testified in writing that she 'does not recall' who gave her key #Benghazi talking points she used on TV, 'does not recall' being in any meetings regarding Benghazi in five days following the attack, and 'does not recall' communicating with anyone in Clinton's office about Benghazi," Tom Fitton in Breitbart.

"Adam Schiff secretly subpoenaed, without court authorization, the phone records of Rudy Giuliani and then published the phone records of innocent Americans, including @realDonaldTrump 's lawyers, a member of Congress, and a journalist," @TomFitton .

BREAKING: Judicial Watch announced today that former #Obama National Security Advisor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, admitted in written responses given under oath that she emailed with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Clinton's non-government email account and that she received emails related to government business on her own personal email account.

STONEHILLADY , 7 hours ago

It's not just the Democrats, the warmongering neocons of the Republican party are also in on it, the Bush/Romney McCain/McConnell/Cheney and many more. It's called "Kick Backs" Ever notice these so called retired Generals all end up working for all these spying companies that span the 5eyes to Israel. It seems our POTUS has got his hands full swimming up stream to get this stopped and actually get rid of the CIA. It's the number 1 reason he doesn't trust these people, they all try to tell him stuff that is mis-directed.

Liars, leakers, and thieves are running not only our nation but the world, as George Carlin said, "It's a Big Club, and we ain't in it." If you fall for this false narrative of mail in voting and not actually go and vote on election day, you better start learning Chinese for surely Peelosi and Schumer will have their way and mess up this election so they can drag Trump out of office and possible do him and his family some serious harm, all because so many of you listen to the MSM and don't research their phony claims.

Max21c , 7 hours ago

It's called "Kick Backs" Ever notice these so called retired Generals all end up working for all these spying companies that span the 5eyes to Israel.

American Generals & Admirals are a lot more corrupt today than they were a few generations back. Many of them are outright evil people in today's times. Many of these people are just criminals that will steal anything they can get their banana republic klepto-paws on. They're nothing but common criminals and thieves. No different than the Waffen SS or any other group of brigands, bandits, and criminal gangsters.

Max21c , 7 hours ago

The CIA, FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence, Pentagon Gestapo, defense contractors are mixed up in a lot of crimes and criminal activities on American soil against American citizens and American civilians. They do not recognize borders or laws or rights of liberty or property rights or ownership or intellectual property. They're all thieves and criminals in the military secret police and secret police gangsters cabal.

BandGap , 7 hours ago

I have seen Binney's input. He is correct in my view because he scientifically/mathematically proves his point.

The blinded masses do not care about this approach, just like wearing masks.

The truth is too difficult for many to fit into their understanding of the world.

So they repeat what they have been told, never stopping to consider the facts or how circumstances have been manipulated.

It is frustrating to watch, difficult to navigate at times for me. Good people who will not stop and think of what the facts show them.

otschelnik , 8 hours ago

It could have been the CIA or it could have been one of the cut-outs for plausible deniability, and of all the usual suspects it was probably CrowdStrike.

- CGI / Global Strategy Group / Analysis Corp. - John Brennan (former CEO)

- Dynology, Wikistrat - General James L. Jones (former chairman of Atlantic Council, NSA under Obama)

- CrowdStrike - Dmitri Alperovich and Shawn Henry (former chief of cyber forensics FBI)

- Clearforce - Michael Hayden (former dir. NSA under Clinton, CIA under Bush) and Jim Jones Jr. (son Gnrl James Jones)

- McChrystal Group - Stanley McChrystal (former chief of special operations DOD)

fersur , 8 hours ago

Unedited !

The Brookings Institute – a Deep State Hub Connected to the Fake Russia Collusion and Ukraine Scandals Is Now Also Connected to China Spying In the US

The Brookings Institute was heavily involved in the Democrat and Deep State Russia collusion hoax and Ukraine impeachment fraud. These actions against President Trump were criminal.

This institute is influenced from foreign donations from entities who don't have an America first agenda. New reports connect the Institute to Chinese spying.

As we reported previously, Julie Kelly at American Greatness released a report where she addresses the connections between the Brookings Institute, Democrats and foreign entities. She summarized her report as follows: Accepting millions from a state sponsor of terrorism, foisting one of the biggest frauds in history on the American people, and acting as a laundering agent of sorts for Democratic political contributions disguised as policy grants isn't a good look for such an esteemed institution. One would be hard-pressed to name a more influential think tank than the Brookings Institution. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit routinely ranks at the top of the list of the best think tanks in the world; Brookings scholars produce a steady flow of reports, symposiums, and news releases that sway the conversation on any number of issues ranging from domestic and economic policy to foreign affairs.

​​ Brookings is home to lots of Beltway power players: Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, former chairmen of the Federal Reserve, are Brookings fellows. Top officials from both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations lend political heft to the organization. From 2002 until 2017, the organization's president was Strobe Talbott. He's a longtime BFF of Bill Clinton; they met in the 1970s at Oxford University and have been tight ever since. Talbott was a top aide to both President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Kelly continued:

Brookings-based fellows working at Lawfare were the media's go-to legal "experts" to legitimize the concocted crime; the outlet manipulated much of the news coverage on collusion by pumping out primers and guidance on how to report collusion events from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appointment to his final report.

Now, testimony related to a defamation lawsuit against Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous "dossier" on Donald Trump, has exposed his direct ties to Talbott in 2016 when he was still head of Brookings. Talbott and Steele were in communication before and after the presidential election; Steele wanted Talbott to circulate the dossier to his pals in John Kerry's State Department, which reportedly is what Talbott did . Steele also briefed top state department officials in October 2016 about his work.

But this isn't the only connection between the Brookings Institute and the Russia collusion and Ukrainian scandals. We were the first to report that the Primary Sub-Source (PSS) in the Steele report, the main individual who supplied Steele with bogus information in his report was Igor Danchenko.

In November 2019, the star witness for the Democrat Representative Adam Schiff's impeachment show trial was announced. Her name was Fiona Hill.

Today we've uncovered that Hill is a close associate of the Primary Sub-Source (PSS) for the Steele dossier – Igor Danchenko – the individual behind most all the lies in the Steele dossier. No wonder Hill saw the Steele dossier before it was released. Her associate created it.

Both Fiona Hill and Igor Danchenko are connected to the Brookings Institute.

They gave a presentation together as Brookings Institute representatives:

Kelly writes about the foreign funding the Brookings Institute partakes:

So who and what have been funding the anti-Trump political operation at Brookings over the past few years? The think tank's top benefactors are a predictable mix of family foundations, Fortune 100 corporations, and Big Tech billionaires. But one of the biggest contributors to Brookings' $100 million-plus annual budget is the Embassy of Qatar. According to financial reports, Qatar has donated more than $22 million to the think tank since 2004. In fact, Brookings operates a satellite center in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The wealthy Middle Eastern oil producer spends billions on American institutions such as universities and other think tanks.

Qatar also is a top state sponsor of terrorism, pouring billions into Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to name a few. "The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level," President Trump said in 2017. "We have to stop the funding of terrorism."

An email from a Qatari official, obtained by WikiLeaks, said the Brookings Institution was as important to the country as "an aircraft carrier."

Yesterday the Brookings Institute was connected to spying by Communist China in a post at the Washington Free Beacon :

Part 1 of 2

fersur , 8 hours ago

Part 2 of 2 !

The Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington, D.C., think tank, partnered with a Shanghai policy center that the FBI has described as a front for China's intelligence and spy recruitment operations, according to public records and federal court documents.

The Brookings Doha Center, the think tank's hub in Qatar, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in January 2018, the institution said . The academy is a policy center funded by the Shanghai municipal government that has raised flags within the FBI.

The partnership raises questions about potential Chinese espionage activities at the think tank, which employs numerous former government officials and nearly two dozen current foreign policy advisers to Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

It is really frightening that one of two major political parties in the US is tied so closely with the Brookings Institute. It is even more frightening that foreign enemies of the United States are connected to this entity as well.

Let it Go , 8 hours ago

One thing for sure is these guys have far to much of our money to spend promoting their own good.

fersur , 7 hours ago

Unedited !

Mueller Indictments Tied To "ShadowNet," Former Obama National Security Advisor and Obama's CIA Director – Not Trump

By Patrick Bergy, Cyber-Security, Veteran & Former DoD Contractor

December 18th, 2018

According to a report in the Daily Beast, which cited the Wall Street Journal's reporting of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into two companies, Wikistrat and Psy Group, "The firm's advisory council lists former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser James L. Jones."

According to numerous reporting from major news outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Daily Beast, both Wikistrat and Psy Group represent themselves as being social media analysts and black PSYOP organizations. Both Wikistrat and Psy Group have foreign ownership mixed between Israeli, Saudi (Middle East) and Russian. Here is what the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast and pretty much everyone else out there doesn't know (or won't tell you).

The fact Obama's former National Security Advisor, General James Jones, and former Obama CIA director, Gen. Michael Hayden, are both on Wikistrat's advisory board may not seem suspicious, but both of these general's have another thing in common, and that is the ShadowNet. The ShadowNet, and its optional companion relational database, iPsy, were both originally developed by the small, family owned defense contracting company, Dynology. The family that owns Dynology; Gen. James Jones. I would add Paul Manafort and Rick Davis was Dynology's partner at the time we were making the ShadowNet and iPsy commercially available.

After obtaining the contract in Iraq to develop social media psychological warfare capabilities, known in military nomenclature as Interactive Internet Activities, or IIA, Gen. Jones kept the taxpayer funded application we developed in Iraq for the 4th Psychological Operation Group, and made it commercially available under the trademark of the "ShadowNet" and the optional black PSYOP component, "iPsy." If you think it is interesting that one of the companies under Mueller's indictment is named, "Psy" Group, I did as well. In fact, literally everything both publicly described in news reports, and even their websites, are exactly the same as the ShadowNet and iPsy I helped build, and literally named.

The only thing different I saw as far as services offered by Wikistrat, and that of Dynology and the ShadowNet, was described by The Daily Beast as, "It also engaged in intelligence collection." Although iPsy was a relational database that allowed for the dissemination of whatever the required narrative was, "intelligence collection" struck another bell with me, and that's a company named ClearForce.

ClearForce was developed as a solution to stopping classified leaks following the Edward Snowden debacle in 2013. Changes in NISPOM compliance requirements forced companies and government agencies that had employees with government clearances to take preventive measure to mitigate the potential of leaking. Although the NISPOM compliance requirement almost certainly would have been influenced by either Hayden, Jones or both, they once again sought to profit from it.

Using components of the ShadowNet and iPsy, the ClearForce application (which the company, ClearForce, was named after,) was developed to provide compliance to a regulation I strongly suspect you will find Jones and Hayden had a hand in creating. In fact, I strongly suspect you will find General Jones had some influence in the original requirement for our Iraq contract Dynology won to build the ShadowNet – at taxpayer expense! Dynology worked for several years incorporating other collection sources, such as financial, law enforcement and foreign travel, and ties them all into your social media activity. Their relationship with Facebook and other social media giants would have been nice questions for congress to have asked them when they testified.

Part 1 of 2 !

fersur , 7 hours ago

Part 2 of 2 !

The ClearForce application combines all of these sources together in real-time and uses artificial intelligence to predictively determine if you are likely to steal or leak based on the behavioral profile ClearForce creates of you. It can be used to determine if you get a job, and even if you lose a job because a computer read your social media, credit and other sources to determine you were likely to commit a crime. It's important for you to stop for a moment and think about the fact it is privately controlled by the former CIA director and Obama's National Security Advisor/NATO Supreme Allied Commander, should scare the heck out of you.

When the ClearForce application was complete, Dynology handed it off to ClearForce, the new company, and Michael Hayden joined the board of directors along with Gen. Jones and his son, Jim, as the president of ClearForce. Doesn't that kind of sound like "intelligence collection" described by the Daily Beast in Wikistrat's services?

To wrap this all up, Paul Manafort, Rick Davis, George Nader, Wikistrat and Psy Group are all directly connected to Mueller's social media influence and election interreference in the 2016 presidential election. In fact, I believe all are under indictment, computers seized, some already sentenced. All of these people under indictment by Mueller have one key thing in common, General James Jones's and Michael Hayden's social media black PSYOP tools; the ShadowNet, iPsy and ClearForce.

A recent meeting I had with Congressman Gus Bilirakis' chief of staff, Elizabeth Hittos, is confirmation that they are reviewing my DoD memorandum stating the work I did on the IIA information operation in Iraq, the Dynology marketing slicks for the ShadowNet and iPsy, along with a screenshot of Goggle's Way-Back Machine showing Paul Manafort's partnership with Dynology in 2007 and later. After presenting to her these facts and making clear I have much more information that requires the highest classification SCIF to discuss and requires being read-on to the program, Elizabeth contacted the office of Congressman Devin Nunez to request that I brief the intelligence committee on this critical information pertaining directly to the 2010 Ukrainian elections, Michael Brown riots, 2016 election interference and the "Russia collusion" hoax. All of that is on top of numerous questionable ethical and potentially illegal profits from DoD contracts while servings as NATO Commander and Obama's National Security Advisor.

We also need to know if the ShadowNet and iPsy were allowed to fall into foreign hands, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel. I'm pretty sure South America is going to have a few questions for Jones and Obama as well? Stay tuned!

Balance-Sheet , 4 hours ago

Intelligence Agencies of all countries endlessly wage war at all times especially 'Information Warfare' (propaganda/disinformation) and the primary target has always and will always be the domestic population of the Intelligence Agency's country.

Yes, of course the CIA does target ALL other countries but the primary target will always be the Americans themselves.

Balance-Sheet , 4 hours ago

Intelligence Agencies of all countries endlessly wage war at all times especially 'Information Warfare' (propaganda/disinformation) and the primary target has always and will always be the domestic population of the Intelligence Agency's country.

Yes, of course the CIA does target ALL other countries but the primary target will always be the Americans themselves.

Paralentor , 5 hours ago

A lot more detail can be found here:

https://banned.video/watch?id=5f37fcc2df77c4044ee2eb03

SHADOW GATE – FULL FILM

462,864 views

yerfej , 8 hours ago

The neoliberals own the media, courts, academia, and BUREAUCRACY (including CIA) and they will do anything to make sure they retain power over everyone. These control freaks work hard to create all sorts of enemies to justify their existence.

LaugherNYC , 15 hours ago

It is sad that this information has to be repeatedly published, over and over and over, by SCI and other Russian. outlets.

Because no legit AMERICAN news outlet will give Binney or Assange the time of day or any credence, this all becomes Kremlin-sponsored disinformation and denials. People roll their eyes and say "Oh God, not the whole 'Seth Rich was murdered by the CIA' crap again!! You know, his FAMILY has asked that people stop spreading these conspiracy theories and lies."

SCI is a garbage bin, nothing more than a dizinformatz machine for Putin, but in this case, they are likely right. It seems preposterous that the "best hackers in the world" would forget to use a VPN or leave a signature behind, and it makes far more sense that the emails were leaked by someone irate at the abuses of the DNC - the squashing of Bernie, the cheating for Hillary in the debates - behavior we saw repeated in 2020 with Bernie shoved aside again for the pathetic Biden.

Would that SOMEONE in the US who is not on the Kremlin payroll would pick up this thread. But all the "investigative journalists" now work indirectly for the DNC, and those that don't are cancelled by the left.

Stone_d_agehurler , 15 hours ago

I am Guccifer and I approve this message.

Sarc/

But i do share your opinion. They are likely right this time and most of the pundits and media in the U. S. know it. That's what makes this a sad story about how rotten the U. S. system has become.

Democrats will sacrifice the Union for getting Trump out of office.

If elections in Nov won't go their way, Civil War II might become a real thing in 2021.

PeterLong , 4 hours ago

If " digital "fingerprints" in order to give the impression that the files came from Russian sources" were inserted in the leak by "Guccifer", and if the leak to wikileaks came from Seth Rich, via whatever avenue, then the "Guccifer" release came after the wikileaks release, or after wikileaks had the files, and was a reaction to same attempting to diminish their importance/accuracy and cast doubt on Trump. Could CIA and/or DNC have known the files were obtained by wikileaks before wikileaks actually released them? In any case collusion of CIA with DNC seems to be a given.

RightlyIndignent , 4 hours ago

Because Seth had already given it to Wikileaks. There is no 'Fancy Bear'. There is no 'Cozy Bear'. Those were made up by CrowdStrike, and they tried the same crap on Ukraine, and Ukraine told them to pound sand. When push came to shove, and CrowdStrike was forced to say what they really had under oath, they said: "We have nothing."

novictim , 4 hours ago

You are leaving out Crowd Strike. Seth Rich was tasked by people at the DNC to copy data off the servers. He made a backup copy and gave a copy to people who then got it to Wiki leaks. He used highspeed file transfers to local drives to do his task.

Meanwhile, it was the Ukrainian company Crowd Strike that claimed the data was stolen over the internet and that the thieves were in Russia. That 'proof" was never verified by US Intelligence but was taken on its word as being true despite crowd strike falsifying Russian hacks and being caught for it in the past.

Joebloinvestor , 5 hours ago

The "five eyes" are convinced they run the world and try to.

That is what Brennan counted on for these agencies to help get President Trump.

As I said, it is time for the UK and the US to have a serious conversation about their current and ex-spies being involved in US elections.

Southern_Boy , 5 hours ago

It wasn't the CIA. It was John Brennan and Clapper. The CIA, NSA FBI, DOJ and the Ukrainian Intelligence Service just went along working together and followed orders from Brennan who got them from Hillary and Obama.

Oh, and don't forget the GOP Globalist RINOs who also participated in the coup attempt: McCain, Romney, Kasich, Boehner, Lee and Richard Burr.

With Kasich now performing as a puppy dog for Biden at the Democrat Convention as a Democrat DNC executive, the re-alignment is almost complete: Globalist Nationalist Socialist Bolshevism versus American Populism, i.e. Elites versus Deplorables or Academics versus Smelly Wal-Mart people.

on target , 5 hours ago

No way. CIA up to their eyeballs in this as well as the State Department. Impossible for Russiagate or Ukrainegate without direct CIA and State involvement.

RightlyIndignent , 4 hours ago

Following Orders? How did that argument go at Nuremberg? (hint: not very well)

LeadPipeDreams , 6 hours ago

LOL - the CIA's main mission - despite their "official" charter, has always been to destabilize the US and its citizens via psyops, false flags, etc.

Covid-1984 is their latest and it appears most successful project yet.

Iconoclast27 , 5 hours ago

The CIA received a $200 million initial investment from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations when it was first established, that should tell you everything you need to know how who they truly work for.

A_Huxley , 6 hours ago

CIA, MI6, 5 eye nations.

All wanted to sway the USA their own way.

Let it Go , 8 hours ago

Almost as frightening as the concentrated power held by companies such as Facebook and Google is the fact Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the world's richest man, is the person who owns and controls the Washington Post. It is silly to think Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post in 2013 because he expected newspapers to make a lucrative resurgence.

It is more likely he purchased the long-trusted U.S. newspaper for the power it would ensure him in Washington when wielded as a propaganda mouthpiece to extend his ability to both shape and control public opinion. More on this subject in the article below.

https://Amazon, Jeff Bezos, And The Influential Washington Post_31.html

avoiceofliberty , 16 hours ago

The amazing thing about Binney's forensic analysis is that it has been around since 2018 .

It's also been clear since 2017 the hack of the DNC computers didn't hold up under scrutiny .

How it is the Democrats, the Deep State, and the legacy media are still able to cling to the remnants of these long discredited narratives is a mystery.

avoiceofliberty , 6 hours ago

At the official level, you have a point.

However, even before Mueller was appointed, a review of the materials in the extant public record of both the DNC "hack" and the history of Crowdstrike showed the narrative simply did not make sense. A detailed investigation of materials not made public was not necessary to shoot down the entire narrative.

Indeed, one of the great scandals of the Mueller probe is the way it did not bring prudential skepticism to the question of the DNC "hack". When building a case, either for public debate or for public trial, a dose of skepticism is healthy; it leads to a careful vetting of facts and reasoning.

Alice-the-dog , 6 hours ago

The CIA has been an agency wholly independent of the US government almost since its inception. It is not under any significant control by the government, and has its own agenda which may occasionally coincide with that of the government, but only coincidentally. It has its own view of how the world should look, and will not balk at any means necessary to achieve such. Including the murder of dis-favorable members of government.

snodgrass , 6 hours ago

It's the CIA and the FBI, Obama and people in his administration who cooked up Russiagate.

Floki_Ragnarsson , 7 hours ago

The CIA whacked JFK because he was going to slow the roll to Vietnam AND disband the CIA and reform it.

It is broken and needs to be disbanded and reformed along lines that actually WORK! The CIA missed the fall of the USSR, 9/11, etc. HTF does THAT happen?

DeportThemAll , 6 hours ago

The CIA didn't "miss" 9/11... they participated in it.

Let it Go , 8 hours ago

The CIA is a tool that when improperly used can do great damage.

Anyone who doesn't believe that countries use psychological warfare and propaganda to sway the opinions of people both in and outside of their country should be considered naive. Too many people America is more than a little hypocritical when they criticize other countries for trying to gain influence considering our history of meddling in the affairs of other countries.

Americans have every reason to be concerned and worried considering revelations of just how big the government intelligence agencies have grown since 9-11 and how unlimited their spying and surveillance operations have become. The article below explores this growth and questions whether we have lost control.

http://Psychological Warfare And Propaganda Out Of Control.html

tion , 16 hours ago

The idea of Binney and Jason Sullivan privately working to 'secure the vote' is something that I actually consider to be very eyebrow raising and alarming.

Son of Captain Nemo , 8 hours ago

Bill Binney under "B" in the only "yellow pages" that show a conscience and a soul!...

https://www.ae911truth.org/signatures/#/General/B/williambinneysevernMDUS

fliebinite , 9 hours ago

This is the dumbest article ever. Russiagate is a total fabrication of the FBI as per Clinesmith, CIA provided information that would have nipped it at the bud. Read the real news.

bringonthebigone , 9 hours ago

Wrong. this article is one small piece of the puzzle. Clinesmith is one small piece of the puzzle. The Flynn entrapment is one small piece of the puzzle. The Halper entrapment was one small piece of the puzzle.

Because Clinesmith at the FBI covered up the information saying Page was a CIA source does not mean it was a total FBI fabrication and does not mean the CIA was not involved and does not mean the DNC server hack is irrelevant.

Milley Weaver gets close in her recent video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFxVvrXjCg

Sundance does a better job pulling it all together.

PKKA , 14 hours ago

Relations have already soured between Russia and the United States, and sanctions have been announced. Tensions have grown on the NATO-Russia border. The meat has already been rolled into the minced meat and it will not be possible to roll the minced meat back into the meat. The CIA got it. But the Russian people now absolutely understand that the United States will always be the enemy of Russia, no matter whether socialist or capitalist. But I like it even more than the feigned hypocritical "friendship". Russia has never reached such heights as during the good old Cold War. All Russians have a huge incentive, long live the new Cold War!

smacker , 12 hours ago

More and more people have worked out that the fabricated tensions between the US and Russia
and US and China have little to do with those two countries posing any sort of threat to world peace.

It is all about the US trying to remain in No.1 position as uni-polar top dog via the Anglo American Empire.
We see examples of this every day in the M/E, South China Sea, Taiwan, Libya all over Eastern Europe,
Ukraine, Iran and now Belaruse. HK was added along the way.

Both Russia and China openly want a multi-polar world order. But the US will never accept that.

Hence the prospect of war. The only unknown today is what and where the trigger will be.

smacker , 12 hours ago

More and more people have worked out that the fabricated tensions between the US and Russia
and US and China have little to do with those two countries posing any sort of threat to world peace.

It is all about the US trying to remain in No.1 position as uni-polar top dog via the Anglo American Empire.
We see examples of this every day in the M/E, South China Sea, Taiwan, Libya all over Eastern Europe,
Ukraine, Iran and now Belaruse. HK was added along the way.

Both Russia and China openly want a multi-polar world order. But the US will never accept that.

Hence the prospect of war. The only unknown today is what and where the trigger will be.

hang_the_banksters , 31 minutes ago

the best proof thAt Guccifer 2 was CIA hacking themselves to frame Wikileaks is this:

Guccifer has not yet been identified, indicted and arrested.

you'd think CIAFBINSA would be turning over every stone to the ends of the earth to bust Guccifer. we just had to endure 4 years of hysterical propaganda that Russia had hacked our election and that Trump was their secret agent. so Guccifer should be the Most Wanted Man on the planet. meanwhile, it's crickets from FBI. they arent even looking for him. because Guccifer is over at Langley. maybe someone outta ask Brennan where G2 is now.

remember when DOJ indicted all those GRU cybersoldiers? the evidence listed in the indictment was so stunning that i dont believe it. NSA so thoroughly hacked back into GRU that NSA was watching GRU through their own webcams and recording them doing Google searches to translate words which were written in Guccifer's blog posts about the DNC email leaks. NSA and DOJ must think we are all stupid, that we will believe NSA is so powerful to do that, yet they cant identify Guccifer.

i say i dont believe that for a second because no way Russian GRU are so stupid to even have webcams on the computers they use to hack, and it is absurd to think GRU soldiers on a Russian military base would be using Google instead of Yandex to translate words into English.

lay_arrow
ConanTheContrarian1 , 1 hour ago

As a confirmed conspiracy theorist since I came back from 'Nam, here's mine: The European nobility recognized with the American and French revolutions that they needed a better approach. They borrowed from the Tudors (who had to deal with Parliament) and began to rule by controlling the facade of representative government. This was enhanced by funding banks to control through currency, as well as blackmail and murder, and morphed into a complete propaganda machine like no other in history. The CIA, MI6 and Mossad, the mainstream media, deep plants in bureaucracy and "democratic" bodies all obey their dictates to create narratives that control our minds. Trump seems to offer hope, but remember, he could be their latest narrative.

greatdisconformity , 1 hour ago

A Democracy cannot function on a higher level than the general electorate.

The intelligence and education of the general electorate has been sliding for generations, because both political parties can play this to their advantage.

It is no accident that most of the messages coming from politicians are targeted to imbeciles.

[Aug 09, 2020] The US 'leads the world' in gerrymandering and voter suppression

Notable quotes:
"... While I agree with the basic points that this post is making, obviously, I am very wary of opinions in which it is assumed that the 'threat' to a Western country is that it might 'sink' to the level of some non-Western country (assuming you conceptualise Russia as being non-Western which is a highly debatable point). ..."
"... 'Trump is the natural friend of dictators everywhere,' As opposed to precisely which American President? 'It's hard to see democracy surviving anywhere if it fails in the US.' ..."
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...14% of New Jersey Republicans thought Obama was Antichrist and 15% weren't sure


Hidari 11.23.19 at 8:37 am (no link)

@1
Well for various reasons I was in a room full of young Chinese people immediately after the election of Trump. I asked what their opinion was, and one piped up (with the obvious support of the rest) that they thought it would be very good, as Trump was obviously a deranged lunatic and imbecile whose shambolic rule (this was not how he expressed it, of course, but this was the gist) would weaken the United States, and 'America's weakness is China's opportunity'.

While I agree with the basic points that this post is making, obviously, I am very wary of opinions in which it is assumed that the 'threat' to a Western country is that it might 'sink' to the level of some non-Western country (assuming you conceptualise Russia as being non-Western which is a highly debatable point).

'Trump is the natural friend of dictators everywhere,' As opposed to precisely which American President? 'It's hard to see democracy surviving anywhere if it fails in the US.'

The US 'leads the world' in gerrymandering and voter suppression ( https://www.gregpalast.com/crosscheck-not-just-crooked-criminal/ ), and this is almost invariably racially tinged, which the equivalent in Russia is not (or at least not so openly). Congressional seats are openly gerrymandered ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering_in_the_United_States#Modern_implementation_(2000_-_) )

And the Senate is even worse: https://www.answers.com/Q/Why_is_the_US_Senate_is_considered_undemocratic

The electoral college is grotesque and racist: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/electoral-college-racist-origins/601918/

As everyone has pointed out, Hilary in fact won the last Presidential election in terms of votes. It is almost unheard of in an advanced 'democracy' for the Head of State to 'win' an election via a minority of the votes.

On top of these things one has the increasing powergrab by the non-democratic Supreme Court, which has simply decreed that it is the major 'power in the land' with a 'lock' on what laws get passed and which do not, and the populace be damned.

Not to mention the de facto chokehold that corporations have on who can run for office and what positions they can hold (Sanders, with his 'new' way of raising money, is challenging this. We shall see what happens).

It is not at all clear to me that the US is in any objective sense more democratic than, say, Iran (although it is a lot more FREE than Iran .but that's not the same thing).

So Trump is likely to exacerbate and intensify trends that have been going on for decades.

Hidari 11.23.19 at 10:36 am ( 11 )
A bit more about what I wrote about the Supreme Court (and the American 'justice' system) more generally, which CT commentator Corey Robin has been noting tirelessly, to widespread apathy amongst Democratic elites.

'The Supreme Court will probably overrule decades of progressive precedents and strike down the next Democratic president's reforms. You would not know this from watching the 2020 Democratic presidential debates. Wednesday's showdown in Atlanta, the fifth so far, did not include a single question about the courts. Earlier debates allowed for brief discussions of the Supreme Court, but every candidate dramatically underestimated the threat it poses to the Democratic Party. Both the candidates and the moderators appear to be astonishingly naïve about the judiciary's lurch to the right under Donald Trump. And it is pointless to discuss the Democrats' ambitious proposals without explaining how they are going to survive at SCOTUS.

It's not just the debates -- Democratic politicians rarely talk about the courts at all. There is an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the judiciary: GOP voters are more likely to be motivated by the opportunity to fill judicial vacancies, which is why Trump ran on a promise of appointing archconservative judges. Democratic voters focus more on individual political issues, and their party has never prioritized judges -- or campaigned on the fact that every political dispute is ultimately resolved as a judicial question. This complacency will prove catastrophic for progressives now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, shoring up a conservative majority that will obstruct liberal policies for a generation.'

THIS is the threat to progressivism (well, all the other things that I mentioned are threats too, but this is the one that's liable to be the 'straw that breaks the camels' back').

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/11/democratic-candidates-supreme-court-trump-judiciary.html

John Quiggin 11.23.19 at 11:09 am ( 12 )
@Hidari Most of the Democratic candidates have signalled willingness to pack the SC if it rules in a partisan way. Even Booker and Klobuchar are saying "wait and see" rather than opposing outright. . I'm sure Roberts doesn't need reminders, so the absence of much discussion doesn't seem like a problem to me.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/18/2020-democrats-supreme-court-1223625

As regards the lower courts, they can only interpret legislation. A determined Congressional majority can respond to any adverse interpreation with legislation that repudiates it. It's only gridlock and Congressional cowardice that has given US courts so much power.

Robert Zannelli 11.23.19 at 11:17 am ( 13 )
An Excellent analysis, I am happy to see the pseudo intellectual Jonathan Haidt called out for what he is. He's the king of false equivalencies , a disease we suffer from these days. Haidt is a conservative pretending to be a neutral observer to legitimize the toxic ideology of conservatism. Maybe someone should send Haidt Corey Robin's book " The Reactionary Mind " not that he would read it
steven t johnson 11.23.19 at 4:00 pm (no link)
I was so astonished at the notion Trump cares (or trusts?) his children enough to appoint one president I rather forgot the rest of the post.

But fascism is just a different way of mobilizing the nation for war than democracy. So the real issue with Trumpian fascism is who he's going to fight and how. I believe economic warfare waged against the masses in a foreign country is an atrocity. Venezuela, Iran and as ever North Korea are targets. The goal in the economic war on China is the restoration of capitalism and/or the division of the country. But do democrats/Democrats really disagree with this? Except that they want more use of weapons and a better deal for the EU?

[Aug 09, 2020] The CIA Democrats by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop. ..."
"... The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election. ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Part one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 05, 2020] What's wrong with "cancel culture" - they cancel wrong people: If housing prices are so high that ordinary workers cannot afford the rent, then millionaires will complain that they can no longer afford to keep a third home.

Notable quotes:
"... This is the lens through which I see so-called cancel culture: there is a real problem, for ordinary people, of having your life severely damaged by a trivial offense, or by no offense at all. And of course, predictably, elite whiners want to hijack this real concern in order to maintain their impunity. ..."
"... But the elites are a parasitical epiphenomenon: they are attempting to take advantage of a pre-existing problem that hurts other people far more than it hurts them. And our justifiable contempt for the elites should not blind us to the existence of a real social problem that affects non-elites. ..."
"... So, shed no tears for Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens. They do not need protecting -- they are already coddled far too much. When the OP focuses on their plights as examples of "cancel culture," then cancel culture, so-described, looks like a well-deserved comeuppance, a refreshing chink in the armor of elite impunity. ..."
"... So, elite suffering is a side-show here (as it so often is). Focus on the lives of the non-elite. Their suffering should control our responses to the situation. Focus on the contingent academics fired from their jobs for speaking their minds. On the worker falsely accused of a white-power sign. ..."
Aug 05, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

oldster 08.05.20 at 1:59 pm (no link)

Whenever there is a real social problem that affects many people, then rich, entitled elites will attempt to commandeer it in order to consolidate their privilege.

If the sentencing guidelines are draconian and cruel, sending poor people to prison for their lives, then white-collar criminals will complain that their 6-month sentence is a gross injustice that proves they should be let out on bail.

If housing prices are so high that ordinary workers cannot afford the rent, then millionaires will complain that they can no longer afford to keep a third home.

It's a predictable phenomenon. Elites will pretend that their minor inconveniences are epic agonies, in order to be spared even minor inconveniences. We know this.

But we also know that the mere fact of elite whinging is no evidence that there is not a real problem for non-elites.

In fact, the sentencing guidelines are unconscionably harsh: a man in Louisiana has been sent to jail for life, for stealing a pair of secateurs, and the Louisiana supreme court has declined to intervene.
In fact, housing is too expensive, and ordinary people are suffering on a massive scale from artificial scarcity designed to entrench real-estate wealth. The rent is too damned high.

This is the lens through which I see so-called cancel culture: there is a real problem, for ordinary people, of having your life severely damaged by a trivial offense, or by no offense at all. And of course, predictably, elite whiners want to hijack this real concern in order to maintain their impunity.

But the elites are a parasitical epiphenomenon: they are attempting to take advantage of a pre-existing problem that hurts other people far more than it hurts them. And our justifiable contempt for the elites should not blind us to the existence of a real social problem that affects non-elites.

The pre-existing problems are those that Natalie Wynn enumerates: assumptions of guilt, essentializing moves from a single bad act to a wicked character, guilt by association, impossibility of forgiveness, and so on. These patterns pre-exist the internet, and are probably to be found in even small-scale societies. They are pathologies that are closely related to healthy and functional mechanisms of social cohesion, as tumor-growth is related to tissue-growth.

So, shed no tears for Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens. They do not need protecting -- they are already coddled far too much. When the OP focuses on their plights as examples of "cancel culture," then cancel culture, so-described, looks like a well-deserved comeuppance, a refreshing chink in the armor of elite impunity.

Fine: I agree with all of that. I also agree that I would love to see white-collar criminals go to jail for 20-50 years, and I'd love to see millionaires unable to afford a third house.

But it would be crazy to move from that stance to saying, "and I'd love to see petty thieves sent to jail for life, and I'd love to see minimum wage workers evicted from their homes because they cannot make the rent."

So, elite suffering is a side-show here (as it so often is). Focus on the lives of the non-elite. Their suffering should control our responses to the situation. Focus on the contingent academics fired from their jobs for speaking their minds. On the worker falsely accused of a white-power sign.

And what should be done after we focus on these things? Not what the right-wing zealots say, under the false flag of "free speech": not bringing back a regime in which the powerful can use slurs to subjugate the powerless.

No: if someone repeatedly uses the n-word in order to inflict pain and humiliation on others, then they should suffer real consequences. I totally agree with that. If someone repeatedly addresses a co-worker with the pronouns that offend them, and does so knowing that it will offend them, then they should suffer real consequences.

But I reject zero-tolerance regimes. A black school-guard asking students not to use the n-word should not be punished at all for mentioning the n-word. A well-meaning and supportive co-worker who mistakenly uses the wrong pronoun on one occasion should not be punished at all for that faux pas.

And along with zero-tolerance regimes, we should also get rid of the parade of abuses that Natalie Wynn lists: assumptions of guilt without evidence, guilt by association, refusal of forgiveness, and so on.

That's a practical agenda that allows for us to make fun of elite opinion makers as much as we like, allows us to hurl twitter tomatoes at J.K Rowling all day long, and in no way interferes with any notion of free speech worth defending.

[Aug 03, 2020] How The Billionaires Control American Elections by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald went on, after that, to discuss other key appointees by Nancy Pelosi who are almost as important as Adam Smith is, in shaping the Government's military budget. They're all corrupt. ..."
"... Numerous polls (for examples, this and this ) show that American voters, except for the minority of them that are Republican, want "bipartisan" government; but the reality in America is that this country actually already does have that: the U.S. Government is actually bipartisanly corrupt, and bipartisan evil. In fact, it's almost unanimous, it is so bipartisan, in reality. ..."
"... That's the way America's Government actually functions, especially in the congressional votes that the 'news'-media don't publicize. However, since it lies so much, and its media (controlled also by its billionaires) do likewise, and since they cover-up instead of expose the deepest rot, the public don't even know this. They don't know the reality. They don't know how corrupt and evil their Government actually is. They just vote and pay taxes. That's the extent to which they actually 'participate' in 'their' Government. They tragically don't know the reality. It's hidden from them. It is censored-out, by the editors, producers, and other management, of the billionaires' 'news'-media. These are the truths that can't pass through those executives' filters. These are the truths that get filtered-out, instead of reported. No democracy can function this way -- and, of course, none does. ..."
"... The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society , and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings . ..."
"... But we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding it's fear of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections , on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It's preparations are concealed, not published. It's mistakes are buried, not headlined. It's dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned. No rumor is printed. No secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War in short with a wartime discipline, no democracy would ever hope or wish to match. ..."
Aug 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

How The Billionaires Control American Elections


by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/02/2020 - 23:40 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The great investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald gave an hour-long lecture on how America's billionaires control the U.S. Government, and here is an edited summary of its opening twenty minutes, with key quotations and assertions from its opening -- and then its broader context will be discussed briefly:

"How Congress Maintains Endless War – System Update with Glenn Greenwald" - The Intercept, 9 July 2020

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ejqYrzEX14E

2:45 : There is "this huge cleavage between how members of Congress present themselves, their imagery and rhetoric and branding, what they present to the voters, on the one hand, and the reality of what they do in the bowels of Congress and the underbelly of Congressional proceedings, on the other. Most of the constituents back in their home districts have no idea what it is that the people they've voted for have been doing, and this gap between belief and reality is enormous."

Four crucial military-budget amendments were debated in the House just now, as follows:

  1. to block Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

  2. to block Trump from withdrawing 10,000 troops from Germany

  3. to limit U.S. assistance to the Sauds' bombing of Yemen

  4. to require Trump to explain why he wants to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty

On all four issues, the pro-imperialist position prevailed in nearly unanimous votes - overwhelming in both Parties. Dick Cheney's daughter, Republican Liz Cheney, dominated the debates, though the House of Representatives is now led by Democrats, not Republicans.

Greenwald (citing other investigators) documents that the U.S. news-media are in the business of deceiving the voters to believe that there are fundamental differences between the Parties. "The extent to which they clash is wildly exaggerated" by the press (in order to pump up the percentages of Americans who vote, so as to maintain, both domestically and internationally, the lie that America is a democracy -- actually represents the interests of the voters).

16:00 : The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee -- which writes the nearly $750B annual Pentagon budget -- is the veteran (23 years) House Democrat Adam Smith of Boeing's Washington State.

"The majority of his district are people of color." He's "clearly a pro-war hawk" a consistent neoconservative, voted to invade Iraq and all the rest.

"This is whom Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have chosen to head the House Armed Services Committee -- someone with this record."

He is "the single most influential member of Congress when it comes to shaping military spending."

He was primaried by a progressive Democrat, and the "defense industry opened up their coffers" and enabled Adam Smith to defeat the challenger.

That's the opening.

Greenwald went on, after that, to discuss other key appointees by Nancy Pelosi who are almost as important as Adam Smith is, in shaping the Government's military budget. They're all corrupt. And then he went, at further length, to describe the methods of deceiving the voters, such as how these very same Democrats who are actually agents of the billionaires who own the 'defense' contractors and the 'news' media etc., campaign for Democrats' votes by emphasizing how evil the Republican Party is on the issues that Democratic Party voters care far more about than they do about America's destructions of Iraq and Syria and Libya and Honduras and Ukraine, and imposing crushing economic blockades (sanctions) against the residents in Iran, Venezuela and many other lands. Democratic Party voters care lots about the injustices and the sufferings of American Blacks and other minorities, and of poor American women, etc., but are satisfied to vote for Senators and Representatives who actually represent 'defense' contractors and other profoundly corrupt corporations, instead of represent their own voters. This is how the most corrupt people in politics become re-elected, time and again -- by deceived voters. And -- as those nearly unanimous committee votes display -- almost every member of the U.S. Congress is profoundly corrupt.

Furthermore: Adam Smith's opponent in the 2018 Democratic Party primary was Sarah Smith (no relation) and she tried to argue against Adam Smith's neoconservative voting-record, but the press-coverage she received in her congressional district ignored that, in order to keep those voters in the dark about the key reality. Whereas Sarah Smith received some coverage from Greenwald and other reporters at The Intercept who mentioned that "Sarah Smith mounted her challenge largely in opposition to what she cast as his hawkish foreign policy approach," and that she "routinely brought up his hawkish foreign policy views and campaign donations from defense contractors as central issues in the campaign," only very few of the voters in that district followed such national news-media, far less knew that Adam Smith was in the pocket of 'defense' billionaires. And, so, the Pentagon's big weapons-making firms defeated a progressive who would, if elected, have helped to re-orient federal spending away from selling bombs to be used by the Sauds to destroy Yemen, and instead toward providing better education and employment-prospects to Black, brown and other people, and to the poor, and everybody, in that congressional district, and all others. Moreover, since Adam Smith had a fairly good voting-record on the types of issues that Blacks and other minorities consider more important and more relevant than such things as his having voted for Bush to invade Iraq, Sarah Smith really had no other practical option than to criticize him regarding his hawkish voting-record, which that district's voters barely even cared about. The billionaires actually had Sarah Smith trapped (just like, on a national level, they had Bernie Sanders trapped).

Of course, Greenwald's audience is clearly Democratic Party voters, in order to inform them of how deceitful their Party is. However, the Republican Party operates in exactly the same way, though using different deceptions, because Republican Party voters have very different priorities than Democratic Party voters do, and so they ignore other types of deceptions and atrocities.

Numerous polls (for examples, this and this ) show that American voters, except for the minority of them that are Republican, want "bipartisan" government; but the reality in America is that this country actually already does have that: the U.S. Government is actually bipartisanly corrupt, and bipartisan evil. In fact, it's almost unanimous, it is so bipartisan, in reality.

That's the way America's Government actually functions, especially in the congressional votes that the 'news'-media don't publicize. However, since it lies so much, and its media (controlled also by its billionaires) do likewise, and since they cover-up instead of expose the deepest rot, the public don't even know this. They don't know the reality. They don't know how corrupt and evil their Government actually is. They just vote and pay taxes. That's the extent to which they actually 'participate' in 'their' Government. They tragically don't know the reality. It's hidden from them. It is censored-out, by the editors, producers, and other management, of the billionaires' 'news'-media. These are the truths that can't pass through those executives' filters. These are the truths that get filtered-out, instead of reported. No democracy can function this way -- and, of course, none does.

Patmos , 8 hours ago

Eisenhower originally called it the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

Was probably still when Congress maybe had a few slivers of integrity though.

As McCain's wife said, they all knew about Epstein.

Alice-the-dog , 2 hours ago

And now we suffer the Medical Industrial Complex on top of it.

Question_Mark , 1 hour ago

Klaus Schwab, UN/World Economic Forum - power plant "cyberattack" (advance video to 6:42 to skip intro):
please watch video at least from minute 6:42 at least for a few minutes to get context, consider its contents, and comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOvz1Flfrfw


source for UN/WEF partnership:
https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/world-economic-forum-and-un-sign-strategic-partnership-framework/

EngageTheRage , 9 hours ago

How jewish billionaires control America.

NewDarwin , 9 hours ago

Vot3 for trump but don't waste too much energy on the elections. All Trump can do is buy us time.

Their plan has been in the works for over a century.

1) financial collapse with central banking.

2) social collapse with cultural marxism

3) government collapse with corrupt pedophile politicians.

EndOfDayExit , 7 hours ago

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson

Humans are just not wired for eternal vigilance. Sheeple want to graze and don't want to think.

JGResearch , 8 hours ago

Money is just the tool, it goes much deeper:

The Truth, when you finally chase it down, is almost always far
worse than your darkest visions and fears.'

– Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear
'The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes' *

- Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

This information helps understand the shift to the bias we are witnessing at The PBS Newshour and the MSM. PBS has always taken their marching orders from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Some of the mebers of the CFR:

Joe Biden (47th Vice President of the United States )

Judy Woodruff, and Jim Lehrer (journalist, former anchor for PBS ) is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. John McCain (United States Republican Senator from Arizona , 2008 Republican Party nominee for the Presidency), William F. Buckley, Jr (commentator, publisher, founder of the National Review ), Jeffery E Epstein (financier)

https://www.cfr.org/membership/roster

The Council on Foreign Relations has historical control both the Democratic establishment and the Republican establishment until President Trump came along.

Until then they did not care who won the presidency because they control both parties at the top.

FYI: Hardly one person in 1000 ever heard of the Council on Foreign Relations ( CFR ). Until Trump both Republicans and Democrats control by the Eastern Establishment.There operational front was the Council on Foreign Relations. Historically they did not care who one the election since they controlled both parties from the top.

The CFR has only 3000 members yet they control over three-quarters of the nation's wealth. The CFR runs the State Department and the CIA. The CFR has placed 100 CFR members in every Presidential Administration and cabinet since Woodrow Wilson. They work together to misinform the President to act in the best interest of the CFR not the best interest of the American People.

At least five Presidents (Eisenhower, Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton) have been members of the CFR. The CFR has packed every Supreme court with CFR insiders.

Three CFR members (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sandra Day O'Connor) sit on the supreme court. The CFR's British Counterpart is the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The members of these groups profit by creating tension and hate. Their targets include British and American citizens.

The CFR/RIIA method of operation is simple -- they control public opinion. They keep the identity of their group secret. They learn the likes and dislikes of influential people. They surround and manipulate them into acting in the best interest of the CFR/RIIA.

KuriousKat , 8 hours ago

there are 550 of them in the US..just boggles the mind they have us at each others throat instead of theirs.

jmNZ , 3 hours ago

This is why America's only hope is to vote for Ron Paul.

x_Maurizio , 2 hours ago

Let me understand how a system, which is already proven being disfunctional, should suddenly produce a positive result. That's craziness: to repeate the same action, with the conviction it will give a different result.

If you would say: "The only hope is NOT TO TAKE PART TO THE FARCE" (so not to vote) I'd understand.
But vot for that, instead of this.... what didn't you understand?

Voice-of-Reason , 6 hours ago

The very fact that we have billionaires who amass so much wealth that they can own our Republic is the problem.

Eastern Whale , 8 hours ago

all the names mentioned in this article is rotten to the core

MartinG , 5 hours ago

Tell me again how democracy is the greatest form of government. What other profession lets clueless idiots decide who runs the business.

Xena fobe , 4 hours ago

It isn't the fault of democracy. It's more the fault of voters.

quikwit , 3 hours ago

I'd pick the "clueless idiots" over an iron-fisted evil genius every time.

_triplesix_ , 8 hours ago

Am I the only one who noticed that Eric Zuesse capitalized the word "black" every time he used it?

F**k you, Eric, you Marxist trash.

BTCtroll , 7 hours ago

Confirmed. Blacks are apparently a proper noun despite being referred to as simply a color. In reality, no one cares. Ask anyone, they don't care expert black lies matter.

freedommusic , 4 hours ago

The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society , and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings .

And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

Our way of life is under attack.

But we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding it's fear of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections , on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It's preparations are concealed, not published. It's mistakes are buried, not headlined. It's dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned. No rumor is printed. No secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War in short with a wartime discipline, no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

...I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to re-examine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self restraint, which that danger imposes upon us all.

It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation and obligation which I share, and that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people, to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need and understand them as well, the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program, and the choices that we face.

I am not asking your newspapers to support an administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people, for I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens, whenever they are fully informed.

... that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment. The only business in America specifically protected by the constitution, not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises, and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger, public opinion.

-- JFK

[Jul 19, 2020] American Maidan is social revolution that is pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders have nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands are centered on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice ideals pursued with the fervor of regious converts

Highly recommended!
Just look at the cost of smartphone that they display at the riots and you instantly get a certain impression about income of their parents
Notable quotes:
"... And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers." ..."
Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Jul 19 2020 1:35 utc | 80

A section quoted by Crooke in the piece karlof1 linked to

"A social revolution that would be pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders would have almost nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice – ideals pursued with the fervour of an abstract, millenarian ideology.

And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers."

And Crooke's thoughts..

"So, what can we make of all this? The US has suddenly exploded into, on the one hand, culture cancelation, and on the other, into silent seething at the lawlessness, and at all the statues toppled. It is a nation becoming angrier, and edging towards violence.

One segment of the country believes that America is inherently and institutionally racist, and incapable of self-correcting its flawed founding principles – absent the required chemotherapy to kill-off the deadly mutated cells of its past history, traditions and customs.

Another, affirms those principles that underlay America's 'golden age'; which made America great; and which, in their view, are precisely those qualities which can make it great again."

The link again https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/07/13/is-this-awokening-a-revolution-or-not/

[Jul 07, 2020] I doubt that the Democrats have "won" working class votes, white, black, hispanic, or other, since the time of LBJ, and possibly before that

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What they have "won" is an electorate where a significant minority, but still a minority, are the party faithful but the majority (growing over time) vote Democratic only as the lesser evil, i.e. because they believe that the media coverage and electoral system's exclusion of third parties in effect forces them to vote Democratic by holding a gun to their head. Maybe I'm wrong, but then I would want to see more media coverage of third party candidates combined with "Is the Democratic Party nominee your first choice?" polling before conceding that I am. ..."
Jul 07, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Andres 07.06.20 at 4:54 pm58

Chetan Murthy @48: "The Dems didn't lose working-class votes in 2016: the median income of a Hillary voter was less than that of a Trump voter [or maybe it was average? In any case, not much difference.] What the Dems lost, was "white non-college-educated" voters. They retained working class voters of color."

I doubt that the Democrats have "won" working class votes, white, black, hispanic, or other, since the time of LBJ, and possibly before that. What they have "won" is an electorate where a significant minority, but still a minority, are the party faithful but the majority (growing over time) vote Democratic only as the lesser evil, i.e. because they believe that the media coverage and electoral system's exclusion of third parties in effect forces them to vote Democratic by holding a gun to their head. Maybe I'm wrong, but then I would want to see more media coverage of third party candidates combined with "Is the Democratic Party nominee your first choice?" polling before conceding that I am.

What I see is that U.S. voters are forced into a choice between a conservative center-right national-security party (Democrats) whose main virtues are that they are not fascist or racist and are willing to provide a basic welfare state safety net, though one not as extensive as in Europe. Opposed to them is a party whose ideology and behavior are degenerating into something combining the pre-conditions of fascism (e.g., pre-Great War Germany) and the 1860 secessionist South.

Changing this state of affairs is not something that will be accomplished by elections, but by large and sustained protest movements (think Occupy or BLM multiplied many times). The next few decades will be interesting, but not fun.

Orange Watch 07.06.20 at 5:40 pm (no link)

Chetan Murthy@48:

It's helpful that you told us who you were, in so few words. 43% of the US are non-voters. The median household income of non-voters is less than half of the median income of a Clinton voter (which was higher than the overall US median, albeit by less than the Trump median was). Clinton didn't lose in 2016 because of who voted as much as who didn't ; every serious analysis (and countless centrist screeds) since Trump's installation has told us that. Losing the working class doesn't require that the Republicans gain them; if the working class drops out, that shifts the electoral playing field further into the favor of politics who cater to the remaining voting blocks. Democrats playing Republican-lite while mouthing pieties about how they're totally not the party of the rich will always fare worse in that field than Republicans playing Republicans while mouthing pieties about how they ARE the party of the rich, but also of giving everyone a chance to make themselves rich. I know it's been de rigour for both Dems and the GOP to ignore the first half of Clinton's deplorable quote, but it truly was just as important as the half both sides freely remember. The Democrats have become a party of C-suite diversity, and they have abandoned the working class. And when their best pick for President's plenty bold plan for solving police violence is to encourage LEOs to shoot people in the leg instead of the chest (something that could only be said by a grifter or someone with more knowledge of Hollywood than ballistics or anatomy), the prospect of keeping the non-white portions of the working class from continuing to drop out is looking bleak.

MisterMr@49:

The traditional threading of that needle is to expand class-based analysis to more accurately reflect real-world political and economic behavior. In the past (and in some countries who updated the applicable definitions, still), the most relevant additional class was the petty bourgeoisie; in the modern US, however, the concept of the professional-managerial class is the most useful frame of reference.

[Jul 06, 2020] It is July. By January 2021, the US economy will have suffered a structural collapse in multiple sectors. That is the economic consequence of the pandemic. Restaurants, shopping malls, bars, colleges, hotels, airlines, cruise lines -- easily 15% of the workforce will be unemployed and another 25% seriously underemployed.

Notable quotes:
"... I would submit that the legitimacy of the elite professional and managerial classes is being called into question, for want of performance or any sense of responsibility. The urban PMC are the core constituency of the establishment Democratic Party. The vestigial working class elements and the ideological Left are distant memories and oppressed minorities seeking social justice, mere props. ..."
"... The thing is, the political classes -- the millionaire media pundits, the politicians, the lobbyists, the generals, the journamalists, the manipulative political operatives and propagandists, the pious policy "experts", the highly paid executives and financial managers running monopolies into the ground and non-profits into irrelevance -- they have enacted their neo-liberal agenda and it doesn't work. ..."
"... This in a country that cannot manufacture PPE. Or win a war. Trump, in his fumbling way, might get the U.S. out of Afghanistan, but the NY Times -- who brought us WMD not that long ago -- reports the Russians are paying bounties on American soldiers killed. No report on the treatment of Julian Assange though. Boeing is going to get the 737 Max in the air real soon now. Citibank is borrowing at 0.03 from the Fed and lending to credit card users at 27% and may be insolvent. ..."
"... So, let us assume the Democrats, after nominating an elderly SOB who had a hand in the crime bill that gave the U.S. the highest incarceration rate in the world, the bankruptcy bill that saddled tens of millions with credit card and student debt that cannot be discharged, and every stupid war of the last nearly twenty years, will suddenly see the necessity of radical change. And, after making an alliance with conservative Republicans hostile to even Trump's fake populism in order to elect Biden, seeing the light on radical reform is so likely! So plausible. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 07.06.20 at 4:11 am (45 )

mainstream Democrats recognize the need for radical change, and Biden will align with the mainstream position as he always has done

You said you would leave this, your third assumption, to comments, so here is my comment.

The U.S. is in the midst of a deep legitimacy crisis and contrary to popular belief among liberals, it is not Trump particularly whose legitimacy is being called into question. Oh, sure, there have been relentless attacks on him -- from partisan opponents and from much of mainstream media -- but like the "anti-racism" of the recent protests -- much of it is dissembling and distraction. Charges of colluding with Putin to win the 2016 election turned out to be fake news -- rather obviously so from the beginning -- but a big enough mob went down that path with no self-awareness. I am not saying Trump is not an egregiously bad President; he is. But, notice please, before you go assuming that mainstream Democrats are going wake up in 2021 wanting to govern in the real world , that they have not shown much inclination toward truth-telling or critical realism these last 20 years.

It is July. By January 2021, the U.S. economy will have suffered a structural collapse in multiple sectors. That is the economic consequence of the pandemic. Restaurants, shopping malls, bars, colleges, hotels, airlines, cruise lines -- easily 15% of the workforce will be unemployed and another 25% seriously underemployed.

Did I mention that the U.S. is undergoing a legitimacy crisis?? Whose legitimacy is being called into question?

I would submit that the legitimacy of the elite professional and managerial classes is being called into question, for want of performance or any sense of responsibility. The urban PMC are the core constituency of the establishment Democratic Party. The vestigial working class elements and the ideological Left are distant memories and oppressed minorities seeking social justice, mere props.

I would say the Party establishment is confident they can put the re-animated corpse of Biden into the White House. And look how gleefully they welcome Republican never-Trumpers into the clubhouse! If you were one of the fools and tools who thought Obama did not want Republicans to control Congress, you are getting another chance to see how the Obama Alumni Association works with the Lincoln Project, how happy they are to deliver the kind of policy that appeals to rich, old, suburban Republican women.

The thing is, the political classes -- the millionaire media pundits, the politicians, the lobbyists, the generals, the journamalists, the manipulative political operatives and propagandists, the pious policy "experts", the highly paid executives and financial managers running monopolies into the ground and non-profits into irrelevance -- they have enacted their neo-liberal agenda and it doesn't work.

We have just watched the once highly touted CDC completely botch the great Pandemic. They could not devise a test. They screwed up the rules on who could or should be tested. They lied early on about the need to wear masks. They staged a moral panic over a need for ventilators, when ventilators are a terrible therapeutic alternative. In the new Puritanism, they shut down public beaches but they watched passively as liberal heroes like Cuomo set off a holocaust by sending COVID-19 patients to nursing homes.

This in a country that cannot manufacture PPE. Or win a war. Trump, in his fumbling way, might get the U.S. out of Afghanistan, but the NY Times -- who brought us WMD not that long ago -- reports the Russians are paying bounties on American soldiers killed. No report on the treatment of Julian Assange though. Boeing is going to get the 737 Max in the air real soon now. Citibank is borrowing at 0.03 from the Fed and lending to credit card users at 27% and may be insolvent.

So, let us assume the Democrats, after nominating an elderly SOB who had a hand in the crime bill that gave the U.S. the highest incarceration rate in the world, the bankruptcy bill that saddled tens of millions with credit card and student debt that cannot be discharged, and every stupid war of the last nearly twenty years, will suddenly see the necessity of radical change. And, after making an alliance with conservative Republicans hostile to even Trump's fake populism in order to elect Biden, seeing the light on radical reform is so likely! So plausible.

And, what's the play? The carrot of bi-partisan cooperation coupled with the fearful stick of abolishing the filibuster someday somehow if they don't play nice. You do realize that only Republicans are allowed to manipulate the filibuster and only in ways that favor their agenda of, say, stacking the courts? And, the strategic vision? Reinforcing the Rube Goldberg contraption which is Obamacare? You do know Biden is on record as adamantly opposed to Medicare4all? And, that Medicaid is a need-based nightmare of controlled deprivation? In a country where public health is such a shambles that a pandemic is running out of control.

You can do better.

Hidari 07.06.20 at 9:59 am ( 51 )

'All the attention in this thread so far has been on the political dimension of uncertainty, but it seems to me the public health dimension is also crucial and quite up in the air. What will the trajectory of the virus look like in the US over the next several months? Will infections continue to explode out of control?'

Not just the public health, but the economic effects of the public health. As I pointed out in a previous thread, it's not difficult to work out why Trump looked like he was going to win in January: the stock market was booming, unemployment was low, crime was low, there were no new wars it's not a mystery.

People vote with their wallets.

If Trump someone manages to face down the neo-liberals in his own party and arrange for a gigantic stimulus bill (bigger than the last one) and keeps 'benefits' going past August, he is in with a shout. If he doesn't, and if the economy continues its path to free fall, he will lose.

People vote with their wallets. It is not difficult. You don't need to invoke Russia and etc. to work out why Trump won in 2016 (the impact of the Obama stimulus package, which was too small, hadn't et 'percolated through' to people's bank balances at that point). And, if Trump loses in 2020, the reasons will be self-evident and nothing to do with 'people seeing through him' or 'brave liberals averted a turn to fascism'. If he loses it will be because he screwed up on the 'good' economy.

People vote with their wallets.

[Jul 03, 2020] Apparently, however, Mayor Durkan does not want posterity to forget the glory days of what she had predicted would be a summer of love.

They did "God's work" for neoliberal Dems as unforgettable Vampire Squid head honcho Lloyd Blankfein quipped for a different reason
Jul 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Writes The Washington Post:

"Durkan called for charges to be dismissed against those who were arrested for alleged misdemeanors The mayor also said that Seattle arts and parks departments would preserve a community garden and artwork and murals that protesters created within the zone."

...Statues of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt are dragged down, while the murals and graffiti of misfits who trashed downtown Seattle are to be preserved.

[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 23, 2020] Surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more. ..."
"... Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country. ..."
"... Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US. ..."
"... Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
    1. Gerald says: June 20, 2020 at 5:34 pm surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not) of course if you are a kind of despotic dictatorship (as appears to be happening in terms of western neoliberal capitalism) then you will merely do as you wish regardless until confronted with overwhelming opposition at which point you will infiltrate and co-opt said opposition, pay lip service to their vague claim for 'rights' and continue on your merry way.

      I always thought that the greatest thing that the capitalists did in the 20th century was to get the slaves to love their slavery, its all advertising, hollywood, TV that's all that politics has become, certainly in the West. Edward Bernays has a lot to answer for.

      Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more.

      Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country.

      There is no wonder that Putin looks like the greatest 21st century leader, the last of a dying breed. Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US.

      Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist.

[Jun 23, 2020] It is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get so many working class voters to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple. ..."
"... It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. ..."
"... Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Mar 3 2020 22:02 utc | 56

Yet another circus. The proles get to scream and holler, and when all is done, the oligarchy gets the policies it wants, the public be damned. Our sham 'democracy' is a con to privatize power and socialize responsibility.

Although it is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get substantial numbers of people to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

The issue is not (for me) his creepiness (I wouldn't much mind if he was on my side), nor even his Alzheimer's, but his established track record of betrayal and corruption.

From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple.

It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. Heck, he makes Calvin Coolidge look like Trotsky.

Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:01 utc | 55

Ian56:

Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class.

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1234914227963518977

[Jun 18, 2020] Populism vs. inverted totalitarism and the illusion of choice in the US elections

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics. ..."
"... "Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them." ..."
"... Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling. ..."
"... "If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy." ..."
"... We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism. ..."
"... "The significance of the African-American prison population is political," ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

...Inverted totalitarianism also "perpetuates politics all the time," Wolin said when we spoke, "but a politics that is not political." The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics.

"Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them."

Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling.

"If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy."

The result, he writes, is that the public is "denied the use of state power." Wolin deplores the trivialization of political discourse, a tactic used to leave the public fragmented, antagonistic and emotionally charged while leaving corporate power and empire unchallenged.

"Cultural wars might seem an indication of strong political involvements," he writes. "Actually they are a substitute. The notoriety they receive from the media and from politicians eager to take firm stands on nonsubstantive issues serves to distract attention and contribute to a cant politics of the inconsequential."

"The ruling groups can now operate on the assumption that they don't need the traditional notion of something called a public in the broad sense of a coherent whole," he said in our meeting. "They now have the tools to deal with the very disparities and differences that they have themselves helped to create. It's a game in which you manage to undermine the cohesiveness that the public requires if they [the public] are to be politically effective. And at the same time, you create these different, distinct groups that inevitably find themselves in tension or at odds or in competition with other groups, so that it becomes more of a melee than it does become a way of fashioning majorities."

In classical totalitarian regimes, such as those of Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. But "under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true," Wolin writes. "Economics dominates politics -- and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."He continues: "The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

The corporate state, Wolin told me, is "legitimated by elections it controls." To extinguish democracy, it rewrites and distorts laws and legislation that once protected democracy. Basic rights are, in essence, revoked by judicial and legislative fiat. Courts and legislative bodies, in the service of corporate power, reinterpret laws to strip them of their original meaning in order to strengthen corporate control and abolish corporate oversight.

He writes: "Why negate a constitution, as the Nazis did, if it is possible simultaneously to exploit porosity and legitimate power by means of judicial interpretations that declare huge campaign contributions to be protected speech under the First Amendment, or that treat heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations as a simple application of the people's right to petition their government?"

Our system of inverted totalitarianism will avoid harsh and violent measures of control "as long as dissent remains ineffectual," he told me. "The government does not need to stamp out dissent. The uniformity of imposed public opinion through the corporate media does a very effective job."

And the elites, especially the intellectual class, have been bought off. "Through a combination of governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers have been seamlessly integrated into the system," Wolin writes. "No books burned, no refugee Einsteins."

But, he warns, should the population -- steadily stripped of its most basic rights, including the right to privacy, and increasingly impoverished and bereft of hope -- become restive, inverted totalitarianism will become as brutal and violent as past totalitarian states. "The war on terrorism, with its accompanying emphasis upon 'homeland security,' presumes that state power, now inflated by doctrines of preemptive war and released from treaty obligations and the potential constraints of international judicial bodies, can turn inwards," he writes, "confident that in its domestic pursuit of terrorists the powers it claimed, like the powers projected abroad, would be measured, not by ordinary constitutional standards, but by the shadowy and ubiquitous character of terrorism as officially defined."

The indiscriminate police violence in poor communities of color is an example of the ability of the corporate state to "legally" harass and kill citizens with impunity. The cruder forms of control -- from militarized police to wholesale surveillance, as well as police serving as judge, jury and executioner, now a reality for the underclass -- will become a reality for all of us should we begin to resist the continued funneling of power and wealth upward. We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism.

"The significance of the African-American prison population is political," he writes. "What is notable about the African-American population generally is that it is highly sophisticated politically and by far the one group that throughout the twentieth century kept alive a spirit of resistance and rebelliousness. In that context, criminal justice is as much a strategy of political neutralization as it is a channel of instinctive racism."

[Jun 16, 2020] The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to enrich themselves. Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state. IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians

Notable quotes:
"... The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites. ..."
"... The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash. ..."
"... The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state. ..."
"... IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing. ..."
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A User , Jun 16 2020 3:36 utc | 87

I'm always amused, nah that is a little harsh - dumbfounded is more reasonable, when Americans express dismay that 'their' constitution is not being adhered to by the elites.

The minutiae of American political history hasn't greatly concerned me after a superficial study at high school, when I realized that the political structure is corrupt and was designed to facilitate corruption.

The seeming caring & sharing soundbites pushed out by the 'framers' scum such as Thomas Jefferson was purely for show, an attempt to gather the cannon fodder to one side. This was simple as the colonial media had been harping on about 'taxation without representation' for decades.

It wasn't just taxes, in fact for the American based elites that was likely the least of it. The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites.

A well placed courtier would put a bagman into the regional center of a particular colony (each colony becoming a 'state' post revolution), so that if someone wanted to, I dunno, say export huge quantities of cotton, the courtier would charge that 'colonial' for getting the initial warrant, then take a hefty % of the return on the product - all collected by the on-site bagman then divvied up.

The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash.

The system was ponderous inaccurate & very expensive. Something had to be done, but selling revolutionary change to the masses on the basis of the need to enrich the already wealthy was not likely to be a winner. Consequently the high faulting blather.

The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state.

IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing.

[Jun 16, 2020] Krystal Ball- Dems virtue signal on BLM while preserving status quo

Just like Cornell West suggested, black faces in high places hasn't solved the problem. Obama is a vivid example.
Notable quotes:
"... It is Class Warfare. There are no "Democrats" or "Republicans" .. There are the "Rich and Powerful" and then the "Rest of Us" And when we stand up, they take aim... ..."
"... Dr. Cornel West, "We have tried Black Faces in high places ..." ..."
Jun 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Krystal Ball calls out D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Dem establishment for surface level support of the Black Lives Matter movement.


Crush Inverted Totalitarianism, 12 hours ago

Speaking of black faces in high places, the entire black caucus endorsed ELIOT ENGEL over a black educater (Jamaal Bowman)...this is aclass war, not a race war

Robert Quin, 12 hours ago (edited)

THERE IS NO DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF AMERICA! There is only Repugnican and Repugnican Lite. There is only hard right and soft right in American politics. There is no left in power.

akinbodeog , 7 hours ago

Electoralism is a scam. You're playing with an unplugged controller. Organise, unionize, protest, riot. If you want to vote, you should vote third party. The Democratic party isn't part of the solution. They are playing good cop, bad cop with republicans with both sides working for capital to impoverish the working class.

Bernard Brother , 6 hours ago

Corporate Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than let a Progressive win. Their resistance is fake AF.

George H , 7 hours ago (edited)

Krystal forgot one "innovation" Biden has suggested.

When talking to black community leaders in Wilmington, Joe Biden said, "Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there's an unarmed person coming at 'em with a knife or something, shoot 'em in the leg instead of in the heart."

Joe Biden: shoot [protesters] in the leg!

oopsieeee , 5 hours ago

It is Class Warfare. There are no "Democrats" or "Republicans" .. There are the "Rich and Powerful" and then the "Rest of Us" And when we stand up, they take aim...

Paul Rubin , 1 hour ago (edited)

Dr. Cornel West, "We have tried Black Faces in high places ..."

Zain Were , 7 hours ago (edited)

Bravo Krystall!!!!! Often disagree with you but you're a sharp mind...Nailed it this time!!!!!

Sagaar does make a point in terms of the movement being reallly sustantial though..We'll have to see abou that!

[Jun 11, 2020] The nearly complete corruption of the U.S. republican form of government has largely come about due to the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in January 2010 that basically permitted unlimited donor-spending on political campaigns based on the principle that providing money, normally through a political action committee (PAC), is a form of free speech

Notable quotes:
"... No one has benefited from the new rules more than the state of Israel, whose hundreds of support organizations and principal billionaire funders euphemized as the "Israel Lobby" have entrenched pro-Israel donors as the principal financial resources of both major political parties. ..."
Jun 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jun 11 2020 10:10 utc | 100

The nearly complete corruption of the U.S. republican form of government has largely come about due to the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in January 2010 that basically permitted unlimited donor-spending on political campaigns based on the principle that providing money, normally through a political action committee (PAC), is a form of free speech. The decision paved the way for agenda-driven plutocrats and corporations to largely seize control of the formulation process for certain policies being promoted by the two national parties.

No one has benefited from the new rules more than the state of Israel, whose hundreds of support organizations and principal billionaire funders euphemized as the "Israel Lobby" have entrenched pro-Israel donors as the principal financial resources of both major political parties.

https://ahtribune.com/us/israelgate/4206-ilhan-omar-surrenders.html

[Jun 10, 2020] The Democratic Party Exists To Co-Opt Kill Authentic Change by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... They do not move. ..."
"... Democratic Party leaders are currently under fire for staging a ridiculous performative display of sympathy for George Floyd by kneeling for eight minutes while wearing Kente cloth, a traditional African textile. The streets of America are filled with protesters demanding a total overhaul of the nation's entire approach to policing. ..."
"... I don't know what will happen with these protests. I don't know if the demonstrators will get anything like the changes they are pushing for, or if their movement will be stopped in its tracks. What I do know is that if it is stopped, it will be because of Democrats and their allies. ..."
"... The op-ed understandably received severe public backlash which resulted in a senior staff member's resignation . But if these protests end it won't be because tyrants in the Republican Party like Donald Trump and Tom Cotton succeeded in making the case for beating them into silence with the U.S. military. It will be because liberal manipulators succeeded in co-opting and stagnating its momentum. ..."
"... It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face. ..."
"... Obama was not the lesser of two evils, he was the more effective of the two evils ..."
"... The rot started long before Clinton. In the 1944 election the DNC replaced FDR's highly popular socialist VP Henry Wallace with Truman. At the convention party leaders closed the voting immediately after Wallace won resoundingly without confirming him. Furious politicking, bribery, and delegate lockouts over the next several days finally resulted in a Truman win and his immediate confirmation as the VP candidate. ..."
"... I agree on what the Democrat Party is and does. However, I'd shift the focus to the money behind it. The forces resisting change are what FDR called the moneyed interests. They've got the money, and their whole priority is to keep it. ..."
"... given a Supreme Court ruling that money is free speech and a Congress that's never has had any will to change the role of money or lobbies in politics, I'm afraid you are stuck with what you have. ..."
"... There is another well-known Twentieth Century play, "No Exit." And that title sums up the American very real situation. ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

E STRAGON: Well, shall we go?

V LADIMIR: Yes, let's go.

[ They do not move. ]

Curtain.

So ends both acts of the Samuel Beckett play "Waiting for Godot." One of the two main characters suggests leaving, the other agrees, followed by the stage direction that both remain motionless until curtain.

This is also the entire role of the Democratic Party. To enthusiastically agree with American support for movements calling for real changes which benefit ordinary people, while making no actual moves to provide no such changes. The actors read the lines, but remain motionless.

Barack Obama made a whole political career out of this. People elected him because he promised hope and change, then for eight years whenever hopeful people demanded changes he'd say "Yes, we all need to get together and have a conversation about that," express sympathy and give a moving speech, and then nothing would happen. The actors remain motionless, and Godot never comes.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/g3LaHb47xPY?feature=oembed

Democratic Party leaders are currently under fire for staging a ridiculous performative display of sympathy for George Floyd by kneeling for eight minutes while wearing Kente cloth, a traditional African textile. The streets of America are filled with protesters demanding a total overhaul of the nation's entire approach to policing.

The Democratic Party's response is to put on a children's play using black culture as a prop, and advance a toothless reform bill whose approach we've already established is worthless which will actually increase funding to police departments.

Meanwhile it's blue states with Democratic governors and cities with Democratic mayors where the bulk of the police brutality, people are objecting to, is occurring. The Democrats are going out of their way to spin police brutality as the result of Trump's presidency, but facts in evidence say America's violent and increasingly militarized police force would be a problem if every seat in every office in America were blue.

I don't know what will happen with these protests. I don't know if the demonstrators will get anything like the changes they are pushing for, or if their movement will be stopped in its tracks. What I do know is that if it is stopped, it will be because of Democrats and their allies.

Bloodthirsty Senator Tom Cotton recently took a break from torturing small animals in his basement to write an incendiary op-ed for The New York Times explaining to the American public why using the military to quash these protests is something that they should want. We later learned that The New York Times op-ed team had actually come up with the idea and pitched it to the senator , not the other way around, and that it was the Times itself which came up with the inflammatory headline "Send In the Troops."

From New York Times town hall: op-ed team pitched the piece TO Tom Cotton. Not the other way around.

-- Patrick Coffee (@PatrickCoffee) June 5, 2020

The op-ed understandably received severe public backlash which resulted in a senior staff member's resignation . But if these protests end it won't be because tyrants in the Republican Party like Donald Trump and Tom Cotton succeeded in making the case for beating them into silence with the U.S. military. It will be because liberal manipulators succeeded in co-opting and stagnating its momentum.

Watch them. Watch Democrats and their allied media and corporate institutions try to sell the public a bunch of words and a smattering of feeble, impotent legislation to mollify the masses, without ever giving the people the real changes that they actually need.

It remains to be seen if they will succeed in doing this, but they are already working on it. That is their entire purpose. It's much easier to control a populace with false promises and empty words than with brute force, and the manipulators know it. That is the Democratic Party's role.

It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face.

Don't let them disguise that jab as anything other than what it is. Don't let them keep you at bay with a bunch of impotent performances and word magic. If they have it their way, they'll keep that jab in your face all night until the knockout punch leaves you staring up at the arena lights like it always does, wondering what the hell happened and why Godot never came.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a book, " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."

Aaron , June 10, 2020 at 14:10

...Wall Street, Saudi-Israel alliance win again

Skip Scott , June 10, 2020 at 10:46

When you vote for a "lesser" evil, you condone and become evil. Voting for a peace candidate is the ONLY moral choice. Your line of thinking perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophecy of third party impossibility. So time for you to "get real". I also think it is imperative to insist on ranked-choice voting to get us out of the two party/one war party trap. BTW, Obama had his own brand of fascism. When we are the "exceptional" nation, all others are unexceptional and their citizens expendable. Your TDS has blinded you to our real problems.

AnneR , June 10, 2020 at 12:36

So what we are supposed to do, then, is vote for the very same evil, just enacted with a softer, gentler voice and smoother patina? And by the way, I'm a MA in History

We change absolutely zero domestically and minus zero abroad in those countries where we gaily – apparently – bomb and missile as if there were no tomorrow (for the recipients [all brownish you'll note], dead, injured or alive), no matter which colored face of the single party we "lesser evil" choose. Frankly pretending that there is such a thing as "lesser evil" voting when both parties behave in the same way, with different lipstick on is a tad hypocritical because all it boils down to is "we want a smiley, pleasant, charmingly spoken well educated barbarian rather than a grotesque, in your face, thicko one in charge."

No, ta. I'd rather vote my conscience, my principles which have nowt to do with either of corporate-capitalist-imperialist-MIC adoring-barbarian faces of the same bloody (literally) party.

Marc G Landry , June 10, 2020 at 12:38

For a history teacher, you seem to have given up on Democracy because you hate Trump. America WORKED when people voted their conscience, NOT for a lesser of two evils. And if people did this, within 12 years a THIRD PARTY would become strong enough to make the change we want. Democracy works when people vote their conscience, by person or by platform, NOT when everyone has to figure out a strategy who to vote for because you do not have the strength to vote by conscience or the guts to build a new party OVER TIME!

Blessthebeasts , June 10, 2020 at 13:08

Glen Ford, of the excellent BlackAgendaReport, put it well: Obama was not the lesser of two evils, he was the more effective of the two evils. It seems to work with a lot of people who can't let go of their "liberal" perspective. Anything goes, as long as it's served up on a politically correct platter.

John , June 9, 2020 at 16:51

and the solution is to (a) vote them out of office, (b) vote for the repubs, (c) vote for third party, (d) don't vote, (e) general strike and continuous demonstrations? My answer is both d and e. How about you?

Drew Hunkins , June 9, 2020 at 16:09

The Democratic Party hasn't done one substantive thing for the masses since Medicare c. 1966.

The destruction of unions and the labor movement is one of the prime reasons we're in this mess. Strong unions means the Democratic Party would have a wing of populist firebrands with moxie and muscle, voicing objections in Washington, advocating for progressive reforms, pounding the table, attacking Wall Street and big money, and most imporantly -- delivering substantive tangible benefits to the people every few years!! The labor movement would have cultivated these public speakers and activist politicians who had boatloads of chutzpah, instead what we're left with is a slickie boy Wall St hustler like Obama.

Litchfield , June 9, 2020 at 16:56

Right on! Pushing the nonexistent "agree" button. See also my comment in which I recommend reading Thomas Frank's "Listen, Liberal" for a really great tour of the downfall of the Dem Party, very well documented, and a pleasure to read.

It was not only labor that the "new" Dems under Clinton sucker-punched. They made a practice of demonstrating to Wall Street, the NYT, and other "liberal" entities (ha ha sob) and pundits that they were happy and willing to deny, Judas-like, and actually to attack their traditional constituencies, the source of the their original power and their raison d'etre since the thirties.

Now what one sees coming to the fore is the longer history of the damned Dems, that of cravenness compromise to the Jim Crow South and to other atavistic powers such as the National Security State, the MIC, the prisons-for-profit complex, and other such horrors.

It is like we're seeing that this leopard-party can't really changes its spots.

There is no reason and really no justification for giving one's vote to this Democratic Party.

Litchfield , June 9, 2020 at 15:36

For chapter and verse, and very witty commentary, on how the Democratic Party became the party that destroyed the (1) the working class, (2) the poor in America and especially their children, and (3) now, the middle class is available, see:

"Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?", by Thomas Frank.

Caitlin, I urge you to read it. Also, the notes, which are thorough and informative in themselves.

All the answers to the questions you pose are there. The true rot starts with Bill Clinton and the DLC, which he headed. Or course Hillary was there with him the whole time. Mouthing one set of platitudes for the public ("I feel your pain") and conspiring with Republicans and other Democrats to push and pass legislation that inexorably destroyed huge swaths of the USA: NAFTA; repeal of Glass-Steagall; welfare "reform"; three-strikes legislation; creation of prisons for profit (Biden was big in this); introduction of almost 100 new crimes with mandatory minimum sentencing; and more.

Then we move on to "hope and change" Obama (with his sidekick, Larry Summers): bailout of banks, not of citizens; health care "reform" written by Repugs; more foreign adventures in Libya, Afghanistan, etc. and more deaths and maimings of American servicepeople; and on and on. And all the while a concerted effort to ignore the white working class and to accuse any white who didn't like this crappy new deal and loss of livelihood and dignity as a racist. Since I first voted in 1968, as a registered Dem, I have been along for this ride since the beginning and I recall only too clearly my horror -- after feeling with Clinton's win in 1992 that we were finally getting off the awful post-assassination "detour" -- at hearing of all of these new destructive, unfair, "Democratic" initiatives in the 1990s and at their actually being passed.

As Frank remarks, voting for Trump was the working class's richly deserved payback to the Clintons for decades of policies that punished America's 99% both directly (targeted) and indirectly. As he puts it, with Trump leading the Repugs and, for the first time, talking about the hits the working class had taken under the Dems, bad trade deals, etc., suddenly there *was* "someplace else to go" for previous Dem voters. It should have been no surprise that working-class white and also many blacks and women went there.

But the Dems still insist that they occupy the moral "liberal" high ground, with absolutely no foundation for doing so except for empty identitarianist bromides and silliness such as the kneeling show. Now, the Floyd killing is being used to further deflect attention from the Dems' catastrophic record regarding the WHOLE American 99%, white and minority, men and women.

Trump makes it easy to blame the whole mess on him. But the Dems, with their decades of betrayal of the American people and kicking their constituents in the gut, brought us Trump.

The complacent Dem self-righteousness jacks up the puke index that much more.

buy my vote , June 10, 2020 at 11:57

The rot started long before Clinton. In the 1944 election the DNC replaced FDR's highly popular socialist VP Henry Wallace with Truman. At the convention party leaders closed the voting immediately after Wallace won resoundingly without confirming him. Furious politicking, bribery, and delegate lockouts over the next several days finally resulted in a Truman win and his immediate confirmation as the VP candidate.

FDR's rapidly deteriorating health made it clear that the VP would be the next president. The DNC, firmly in the hands of corporate industrialists, insured that the VP was compliant with their program. Truman was a failed businessman, not particularly intelligent, and the perfect puppet. You can thank him and the DNC for the Cold War.

Mark Thomason , June 9, 2020 at 14:14

I agree on what the Democrat Party is and does. However, I'd shift the focus to the money behind it. The forces resisting change are what FDR called the moneyed interests. They've got the money, and their whole priority is to keep it.

They realized that they could buy up the only "alternative" to themselves, and prevent there from being anybody at all willing to be a real alternative. They do. That is for example what Biden has always been, the Senator from money based in the corporate and banking HQ's of Delaware. Hence is sponsorship of the anti-consumer laws such as his bankruptcy bill.

The Democratic Party is the only place that could be a political home for reformers. It once was. It might be again. But first, money would need to be disempowered.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , June 9, 2020 at 14:01

Indeed. But it's the money-rotted political system that brings the result. And given a Supreme Court ruling that money is free speech and a Congress that's never has had any will to change the role of money or lobbies in politics, I'm afraid you are stuck with what you have.

There is another well-known Twentieth Century play, "No Exit." And that title sums up the American very real situation.

[Jun 10, 2020] The Democratic Party and Authentic Change

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face. ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face.

[Jun 09, 2020] Without proper Debate system there can be no democracy

But how it can be any, when big money controls everything ?
Jun 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robjil , says: June 8, 2020 at 12:03 pm GMT

The western world's biggest problem is the lack and the fear of Athenian Debate.

The west touts the word "Democracy" like crazy. It came from the ancient Greeks.

Yet, the west forgets the biggest part of Athenian Democracy. It is Athenian Debate.

Without Athenian Debate in the west, there are no Democracies in the west.

anonymous coward , says: June 8, 2020 at 1:03 pm GMT
@Robjil

The western world's biggest problem is the lack and the fear of Athenian Debate.

Pretty sure there's quite a few ones bigger.

[Jun 08, 2020] "The Ruling Elite Has Lost All Legitimacy" by Chris Hedges

Some interesting thought, but if you compare the USA situation with the situation in Ukraine, the ruling elite still have a long way to go undisturbed...
Jun 08, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Kenny Heimbuch , 1 day ago

"Corporation" has become a synonym for mafia.

Christina Suozzo , 1 day ago

"Being poor in America is one long emergency". SO true. 😓


hotblooded1983
, 1 day ago

Being poor anywhere is one long emergency. And poverty does not give a damn about the colour of your skin.


AK Li
, 1 day ago (edited)

ROGUE STATE. Biden and Trump are both part of the Oligarchs!!


muffet nellon
, 2 days ago

I doubt the United States can change. There are agencies whose purpose are to destroy popular movements seeking change. Most people also don't want to admit it, but when a government can launch dozens of wars, killing millions of people, it's obvious that government would kill it's citizens to keep power. The wrong people are blamed for 911.


Stephen A. Sheehan
, 1 day ago

I remember the blue dog "purge" that arrived with Clinton. That was when anti-new dealers captured the Democratic Party.


Peter Parker
, 1 day ago

"The nation that neglects social inequality, mischievously increases military budgets, and then uses its power internally to suppress the citizens on the pretext of invasion by an external enemy is on the road to extinction." - Yang Wenli, Legend of the Galactic Heroes.


AnonymousTwoPointO
, 2 days ago

Stop calling them ELITE, they are THE POLITICAL CRIMINAL CLASS, and as long as we cook their meals, drive their limos, tailor their suits, and guard them while they sleep, they are not untouchable. None of them.


Carl Jensen
, 1 day ago

Advice to people in a time like this: DO NOT EVER VOTE FOR LESSER OF EVIL, BECAUSE YOU STILL GET EVIL.


Marius Chirita
, 1 day ago

"If you're not rioting, you're not black." Joe Biden

Harry Kiralfy Broe , 2 days ago

Right now, the puppet masters are laughing, pitting one puppet against the other, white vs. black, man vs. woman, worker vs. unemployed, police vs. citizens, while they rob you blind and enslave your children in debt and austerity...

[Jun 03, 2020] RussiaGate for neoliberal Dems and MSM honchos is the way to avoid the necessity to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[May 28, 2020] US voters in 2020 look like abosed spouse

May 28, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

The Wizard

We keep coming back for more under the hope that things will improve and the beatings will stop. How many elections have we had to choose the lesser of two evils? I'm done with that. I will continuously send a message, if you present me with a lousy candidate who is a neoliberal, necon war hawk I will not vote for him/her. The current implementation of the scheme for voting for president as somewhat defined in the constitution is fatally flawed. I will support replacing it with rank choice as a minimum, and guaranteeing voter rights during the process. The Dem party made the point that they can do anything they like to chose a presidential nominee, and screw the voter. Here's my algorithm:

1) Never vote for the favorite of Nancy and Chucky. If a Dem then he/she had better be a Progressive to the bone, principled and unwavering. That excludes you, Bernie.

2) Vote for a third party, like the Green Party, if they have good politics, like Dr. Jill Stein.

3) Vote for the Republican if they are reasonable in their politics. If the Republican and Democrat are similar, then vote Republican. We need to send a strong signal to the Dems that we will not accept establishment candidates. They are supposed to be the Left party.

4) Don't vote. I don't like this one, but it might be necessary.

So now I come to the most difficult part. If you hate Biden and want to punish the Dem party for nominating him and you want the most effective protest, then you vote for Trump. It sends twice as effective signal. As an example. if 2 million people vote for trump and 2,010,00 vote for Biden and 20,000 Progressives vote third party or stay at home then Biden wins. If 10,001 progressives vote for trump then Biden loses. Numerically it's twice as effective to vote for trump. So it entirely depends on your motivation. If it's to punish the Dem party relative to having a dangerous flake for president then vote for Trump (well, actually they are both dangerous flakes, Trump more so). I will probably vote Green again. But you need to know this, and not engage in voter shaming for progressives who make the decision to vote for Trump.

Marie on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 2:38pm
Intended message v. received message:

@The Wizard

If 10,001 progressives vote for trump then Biden loses. Numerically it's twice as effective to vote for trump. So it entirely depends on your motivation. If it's to punish the Dem party relative to having a dangerous flake for president then vote for Trump (well, actually they are both dangerous flakes,

What was the message Bill Clinton and the DP took from the 1992 election?
(D) 43.01% & 370 EV
(R) 37.45% & 168 EV
(I) 18.91% & 0 EV

Complete the GHWB agenda (excluding the flag burning amendment) and then take down major parts of the New Deal that Republicans had yet to advance. That wasn't the message most Democratic and Perot voters sent.

Trump will be far more dangerous in a second term if he surpasses his 2016 popular vote and/or popular vote percentage. On the percentage, the non-voters are a non-factor and therefore, enhance the delusion of the popular vote winner.

There's not a single state where a vote for Trump as a left protest sends a message that could possibly be heard by the DP poobahs as anything other than, gotta move more to the right.

Check out the following:
1996 -- voter turn-out 49%; Bill Clinton - 49.2% & 379 EV
2000 -
turn-out 51.2% - Gore 48.4%, GWB 47.9% & 271 EV (why did the DP roll over for GWB)?
New Hampshire: Gore 46.8%, GWB 48.97, Nader 3.9% (turn-out 569,081).

2004 -
New Hampshire: Kerry 50.24%, GWB 48.87%, Nader 0.66% (turn-out 677,738)

Recall that GWB claimed a mandate after the '04 election -- (compared to the 2000 election results, he did do better; plus the GOP added Senate and House seats to its majority) -- but that's when he overreached and then pulled back (for the good of the party?).

We keep coming back for more under the hope that things will improve and the beatings will stop. How many elections have we had to choose the lesser of two evils? I'm done with that. I will continuously send a message, if you present me with a lousy candidate who is a neoliberal, necon war hawk I will not vote for him/her. The current implementation of the scheme for voting for president as somewhat defined in the constitution is fatally flawed. I will support replacing it with rank choice as a minimum, and guaranteeing voter rights during the process. The Dem party made the point that they can do anything they like to chose a presidential nominee, and screw the voter. Here's my algorithm:

1) Never vote for the favorite of Nancy and Chucky. If a Dem then he/she had better be a Progressive to the bone, principled and unwavering. That excludes you, Bernie.

2) Vote for a third party, like the Green Party, if they have good politics, like Dr. Jill Stein.

3) Vote for the Republican if they are reasonable in their politics. If the Republican and Democrat are similar, then vote Republican. We need to send a strong signal to the Dems that we will not accept establishment candidates. They are supposed to be the Left party.

4) Don't vote. I don't like this one, but it might be necessary.

So now I come to the most difficult part. If you hate Biden and want to punish the Dem party for nominating him and you want the most effective protest, then you vote for Trump. It sends twice as effective signal. As an example. if 2 million people vote for trump and 2,010,00 vote for Biden and 20,000 Progressives vote third party or stay at home then Biden wins. If 10,001 progressives vote for trump then Biden loses. Numerically it's twice as effective to vote for trump. So it entirely depends on your motivation. If it's to punish the Dem party relative to having a dangerous flake for president then vote for Trump (well, actually they are both dangerous flakes, Trump more so). I will probably vote Green again. But you need to know this, and not engage in voter shaming for progressives who make the decision to vote for Trump.

RantingRooster on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 9:12am
I agree,

I think we can no longer vote between two crooked parties, and bite the bullet and vote for anyone not Republican or Democrat. A vote is never "wasted" unless it's not counted.

gjohnsit on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 1:43pm
I strongly disagree

@CS in AZ

Refusing to get in line with the mainstream and go though a ritual every couple of years to reaffirm and send a message of consent to this government and its actions. This is a meaningful message, for those who choose this this option.

This may indeed be how you feel, but that is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, not how the message is received.

You want proof?
First of all, how does the government respond to your lack of action? Do they seem concerned? Or would they prefer that even fewer people voted?
You know the answer.

But let's make it personal. When you host an event and someone you know doesn't come, is your first guess that they didn't come because they are angry and protesting your event? Or that they are indifferent?
Be honest. Occam's Razor says to assume that people don't care.

The author wants to denigrate any of the options he presents other than his own preferred "more and better democrats" efforts.

No, Obviously not. You didn't read this essay very closely.
I'll be voting 3rd party myself (with the exception for the guy who is running against Pelosi).

#7

For some, not voting sends a different message: I do not consent .

That is NOT:
1. Giving up.
2. Not caring.
3. Being "disengaged and apathetic."

Refusing to get in line with the mainstream and go though a ritual every couple of years to reaffirm and send a message of consent to this government and its actions. This is a meaningful message, for those who choose this this option. The author wants to denigrate any of the options he presents other than his own preferred "more and better democrats" efforts.

CS in AZ on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 3:08pm
You still do not get it

@gjohnsit

First of all, I did not say this is how I feel. I said, for SOME people, that is their message. I personally find your disparaging adjectives about their choice as generalized insults, and that is evidently your intention. Why else would you insist that those making the choice to send their own message through their own chosen means are universally "disengaged and apathetic" -- when you know very well that it not true. I wish you could advocate your generalized advice on what others should do (despite claiming not to make that choice yourself) without the character insults.

2. Questions are NOT "proof" of anything, so please stop throwing out rhetorical questions and calling them "proof" that your opinion is the only right one.

You want to play that game... ok.

how does the government respond to your lack of action? Do they seem concerned? Or would they prefer that even fewer people voted?
You know the answer.

How does the government respond to 'better democrats' winning primaries? Or even winning seats from incumbents? Does anything change? What did AOC do after unseating Joe Crowley? Oh yeah, that's right, she's working to get Biden elected. YAY! Do "they" seem concerned? You know the answer.

I don't think "they" give a f*ck precisely how many people vote or don't vote. As long as enough people vote to continue the illusion of consent of the governed, "they" are quite happy.

It does not matter one tiny iota how the PTB "receive" whatever message a vote or non-vote sends. They Do Not Care if you vote for another AOC or not. I think the message "they" receive from such a vote (and monetary support of such candidates) is that the system is working just fine, the money is coming in and the peasants are not revolting, so it's all good and nothing will fundamentally change. (Sure, political professionals will huff and puff and put on a good show of acting like they are "upset" -- that is their job. The show must go on to keep the system chugging along.) But the actual Powers that Be who actually make the decisions? They do not give a shit who you vote or don't vote for or anything else about you.

You want proof? What actual changes for the better have happened because some supposedly progressive candidate won an election?

Heh... this "rhetorical question as proof of my views" thing is kinda fun, isn't it?

But back in reality, you cannot prove what 'they' want. If I personally organized an event and people didn't come, I would ask them why, rather than making an uninformed assumption. Or I might assume that whatever my event is about didn't engage their interest enough to get them there. Maybe I needed to adjust my pitch? Or maybe even change my objectives, if I want to interest more people? I would think, why are they not interested? And then try to fix it. I don't think I'd automatically assume it just means they are a bunch of lazy slackers, and then carry on as if they don't matter. Except, of course, if they DIDN'T matter to me ...in which case I would call them names like "disengaged and apathetic" and then do nothing to engage them.

Sound familiar, at all?

You do not have proof of what 'they' want, or of what it means to other people and the message they want to send with either A vote or a not-vote.

What you have is simply an opinion. And you are entitled to it, of course, right or wrong.

I just wish you would advocate your point of view and your "do-what-I-say-Not-what-I-do" message, without disparaging and brow-beating of those who see things differently. Your need to "prove them wrong" is unnecessary and your advocacy would be better received without it, in my opinion.

That is all.

#7.1

Refusing to get in line with the mainstream and go though a ritual every couple of years to reaffirm and send a message of consent to this government and its actions. This is a meaningful message, for those who choose this this option.

This may indeed be how you feel, but that is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, not how the message is received.

You want proof?
First of all, how does the government respond to your lack of action? Do they seem concerned? Or would they prefer that even fewer people voted?
You know the answer.

But let's make it personal. When you host an event and someone you know doesn't come, is your first guess that they didn't come because they are angry and protesting your event? Or that they are indifferent?
Be honest. Occam's Razor says to assume that people don't care.

The author wants to denigrate any of the options he presents other than his own preferred "more and better democrats" efforts.

No, Obviously not. You didn't read this essay very closely.
I'll be voting 3rd party myself (with the exception for the guy who is running against Pelosi).

gjohnsit on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 4:58pm
If you didn't want to send a message

@CS in AZ
or if you felt that it was pointless to try sending a message (which is exactly what you just said), then why are you here commenting in my essay?
I am honestly curious.

I personally find your disparaging adjectives about their choice as generalized insults, and that is evidently your intention.

You think that I would go to all this trouble just to insult people?

Why else would you insist that those making the choice to send their own message through their own chosen means are universally "disengaged and apathetic" -- when you know very well that it not true. I wish you could advocate your generalized advice on what others should do (despite claiming not to make that choice yourself) without the character insults.

So you think this was an attack on you, huh?
Well, good. Because that's what I intended when I wrote this.
I thought "Gee, I haven't attacked whats-his-face in a long time."
I'm glad the message got through.
You might have noticed that all of my essays are secret attacks on you personally.

I honestly can't take this response seriously.
If you think this extremely mild essay is "disparaging and brow-beating of those who see things differently" then you must feel like you are under siege all the time.

#7.1.1

First of all, I did not say this is how I feel. I said, for SOME people, that is their message. I personally find your disparaging adjectives about their choice as generalized insults, and that is evidently your intention. Why else would you insist that those making the choice to send their own message through their own chosen means are universally "disengaged and apathetic" -- when you know very well that it not true. I wish you could advocate your generalized advice on what others should do (despite claiming not to make that choice yourself) without the character insults.

2. Questions are NOT "proof" of anything, so please stop throwing out rhetorical questions and calling them "proof" that your opinion is the only right one.

You want to play that game... ok.

how does the government respond to your lack of action? Do they seem concerned? Or would they prefer that even fewer people voted?
You know the answer.

How does the government respond to 'better democrats' winning primaries? Or even winning seats from incumbents? Does anything change? What did AOC do after unseating Joe Crowley? Oh yeah, that's right, she's working to get Biden elected. YAY! Do "they" seem concerned? You know the answer.

I don't think "they" give a f*ck precisely how many people vote or don't vote. As long as enough people vote to continue the illusion of consent of the governed, "they" are quite happy.

It does not matter one tiny iota how the PTB "receive" whatever message a vote or non-vote sends. They Do Not Care if you vote for another AOC or not. I think the message "they" receive from such a vote (and monetary support of such candidates) is that the system is working just fine, the money is coming in and the peasants are not revolting, so it's all good and nothing will fundamentally change. (Sure, political professionals will huff and puff and put on a good show of acting like they are "upset" -- that is their job. The show must go on to keep the system chugging along.) But the actual Powers that Be who actually make the decisions? They do not give a shit who you vote or don't vote for or anything else about you.

You want proof? What actual changes for the better have happened because some supposedly progressive candidate won an election?

Heh... this "rhetorical question as proof of my views" thing is kinda fun, isn't it?

But back in reality, you cannot prove what 'they' want. If I personally organized an event and people didn't come, I would ask them why, rather than making an uninformed assumption. Or I might assume that whatever my event is about didn't engage their interest enough to get them there. Maybe I needed to adjust my pitch? Or maybe even change my objectives, if I want to interest more people? I would think, why are they not interested? And then try to fix it. I don't think I'd automatically assume it just means they are a bunch of lazy slackers, and then carry on as if they don't matter. Except, of course, if they DIDN'T matter to me ...in which case I would call them names like "disengaged and apathetic" and then do nothing to engage them.

Sound familiar, at all?

You do not have proof of what 'they' want, or of what it means to other people and the message they want to send with either A vote or a not-vote.

What you have is simply an opinion. And you are entitled to it, of course, right or wrong.

I just wish you would advocate your point of view and your "do-what-I-say-Not-what-I-do" message, without disparaging and brow-beating of those who see things differently. Your need to "prove them wrong" is unnecessary and your advocacy would be better received without it, in my opinion.

That is all.

gjohnsit on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 1:59pm
If you want to send that message

@Jen

For me to vote now sends the message that I've finally fallen for their bullshit and believe my vote means something.

Then you'll need to go to the voting booth and write F*ck You on the ballot.
(That would be an action I would strongly support)

As for right now, I can assure you that the political establishment thinks that you just don't care, and that pleases them.
They have no ability to read your mind.

So the only message that you send by not voting is "I don't care" or "I give up."

But technically, I've never voted so I never had anything to "give up". There's never been a reason to waste my time here in MAGAland where people still believe that if you work hard enough, you too can be a billionaire.

For me to vote now sends the message that I've finally fallen for their bullshit and believe my vote means something. I haven't; it doesn't.

At this point in my life, I think it's safe to say that I will likely die a voting virgin.

I'm actually glad that I don't have to vote for Bernie. Better to find out now that he'd just go along to get along. Now I don't have to be ashamed that I actually fell for his lies.

[May 28, 2020] Is there any sense to voting in the General election?

Notable quotes:
"... @ovals49 ..."
"... @The Voice In the Wilderness ..."
May 28, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

@ovals49

I too voted in the primary. For Bernie sanders delegates. What a waste of time that was. Voting against the establishment in local primaries? I did that too. Here in Cook County the primary winner is THE winner. (R)'s don't even bother putting up a token candidate.

Local State's Attorney Kim Foxx has come under a firestorm of criticism for letting off the rich and well-connected. Foxx is black. She had a white challenger. The party engineered two other white challengers, nobodies with ethnic names, one Irish, one Italian. Foxx won with 40% of the vote. Almost two to one against her and she is assured of her re-election.

There isn't a functional Republican Party in Illinois as there was in my youth. The party is full of Tea Party zealots, religious nutjobs, and MAGA Trumpistas aka modern Know-Nothings.

No longer any liberal republicans or even conservative Republicans with a sense of noblesse oblige like the late Senator Dirksen.

You might think that at least in Cook County there might be a Left Party, but the Greens run a few candidates for the Water Reclamation Board that's all. Their focus is the environment only. Most voters are concerned with taxes (very regressive)), jobs and crime. Greens are silent on these issues.
I vote Green as a protest, but I know it is just a protest.

boriscleto on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 4:43pm

Sad that your local Greens aren't with the platform

@The Voice In the Wilderness

https://howiehawkins.us/platform/

[May 23, 2020] Trump betrayal of his voters in favor of his financial backers

May 23, 2020 | discussion.theguardian.com

consumerx -> hartebeest , 10 Apr 2019 18:57

Disagree,
Under Trumps tax plan, a single mother with 2 kids working fulltime at minimum wage gets 75 dollars a YEAR in childcare, about $-1.50 per week.
----------
While the rich, those making up to 400,000 per year get 2000.00 per year child credit off their taxes.
---------------
Name a benefit for the poor, that the recent tax bill passed by Trump and GREEDY GOP.


-----------------------------------------------------
In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump promised to deliver on his populist campaign pledges to protect Americans from globalization. "For too long," he bemoaned, "we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries." But now, he asserted, the time has come to "restart the engine of the American economy" and "bring back millions of jobs." To achieve his goals, Trump proposed mixing massive tax-cuts and sweeping regulatory rollbacks with increased spending on the military, infrastructure and border control. This same messy mix of free market fundamentalism and hyper-nationalistic populism is presently taking shape in Trump's proposed budget. But the apparent contradiction there isn't likely to slow down Trump's pro-market, pro-Wall Street, pro-wealth agenda. His supporters may soon discover that his professions of care for those left behind by globalization are -- aside from some mostly symbolic moves on trade -- empty.
Just look at what has already happened with the GOP's proposed replacement for Obamacare, which if enacted would bring increased pain and suffering to the anxious voters who put their trust in Trump's populism in the first place. While these Americans might have thought their votes would win them protection from the instabilities and austerities of market-led globalization, what they are getting is a neoliberal president in populist clothing.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/22/dont-let-his-trade-policy-fool-you-trump-is-a-neoliberal/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.94fa9481fd2a

[May 13, 2020] Shock at low US confidence in Trump's coronavirus narrative ignores decades of governments abusing Americans' trust by Helen Buyniski

Notable quotes:
"... In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative. ..."
"... Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

Just over a third of Americans trust President Donald Trump's information about the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new poll. But given decades of crises mishandled by the government, the only surprise is that it isn't lower. A CNN poll showing that just 36 percent of Americans trust Trump for reliable information about the coronavirus was held up triumphantly by the president's critics on Tuesday as proof his credibility is circling the drain. But it's more likely to be the fallout not just from Trump, but from the two preceding presidential administrations' misrepresentation of crises, that has created epidemic levels of distrust among the people.

Trump's own approval rating is hovering around 45 percent, according to the poll, conducted by CNN in conjunction with SSRS and released on Tuesday. While it's been presented as a scathing mass rejection of Trump, the same pollsters are actually seeing an uptick in support for the president – the approval rating last month stood at 44 percent, and the previous month's was 43. But Americans can't be faulted for distrusting the Trump administration's narratives, given prior presidents' tendencies toward crying wolf in ways that have invariably left the American people worse off.

The last time Washington tried to mobilize the US with the threat of an invisible enemy was during George W. Bush's 'War on Terror' after the September 11 attacks. While it soon became apparent that the many deaths that occurred on that day had nothing to do with the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq, it was too late by the time Americans found out they had been lied to. Not only had the Afghan government willingly offered up Osama bin Laden, but Saddam Hussein was found to have had no 'weapons of mass destruction', and the entire narrative was the concoction of a secretive entity that had been set up to create a casus belli for war with Iraq despite the facts.

Bush's approval ratings declined steadily following 9/11, as the nation was forced into one war after another on false pretenses. At his lowest point, just 25 percent of Americans trusted him. The 'invisible enemy' of terrorism – supposedly lurking around every corner and requiring Americans to practically disrobe at entrances to airports – had lost its luster, and Bush's poor handling of real-life crises like Hurricane Katrina put the final nail in the coffin of his credibility.

While Barack Obama entered office on a high note with a promise of " hope and change ," his approval rating also plunged quickly – especially when he refused to stand in the way of the wildly unpopular 2008 'Wall Street bailout' – sinking to 41 percent in 2011 as Americans grew restive after years of recession with no change in sight. By 2014, 70 percent of respondents to an MSNBC poll stated the country was headed in the wrong direction, with 80 percent singling out the political system as the primary culprit. Congress enjoyed an appallingly low 14 percent approval rating.

In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative.

Another invisible enemy that requires them to sacrifice their livelihoods – a third of Americans couldn't pay their rent last month, while even the paltry $1,200 stimulus checks supposedly heading to 130 million Americans have apparently not reached half their intended recipients yet – is reminding Americans of what happened last time they were told to put aside their real-life concerns and fall in line behind a narrative that turned out to be false.

Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses.

[May 12, 2020] High Stakes: Gambling on Biden's Foreign Policy by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.)

May 12, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

Recently, there's been rather heated debate – a sort of progressive civil war – over what's being called " lesser evil " voting. To Biden, or not to Biden; that seems the existential question. However, most discussion centers on whether Joe Biden would be a meaningfully better than Donald Trump on domestic policy: healthcare, taxes, immigration, and – of course – the coronavirus response. Fair questions, all; but on one subject – over which presidents have near limitless power – Biden's extensive record provides clear answers. For when it comes to foreign – especially military – policy, the man has hardly ever been right. On war, Biden's is a blood-soaked litany indeed.

Biden's foreign policy has been one big series of gambles. In the past, he's even framed it as such. Undoubtedly, few remember the time way back in Barack Obama's first term, when Biden – assigned as the administration's point-man on all things Iraq – predicted with absolute certainty that the Baghdad government would accede to the enduring presence of small numbers of American troops after the December 31, 2011 "end of combat operations." In fact, the ever-folksy Biden told the New York Times he would bet his vice presidency that Iraq would extend this Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA). It didn't. Nevertheless, Joe reneged on the wager and kept the number two spot in the land. Biden, like just about every establishment policymaker in both major parties, underestimated the independence and growing hostility of the Shia strongman Nouri al-Maliki, whom the vice president himself helped install after the prime minister had lost an election.

Yet Biden's Iraq War record goes far deeper. Sure, he voted for Bush's initial invasion. Only that's not the half of it. From his senior perch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the future vice president quite literally sold the war to his more doubtful colleagues – twisting arms, making calls, and applying the classic Biden-charm – and to the American people writ large. Then, months after it was crystal clear that the invasion had been built on lies (no WMDs, no Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, etc.) – and by which point chaos and local resistance already reigned – Biden continued to defend the war and the "popular" president who orchestrated it. Biden didn't just vote for aggression and mayhem in Iraq; he championed it.

Beyond Baghdad, Biden's national security positions have also been abysmal. What's more, based on his own published campaign vision , other than the discrete Iraq War vote itself, the presumptive Democratic nominee is unwilling to apologize for, or meaningfully alter, his past formulas for failure. It's what Biden's "vision" doesn't mention that's most troubling: Obama- destroyed Libya, his old boss's floundering quagmire in Syria, any meaningful challenge to Israeli apartheid , or commitment to a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Mideast disaster areas. Better yet, the word "drone" doesn't appear once – so one assumes the terror bombing won't abate under Biden. In the final analysis, Joe offers little more than the status quo from West Africa to Central Asia – an intolerable situation he himself crafted over decades as the Democrats' leading foreign policy guru.

When it comes to war and peace, nominating Biden is like assigning the criminal with solving the crime. Indeed, so consistently wrong has he been on these issues, that one wonders whether he's a secret (if nefarious) genius. As I've sardonically theorized , being policy-wrong every time – like scoring zero on a multiple-choice test – almost requires knowing all the right answers and choosing to fail. Yet it seems unlikely that this sort of cynical savvy applies to ole Joe.

Is he better alternative than Trump on foreign affairs? Yes and no. Despite his populist "bring home the troops" campaign rhetoric – and occasional reprises in office – The Donald has hardly followed through. Often he's escalated bombings and boots-on-the-ground in the Greater Middle East. And admittedly, Biden seems more likely – but hardly certain – to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal and modestly tone down the march-to-war rhetoric. Then again, so far – though the colluding duo of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu try to gin up real combat – Trump has shown eleventh-hour restraint and eschewed full-blown war with Tehran. Not to say that The Donald, who has aggressively upped-the-ante on unwarranted conflict with Iran merits apologia. However, so far at least – an inconvenient admission for some – Trump is the first president since Jimmy Carter who hasn't attempted an overt violent foreign regime change. True, this is a low bar indeed.

Make no mistake, Donald Trump is temperamentally, intellectually, and morally unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. His ignorant and bellicose position on nuclear weapons makes him a potentially existential threat to life well beyond America's borders. Still, even Trump's more vociferous opponents should know what they're getting when they gamble on Biden: nothing more than a polite emperor to replace the rather coarse and clothes-less current occupant of the throne.

Even if he's preferable on some individual foreign policy issues, Biden has never questioned the imperium itself. That he won't change his spots and suddenly do so, is undergirded by the fact – as Chris Hedges recently pointed out – that "the ruling elites would prefer Biden" over the "vulgar embarrassment" of Donald Trump. Thus, selecting an emperor – given a presidency long unfettered by constitutional checks and balances – amounts to a matter of taste; of style over substance.

The "masters of the universe" that Hedges describes aren't remotely troubled by reliable, known-quantity-Joe's sordid foreign policy past. Neither, apparently, are Washington insiders, mainstream media pundits, or – if we're being honest – most common citizens. There's certainly been no penalty for Biden – or anyone else – being repeatedly dead wrong on the most decisive decisions a leader can make. American politics positively reinforces failure.

In even a marginally healthy republic, Biden's championing of the Iraq War alone – and decades worth of pathological lying about that record – ought to have disqualified him. That it hasn't exposes – like the COVID crisis – the structural and societal rot undergirding this country. Among the senior ranks of politicians, soldiers , and corporate oligarchs , obvious and undeniable failure carries few consequences. Blame and punishment is reserved for the lowest level of practitioners whilst power and profits continue to accrue to existing national security elites.

In contemporary America, there's zero accountability for top policymakers – even those a heartbeat away from the presidency – who repeatedly gamble soldiers (and foreigners) lives in far-flung adventures and regularly lose big. Neoconservative and neoliberal militarist leaders who drummed up disasters like the 2003 Iraq invasion should've been forever discredited. Instead, they've been laundered like dirty money, rehabilitated , and born-again as expert analysts on CNN or MSNBC. These, of course, being the very networks that – in the case of the Bush-era figures, at least – once lambasted them. As for the real heavy-hitters – Iraq cheerleading Biden and Libya regime change architect Hillary Clinton – the Democratic Party "opposition" runs them for president.

The narrowness of permitted debate on US war policy – and of the electoral options the two-party duopoly provides – is obscene. It's also proof positive that real challenges to American militarism must come from outside the system. At stake this November is more than what some sardonically call " choosing between two rapists ." What's really on the ballot is the minor matter of emperor selection. And the choices ain't great. Throughout his nearly 50 years of senior-level public service, Biden consistently made high-stakes war wagers – playing on credit with blood and treasure. So far his losses amount to $6.4 trillion in taxpayer cash, more than 7,000 dead troopers, 21 million refugees, and 335,000 civilian lives.

With that sort of track record at the life-and-death tables, Biden should really seek a meeting . Instead, he's become the last great white hope of polite liberals everywhere. And make no mistake, this doesn't end well. So be careful gambling on Biden. Like Joe betting his vice presidency on Iraqi elections, it might be a sure loser.

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com . His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen

[May 07, 2020] Womens' Rights Attorney Lisa Bloom: Yes, Biden Is A Rapist But I Endorse Him

May 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

" I believe you, Tara Reade ...[but] I still have to fight Trump, so I will still support Joe. But I believe you. And I'm sorry.

[May 03, 2020] Realignment and Legitimacy: taking even larger chuck of the labor movement out of the Democrat orbit would be interesting.

May 03, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Third Party:

Here is what is real.

The Democratic Party elite doesn't care what we think. So all of the work that we do and have done around them is pretty much self torture.

We only will make a difference when we make ourselves a genuine #3rdparty collective voice. And it will be fun.

-- RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) May 1, 2020

By the midterms:

Fundamentally, we need a progressive 3rd party.

I am willing to spend the rest of my life working for that.

And yes, November is a massive problem.

I just don't ever want to be here again with bad choices in my lifetime.

We should prepare for a #3rdParty for the midterms.

-- RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) April 30, 2020

The other players would seem to be DSA and the Greens, and I'm not sure what they would think of this. But taking a big chuck of the labor movement out of the Democrat orbit would be interesting. Especially considering that nurses are as well-liked as, say, firefighters.

[Apr 29, 2020] Trump, despite pretty slick deception during his election campaign, is an typical imperialist and rabid militarist. His administration continuredand in some areas exceeded the hostility of Obama couse against Russia

Highly recommended!
One of trademarks of Trump administration is his that he despises international law and relies on "might makes right" principle all the time. In a way he is a one trick pony, typical unhinged bully.
In a way Pompeo is the fact of Trump administration foreign policy, and it is not pretty
Apr 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Apr 29 2020 17:32 utc | 7
It is mostly, though not only, Trump related or libertarian pseudo "alt media" behind "just the flu" theories or "China unleashed virus to attack US".

There is a small military/zionist cabal at the White House that is pushing for that information war in order to prop up the dying US empire as well as US oligarhic business interests, and to secure Trump reelection prospects.

It is enough to see how Zerohedge have been turned into full blown imperialist media with many "evil China" outbursts every day.

Beware of Trumptards infiltrating alt media to prop up the dying US Empire and its business interests.

Trump is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years. He made a good job at deceiving many anti-system voices.

His WTO attacks are too part of US efforts to take over the organisation. His has no problem with international institutions as long as they are US empire controlled (such as OPCW, WADA, etc.)

Trump-tards and related libertarians (Zerohedge etc.) made their choice on the side of global US imperialism (driven by their hidden racism, hence the evil "chinks" making a good enemy) and are now the enemy of the multipolar world.

Trump is scum. He turned on Russia and Assange after he got into the White House and did far more against Russia than even Obama. I say that as someone who initially made the mistake to support him.

[Apr 27, 2020] Sanders betrayed his supporters with such ease that it is clear that was not an accident -- this was a preplanned "bait and switch" operation

Notable quotes:
"... You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement. ..."
Apr 27, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FDR Liberal , April 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Bernie was never accepted by the DNC establishment in 2016 and 2020. He was bought off by Schumer through committee assignments and threats of irrelevancy in the Senate after 2016. In short, Bernie became an insider because he thought HRC would be president.

In 2020 he doubled down bragging about his legislative accomplishments on the debate stage which is the quintessential insider's game.

You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.

The author consistently mentions The Green New Deal. What legislator in the House outlined the Green New Deal? What legislator in the Senate? AOC in the House and Markey in the Senate.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.Rxmkv9vDUrt2Lxi4D2v1ngHaEK%26pid%3DApi&f=1

Where was Bernie in the photo opportunity? MIA.

likbez , April 26, 2020 at 5:21 pm

FDR Liberal,

> You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.

As sad as it is for me to say that, Bernie was a sheepdog from the very beginning. Actually it was the second time he played this despicable role. The main clue was that he acted as a preacher, not as a candidate. Another is that he claimed Biden to be his friend. With such warmongering neoliberal friends as Biden, who needs enemies ;-). This is how "controlled opposition" typically behaves.

Personnel is policy -- looks at his presidential campaign staff and you will instantly understand who he is.
https://ballotpedia.org/Bernie_Sanders_presidential_campaign_staff,_2020

For example, Faiz Shakir, the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, previously worked as an aide to Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, was an editor-in-chief of the ThinkProgress blog. Is not Nanci Pelosi a quintessential neoliberal, a staunch supporter of Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ? And I do not want even start discussing political positions of Harry Reid.

Sanders betrayed his supporters with such ease that it is clear that was not an accident -- this was a preplanned "bait and switch" operation.

Matthew Cunningham-Cook , April 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm

To all of this, I'd really suggest reading Raising Expectations and Raising Hell by Jane McAlevey. Really good on the nuts and bolts of what it takes to organize to win. Also good is "Secrets of Successful Organizer" from Labor Notes.

Jeremy Grimm , April 26, 2020 at 5:01 pm

The memo in this post seems mistaken. Much of it worries about dealing with Warren. Warren did not take Bernie down. She did a wonderful job of shooting herself in the foot multiple times. I don't believe Biden and Obama have so much power to shift the beliefs of the US public. I have trouble believing the Obama years need to be discredited -- they discredited themselves. Item #4 not sure what to say about that. Bernie presented a strong ideological contrast with Trump. Item #5 Castro, O'Rourke, Booker, and Yang, Gabbard, Williamson, and Gillibrand are they really examples of idealistic energy? How do you "rope in" idealistic energy? Is that like herding cats?

Most of the primaries that were held impressed me as part of a remarkably hamhanded but effective effort by the Democratic Party organization to shut Bernie down. I am still unconvinced by Biden's sudden revival and jump in the polls prior to Super Tuesday and I don't understand what happened to suck all the air out of Bernie's campaign after Super Tuesday. The Corona virus didn't help but I cannot accept that the Corona virus, or Warren, or Biden or Obama took Bernie down -- it just doesn't smell right to me.

And I do not agree that the Bernie organization will carry on the fight. Where are the younger leaders who might carry on fighting for the cause? Bernie's coat tails are very short and Bernie is very old. I have read many pundits proclaiming that people put too much faith in a leader -- that a movement needs more action on the ground. I disagree. A movement needs a face, a 'brand' in Marketspeak, and actually I think a movement needs many faces and a common brand to all. [AOC and the Green New Deal don't inspire my confidence and what is left?]

I felt the Berne and now I feel Berne-t. Between dropping Medicare for All and voting for the CARES Act as part of the Senate Kabuki the nicest thing I can say about Bernie right now is that he is full of surprises. But after all is said and done I will be reluctant to send my small checks to any campaign, and after Corona I may need to keep all my small checks to buy things like food and pay rent. As Susan the other says at the beginning of her comment at 3:06 pm noting how: " absurd our politics are in light of our pending extinction" -- I am not sure there will be time for many more Presidential elections before the absurdity of our politics and economics collides with more pressing matters.

[Apr 19, 2020] Plutocratic Primary Challenger

Apr 19, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , April 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm

From The Intercept article "Wall Street Titans Finance Democratic Primary Challenger To Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez"

"Freedom and democracy are best secured when banking secrecy and tax havens exist," Caruso-Cabrera wrote.

"Plutocratic Primary Challenger" would be more apropos.

edmondo , April 16, 2020 at 7:23 pm

MCC is married to a VC multi-millionaire. To have hubby's business friends throw a couple hundred grand at her is unsurprising. It's kind of like when your kid has to sell chocolate bars so the marching band to go to the Thanksgiving Day parade. I doubt she'll get a thousand votes. It's a lark and great fun to talk about over cocktails with the other Masters of the Universe.

But then again Claire Booth Luce was a Congressperson but she had the good taste to run in Connecticut not the Bronx.

[Apr 19, 2020] Why vote for the lesser evil?

Apr 19, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , April 16, 2020 at 7:27 pm

Why vote for the lesser evil?

Mel , April 16, 2020 at 9:09 pm

Given the leading role of money in U.S. electoral politics, any voter, however they vote, is voting for the lessor of two evils.

ambrit , April 17, 2020 at 2:17 am

As above, so below.
I wonder how one would go about valuing evil on one's balance sheet?
I used to think that the proper term to describe a group of Evils was : "A plethora of evils." Now I know that the proper term of venery to describe a group of Evils is: "An incorporation of evils."

[Apr 17, 2020] "Neofeudalism by design" is what I call the Money Power which the Central Bank and the Princely Class of banksters

Notable quotes:
"... the Money Power, which is the collective term for the Central Bank and the "Princely Class" within the Outlaw US Empire. And their critique about Sanders, Biden and "Progressives" I agree with 100%. ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 15 2020 23:23 utc | 76

teatree @71--

I see you're busy spreading BigLies. Please, jump out of your tree onto your head. Thanks.

"Neofeudalism by design" is today's Keiser Report Mantra --Max and Stacy present an excellent argument that tries to inform people about what I call the Money Power, which is the collective term for the Central Bank and the "Princely Class" within the Outlaw US Empire. And their critique about Sanders, Biden and "Progressives" I agree with 100%.

Become enlightened and watch at the link.

[Apr 17, 2020] How sheep dog Bernie RussiaGated himself

Some pretty interesting comments on Bernie and Creepy Joe. Bernie RussiaGated himself.
Notable quotes:
"... I realised he was a con-man after what he did in 2016. Broke my heart. He didn't even defend Tulsi! ..."
"... Also George Carlin said "lazy selfish people elect lazy selfish politicians" ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bill Edley , 2 days ago (edited)

Aaron makes an Excellent point that Democrats "needed a way to resist not only Trump but Bernie Sanders appeal." Bingo!!!

greenearth , 2 days ago

"Bernie is the lamest revolutionary ever" - Tucker Carlson, Fox news His latest lame endorsement of sleepy joe just strengthened that statement

Matthew Sano , 2 days ago

"He's (Bernie) a catalyst but he's not part of the solution." ~ Economist Michael Hudson (The Jimmy Dore Show published on Feb 27, 2019.)

Thor Crowley , 2 days ago

.. to say it with a George Carlin quote : If you still think there is a solution (within the system) you are part of the problem

jeff murray , 2 days ago (edited)

Bernie didn't want a revolution. He wanted the establishment to accept his candidacy. If they didn't accept it then he was not going to fight. He wasted 3+ years of my time and energy. Not to mention betraying Waffle House waitresses across the country, who repeatedly donated money they needed to Bernie's campaign.

Ar Jun , 2 days ago (edited)

The US dodged a bullet with Bernie dropping out "my friend Joe" "Joe can beat Trump" & not supporting Tulsi from being smeared & erased! Bernie has no balls - the guy endorsed Hillary & now Biden - slapping Tulsi in the face for quitting, destroying her career for him!

BK , 2 days ago (edited)

v> Aaron has made a career over all the false trump hoax's and exposing them. To bad he's blinded in other ways and is can't be objective about Bernie and the dem establishment. Unfortunately he part of the problem because at the end of the day he looks the other way. And excuses those in media who lie cuz they have kids to feed. Never gonna be change with that attitude...very Bernie like.

Alex Bravo , 2 days ago

" You Don't Need To Be a Jew To be a Zionist , I am a Zionist " , J. Biden ...

CrackOfDoom , 2 days ago (edited)

I realised he was a con-man after what he did in 2016. Broke my heart. He didn't even defend Tulsi!

Dirty Dog , 2 days ago

Sanders was never a serious candidate. For the second time in his 40ys of public service he became sort of relevant. He was the joke of the senate all these years. A complete fraud.

The Last And First Time , 2 days ago

Hard to win a campaign when you lack the spine needed to go after your opponent.

sarahspeaks144 , 2 days ago div cla

ss="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> "The answer is there is no point," as cogently analyzed by our ever-faithful Jimmy Dore. "The Young Turks" are not progressive and neither is Bernie. In 2016, Cenk Uygar surrendered to the Hillary-Killary inevitability faster than Bernie could say, "Just let me know when it's time to quit." Here is the master conspiracy theory that resolves all of this. Bernie is paid by the DNC, Russia, and The Clinton Foundation to excite real Progressives that "the revolution will be televised." Then he caves. How effective is that plan? It channels and harnesses a critical mass of energy and momentum in order to throw it over the cliff. In two consecutive presidential elections, Bernie Sanders led the lemmings to the Pied Piper's house. How dumb are we? The establishment has framed a political strategy whereby the hopes of the people are continually and unrelentingly crushed by the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of their elusive "leader." Eventually, the poor deluded people simply stop believing in any of it, and the establishment wins. Can anyone prove me wrong?

Double Doink , 1 day ago

The DNC is really brilliant in the way they stomp out Progressives and still get them to vote for their corporate stooges in the end.

ppm120667 , 2 days ago

Also George Carlin said "lazy selfish people elect lazy selfish politicians" .

Wells , 2 days ago (edited)

"You vote for the whoever is least worst and then you push them in the direction you can." But you give up all of your leverage to move them as soon as you vote for them...

Scara Mouche , 2 days ago

"Their there to destroy any threat to corporate america." And Bernie a cog in that machine

Big Deeper , 2 days ago

Bernie sold everyone out. He's a two time loser who fleeced his dumb supporters to buy houses.

Torris Bin Anunnaki , 1 day ago

Aaron on Bernie's fecklessness: credulity, cowardice and careerism

Jose Penuelas , 2 days ago

They're still pretending buttigieg won Iowa?

darrenandkam , 1 day ago

Bernie Sanders was a plant, just there to mislead the working class that they have someone truly fighting for they cause. While robbing us of our money and time.

Jesse Anderson , 1 day ago

Bernie was too old in 2016. He's way too old now. He didn't want it. He didn't have the fight or the drive. He was just going through the motions. Probably for another book deal.

compassionistheway , 1 day ago

Sadly it seems Bernie turned out to be representative of "not so obvious establishment." Bernie has done this to us twice now. He has funneled sincere supporters who want real change towards establishment. Earlier towards Hillary and this time towards Biden.Bernie with his endorsement has lost my respect.

[Apr 15, 2020] Elizabeth Warren Endorses Biden

Apr 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Her endorsement of Biden comes one day after former President Obama finally backed the former VP after months of remaining in the shadows.

Things sure do change fast in Washington...

Just six weeks ago, Elizabeth Warren attacked Joe Biden as a "Washington insider" backed by "Washington insiders."

"Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment," she said. pic.twitter.com/eXsByQUKIQ

-- Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 15, 2020

[Apr 14, 2020] The fact that Sanders supporting Biden suggests he was a "stalking horse" from the very beginning

Lookslike Bernie was a new variation of bait and switch maneuver. Was he an asset from the beginning is not clear, but possibly yes.
Notable quotes:
"... Makes me wonder if Bernie was an "asset" the whole time. Certain elements make more sense that way. ..."
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
GoDark , Apr 13 2020 19:42 utc | 21
Sanders supporting Biden just as his message had relevance suggests he was a "stalking horse" from the very beginning. If the DNC replaces Biden with Governor Cuomo (New York) or Governor Newsom (California) ... in spite of the primary elections ... it will prove beyond a doubt that democracy in the USA is a sham. The evidence suggests that federal elections are decided in back rooms and then posted on the Internet with storylines that fake elections.

No wonder neoliberals (a euphemism for globalists) hate Trump. He pulled a fast one on the establishment. Hillary rolled up a few population centers ... but they forgot about the Electoral College that abrogates "one man one vote" in Presidential elections by giving the states in the Great Flyover more votes than the coasts. Trump "out scammed the scammers" ... a cardinal sin in neoliberal politics. The neoliberals desperately want revenge to ensure this never happens again.


Jackrabbit , Apr 13 2020 19:58 utc | 26

Dumbass sheeple fooled again .

Bernie, Hillary, Biden, and other Duopoly asshats are LMFAO. It never grows old.

Can we now treat the dembot trolls like the cancer they are?

!!

Stonebird , Apr 13 2020 20:00 utc | 27
Pindos | Apr 13 2020 18:51 utc | 5
"Sanders - a weak commie. His jew pals are embarrassed. 🤢"

You got it the wrong way round.

On the morning after Sanders withdrew from the race DMFI** president Mark Mellman sent out an email to supporters expressing his pleasure over the result. He also took some credit for the outcome "Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for president. That's a big victory -- one you helped bring about."

Mellman also reminded his associates that the victory was only a first step in making sure that the Democratic Party platform continues to be pro-Israel, writing that "Extreme groups aligned with Sanders, as well as some of his top surrogates -- including Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar -- have publicly declared an effort to make the platform anti-Israel. As a career political professional, I will tell you that if Democrats adopt an anti-Israel platform this year, the vocabulary, views, and votes of politicians will shift against us dramatically. We simply can't afford to lose this battle."

**Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) . The DMFI is a registered political action committee (PAC) that lobbies on behalf of the Jewish state. It was organized in 2019 by Democratic Party activists to counter what was perceived to be pro-Palestinian sentiment within the party's progressive wing.

Basically they did a "Corbyn" on a candidate who was considered a "socialist" and too pro-Palestinian.

Circe , Apr 13 2020 20:18 utc | 29
The following quote has been attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson by Ronald Kessler, journalist and historian.:
These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.

I'll have those n**gers voting Democratic for 200 years.

Looks like Johnson was right! All it took was the Civil Rights Act to get blacks to vote against their best interests for 56 years. So there's 144 years left before blacks realize they sold their soul to a blue devil that's no different from the red devil and until progressives will finally have a real democracy. Oh how I despise herd mentality.

Look, I'm not going to trash Bernie Sanders, because I know his heart, and I now see the majority of blacks will never be with him no matter what he tried to gain their confidence, so he was doomed whichever way you look at it.

That said, Biden is out of the question and I'll be damned if Democrats are going to win after what they pulled on Bernie again.

Looks like Ziofascist Trump regime is set to win again.

Adrian E. , Apr 13 2020 20:42 utc | 32
How almost everyone dropped out after the South Carolina primary looks staged. But Sanders, the sheepdog candidate is also a part of the play, whether he is fully aware of it.

What reason would there be for voting for a corrupt neoliberal proponent of all illegal US wars of aggression who played a key role for mass incarceration and whose career was bankrolled by the credit card industry and other special interests? Close to none, certainly for people who are remotely progressive. There had been little reason for supporting a far-right warmonger like Biden a few years ago, and with obvious signs of mental decline, there are hardly more reasons.

But with Bernie Sanders, a center-left candidate who, in contrast to Biden, has some semblance of personal integrity, campaigning for the corrupt warmonger, there may be the hope that some people who do not share Biden's far right views will still vote for him. But I think Sanders' behavior does more for undermining his own credibility than for creating the illusion that Biden has any credibility.

Miss Lacy , Apr 13 2020 20:42 utc | 33
So there I was wreching - Bernie endorses the babbling crook Biden... and then - well full on barfing! Michelle O'Bomber!!??? What exactly is her skill set? other than the fact that she is married to the manchurian O'Bomber - who bombed at least one somebody - often without even knowing the victims name/s - Every Single Day of his Miserable Regime. Just call him Mr. Dyncorp. Really, as William Griff observed in another thread, murkans are
completely irreparably delusional.
Jen , Apr 13 2020 20:47 utc | 34
Sad to see that whatever political legacy Bernie Sanders leaves behind, it will be tainted by his behaviour and decisions he made during his Presidential election campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Particularly inexplicable is how he failed to challenge the Super Tuesday results back in March. Surely of all people, given his career background, Sanders could have disputed the results.
Covergirl , Apr 13 2020 21:12 utc | 38
Makes me wonder if Bernie was an "asset" the whole time. Certain elements make more sense that way. I am both horrified and amused at the way progressives seem to be on board with the sellout. Ah well, looks like I'll actually have to vote for Trump this time. Didn't see that coming but I'll be damned if I silently consent to Biden being President.

I'll have to start building guillotines for the spike in demand come next year.

gm , Apr 13 2020 21:36 utc | 42
Former longtime Bernie-booster Jimmy Dore has been ripping Sanders relentlessly (and hilariously) on his YT channel for weeks, ever since Bernie rolled over and went dead during debate w/Biden.
Piero Colombo , Apr 13 2020 22:59 utc | 47
Sandersites here can protest all they want that they did not expect "this", it doesn't change the fact that Sanders was nothing but the sheepdog that gets out at every election season. Now that all those Sanders-supporting boobies have definitively destroyed any chance of doing anything significant in the way of third parties, it's useless to protest that they "won't vote Biden". The useless Hopium-addicted gulls already did the wrecking job, even though they had been warned. Both times. Good job... liberals.
A User , Apr 14 2020 0:58 utc | 55
re Josh | Apr 14 2020 0:44 utc | 54 who claimed "When he decided to run as a Democrat you have to sign a contract that you will endorse the person nominated" As you conceeded it isn't the convention yet so sanders did not have to endorse right now. That and the way it was done - not a quiet press release, he took part in creepy joe's campaign release to make his fawning pronouncement. Nowhere does that get stated in any 'contract'.
It is plain that if sanders isn't some sort of dungeon visiting masochist who enjoys the humiliation, he has to be a run of the mill greedhead prepared to do say anything that will get a cash payoff. That was probably his plan from the beginning as everything he did from the 1st caucus to the end was all about scraping and bowing to his 'betters' no mind what cheating and robbery was inflicted on his campaign.
A liar, a sellout who has created another generation of cynics - well done 'bernie'.

[Apr 10, 2020] Bernie Sanders betrayed his supporters the second time. There won't be a third -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... When we interviewed them, a lot of these people vowed never to vote Democrat again. ..."
Apr 10, 2020 | www.rt.com

I was there in the arena, watching him concede in 2016 – and shortly thereafter in the media tent, where a bunch of Sanders delegates had walked out in protest. A colleague of mine was outside the perimeter fence, covering the protest by tens of thousands of Democrats outraged by the party establishment's conduct. When we interviewed them, a lot of these people vowed never to vote Democrat again.

A few months earlier in Atlanta, I heard Sanders volunteers bluntly say they'd rather vote for Trump than for Clinton. When WikiLeaks published those internal emails showing the party was behind Hillary and actively sabotaging Bernie – which party chair Donna Brazile later confirmed as true – the DNC ran damage control by blaming Russia. But the voters remembered – and Trump won.

Sanders tried again in 2020, but the script began repeating itself right from the start. In Iowa, the party establishment and their media allies desperately propped up Pete Buttigieg (anyone remember him?) and others. Biden, anointed as the front-runner for the purposes of Ukrainegate, wasn't even on the map – until he won South Carolina, and everyone suddenly fell into line behind him.

[Apr 08, 2020] Bernie was the sheepdog of the DNC that kept people from organizing outside of the two party system

Can he screw his supporters even more than he has? "Moved the debate" needs some unpacking: Bernie successfully covered Obama's healthcare betrayal (Obama confessed: a public option would be "unAmerican") with an an even bigger electoral betrayal.
It is unclear why he run, other than again to betray his followers...
"Bernie Sanders is a gutless fraud and faux Socialist (he’s merely a Centre-Left Social Democrat yet he portrayed his movement as some sort of “Revolution”, LOL), who sadly represents the best you would ever get in the White House, in the sense that at least he wouldn’t have started any new wars, wouldn’t have given any tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, and wouldn’t have outsourced any more jobs in new free trade agreements (these are the reasons I would have held my nose and voted for him if he had been nominated, despite my much more Leftist beliefs). "
"Bernie fulfilled his sheepdog role of keeping people who want change attached to the moribund, corrupt Democratic Party, so he can now retire well loved by the political class. Anyone who thinks change can come from the Democrats is deluded. You'd have better luck changing the Republicans as they seem more open to ideas... Building a real third party is more needed than ever."
"Well that's completely not unexpected. His job was to con the non-retarded democrats into thinking they have a choice. He will laugh all they way to the bank, just like he did the last time."
Notable quotes:
"... Can't believe we're even still speculating or fretting over Bernie's dropping out. His supporters can be oh so sad that his ideas were the best, but the dastardly "establishment" just wouldn't go along! He lost me in 2016 with his sheepdogging; he lost me in 2019 for not attacking Biden's corruption and war-mongering, but the killer for me was Bernie embracing the moronic and dangerous Russiagate narrative. ..."
Apr 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

dave , Apr 8 2020 20:18 utc | 79

Bernie was the sheepdog of the DNC that kept people from organizing outside of the two party hustle(system).

People were pointing this out to his supporters very early on in this cycle using last cycle as evidence yet no one listened.

If there is a next cycle let's hope Bernie didn't ruin them for political action and they finally figure out they need to go against the entire establishment machine instead of trying to reform one half of the mafia from within.


Trailer Trash , Apr 8 2020 19:53 utc | 72

>Those bashing Bernie should understand that there was no way in hell
> the establishment (party duopoly and corporate media complex) was
> going to let him win.

People here paying attention knew he wouldn't be allowed to win. So did Bernie also know this, and went along with the charade, or did he not know, thus showing that he is a complete fool and nincompoop?

Knowing he could not win, a real radical would've been building a movement, not an electoral machine. He did earn lots of delegates but threw them all away instead of taking them to the convention and cause a ruckus.

No one will be talking about Bernie's ideas by next month, but there will be plenty of US peons desperate for food and shelter. Will Bernie's movement be there to organize them and help them get the necessities of life?

The sad part is all the effort and resources wasted on Bernie the Bozo's campaign. That campaign money could've bought a lot of groceries and tents.

ben , Apr 8 2020 19:44 utc | 70
Rob @ 48 said;"The coming general election will feature the two least qualified candidates in U.S. history. Trump is a malignant narcissist and very stupid, while Biden is a corporatist and a hawk in addition to being senile."

Agreed, and your comment is probably too kind to both..

Bernie is like much of the so-called left, they've forgotten how to fight, by surrounding themselves with DNC hacks. Never the less, his ideas are credible, and shouldn't be forgotten.

Don't see how DJT can lose in Nov., but stranger things have happened. Regardless, I'll never vote Biden, and if DJT wins, the U$A gets what it deserves, whatever that is.

All Bernie can do is continue to collect delegates, and hope to move Biden leftward, to at least support Medicare for all, which, given the state of healthcare in our present pandemic, might gain some traction.

Still in all, very interesting times..

vk , Apr 8 2020 19:43 utc | 69
Let the battle for America's soul begin:

Trump blames Warren & DNC for Sanders ending campaign, INVITES 'Bernie people' to the Republican Party

'I need to earn your votes': Biden

As I've said in this blog many times, my bet is the American working classes will choose fascism. And I'll complement my thesis: the sandernistas will be the decisive factor.

Kabobyak , Apr 8 2020 20:10 utc | 76
Can't believe we're even still speculating or fretting over Bernie's dropping out. His supporters can be oh so sad that his ideas were the best, but the dastardly "establishment" just wouldn't go along! He lost me in 2016 with his sheepdogging; he lost me in 2019 for not attacking Biden's corruption and war-mongering, but the killer for me was Bernie embracing the moronic and dangerous Russiagate narrative. The sunlight is shining onto many areas, as Caitlin Johnstone says, if we can wake up and see it and create a real movement for sane actions and policies. Bernie's "movement" was designed to be a feel-good exercise in support of empire.

[Mar 23, 2020] The murkkans fall for it, every single time.

Mar 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

denk , Mar 22 2020 16:39 utc | 23

Obama the prez for 'change',

Trump the 'lesser evil',

Tulsi the 'peacenik',

SaNder the 'progressive'....

The murkkans fall for it, every single time.

hehhehehe

[Mar 22, 2020] Tulsi on Jimmy Dore show: my mission is to stop these regime change wars that's why I support war criminal Joe Biden.

Mar 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com


MiDikGon Lapitise , 23 minutes ago

Jimmy look like a boy in middle school when his girlfriend breaks up with him but she says we can still be friends

Kay Paden , 1 hour ago

Tulsi on mask shortage-"It's hard to imagine how this could be happening in America." Really? You're surprised the corrupt two-party that you insist we choose between got us here?

Ouu Baaa , 1 hour ago

Andrew Yang just admitted that he endorsed Biden cause he got offered a position in his cabinet should Biden become president. Tulsi of course would never do that XD .

Nicolas Cooper , 2 hours ago

Meryl Streep should give Tulsi an award for Best Actress.

Kim Young , 3 hours ago

And she thinks endorsing Joe is going to help climate change?

Alpa Cino , 2 hours ago

What a fraud 😂

Citizen Harrison , 2 hours ago

20:13 "and that's a decision motivated by.." POVERTY. They use the poor to fight in these goddamn wars.

Wolfking Of SI , 3 hours ago (edited)

Tulsi just admit that "your party" is corrupt horse plop. You should have left and started a 3rd party.

Remy Williams , 2 hours ago

I wonder how strong the Progressive movement would've been if careerists like Gabbard and Warren stayed away and the front was unified from the beginning.

Guy Smiley , 1 hour ago

When Jimmy started his live video the day she announced supporting Biden, I said to myself "I bet anything he blames Bernie for her dropping out and supporting Biden." Low and behold, he did.

Alice Wonderland , 4 hours ago

"How and where my best. . . (interests lay). Freudian slip.

Leo Fain , 1 hour ago

First Yang and now Tulsi this is heartbreaking all of them are fake af

Armand Raynal , 3 hours ago

6:56 "which is something I always said I would do btw, that I would support the eventual democratic nominee" Am I living in a parallel dimension? The primary is not finished yet, you can still endorse Biden when it will be over if he wins the primary but endorse Bernie for the moment. Is it that hard? Ho right, I forgot, the primary is rigged and we all know that Biden the senile kid diddler and liar will be the nominee one way or another. Fucked up, but she's not helping. She probably knows she'll be kicked out of politics if she does not endorse biden and cares more about her career than doing the right thing.

Norris Hude , 1 hour ago

War is ingrained into US society, "Thankyou for your service" says it all. Heroes in America are obviously those who go to war at the behest of the zionists and the corporations.

David Richardson , 1 minute ago

"I don't play the political game" Next sentence "I'm pragmatic"

Amparo Zarza Cardoso , 25 minutes ago

Two words to Gabbard: incongruent and liar

Charles Wilson , 8 minutes ago (edited)

"The scope of the effects of this are difficult to comprehend at this time..." This is truly amazing that someone in the government has the audacity to blame a virus for people's inability to "make rent" when it was them that created the current hysteria and panic. There is a pandemic. I agree. But so far counting all of the cases that we know about, it is no where even close to the season flue that we see every year! And the government is shutting down businesses! It is a shame that they are using the current situation to further the idea that people are dependent on the government to survive! How far we as a nation and a people have fallen from the ideals that created this nation in the first place! I am disgusted!

Eric Zvonchenko , 2 hours ago

Biden is not the Democratic nominee. She is supporting Biden over Sanders not Biden over trump.

Hermann G Lippe , 2 hours ago

Like Bernie, Tulsi is just another TWO FACED Globalist Presstitute. Tulsi says her platform is to stop regime change and bring are troops home! Why does she then endorse Biden who supports regime change and keeping troops in the middle east? Tulsi says she does this to defeat Trump but Trump campaigned to stop regime change and bring are troops home!

[Mar 20, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard Drops out, Endorses Establishment Joe Biden for President

A very good commentary... Worth listening in full
Notable quotes:
"... What a sellout, shameful. So much for being anti establishment anti war endorsing Biden who has voted for regime change wars ..."
"... Endorsing an Imperialist warmonger. Seriously, WTF? ..."
Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Christo Aivalis 20.3K subscribers Earlier today, Tulsi Gabbard announced she was dropping out of the presidential primary and endorsing Joe Biden for President. Many Tulsi supporters felt betrayed by this move, but it fits the ideological similarities between Tulsi and Biden. It also shows that like with Andrew Yang, Gabbard's anti-establishment image was only superficial, and it shows that Bernie Sanders is the only one meaningfully challenging the political, social, and economic status quo It also shows that those neoliberal democrats who attacked Tulsi as a Russian Asset seem fine with her now, as long as she falls in line. I wonder how Jimmy Dore is feeling?

#Bernie2020 Support me on Patreon: https://patreon.com/ChristoAivalis Support me on PayPal: https://www.payfpal.com/paypalme2/chri... For Christo Aivalis: Twitter: https://twitter.com/christoaivalis Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christoaival... Website: https://www.christoaivalis.com Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/christoaivalis1 a


The Militant Vegan , 23 hours ago

What a sellout, shameful. So much for being anti establishment anti war endorsing Biden who has voted for regime change wars

Open Mind , 23 hours ago

sound kinda fishy as Biden was talking about a Female VP .

VeryUs Mumblings , 23 hours ago

I hope Benedict Gabbard will enjoy her vacation to Mt Hypocrite.

Robert James , 23 hours ago

Tulsi is out for herself.

Captain Pawpaw , 23 hours ago (edited)

I thought she was anti-war, yet she supports Biden, what a shame, I can't believe it, she was so fake all along, it's like a bad movie twist... is there even one decent politician in USA, besides Bernie?

Ben Reilly , 23 hours ago (edited)

It's a bummer. She really had so much potential especially after she endorsed Bernie the first time. Now Idk. Williamson is the only one who genuinely went to the most progressive candidate without hesitating. #DemocracyDiesInDarkness

B. Greene , 23 hours ago

Endorsing an Imperialist warmonger. Seriously, WTF???

[Mar 17, 2020] Russia Strikes Back Where It Hurts American Oil by Scott Ritter

Mar 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

R ussia and Saudi Arabia are engaged in an oil price war that has sent shockwaves around the world, causing the price of oil to tumble and threatening the financial stability, and even viability, of major international oil companies.

On the surface, this conflict appears to be a fight between two of the world's largest producers of oil over market share. This may, in fact, be the motive driving Saudi Arabia, which reacted to Russia's refusal to reduce its level of oil production by slashing the price it charged per barrel of oil and threatening to increase its oil production, thereby flooding the global market with cheap oil in an effort to attract customers away from competitors.

Russia's motives appear to be far different -- its target isn't Saudi Arabia, but rather American shale oil. After absorbing American sanctions that targeted the Russian energy sector, and working with global partners (including Saudi Arabia) to keep oil prices stable by reducing oil production even as the United States increased the amount of shale oil it sold on the world market, Russia had had enough. The advent of the Coronavirus global pandemic had significantly reduced the demand for oil around the world, stressing the American shale producers. Russia had been preparing for the eventuality of oil-based economic warfare with the United States. With U.S. shale producers knocked back on their heels, Russia viewed the time as being ripe to strike back. Russia's goal is simple: to make American shale oil producers " share the pain ".

The United States has been slapping sanctions on Russia for more than six years, ever since Russia took control (and later annexed) the Crimean Peninsula and threw its weight behind Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The first sanctions were issued on March 6, 2014, through Executive Order 13660 , targeting "persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets."

The most recent round of sanctions was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on February 18, 2020, by sanctioning Rosneft Trading S.A., a Swiss-incorporated, Russian-owned oil brokerage firm, for operating in Venezuela's oil sector. The U.S. also recently targeted the Russian Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream gas pipeline projects.

Russia had been signaling its displeasure over U.S. sanctions from the very beginning. In July 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that U.S. sanctions were "driving into a corner" relations between the two countries, threatening the "the long-term national interests of the U.S. government and people." Russia opted to ride out U.S. sanctions, in hopes that there might be a change of administrations following the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin made it clear that he hoped the U.S. might elect someone whose policies would be more friendly toward Russia, and that once the field of candidates narrowed down to a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Putin favored Trump .

"Yes, I did," Putin remarked after the election, during a joint press conference with President Trump following a summit in Helsinki in July 2018. "Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."

Putin's comments only reinforced the opinions of those who embraced allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as fact and concluded that Putin had some sort of hold over Trump. Trump's continuous praise of Putin's leadership style only reinforced these concerns.

Even before he was inaugurated, Trump singled out Putin's refusal to respond in kind to President Obama's levying of sanctions based upon the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the election. "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!" Trump Tweeted . Trump viewed the Obama sanctions as an effort to sabotage any chance of a Trump administration repairing relations with Russia, and interpreted Putin's refusal to engage, despite being pressured to do so by the Russian Parliament and Foreign Ministry, as a recognition of the same.

This sense of providing political space in the face of domestic pressure worked both ways. In January 2018, Putin tried to shield his relationship with President Trump by calling the release of a list containing some 200 names of persons close to the Russian government by the U.S. Treasury Department as a hostile and "stupid" move .

"Ordinary Russian citizens, employees and entire industries are behind each of those people and companies," Putin remarked. "So all 146 million people have essentially been put on this list. What is the point of this? I don't understand."

From the Russian perspective, the list highlighted the reality that the U.S. viewed the entire Russian government as an enemy and is a byproduct of the "political paranoia" on the part of U.S. lawmakers. The consequences of this, senior Russian officials warned, "will be toxic and undermine prospects for cooperation for years ahead."

While President Trump entered office fully intending to " get along with Russia ," including the possibility of relaxing the Obama-era sanctions , the reality of U.S.-Russian relations, especially as viewed from Congress, has been the strengthening of the Obama sanctions regime. These sanctions, strengthened over time by new measures signed off by Trump, have had a negative impact on the Russian economy, slowing growth and driving away foreign investment .

While Putin continued to show constraint in the face of these mounting sanctions, the recent targeting of Russia's energy sector represented a bridge too far. When Saudi pressure to cut oil production rates coincided with a global reduction in the demand for oil brought on by the Coronavirus crisis, Russia struck.

The timing of the Russian action is curious, especially given the amount of speculation that there was some sort of personal relationship between Trump and Putin that the Russian leader sought to preserve and carry over into a potential second term. But Putin had, for some time now, been signaling that his patience with Trump had run its course. When speaking to the press in June 2019 about the state of U.S.-Russian relations, Putin noted that "They (our relations) are going downhill, they are getting worse and worse," adding that "The current [i.e., Trump] administration has approved, in my opinion, several dozen decisions on sanctions against Russia in recent years."

By launching an oil price war on the eve of the American Presidential campaign season, Putin has sent as strong a signal as possible that he no longer views Trump as an asset, if in fact he ever did. Putin had hoped Trump could usher in positive change in the trajectory of relations between the two nations; this clearly had not happened. Instead, in the words of close Putin ally Igor Sechin , the chief executive of Russian oil giant Rosneft, the U.S. was using its considerable energy resources as a political weapon, ushering in an era of "power colonialism" that sought to expand U.S. oil production and market share at the expense of other nations.

From Russia's perspective, the growth in U.S. oil production -- which doubled in output from 2011 until 2019 -- and the emergence of the U.S. as a net exporter of oil, was directly linked to the suppression of oil export capability in nations such as Venezuela and Iran through the imposition of sanctions. While this could be tolerated when the target was a third party, once the U.S. set its sanctioning practices on Russian energy, the die was cast.

If the goal of the Russian-driven price war is to make U.S. shale companies "share the pain," they have already succeeded. A similar price war, initiated by Saudi Arabia in 2014 for the express purpose of suppressing U.S. shale oil production, failed, but only because investors were willing to prop up the stricken shale producers with massive loans and infusion of capital. For shale oil producers, who use an expensive methodology of extraction known as "fracking," to be economically viable, the breakeven price of oil per barrel needs to be between $40 and $60 dollars. This was the price range the Saudi's were hoping to sustain when they proposed the cuts in oil production that Russia rejected.

The U.S. shale oil producers, saddled by massive debt and high operational expenses, will suffer greatly in any sustained oil price war. Already, with the price of oil down to below $35 per barrel, there is talk of bankruptcy and massive job layoffs -- none of which bode well for Trump in the coming election.

It's clear that Russia has no intention of backing off anytime soon. According to the Russian Finance Ministry , said on Russia could weather oil prices of $25-30 per barrel for between six and ten years. One thing is for certain -- U.S. shale oil companies cannot.

In a sign that the Trump administration might be waking up to the reality of the predicament it faces, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin quietly met with Russia's Ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov. According to a read out from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two discussed economic sanctions, the Venezuelan economy, and the potential for "trade and investment." Mnuchin, the Russians noted, emphasized the "importance of orderly energy markets."

Russia is unlikely to fold anytime soon. As Admiral Josh Painter, a character in Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October," famously said , "Russians don't take a dump without a plan."

Russia didn't enter its current course of action on a whim. Its goals are clearly stated -- to defeat U.S. shale oil -- and the costs of this effort, both economically and politically (up to and including having Trump lose the 2020 Presidential election) have all been calculated and considered in advance. The Russian Bear can only be toyed with for so long without generating a response. We now know what that response is; when the Empire strikes back, it hits hard.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, including his forthcoming, Scorpion King: America's Embrace of Nuclear Weapons From FDR to Trump (2020).

[Mar 16, 2020] Half Of Young American Democrats Believe Billionaires Do More Harm Than Good

Notable quotes:
"... Wealth concentration is extreme to say the least... ..."
"... "The billionaire class is 'up there' because they are standing on our backs pinning us down." ..."
Mar 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Half Of Young American Democrats Believe Billionaires Do More Harm Than Good by Tyler Durden Sun, 03/15/2020 - 21:25 With income inequality the political hot potato du-jour and wealth concentration at its most extreme since the roaring twenties, is it any wonder that even Americans' view of what used to be called 'success' is now tainted with the ugly taste of partisan 'not-fair'-ism.

Income inequality is roaring...

Wealth concentration is extreme to say the least...

But still, according to Pew Research's latest survey , when asked about the impact of billionaires on the country, nearly four-in-ten adults under age 30 (39%) say the fact that some have fortunes of a billion dollars or more is a bad thing...

...with 50% of young Democrats.

"The recent reigning conventional wisdom over the last several decades of what I call the 'Age of Capital' is that [billionaires] are 'up there' because they are smarter than us," said Anand Giridharadas, author of "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World."

But the Pew data, he says, suggest that young Americans are concluding that billionaires have amassed their wealth "through their rigging of the tax code, through legal political bribery, through their tax avoidance in shelters like the Cayman Islands, and through lobbying for public policy that benefits them privately. "

"Bernie Sanders taught a lot of people [about wealth inequality], including people who did not vote for him," Giridharadas said.

"The billionaire class is 'up there' because they are standing on our backs pinning us down."

The good news - for the rest of America's "capitalists" - is that a majority (58%) say the impact of billionaires on America is neither bad nor good.

Finally, one quick question - where were all these under-30s when Bernie needed them the most in the Primaries? Was it all just virtue-signaling pro-socialist bullshit after all?

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Mar 10, 2020] Front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different

In a way Democratic Party fits the definition of the front group
Mar 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Numerous so-called "front groups" operate in the United States. A front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different, often opposed to what is being said publicly. The Global Climate Coalition is, for example, an organization funded by fossil fuel providers that works to deny climate change and other related issues. The Groundwater Protection Council does not protect water resources at all and instead receives its money from the fracking industry, which resists any regulation of water pollution it causes. The Partnership for a New American Economy has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. economy and instead seeks to replace American workers with H1B immigrant laborers. Even the benign sounding National Sleep Foundation, is in reality a Big Pharma creation intended to convince Americans that they need to regularly use sleep inducing drugs.

Front groups in a political context can be particularly dangerous as they deceive the voter into supporting candidates or promoting policies that have a hidden agenda. The Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is, for example, uninterested in preserving democracies unless that democracy is Israel, which many observers would prefer to describe as an apartheid state. It is funded by Zionists billionaires and its leadership meets regularly with Israeli officials. The American Enterprise Institute is likewise a neocon mouthpiece for economic imperialism and regime change disguising itself as a free market advocate and the Brookings Institution is its liberal interventionist counterpart.

Front groups are sometimes largely fictional, on occasion creations of an intelligence agency to give the impression that there exists in a country a formidable opposition to policies pursued by the governing regime. Recent developments in Venezuela and Bolivia rather suggest the CIA creation of front groups in both countries while the Ukrainian regime change that took place in 2014 also benefited greatly from a U.S. created and supported opposition to the legitimate Viktor Yanukovych government.

[Mar 10, 2020] Trump's Second Term? Not Worth Freaking Out About by Ted Rall

Looks like Trump is already lame duck President. And this will not change with the elections
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do. ..."
"... An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns. ..."
"... I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two. ..."
"... George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation. ..."
"... Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra. ..."
"... "If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. ..."
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: Trump's second term would be a disaster. For the Democratic Party. For the United States. For democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States."

But would it really?

Exceptions are a normal part of history but the record suggests that Trump would not be one of the few presidents who get much done during their second terms. There are three reasons for the sophomore slump:

By definition, political honeymoons expire (well) before the end of a president's first term. Elections have consequences in the form of policy changes that make good on campaign promises. But turning a pledge into reality comes at a cost. Capital gets spent, promises are broken, alliances shatter. Oftentimes, those changes prove disappointing. Recent example: Obamacare. Voters often express their displeasure by punishing the party that controls the White House with losses in Congress in midterm elections.

The permanent campaign fed by the 24-7 news cycle makes lame ducks gimpier than ever. Before a president gets to take his or her second oath of office, news media and future hopefuls are already looking four years ahead.

Scandals come usually home to roost during second terms. It's tough to push laws through a Congress that is dragging your top officials through one investigation after another.

I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do.

Pundits and Democratic politicians have been pushing a self-serving narrative that implies that everything Trump has done so far was merely a warm-up for the main event, that he would want and be able to go even further if given the chance if November 2020 goes his way.

That doesn't make sense. Who in their right mind thinks Trump has been holding anything back? Which president has failed to go big within a year or two?

An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns.

President Obama didn't get much done during his second term, which began with the bungled rollout of the federal and state "health exchanges." He signed the Paris climate accord, renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba and negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. But the ease with which his successor canceled those achievements showcased both the ephemerality of policies pushed through without thorough public propaganda and a general sense that second-term laws and treaties are easy to annul. I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two.

George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation.

Whatever the merits of Bill Clinton's legislative and policy agenda -- welfare reform, NAFTA and bombing Kosovo would all have happened under a Republican president -- having anything substantial or positive to point to was well in the rearview mirror by his second term, when he found himself embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky affair and impeachment.

Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra.

Even the most productive and prolific president of the 20th century had little to show for his second term. FDR's legacy would be nearly as impressive today if he'd only served four years.

Anything could happen. Donald Trump may use his second term to push dramatic changes. If there were another terrorist attack, for example, he would probably try to exploit national shock and fear to the political advantage of the right. Another Supreme Court justice could pass away. On the other hand, Trump is old, clinically obese and out of shape. He might die. It's doubtful that Mike Pence, a veep chosen for his lack of charisma, would be able to carry on the Trump tradition as more than the head of a caretaker government.

Analysts differ on what Trump 2.0 might look like. Regardless of their perspective, however, no one expects anything big.

"If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. He'll look for a new Federal Reserve chair less worried about inflation than current boss Jerome Powell, who deserves at least partial credit for the surging stock market and continuing expansion. Trump will let the national debt soar rather than trimming projected Medicare and Social Security benefits. And there will be more protectionism, although it may be called 'industrial policy.'"

"The early outlines of the [second-term] agenda are starting to emerge," Andrew Restuccia reports in The Wall Street Journal. "Among the issues under consideration: continuing the administration's efforts to lower prescription drug prices, pushing for a broad infrastructure bill and taking another crack at reforming the country's immigration system, [White House] officials said." They also want to reduce the deficit.

Under Trump, immigration reform is never a good thing. But it's hard to imagine anything major happening without Democratic cooperation.

Internationally, many observers expect Trump to continue to nurture his isolationist tendencies. But President Bernie Sanders would probably have similar impulses to focus on America First.

By all means, vote against Trump. But don't freak out at the thought of a second term.

Mourn what happened under the first one instead -- and work to reverse it.

[Mar 10, 2020] Once sheep dog, always sheep dog

9 March 2020
Notable quotes:
"... The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the