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Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite

The American Oligarchy only needs “team players”– shameless, cynical hacks who can be counted on to churn out whatever rank propaganda ordered up by the DNC

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: in 2016 Presidential elections workers abandoned them in droves

Clinton family grip on the Dems, the neoliberal grip,  might weaken

News National Security State Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Democratic Party Monday morning quarterbacking Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class The Deep State
Anti-globalization movement Donald Trump Trump vs. Deep State Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections  Predator state New American Militarism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Non-Interventionism Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Corporatism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Who Rules America Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism Neoliberalism
Bernie Sanders Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention   US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

   

Bill, Hillary, Barack and the rest should do the decent and honorable thing: disappear completely, along with the rest of their vicious elitist Neoliberal Democrat ilk. Progressives who have insisted on backing these criminals – and who have tried to bully those of us on the actual left into joining them in that ugly and viciously circular embrace – need to make themselves over or just drop off the face of the political landscape and let people who are more serious and radical step in.

www.counterpunch.org - Nov 12, 2016, 7:00 PM

"A credibility trap is when the managerial functions of a society have been sufficiently compromised by corruption so that the leadership cannot reform, or even honestly address, the problems of that system without implicating a broad swath of the powerful, including themselves.

The moneyed interests and their aspirants tolerate the corruption because they have profited from it, and would like to continue to do so. Discipline is maintained by various forms of soft financial rewards and social coercion."

Jesse's Café Américain

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point that is called the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And the rejection of  mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall.

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Thirty six year of neoliberalism slow motion train wreck finally produced the revolt of lower 90% of population ("shmucks" in neoliberal jargon) in the USA. The elite of the USA like the nomenklatura of the USSR in 1970th suddenly realized that the ordinary people,  most of the population hate them and that ideological brainwashing (Marxism in the USSR, free market fundamentalism in the USA) no longer can serve as effective  "opium for the masses".  People became restless. For the USSR elite the solution was simple: they changed sides and joined neoliberal crowd (while being lavishly bribed by the USA for this accomplishment, while common people starved on the streets).  For the USA elite the situation is more complex.  Trump just served as a crystallization point for already preexistent anti-globalization political forces. The neoliberalism is starting to drown in its own filth, along with neoliberal ideology which successfully protected the elite looting of common people for 35 years or so.

And Hillary does represents "kick the can down the road" neoliberal pro-globalization camp. Actually her candidacy says a lot about the neoliberal rationality and the society that the USA became. And for any non-biased observer voting for a war criminal ("we came, we saw, he died" and thousands Libyan people died and continue to die due to destabilization of the country) is not  the lesser even that voting for a loose cannon. The level of hostility toward Hillary among activist-minded progressives reflect rejection of pro-globalization and neocons camps that dominate official Washington. Many people figuratively will be happy to throu a hand grenade at official Washington by voting for Trump. That means the war-style anti-Trump propaganda campaign unleashed by neoliberal MSM might not have a desired effect. This level of hate toward neoliberal establishment did not existed toward the shady figure Barack Obama in 2008, who during election campaign pretended to be a progressive candidate, but then quickly betrayed his voters.  And even in 2012 when everybody already understood that he is a corrupt "bait and switch" neoliberal (and neocon in foreign policy)  luring Democratic sheep for shearing.

Democratic party  which was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street based on the idea that blue collar voters have nowhere to go so let's f*ck them ( that what nickname DemoRats implies) is deeply split and Demexit is a real trend, although it is unclear how significant it is.  Dominant, neoliberal wing of party (Clinton wing) prevailed and managed to put their candidate, but the real question is: will the rank-and-file voters support Hillary?

That's why neoliberal MSM went into overdrive claiming the Trump is dangerous. self-absorbed maniac, the second incarnation of Adolph Hitler. This war-style demonization of Trump (as well as attempts of "red-baiting" -- to present him as friendly with already demonized Vladimir Putin)  reflects the level of fear of neoliberal establishment in the results of November elections. In other words the elite started to lose the control of the population and was forced to resort to dirty tricks like was revealed in recent DNC emails leak scandal, which further endanger Hillary credibility, but failed to derail her candidacy because Sanders deflated and betrayed his base.  

In reality Trump might be viewed as the last attempt to answer the challenge of the crash of neoliberal ideology (after which the crash of the US neoliberal empire is just a matter of time, like was the case with the USSR). The challenge that Hillary in incapable and unwilling to answer, preferring "kick the can down the road" approach. Here is one insightful comment from Crooked Timber discussion (Crooked timber, Aug 04, 2016):

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

In this sense the November elections will be not about candidates, but more of the referendum on neoliberal globalization, much like Brexit was.  In this referendum Hillary means "Yes" (or more correctly "kick the can down the road"  with minor tweaks ) , and Trump "No" (or "let's try something else") to neoliberal globalization.   In this sense Trump has a chance, as Hillary represents the status quo, now hated by most of US electorate.  Hated after  years of outsourcing, offshoring, Wall Street financial machinations (which led to two crisis in 2000 and 2008 with the last almost taking the financial system down due to recklessness of major players), sliding wages and shrinking pool of salaried workers (with dramatic rise of contractor labor) people became sick-and-tired with.  Neoliberal arguments that people in the USA should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes (slightly exaggerated, but pretty precise depiction of neoliberal approach, see Over 50 and unemployed) now is ripe for a strong backlash.  People do not like to live in occupied country, unable to challenge the occupiers. That makes Hillary vulnerable and that why neoliberal press attacks Trump like a pack of rabid dogs.  Nothing personal, only business.

Good job disappeared, so people now understand that they were taken for ride, and the promise of neoliberalism that rampant, criminal enrichment of the top 0.1% will lift standard of living of everybody (trickle down economics)  much like communists promise of  "worker paradise" (but instead enriched nomenklatura and keep both blue and a large part of white collar worker of semi-starvation diet) is a fools gold.  In both case the elite lost legitimacy (trust in congress is in all time low) and became despised by population myth. A discredited ideology can no longer serve as "opium for the people", not it can keep the global neoliberal US-dominated empire intact.   Neoliberals are still very strong and they can still win this particular battle and crown Hillary,  but they are losing the war. Indeed, a Donald Trump loss is likely to fan the flames of population anger further.

Moreover,  while "bait and switch" tactics worked with Obama (neocons who pretend to be progressive during election campaign), it is unclear whether it will work with Hillary Clinton. Of course she will promise anything to be elected and then betray his voters. But are voters gulling enough to believe this spectacle after the same spectacle played (two times by Obama) and before him by Bill Clinton (who politically benefitted from  temporary bump up in economic growth from 1991 to 2000 caused by opening and devouring (buying asset for pennies on dollar) the xUSSR markets).

She is definitely trying to be the next Obama  (using Sanders as herder), but walkout of Sanders supported after Hillary nomination suggest that it would be difficult and success in luring of Sanders supporters "back in fold" (by rampant MSM propaganda campaign claiming that the "huge danger" of Trump, as if Hillary is less dangerous, or less reckless candidate) is not given.  While few people in the USA understand that Hillary is a war criminal and a more dangerous warmonger then Trump, they understand that she is lying and will betray her election promises. And that might be enough. In other words the fact that she represents "kick the can down road" pro-globalization candidates can't be hidden by MSM propaganda campaign. Also her  record such as Iraq war vote, destruction of Libya, Syria, (indirectly via her protégé Nuland) Ukraine,  and instrumental role (with Obama) in creation of ISIS speak for itself.

Neoliberalism is now a failed and discredited ideology. Masqueraded under posh phases about democracy and "free markets" (why not "fair markets?" neoliberalism promoted the "law of jungle" and destruction of the New Deal in order to enrich few, to redistribute the wealth up. And was very successful in this part.  Essentially it is about new methods of enslavements of people and creating a new type of aristocracy (the top 0.1%). The essence is methodical and quasi-scientific subjugation of people to the needs of transnational corporations.  And after 35 years of its dominance the fact the neoliberalism does not deliver, much like previously happened with communist ideology,  is no longer possible to hide.

It is impossible to hide from population the fact that Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street's dream candidate, a typical neoliberal crusader like Clinton, Bush II and Obama were, who will sell interests (and lives) of American people to Wall Street the say she entered White House. In this sense her election speeches mean absolutely nothing. This is just a smoke screen to deceive the people. She will definitely continues the policies of unlimited immigration and outsourcing of everything to enrich corporate brass in transnational corporations and Wall Steer financial oligarchy. But while those policies run unopposed for 35 years this situation can't last forever, because like a colony of bacteria of squirrel carcass, neoliberalism sooner or later  will run out of food.  And it is the US society that is this squirrel carcass in this case.

In this elections  I was initially impressed with Sanders. Actually I like the fact that in his youth, Sanders had lived in the kibbutz. He has real chances to get rid of delusion that complete equality is a solution to economic problems :-). But he, probably deliberately,  avoided punching Hillary too hard (remember how he tried to sweep "bathroom email server" scandal under the carpet) and then led to his defeat and then pretty despicable folding and betrayal of his supporters  (M of A , Jun 13, 2016)

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

In a sense this was another classic  "bait and switch" maneuver, similar to so skillfully executed by "Change we can believe in" fake progressive Obama. See Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist  for more.  In this sense Trump is more trustworthy candidate. Does not hide his intentions under posh and false phases. While he also probably will be assimilated GOP and forced to abandon some of most threatening to neoliberal order proposals, he at least represent some real threat to the neoliberal establishment and Washington neocons mafia that dominated the USA foreign policy for the last 35 years. That's why neoliberal MSM launches such a hysteric anti-Trump propaganda campaign, raising the pitch to the level of war propaganda with its simple rules (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war. (Hillary is a candidate of peace; which accentually was instrumental in destruction of two countries (Libya and Syria and wrecking of another two :-)
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war (Trump is a war monger, that will unleash nuclear war if elected; while in reality the opposite is true)
3. The enemy is the face of the devil (attempt to red bait US electorate linking Trump and Putin)
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest (exaggerating facts like Trump University, but swiping under the carpet Clinton cash scandal and other scandal; linking Trump busness past to his opposition on globalization as hypocrisy Donald Trump’s Business Past at Odds With Rhetoric on Trade )
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary. (see Anti Trump Hysteria)
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons (Trump is proposing "collective punishment" on immigration. Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention )
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous (manipulation of polls, Trump meltdown cover and article in Times despite persistant rumors (supported by vedeos and photos)  of Hillary deteriorating health and onset of Alzheimer)
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause (Elisabeth Warren, a long line of stooges like Steven Colbert)
9. Our cause is sacred.  American exceptionalism as in "God bless America' is played by Hillary camp once again to the fullest extent possible."TIME
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors (Hillary is the lesser evil and election of Trump will lead to destruction of the USA)

In this sense the "Politburo-style" candidate in the current race is  Hillary Clinton, supported by full firepower of neoliberal MSMs and Washington establishment.  Especially her foreign policy agenda which can't be distinguished from Dick Cheney agenda even under very close examination.  This lady, who proved to be a staunch neoliberal crusader.  will definitely start a new war, if she come to power. Her record (voting for Iraq war, organizing 2012 failed color revolution in Russia, playing in instrumental role in destroying Ukraine, Libya and Syria) in this respect is pretty impressive indeed. She essentially made State Department a branch of CIA and Pentagon.  Her record in this position is a record of a real, undeniable neocon warmonger.  God forbid if it the next her target is Iran, with its 80 million population (which, in general, will play into the hands of Israel and, especially, Netanyahu). In any case, she is a real, certified neoconservative, not a Democrat. And you can expect jingoistic  "governance" is the best style of George W. Bush -- shoot first and think later (which, however, secured his re-election for the second term; as was planned in advance). First send the troops and play patriotism card to stay in power. Then try to sort out the resulting mess and estimate the resulting blowback and costs to the Treasury.

Outcome of the November elections by-and-large depends on how many people will realize that she will throw them under the bus of neoliberal globalization, and that the first thing she will do after gaining power is to forget about all her election promised (much like Obama did twice with his classic "bait and switch" maneuver from fake progressive to staunch neoliberal).  I hope the American voters this time will remember what Bush II uttered (TIME)

On Sept. 17, 2002, President Bush took the podium in Nashville to speak before a group of schoolchildren, parents and teachers. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he began.

A series of awkward pauses followed. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!'"

For the record, the correct rendering of the aphorism is: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Or perhaps, as his critics might say, "Elect me once, shame on you. Elect me twice ... shame on you."

Here we can say "elect Clintons twice, shame on me" :-). We already saw how skillfully Slick Willi sold Democractic Party to Wall Street for 20 silver coins (sorry for twinty millions of annul speech fees).

Again, I think most of the US population now understands that  all her election promises will be in the trash the first day after the election. In this sense all her speeches mean nothing to most people. Just unpleasant hypocritical  noise. She, like Obama, Bush II, and Bill Clinton, before her,  is loyal only to Wall Street and transactional corporations, not to the rank-and-file electorate. Like any other neoliberal politician (including Bill Clinton, Bush II and Obama).  Neoliberal propaganda tries to demonize Trump and force the election of Hillary. We will see in November is this  unprecedented demonization was effective or not. Actually Obama broke all records (and diplomatic etiquette) when he blackmailed Trump in his speech in Singapore on Aug 2, 2016. This "constitutional scholar" forgot that the US presidential elections is an internal affair of the country and it is not advisable to enlist foreigners to support one or other candidates (Obama Says Trump ‘Unfit’ For Presidency (Video) Truth Uncensored)

According to CNN President Barack Obama strongly rebuked Donald Trump Tuesday, calling the Republican presidential nominee “unfit” for the presidency following his criticism of the family of a slain Muslim US soldier.

“The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama said at a White House news conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore. “He keeps on proving it.”

“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said.

Speaking alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the White House East Room, Obama said there are now weekly episodes in which even Republican party leaders distance themselves from Trump.

“There has to be a point at which you say, ‘Enough,’ ” Obama said. >

In reality this DNC trap  on Democratic convention was specifically created to stem his growing popularity among blue color voters, which like sheep voted for Democrats the last 5 or six presidential election because as Bill Clinton put it "they have nowhere to go".

Trump is the candidate votes for whom symbolizes the same rejection of neoliberal globalization as votes for Brexit. That why the attacks of neoliberal press of Trump recently reached the pitch of Pravda campaign against "revisionists of Marxism-Leninism". In a way Trump is the "revisionist": he is the revisionist of the neoliberal doctrine. As such he is very dangerous candidate for neoconservatives, who rule the Washington DC and is somewhat dangerous for financial oligarchy (although much less then they are afraid of).

The November election will be a referendum on the US neoliberal establishment as much as the Brexit vote was for the EU. The Brexit vote showed that people are so fed up that they are no longer  listening to establishment fear-mongering and blackmail of alternative candidates.

Neocon Hillary vs. Paleoconservative Trump

Although neoliberal presstitutes are afraid to discuss real issues and are engaged mainly in demonization of Trump, there are two cardinal questions in which two candidates differ:

Some observers think that Trump may represent the last chance (unclear, if realistic or not) to avoid crash landing of the US neoliberal empire (crookedtimber.org)

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing.

Nor will Sanders be back. His was a last New Deal coda. There may be second acts in American life, but there aren't 7th acts.

In any case after successfully deceiving the US population for 36 years, neoliberals (and neocons) have a problem: "The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics"; people want jobs back, and they do not want more wars for the expansion of the US-dominated global neoliberal empire, wars that benefit only global corporations and corrupt politicians who serve them (such as Clinton and Obama clans), but impoverish regular US citizens.

Vote for Hillary vs. Trump is essentially vote for/against neoliberal globalization (similar to Brexit vote in UK).  Or more correctly vote for Paleoconservatism (Trump) vs. Neoconservatism (Hillary). Personalities are much less relevant despite thick smoke screen produced by MSM, tremendous efforts to brainwash the public for another round of "bait and switch".

The second decisive question is whether Americans want more wars for the US-dominated neoliberal empire expansion.  Hillary and the Clinton clan history suggest that their political interests are the same as interests of the rat pack of neocon warmongers from Bush administration, who was instrumental in destroying several Middle East countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. They also organized and financed a coup in Ukraine. 

Anybody who claim that Hillary is less dangerous option then Trump is iether on drugs or is well paid by neoliberal establishment. With her unhinged militarism, she really represent a danger of unleashing a new war, possible with Russia (nationalinterest.org, August 18, 2016). Readers discussion of the article by Ted Galen Carpenter  Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia in pretty informative in this respect and I would recommend to read it in full. Here is a couple of interesting and informative posts:

deadindenver a day ago

Those necon #@%*'s running those Trump is dangerous ad's, the same folks who brought us the endless middle eastern war are the same folks pushing Hillary. Really, who's more dangerous? I have far greater fear Hillary will confront a country that can actually fight back then the Donald.

Robert Willis • 18 hours ago

Excellent article. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in pushing for the Invasion of Iraq, which turned what was essentially a functional state into an ISIS hellhole. As Secretary of State, she was THE personality behind the destruction of Libya, now another Islamist breeding machine with a ruined economy & brutalized population. She has done everything in her power to destabilize Syria & has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Now millions of economic migrants are flooding into Europe, which will likely become a Caliphate under Sharia law within 100 years. Clinton's hands are soaked in blood of tens of thousands of men, women, & children. Her thirst for more is unquenchable. She is as much of a war criminal as her hero & good friend Henry Kissinger. All the media can do is scream endless unfounded accusations of Trump being a racist, yet they never mention a whisper of what Clinton has done & intends to do.

alan  -> JPH • a day ago

That's the tragedy of the situation. Trump has shown he is not a captive to the foreign policy consensus of the economic, social, and political elite of the New York-Wash DC beltway. He does not believe in intervention anywhere and everywhere. That I heartily endorse. On all other points he is totally unqualified and unacceptable. We are left with a war-mongering Neo-Con thug. When She takes office, begin the countdown---war is coming, a very big war.

That means that she can't be, by definition, lesser evil. She is an absolute evil much like absolute zero on Kelvin scale:  you can't go lower then that. In other words she is a war criminal, the most low and despicable type of politicians.  And in normal legal circumstances she might face something like Nierenberg tribunal, because all her deeds are not that different from deeds of the Third Reich brass.  Or for a change the leadership of former Yugoslavia (actually dismembered with active support of her husband -- Bill Clinton -- who managed to start serious of aggressive wars for neoliberal domination -- by bombing Serbia). Attempt of MSM to demonize Trump are connected with the simple fact that media is controlled by the same forces which push the USA into expensive and unnecessary oversees wars for opening markets to transnational corporations.  In this sense any Democrat voting for Hillary essentially became an accomplice of her war crimes.

But hopefully this neoliberal brainwashing gradually loses its effectiveness. MSM face now resistance because people are fed up with neoliberalism (aka casino capitalism), which destroys their wellbeing here at home. Jobs are moves oversees, wages drop, permanent jobs became rarity, factories are closed. Professionals over 50 are written off as useless, just because their salary is too high.   Many fine buildings stand empty. Many malls have entry storefronts (not the amount of vacant storefronts is reliable indicator of the health of the economy). What remains is financial speculation in stocks (looks at S&P500 behaviour since 2008), bonds and, the real love of Wall street,  derivatives. But how many day traders this country needs?   This contempt felt by elites for ordinary US people ("let them eat cakes") will eventually produce blowback, if not a revolutionary situation.  And it might well be that we are already in the first stage of this blowback. This is phenomenon known from the history of the USSR and is easy to understand. The US MSM and the elite live in a bubble of myths, delutions,  projections up to and including total loss of contact with reality. In other words in artificial reality. Blowing a kind of   "exceptionalism bubble" somewhat similar to financial bubble is typical for most empires ( political entities with vast, rarely challengeable power). In this sense  absolute power really corrupts absolutely.

Trump at least in some of  his position  looks like an adherent of Paleoconservatism so by definition he has more sound foreign policy and promote Noninterventionalism. That's why he are so hated by the US neocons -- they are afraid of losing their lucrative positions in Washington, DC and are good for nothing else.  Some like Kagan already switch party allegiance to Democrats. And Hillary is died in the wool neoliberal and neoconservative (actually neoconservative is just neoliberal with the gun). She prefer to act as in variation of Al Capone famous  maxim -- you can open more markets with the gun and kind word that with just kind word alone.  Who like Senator McCain never had wars she did no like. Actually her voting for Iraq war alone should already disqualify her holding any public office. But she has Libya, Syria and Ukraine, each county with thousands people, woman, children dead. And she wants new interventions. Voting for Hillary is voting for continuation of wars of neoliberal conquest of smaller countries, without nuclear weapons. At the same time her proven recklessness does not guarantee that she will not accidentally slide into nuclear war with Russia or China.

Of course nothing is given and power of neocons in Washington is such that they still can move Trump from his initial positions, but his initial position are definitely anti-neocon. That's why prominent neocons plan to vote for Hillary.

There is also question of Bill Clinton. Should the US electorate indirectly reward a shady, corrupt figure who sold Democratic party to Wall Street and abolished one of the most important New Deal legislation, directed on keeping financial oligarchy in check.  And that's only the beginning of the long list of his misdeeds.

On a more humorous  end (but not to female objects of Bill Clinton sexual drive), just imagine the result of wondering around White House Bill Clinton with too much free time in his hands  on new female white house interns and female office personnel. I think despite his age is still capable to entertain us with  new sexapades.

We reached the point when the neoliberal elite can't govern "as usual"  and 99% do not want to live "as usual"

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point and rejecting on mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Backlash against neoliberal globalization and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of jobs

The social unrest caused by lowering of standard of living of the majority of the population (due to the redistribution of wealth up)  demonstrated itself in backlash against two tenets of neoliberalism: neoliberal globalization (and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of everything, destroying domestic job market in the USA) and unrestricted immigration, designed to put a cap on wages of domestic workers.  It is clear that things have gone  wrong in the global economy. What is at play is a reaction to the failure of over-centralization that is inherent in neoliberal globalization. Over-centralization is too expensive: this one of the reasons of the USSR decline and collapse.  What is less clear is what can be done to fix it and how to get rid of excesses of neoliberal globalization.

It is important to understand that it is not sufficient for lower and middle class realize that they are robbed by neoliberal elite. It is also necessary that  the neoliberal elite experience a crisis of governance, the dramatic loss of legitimacy (which is the case in the USA with Congress approval in single digits). Despite its ideological dominance neoliberalism did not enjoyed broad support and relied on the ability of the elite to turn elections in its favor using the iron law of oligarchy. It mostly co-opted professional classes and upper management. For a while it managed to suppress the demand of lower 80% for higher level of equality, for a larger piece of national pie.  As a result those demand entered political discourse via violent protests, and the rise of nationalism. Civil disobedience movements like "Occupy Wall  Street" were crushed, but to crush nationalism is a much more difficult task. Here the elite failed. It lost control. In other words the elite faces a real "crisis of confidence" in American government, values, and way of life, as the public expresses doubt in a better future for their own children under the neoliberalism. Before that neoliberals relied on "verge issues" and votes of excluded groups to beef up their voting block. There why the same sex marriage spectacle was staged in the USA.

This is the time when a considerable increase in the political activity of the loser 90% usually sedated and poisoned with consumerism and neoliberal ideology. Opium of neoliberal ideology no longer words, or at least does not work as efficiently as before.  As neoliberal ideology entered a deep crisis in 2008 (much like Bolsheviks ideology in 1970th), it has been challenged by nationalism. That' the lesson Brexit that might repeat in the USA in the form of Trump winning the November election. The context of the British referendum was the choice between two evils: between the nationalism and the neoliberalism of both the Cameron government and the EU.  Brexit was supported almost everywhere outside London, a city more dependent than any other in the world on the global financial system. Brexit vote and by the rise of Donald Trump in the United States are two sides of the same coin. Nationalism provides a clear and wrong answer to the problems of neoliberal globalization. While the key problem is how to cut the power of financial oligarchy and reverse neoliberal globalization (or at least put it under more state control), it resorted to the rage against immigrants and racial minorities who benefit from neoliberal "open borders" policies designed to suppress wages for everybody. The natural response is to stop or restrict migration and, if possible, to force recent migrants, and particularly illegal migrants, to leave. While it can stem the wages decline, this does not provide a solution to the economic decline against which most of population is protesting. .In other words, while all popular modern nationalist movements -- Trump, Leave, Golden Dawn, etc -- are anti-neoliberal, instead of hitting the financial elite as the responsible party for their sufferings, they lashed out against immigration. 

The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralized by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.

... ... ...

The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far Right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the Twenty-first Century zeitgeist, even “cool.” What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority.

In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the European Union profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism.”

The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor.

Neoliberal ideology which emerged from the economic crisis of the 1970s,  destroyed an earlier New Deal, which was based on Keynesian macroeconomic management and a social-democratic welfare state. It also buried the USSR, by co-opting (and directly bribing)  its elite.  The essence of neoliberal program was redistribution of wealth up and the dismantling of the welfare state and the associated mixed government/private social-democratic economy. This  trend was exemplified by the Clinton administration in the United States and the Blair government in the UK. Two political party were co-opted (in case of Democratic Party sold to Wall Street by Bill Clinton -- bribed)  into two somewhat different versions of neoliberalism: soft neoliberalism of democratic party vs. hard neoliberalism of Republican Party. Both parties adopted Neoconservatism as their foreign policy platform.  Later Bill Clinton betrayal of sola-democratic values was repeated by Tony Blair’s New Labor, which explicitly abandoned the traditional positions of the Labor Party and embraced neoliberal globalization and the financial oligarchy dominance -- the key tenets of neoliberalism. 

It is clear the Hillary is a quintessential neoliberal stooge, who will never voluntarily adopt any progressive, pro-middle class policy.  She is the same neoliberal sellout as her husband. Bill Clinton, who managed to switch Democratic Party platform (and ideology) from the policy of Americanism (or "America first" in Trump terms) – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism (to neoliberal ideology), focusing on how to make more money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy. Essentially he sold Democratic Party to Wall Street (and due to "Triumphal March of neoliberalism" after dissolution of the USSR he was followed by several other politicians in other countries doing exactly the same thing, like Tony Blair in Great Britain).

While rise of Neoliberalism since the 1970s was partially a consequence of the deep, even "revolutionary" (Internet and global communications) changes in the world economy, it required stooges to dismantle New Deal mechanisms designed to protect workers and middle class from predation of financial oligarchy.  Bill Clinton was one of such stooges, probably the most highly placed one.   Neo-liberal counterrevolution lasted till 2008. At which point it proved to be a fiasco -- deregulated market failed to behave as a self-regulating organism. Even the most hard nose-neoliberals, such as managers of big banks as well as representatives of the Bush-administration were urgently infusing billions of taxpayers money to save neoliberals from themselves, from their reckless self-enriching via games with risky financial instruments such as derivatives. It is not accidental that the second popular name for neoliberalism is casino capitalism.   But Hillary, like many other neoliberals behave like  in famous Talleyrand quote about the restored Bourbon dynasty  "They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing". She remains a staunch neoliberal and, worse, a stanch neocon ready to put the US people lives and treasure at the service of transnational corporation, which attempts to "open" foreign markets and get access to natural resources of other countries.  Which is not surprising as her own wealth and "pay for play" deals via Clinton Foundation are closely connected and depend upon the success of neoliberal globalization.

In other words Hillary Clinton is the candidate the Republicans wished they had been able to field. A Kissinger protégé, a chickenhawk with very bad, disastrous instincts on the foreign policy front, who has no clue what is the security of diplomatic communications means to the country and ready to endanger people so that her petty financial enrichment schemes  where hidden from FIOA requests.  A woman who can’t wait to start a new war, who wants her sexually obsessed husband to continue to neoliberalize the US economy, who is more open to compromises with the Republican right then Obama. Despite the fact that Obama never put any fight and always preferred his classic  "bait and switch" approach, so it's really challenging to compromise with far right Republicans more then him.

Hillary is the candidate who called the TPP the gold standard of trade agreements. As such she is a dream candidate for Wall Street.  And she’s counting on the support of Republican refugees rejecting Trump to help her win in November. Which now became more difficult  as she might be stripped from security clearance and persecuted for perjury, but still possible. In any case she is now shaken by two major scandals, one of which theoretically should end in indictment (but never will under Obama administration, unless perjury changes will be presented to Congress before November elections):

By the way, 9/11 somewhat returned to the news. And not only because Hillary voted for the invasion in Iraq. The press corps recently reminded us about "dancing Israelis", the Palestinians, Saudi role in 9/11. Iran was charged by some NY judge with financial responsibility for 9/11 events. Several news agencies raised again question about "strange"  fate of building 4 which spontaneously collapsed without being hit. And somehow managed to collapse so neatly in its footprint (which is clearly visible from YouTube videos), falling almost at the speed of gravity.   Well, looks like we are close to the second phase of the debriefing  of those events :-). Trump promised to release secret pages from 9/11 commission report. Perspective, which, of course, did not excite Washington neoconservatives, especially those with dual citizenship.  See how Krauthammer screamed about that. Compare with the following  quote:

...recently Trump has decided to venture into the controversial territory of questioning the official story of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Trump briefly flirted with 9/11 Truth in the past with his comments claiming he witnessed Muslims celebrating the attack but I personally saw that situation as more of a smokescreen. As many readers may know, it was not Muslims who were actually seen dancing and celebrating on camera but a group of dancing Israelis. Trump had many opportunities to clarify his comments and to call out the Israeli agents but instead chose to keep fanning the flames of Islamophobia.

Now Trump is making waves by discussing the “secret papers” and references to the Saudi government’s possible role in funding the 9/11 attacks. At a recent campaign event in South Carolina Trump called out former president George W. Bush for the Iraq war and referenced “very secret” papers about the Saudi government and 9/11.

... ... ...

The “secret pages” Trump is referencing is more than likely the classified 28-pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (not the 9/11 Commission Report).  Although the final report amounts to over 800 pages, the 28 pages were classified by former President George W. Bush shortly after the report was released in 2002. The 28 pages make up the bulk of a section titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.”

Sanders and Trump as a candidates raised to political Olymp by resentment against the current neoliberal elite

Obama and the political forces behind him (essentially the same as behind Hillary Clinton) probably was the last candidate who successfully applied "switch and bait" politics. This time this did not work all too well and Hillary despite all the power of the controlled by Bill Clinton political machine of the Democratic Party  barely overcome a challenge from poorly financed not well know senator from Vermont. 

Sanders seems to understand that people are tired of maintaining huge neoliberal empire and the Wall Street can't milk them any longer without the danger of some kind of revolt. Which is dangerous for the US elite despite full militarization of police and tremendous growth of repressive apparatus of the state after 9/11.

I think Trump represents a somewhat similar phenomenon within the Republican Party and also has some level of intuitive understanding of the danger of neoliberal globalization.  He obliterated 16 rivals, some of them rising Republican stars, on the way to winning 37 states and building a coalition broad enough to include secular moderates in Massachusetts as well as evangelicals in Mississippi. The fact is that he managed to defeat Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, the hero of a disastrous for  GOP government shutdown of 2013.  That became possible only because the Tea Party in Washington no longer represents  an anti-neoliberalism insurgency of Republicans rank-and-file members from below.  It became just a realignment within the neoliberal Republican establishment  -- a shift to the right and commitment of the party leadership to a position of non-compromising position on most issues. "My way or highway" mentality.  (How Bush-Appointed Ivy Leaguer Ted Cruz Became A Tea Party Darling)

To understand Cruz’s role in 2016, one must recognize that the Tea Party in Washington today is a not an insurgency from below. It is a realignment within the Republican establishment that has committed the party to a position of extreme non-compromise. As Megyn Kelly pointed out yesterday, Ted Cruz has put himself at the vanguard of that strategy. The willingness to naysay, more than any policy position or connection to the conservative grassroots, is what distinguishes him from other Republican presidential hopefuls. 

Let’s remember: The Tea Party, more than an organization or even a movement, was a political moment. In early 2009, the person and the policy proposals of President Barack Obama galvanized grassroots conservatives. But, after the exceptionally unpopular President Bush left office, the Republican brand was toxic and the party leadership was in disarray. Encouraged by conservative media, rank-and-file Republicans built ad hoc local “Tea Party” groups to oppose the new president’s agenda. There was plenty of room at the top for any Republican who could seize the “Tea Party” momentum.

Trump like Sanders also represent probably a small, tiny part of the of the US elite which understand grave danger of kicking the can of neoliberalism down the road. And that it a time to purge the Washington elite from the "neocon warmongers" left over from the Bush administration. Otherwise the risks are twofold: one is that that the situation can spiral out of control and the other that the elite will try another "small victorious war" like the  war with Iraq was, to unite the population and quell the discontent (and therefore support Hillary).

Consider Mr. Trump’s remarks in Scotland following the Brexit vote. He has been ridiculed, as usual, for his slip-ups, but he also grasped the underlying symbolism of the referendum: its prideful call for national sovereignty and identity, heightened by the pressures of the global economy. “People want to see borders,” Mr. Trump said. “They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”

In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. The pillars of the Peronism ideal, known as the "three flags", are social justice, economic independence, and political sovereignty.

This make Sanders and Trump the only two viable candidates. In a sense of lesser evil voting.  Neither of them are perfect and chances of Sanders to get Democratic Party nomination are almost non-existent unless Hillary steps down from the Presidential race. That left Trump as the only potential challenger of  status quoi of neoliberal globalization.

Actually Sanders performance against Hillary was a big surprise to the Democratic (read neoliberal, as Bill Clinton sold the party to Wall Street) establishment this electoral season.  So the fact that Democratic Party was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street now start to backfire. They still hope that they will manage to fool the population like in 2008 with Obama ""bait and switch" trick, and by demonizing Trump. But with emailgate scandal and possible loss of security clearance, Hillary is a bad candidate for such a trick because the only way she can win is to get votes of moderate Republicans and independents. Which now is less likely. Also it is difficult to teach old neocon dog new tricks.  So we will see, if they can succeed this time.

It's no question that politically neoliberal forces  in the USA are still very powerful and that they will try their best to install their candidate. It says a lot about pro-Hillary Clinton political forces that even NYT columnist Maureen Dowd stated that "she seems well on her way to becoming Madam President because she’s not getting indicted. "(NYT,

In a mere 11 days, arrogant, selfish actions by the Clintons contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington — Barack Obama, James Comey and Loretta Lynch — and jeopardized the futures of Hillary’s most loyal aides.

Comey, who was then yanked up to Capitol Hill for a hearing on Thursday, revealed that instead of no emails with classified information, as Hillary had insisted, there were 110, of those turned over to the State Department. Instead of Clinton’s assurances that the server in the basement in Chappaqua had never been breached, Comey said it was possible that hostile actors had hacked Clinton’s email account. Among the emails not given to State, he said at least three contained classified information.

Hillary had already compromised the president, who feels he needs her to cement his legacy. Obama angered FBI. agents when he was interviewed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last fall and undermined the bureau’s investigation by exonerating Hillary before the FBI. was done with its work, saying pre-emptively, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Hillary willfully put herself above the rules — again — and a president, campaign and party are all left twisting themselves into pretzels defending her.

But what should disturb Obama, who bypassed his own vice president to lay out the red carpet for Hillary, is that the email transgression is not a one off. It’s part of a long pattern of ethical slipping and sliding, obsessive secrecy and paranoia, and collateral damage.

Comey’s verdict that Hillary was “negligent” was met with sighs rather than shock. We know who Hillary and Bill are now. We’ve been held hostage to their predilections and braided intrigues for a long time. (On the Hill, Comey refused to confirm or deny that he’s investigating the Clinton Foundation, with its unseemly tangle of donors and people doing business with State.)

We’re resigned to the Clintons focusing on their viability and disregarding the consequences of their heedless actions on others. They’re always offering a Faustian deal.  

Support of Hillary candidacy by major neoliberal MSM no longer work, but tricks with election polls still do

  Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence.

 

Neoliberal MSM don't care if Hillary is mentally ill, dying, criminal or anything. Because it isn't about her, it is about The Neoliberal Agenda.

Hillary is supported by all major US MSMs (with the exclusion of Fox). Look how AP predeclared Hillary a winner, although none of the "super delegates" (apparatchiks, representing the Party Establishment and controlling the Party much like was the case with CPSU) voted yet. Such dirty tricks are typical when the elite start to worry about the outcome of election and their own stability at the top of the food chain.  In any case, I think that many realize that those elections have one interesting similarity with year 2000 elections: the economy in the second half 2016 and 2017 might decline. And decline of the economy in the second half of 2016 might undermine Democrat chances much like it undermined them in 2000.  But it is difficult to repeat with Hillary "bait and switch" trick that was so skillfully and successfully was performed with Obama.  Like unforgettable George W Bush quipped: "

There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The real issue is not Clinton, or Sanders, or Trump. The real issue is the fight with neoliberalism (or Reaganomics) that destroyed the country. And already destroyed employment opportunities for millions of Americans pushing them into poverty, by encouraging unlimited emigration, including immigration of professionals and unlimited stream of China-produced goods.  In in such desperate battle all means are OK. Even Trump with his multiple warts. Later Twitter hashtags such as

  1. #CrookedHillary
  2. #NotFitToServe
  3. #LyingHillary
  4. #LiedUnderOath,
  5. #EMailScandal
  6. #DeceitfulHillary

became important integrators of "anti-Hillary" news, effectively providing counterweight to fawning MSM presstitutes.

Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives.  The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.  

They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and  royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is a real issue, and it not about personalities involved.  It is about different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing.

I doubt that democratic leadership (which are democrats only in name, being regular bought neocons at the service of Wall Street)  shared the voters opinion that we need slightly compress financial oligarchy in order to give people some breathing space :-). For a very simple reason: they all were bought by financial oligarchy during Bill Clinton term and as Mark Twain noted "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

It is possible that "bait and switch" which so wonderfully worked with Obama will work again with Hillary (if people are foolish enough to believe her pre-election promises) although reading all sorts of "alternative press " forums (which are of course not fully reflect public opinion ). But I think now changes for this trick to succeed are much lower than the current neoliberal MSM honchos estimate. And after "emailgate" that Trump really has chances against her. I have an impression is that this time Republicans might "got" her like they got Bill with Monica. And disbar and strip her of security clearance at least.   And I am sure they will try their best now to remove her security clearance, which will be the major embarrassment.  If timing is right in election cycle that will be knockdown.

IMHO if the Democratic Party did not wake up to this danger and did not try to push Sanders -- they might well be done in November.   For Trump, who has no history in politics, Hillary now  is a perfect target for a negative "national security in danger" charged campaign in which he is a grandmaster to be envied by Karl Rove. He will wipe with her the floor, that's for sure. And from this point she can't even mention her stance as the Secretary of State without evoking contemptuous laugh.  specially if he picks up a retired general Pick Flynn,  the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as his VP

That why we now see such a brazen, classic Soviet style dirty propaganda campaign against Trump in major MSM. 

To some extent, the fact that Sanders and Trump "floated to the top" against the will of the establishment can be called a symptom of "pre-revolutionary situation" reminding the situation before WWI like depicted in famous 1905 song Warszawianka:

Whirlwinds of danger are racing around us
O'erwhelming forces of darkness prevail
Still in the fight see advancing before us
Bright flag of liberty that yet shall prevail!

In a way the internal situation in the USA have the level of complexity and level of hate of neoliberal globalist elite (represented by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs -- the vampire squid as Tabbi called it) remind my situation in pre-revolutionary Russia or Balkans.  And some reasons the whole world got into the situation somewhat resembling the one that existed before WWI.  Take Mid East. Is not this a new Balkans of 1914 ?

Also like before WWI there is at least one country which now have economic might that somewhat challenges the status of the  sole superpower.  Here we are taking about China. And another country which believes that the US has cut off too large a piece of the pie and want global redistribution of spheres of influence and does not want to march on the tune of Washington drummers. Here we are talking about Russia. While the elite in the USA are still adhere to the delusional idea of the total world domination, whose two countries present some obstacles, which might grow during the next decade. Moreover the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:

It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR,  MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game.  The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game  is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the  (presumptive) winner.

MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for  elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote.  But anger might brings them out.  John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, )

Dismissing ‘These People’

On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. “Well,” he said to “Lord” Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, “why do these people want it so badly?” The “these people” are the majority of Britons.

The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson “European” class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as “mystical” and has been true to his “project” of rapacious war. The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses.
“Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain,” said the headline over his full-page piece. The “we” was unexplained but understood — just as “these people” is understood. “The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more,” wrote Kettle, adding: “the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again.”

The kind of ruthlessness for which Kettle longs is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum against more austerity and the result was ignored. Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery and political treachery of post-modernism.

The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government seek “better terms” with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.

Sophistication of the current MSM allows conditioning in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also important:

3.14e-9  

Yes, how they ask the questions is important, and it’s also important to note which subgroups were asked the questions. Some questions were limited to respondents who had voted in a previous Democratic primary. That means the results don’t include Independents and Republicans who might cross party lines. Also, those who voted in a past primary are far more likely to be familiar with HRC than Sanders.

Lastly, confidence in Bernie rose for some questions. Interestingly enough, there was an increase in the number of people who thought he could competently handle a foreign crisis. Sargent’s bias is pretty clear. Entire poll here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/12/us/politics/document-poll.html

Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment. I think many viscerally dislike Hillary Clinton creating what is called  "anybody but Hillary" voting block. Essentially they are voting not for, but against. 

I think not many understand that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly. And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their globalist neoliberal policies to serve interests on top 0.01% (note the intensity the campaign against Trump and the result of this complains).  And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The vast body of American people wants change back to "New Deal" policies (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in")  but they don’t have a place at the negotiating table…

Gaius Publius  provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)

Taking Apart the Insider Game

The most important thing to consider when thinking about the Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who’s running, on both sides, is an insider playing within — and supporting — the “insider game,” the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling, the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players home (back to the private sector) or to jail.

Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the “trade” agreements being forced upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack Obama, a “liberal,” and from mainstream Republicans, supposed “conservatives.” They may differ on “rights” policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection schemes and turn them into something else.

A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?

In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket, not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in the bleachers have noticed the insider game — after all, it’s been happening in front of us for decades— and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She’ll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms or not.

And that’s why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they’re ready for the real thing if they see it.

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

There’s been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign beneath a wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed. I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.

The piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):

Hillary Clinton’s Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated — including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday — has called into question Mrs. Clinton’s early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings. In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders’ 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders’s 33 percent.

“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders’ momentum and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.

“I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren’t likely to support Hillary,” said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. “It’s too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We’re working hard to win them over, but yeah, it’s a real competition there.”

I don’t want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can’t). So I encourage you to read it. There’s much there worth noticing.

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times. My three main points are bulleted below.

"Hillary as lesser evil" attack on Trump

A vote against Hillary is not a vote for Trump any more than a vote
against the Iraq War was a vote for Saddam Hussein.

The Guardian

Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She (with her boss Obama) was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this but neoliberal MSM try to fool the voters claiming the opposite (The Guardian)

MrWangincanada , 2016-08-02 11:34:46

Anyone but Clinton, I beg you, American voters.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama is one of the greatest war criminals in recent history, Clinton will only be worse.

Vote for Jill or Trump, never Clinton.

FTPFTP , 2016-08-02 11:30:03

There simply isn't any logic to this OMG Trump will be the worst thing ever. So one must then assume that the argument is created and perpetuated simply to manipulate and mislead.

Trump, a detestable person, would get very little of his extreme views passed. Clinton, a detestable person, would get very much of her extreme views passed.

Because Clinton is to the right of Obama (accurate provided you aren't a rabid partisan) she is far more likely to get every awful military action she wants. Since she's apparently the "pragmatic" one, how quickly do any of these policy proposals get watered down or gutted entirely in the name of compromise and political realities and "politics being the art of the possible"?

And of course, the useless, vapid, Democrat partisans will, for the most part, say nothing. See: 8-years of Obama as Bush 2.0.

ID7004073  -> bluelines , 2016-08-02 11:54:07
Get your facts straight. Those have been labeled FALSE!

However the corruption and neoLiberal war supporter that is hung on Clinton has been proven by her actions with "regime change" in Libya and coup support in Honduras. And then there is the corruption of weapons for charitable contributions for the Clinton Foundation! ...

FTPFTP  -> jamesmit , 2016-08-02 12:10:31
You are correct that Obama was different from Bush, you're just wrong about the direction.
  1. Drones/Illegal Wars: Expanded
  2. Wall St/Corporate Corruption: Went unpunished & expanded
  3. Domestic Spying: Expanded
  4. Constitutional Violations: Expanded
  5. War or Whistleblowers: Created

He has done nothing but act like climate change is important. He has not done anything meaningful except offer more hopeful rhetoric, the only thing the Democratic candidates seem to be good at lately.

This is what lesser evilism gets you.

The US President does have huge influence on in foreign policy and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare hell out off an average US voter (in this particular area she is a real devil as Trump rightly said :-) 

But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Also MSM brainwashing is very strong and most voters just do not have all the facts in thier disposal, only those who read foreign press can have them. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Probably not. But they definitly were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed.

Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to sustain six months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Can they play the irony that Hillary camp is attacking Trump for his fear mongering, while Hillary is a real, certified warmonger and war criminal. Will they will be able to creating countervailing agenda for MSM fear mongering about what a monster Trump would be as the President. It's all about playing voters fear even when MSM pretend it's not, and that is sickening. They try to swipe the problem with neoliberal globalization under the rug.   Is Trump and his team smart enough  to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth"  based on her certified warmonger status war criminal record? As well as the fact that she in the pocket of Wall Street, and will remain in this comfortable (for her) position for the rest of the political life ("Goldwater girl" is a quintessential neoliberal, and always was). Those are very interesting questions. The problem is the very few ask them  (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016). 

Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...

OM,

"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".

This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?

The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.

Trump campaign is making some right moves: (theguardian.com, Aug 2, 2016)

Roger Stone, a long time confidante of Trump, amplified these concerns in an interview with a far right wing radio show.

Stone said: “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly.”

Laying out a strategy for Trump to adopt, Stone added: “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal” the election.

... ... ...

The statement came after Trump reiterated a frequent allegation of his on the campaign trail in recent days, that in endorsing the former secretary of state, Bernie Sanders made a deal with the devil. He went further this time, explicitly saying: “She’s the devil.”

But Hillary campaign has skillful propagandists and full support of neoliberal MSM (which all are neoliberal). They can create much ado about nothing (Melania plagiarism issue ;-). Looks how skillfully they played the propagated by Democratic strategist attack on Trump by the father of a fallen Muslim Army captain. Just look at NYT propaganda games around this sensitive subject:

They managed to inflate it into a major scandal effectively swiping under the rag Hillary Clinton war crimes and presenting Trump as insensitive to sacrifices make by US army (which includes tiny number of Muslims) in fight terrorism. This is a master play that should go into all propaganda books as the whole issue is completely artificial was create out of thin air by Clinton campaign propagandists. That also allowed them to raise questions about how Trump managed to avoid draft:

Another example odd skillfully amplifying not always politically correct (but in this particular case pretty reasonable) Trump remarks is anti-Russian hysteria around his words that Russians should give FBI those 30K deleted emails, if they have them. Now they start blaming him for wanting warmer relations with Putin, the person who stands against expansion of US neoliberal empire and was demonized for a decade (see Demonization of Putin). This is another master class in propaganda.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=politics&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&pgtype=article

This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls and do not buy neoliberal propaganda.  They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense.  They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three  administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them --  the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions.  Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-). 

 If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger  (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point:  Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton

Anti Trump propaganda resembles war propaganda

To understand the coverage of Trump in neoliberal MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

Essentially the task is to compare two candidates (and Trump platform hs many strong points which attacks large swats of voters) but to demonize him by whatever means possible. Often using prepared attacks (political gambits) to discredit him. Neoliberal MSM do not want to discuss real issues such as Hillary record as war party candidate, but try to disrult voter with so called "verge" issues. The classic example of verge issue is LGBT and "gay marriage".  Attacks like "Melania plagiarism", "Muslim solger father attack",  "Trump as Putin lover", anti-Russian hysteria belong to the same category. 

Deflection of an important issue is also successfully used. See for example attempt to drawn the proven corruption of Democratic Party primaries in the sea of anti-Russian hysteria.

To expect NYT, WaPo, CNN, and other neoliberal MSM to discuss dangers of neoliberal globalization and destruction of of US jobs during this election campaign, or, God forbid, ask related questions to candidate Hillary,  is like to expect that Mississippi reverses its flow.

The only hope is the neoliberal MSM are no longer trusted and the bite of neoliberal propaganda became weaker this time.

  1. The "revolt of diplomats" gambit. On March 3, 2016  neocons staged 40 "national security leaders" (read dyed-in-the-wool neocons) open letter against Trump. Trump is ‘fundamentally dishonest,’ say GOP national security leaders in open letter - The Washington Post. This panic at neocons Jurassic park is pretty telling. Among 40 neocons who signed the letter we see only few diplomats. The list mostly composed of second rate "security establishment/foreign policy" players. There are some exceptions -- recognizable names -- such as Robert B. Zoellick (the eleventh president of the World Bank), Ken_Adelman (former deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations),  Robert Kagan  (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Hillary Clinton, co-founder of PNAC), Eliot A. Cohen (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Rice), Daniel Pipes (famous Israeli lobbyist) Michael Chertoff (the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush, co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Dov S. Zakheim (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987).  The major neocon players in George W Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Elliott Abrams are not in the list. "The letter comes just days after Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the U.S. military might disobey orders if Trump becomes president. "

    We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.

    "Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the  Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats  was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.

     Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump.  This is a technique of "soft coup".
     

  2. "Waving the flag attacks".  Typically they are switfboat style attacks. This is what this page is about.  Khan gambit opened Trump military record to investigation and blackmailing by neoliberal MSM.  It also facilitated the attacks design to put a verge between Trump and military voters.
  3. Creating a false image of Trump as a fascist authoritarian (with the goal of blocking voting for Trump of Sanders supporters after Sanders betrayal of his political platform)
     
  4. Fanning anti-Russian hysteria and accusing Trump of connections to Putin (Putin stooge gambit). This is a typical cold war trick that works very well because of demonization of Putin in neoliberal MSM.  Neocons, as former Trotskyites, were the propagandist warriors of Cold War and are very skilled in below the belt blows of this kind (searching for  "communists under each bed"). As such this can be viewed as a variation of  McCarthy-style attacks -- a witch hunt for Putin supporters within Trump close cycle of advisors. Anti-Russian and pro-Israel stance is a part of neoconservative ideology (and is shared by a large part of Washington elite), so for neocons (and neoliberal MSM) this type of attacks are as a natural as breathing. McCarthyism  painted liberals as soft on Communism, now neocon paint opponents of Warmonger Hillary,  as soft on Putin.  When in reality the main danger is not softness, but the danger of nuclear confrontation with Russia. Neocon demagogues, such as Robert Kagan managed simultaneously accuse Trump of being Putin stooge and a fascist.  It is well known that chickenhawks are rabidly jingoistic, so this theme also is played as a part of "waving the flag attacks" such as Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
     
  5. Projecting on Trump accusations of racism ( a variant of Gaslighting) with the goal of eliminating Trump voters among minorities. In reality Bill Clinton, as a staunch neoliberal,  initiated the largest program of incarceration of black men in history.  He also substantially cut federal support to poor families.

     Indiscriminate killing of brown people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2016/07/can-war-between-cops-and-blacks-be-de.html
     

  6. Creating an image of Trump as an unstable maniac who can't be trusted with important assignments, such as control of nuclear button (and forgetting that Obama is a former cocaine addict and marijuana user, who might not completely abandon this habit in the White house) . An Bruce Wilder ( Crooked timber, Aug 13, 2016) aptly noted: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton’s bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea. ". Or, as Ian Welsh pointed out, her position on Syria is nothing but reckless. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would presumably means shooting down Russian warplanes.
      
  7. Denigration Trump personality by constant using in neoliberal MSM coverage of Trump such epithets as "crazy, reckless, ignorant, ignoramus, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, misogynist, buffoon, chimpanzee-level " 
  8. Distorting his views, despite some of them have strong connection to reality. Please read 6 Problems With Media's Reaction To Trump's ISIS Comments by Mollie Hemingway. This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works. This is a nice example of how difficult is for an ordinary person to cut through media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but they are called "mainstream media" not accidentally. Unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) you will be brainwashed. Like Margaret Thatcher used to say "there is no alternative". They did the same dirty tricks with Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy.

Attempt to court Jewish voters and thus Florida for Hillary

Slurs that Trump is closet anti-Semite are also successfully used to lure into Hillary camp the specific category of voters, which might decide the Florida election results (Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering):

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”

She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.

It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.

Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.

“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”

A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.

“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.” 

Rise of Deep State

My point is that in many ways, the current system  creates this false illusion that there are some politicians out there looking out for the interest of people, that the checks and balances from 18th century that were built into the system are operational, when in fact they're not.  And this no longer can be squared by propaganda in MSM, much like Soviet propaganda machine lost its effectiveness in 1970th. Which contributed to the collapse of the state in 1990th. Actually internal stability of the USA is a complex issue. For one plausible source of this additional stability some researchers see in the rise of The Deep State which actually come to power in 1963:

In a way the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state' are very close, almost synonyms. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy or via back door, "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.

But there are agencies that get special status under corporatism. this is so called three-letter agencies (which actually is the backbone of Media-Military-Industrial Complex). Or national security establishment. This is new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of "royal court", which can like in old times is able to dismiss a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state" -- hypertrophied role of three letter agencies and their brass and certain corporations (aka military industrial complex) in national politics especially in formulating foreign policy is nothing new. But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are different then our analogy predicts.

First of all "surface state" is still keeping some positions and even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas. Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA and Wall Street can never be absolute as they have different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. They only partially coincide.  Also relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious at all with CIA ('humint") very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint").  So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa, and that gives us some hope. 

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county:  this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil  control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.

All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.

They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama.  And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks.  Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs  tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".

Many people now are starting to distinguish between blue pill and red pill views on the US society and political establishment. They start to understand that neoliberalism legitimizes far-reaching political inequality, because one’s economic capital is translated directly into one’s ‘political capital’. As  in one dollar one vote. The net result is that lower 80%  are disenfranchised, turned into apathetic, passive consumer-citizens, and made increasingly powerless to respond in any meaningful way to dictate of the of transnational corporations (effectively turned into debt slaves).

While it is the multinational corporations which became the primary political actors in what left of politics by deep state. So on one hand neoliberals recasting the persons as "mini-enterprise" a market player that need to compete for survival on the marketplace, but  simultaneously makes a "person" such entities as international corporations. In other words Neoliberal democracy as exists in the USA is a rule not by the people but by the largest corporation (democracy for S&P500, or as some call it "Democracy Inc").

What I am  seeing is a complete breakdown of traditional institutions including the Congress, the Supreme Court, the central government and the institution of general elections. Switch to unelected government called The Deep State is in my view complete on all levels. It happened objectively due to tremendous growth of the size of government bureaucracy (which is irreversible), ability to intercept communications (which gave a rise to NSA), growth  of the population of the country, tremendous growth of multinationals, and some other factors.

And functioning of the US state  really changed dramatically since the days when constitution was written. At this time State Department consisted of less then a dozen people including the Secretary of State -- And how many people State Department employs now. Thousands. That's a real army. And here size matters. That means that they can chew any Secretary of State that deviates from their established policies in no time. Which provides amazing continuity of the USA foreign policy despite changes of the government. And the presence and leading role of Cheney appointee Victoria Nuland in State Department of Obama administration is far from accidental. That's just a sign that Obama does not control the State Department or at least does not want to control it because his foreign policies are continue of Bush policies.  Another sign of the same situation when the tail wags the dog exists with Samantha Power who like McCain wants to bomb each second country on Earth to install democracy and protect women.

The Deep State won because it proved to be more efficient institution of governance then traditional state and it replaced it from within (via "quite coup").  In a way very similar to Bolsheviks take over. The means that traditional institution including general elections stop serving their primary role and became just instrument of legitimization of the rule of top .1%. Please Google "myth of intelligent voter" and "polyarchy" for additional information about those developments.  This slide to unelected imperial structures of governance started in early 60th. Now it is complete. In a way this is similar transformation that happened with the USSR where "nomenklatura" became the ruling class and later successfully privatized the state changing camps from communist to neoliberal (with gentle support of CIA and other branches of US government including generous cash infusions for key people in KGB and other key ministries).  BTW the USSR also has elections on all levels, Two Chamber Parliament, Supreme Court, etc.  In other words we now have the rule of unelected "nomenclature" in the USA too. And outside this narrow circle,  people simply do not have voice, nor any influence on governance, Sanders or no Sanders. Every traditional institution including general elections became just a facade for deep state (http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/). 

And that means that independently of the results you'll see the next government that continue to have policies that cater to the interests of the top one percent or the .1 percent -- to the detriment of everyone else and will definitely continue Bush-Obama policies because this is the policy .1% wants and need. Sanders or no Sanders.   As simple as that. Sanders is definitely better Presidential candidate for majority of American people then Killary but one robin does not make spring.  He has no staying power, being essentially a one man show. There is no party, not strong organization behind him and that's fatal. The fact is that "Dog and pony show" called general election can't challenge the power of deep state.  And that unfortunately means that he like Obama before him, at the end of the day he "does not matter".  He will forces to perform the will of the deep state. Obama might have some noble intentions are the beginning, but looking into his actual record he can well be called George Bush III.  And most people are now mocking enthusiasm of the country on the day of election and Obama famous slogan "change we can believe in" which should be translated into English as "business as usual after election "bait and switch" ".   Obama proved to be a turncoat who after the elections turned into Bush III with a slightly different color of skin.

That's the way the deep state works.  It will chew any politician. This is a the key lesson of 8 year governance of this week puppet with  "change we can believe it" slogan.  Who is most famous for his  democratizing drone strikes. I wonder how many people he manage to democratize this way ?

Still the  election of Sanders would  be a nice kick in a chin of the ruling elite. Just a kick.  It will not be  a knockout or even knockdown. But still it worth fight for. That will make some things for them slightly more difficult.

But at the end POTUS now became more of ceremonial figure and less a real policymaker. Also any POTUS after JFK is afraid of CIA and NSA. According to retired CIA analysts Obama is.  Look at the O'Bomber State Department populated with Cheney people. Those people, not O'Bomber defined the USA foreign policy. It under the next president it will remain the same consistently highly militaristic and jingoistic policy like under O'Bomber.   Do you think Sanders will be able to change that ? And that's true about all three recent presidents, not just Obama, who were just especially helpless to challenge the power of deep state. As Jon Stewart pointedly asked him "Please baby one more chance". Although traditional institution do not give up easily and sometime stage back fights which now demonstrates in secessionist movement in states, such as Texas, Alaska, Wisconsin, etc.

See also

How the psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite in 1980th

The psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite which managed to poison the political discourse with their ideas and first of all the idea of establishment of the world neoliberal order (the New World Order) with the USA in the center. This was later got a name Quite coup. That means that the secret war against the American people launched in 1970th in not some bizarre "conspiracy theory" (CIA term for anything that threatens the deep state)  but a very real scientifically verifiable development of the US society. And rise of neoliberal think tanks like Heritage Foundation was not accidental. It was very similar with the mechanisms using which Bolsheviks created their party of "professional revolutionaries".  Then neoliberal infiltrated universities and first of all economic departments, which became the centers of spread of neoliberalism in the country. Bribes proved to be working extremely well in economic professors community :-). And this happened not only in the USA and GB. Much like series of communist revolution in 1920-1950th this repeated in many other countries. GB and Germany comes to mind first. In other words neoliberal revolutions were a worldwide phenomenon, although the center of it was and still is in the USA. See such books as

Bush II era is continuing under Obama

In all crucial respects the Bush II era did not end Jan. 20, 2009 and unless Trump wins will continue after 2016. Obama presidency was just Bush III presidency in all major aspects of the US foreign policy. Deep state controlled a community organizer pretty tightly. According to Bacevich the key contributions of Bush II presidency can be summarized as following (What Bush hath wrought):

And that's fit both Hillary political program as well as Jeb political program.  So independently "Jeb or Hillary",  the USA will get Bush IV. And appearance of clowns like Donald Trump of the arena only makes this analogy with "dog and pony show" stronger. 

Another factor that might affect this election is voter suppression. It remain to be seen how effective this disenfranchisement is for minorities and woman. Low turnover favor Republicans. But low turnover is a key feature of neoliberalism that cultivates voter apathy. The mechanism is well described in the book Stealing Democracy The New Politics of Voter Suppression by professor Spencer Overton.

Disastrous choice of female neocon warmonger as the Presidential candidate from the  Democratic Party

After thoiwing Sanders under the bus, DNC tried to push Hillary We came, we saw, he died Clinton --  a female warmonger, neocon chickenhawk with murky past (about her links into the Us presidency ( see  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton ). They failed.

Her major political achievement was and is the Libyan disaster. She demonstrated psychopathic qualities by gleeful reaction to brutal killing of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_x04Gn3-2g

A true psychopath if ever there was one...

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Being a female, Hillary like Obama before is king of identity play by the US elite, because the elite are keen on making sure all criticism and political activism is either marginalized or written off as hatred and thus not only dismissible, but worthy of a violent response by government. That was a neat trick they were able to play with the community organizer. Criticism of Hillary will be deemed sexist the same way serious criticism of Obama is now considered racist.

In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as WolfowitzRobert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon.  Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who was among the signers of PNAC key document. So in a way Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.

For those who remember the Iraq War, Clinton was always a “warmonger” :

"Bottom line: You can always count on Hillary to say the most politically resonant thing of the moment," said Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer turned antiwar protester who was arrested in 2011 (and he claims beaten) for protesting during a Clinton speech. "It's bad enough to have that kind of person as secretary of State; do we really want her to be the president of the United States? I don't think so. She's a menace."

As secretary of State, Clinton represented the most hawkish wing of President Obama's Cabinet (and Barack "Kill them with drones" Obama is not a peacenik by any stretch of imagination). He made blue sky 'Completely Fucking Terrifying',

Clinton supported not only Iraq war, but also air strikes in Libya and arms deliveries to rebels in Syria. Robert Kagan, the husband of Victoria Nuland and the veteran sage of interventionist foreign policy, recently gave a thumbs up to Clinton's foreign policy, telling The New York Times that it's "something that might have been called neocon."

But in MSM you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary.  She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality features will carefully hidden. And her confrontational and psychopathic personality will be described as an admirable attribute indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of masters of statecraft (the word itself under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations and bailing out transnational banks).

As everything we see on television, and increasingly on the internet, “often surpasses expectations of media subservience to government propaganda,” as Edward S. Herman noted nearly two decades ago.

But Internet still gives us a chance with some effort to cut through the dense smoke of MSM propaganda.

The "Great Betrayal" of Democratic Party of working people finally backfired

Trump was essentially run as independent using Republican Party as a host. And then Republican Party tried to capture him after the victory. Trump wasn’t wrong to point out that the Clintons and their allies in DNC rigged the game against Bernie. But even he can't predict that elimination of Sanders would be such a  disaster for Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Hillary lost not merely because she misread the “real” people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

... ... ...

Clinton called this her “pied piper” strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary for who would vote for Trump. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on straregy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a “memo for the DNC discussion.”

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, “the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field.” Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper.”

“Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as “positive” for her. “Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton then took the strategic position saying “we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders’ presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process. Just unbelievable. Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve.

Neoliberal MSM so far were very kind to Obama and the Wall Street Democrats. What else we can expect. Clinton Democratic Party was all about throwing the people under the bus in the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. It was betrayal of working Americans,  nothing could be more clear. Thomas Franks was especially clear about this in this speech  watch-v=pmCibWptzZQ

This was the Clinton Legacy, and that's why "serial betrayer" Obama, who also belongs to Clinton DemoRats camp, and the rest of the Democratic Establishment went along for the ride— and hit the electoral brick wall.  Their great idea of betrayal: the working people have nowhere to go and body slamming the people who get you elected finally backfired.

For the professional class of politicians and the wealthy this was not about civil rights, this was not about decency and justice, and it certainly was not about compassion and kindness even if they were very careful to keep mouthing the words and giving lip service to the pretenses of social but not economic equality.

It was all about money and power. Theirs. Narrowly focused greed that was willfully blind to all that was happening around it. Washington and New York and London and Berlin are thick with it.

And now that their mighty god has betrayed them and bestowed its power on its other, more faithfully vicious children, they are running around without a mission or a purpose other than themselves, not knowing what to do next.

Michael Moore in his facebook post urged to "Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off."

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

As neoliberal elite definitely prefers Trump to Sanders, so the DNC rigging of primaries was consistent with the neoliberal  Democratic Party elite’s (Clinton wing of the Democratic Party) longstanding vicious hatred of left-leaning progressives and anti-plutocratic populists in the ranks of their party (The Guardian)

...Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition. To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her.

... ... ...

...the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

What has happened on November 8, 2016 can be described as a repudiation of the neoliberal globalization and the US neoliberal elite. If is even more significant if you understand that Trump essentially run as an independent: Unlike Hillary he was shunned by the Republican elite. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump’s nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

The elite that controls the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; all major MSM; the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; as well as bunch of super wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10%, the party of bankers and white collar professionals. Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of neoliberals, the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time  corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as pupppets of financial oligarchy and got in return the ability to control the media, which was owned by the same corporations.

When the media have to choose between their paymasters and honesty, their paymasters win every time.

Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign not only enjoied unconditional support of major MSM, but also almost twice  outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, as well on get-out-the-vote  efforts.  The net result is the Democratic party lost working class voters and have no chanced to attack them on foreseeable future, unless it rejects its neoliberal ideology and current leaders, especially Clinton and Obama families. 

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon which is devoted to defeat of Sanders, not Trump victory on November 8, 2016, despite all "sure" prediction of Hillary win. 
10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by Sophia A. McClennen

Salon.com

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit.  The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement.  Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.

But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons why the #DemExit movement has a valid reason to want nothing to do with the DNC.  Having DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign is not enough for #DemExit supporters because their concerns run throughout the ranks of the DNC. Until party leaders take these concerns seriously they will have to spend their convention watching potential voters jump ship.

1.     Superdelegates

It is important to recognize that frustrations over party politics are not uniquely tied to the email leaks. The frustration over the superdelegate system is one clear example that distrust of the DNC goes deeper. The fact that the party even has superdelegates is a sign of its anti-democratic, pro-oligarchy stance. As Branko Marcetic of In These Times reports the superdelegate system was created specifically to challenge the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t represent the people.”

While there have been new negotiations to adjust the role of superdelegates, these concessions still give too much power to the party elite.

In addition, the fact that Clinton superdelegates were regularly reported by the media in her delegate tally contributed to the sense that Sanders couldn’t win.  So it was not just the existence of the superdelegates; it was the way they were covered by the corporate media that pissed off Sanders supporters. Any party with a superdelegate system should be prepared to alienate voters.  This time it worked.

2.     The Debate Schedule

The DNC created a debate schedule designed to make it hard for candidates to challenge Clinton’s status as the “presumptive” nominee.  Debates were held on weekends, at times that conflicted with other events, and were generally slotted to attract fewer viewers. From the start, well before it was clear that Sanders was gaining momentum, folks were already complaining that the debate schedule was slanted towards Clinton. According to a piece in The National Review from November some Democrats thought it was no accident the DNC scheduled a debate in Iowa on the night of a big Iowa Hawkeyes game.  The next two debates were also scheduled for less viewer heavy weekend slots.

The drama over the debate schedule got worse as the DNC refused to add more debates to give Sanders a chance to continue to build momentum.  As The Intercept reports the DNC laughed at the idea of adding another debate prior to the California primary, even though Fox News offered to host one.  Fox News wrote that, “the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country.’”  There never was a California debate set up. Not on Fox News or any other venue.

3.     Campaign finance

Back in April the Sanders campaign questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The Sanders camp alleged that the joint fundraising agreement offered Clinton a chance to “launder” money through the DNC.  “While the use of joint fundraising agreements has existed for some time — it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

Politico reported that legal experts gave conflicting views on whether the practice constituted a violation of campaign finance law.  But whether or not it was legal was not the only point.  Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, who served for 13 years as general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, stated that “It clearly goes against what was intended for the joint fundraising committees.”  Given the already significant war chest Clinton had to run her campaign it is not surprising that Sanders supporters would find this news disturbing.

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

According to a piece from the Observer on calls in California to have the DNC investigate election fraud, “Voter tampering has been frequently cited in California, with many alleging their party registration was changed without their consent. In Riverside County, district attorney Mike Hestrin confirmed voters’ party affiliations were changed without their knowledge.” And that was just one part of the story from California.

The primary elections were rife with claims of election fraud. From the purging of voter rolls (Brooklyn) to cutting poll locations (Arizona, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico), to the debacle of the California primary, there were numerous situations where the DNC could and should have called for an investigation. Despite the fact that in many cases it was Democratic voters that were directly affected, the DNC made no move to support voters’ claims of election fraud.

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues.  As Marcetic reported for In These Timesthere’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.”  While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues

Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

As if the previous issues were not evidence enough to justify the #DemExit movement, the Guccifer 2.0 leaks now offer Sanders supporters copious examples of ways that the DNC simply did not respect the Sanders campaign.  It is important to note that Wasserman Schultz was not alone in this general attitude. Even more disturbing, we have no examples of any DNC staffer suggesting that Sanders deserved a better shake than he was getting.  Some of the most egregious examples can be found here.

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders.  Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders. In one email thread, Miranda told Politico he would “point out… some of the issues” with Sen. Sanders’ DNC committee appointments, but only “off the record.”  Miranda also helped craft “talking points”  to be used by the Clinton campaign in response to the Hillary Victory Fund’s money laundering allegations referenced above.

DNC Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach also vetted a Politico story by reporter Ken Vogel before it was sent to editors:  “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

And then there are the messages that show how Wasserman Schultz pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders.

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

Perhaps one of the most enervating features of the story is the fact that the leaked documents counter Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the DNC was neutral.  There simply is no evidence of neutrality at all–only evidence of bias. It makes moments like Wasserman Schultz’s interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah where he asked her to respond to allegations that she has been cock-blocking Sanders seem like an orchestrated cover-up exist and they make the DNC look really bad. Rather than worry about Russian hacks, the DNC should worry about its integrity.

Today the polling for a potential Donald Trump win is increasingly frightening.  Even Michael Moore is predicting a Trump win.  While there are a variety of forces that are working together to advance the Trump campaign, the DNC’s actions are certainly not helping. If Trump wins in November, the DNC will certainly bear a good portion of the blame.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics

 


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 16, 2017] Instead of blaming herself for selling herself to Wall Street and converting into yet another warmonger Hillary is still acusing the Kremlin. What a pathetic loser

It is so convenient to blame Russians ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... "We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress." ..."
"... She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times. ..."
"... Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said. ..."
"... "In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Cyber cold war is just getting started, claims Hillary Clinton

This power hungry woman are just plain vanilla incompetent: "The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said."

Democrats had urged her to be silent after her defeat to Trump but she was not going to go away, said Clinton. She vowed to play her part in an attempt to win back Democratic seats in the forthcoming midterm elections. She admitted she "just collapsed with real grief and disappointment" after her election defeat.

Clinton, who is touring the country to promote What Happened – her memoir reflecting on the election defeat, told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "Looking at the Brexit vote now, it was a precursor to some extent of what happened to us in the United States."

She decried the amount of fabricated information voters were given: "You know, the big lie is a very potent tool and we've somewhat kept it at bay in western democracies, partly because of the freedom of the press. There has to be some basic level of fact and evidence in all parts of our society."

She urged Britain to be cautious about striking a trade deal with Trump, saying he did not believe in free trade.

In other comments during the Cheltenham literary festival, she accused the Kremlin of waging an information war throughout the 2016 US election process. The tactics "were a clear and present danger to western democracy and it is right out of the Putin playbook", she said.

"We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress."

She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times.

Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said.

"In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting."

The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said.

[Oct 16, 2017] Assange: It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen

Lady Makbeth of the USA?
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
In an interview with the ABC's Four Corners program, to air on Monday night, Clinton alleges that Assange cooperated with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin , to disrupt the US election and damage her campaign for president.

"WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence," Clinton told the ABC's Sarah Ferguson .

Describing Putin as a "dictator", Clinton said the damaging email leaks that crippled her 2016 candidacy were part of a coordinated operation against her, directed by the Russian government.

Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and Putin have said he held a grudge against me because as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions, his authoritarianism," Clinton told the ABC.

"But it's much bigger than that. He wants to destabilise democracy, he wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic alliance, and we consider Australia an extension of that."

WikiLeaks received thousands of hacked emails from accounts connected to the Democratic campaign allegedly stolen by Russian operatives. The emails were released during a four-month period in the lead-up to the US election.

Emails from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, were leaked on the same day – 7 October 2016 – the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security released a statement concluding the Russian government had been attempting to interfere in the election.

It was also the day the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump's lewd comments about sexually harassing women .

Clinton told the ABC she believed the email leak was coordinated to disrupt the influence of the Access Hollywood tape.

"WikiLeaks, which in the world in which we find ourselves promised hidden information, promised some kind of secret that might be of influence, was a very clever, diabolical response to the Hollywood Access tape," she said. "And I've no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape."

Clinton is promoting her election memoir, What Happened, in which she details her thoughts on her unsuccessful campaign for president .

In September she told David Remnick from the New Yorker that she believed the Australian founder of WikiLeaks may be "on the payroll of the Kremlin" .

"I think he is part nihilist, part anarchist, part exhibitionist, part opportunist, who is either actually on the payroll of the Kremlin or in some way supporting their propaganda objectives, because of his resentment toward the United States, toward Europe," she said.

"He's like a lot of the voices that we're hearing now, which are expressing appreciation for the macho authoritarianism of a Putin. And they claim to be acting in furtherance of transparency, except they never go after the Kremlin or people on that side of the political ledger."

Assange has denied the emails came from the Russian government or any other "state parties".

In response to Clinton's comments, Assange said on Twitter there was "something wrong with Hillary Clinton".

"It is not just her constant lying," he wrote. "It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.

"Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen."

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

There's something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen. https://t.co/JNw2dkXgdu

October 15, 2017

[Oct 14, 2017] The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished by Mike Whitney

Anybody who subscript of NYT, or WaPo after this fiasco is simply paying money for state propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. " ..."
"... Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. ..."
"... This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. ..."
"... The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. ..."
"... How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any." ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
"... This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. ..."
"... In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves. ..."
"... But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us. ..."
"... Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater. ..."
"... The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished. ..."
"... The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years. ..."
"... Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying. ..."
"... So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London ..."
"... Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff. ..."
"... If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco? ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Collusion

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. "

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point? Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy. From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

Beckow > , October 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT

Where is this going? At some point in the next few years there will be a 'damning' report that will regurgitate what has already been endlessly publicised: VIP's meet each other (the horror!), somehow DNC emails got published, Facebook sold ads to 'Russia-linked' users, and Pokemon Go, whatever. That will be described in sinister terms and RT will be thrown in. How dare RT not to have the same views as CNN?

But what then? Let's even say that Trump is removed – he is at this point so emasculated that keeping him in the White House is the most stabilising thing the establishment could do. Is Congress going to declare a war on Russia? Or more sanctions? Are they going to ban RT? Break diplomatic relations? None of that makes sense because any of those moves would be more costly than beneficial, some dramatically so. Therefore nothing will happen.

All that will remain is permanent bitterness towards Russia, and vice-versa. And much reduced ability to do what the West has done for 75 years: heavy interference and media campaigns inside foreign countries to influence elections. If 'meddling' is so bad, the biggest meddlers – by far – will be less able to meddle. So how is this hysteria helping?

Sanity in public life is a precious thing. Once abandoned, all kinds of strange things start happening. Yeah, Pokemon GO – Putin was personally naming the characters to 'sow division'. It sounds like something Stalin would accuse his 'cosmopolitan' enemies of doing. This is really embarrassing.

utu > , October 14, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

Incorrect parsing of reality. It was not about getting Trump but it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration.

Greg Bacon > , Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

@Johnny Rico

I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016.

I, too, smelled a rat and figured that it was all BS right from the get go. So much so that I haven't followed it a bit. In fact it's so ridiculous on its face, that I have not and probably will not, waste time reading the article even though MW is a good guy, an unimpeachable source, a true journalist, and a fine writer.

Bless you, Mr Whitney, for having the energy to document what is no doubt a pack of lies from the usual suspects.

I stumbled on this yesterday, and it suggests, to no one's surprise, that it's always deja vu all over again. You'd think our "high IQ" masters would show a little originality once in a while, and that we, "Low IQ" as we are, would finally learn that it's all BS from the get-go.

Note the date.:

THESE books all belong to that literature of Katzenjammer which now flourishes so amazingly in the United States t hey all embody attempts to find out what is the matter with the Republic. I wish I could add that one or another of them solves the problem, or at least contributes something to its illumination , but that would be going somewhat beyond the facts.

-H.L. Mencken, Autopsy (4 Reviews), , September 1927 , pp. 123-125 – PDF

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1927sep-00123

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm GMT

@Thorfinnsson

This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from unz.com) or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

While I agree with you about the latter two, and have written them off accordingly, along with Mercer, who I suspect "edits" (really, "purges" ) her comments too, I highly doubt that MW falls into the same categories as those mentioned. At least MW doesn't use the word, "insouciant" 3 or 4 times in every article!

If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

The article isn't so much unpopular as the subject is wearying. It's the same crud all over again,obviously false, and I suspect virtually everyone knows it. It's utterly boring and I give MW a lot of credit for having the persistence to even face the mindless mess, let alone think and write about it. He really is to be admired for that.

I've always thought it was a distraction as usual from other much more more important things but utu has a better take on it.

it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration. [ed note:And Flynn is gone too.]

I think that's a "Bingo!" and I also think you better formulate an apology and plan on getting on yer knees to deliver it!

PS: I'm curious as to why you think this is of much interest at all. (Aside from utu's take.)

Michael Kenny > , October 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

We don't know who this author really is but, once again, what's interesting is that so many people are still so scared of an investigation which is supposedly producing "no evidence" (leaving aside Trump Junior's evidence, of course). If all this was a load of nonsense, why make such a fuss about it? If there's nothing to this, an "effort to support a theory", however "determined" will come up with nothing. The frantic attempts to kill off Russiagate suggest that those who are making such attempts know, or believe, that there actually is something to it which has not yet come to light. Probably something pretty dirty by the sound of it. What if some part of the US intelligence services took part in the manipulation of the election, either in collusion with the Russians or posing as Russians, and Putin can prove it? That would certainly explain the plethora of retired intelligence agents who are so assiduously defending a foreign government. If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.

Captain Nemo > , October 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia.

Really? Only "now"?! I thought it was pretty much clear from the beginning.

Ludwig Watzal > , Website October 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome.

In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves.

TG > , October 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

Indeed, well said. But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us.

Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater.

The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished.

Flavius > , October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Mike – good article. The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years.

If it can be gotten wrong, the Borg will get it wrong; it will be gotten wrong at the worst possible time; it will move on to get it wrong again. These are three things that you can absolutely count on.

Joe Hide > , October 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying.

jilles dykstra > , October 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London

Pericles > , October 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Russia collusion does lack credibility, but you're still doing us a great service by following the twists and turns of this beheaded snake. The details are worth reading about, even if there isn't much to argue about regarding the conclusion. So thanks for that.

Biff > , October 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff.

Beckow > , October 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course."

Innocent of what? What is it exactly that Russia supposedly did? Let me list a few things that are still perfectly legal in our world (that would include US, I hope):

None of the above is either unusual or illegal. It might not look good to some people, but it is what international life has consisted for at least 200 years. If you call that 'meddling', you just might be too naive for the world as it is.

What is the 'natural course' for the investigation? If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco?

Putin named Pokemon GO characters after BLM victims to stir up racial hatreds in US. How does one answer that? Where would you even start dealing with people who are capable of this level of nonsense?

[Oct 13, 2017] Sympathy for the Corporatocracy by C. J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... The Tonight Show ..."
"... Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. ..."
"... No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that. ..."
"... a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without ..."
"... Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'. ..."
"... A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. ..."
"... "Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories. ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Well all right, let's review what happened, or at least the official version of what happened. Not Hillary Clinton's version of what happened, which Jeffrey St. Clair so incisively skewered , but the Corporatocracy's version of what happened, which overlaps with but is even more ridiculous than Clinton's ridiculous version. To do that, we need to harken back to the peaceful Summer of 2016, (a/k/a the "Summer of Fear" ), when the United States of America was still a shiny city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people, the Nazis were still just a bunch of ass clowns meeting in each other's mother's garages, and Russia was, well Russia was Russia.

Back then, as I'm sure you'll recall, Western democracy, was still primarily being menaced by the lone wolf terrorists, for absolutely no conceivable reason, apart from the terrorists' fanatical desire to brutally murder all non-believers. The global Russo-Nazi Axis had not yet reared its ugly head. President Obama, who, during his tenure, had single-handedly restored America to the peaceful, prosperous, progressive paradise it had been before George W. Bush screwed it up, was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon slow jamming home the TPP . The Wall Street banks had risen from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, and were buying back all the foreclosed homes of the people they had fleeced with subprime mortgages. American workers were enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the new gig economy. Electioneering in the United States was underway, but it was early days. It was already clear that Donald Trump was literally the Second Coming of Hitler , but no one was terribly worried about him yet. The Republican Party was in a shambles. Neither Trump nor any of the other contenders had any chance of winning in November. Nor did Sanders, who had been defeated, fair and square, in the Democratic primaries, mostly because of his racist statements and crazy, quasi-Communist ideas. Basically, everything was hunky dory. Yes, it was going to be terribly sad to have to bid farewell to Obama, who had bailed out all those bankrupt Americans the Wall Street banks had taken to the cleaners, ended all of Bush and Cheney's wars, closed down Guantanamo, and just generally served as a multicultural messiah figure to affluent consumers throughout the free world, but Hope-and-Change was going to continue. The talking heads were all in agreement Hillary Clinton was going to be President, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Little did we know at the time that an epidemic of Russo-Nazism had been festering just beneath the surface of freedom-loving Western societies like some neo-fascist sebaceous cyst. Apparently, millions of theretofore more or less normal citizens throughout the West had been infected with a virulent strain of Russo-Nazi-engineered virus, because they simultaneously began exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of what we now know as White Supremacist Behavioral Disorder, or Fascist Oppositional Disorder (the folks who update the DSM are still arguing over the official name). It started with the Brexit referendum, spread to America with the election of Trump, and there have been a rash of outbreaks in Europe, like the one we're currently experiencing in Germany . These fascistic symptoms have mostly manifest as people refusing to vote as instructed, and expressing oppressive views on the Internet, but there have also been more serious crimes, including several assaults and murders perpetrated by white supremacists (which, of course, never happened when Obama was President, because the Nazis hadn't been "emboldened" yet).

Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.

No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that.

This hypothetical leftist analysis might want to focus on how Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to Despotism, and is essentially a value-decoding machine which renders everything and everyone it touches essentially valueless interchangeable commodities whose worth is determined by market forces, rather than by societies and cultures, or religions, or other despotic systems (wherein values are established and enforced arbitrarily, by the despot, the church, or the ruling party, or by a group of people who share an affinity and decide they want to live a certain way). This is where it would get sort of tricky, because it (i.e., this hypothetical analysis) would have to delve into the history of Capitalism, and how it evolved out of medieval Despotism, and how it has been decoding despotic values for something like five hundred years. This historical delving (which would probably be too long for people to read on their phones) would demonstrate how Capitalism has been an essentially progressive force in terms of getting us out of Despotism (which, for most folks, wasn't very much fun) by fomenting bourgeois revolutions and imposing some semblance of democracy on societies. It would follow Capitalism's inexorable advance all the way up to the Twentieth Century, in which its final external ideological adversary, fake Communism, suddenly imploded, delivering us to the world we now live in a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without , and where any opposition to that global ideology can only be internal, or insurgent, in nature (e.g, terrorism, extremism, and so on). Being a hypothetical leftist analysis, it would, at this point, need to stress that, despite the fact that Capitalism helped deliver us from Despotism, and improved the state of society generally (compared to most societies that preceded it), we nonetheless would like to transcend it, or evolve out of it toward some type of society where people, and everything else, including the biosphere we live in, are not interchangeable, valueless commodities exchanged by members of a global corporatocracy who have no essential values, or beliefs, or principles, other than the worship of money. After having covered all that, we might want to offer more a nuanced view of the current neo-nationalist reaction to the Corporatocracy's ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the rest of the planet. Not that we would support this reaction, or in any way refrain from calling neo-nationalism what it is (i.e., reactionary, despotic, and doomed), but this nuanced view we'd hypothetically offer, by analyzing the larger sociopolitical and historical forces at play, might help us to see the way forward more clearly, and who knows, maybe eventually propose some kind of credible leftist alternative to the "global neoliberalism vs. neo-nationalism" double bind we appear to be hopelessly stuck in at the moment.

Luckily, we don't have to do that (i.e., articulate such a leftist analysis of any such larger historical forces). Because there is no corporatocracy not really. That's just a fake word the Russians made up and are spreading around on the Internet to distract us while the Nazis take over. No, the logical explanation for Trump, Brexit, and anything else that threatens the expansion of global Capitalism, and the freedom, democracy, and prosperity it offers, is that millions of people across the world, all at once, for no apparent reason, woke up one day full-blown fascists and started looking around for repulsive demagogues to swear fanatical allegiance to. Yes, that makes a lot more sense than all that complicated stuff about history and hegemonic ideological systems, which is probably just Russian propaganda anyway, in which case there is absolutely no reason to read any boring year-old pieces, like this one in The European Financial Review , or this report by Corporate Watch , from way back in the year 2000, about the rise of global corporate power.

So, apologies for wasting your time with all that pseudo-Marxian gobbledygook. Let's just pretend this never happened, and get back to more important matters, like statistically proving that Donald Trump got elected President because of racism, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, or some other type of behavioral disorder, and pulling down Confederate statues, or kneeling during the National Anthem, or whatever happens to be trending this week. Oh, yeah, and debating punching Nazis, or people wearing MAGA hats. We definitely need to sort all that out before we can move ahead with helping the Corporatocracy remove Trump from office, or at least ensure he remains surrounded by their loyal generals, CEOs, and Goldman Sachs guys until the next election. Whatever we do, let's not get distracted by that stuff I just distracted you with. I know, it's tempting, but, given what's at stake, we need to maintain our laser focus on issues related to identity politics, or else well, you know, the Nazis win.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

jilles dykstra, October 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Yesterday evening on RT a USA lady, as usual forgot the name, spoke about the USA. In a matter of fact tone she said things like 'they (Deep State) have got him (Trump) in the box'.

They, Deep State again, are now wondering if they will continue to try to control the world, or if they should stop the attempt, and retreat into the USA.
Also as matter of fact she said 'the CIA has always been the instrument of Deep State, from Kenndy to Nine Eleven'.

Another statement was 'no president ever was in control'.

How USA citizens continue to believe they live in a democracy, I cannot understand.

Yesterday the intentions of the new Dutch government were made public, alas most Dutch also dot not see that the Netherlands since 2005 no longer is a democracy, just a province of Brussels.

You can fool all people .

Che Guava, October 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

jacques sheete, October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'.

No doubt many do want their country back, but what concerns me is that all of a sudden we have the concept of "independence" plastered all over the place. Such concepts don't get promoted unless the ruling elites see ways to turn those sentiments to their favor.

A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. (And everything else.)

"Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories.

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

Anon-og , October 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

"Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook."

Very impressed with this article, never really paid attention to CJ's articles but that is now changing!

[Oct 12, 2017] Wheres the Beef The Senate Intel Committee and Russia by Mike Whitney

Neocons already poisoned the well of US-Russian cooperation. They already unleashes witch hunt in best McCarthyism traditions. What else do they want ? Why they continue to waive this dead chicken?
Notable quotes:
"... people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: ..."
"... Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story? ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. ..."
"... Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said:

We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point?

Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy.

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts– who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security– would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem:

"There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple.

That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

[Oct 12, 2017] Are those my words coming out of Steve Bannons mouth? by Thomas Frank

Like Obama before him Trump proved to be a very talented "bat and switcher".
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidential campaign took this cynical strategy farther than any of his Republican predecessors, openly reaching out to alienated working-class voters, the backbone of so many left-wing protest movements. ..."
"... Trump told us he was going to do something about Nafta, a left-wing bête noir since the 1990s. He promised to revive Glass Steagall. He claimed to care so very, very much about the people of the deindustrialized zones whose sufferings have been so thoroughly documented by left-wing authors. ..."
"... When Sanders decided to support HRC, I figured nothing will ever change. He built up a lot of hope (as did Obama), only to pull the rug out at the eleventh hour. ..."
"... Moving to the far towards the "progressive" left, the Democratic party abandoned the working and middle classes in favor of the coastal well to do city dwellers while trying to appeal to the "oppressed identity" single issue "groups". ..."
"... People got tired of losing their jobs to "globalization", with the government deciding what they can do with policies of "diversity", which is essentially a quota system, and with having ideologues and bureaucrats decide what is good or bad for them. ..."
"... If we lost the base of the Democratic party it wasn't because it was stolen from us. It was because it was given away. We started giving it away when we learned the wrong lesson after Ronald Reagan and thought that we had to move to the right with Bill Clinton to win the presidency. ..."
"... Clinton is the ultimate Swamp Creature,and large reason for her loss is that she spent more time with her high dollar donors then in swing states. How do you think the "Clinton Foundation" got so big? ..."
"... So the Democrats embraced the moneyed establishment because they felt they had to to win, while the Republicans denounced that same establishment but only as part of a bait-and-switch strategy. Meanwhile the establishment hedges their bets and wins no matter what the election outcome. ..."
"... I agree, the New Deal was quite leftist, in the sense that it acknowledged the crisis which had struck the working class. It's atypical in the history of the Democratic Party, which has been devoted to advancing the interests of U.S. corporations and since the Clinton years, those of multinational business consortia. But even the New Deal was a far cry from a revolutionary call to arms. In fact, it was meant to curtail such agitation. Roosevelt said as much. ..."
"... There is no left movement in Washington. Each is going after money from lobbyists. I just see the USA rapidly consuming itself and fragmenting. It has poor social, medical, policing programs. And it continues to digest itself in petty hate between the Democrats and Republicans. It really has no serious governance and worse its flagship superior court is now being sold to capitalism ..."
"... Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us. I just think it is counterproductive to battle each other when the upward mobility is being taken from us. I wish others could see it. ..."
"... Immigration restrictionists in the US have for decades fought the corporate establishment. In fact, we have fought what are probably the most powerful coalitions of special interests in human history, coalitions of corporate predators, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Media, and Big Government. ..."
"... There are plenty of populists in the Republican Party, but the governing portion of the party is solidly neocon. Hence the battle between President Trump and the "17 intelligence agencies," and the remarkable undermining of Trump's foreign policy proposals by his own cabinet. ..."
"... Just as the progressive base of the Democratic Party is suppressed by the corporatists at the DNC and other centralized party organs, the Republican base is a captive to its Washington elite power brokers. ..."
"... Apparently 'isolationism' now means simply advocating for some restraint on endless global US military interventionism, hundreds and hundreds of bases in 80+ countries, and trillion dollar 'defence' budgets. ..."
"... I'll take an isolationist over a neo-con any day. ..."
"... The "traditional base" of the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago by de-industrialisation, hollowing of labor law, and now by opioids of the masses. The present day DNC is run by and for their army of contractors, lobbyists, bunglers, and wreckers. ..."
"... I hate to say it to you, but Trump voters who live in Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa weren't looking for upscale living and calling for lower corporate taxes etc. One out of four WV residents are living under economic distress. They just want decent jobs and a government that represents working people, not the wealthy. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Oct 6, 2017

here's was a moment in Steve Bannon's recent 60 Minutes inter view when the former presidential advisor was asked what he's done to drain "the swamp," the Trumpists' favorite metaphor for everything they hate about Washington DC. Here was Bannon's reply: "The swamp is 50 years in the making. Let's talk about the swamp. The swamp is a business model. It's a successful business model. It's a donor, consultant, K Street lobbyist, politician ... 7 of the 9 wealthiest counties in America ring Washington, DC."

With a shock of recognition I knew immediately what Bannon meant, because what he was talking about was the subject matter of my 2008 book, The Wrecking Crew – the interconnected eco-system of corruption that makes Washington, DC so rich.

The first chapter of my book had been a description of those wealthy counties that ring Washington, DC: the fine cars, the billowing homes, the expense-account restaurants. The rest of the book was my attempt to explain the system that made possible the earthly paradise of Washington and – just like Steve Bannon – I did it by referring to a business model: the political donors and the K Street lobbyists, who act in combination with politicians of the Tom DeLay variety.

My critique of Washington was distinctly from the left, and it astonished me to hear something very close to my argument coming from the mouth of one of the nation's most prominent conservatives. But in fact, Bannon has a long history of reaching out to the left – you might say, of swiping its populist language and hijacking its causes.

In this space back in February, for example, I described Bannon's bizarre 2010 pseudo-documentary about the financial crisis, which superficially resembles actual documentaries, but which swerves to blame this failure of the deregulated financial system on the counterculture of the 1960s.

Bannon's once-famous denunciation of Wall Street banks for their role in the financial crisis is another example. His fondness for the author Christopher Lasch is also revealing. As was his admiring phone call with Robert Kuttner, a well-known liberal editor, which happened just before Bannon left his high-ranking White House job in August.

Mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right

Dig a little deeper, and it sometimes seems like the history of the populist right – with its calls to "organize discontent" and its endless war against "the establishment" and the "elites" – is nothing but a history of reformatting left-wing ideas to fit the needs of the billionaire class. Think of Ronald Reagan's (and Mike Pence's) deliberate reprise of Franklin Roosevelt. Or the constant echoes of Depression-era themes and imagery that one heard from the Tea Party movement.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign took this cynical strategy farther than any of his Republican predecessors, openly reaching out to alienated working-class voters, the backbone of so many left-wing protest movements.

Trump told us he was going to do something about Nafta, a left-wing bête noir since the 1990s. He promised to revive Glass Steagall. He claimed to care so very, very much about the people of the deindustrialized zones whose sufferings have been so thoroughly documented by left-wing authors.

So many fine, militant words. So many clarion calls rousing the people against corrupt elites. And now comes Steve Bannon, the terror of the Republican establishment, hectoring us about "the swamp" with ideas so strikingly similar to my own.

Look at deeds rather than words, however, and it seems as though Trump and his gang have been using The Wrecking Crew more as a how-to guide than anything else. In that book, for example, I pointed out that one of the hallmarks of modern conservative governance is the placement of people who are hostile to the mission of federal agencies in positions of authority in those very agencies.

This is an essential component of the Washington corruption Bannon loves to deplore – and yet this is precisely what Bannon's man Trump has done. Betsy DeVos, a foe of public schools, is running the Department of Education. Scott Pruitt, a veteran antagonist of the EPA, has been put in charge of the EPA. Rick Perry now runs the Department of Energy, an agency he once proposed to abolish.

Another characteristic of the DC wrecking crew is a war on competence within the Federal bureaucracy – and that, too, is back on, courtesy of the folks who rallied you against corruption so movingly last year.

Lobbying ? The industry appears to be gearing up for a return of its Reagan-era golden age. In the early days of the administration, lobbyists were appointed en masse to team Trump and a brigade of brash new K Street personalities is rising up to replace the old guard.

Privatization? The people in DC are trying it again, and this time on a gigantic scale. Trump's ultra-populist infrastructure promise now seems to be little more than a vast scheme for encouraging investment firms to take over the country's highways and bridges. Even the dreams of privatized war are back, brought to you courtesy of the enterprising Erik Prince, a familiar face from the worst days of the Iraq war.

Above it all towers the traditional Republican ideal of business-in-government. "The government should be run like a great American company," is how Jared Kushner puts it this time around; and with his private-jet-set cabinet Donald Trump is going to show the nation exactly what that philosophy looks like.

All the elements are here. The conclusion is unquestionable. The wrecking crew is back.

And why is it back? Because, among other things, Republicans are better at fulminating against the wrecking crew than are Democrats. Maybe that's because Democratic leaders feel it's inappropriate to use such blunt and crude language.

Maybe that's because, for 40 years or so, the leadership faction of the Democratic Party has been at war with its own left wing, defining us out of the conversation, turning a deaf ear to our demands, denouncing populism even as the right grabbed for it with both hands. Either way, the Democrats seem to have no intention of changing their approach now.

Maybe we on the left should take consolation in the things Steve Bannon says. Our own team may not listen to us, but at least there's someone out there in a position of power who apparently does. And mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right?

No. All this is happening for one reason only: to steal the traditional base of the Democratic Party out from under us. That it will also enrich countless contractors and lobbyists and bunglers and wreckers is just a bonus.

Thomas Frank is a Guardian columnist

Thirdparty -> bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 04:04

Right. The traditional base of the Democratic Party stopped supporting it when it was taken over by right-wingers like the Clintons.
Thirdparty , 9 Oct 2017 04:01
On running the government like a business: That is exactly what the Trump regime is doing. Their business model is the mob. And to be fair, the idea of running government like a business makes precisely as much sense as running a business like a government.
Aligarter , 9 Oct 2017 03:15
Steve Bannon is part of the plan to de-democratize the USA and Republicans can only do that by lying on an industrial scale, which they do very efficiently and effectively. Why the need? Because although they are good at destruction, they are no good at all at building the nation or government.

The First Rule of Marketing says that if you give people what they want, they will give you dollars. The billionaires who fund the Republicans again and again do so not because they believe in good government, or have the slightest concern for the wealth, health and defense of the nation, but because they get what they want. It's a purchasing contract.

bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 01:27
"....to steal the traditional base of the Democratic Party out from under us"

They aren't your servants to do your bidding and wait your table. Nor your political property. There is no more similarity of average working blokes to self-infatuated intellectuals of "the left" than a potato to a hubcap.

Working people left the party because they plainly are no longer welcome except during the brief hours when the polls are open.

curiouswes -> HauptmannGurski , 9 Oct 2017 01:22

What are we at?

I haven't the vaguest idea. When Sanders decided to support HRC, I figured nothing will ever change. He built up a lot of hope (as did Obama), only to pull the rug out at the eleventh hour.

MD1212a , 8 Oct 2017 21:32
Moving to the far towards the "progressive" left, the Democratic party abandoned the working and middle classes in favor of the coastal well to do city dwellers while trying to appeal to the "oppressed identity" single issue "groups". The only answer it presented to all problems was more government control over the economy and over all aspects of people's life. People got tired of losing their jobs to "globalization", with the government deciding what they can do with policies of "diversity", which is essentially a quota system, and with having ideologues and bureaucrats decide what is good or bad for them.
DocDiv -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 20:16
TPP was a secret deal, which had written into it, its own right to trump the legal systems of signatory countries with TPP-sponsored arbitration and even mediation judgments. Trump saw that off on his first day.
Lyndon Watson , 8 Oct 2017 20:02
If we lost the base of the Democratic party it wasn't because it was stolen from us. It was because it was given away. We started giving it away when we learned the wrong lesson after Ronald Reagan and thought that we had to move to the right with Bill Clinton to win the presidency.

It was later given away when we didn't accomplish much when we had the majorities in the House, Senate and Presidency back in 2008. If Trump picked up our message it was because he took it, it was because it was just sitting there waiting to be picked up.

Cas Ann -> J.K. Stevens , 8 Oct 2017 19:20
Nonsense. Clinton is the ultimate Swamp Creature,and large reason for her loss is that she spent more time with her high dollar donors then in swing states. How do you think the "Clinton Foundation" got so big?
JohnCan45 , 8 Oct 2017 17:11
So the Democrats embraced the moneyed establishment because they felt they had to to win, while the Republicans denounced that same establishment but only as part of a bait-and-switch strategy. Meanwhile the establishment hedges their bets and wins no matter what the election outcome.
curiouswes -> stderr2 , 8 Oct 2017 16:51

Conservatives argue against identity politics.

That is a good message. I'll be more supportive of the conservatives when they actually practice what they preach. But please don't get me wrong. Not all conservatives are into white supremacy. The problem I see is that if one is a white supremacist, the conservatives don't publicly denounce that position. It makes many people of color feel alienated by conservatism. At least the left openly denounces white supremacy. The right praises MLK but doesn't condemn those in Charlotteville. They had a right to protest and the left shouldn't have tried to silence them. However it was identity politics. They wouldn't be protecting the open display of the confederacy if they weren't into identity politics. That message seems to get lost as conservatism frowns on identity politics.

I don't know what that refers to.

NAFTA passed under Clinton , but more importantly, so did the Uruguay Round of GATT. When the Senate passed that (the House passed it to but technically the House doesn't ratify treaties), it severely curtailed the USA's ability to negotiate our own trade deals. All members of the WTO are vulnerable to financial penalties if any member nation tries to override the rulings set by the WTO. Not only did Ralph Nader recognize this as a problem and try to run for president because of it, so did Pat Buchanan. Buchanan saw this as lost sovereignty (in his words). Both Nader and Buchanan were of course unsuccessful because we vote in an FPTP voting system which tends to eliminate third parties form being successful.

The point is that Clinton forced Congress to pass the legislation just like Paulson forced Congress to approve a bailout of the banks during the financial crisis. It wasn't really all the republicans fault, but the oligarchy would have taken down the global economy if it didn't get bailed out. Anyway the WTO has a policy on dumping:

If a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market, it is said to be "dumping" the product. The WTO Agreement does not regulate the actions of companies engaged in "dumping". Its focus is on how governments can or cannot react to dumping -- it disciplines anti-dumping actions, and it is often called the "Anti-dumping Agreement".

both dems and reps rant and rave about China dumping steel but nothing ever gets done to stop it because the WTO is there protecting China (or american companies making steel in China). Either way the american steel worker gets screwed in the process and that is why populists hate globalism. The American worker knows he's getting screwed but he may not be aware of the mechanism by which he is getting screwed. The media rarely talks about the WTO because if the American worker knew how he was getting screwed, he'd be screaming to get out of the WTO. Typically he only knows his jobs are gone and where they are. However it was Clinton who did this and the idea that anybody would even think of putting HRC back in the white house while she is still married to that dude is due to utter ignorance of the fact of what he did when he was there the first time.

I think both Clinton and W should be in jail, but this isn't about W.

budhudnut -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 16:39
I agree, the New Deal was quite leftist, in the sense that it acknowledged the crisis which had struck the working class. It's atypical in the history of the Democratic Party, which has been devoted to advancing the interests of U.S. corporations and since the Clinton years, those of multinational business consortia. But even the New Deal was a far cry from a revolutionary call to arms. In fact, it was meant to curtail such agitation. Roosevelt said as much.
ID6995146 , 8 Oct 2017 16:15
There is no left movement in Washington. Each is going after money from lobbyists. I just see the USA rapidly consuming itself and fragmenting. It has poor social, medical, policing programs. And it continues to digest itself in petty hate between the Democrats and Republicans. It really has no serious governance and worse its flagship superior court is now being sold to capitalism. Capitalism will fail as predicted by Marx and those who really know about it. It is our children who will pick up the tab if they can survive.
stderr2 -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 15:19
> Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us.

Conservatives argue against identity politics. I don't know what the oligarchy is supposed to be, in the context of the US. People in power often came from varied backgrounds, not usually all that rich backgrounds.

> upward mobility is being taken from us

Upward from what? If you are poor, there's a lot of upward that might be possible, but if you are middle class, whatever that means, you can't have everyone moving up or the definition of middle class would change to them.

> The worst thing that happened to us, happened under Clinton

I don't know what that refers to. Welfare reform? Various changes to banking regulations? Allowing bin Laden to hit us again and again but instead of doing what needed to be done, frolicking with a young frisky intern in the Oval Office? I doubt Bush Sr would've done that.

stderr2 -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 15:12
> However if you stand up for the rights of one group and ignore the rights of another today some people still don't "get it".

They don't get what? When someone protests in the street, whether they are sweetness and light or racist or whatever, they have the right to protest. Plenty of people would argue that "hate speech" should be banned, them defining what "hate speech" means, of course. These people are arguing against settled constitutional law.

> I tend to think the US citizen should be protected by the bill of rights and not necessarily those here illegally.

Yet not protecting everyone with due process, for example, is a violation of constitutional law.

curiouswes -> stderr2 , 8 Oct 2017 14:49
I consider myself a populist. Not exactly from the left but certainly more left that right. Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us. I just think it is counterproductive to battle each other when the upward mobility is being taken from us. I wish others could see it. The worst thing that happened to us, happened under Clinton, but rest assured; HW Bush would have done it had he won the election in 92.
budhudnut -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 13:10
My point was that calling the Democratic Party a leftist party requires a notion of that term drained of real meaning. The Democratic Party has always upheld the supremacy of capital and the necessity of forestalling a revolution. I realize that in the United States plenty of people regard President Obama and Hillary Clinton as communists, but that's simply a measure of how far to the right political discourse stands there. The American left was eliminated from public life in the 1940s and 1950s with the suppression of the Communist Party, the purging of the unions and professions, and strict mass indoctrination of the citizenry. And whenever new manifestations of leftist energy have appeared, they have been met with unremitting hostility from liberal and conservative centers of power.

Finally, the Democratic Party is a party not just of capital, but of empire. This was never more true than in last year's election, in which Donald Trump was able to appeal to marginal voters on the ambiguous claim that he was less warlike than Secretary Clinton. No, there's nothing in the two party set-up which expresses the basic demands of the modern left- an end to imperialism, nationalization of key industries, and so on. And when people restrict their political thinking to the narrow range offered by a business oligopoly, they're going to be misreading their own reality.

lsjogren -> dallasdunlap , 8 Oct 2017 10:27
The Republican Party has a big problem in that its agenda has at best a small grassroots following of perhaps 10% of the populace.

Meantime, populist-nationalism is in sync with the views of I would estimate at least 50% of the US citizenry and perhaps as much as 60%. (the other 30% of the public are "progressives")

The establishment has maintained power by default. When our political system offers only a choice between a "progressive" Democrat and an establishment Repubilcan, many voters choose the latter as the lesser evil.

If and when voters actually are offered a genuine choice at the ballot box, watch out. I think you will start seeing this played out on a grand scale in the 2018 and 2020 Republican primaries.

lsjogren , 8 Oct 2017 10:22
Fighting the corporate establishment has never been the exclusive province of the left.

Immigration restrictionists in the US have for decades fought the corporate establishment. In fact, we have fought what are probably the most powerful coalitions of special interests in human history, coalitions of corporate predators, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Media, and Big Government.

This movement is one of the grassroots pillars fueling Bannonism.

dallasdunlap , 8 Oct 2017 09:03
There are plenty of populists in the Republican Party, but the governing portion of the party is solidly neocon. Hence the battle between President Trump and the "17 intelligence agencies," and the remarkable undermining of Trump's foreign policy proposals by his own cabinet.

Just as the progressive base of the Democratic Party is suppressed by the corporatists at the DNC and other centralized party organs, the Republican base is a captive to its Washington elite power brokers.

budhudnut , 8 Oct 2017 06:26
Thomas Frank's interesting and thoughtful pieces on the failure- or refusal- of the Democratic Party to come to terms with the depths of voter disaffection form an interesting contrast with the Guardian's DNC-supplied outlook. I suppose that's why he's been hired, to take up all that slack as the paper trudges ever rightward. Here's a link to an extended recent interview he gave with Paul Jay at The Real News.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=832&Itemid=74&jumival=1649

Christopher Oxley , 7 Oct 2017 16:53
Populist movements typically tend to involve more focus on complaining and raging about problems than coming up with any real solutions for them, so it doesn't really matter whether members self-identify as coming from the left or right. Given the Trump campaign was all about manipulation anyway, with Trump just a puppet to distract the public from seeing the corprate take-over of the state, it's not surprising they used a populist rhetoric, as seen in shock doctrine, that inherent rage blinds them from seeing they are being manipulated.
Ben Groetsch -> sludgeco , 7 Oct 2017 15:48
The last time the Democrats actually offered something to the American people was the War on Poverty and Civil Rights legislation by President Johnson in the 1960s. Other than the Democrats have been acting like an extended PR arm of corporate America by performing sideshows on social issues while failing to address the needs of working families. I clearly don't buy into the notion that the Democrats are a tad better than the Republicans. No, the Democrats need to be radically to the left like Bernie Sanders, not moderate Republican lite such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. This country simply cannot continue electing conservative governments all the time in Washington DC.
sparkylab -> JoeintheMidwest , 7 Oct 2017 12:50
Apparently 'isolationism' now means simply advocating for some restraint on endless global US military interventionism, hundreds and hundreds of bases in 80+ countries, and trillion dollar 'defence' budgets.
JoeintheMidwest -> PennyCarter , 7 Oct 2017 12:25
A broken clock is right twice a day. Yes, Republican isolationists are the only ones in their primarily interventionist party to ever make a principled critique of endless U.S. wars abroad. Sadly, the Democrats are, with some honorable exceptions like Dennis Kucinich, as committed to these endless wars as their partners across the aisle. This is one of the many reasons why Hillary Clinton lost. However, Buchanan's xenophobia makes his brand of anti-imperialism shallow--he still thinks "Western civilization" is superior to other cultures, and has denied the genocide against Native Americans. His views about Jews are also rather creepy. That said, I'll take an isolationist over a neo-con any day.
money777 , 7 Oct 2017 07:21
There is divisive manipulation on the left and the right, the pundits blame each other to keep America divided. The right stereotypes the left while the left stereotypes the right . The working class crazy white guy is oppressing the hispanic and blacks while the blacks and hispanic oppress the working class white. The left pundits make fun of the working class while the right pundits make fun of the left pundits. Both sides are entralled by business interests aka socoio-political interests. Afterall, this is a business world where ppl have to put food on the table.America is on the verge of becoming as divided as america was prior to the civil war. What am i supposed to do? Join the resistence of division taking place on the left and the right? Protest against another american at a divided left vs. right rally? Resistence is futile because resistence leads to more division.

Excuse my unedites grammar semtence structure lack of sense and not serious online comment

Ponderbelle -> America_Loves_Trump , 7 Oct 2017 05:16
Trump can't stop calling others names - with the absurd stance that he must bully people to create a sense of self respect.

Those who support Trump or Bannon generally have in common a refusal to see any viewpoint other than their own. They'll find a way to make most any belief, policy or decision which T&B uphold, look justified or non-offensive in motives.

Trump runs every which way, so, there are bound to be a few things one finds agreeable (even from the left). Bannon thinks democracy does not work. He'd like to see the federal government crash.

In fact, The USA has no true democracy. Like many developed nations we are under the total rule of organized business. Profit is superior and normalized whereas basic human needs are for the highest bid competition. Greed older than Methuselah's first breakfast. Bannon doesn't have a vision for the betterment and uplift of society any more than anyone else. Who cannot can see corporate greed has its tentacles around us? The common person on the street knows the scheme. What to do about it finds us in the land of inertia. Next crash (it is coming) the panicked cry for bailouts will be near impossible to put-up with. With billions on the planet we are in new territory, as to resources and competition. A system which cannot survive with its hand in our pocket while claiming free market enterprise will even out the system on balance - meaning for investors, and head in sand more of the same.

ID6823856 , 7 Oct 2017 04:10
The "base" of the Democratic party is now the same get rich ideologues of Clinton-ism who are happy to lobby and privatise with as much enthusiasm as any right wing Republican/Conservative/Tea Party ideologue. Every administration, Republican or Democratic, from Clinton, to Bush, to Obama, has held to the same policies of the Reagan administration. The "traditional base" of the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago by de-industrialisation, hollowing of labor law, and now by opioids of the masses. The present day DNC is run by and for their army of contractors, lobbyists, bunglers, and wreckers.
rogerscorpion , 7 Oct 2017 04:06
Mr. Frank, I found it surprising that you mentioned both Betsy de Vos and Erik Prince -- but didn't mention the fact that they are siblings.
PeterOrmonde , 7 Oct 2017 03:45
Yep - the big mistake with critters like Bannon is to ignore or dismiss everything they say and fail to detect what resonance they are striking with what audience.

But it's awkward when you just read them and recognise grains of truthiness - they see the same problems it's just their solutions are all wrong. But they are actually cutting the left's grass - pinching the alienation and discontent that rightly belongs to progress, no? Now the NRA have got 'em - not even the GOP.

Be yer unfinished civil war this... grinding away slowly ... so now the whole place is riven by fear and suspicion - of race, wealth, cities, the guvvermint, of anything and everything really. A deeply traumatised culture you've got sitting down there - victims real and imagined wandering about and none of it getting fixed at all..

Not everyone or everywhere - but the most fearful and angry cluster are centred on the underlying issues of the era of Lincoln. Trump is speaking for and to them. There can be no more nonsense about lone gunmen - this is now part of US culture - systemic and systematic.

Yer 500 kiddies are just the price of open-carry freedoms according to the Vegas mayor. All the same old folk-wisdoms: can't have laws that stop bad people being bad?... why should the 1% of evildoers dictate our liberties?

But of course they do. That is how all laws work, whether murder or shoplifting - everyone shows their bags. In fact they are arguing for lawlessness - vigilantism and John Wayne cowboy myths. That's the Trump/Bannon audience ... National Enquirer readers packing heat .

Gonna get ugly before it's fixed.

Maury A. Bousson , 7 Oct 2017 02:42
#TheHouseAlwaysWins The author gets so close to putting his finger on the problem and then at the last moment swerves off into partisan rhetoric. Wake up dude! Both of the things you think are opposite sides are out to get us.
eastbayradical -> newyorkred , 7 Oct 2017 02:24
The list below delineates the policies and initiatives that Hillary Clinton supported over course of her political career (including as a loyal First Lady to Bill Clinton). They help explain the depressed voter enthusiasm and turnout for the Dems among many of the groups to whom you say Frank, as a "well-to-do white man" pining for "white working class revolution," owes an apology:

--Deregulation of the investment banks (and against reinstatement of Glass--Steagall)
--Deregulation of the telecommunications industry
--Deregulation of derivatives
--The destruction of welfare (which has caused the numbers living in extreme poverty to double since its passage)
--The Omnibus Crime Bill (increased the prison population massively)
--NAFTA
--The sanctions regime against Iraq of the 1990s that killed 500,000 Iraqi children ("it was worth it," said her friend Madeline Albright)
--The Defense of Marriage Act
--CAFTA (granted stealthy support)
--TPP
--Fracking
--The objectively-racist death penalty
--The private prison industry
--The Patriot Act
--The Iraq War
--The bombing of Libya
--Military intervention in Syria
--Israel's starvation blockade and blitzkrieg against Gaza
--The right-wing coup in Honduras
--Investor-friendly repression and cronyism in Haiti
--A 31 cents/hour minimum wage in Haiti (and against attempts to raise it)
--The recently announced 20 year, $1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) upgrade of the US's nuclear arsenal
--Historically-high numbers of deportations under the Obama Adm.
--Oil drilling in the Arctic
--The fight against free public university tuition
--The fight against single-payer health care
--Acceptance of tens of millions of dollars of corporate money
--Credit-card industry favored bankruptcy laws
--The bail-out of Wall Street

suddenoakdeath -> James F. , 7 Oct 2017 01:24
....and America was convinced Trump cared about them, so says Thomas Frank.
Alex W -> Ben Groetsch , 6 Oct 2017 21:21
If you think America is bad, then try living in the UK. The UK is a hotbed of religious nutters. Just look at Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron, and Theresa May.

The UK still has a "state-established" church (the Church of England). The UK's national anthem ' God Save the Queen ' mentions 'God' over 30 different times. And most British schools are still faith-based and funded by the church. Also, abortion and gay marriage are still banned in some parts of the UK, such as Northern Ireland.

Forget Donald Trump.... the UK is far more religious & dangerous.

askzippy , 6 Oct 2017 21:09
Lol, yeah it's only the Rs that do bad stuff in DC. HRC was the Queen of the system described above. An article designed to confuse those without eyes to see.

The interesting thing for me is the hate levels on the left which appear to be almost off the scale at the moment. Identity politics seems to have a deep hold on your hearts.

sejong , 6 Oct 2017 20:55
The national of USA should be changed from bald eagle to lone wolf. Forget e pluribis unum. War of all against all.
Alex W -> Sharon Sekhon , 6 Oct 2017 20:04
The U.S. is more liberal & secular than ever. The election of Trump doesn't change that. According to a 2011 Pew Report , the U.S. now has the 3rd largest atheist population in the world -- after China & Japan. On top of that, a 2015 Gallup Poll found that 60% of Americans would vote for an atheist President -- a record number that continues to grow every year.

Additionally, gay marriage is legal in all 50 U.S. states. Marijuana is legal & taxed in 8 U.S. states. Euthanasia (assisted suicide) is legal in 6 U.S states -- including California (the largest state in America with over 40 million people). Even prostitution is legal & regulated in some U.S. states, such as Nevada!

*Sign into Youtube to watch this video about legal American brothels.

The U.S. constitution guarantees separation of Church & State -- unlike the UK, which still has a "state-established" church (the Church of England).

kmacafee -> Attu de Bubbalot , 6 Oct 2017 19:53
Not really. They will be defeated in the next election and they are already facing charges and prison time. This will not end with a bang, but with a whimper and whining like you've never heard. There are many more in the one percent and the top 10% who are already disgusted with Mercer, Koch, Trump and the whole Putin cabal. Evil is evil and splashing some fake christianity on their hitler speeches is not fooling anyone but the already fooled; and they are a small lot getting smaller every single day.
Zepp -> NYbill13 , 6 Oct 2017 18:21
Most of Bannon's story about dear old dad is pure crap. He was already a right wing film-maker before the 2008 meltdown, and dear old dad would still have his money if he had listened to his two financier sons instead of the cable TV idiot Cramer. AT&T, in case you haven't heard, came through the crash intact.
colacj , 6 Oct 2017 18:16
15 billion dollars worth of missiles being sold to Saudi Arabia ........ while a few days ago Saudi Arabia goes to Moscow and talks to putin which is the first tie ever.......... so we sold them weapons to what , aim at us........
Ben Groetsch -> MTavernier , 6 Oct 2017 18:15
So, do you preferred two thirds of the American population to live on welfare aid like Medicaid which doesn't even covered dental and eye exams? As much you don't like the GOP approach to healthcare reform, the Democrats would rather bailed out the insurance industry by making consumers to buy unaffordable coverage and public assistance programs and refused to embraced Bernie Sanders approach to universal healthcare. The Democratic Party simply has no ideas, just empty tough talk against the President.
Ben Groetsch -> Social36 , 6 Oct 2017 18:10
I hate to say it to you, but Trump voters who live in Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa weren't looking for upscale living and calling for lower corporate taxes etc. One out of four WV residents are living under economic distress. They just want decent jobs and a government that represents working people, not the wealthy.

[Oct 12, 2017] The proletariat, or at least the opioid threatened, white and marginalized cadre on show in the Rust belt states, probably thought they had their man in DJT because he said what it took to get himself elected in the vernacular they prefer, feeling its authenticity made them look honest.. Ha!

Oct 12, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

Ben Groetsch -> Sharon Sekhon , 6 Oct 2017 18:02

So, you're suggesting that Frank's political instincts are all wrong when he first wrote his book thesis on "What's the matter with Kansas," which lays out the scanting indictment of the pro-corporate wing of the Democratic Party and their wealthy supporters. Here's the reality that you Clinton bots don't understand: the rest of the country is like Kansas, not glamour LA or Wall Street NYC. People work in blue collar and grey collar professions, have modest wealth, and some are involved in trade unions. Many don't have a college degree; many also have no desires to go to a liberal arts school or state public university. Nearly eighty percent of middle America have a high school diploma. Only thirty percent have a college BA degree, and less than five percent have a advanced degree in Law or PH'D. Those numbers haven't changed since the 1960s. And yet, the corporate ruling class which showers money to both political parties have been selling the public a bill of false promises and lies about the necessary of getting a college degree in order to find gainful employment with living wages. Sorry, there isn't no living wage jobs. Our industrialized state has been devalued by NAFTA, a pro-corporate trade deal signed by Bill Clinton in the 1990s, had destroyed the fabric of mostly blue collar communities in middle America. Both Democrats and Republicans all conspired to gut the entire working classes out of the middle class status and into the underclass welfare state as a whole---first with welfare reform in the 1990s, followed by Bush era tax cuts, getting rid of Glass-Stegeall, awarding companies with job outsourcing, failure to provide affordable housing to the needy while selling risky sub-prime mortgages, making our higher educational system as a luxury commodity, destroying our pension system and replacing it with an inadequate 401K retirement package, allowing the one percent to hide their money overseas in tax haven accounts, subsidizing the rich, and control the media through corporate consolidation. We no longer have the ability to innovate, produce, or create a thriving working class middle. Instead, corporate dominance in our politics and our legal system makes it almost impossible to generate a fair, diverse, and expanding opportunities economy on the basis of progressive regulations that is desperately needed.

What Frank had in mind is what the donor class within the Democratic Party is scared about. That is, working people are being shoved aside due to the power of money in government, and yet the Democratic Party has to changed its tune in order to regain the working class voters in middle America.

Ben Groetsch , 6 Oct 2017 17:39
Well, Bannon is partly right given the fact that our government has been at the wheel of powerful lobbyists and wealthy donors for so long. However, given the dysfunctional and unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Trump Administration in DC, the Democrats seem to appear as aloof and tone deaf with the American people----a state of utter denial regarding a major political party that just lost the Presidential election to a dingbat D list reality tv star and real estate tycoon who has the mindset of a spoiled child.

The true reason behind Bannon's conquest for political votes is that the working class here in the US have been totally neglected and left behind by eight years of Obama and the last two terms of Bush Jr from the previous decade. Working people want actual middle class jobs and a shot of a decent life in retirement, not welfare checks from the government.

fabfreddy -> CivilDiscussion , 6 Oct 2017 17:05
Is that just about everybody? Or do you think there are people that wouldn't want to be billionaires?
Rollmeover , 6 Oct 2017 16:56
Democrats are so disorganized that to elect them is folly. We already have disorganization. Trump will win a second term.
chunki , 6 Oct 2017 16:55
The Left in English-speaking countries has been overtaken by upper-middle class people who are obsessed with sexual identity and race. They are snobby towards working class people and will abuse them as racist when they talk about problems with immigration or other social groups with different coloured skin. I moved from the first group into the second, and I know working class people are no more prejudiced than upper-middle class, but they don't have the vocabulary to express it in a way that "educated" people will recognise.
This snobbery towards possible complexities in the life of working class people is damning leftwing parties to continual oblivion.
(Working class people use blunt language, but they apply it to themselves equally. Those higher up the social ladder are not used to hearing that type of language.)
jackrousseau -> EyeFullEnt , 6 Oct 2017 14:14
Did anything I say indicate I support Trump? I described his administration as an economically centrist "kleptocracy". Trump Jr. taking thinly veiled payoffs on the speaking/grift circuit is par for the course.

Though, I imagine Trump Jr. commands significantly less than Chelsea Clinton ($65,000 as of 2015). http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/chelsea-clinton-speaking-fee-university-missouri-119580

And I imagine it's only a matter of time before we also see Obama's children "speaking" for thinly veiled payoffs. One already scored an prestigious internship with the socially progressive Weinstein Company. And Michelle's currently getting in excess of $200,000 for 1hr speeches. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/02/michelle-obama-s-speaker-fee-is-as-much-as-some-former-president/22065295 /

...All enough to make someone a little cynical about American politics.

America_Loves_Trump -> EyeFullEnt , 6 Oct 2017 11:44
More misinformed nonsense.

In fact, Breitbart gets criticism on the right for being too gung ho in embracing Israel. Steve Bannon quotes that give some of his supporters pause are things like "no media outlet is more pro-Israel than Breitbart". I guess politics is a factor but most of us don't like all the money we give them and how a major reason that the Muslim world is so angry at the Western one is it's unflinching backing of Israel, no matter how much of the West Bank they encroach upon, among other things.

The idea that Breitbart is anti-Semitic is an absurd Media Matters talking point going back to an article calling Bill Kristol a "Renegade Jew". The article was, obviously, written by a Jew. And the thrust of the article was that Bill Kristol (and others) making attempts to steal the Republican nomination from Trump (as the Dems had from Bernie Sanders) would ultimately harm Israel. So it was a Jew calling a Jew a Renegade Jew for making a decision he believed was bad for the Jewish homeland.

I know it's all very confusing but hopefully that's cleared up now.

TheRexican , 6 Oct 2017 11:31
"I did it by referring to a business model: the political donors and the K Street lobbyists, who act in combination with politicians of the Tom DeLay variety."

There are almost no members of Congress who are of any other sort than the "Tom Delay" variety you refer to. Very nearly every single member is corrupt. The game is ruined. Perhaps an end to gerrymandering (if we shoudl be so fortunate) will allow some mechanism for changing the guard in Congress. We need to remove them all. They sold us out and we need to exile them for life.

Don't think your rep is any better. This keeps us stuck.

America_Loves_Trump -> charlieblue , 6 Oct 2017 11:10
I don't JUST yell Hillary. I also mentioned Obama and the rest of the criminals who make up the Democratic Party. Whose list of proven criminality is simply staggering enough before you get in to the mountains of very damning circumstantial stuff that begs investigation.

And when I mention the Democrats, you act as if it's some irrelevent non sequitur. IT IS NOT. Please remember that the choice was Trump OR Hillary. So whenever people lament how apparently terrible the President who has brought us 3.1% GDP growth for the first time in years and well over a million new jobs along with finally insisting that the law needs to be enforced for the first time in 8 years, the issue of the alternative to this IS of course relevant.

As I said: Clinton is a part of the establishment. A real swamp monster. One of the really big stinking ones, with huge wads of cash stuck to her blood soaked claws. Trump is not. And by the very low bar set by the past few Presidents, just not being more of the same is an improvement.

And by the way, Hillary Clinton did commit multiple felonies. The private server = felony (whether "intent" was there or not, that was an irrelevant muddying of the waters). The storing and forwarding of classified info on this server = felony (whether or not she, after decades in government understood that (C) meant classified as it always had all along).

You've got your head in the sand, pal

Whiplashed -> America_Loves_Trump , 6 Oct 2017 10:53
You seem to be taking Clinton Cash as evidence of something, but that is just a piece of propaganda meant to sway the election. Where are your reputable sources?
boilingriver -> America_Loves_Trump , 6 Oct 2017 10:51
There are some great videos on Youtube where he talks about economics.
HAHA yes where he deliberately lies about the cause of 2008.

Where he is now silent on cohn who is now in charge of economic policy.

So, while Cohn was overseeing one team inside Goldman Sachs preoccupied with implementing the big short, he was in regular contact with others scrambling to offload its subprime inventory. One Goldman trader described the mortgage-backed securities they were selling as "shitty." Another complained in an email that they were being asked to "distribute junk that nobody was dumb enough to take first time around." A December 28 email from Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre, a Goldman vice president later convicted of fraud, instructed traders to focus on less astute, "buy and hold" investors rather than "sophisticated hedge funds" that "will be on the same side of the trade as we will."
https://theintercept.com/2017/09/17/goldman-sachs-gary-cohn-donald-trump-administration /

Then there is Mnuchin( Treasury secretary) the foreclosure king, who made a fortune on taking peoples home, some for $1 mistake.

Why did republicans mot make up some laws to put them into prison. Why are they silent now when trump is deregulating by executive order.

Talk about fake outrage putting in the people who caused the problems as the solutions.

America_Loves_Trump -> NYbill13 , 6 Oct 2017 10:12
Spoken from someone who has obviously never listened to what Steve Bannon said or his message.

You obviously don't know, for example, that his Dad - a union guy - lost half of his life savings in the crash of 2008.

And you do not have a single quote where you can attribute "master race" stuff to Bannon. That's literally a smear based on nothing, created by the Clinton people as revenge for his role in the absolutely devastating expose Clinton Cash.

Those of us paying attention understand what he is: an unbelievably bright guy who was the first man who successfully harnessed the informed outrage of the alternative media to have an impact in national politics. He and Trump beat the rigging and achieved for the socially conservative anti-deepstate people what Bernie Sanders was unable to achieve on the Left... if he ever really had the stomach for the fight in the first place.

LittleTomcat , 6 Oct 2017 09:28
"That it will also enrich countless contractors and lobbyists and bunglers and wreckers is just a bonus." Mmmm, maybe not a bonus so much as the objective, perhaps? As an aside, the method of installing nomenclature to control agencies, such as the agency responsible for granting broadcast licences, was described, if I recall correctly, in Josef Korbel's 1959 "The Communist Subversion of Czechoslovakia, 1938-1948". For a funny take on the privatisation of perpetual military conflict, Christopher Buckley's "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?" might provide a laugh, if you don't think about how closely it matches reality.
oiler , 6 Oct 2017 07:03
The proletariat, or at least the opioid threatened, white and marginalized cadre on show in the Rust belt states, probably thought they had their man in DJT because he said what it took to get himself elected in the vernacular they prefer, feeling its authenticity made them look honest.. Ha! But look! They are no different from other vulnerables after all, and they will be and are, being screwed over accordingly. Turkeys and Christmas, Foxes and henhouses, its all been said and now its being done: educate yourselves, folks.. before its too late.
HilltopRide , 6 Oct 2017 06:30
Yep, judge em solely on their actions. Trump is about entrenching the corporate coup d'etat. Expanding the swamp, not draining it. The question is now, after Citizens United and with a conservative SCOTUS in perpetuity, whether it's too wide and deep ever to be drained.

[Oct 11, 2017] US pseudo left does not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

polistra, Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT

Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

[Oct 11, 2017] Russia witch hunt is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working class

Highly recommended!
Chris Hedges, who is doubtless a courageous journalist and an intelligent commentator, suggests that if we are to discuss the anti-Russia campaign realistically, as baseless in fact, and as contrived for an effect and to further/protect some particular interests, we can hardly avoid the question: Who or what interest is served by the anti-Russia campaign?
An interesting observation "The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out."
The other relevant observation is that there is no American left. It was destroyed as a political movement. The USA is a right wing country.
Notable quotes:
"... This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. ..."
"... It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country. ..."
"... The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions. ..."
"... Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater. ..."
"... These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes. ..."
"... The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced. ..."
"... The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left." ..."
"... Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease. ..."
"... For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch. ..."
"... The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down. ..."
"... The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. ..."
"... The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison! ..."
"... Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The elites "have no credibility left" by Chris Hedges

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd. It's really premised on the unproven claim that Russia gave the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, and the release of these emails turned tens, or hundreds of thousands, of Clinton supporters towards Trump. This doesn't make any sense. Either that, or, according to the director of national intelligence, RT America, where I have a show, got everyone to vote for the Green Party.

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country.

Police forces have been turned into quasi-military entities that terrorize marginal communities, where people have been stripped of all of their rights and can be shot with impunity; in fact over three are killed a day. The state shoots and locks up poor people of color as a form of social control. They are quite willing to employ the same form of social control on any other segment of the population that becomes restive.

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power. The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.

... ... ...

DN: Let's come back to this question of the Russian hacking news story. You raised the ability to generate a story, which has absolutely no factual foundation, nothing but assertions by various intelligence agencies, presented as an assessment that is beyond question. What is your evaluation of this?

CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit. These cable news shows are one of many revenue streams in a corporate structure. They compete against other revenue streams. The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.

I was on the investigative team at the New York Times during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I was based in Paris and covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and maybe somebody in an intelligence agency, would confirm whatever story the administration was attempting to pitch. Journalistic rules at the Times say you can't go with a one-source story. But if you have three or four supposedly independent sources confirming the same narrative, then you can go with it, which is how they did it. The paper did not break any rules taught at Columbia journalism school, but everything they wrote was a lie.

The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced.

DN: The CIA pitches the story, and then the Times gets the verification from those who pitch it to them.

CH: It's not always pitched. And not much of this came from the CIA. The CIA wasn't buying the "weapons of mass destruction" hysteria.

DN: It goes the other way too?

CH: Sure. Because if you're trying to have access to a senior official, you'll constantly be putting in requests, and those officials will decide when they want to see you. And when they want to see you, it's usually because they have something to sell you.

DN: The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left."

CH: Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease.

If you attempt to debate most of those on the supposedly left, they reduce discussion to this cartoonish vision of politics.

The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch.

I've battled continuously with Antifa and the Black Bloc. I think they're kind of poster children for what I would consider phenomenal political immaturity. Resistance is not a form of personal catharsis. We are not fighting the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down.

So Trump's not the problem. But just that sentence alone is going to kill most discussions with people who consider themselves part of the left.

The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. The New York Times , if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it -- as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!

Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors.

[Oct 09, 2017] After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
US Congress allowed to drag itself into this propaganda swamp by politized Intelligence community, which became a major political player, that can dictate Congress what to do and what not to do. Now it is not that easy to get out of this "intelligence swamp"
Notable quotes:
"... The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from. ..."
"... This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts ..."
"... iven the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence. ..."
"... It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. ..."
"... One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard. ..."
"... purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level." ..."
"... No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs. ..."
"... the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy. ..."
"... There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall"). ..."
"... These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 'briefing' is just another exercise in preferred narrative boosting.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a press briefing Thursday on the status of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process. Content-wise, the press briefing and the question and answer session were an exercise in information futility -- they provided little substance and nothing new. The investigation was still ongoing, the senators explained, and there was still work to be done.

Nine months into the Committee's work, the best Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), could offer was that there was "general consensus" among committee members and their staff that they trust the findings of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of January 2017, which gave high confidence to the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The issue of possible collusion between Russia and members of the campaign of Donald Trump, however, "is still open."

Frankly speaking, this isn't good enough.

The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from.

This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts from three of the Intelligence Community's sixteen agencies (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) who operated outside of the National Intelligence Council (the venue for the production of Intelligence Community products such as the Russian ICA), and void of the direction and supervision of a dedicated National Intelligence Officer. Overcoming this deficient family tree represents a high hurdle, even before the issue of the credibility of the sources and methods used to underpin the ICA's findings are discussed. Given the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence.

It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. Insofar as the committee's investigation serves as a legitimate search for truth, it does so as a post-conviction appeal. However, as the distinguished Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna noted in his opinion in Berger v. United States (1921):

The remedy by appeal is inadequate. It comes after the trial, and, if prejudice exist, it has worked its evil and a judgment of it in a reviewing tribunal is precarious. It goes there fortified by presumptions, and nothing can be more elusive of estimate or decision than a disposition of a mind in which there is a personal ingredient.

One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard.

The two senators proceeded to touch on a new angle recently introduced into their investigation, that of the purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level."

No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy.

There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall").

These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it.

The take away from the press briefing given by Senator's Burr and Warner was two-fold: One, the Russians meddled, and two, we don't know if Trump colluded with the Russians. The fact that America is nine months into this investigation with little more to show now than what could have been said at the start is, in and of itself, an American political tragedy. The Trump administration has been hobbled by the inertia of this and other investigations derived from the question of Russian meddling. That this process may yet vindicate President Trump isn't justification for the process itself; in such a case the delay will have hurt more than the truth. As William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so eloquently noted:

Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice. They too often starve those they dare not deny. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those who purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full value.

Our law says that to delay Justice is Injustice. Not to have a Right, and not to come of it, differs little. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty of a Good Officer.

Senators Burr and Warner, together with their fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their respective staffs, would do well to heed those words.

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 "Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War" (Clarity Press, 2017).

[Oct 08, 2017] Todays Republicans Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We ought to just call them what they really all are -- Neocons.

Notable quotes:
"... I'd like to see this: President Rand Paul, VP Tulsi Gabbard, chief of staff Ron Paul, and Sec. of Defense Wesley Clark, for starters. ..."
"... "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

steemihal last month

People need to learn, relearn, and talk to others about this. Let's admit it: today's Republicans & Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We ought to just call them what they really all are -- "Neocons."

Both sides need to be replaced by truly independent voters giving strength to an administration that is neither R nor D, and that should be the Libertarians. Trump is not one, but he's going to end up making the way for them during his four years.

I'd like to see this: President Rand Paul, VP Tulsi Gabbard, chief of staff Ron Paul, and Sec. of Defense Wesley Clark, for starters.

cve3 2 months ago

It was either Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens who said "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

[Oct 03, 2017] Russian Ads On Facebook A Click-Bait Campaign

Highly recommended!
This is particular dirty campaign to implicate Trump and delegitimize his victory is a part of color revolution against Trump.
The other noble purpose is to find a scapegoat for the current problems, especially in Democratic Party, and to preserve Clinton neoliberals rule over the party for a few more futile years.
Notable quotes:
"... Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump. ..."
"... The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue. ..."
"... A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized. ..."
"... This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it. ..."
"... We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites: ..."
"... The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice. ..."
"... After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube. ..."
"... Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum". ..."
"... "Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes). ..."
"... The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation . ..."
"... Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for. ..."
"... Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites. ..."
"... The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

It now turns out that these Facebook ads had nothing to do with the election. The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue.

On September 6 the NYT asserted :

Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.
...
The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election.

Like any Congress investigation the current one concerned with Facebook ads is leaking like a sieve. What oozes out makes little sense.

If "Russia" aimed to make Congress and U.S. media a laughing stock it surely achieved that.

Today the NYT says that the ads were posted "in disguise" by "the Russians" to promote variously themed Facebook pages:

There was "Defend the 2nd," a Facebook page for gun-rights supporters, festooned with firearms and tough rhetoric. There was a rainbow-hued page for gay rights activists, "LGBT United." There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads

No one has explained how these pages are supposed to be connected to a Russian "influence" campaign. It is unexplained how these are supposed to connected to the 2016 election. That is simply asserted because Facebook said, for unknown reasons, that these ads may have come from some Russian agency. How Facebook has determined that is not known.

With each detail that leaks from the "Russian ads" investigation the propaganda framework of "election manipulation" falls further apart:

Late Monday, Facebook said in a post that about 10 million people had seen the ads in question. About 44 percent of the ads were seen before the 2016 election and the rest after, the company said

The original story propagandized that "Russia" intended to influence the election in favor of Trump. But why then was the majority of the ads in questions run later after November 9? And how would an animal-lovers page with adorable puppy pictures help to achieve Trumps election victory?

More details via the Wall Street Journal:

Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone. That's because advertising auctions are designed so that ads reach people based on relevance, and certain ads may not reach anyone as a result.
...
For 50% of the ads, less than $3 was spent; for 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent.

Of the 3,000 ads Facebook originally claimed were "Russian" only 2,200 were ever viewed. Most of the advertisements were mini-ads which, for the price of a coffee, promoted private pages related to hobbies and a wide spectrum of controversial issues. The majority of the ads ran after the election.

All that "adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign ... designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election"?

No.

But the NYT still finds "experts" who believe in the "Russian influence" nonsense and find the most stupid reasons to justify their claims:

Clinton Watts, a former F.B.I. agent now at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, said Russia had been entrepreneurial in trying to develop diverse channels of influence. Some, like the dogs page, may have been created without a specific goal and held in reserve for future use.

Puppy pictures for "future use"? Nonsense. Lunacy! The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not a political influence op.

The for-profit scheme runs as follows: One builds pages with "hot" stuff that attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them.

A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized.

This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it.

We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites:

The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice.

"You have to write what people want to see, not what you want to show," he said, scrolling through The Political Insider's stories as a large banner read "ARREST HILLARY NOW."

The 3,000 Facebook ads Congress is investigating are part of a similar scheme. The mini-ads promoted pages with hot button issues and click-bait puppy pictures. These pages were themselves created to generate ad-clicks and revenue. As Facebook claims that "Russia" is behind them, we will likely find some Russian teens who simply repeated the scheme their Macedonian friends were running on.

With its "Russian influence" scare campaign the NYT follows the same business model. It is producing fake news which attracts viewers and readers who's attention is then sold to advertisers. Facebook is also profiting from this. Its current piecemeal release of vague information keeps its name in the news.

After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube.

Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum".

The car crash compilations, like the puppy pages, are another sign that Russia is waging war against the people of the United States!

You don't believe that? You should. Trust your experienced politician!

Samantha Power @SamanthaJPower - 3:45 PM - 3 Oct 2017

This gets more chilling daily : now we learn Russia targeted Americans on Facebook by "demographics, geography, gender & interests," across websites & devices, reached millions, kept going after Nov. An attack on all Americans, not just HRC campaign washingtonpost.com/business/econo

It indeed gets more chilling. It's fall. It also generates ad revenue.

Posted by b on October 3, 2017 at 02:09 PM | Permalink

nmb | Oct 3, 2017 2:20:52 PM | 1

As Shock Therapy failed miserably in the 90s, the neocon dynasty seeks now direct confrontation with Russia
Jackrabbit | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:24 PM | 2
"Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation .

Taxi | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:34 PM | 3
Oh dear intrepidus, why are you still talking about MSM's favorite weapon of mass distraction?

Even though you make a fine point or two, at this stage, you're actually adding to the whirling stupidity by indulging it it yourself, methinks.

I'm so very, very over Russiagate and it's non-existent tentacles. Pfft!

Grieved | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:24 PM | 4
Thanks, b.

You're presenting a very good concept/meme to understand: Fake news is click bait for gain.

The same can be said for any sensationalism or shocking event - like the Kurdish referendum, like the Catalonia referendum, like the Vegas shooting - or like confrontational or dogmatic comments in threads about those events.

Everywhere we turn someone is trying to game us for some kind of gain. What matters is to step back from the front lines where our sense is accosted and offended, to step back from the automatic reflex, and to remember that someone triggered that reflex, deliberately, for their gain, not ours.

We have to reside in reason and equanimity, because the moment we indulge in our righteous anger or our strong convictions, the odds are extremely good that someone is playing us.

It's a wicked world, but in fact we live in an age when we can see its meta characteristics like never before.

Anon | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:39 PM | 5
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

What we see is the biggest psyop., propaganda disinformation campaig ever in the western media, far more powerful than "nuclear Iraq" of 2003.
Still, and this should be a warning, majority of people in EU/US believe this nonsense.

the pair | Oct 3, 2017 3:07:19 PM | 6
$3 ads on facebook seen by nobody:

"russian meddling! their puppies hate our freedom!"

pharmaceutical ads on every evening news show and boeing/lockheed sponsoring the "p"bs news hour?"

"nothing to see here! take off your tin foil hat you f_cking alex jones putinbot!!!!"

you'd think by now most americans would realize the actual threat is other americans. the rest of the world realized it long ago.

sejomoje | Oct 3, 2017 3:08:47 PM | 7
I lol'd. But seriously the next step is a false flag implicating Russia. They're getting nowhere assassinating Russian diplomats and shooting down Russian aircraft, both military and civilian. Even overthrowing governments who are Russia-friendly hasn't seem to provoke a response.

But I consider the domestic Russia buzz to be performance art, and I imagine it's become even grating to some of its participants. How could it not be, unless everyone is heavily medicated(a lot certainly are)? Anyway it's by design that the western media and the political classes they serve need a script, they're incapable of discussing actual issues. Independence has been made quaint.

karlof1 | Oct 3, 2017 3:10:42 PM | 8
Hi Grieved--

I posted this link at the Vegas thread, but the item's contents are valid here too, and speaks to the content of your above comment, https://sputniknews.com/viral/201710031057912410-google-facebook-youtube-vegas-fake-news/

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The line between politics and product marketing has gone.

But no matter if "the Russians" influenced the US election or not - after all that is what most countries do to each other - the FBI is correct that to be able to target audiences according to demographics and individual traits is a powerful tool.

Like the double hoax of " The War of Worlds broadcast ".

The newspapers had a clear agenda. An editorial in The New York Times, headlined In the Terror by Radio, was used to censure the relatively new medium of radio, which was becoming a serious competitor in providing news and advertising. "Radio is new but it has adult responsibilities. It has not mastered itself or the material it uses," said the editorial leader comment on November 1 1938. In an excellent piece in Slate magazine in 2013, Jefferson Pooley (associate professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College) and Michael J Socolow (associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine) looked at the continuing popularity of the myth of mass panic and they took to task NPR's Radiolab programme about the incident and the Radiolab assertion that "The United States experienced a kind of mass hysteria that we've never seen before." Pooley and Socolow wrote: "How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America's newspapers. ... AND IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO COPY ORSON WELLES . . . In February 1949, Leonardo Paez and Eduardo Alcaraz produced a Spanish-language version of Welles's 1938 script for Radio Quito in Ecuador. The broadcast set off panic. Quito police and fire brigades rushed out of town to fight the supposed alien invasion force. After it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot. The riot resulted in at least seven deaths, including those of Paez's girlfriend and nephew. The offices Radio Quito, and El Comercio, a local newspaper that had participated in the hoax by publishing false reports of unidentified flying objects in the days preceding the broadcast, were both burned to the ground.
ashley albanese | Oct 3, 2017 3:13:06 PM | 10
Jackrabbit 2
No - the two words the Capital system fears the most are SURPLUS VALUE , the control of the 'profit principle' for social not private ends .
Lea | Oct 3, 2017 3:42:35 PM | 11
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

The "Russiadunnit" thingy has turned into a business in the US. And when a new market is launched in the US, as people depend on it for their living and careers, it generally doesn't go away.
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/28/the-slimy-business-of-russia-gate/

OJS | Oct 3, 2017 3:45:59 PM | 12
god bless amerika

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The American panic was a myth, the Equadorian panic in 1949 not so much. I listened to this Radiolab podcast about same ... the details of how they pulled it off in a one-radio station country pre-internet are interesting and valuable (they widely advertised a very popular music program which was then "interrupted" by the hoax to ensure near-universal audience (including the police and other authorities). Very very fews were "in on the joke" and it wasn't a joke. whole page on WooW: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/

specific could it happen again? http://www.radiolab.org/story/91624-could-it-happen-again-and-again/

c1ue | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:38 PM | 14
Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for.
Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:49 PM | 15
Russian Trolls outed as kids from Oregon: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-latest-fake-news-panic-appears-to-be-fake-news-w506396
"Lankford shocked the world this week by revealing that "Russian Internet trolls" were stoking the NFL kneeling debate. ... Conservative outlets like Breitbart and Newsmax and Fox played up the "Russians stoked the kneeling controversy" angle because it was in their interest to suggest that domestic support for kneeling protests is less than what it appears....

The Post reported that Lankford's office had cited one of "Boston Antifa's" tweets. But the example offered read suspiciously like a young net-savvy American goofing on antifa stereotypes "More gender inclusivity with NFL fans and gluten free options at stadiums We're liking the new NFL #NewNFL #TakeAKnee #TakeTheKnee." ...

The group was most likely a pair of yahoos from Oregon named Alexis Esteb and Brandon Krebs. "

Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 4:00:46 PM | 16
Pity Rolling Stone got caught up in that fake college rape allegation, they have actually done some solid reporting. Every MSM outlet has had multiple fake stories, so should RS be shunned for life for one bad story?
Kalen | Oct 3, 2017 4:03:18 PM | 17
It is time that sane part of independent media understood that there is no more need to rationally respond to psychotic delusions of Deep State puppets in Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites.

There are only two effective responses to provocation namely silence or violence, anything else plays the book of provocateurs.

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:28 PM | 18
Now they're seriously undermining their claims of intentionality ... as well as their wildly inflated claims effect on outcome or even effective "undermining" ... again, compared to Citizens United and the long-count of 2000 ... negligible....

And still insisting that Hillary Clinton is Russia's Darth Vader against whom unlimited resources are marshalled because she must be stopped ... even though she damn near won... and the reasons she lost seems unrelated to such vagaries as the DNC e-mails or facebook campaigns (unless you believe she had a god-given right to each and every vote)

Don Bacon | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:47 PM | 19

Lucky for us that television "news" doesn't use this business model. /s
Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20
Why do you think this is important enough to make the effort to write another blog entry B? Everyone who wants to know that this is all fantasy knows by now.
Mina | Oct 3, 2017 5:05:12 PM | 21
https://mobile.twitter.com/dgaytandzhieva/status/913545591757697024
brian | Oct 3, 2017 5:09:39 PM | 22
'Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

This is the same US congress that regularly marches off to Israel to receive orders

https://www.amazon.com/They-Dare-Speak-Out-Institutions/dp/155652482X

those who dont obey orders: http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/how-i-got-fired/

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 5:36:59 PM | 23
@ Posted by: Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20

This isn't about the "truth" (or lies) wrt Russian involvement, it's about the increasingly rapid failure of the Government/Establishment's narrative ...

Increasingly they can't even keep their accusations "alive" for more than a few days ... and some of their accusations (like the one here, that some "Russian" sites were created and not used, but to be held for use at some future date) become fairly ridiculous ... and the "remedy" to "Russians" creating clickbait sites for some future nefarious use, I think can only be banning all Russians from creating sites ... or maybe using facebook altogether ... all with no evidence of evil-doers actually doing evil...

It's rather like Jared Kushner's now THIRD previously undisclosed private e-mail account ... fool me once versus how disorganized/dumb/arrogant/crooked is this guy?

Lochearn | Oct 3, 2017 6:43:01 PM | 24
Sorry to be off topic but yesterday the Saker of the Vineyard published a couple of articles about Catalonia. The first was a diatribe, a nasty hatchet job on the Catalan people which included the following referring to the Catalan people:

"The Problems they have because with their corruption, inefficiency, mismanagement, inability and sometimes the simplest stupidity, are always the fault of others (read Spaniards here) which gives them "carte blanche" to keep going on with it."

"... They (the independistas) are NATIONAL SOCIALIST (aka NAZI) in their Ideology"

Then Saker published an article by Peter Koenig that was reasonable and what we have come to expect. Then he forbade all comments on either of the two articles. My comment was banned, which simply said in my opinion from working for fourteen years in Spain that the Catalans were extremely efficient in comparison with their Madrid counterparts.

ToivoS | Oct 3, 2017 7:32:04 PM | 25
I must admit that I became a fan of watching those Russian car crashes that were captured by the cams many russian drivers keep on their dash boards. Some of these were very funny. I was not aware that made me a victim of Putin propaganda. In any case, they are not that interesting anymore once they were commercialized. That was about 10 years ago.
Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 7:43:29 PM | 26
I'm waiting for the expose of the Russian mail-order bride business (Do they still exist?)
ab initio | Oct 3, 2017 8:29:04 PM | 27
Very good analysis.

The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues.

ben | Oct 3, 2017 8:30:46 PM | 28
Jackrabbit @ 2: Yep!!

And here is another part to the puzzle:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19516:Empire-Files%3A-The-Hidden-Purging-of-Millions-of-Voters

Chipnik | Oct 3, 2017 8:42:54 PM | 29
Your answer can be found ...right ...here:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yc7kskox
james | Oct 3, 2017 8:44:05 PM | 30
OT - more from comedy central - daily USA press briefing from today...

"QUESTION: On Iran, would you and the State Department say, as Secretary Mattis said today, that staying in the JCPOA would be in the U.S. national interest?

MS NAUERT: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is this a position you share?

MS NAUERT: So I'm certainly familiar with what Secretary Mattis said on Capitol Hill today. Secretary Mattis, of course, one of many people who is providing expertise and counsel to the President on the issue of Iran and the JCPOA. The President is getting lots of information on that. We have about 12 days or so, I think, to make our determination for the next JCPOA guideline.

The administration looks at JCPOA as – the fault in the JCPOA as not looking at the totality of Iran's bad behavior. Secretary Tillerson talked about that at length at the UN General Assembly. So did the President as well. We know that Iran is responsible for terror attacks. We know that Iran arms the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which leads to a more miserable failed state, awful situation in Yemen, for example. We know what they're doing in Syria. Where you find the Iranian Government, you can often find terrible things happening in the world. This administration is very clear about highlighting that and will look at Iran in sort of its totality of all of its bad behaviors, not just the nuclear deal.

I don't want to get ahead of the discussions that are ongoing with this – within the administration, as it pertains to Iran. The President has said he's made he's decision, and so I don't want to speak on behalf of the President, and he'll just have to make that determination when he's ready to do so."

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/10/274592.htm

[Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

Notable quotes:
"... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
"... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
"... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
"... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
"... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
"... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
"... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
"... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
"... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
"... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

[Sep 18, 2017] Amazon.com Customer reviews What Happened

Notable quotes:
"... It's pathetic and immature that Clinton can't accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie. Only for the super-delegates in California, Bernie would have beaten her. ..."
"... But of course Donald Trump didn't play any part in her losing. She simply did not connect with people. To her it was like she had an entitlement because of her name. ..."
Sep 12, 2017 | www.amazon.com

RJ Parker, September 12, 2017

Anything and everything but herself .. 'Covfefe'

It's pathetic and immature that Clinton can't accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie. Only for the super-delegates in California, Bernie would have beaten her.

But, according to Hillary, 'What Happened' was ...

  1. Suburban women didn't like her
  2. The Russians interferred
  3. The FBI and James Comey
  4. Facebook
  5. Twitter
  6. Wikileaks
  7. Bernie Sanders
  8. TV Executives
  9. Cable News
  10. Fake News
  11. The Democrats
  12. The Republicans
  13. Low informed voters
  14. The 'Deplorables'
  15. Content farms in Macedonia
  16. Obama winning two terms
  17. Bad polling numbers

But of course Donald Trump didn't play any part in her losing. She simply did not connect with people. To her it was like she had an entitlement because of her name.

[Sep 02, 2017] No Russian Hacking In Durham Election - NY Times Report Belies Its Headline

NYT = neocon/neolib fear mongering and neo-McCarthyism.
If we assume that Russians can control election machine, the question arise about the CIA role in the US elections. They are much more powerful and that's their home turf. And they can pretend to be Russians of Chinese at will. Then they can cry "Thief" to divert attention. Does this that promoting Russia hacking story they implicitly reveal to us that elections are controlled by Deep State and electronic voting machines and voter rosters are just a tool to this end. They allow to get rid of human vote counting and that alone makes hijacking of the election results really easy. machine magically calculates the votes and you are done. As Stalin said it doesn't matter how people are voting, what matters is who is calculating the votes.
Dems should concentrate on removing neoliberal/Clinton wing of the Party from the leadership and making it at lease "A New Deal" Party, not sold to Wall Steer bunch of fear mongering neocons. Anti-Russian campaign is designed to sabotage those efforts.
Notable quotes:
"... All of the reported troubles are simple computer hiccups that would not have occurred in a more reasonable election system build on paper and pencil balloting. All the computer troubles have various innocent causes ..."
"... Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems: ..."
"... The NYT headline is an outrageous lie. It promotes as causal fact completely unproven interference and troubles for which, as the article notes, plenty of other reason might exist. It is politically irresponsible. Only two out of ten people read beyond the headlines. Even fewer will read down to paragraph five and recognize that the headline lies. All others will have been willfully misled by the editors of the New York Times. ..."
"... The whole "Russian hacking" issue is a series of big lies designed and promulgated by Democratic partisans (specifically Brennan and Clapper who were then at the head of U.S. intelligence services) ..."
"... The New York Times, and other media, present these lies as facts while not providing any evidence for them. In many cases they hide behind " intelligence reports " without noting suspiciously mealymouthed caveats in those subjective "assessments" of obviously partisan authors. Hard facts contradicting their conclusions are simply ignored and not reported at all. ..."
"... "Never trust a computer with anything important." I have been relentlessly campaigning against the use of voting machines, particularly voting computers, since 2004. I have demanded openly hand counted paper ballots in hundreds of blog posts, and even have a website promoting this. ..."
"... At the end of the day it is obvious that the Deep State Syndicate controls the machines, and thus the elections. And then they have the nerve to demand that we must beware of "Russian hacking"! ..."
"... The whole Russia stole my homework meme is getting fairly old and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding with this ongoing obfuscation of the facts......if the drums of war are loud enough will they drown out the calls for justice by any of the current or recent politicians? ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The last piece pointed out that the NYT headline " U.N. Peacekeepers in Lebanon Get Stronger Inspection Powers for Hezbollah Arms " was 100% fake news. The UNIFIL U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon were not getting any stronger inspection powers. The relevant UN Security Resolution, which renewed UNIFIL's mandate, had made no such changes. No further inspection powers were authorized.

Today we find another similarly lying headline in the New York Times.

Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny

By NICOLE PERLROTH, MICHAEL WINES and MATTHEW ROSENBERGSEPT. 1, 2017

The piece is about minor technical election trouble in a district irrelevant to the presidential election outcome. Contradicting the headline it notes in paragraph five:

There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns -- local officials blamed human error and software malfunctions -- and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less a Russian role in it
"We don't know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state," said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. "If you really want to know what happened, you'd have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then."

...

the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

All of the reported troubles are simple computer hiccups that would not have occurred in a more reasonable election system build on paper and pencil balloting. All the computer troubles have various innocent causes. The officials handling these systems deny that any "Russian hacking" was involved. Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems:

Despite the disruptions, a record number of votes were cast in Durham, following a pattern there of overwhelming support for Democratic presidential candidates , this time Hillary Clinton.

The NYT headline is an outrageous lie. It promotes as causal fact completely unproven interference and troubles for which, as the article notes, plenty of other reason might exist. It is politically irresponsible. Only two out of ten people read beyond the headlines. Even fewer will read down to paragraph five and recognize that the headline lies. All others will have been willfully misled by the editors of the New York Times.

This scheme is the gist of ALL reporting about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. presidential election. There exists zero evidence that Russia was involved in anything related to it. No evidence -none at all- links the publishing of DNC papers or of Clinton counselor Podesta's emails to Russia. Thousands of other circumstances, people or political entities might have had their hands in the issue. There is zero evidence that Russia was involved at all.

The whole "Russian hacking" issue is a series of big lies designed and promulgated by Democratic partisans (specifically Brennan and Clapper who were then at the head of U.S. intelligence services) to:

The New York Times, and other media, present these lies as facts while not providing any evidence for them. In many cases they hide behind " intelligence reports " without noting suspiciously mealymouthed caveats in those subjective "assessments" of obviously partisan authors. Hard facts contradicting their conclusions are simply ignored and not reported at all.

Posted by b on September 1, 2017 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

WG | Sep 2, 2017 1:27:08 AM | 1

Look at what happened today in San Francisco - after ordering the Russians to shut down their embassy there in an unreasonably short timeframe, they then had the fire department respond to smoke coming out of the chimney of the building. Conveniently this brings attention to the situation and continues the narrative of 'ongoing conflict' to the American people.

The end of this story has already decided. It didn't matter who won the election, it doesn't matter that the people chose the candidate who wanted peace, and it doesn't matter that there wasn't any Russian election hacking.

blues | Sep 2, 2017 1:37:27 AM | 2
"Never trust a computer with anything important." I have been relentlessly campaigning against the use of voting machines, particularly voting computers, since 2004. I have demanded openly hand counted paper ballots in hundreds of blog posts, and even have a website promoting this.

At the end of the day it is obvious that the Deep State Syndicate controls the machines, and thus the elections. And then they have the nerve to demand that we must beware of "Russian hacking"!

Get strategic hedge simple score voting today!

psychohistorian | Sep 2, 2017 1:59:38 AM | 3
The whole Russia stole my homework meme is getting fairly old and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding with this ongoing obfuscation of the facts......if the drums of war are loud enough will they drown out the calls for justice by any of the current or recent politicians?

Yes, of course.....thats the plan.....is it working?

If not, invade Venezuela on some pretext and claim ownership of their oil....someone has to make Israel look reasonable.

Bob | Sep 2, 2017 2:01:39 AM | 4
What a bizarre article.
"We don't know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state," said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. "If you really want to know what happened, you'd have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then."

...

the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

They don't even know what happened. Best blame it on the Russians anyway.

Perimtr | Sep 2, 2017 3:07:52 AM | 5
The "paper of record" is just another outlet for the Ministry of Propaganda.
Kalen | Sep 2, 2017 3:22:15 AM | 6
B of course realizes that the headline of an article is almost never written by author but by an editor.

Such as blatant nonsense at NYT and elsewhere I think is possible when author wanting to get published on good NYT page would lie to editor about its contents.

Of course Editor is no idiot and in old American tradition of pretending and deniability does not read it to cover his/her butt and hence this obvious crap get published epitomizing a failure {actually Orwellian success] of editor to vet the paper, as long as bosses are happy with insinuations however baseless.

Shakesvshav | Sep 2, 2017 3:31:33 AM | 7
The Guardian still sees mileage in Pussy Riot, or at least one former member: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/01/pussy-riot-mariya-alyokhina-russian-activist-jailed-white-house
Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2017 7:21:37 AM | 8
...
Of course Editor is no idiot and in old American tradition of pretending and deniability does not read it to cover his/her butt and hence this obvious crap get published epitomizing a failure {actually Orwellian success] of editor to vet the paper, as long as bosses are happy with insinuations however baseless.
Posted by: Kalen | Sep 2, 2017 3:22:15 AM | 6

I like the theory that NYT's sub-editors are too lazy/busy/careless to read the articles they're paid to summarise and add an appealing headline. It's certainly food for thought when pondering possible Chain Of Command issues within the MSM.

When I was a regular lurker at What's Left, one notable aspect was the frequency with which Gowans' most stunning revelations were sourced from the nether regions of articles published in the NYT, WaPo et al.

Lawrence Smith | Sep 2, 2017 9:59:42 AM | 9
What this all speaks of is ineptitude and malfeasance at all levels of government. Lies covering more lies. The only things that gets done in Washington iare covering asses and those, like their wars without end, are complete and utter failures. That the Clinton mob are sore losers and press on with delegitimization of a clown president who, unlike the wicked witch of the West, feigned disinterest in war and won what's left of a hollowed out presidency is theatre of the absurd par excellence. Build the fence around the beltway and keep the psychopaths in the asylum in.
doug | Sep 2, 2017 10:44:46 AM | 10
Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems:

Plenty wrong with that logic...gosh...give it some thought...a tiny bit will help there...

james | Sep 2, 2017 11:01:34 AM | 12
yeah - more stories on pussy riot.. a story like how pussy riot ate george soros, or putins breakfast would be good..... when i read the nyt, i want a story filled with lies and deception... i'm running away from reality and heading straight for the nyt, lol..
Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2017 11:20:17 AM | 14
...
Plenty wrong with that logic...gosh...give it some thought...a tiny bit will help there...
Posted by: doug | Sep 2, 2017 10:44:46 AM | 10

It would only be a logical fallacy if it said... "Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in more than one district would have effected the general election." ...but it doesn't, so it isn't.

[Sep 01, 2017] Warren and DemoRat friends

Sep 01, 2017 | theintercept.com

September 1 2017

Mass Independent Joshua88 September 1 2017, 3:29 p.m. Interested in knowing what you think Sen Warren is consistent about.

She has recently joined the Gramps McCain war monger club and told TYT's Cenk Uygur in an interview that she thinks "Russia" is the most important issue for 2018. She gone full Dem idiot and has lost my vote (yes, in Mass) but then again, every vote I ever cast for DemocRATs has been a disappointment. Kerry for Senator and POTUS, Obomber once, Warren once. It's too much, and I'm done with them for good. Reply Joshua88 Mass Independent September 1 2017, 3:45 p.m. Her economic message and message of equity/fairness are consistent.

I know about her support for the defense industry.
I did not know how she feels about Russia.
I know she didn't vote against sanctions and war funding, as well as not speaking out against drones, etc.

All I can tell you is that, as an Independent, I am extremely harsh, disgusted, and fed up with the Dems. They are the hopeless party. I listened to Rep Joe Crowley early this morning. Christalmighty – these people ought to be put out of their misery.

What gives me optimism is that: How easy is it to tweet Ms Slaughter to say, Nobody believes you; Joe Crowley, you are out of your mind. Keep thinking these thoughts and you will LOSE 2018? Very easy, I am sure.

Your nicknames are so sophomoric – are you about twelve/thirteen? Reply Mass Independent Joshua88 September 1 2017, 5:39 p.m. So while we basically agree on our politicians, you take issue with my nicknames for them? How sophomoric of you.

I am equally disgusted and fed up with them, so I try to get under their skin (too). Reply sglover September 1 2017, 2:42 p.m. Google aside, Slaughter's perch at this Beltway feeding trough just goes to show how for somebody like her, the sweet gigs keep on coming no matter how much or how often you fuck up. How many idiotic military adventures has Slaughter advocated? Naturally, neither she nor anybody she knows ever has to pay the cost of her crackpot enthusiasms .. Reply Mass Independent sglover September 1 2017, 3:24 p.m. For all her liberal schooling, her "evolution" as a Hillary NeoCon type is complete. These are the DemocRATS who are ruining the country–with the help of their corporately owned counterparts, the Rethuglicans. Reply free September 1 2017, 2:12 p.m. Corporatins are a creation of the US state and proxies of the US state. That's particularly clear in the case of google-NSA, facebook-NSA, amazon,NSA. PAYPAL-EBAY-NSA etc.

It's quite unlkely tht the US nazi government is going to do anything against those companies because the US gov't has no reason to cut its own arms. Reply Nonsenseyousay free September 1 2017, 2:19 p.m. Welcome to Earth, but that is not how things work here in the United States. Reply free Nonsenseyousay September 1 2017, 3:18 p.m. What the fuck do you mean. That is exactly how things work in the american cesspool. Reply Alferrer September 1 2017, 12:37 p.m. Our politicians are for sale. Reply GhostofTeddyRoosevelt September 1 2017, 11:59 a.m. As a libertarian, i am pretty much hands off the market. However, many tech firms have gotten to a point of no return. At some point the Sherman Act needs to be enlisted.
In the 70s Standard Oil was busted for a lot less. Google, Amazon, Fakebook, Apple, need strutiny and likely busted as well.
I also would put a few large ag & chemical interests into this mix.
The control they wield is no longer acceptable. Reply Joe September 1 2017, 11:10 a.m. This goes to show you how Google is using its monopoly power to crush dissent and destroy its rivals. If there was ever a textbook case of monopolistic abuse that calls out for antitrust action, this is it. Reply Darren Douglas September 1 2017, 10:04 a.m. Time to split up Google (search, Gmail, YouTube, etc.) and maybe Amazon (Washington Post, Whole Foods, etc.). Google in particular is a potentially harmful monopoly for freedom of speech. Reply Elizabeth September 1 2017, 9:46 a.m. Great reporting! THANK YOU Reply Benito Mussolini September 1 2017, 9:45 a.m. Washington is a marketplace for buying and selling influence. If you drain the swamp, it doesn't make the marketplace disappear, just renders it transparent. Google's behavior does not seem exceptional, at least when compared with the machinations of Big Oil and the Military-Industrial complex. As far as I know, Google isn't agitating for the invasion of any foreign countries.

[Sep 01, 2017] Raghuram Rajan: Populist Nationalism Is the First Step Toward Crony Capitalism

Sep 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Asher Schechter at ProMarket discusses Raghuram Rajan's views on the rise of populist nationalism:

Raghuram Rajan: Populist Nationalism Is "the First Step Toward Crony Capitalism" : The wave of populist nationalism that has been sweeping through Western democracies in the past two years is "a cry for help from communities who have seen growth bypass them."
So said Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, during a keynote address he gave at the Stigler Center's conference on the political economy of finance that took place in June.
Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about the "concentrated and devastating" impact of technology and trade on blue-collar communities in areas like the Midwest, the anger toward "totally discredited" elites following the 2008 financial crisis, and the subsequent rise of populist nationalism, seen as a way to restore a sense of community via exclusion.
In his talk, Rajan focused on three questions related to current populist discontent: 1. Why is anger focused on trade? 2. Why now? 3. Why do so many voters turn to far-right nationalist movements?
"Pointing fingers at these communities and telling them they don't understand is not the right answer," he warned. "In many ways, the kind of angst that we see in industrial countries today is similar to the bleak times [of] the 1920s and 1930s. Most people in industrial countries used to believe that their children would have a better future than their already pleasant present. Today this is no longer true." ...

There's quite a bit more. I don't agree with everything he (Raghuram) says, but thought it might provoke discussion.

DrDick , August 31, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Frankly, "crony capitalism" has always been the primary one, as even Adam Smith noted.
Paine , August 31, 2017 at 11:54 AM
The understanding of exploitation
Of wage earning production workers
Is a better base then the 18 th century liberal ideal of equality

Exploitation and oppression are obviously not the same
even if they make synergistic team mates oftener then not
So long as " them " are blatantly oppressed
It's easy to Forget you are exploited
Unlike oppression
Exploitation can be so stealthy
So not part of the common description of the surface of daily life

Calls for equality must include a careful answer to the question
" equal with who ? "

Unearned equality is not seen as fair to those who wanna believe they earned their status
Add in the obvious :
To be part of a successful movement aimed at Exclusion of some " thems " or other
Is narcotic
Just as fighting exclusion can be a narcotic too for " thems "

But fighting against exclusion coming from among a privileged rank among
The community of would be excluders
That is a bummer
A thankless act of sanctimony
Unless you spiritually join the " thems"

Now what have we got ?

Jim Crow thrived for decades it only ended
When black arms and hands in the field at noon ...by the tens of millions
were no longer necessary to Dixie

Christopher H. , August 31, 2017 at 11:54 AM
"Pointing fingers at these communities and telling them they don't understand is not the right answer," he warned. "In many ways, the kind of angst that we see in industrial countries today is similar to the bleak times [of] the 1920s and 1930s. Most people in industrial countries used to believe that their children would have a better future than their already pleasant present. Today this is no longer true." ...

I thought this sort of thinking was widely accepted only in 2016 we were told by the center left that no it's not true.

"Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about the "concentrated and devastating" impact of technology and trade on blue-collar communities in areas like the Midwest, the anger toward "totally discredited" elites following the 2008 financial crisis, and the subsequent rise of populist nationalism, seen as a way to restore a sense of community via exclusion."

Instead the center left is arguing that workers have nothing to complain about and besides they're racist/sexist.

gregory byshenk , September 01, 2017 at 08:54 AM
'"These communities have become disempowered partly for economic reasons but partly also because decision-making has increasingly been centralized toward state governments, national governments, and multilateral [agreements]," said Rajan. In the European Union, he noted, the concentration of decision-making in Brussels has led to a lot of discontent.'

I'd suggest that this part is not true. Communities have become politically disempowered in large part because they have become economically disempowered. A shrinking economy means a shrinking tax base and less funds to do things locally. Even if the local government attempts to rebuild by recruiting other employers, they end up in a race to the bottom with other communities in a similar situation.

I'd also suggest that the largest part of the "discontent" in the EU is not because of any "concentration of decision-making", but because local (and regional, and national) politicians have used the EU as a convenient scapegoat for any required, but unpopular action.

[Aug 26, 2017] Court Admits DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schulz Rigged Primaries Against Sanders by Michael Sainato

Notable quotes:
"... In evaluating Plaintiffs' claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true -- that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponent, ..."
"... The order reaffirmed that the primaries were tipped in Hillary Clinton's favor, but the court's authority to intervene in a court of law is limited. ..."
"... "The Court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party's nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publically proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair, and impartial. This Order therefore concerns only technical matters of pleading and subject-matter jurisdiction." ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | observer.com

In June 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for violating the DNC Charter by rigging the Democratic presidential primaries for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders. Even former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted in July 2016, ""I knew!everybody knew!that this was not a fair deal." He added adding that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have resigned much sooner than she did. The lawsuit was filed to push the DNC to admit their wrongdoing and provide Bernie Sanders supporters, who supported him financially with millions of dollars in campaign contributions, with restitution for being cheated.

On August 25, 2017, Federal Judge William Zloch, dismissed the lawsuit after several months of litigation in which DNC attorneys argued that the DNC would be well within their rights to rig primaries and select their own candidate. " In evaluating Plaintiffs' claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true -- that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponent, " the court order dismissing the lawsuit stated.

The order then explained why the lawsuit would be dismissed. "The Court must now decide whether Plaintiffs have suffered a concrete injury particularized to them, or one certainly impending, that is traceable to the DNC and its former chair's conduct!the keys to entering federal court. The Court holds that they have not." The court added that it did not consider this within its jurisdiction. "Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing 'only that power authorized by Constitution and statute.'"

The order reaffirmed that the primaries were tipped in Hillary Clinton's favor, but the court's authority to intervene in a court of law is limited.

"The Court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party's nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publically proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair, and impartial. This Order therefore concerns only technical matters of pleading and subject-matter jurisdiction."

At this time, it's unclear if the attorneys who filed the class action lawsuit, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, will pursue other legal recourse regarding the 2016 Democratic primaries.

[Aug 20, 2017] The chattering political classes have converged on the belief that Trump is not only incompetent, but dangerous. They use identity politics to discredit his base.

The USA started to imitate post-Maydan Ukraine: another war with statues... "Identity politics" flourishing in some unusual areas like history of the country. Which like in Ukraine is pretty divisive.
McAuliffe was co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, and was one of her superdelegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Notable quotes:
"... The thrust appears to be to undercut components of his base while ratcheting up indignation. WaPo and the Times dribble out salacious "news" stories that, often as not, are substance free but written in a hyperbolic style that assumes a kind of intrinsic Trump guilt and leaps from there. They know better. No doubt they rationalize this as meeting kind with kind. ..."
"... It reminds me of the coverage in the run up to Nixon's resignation. Except this one's on steroids. I believe the DC folks fully expect Trump to be removed and now are focusing on the strategy that accrues the maximum benefit to their party. Unfortunately, things strongly favor the Democrats. ..."
"... Democrats want to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the chipping away at segments of the Republican base while the Republicans want to clear the path before the midterms. However, the Republican officials, much as many or most can't stand Trump, have to weave a thin line because taking action against Trump would kill them in the primaries and possibly in the general. ..."
"... So the Democrats are licking their chops and hoping this can continue until the midterms with the expectation they will then control Congress. ..."
"... Some of you still don't get it. Trump isn't our last chance. Its your last chance. Yet still so many of you oxygen thieves still insist RUSSIA is the reason Hillary lost. You guys are going to agitate your way into a CW because you can't accept you lost. Many of you agitating are fat, slow, and stupid, with no idea how to survive. ..."
"... From day one after the unexpected (for the punditry class and their media coherts) elections results everybody was piling on Trump. The stories abound about his Russia Collusion (after one year of investigation not even a smoke signal) or his narcistic attitudes (mind you LeeG Trump always addresses people as We where as Humble Obama always addresses in the first person). ..."
"... I get this feeling the Swamp doesn't want a President who will at least try to do something for the American people rather than promises (Remember Hope and Change ala Obama, he got the Change quite a bit of it for him and his Banker Pals from what is left of the treasury and we the people are left with Hope). ..."
"... Someone on the last thread said in a very elegant way that what binds us Americans together is one thing, economic opportunity for all. I believe that was Trump's election platform, with the "for all" emphasized frequently. ..."
"... There is quite the precedent for the media treating trump as they do, Putin has been treated quite similarly, as well as any other politician the media cars disagree with [neocons/neolibs]... ..."
"... I think, during the election campaign, the negative media coverage may have well be a boon to him. Anyone who listened to the media, and then actually turned up at a Trump rally to see for himself, immediately got the idea that the media is full of shit. I think this won Trump a fair number of converts. ..."
"... But I think by now they are just over the top. It almost reminds me of Soviet denunciations of old communists who have fallen out of favor. ..."
"... The one clear thing is that there is a coup attempt to get rid of Donald Trump led by globalist media and supra-national corporate intelligence agents. Charlottesville may well be due to the total incompetence of the democratic governor and mayor. ..."
"... On the other hand, the razing of Confederate Memorials started in democrat controlled New Orleans and immediately spread to Baltimore. This is purposeful like blaming Russia for losing the 2016 election. ..."
"... The unrest here at home is due to the forever wars, outsourcing jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity. Under stress societies revert to their old beliefs and myths. John Brennon, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar are scorpions; they can't help themselves. After regime change was forced on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine; a color revolution has been ignited here in the USA; damn the consequences. We are the only ones that can stop it by pointing out what is really happening. ..."
"... What I see in my Democrat dominated county is that the blue collar folks are noting this overt coup attempt and while they didn't vote for Trump are beginning to become sympathetic towards him. I sense this is in part due to the massive mistrust of the MSM and the political establishment who are viewed as completely self-serving. ..."
"... I read a transcript of the entirety of Trump's news conference upon which CBS and others are basing their claims that Trump is "defending white supremacists," and at no point did he come within hand grenade distance of doing anything of the sort. What he did do is accuse the left wing group of being at fault along with the right wing group in causing the violence, and he did not even claim that they were equally at fault. ..."
"... There is no doubt whatever that his statement was entirely accurate, if in no other respect in that the left's decision to engage in proximate confrontation was certain to cause violence and was, in fact, designed to do so regardless of who threw the first punch. CBS and other media of its caliber are completely avoiding mentioning that aspect of the confrontation. ..."
"... CBS et. al. have been touting the left's possession of not one but two permits for public assembly, but they carefully do not point out that the permits were for two areas well removed from the area where the conflict occurred, and that they did not have a permit to assemble in that area. ..."
"... The media is flailing with the horror of Trump's advocacy of racial division, but it is the Democratic Party which has for more than a decade pursued the policy of "identity politics," and the media which has prated endlessly about "who will get the black vote" or "how Hispanics will vote" in every election. ..."
"... As a firm believer in the media efforts to sabotage Trump and a former supporter (now agnostic, trending negative - Goldman Sachs swamp creatures in the Oval Office????), he greatly disappointed me. First, i will state, that I do not believe Trump is antisemitic (no antisemite will surround himself with rich Jewish Bankers). ..."
"... It doesn't matter whether Trump is getting a raw deal or not. Politics has nothing to do with fairness. ..."
"... But when you've lost Bob Corker, and even Newt Gingrich is getting wobbly, when Fox News is having a hard time finding Republicans willing to go on and defend Trump, you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's going to happen. ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

doug , 17 August 2017 at 04:54 PM

The media, and political elite, pile on is precisely what I expect. The chattering political classes have converged on the belief that Trump is not only incompetent, but dangerous. And his few allies are increasingly uncertain of their future.

The thrust appears to be to undercut components of his base while ratcheting up indignation. WaPo and the Times dribble out salacious "news" stories that, often as not, are substance free but written in a hyperbolic style that assumes a kind of intrinsic Trump guilt and leaps from there. They know better. No doubt they rationalize this as meeting kind with kind. Trump is the epitome of the salesman that believes he can sell anything to anyone with the right pitch. Reporters that might normally be restrained by actual facts and a degree of fairness simply are no longer so constrained.

It reminds me of the coverage in the run up to Nixon's resignation. Except this one's on steroids. I believe the DC folks fully expect Trump to be removed and now are focusing on the strategy that accrues the maximum benefit to their party. Unfortunately, things strongly favor the Democrats.

Democrats want to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the chipping away at segments of the Republican base while the Republicans want to clear the path before the midterms. However, the Republican officials, much as many or most can't stand Trump, have to weave a thin line because taking action against Trump would kill them in the primaries and possibly in the general.

So the Democrats are licking their chops and hoping this can continue until the midterms with the expectation they will then control Congress. After that they will happily dispatch Trump with some discovered impeachable crime. At that point it won't be hard to get enough Republicans to go along.

The Republicans can only hope to convince Trump to resign well prior to the midterms. They hope they won't have to go on record with a vote and get nailed in the elections.

In the meantime the country is going to go through hell.

turcopolier , 17 August 2017 at 05:19 PM
kerim,

Yes, we are staring into the depths and the abyss has begun to take note of us. BTW the US was put back together after the CW/WBS on the basis of an understanding that the Confederates would accept the situation and the North would not interfere with their cultural rituals.

There was a general amnesty for former Confederates in the 1870s and a number of them became US senators, Consuls General overseas and state governors.

That period of attempted reconciliation has now ended. Who can imagine the "Gone With the Win" Pulitzer and Best Picture of the Year now? pl

Tyler , 17 August 2017 at 05:30 PM
Some of you still don't get it. Trump isn't our last chance. Its your last chance. Yet still so many of you oxygen thieves still insist RUSSIA is the reason Hillary lost. You guys are going to agitate your way into a CW because you can't accept you lost. Many of you agitating are fat, slow, and stupid, with no idea how to survive.
Murali -> LeeG... , 17 August 2017 at 05:38 PM
I totally disagree with you LeeG. From day one after the unexpected (for the punditry class and their media coherts) elections results everybody was piling on Trump. The stories abound about his Russia Collusion (after one year of investigation not even a smoke signal) or his narcistic attitudes (mind you LeeG Trump always addresses people as We where as Humble Obama always addresses in the first person).

I get this feeling the Swamp doesn't want a President who will at least try to do something for the American people rather than promises (Remember Hope and Change ala Obama, he got the Change quite a bit of it for him and his Banker Pals from what is left of the treasury and we the people are left with Hope). I hope he will succeed but I learnt that we will always be left with Hope!

AK -> Dr.Puck... , 17 August 2017 at 06:27 PM
Dr. Puck,

The calls have begun:

That last tweet is from the Green Party candidate for VP. Those are just a few examples from a quick Google search before I get back to work. Those of you with more disposable time will surely find more.

BillWade , 17 August 2017 at 06:47 PM
Someone on the last thread said in a very elegant way that what binds us Americans together is one thing, economic opportunity for all. I believe that was Trump's election platform, with the "for all" emphasized frequently.

I believe Charlottsville was a staged catalyst to bring about Trump's downfall, there seems now to be a "full-court press" against him. If he survives this latest attempt, I'll be both surprised and in awe of his political skills. If he doesn't survive I'll (and many others, no matter the "legality of the process") will consider it a coup d'etat and start to think of a different way to prepare for the future.

A.I.Schmelzer , 17 August 2017 at 07:20 PM
There is quite the precedent for the media treating trump as they do, Putin has been treated quite similarly, as well as any other politician the media cars disagree with [neocons/neolibs]...

I think, during the election campaign, the negative media coverage may have well be a boon to him. Anyone who listened to the media, and then actually turned up at a Trump rally to see for himself, immediately got the idea that the media is full of shit. I think this won Trump a fair number of converts.

But I think by now they are just over the top. It almost reminds me of Soviet denunciations of old communists who have fallen out of favor.

As far as statue removal goes: There should be legal ways of deciding such things democratically. There should also be the possibility of relocating the statues in question. I imagine that there should be plenty of private properties who are willing to host these statues on their land. This should be quite soundly protected by the US constitution.

That these monuments got, iirc, erected long after the war is nothing unusual. Same is true for monuments to the white army, of which there are now a couple in Russia.

As far as the civil war goes, my sympathies lie with the Union, I would not be, more then a 100 years after the war, be averse to monuments depicting the common Confederate Soldier.

I can understand the statue toppler somewhat. If someone would place a Bandera statue in my surroundings, I would try to wreck it. I may be willing to tolerate a Petljura statue, probably a also Wrangel or Denikin statue, but not a Vlassov or Shuskevich statue. Imho Lees "wickedness", historically speaking, simply isn't anything extraordinary.

Haralambos -> turcopolier ... , 17 August 2017 at 07:29 PM
Col., thank you for this comment. I grew up in the "North" and recall the centenary of the Civil War as featured in _Life_ magazine. I was fascinated by the history, the uniforms and the composition of the various armies as well as their arms. I would add to that the devastating use of grapeshot. I knew the biographies of the various generals on both sides and their relative effectiveness. I would urge others to read Faulkner's _Intruder in the Dust_ to gain some understanding of the Reconstruction and carpetbagging.

I believe the choice to remove the monument as opposed to some other measure, such as the bit of history you offer, was highly incendiary. I also find it interesting that the ACLU is taking up their case in regard to free-speech: http://tinyurl.com/ybdkrcaz

I was living in Chicago when the Skokie protest occurred.

Fred -> Lars... , 17 August 2017 at 07:36 PM
Lars,

"They came to Charlottesville to do harm. They came armed and were looking for a fight."

I agree. This means Governor McAuliffe failed in his duty to the people of the Commonwealth and so did the Mayor of Charlottesville and the senior members of the police forces present in the city. Congradulations to the alt-left.

They - the left - previously came to DC to do harm - on flag day no less. Namely the Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, domestic terrorist, who attempted to assasinate Steve Scalise and a number of other elected representatives. The left did not denounce him nor his cause. Sadly they did not even denounce the people who actually betrayed him - those who rigged the Democratic primary: Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Seamus Padraig -> Dr.Puck... , 17 August 2017 at 07:40 PM
"I know of no call by anybody to remove all statues of the slaveholders. Please edify."

Well, it appears that Al Sharpton is now in favor of defunding the Jefferson Memorial. That's close, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg4XKIX1bs4&feature=youtu.be&t=5

VietnamVet , 17 August 2017 at 08:32 PM
PT

The one clear thing is that there is a coup attempt to get rid of Donald Trump led by globalist media and supra-national corporate intelligence agents. Charlottesville may well be due to the total incompetence of the democratic governor and mayor.

On the other hand, the razing of Confederate Memorials started in democrat controlled New Orleans and immediately spread to Baltimore. This is purposeful like blaming Russia for losing the 2016 election.

The protestors on both divides were organized and spoiling for a fight.

The unrest here at home is due to the forever wars, outsourcing jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and austerity. Under stress societies revert to their old beliefs and myths. John Brennon, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George Soros and Pierre Omidyar are scorpions; they can't help themselves. After regime change was forced on Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine; a color revolution has been ignited here in the USA; damn the consequences. We are the only ones that can stop it by pointing out what is really happening.

James , 17 August 2017 at 09:32 PM
It seems to me that this brouhaha may work in Trump's favor. The more different things they accuse Trump of (without evidence), the more diluted their message becomes.

I think the Borg's collective hysteria can be explained by the "unite the right" theme of the Charlottesville Rally. A lot of Trump supporters are very angry, and if they start marching next to people who are carrying signs that blame "the Jews" for America's problems, then anti-Zionist (or even outright anti-Semitic) thinking might start to go mainstream. The Borg would do well to work to address the Trump supporters legitimate grievances. There are a number of different ways that things might get very ugly if they don't. Unfortunately the establishment just wants to heap abuse on the Trump supporters and I think that approach is myopic.

Jack , 17 August 2017 at 09:56 PM
There will always be an outrage du jour for the NeverTrumpers. The Jake Tapper, Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe & Mika ain't gonna quit. And it seems it's ratings gold for them. Of course McCain and his office wife and the rest of the establishment crew also have to come out to ring the obligatory bell and say how awful Trump's tweet was.

What I see in my Democrat dominated county is that the blue collar folks are noting this overt coup attempt and while they didn't vote for Trump are beginning to become sympathetic towards him. I sense this is in part due to the massive mistrust of the MSM and the political establishment who are viewed as completely self-serving.

Cvillereader -> turcopolier ... , 17 August 2017 at 10:17 PM
It is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia to wear a mask that covers one's face in most public settings.

LEOs in Central Va encountered this exact requirement when a man in a motorcycle helmet entered a Walmart on Rt 29 in 2012. Several customers reported him to 911 because they believed him to being acting suspiciously. He was detained in Albemarle County and was eventually submitted for mental health evaluation.

This is not a law that Charlottesville police would be unfamiliar with.

luxetveritas , 17 August 2017 at 10:45 PM
Chomsky: "As for Antifa, it's a minuscule fringe of the Left, just as its predecessors were. "It's a major gift to the Right, including the militant Right, who are exuberant."

"what they do is often wrong in principle – like blocking talks – and [the movement] is generally self-destructive."

"When confrontation shifts to the arena of violence, it's the toughest and most brutal who win – and we know who that is. That's quite apart from the opportunity costs – the loss of the opportunity for education, organizing, and serious and constructive activism."

Bill H , 18 August 2017 at 02:02 AM
I read a transcript of the entirety of Trump's news conference upon which CBS and others are basing their claims that Trump is "defending white supremacists," and at no point did he come within hand grenade distance of doing anything of the sort. What he did do is accuse the left wing group of being at fault along with the right wing group in causing the violence, and he did not even claim that they were equally at fault.

There is no doubt whatever that his statement was entirely accurate, if in no other respect in that the left's decision to engage in proximate confrontation was certain to cause violence and was, in fact, designed to do so regardless of who threw the first punch. CBS and other media of its caliber are completely avoiding mentioning that aspect of the confrontation.

CBS et. al. have been touting the left's possession of not one but two permits for public assembly, but they carefully do not point out that the permits were for two areas well removed from the area where the conflict occurred, and that they did not have a permit to assemble in that area. A pundit on CBS claimed that "if they went" to the park in question, which of course they did, "they would not have been arrested because it was a public park." He failed to mention that large groups still are required to have a permit to assemble in a public park.

The media is flailing with the horror of Trump's advocacy of racial division, but it is the Democratic Party which has for more than a decade pursued the policy of "identity politics," and the media which has prated endlessly about "who will get the black vote" or "how Hispanics will vote" in every election.

Old Microbiologist -> Lars... , 18 August 2017 at 03:53 AM
Lars, but they came with a legal permit to protest and knew what they would be facing. The anti-protestors including ANTIFA had a large number of people being paid to be there and funded by Soros and were there illegally. The same mechanisms were in place to ramp up protests like in Ferguson which were violent and this response was no different.

However, the Virginia Governor a crony of the Clintons, ordered a police stand down and no effort was made to separate the groups. I remind you also that open carry is legal in Virginia.

So, IMHO this was deliberately set up for a lethal confrontation by the people on the left. I will also remind you that the American Nazi Party and the American Communist Party among others, are perfectly legal in the US as is the KKK. Believing and saying what you want, no matter how offensive, is legal under the First Amendment. Actively discriminating against someone is not legal but speech is. Say what you want but that is the Constitution.

AK -> Richardstevenhack ... , 18 August 2017 at 04:02 AM
Richardstevenshack,

Your last paragraph is a suitably Leftist post-modern ideological oversimplification of an infinitely complex phenomenon. It also reveals a great deal of what motivates the SJW Left:

" As for the notion that this is a 'cultural issue', I quote: 'Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver.' 'Culture' is the means by which some people oppress others. It's much like 'civilization' or 'ethics' or 'morality' - a tool to beat people over the head who have something you want. "

First, it is a cultural issue. It's an issue between people who accept this culture as a necessary but flawed, yet incrementally improvable structure for carrying out a relatively peaceful existence among one another, and those whose grudging, bitter misanthropy has led them to the conclusion that the whole thing isn't fair (i.e. easy) so fuck it, burn it all down. In no uncertain terms, this is the ethos driving the radical Left.

Second, I don't know exactly which culture created you, but I'm fairly sure it was a western liberal democracy, as I'm fairly certain is the case with almost all Leftists these days, regardless of how radical. And I'm also fairly certain the culture you decry is the western liberal democratic culture in its current iterations. But before you or anyone else lights the fuse on that, remember that the very culture you want to burn down because it's so loathsome, that's the thing that gave you that shiny device you use to connect with the world, it's the thing that taught you how to articulate your thoughts into written and spoken word, so that you could then go out and bitch about it, and it even lets you bitch about it, freely and with no consequences. This "civilization" is the thing that gives rise to the "morals" and "ethics" that allow you to take your shiny gadgets to a coffee shop, where the barista makes your favorite beverage, instead of simply smashing you over the head and taking your shiny gadgets because he wants them. These principles didn't arise out of thin air, and neither did you, me, or anyone else. This culture is an agreed-upon game that most of us play to ensure we stand a chance at getting though this with as little suffering as possible. It's not perfect, but it works better than anything else I've seen in history.

Old Microbiologist -> FourthAndLong... , 18 August 2017 at 04:12 AM
Not as significant but along a similar trend to re-write history is this pastor asking Chicago mayor Emmanuel to rename parks named for Presidents because they were also slave owners. http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/08/inevitable-chicago-pastor-demands-washington-name-be-removed-from-park-because-of-slavery-ties/
AK -> Tyler... , 18 August 2017 at 04:33 AM
In his inimitable fashion, I'll grant Tyler (and the Colonel, as well) the creditable foresight to call this one. Those of you who find yourselves wishing, hoping, agitating, and activisting for an overturn of the election result, and/or of traditional American culture in general would do well to take their warnings seriously.

If traditional American culture is so deeply and irredeemably corrupt, I must ask, what's your alternative? And how do you mean to install it? I would at least like to know that. Regardless of your answer to question one, if your answer to question two is "revolution", well then you and anyone else on that wagon better be prepared to suffer, and to increase many fold the overall quotient of human suffering in the world. Because that's what it will take.

You want your revolution, but you also want your Wi-Fi to keep working.
You want your revolution, but you also want your hybrid car.
You want your revolution, but you also want your safe spaces, such as your bed when you sleep at night.

If you think you can manage all that by way of shouting down, race baiting, character assassinating, and social shaming, without bearing the great burden of suffering that all revolutions entail, you have bitter days ahead. And there are literally millions of Americans who will oppose you along the way. And unlike the kulaks when the Bolsheviks rode into town, they see you coming and they're ready for you. And if you insist on taking it as far as you can, it won't be pretty, and it won't be cinematic. Just a lot of tragedy for everyone involved. But one side will win, and my guess is it'll be the guys like Tyler. It's not my desire or aim to see any of that happen. It's just how I see things falling out on their current trajectory.

The situation calls to mind a quote from a black radical, spoken-word group from Harlem who were around in the early to mid 60s, called the Last Poets. The line goes, "Speak not of revolution until you are willing to eat rats to survive." Just something to think about when you advocate burning it all down.

johnklis56@gmail.com -> rick... , 18 August 2017 at 07:19 AM
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has added his name to a growing list of public officials in state governments encouraging the removal of Confederate statues and memorials throughout the South. Late in the day on Wednesday McAuliffe released an official statement saying monuments of Confederate leaders have now become "flashpoints for hatred, division and violence" in a reference to the weekend of violence which shook Charlottesville as white nationalists rallied against the city's planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. McAuliffe further described the monuments as "a barrier to progress" and appealed to state and local governments to take action. The governor said:

As we attempt to heal and learn from the tragic events in Charlottesville, I encourage Virginia's localities and the General Assembly – which are vested with the legal authority – to take down these monuments and relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings. I hope we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make...

It seems the push for monument removal is now picking up steam, with cities like Baltimore simply deciding to act briskly while claiming anti-racism and concern for public safety. Of course, the irony in all this is that the White nationalist and supremacist groups which showed up in force at Charlottesville and which are even now planning a major protest in Lexington, Kentucky, are actually themselves likely hastening the removal of these monuments through their repugnant racial ideology, symbols, and flags.

Bishop James Dukes, a pastor at Liberation Christian Center located on Chicago's south side, is demanding that the city of Chicago re-dedicate two parks in the area that are named after former presidents George Washington and Andrew Jackson. His reasons? Dukes says that monuments honoring men who owned slaves have no place in the black community, even if those men once led the free world.

Just a few I've seen....

James F , 18 August 2017 at 07:29 AM
Salve, Publius. Thanks for the article. Col. Lang made an excellent point in the comments' section that the Confederate memorials represent the reconciliation between the North and the South. The same argument is presented in a lengthier fashion in this morning's TAC http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-confederate-monuments-represent-reconciliation/ . That reconciliation could have been handled much better, i.e. without endorsing Jim Crow. I wish more monuments were erected to commemorate Longstreet and Cleburne, JB Hood and Hardee. I wish there was more Lee and less Forrest. Nonetheless, the important historical point is that a national reconciliation occurred. Removing the statues is a symbolic act which undoes the national reconciliation. The past which is being erased is not the Civil War but the civil peace which followed it. That is tragic.
Ishmael Zechariah -> Dr.Puck... , 18 August 2017 at 08:14 AM
Dr. Puck,
Do you agree w/ this elected representative's statement: ""I hope Trump is assassinated!" Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, wrote during a morning Facebook exchange, referring to Republican President Donald Trump."
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/chappelle-nadal-posts-deletes-facebook-post-hoping-for-trump-s/article_406059d6-1aa4-52fc-89ee-2a6a69baaf2e.html
Ishmael Zechariah
Kooshy -> Richardstevenhack ... , 18 August 2017 at 09:21 AM
IMO, most of the problems majority of people (specially the ruling class) have with Donald Trump' presidency is that, he acts and is an accidental president, Ironically, everybody including, him, possibly you, and me who voted for him knows this and is not willing to take his presidency serious and act as such. IMO, he happens to run for president, when the country, due to setbacks and defeat on multiple choice wars, as well as national economic misfortunes and misshapes, including mass negligence of working class, was in dismay and a big social divide, as of the result, majority decided to vote for some one outside of familiar cemented in DC ruling class knowing he is not qualified and is a BS artist. IMO that is what took place, which at the end of the day, ends of to be same.
Croesus -> doug... , 18 August 2017 at 09:52 AM
Netanyahu is under pressure for failing to speak out forcefully against Trump

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/benjamin-netanyahu-resists-calls-to-denounce-trumps-response-to-charlottesville/

Bibi has keen political skills. He hasn't lasted this long based on his mastery of judo.

Fred -> James F... , 18 August 2017 at 10:03 AM
James F,

" Removing the statues is a symbolic act which undoes the national reconciliation."

That is the intent. The coalition of urban and coastal ethnic populists and economic elites has been for increased concentration and expansion of federal power at the expense of the states, especially the Southern states, for generations. This wave of agitprop with NGO and MSM backing is intended to undo the constitutional election and return the left to power at the federal level.

TV , 18 August 2017 at 10:18 AM
I agree with most of Trump's policy positions, but he is negating these positions with his out-of-control mouth and tweets.
As much as I have nothing but contempt and loathing for the "establishment" (Dems, Republicans, especially the media, the "intelligence" community and the rest of the permanent government), Trump doesn't seem to comprehend that he can't get anything done without taming some of these elements, all of whom are SERIOUSLY opposed to him as a threat to their sinecures and riches.
"Who is this OUTSIDER to come in and think that he in charge of OUR government?"
blowback , 18 August 2017 at 10:33 AM
What seems like a balanced eyewitness account of Charlottesville that suggests that although the radicals on both sides brought the violence, it was the police who allowed it to happen.

https://newrepublic.com/article/144365/cops-dropped-ball-charlottesville

The need to keep protesters away from counter-protesters particular when both are tooled should be obvious to anyone, but not so with the protest in Charlottevlle.

doug -> Tyler... , 18 August 2017 at 10:40 AM
-"Trump isnt our last chance. Its your last chance."

Reminds me of the 60's and the SDS and their ilk. A large part of the under 30 crowd idolized Mao's Little Red Book and convinced themselves the "revolution" was imminent. So many times I heard the phrase "Up Against the Wall, MFs." Stupid fools. Back then people found each other by "teach-ins" and the so called "underground press." In those days it took a larger fraction to be able to blow in each other's ear and convince themselves they were the future "vanguard."

These days, with the internet, it is far easier for a smaller fraction to gravitate to an echo chamber, reinforce group think, and believe their numbers are much larger than what, in reality, exists. This happens across the board. It's a rabbit hole Tyler. Don't go down it.

turcopolier , 18 August 2017 at 10:45 AM
Booby

Yes, Forts Bragg, Hood, Lee, AP Hill, Benning, etc., started as temporary camps during WW1 and were so named to encourage Southern participation in the war. The South had been reluctant about the Spanish War. Wade Hampton, governor of SC said of that war, "Let the North fight. the South knows the cost of war." pl

ISL , 18 August 2017 at 10:53 AM
I would like to share my viewpoint. As a firm believer in the media efforts to sabotage Trump and a former supporter (now agnostic, trending negative - Goldman Sachs swamp creatures in the Oval Office????), he greatly disappointed me. First, i will state, that I do not believe Trump is antisemitic (no antisemite will surround himself with rich Jewish Bankers).

But violence on all sides is absolute BS. Nazi violence gets its own sentence and language at least as strong as the language he has no trouble hitting ISIS with. Didn't hear that. So I guess in his mind, the threat the US faced from Nazis during WW2 was less than a ragtag, 3rd world guerilla force whose only successes are because of 1. US, Saudi, and other weapons, and their war on unstable third world countries. Give me a break - did he never watch a John Wayne movie as a kid?

When I discuss nazi's, F-bombs are dropped. I support the right of nazi's to march and spew their vitriolic hatred, and even more strongly support the right of free speech to counter their filth with facts and arguments and history.

I am sorry, but Antifa was not fighting against the US in WW2. If one wants to critique Antifa, or another group, that criticism belongs in a separate paragraph or better in another press conference. Taking 2 days to do so, and then walking it back, is the hallmark of a political idiot (or a billionaire who listens to no one and lives in his own mental echo chamber).

If Trump gets his info and opinions from TV news, despite having the $80+ billion US Intel system at his beck and call, he is the largest idiot on the planet.

sid_finster , 18 August 2017 at 11:29 AM
It doesn't matter whether Trump is getting a raw deal or not. Politics has nothing to do with fairness.

But when you've lost Bob Corker, and even Newt Gingrich is getting wobbly, when Fox News is having a hard time finding Republicans willing to go on and defend Trump, you don't need to be Nostradamus to see what's going to happen.

[Aug 01, 2017] Groupthink at the CIA by

Looks like tail wags the dog -- CIA controls the US foreign policy and in the last elections also played active role in promoting Hillary. A the level of top brass we have several people mentioned by Giraldi who are probably as dangerous as Allen Dulles was. Brennan is one example.
The parade of rogues that Philip describes is really alarming. Each with agenda that directly harms the USA as a country promoting the interest of military-industrial complex and neocon faction within the government...
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter. ..."
"... Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort. ..."
"... Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago. ..."
"... Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. ..."
"... Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down. ..."
"... And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." ..."
"... Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time. ..."
"... Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia. ..."
"... As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State. ..."
"... The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes. ..."
"... The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done. ..."
"... The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. ..."
"... I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama. ..."
"... Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness. ..."
"... How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN. ..."
"... Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began. ..."
"... Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. ..."
"... So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face. ..."
"... Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.unz.com

Long ago, when I was a spear carrying middle ranker at CIA, a colleague took me aside and said that he had something to tell me "as a friend," that was very important. He told me that his wife had worked for years in the Agency's Administrative Directorate, as it was then called, where she had noticed that some new officers coming out of the Career Trainee program had red tags on their personnel files. She eventually learned from her boss that the tags represented assessments that those officers had exceptional potential as senior managers. He added, however, that the reverse appeared to be true in practice as they were generally speaking serial failures as they ascended the bureaucratic ladder, even though their careers continued to be onward and upward on paper. My friend's wife concluded, not unreasonably, that only genuine a-holes had what it took to get promoted to the most senior ranks.

I was admittedly skeptical but some recent activity by former and current Directors and Acting Directors of CIA has me wondering if something like my friend's wife's observation about senior management might indeed be true. But it would have to be something other than tagging files, as many of the directors and their deputies did not come up through the ranks and there seems to be a similar strain of lunacy at other U.S. government intelligence agencies. It might be time to check the water supply in the Washington area as there is very definitely something in the kool-aid that is producing odd behavior.

Now I should pause for a moment and accept that the role of intelligence services is to identify potential threats before they become active, so a certain level of acute paranoia goes with the job. But at the same time, one would expect a level of professionalism which would mandate accuracy rather than emotion in assessments coupled with an eschewing of any involvement in the politics of foreign and national security policy formulation. The enthusiasm with which a number of senior CIA personnel have waded into the Trump swamp and have staked out positions that contradict genuine national interests suggests that little has been learned since CIA Director George Tenet sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN and nodded sagaciously as Saddam Hussein's high crimes and misdemeanors were falsely enumerated.

Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter.

Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort.

The most recent inexplicable comments come from the current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, speaking at the Aspen Institute Security Forum. He began by asserting that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election before saying that the logic behind Russia's Middle Eastern strategy is to stay in place in Syria so Moscow can "stick it to America." He didn't define the "it" so one must assume that "it" stands for any utensil available, ranging from cruise missiles to dinner forks. He then elaborated, somewhat obscurely, that "I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago.

Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee back in May, he suggested that some Trump associates might have been recruited by the Russian intelligence service. He testified that "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

In his testimony, Brennan apparently forgot to mention that the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens. Nor did he explain how he had come upon the information in the first place as it had been handed over by foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and at least some of it had been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate started.

Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down.

A lesser known former CIA senior official is John McLaughlin, who briefly served as acting Director in 2004. McLaughlin was particularly outraged by Trump's recent speech to the Boy Scouts, which he described as having the feel "of a third world authoritarian's youth rally." He added that "It gave me the creeps it was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez."

And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

I and others noted at the time that Putin and Trump had never met, not even through proxies, while we also wondered how one could be both unwitting and a recruited agent as intelligence recruitment implies control and taking direction. Morell was non-plussed, unflinching and just a tad sanctimonious in affirming that his own intelligence training (as an analyst who never recruited a spy in his life) meant that "[I] call it as I see it."

One could also cite Michael Hayden and James Clapper, though the latter was not CIA. They all basically hew to the same line about Russia, often in more-or-less the same words, even though no actual evidence has been produced to support their claims. That unanimity of thinking is what is peculiar while academics like Stephen Cohen, Stephen Walt, Andrew Bacevich, and John Mearsheimer, who have studied Russia in some depth and understand the country and its leadership far better than a senior CIA officer, detect considerable nuance in what is taking place. They all believe that the hardline policies current in Washington are based on an eagerness to go with the flow on the comforting inside-the- beltway narrative that paints Russia as a threat to vital interests. That unanimity of viewpoint should surprise no one as this is more of less the same government with many of the same people that led the U.S. into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They all have a vested interested in the health and well-being of a fully funded national security state.

And the other groupthink that seems to prevail among the senior managers except Pompeo is that they all hate Donald Trump and have done so since long before he won the election. That is somewhat odd, but it perhaps reflects a fear that Trump would interfere with the richly rewarding establishment politics that had enabled their careers. But it does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of CIA employees. Though it is admittedly unscientific analysis on my part, I know a lot of former and some current CIA employees but do not know a single one who voted for Hillary Clinton. Nearly all voted for Trump.

Beyond that exhibition of tunnel vision and sheer ignorance, the involvement of former senior intelligence officials in politics is itself deplorable and is perhaps symptomatic of the breakdown in the comfortable bipartisan national security consensus that has characterized the past fifty years. Once upon time former CIA officers would retire to the Blue Ridge mountains and raise Labradors, but we are now into something much more dangerous if the intelligence community, which has been responsible for most of the recent leaks, begins to feel free to assert itself from behind the scenes. As Senator Chuck Schumer recently warned "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

exiled off mainstreet, August 1, 2017 at 5:06 am GMT

In jumping this fascist nihilist shark, the groupthinkers have closed themselves off from the logical conclusion to their viewpoint, which is final annihilation.

Dan Hayes, August 1, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Schumer's statement is true (and probably the only such one in his political career!).

annamaria, August 1, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Brennan, Morell, and Pompeo should better find ways to justify their salaries: the U.S. has suffered the greatest breach in cybersecurity on their watch:

" an enormous breach of the United States Security Apparatus by as many as 80 Democrat members of Congress (past and present). We rail on about the Russians and Trump, but t he media avoids providing nightly updates about these 5 spies that have compromised Congress ."

http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-awan-brothers-compromised-at-least-80-congregational-computers-and-got-paid-5-million-to-do-it-we-may-never-know-the-extent-of-the-breach/

"In total, Imran's firm was employed by 31 Democrats in Congress, some of whom held extremely sensitive positions on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affair s."

polistra, August 1, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT

Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time.

Bruce Marshall, August 1, 2017 at 6:39 am GMT

And back to reality we have VIPS Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia.

That is war, World War Three and it would seem now that Congress is marching that way, but the report below hold the key to fighting back.

http://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2017/2017_30-39/2017-30/pdf/37-41_4430.pdf

One of the VIPS is William Binney fomer NSA Technical Director, an important expert. leading the group is Ray McGovern with some whit and grace, well yes how about some sanity, to which humor is important to the insight and to stay in the sights of what is clever thievery and worse. Much worse,
and there is a twinkle in the eye when realize that it is straight forward.

And Congress could stop it tout sweet, but well old habits but they have taken an Oath of Office, so, so what, yeah they did go after Bernie, so will you challenge your elected officials, either do their sworn duty or resign, for what this sanctions bill against Russia and Iran is a declaration of war, not only against Russia and Iran, but a declaration of war against the United States. for there is no reason to do this against Russia when indeed there are great opportunities to get along, but war is the insanity as it is sedition and treason. Tell them that,

https://larouchepac.com/20170731/breaking-lyndon-larouche-crush-british-coup-against-president

Priss Factor, • Website August 1, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT

Moderate Rebels = Toothfairy Rebels

jilles dykstra, August 1, 2017 at 7:21 am GMT

I wonder if groupthink exists. In any organisation people know quite well why the organisation exists, what the threats are to its existence. If they think about this, I wonder.

The CIA is the USA's secret army, it is not comparable to a real intelligence organisation like the British MI5. The CIA is more like WWII SOE, designed to set fire to Europe, Churchill's words. If indeed Trump changes USA foreign policy, no longer trying to control the world, the CIA is obsolete, as obsolete as NATO.

animalogic, August 1, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

" but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter."

Not to defend the CIA, but didn't Rumsfeld, doubt the enthusiasm of the CIA for providing the slanted, bogus, "sexed up" intelligence the Executive required to make its "destroy Iraq now" case ? So Rumsfeld therefore set up an independent intelligence agency within the Defence Dept to provide/create the required "intelligence" ?

The Alarmist, August 1, 2017 at 7:45 am GMT

I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Yeah, because that's what resource-constrained countries with limited ability to tap the global capital markets do. Methinks Mr. Pompeo is projecting his and the neocons' fantasies on the Russians.

Realist, August 1, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State.

CalDre, August 1, 2017 at 10:43 am GMT

If only Trump would really clean the swamp – particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream .

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am GMT

Being resistant to jargon and catch phrases it is only slowly that I have accepted that "Deep State" is not entirely pretentious waffle when used to describe aspects of the US. However I may not be your only reader PG who would appreciate a clear explanatory description of the American Deep State and how it works.

Here are some suggested parameters.

The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes.
And its origins imply that it is not just one in a number of major influences ln government or those who vote for it.

So one has to acknowledge that in the US the Deep State has to be different in the important respect that levers of power are observably wielded by lobbies for the aged, gun owners and sellers, Israel, Wall Street, bio fuels, sugar and other ag, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, the arms industry, Disney and other Hollywood and media, health insurers and the medical profession, and I could go on.

These are all relevant to legal events like votes on impeachment or to hold up appointments. The CIA and FBI together completely united (and note how disunited 9/11 showed them to be) wouldn't remotely approach the old Turkish Deep State's ability to stage a coup. Are all of the putative elements of the Deep State together today as powerful as J.Edgar Hoover with his dirt files on everyone? (A contrast and compare exercise of today's presumed Deep State configuration and modus operandi with the simpler Hoover days might shine some light on who does what and how today. And how effectively).

To avoid lack of focus can a convincing account of the US Deep State be best given in terms of a plausible scenario for

  1. getting rid of Trump as President and/or
  2. maintaining the lunacy and hubris which has the US wasting its substance on totally unnecessary antagonistic relations with China and Russia and interference in the ME?

I would read such accounts with great interest. (Handwavers need not apply).

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

Of course the US Deep State must hate Russia. First, Jews have a very long history of hating Russia and Russians. That never changed. The USSR was not Russia; the USSR was Marxism replacing Russia. Jews tended to love that. Rich Jews from across the world, from the US and the UK of most interest to us, sent money to support the Bolshevik Revolution.

Russia managed to survive the USSR and is slowly coming back around to Russian common sense from the Christian perspective. Neither Jews nor their WASP BFFs can ever forgive that. They want Russia to act now to commit cultural and genetic suicide, like Western Europe and the entire Anglosphere are doing.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@polistra The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done.

The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency.

jacques sheete, August 1, 2017 at 11:36 am GMT

While there can be no doubt about the crackpots in high positions of the most powerful bureaucracies, it seems to me that the CIA loonies are merely shock troops for an even worse bunch of evil psychos, the bankster mafiosi.

We should always keep that in mind.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

@CalDre If only

But doing so would mean a voluntary end to playing the role of Sauron, determined to find and wear the One Ring to Rule Them All. The average Elite WASP, and his Jewish BFF, definitely would prefer to destroy the world, at least outside their gated compounds of endless luxury, than to step down from that level of global domination.

Philip Giraldi, August 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Wiz – Here is an article I did on the Deep State two years ago. It was one of the first in the US media looking at the issue. It would have to be updated now in light of Trump, but much of what it states is still more-or-less correct.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/deep-state-america/

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Yes, indeed.

But we need to make certain that your use of the word 'mafiosi' does not lead anyone to assume that group has more than a handful of Italians. Jews, WASPs, and continental Germanics each will outnumber Italians by at least 30 to 1.

Chris Bridges, August 1, 2017 at 12:46 pm GMT

I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama.

Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness.

Well before he was elected I had a letter delivered to President Trump in which I outlined in detail what would happen to him if he did not immediately purge the CIA of these assholes. I know that at least some people on his staff read it but, of course, my advice was ignored. Trump has paid dearly for not listening to an ordinary CIA guy who wanted to give him a reality brief on those vicious snakes.

Proud_Srbin, August 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Historical facts teach humanity that Anglo-Saxon group of Nations was built on slavery, thuggery and theft of other peace loving Civilizations. We Slavs are the New "niggers", hate is the glue that holds you "toGether".
People of color have been successfully conditioned and practice it as well.
Time will tell how well it holds when balloon bursts and 99% gets called to serve as cannon fodder.
Terrorizing UNARMED and WEAKER is not true test of "superiority" and "exceptionalism".
Tiny, extremely tiny minority of Anglo-Saxons and Satraps understand this.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

@Chris Bridges You are responsible only for telling the truth and warning. Trump's naivete is his failing.

Bernie voter, August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN.

Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began.

Smash Mouth, August 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Jake

"You must be working for the CIA. They wouldn't have you in the Ma-Fi-A"

1960′s song lyric from "Why can't we be friends"

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was.

War is Hell, August 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

Fascinating ..

My old brain that was alive in the 60′s, remembers the lyric. But the first link I find on Google's youtube is a version that removes the above lyric, instead just echoing the title endlessly. That's the modern world .. all real content removed from what you find on the internet.

Here's a better version.

Beauracratic Mind, August 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

I wonder if groupthink exists.

It probably does as do group psychoses and group fantasies.. Anyone who's ever served in a beuaracracy knows that groupthink exists.

Take a bunch of mediocre minds. And, they do exist, as Garrison Keiler once famously made a joke out of with his line Welcome to Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. If everyone is wrong, then there is safety in the group. After all, if they are wrong, so was everyone else in the organization. Thus they are immune to attack and censure for being wrong. But if someone takes a position outside of the group consensus, that can be a career-ending move if they are wrong, as now everyone else will be in the I-told-U-So camp. And even if they are correct, they will still be hated and shunned just for being the person who pointed out to the group that they are wrong.

So, you take your typical average mind, and not only do they not have any great insights of their own, but they tend to stick to the group out of sheer survival and then when you take a mass of these mediocre minds you have 'groupthink'.

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Thank you. As you have my sparingly conferred respect i thank you even before reading it:-)

Eticon, August 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm GMT

@CalDre

If only Trump would really clean the swamp - particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream ....

What we've learned from Trump is that 'Draining the Swamp' will take more than an individual. It will take a political movement.

One sees this on the fringes of politics. Someone gets the idea of running for President, and they point out all that is wrong. But, they focus only on their own campaign, their own goal, and they thus gloss over the fact that they'll be outnumbered and powerless even if they win.

Seen this often on the Left. The most recent example is Bernie Sanders. Likewise, had Bernie been elected President, he too would face an entrenched establishment and media with only a small fraction of the Congress supporting him.

Change has to be built from the bottom up. There are no shortcuts. Electing a Trump, or a Nader or a Bernie does not lead to real change. Step one is to build the political movement such that it has real voting block power and which has already won voting majorities in the legislature before the movement achieves the election of a President.

What Trump has needed to be doing for this first two years is to form clear divisions that he could then take to his voters in the mid-term elections. He's needed to lay out his own agenda. So what if he loses votes in Congress? He then takes that agenda back to the voters in 2018 with a nationwide slate of Congressional candidates who support that agenda and runs a midterm campaign asking the voters to help him drain that swamp.

So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face.

Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections.

ChuckOrloski, August 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Jake Hey Jake,

It is a serious error to consider President Trump "naive."

What we are seeing now is The Donald's role in the serial Zionist THEATER. Think deeper about the motive behind Mr. Giraldi's choice to use the Orwellian word "Groupthink" in characterizing the CIA zeitgeist? In the classic work "1984," one observes Big Brother as the catalyst in control of the proles' thought pattern & subsequent action.

To rise & FALL as a POTUS is a matter of theater and the American proles are entertained by the political for either 4 or 8 years and the Zionists get their next Chosen actor/actress dramatically sworn in on a bible.

Mr. Trump is neither naive nor stupid. Sheldon Adelson would not donate $millioms to any POTUS wannabe who could not effectively lead the American Groupthink tradition. Subsequently, the politcal horror show is brought to you in the understandable form of the perptually elusive Deep State which gets annual Academy Award.

Beware the fake, Jake!,

Joe Hide, August 1, 2017 at 2:20 pm GMT

I agree with Your take on intelligence services in that they must be putting something in their drinking water. Good article. Keep contributing.

[Jul 26, 2017] Democratic donors still think they can anoint rising stars in the Hamptons

Notable quotes:
"... There is nothing "pragmatic" about ignoring the fact that Sanders, a once unknown senator from the 49th largest state in America, was able to raise $44m in one month against a celebrity front-runner who coalesced the Democratic establishment around her candidacy like few who came before her. ..."
"... There is nothing "pragmatic" about ignoring that Sanders was easily able to broaden his appeal "beyond the coasts" in the Democratic primary, losing urban centers to Clinton while dominating many rural parts of the country, including Montana, a state he won by eight percentage points. ..."
"... And it's reality-defying to say the party can't turn to a septuagenarian as its nominee when Trump, at age 70, just became president. None of Trump's supporters cared that he was trying to become oldest man to ever take office and no one cheering on Sanders cares that he is 75 going on 76. ..."
"... For political journalists and operatives inside the Beltway carapace, the siren call of centrism will always have appeal. It promises pain-free bipartisanship, a return to the way things used to be. It stands for little, so it can't court too much controversy. For anyone who knows bad policy can mean the difference between life and death – the poorest and the invisible, the sufferers on the margins – it offers nothing. And it never will. ..."
"... Obama in an empty suit worked well. Now if Kamala looks good, she probably has a nice book deal in her future. Obama in a skirt? Looks promising. ..."
Jul 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

.............................
Everything about this is odd, and speaks to the tone-deafness of a rudderless political party and the antiquated ways reporters continue to frame our politics. In a time of yawning income inequality and instability, with a bulk of young Americans rightfully pessimistic about their futures, there is nothing Pollyannaish about running a campaign that can somehow speak to this despair.

Healthcare in America is a travesty and single-payer is not without its flaws – but it remains a more humane way forward, putting people ahead of predatory insurance companies.

There is nothing "pragmatic" about ignoring the fact that Sanders, a once unknown senator from the 49th largest state in America, was able to raise $44m in one month against a celebrity front-runner who coalesced the Democratic establishment around her candidacy like few who came before her.

There is nothing "pragmatic" about ignoring that Sanders was easily able to broaden his appeal "beyond the coasts" in the Democratic primary, losing urban centers to Clinton while dominating many rural parts of the country, including Montana, a state he won by eight percentage points.

And it's reality-defying to say the party can't turn to a septuagenarian as its nominee when Trump, at age 70, just became president. None of Trump's supporters cared that he was trying to become oldest man to ever take office and no one cheering on Sanders cares that he is 75 going on 76.

An elderly candidate with a compelling message for people in desperate need of change in their lives will throttle someone much younger and milquetoast, every time.

For political journalists and operatives inside the Beltway carapace, the siren call of centrism will always have appeal. It promises pain-free bipartisanship, a return to the way things used to be. It stands for little, so it can't court too much controversy. For anyone who knows bad policy can mean the difference between life and death – the poorest and the invisible, the sufferers on the margins – it offers nothing. And it never will.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/24/democratic-donors-kamala-harris-rising-star-hamptons

RGC -> RGC... , July 25, 2017 at 08:57 AM

Obama in an empty suit worked well. Now if Kamala looks good, she probably has a nice book deal in her future. Obama in a skirt? Looks promising.

[Jul 25, 2017] Anti-Populism Ideology of the Ruling Class by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... ' Anti-populism' is the simple ruling class formula for covering-up their real agenda, which is pro-militarist, pro-imperialist (globalization), pro-'rebels' (i.e. mercenary terrorists working for regime change), pro crisis makers and pro-financial swindlers. ..."
"... The economic origins of ' anti-populism' are rooted in the deep and repeated crises of capitalism and the need to deflect and discredit mass discontent and demoralize the popular classes in struggle. By demonizing ' populism', the elites seek to undermine the rising tide of anger over the elite-imposed wage cuts, the rise of low-paid temporary jobs and the massive increase in the reserve army of cheap immigrant labor to compete with displaced native workers. ..."
"... Demonization of independent popular movements ignores the fundamental programmatic differences and class politics of genuine populist struggles compared with the contemporary right-wing capitalist political scarecrows and clowns. ..."
"... The anti-populist ideologues label President Trump a 'populist' when his policies and proposals are the exact opposite. Trump champions the repeal of all pro-labor and work safety regulation, as well as the slashing of public health insurance programs while reducing corporate taxes for the ultra-elite. ..."
"... The media's ' anti-populists' ideologues denounce pro-business rightwing racists as ' populists' . In Italy, Finland, Holland, Austria, Germany and France anti-working class parties are called ' populist' for attacking immigrants instead of bankers and militarists. ..."
"... In other words, the key to understanding contemporary ' anti-populism' is to see its role in preempting and undermining the emergence of authentic populist movements while convincing middle class voters to continue to vote for crisis-prone, austerity-imposing neo-liberal regimes. ' Anti-populism' has become the opium (or OxyContin) of frightened middle class voters. ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Throughout the US and European corporate and state media, right and left, we are told that ' populism' has become the overarching threat to democracy, freedom and . . . free markets. The media's ' anti-populism' campaign has been used and abused by ruling elites and their academic and intellectual camp followers as the principal weapon to distract, discredit and destroy the rising tide of mass discontent with ruling class-imposed austerity programs, the accelerating concentration of wealth and the deepening inequalities.

We will begin by examining the conceptual manipulation of ' populism' and its multiple usages. Then we will turn to the historic economic origins of populism and anti-populism. Finally, we will critically analyze the contemporary movements and parties dubbed ' populist' by the ideologues of ' anti-populism' .

Conceptual Manipulation

In order to understand the current ideological manipulation accompanying ' anti-populism ' it is necessary to examine the historical roots of populism as a popular movement.

Populism emerged during the 19 th and 20 th century as an ideology, movement and government in opposition to autocracy, feudalism, capitalism, imperialism and socialism. In the United States, populist leaders led agrarian struggles backed by millions of small farmers in opposition to bankers, railroad magnates and land speculators. Opposing monopolistic practices of the 'robber barons', the populist movement supported broad-based commercial agriculture, access to low interest farm credit and reduced transport costs.

In all cases, the populist governments in Latin America were based on a coalition of nationalist capitalists, urban workers and the rural poor. In some notable cases, nationalist military officers brought populist governments to power. What they had in common was their opposition to foreign capital and its local supporters and exporters ('compradores'), bankers and their elite military collaborators. Populists promoted 'third way' politics by opposing imperialism on the right, and socialism and communism on the left. The populists supported the redistribution of wealth but not the expropriation of property. They sought to reconcile national capitalists and urban workers. They opposed class struggle but supported state intervention in the economy and import-substitution as a development strategy.

Imperialist powers were the leading anti-populists of that period. They defended property privileges and condemned nationalism as 'authoritarian' and undemocratic. They demonized the mass support for populism as 'a threat to Western Christian civilization'. Not infrequently, the anti-populists ideologues would label the national-populists as 'fascists' . . . even as they won numerous elections at different times and in a variety of countries.

The historical experience of populism, in theory and practice, has nothing to do with what today's ' anti-populists' in the media are calling ' populism' . In reality, current anti-populism is still a continuation of anti-communism , a political weapon to disarm working class and popular movements. It advances the class interest of the ruling class. Both 'anti's' have been orchestrated by ruling class ideologues seeking to blur the real nature of their 'pro-capitalist' privileged agenda and practice. Presenting your program as 'pro-capitalist', pro-inequalities, pro-tax evasion and pro-state subsidies for the elite is more difficult to defend at the ballot box than to claim to be ' anti-populist' .

' Anti-populism' is the simple ruling class formula for covering-up their real agenda, which is pro-militarist, pro-imperialist (globalization), pro-'rebels' (i.e. mercenary terrorists working for regime change), pro crisis makers and pro-financial swindlers.

The economic origins of ' anti-populism' are rooted in the deep and repeated crises of capitalism and the need to deflect and discredit mass discontent and demoralize the popular classes in struggle. By demonizing ' populism', the elites seek to undermine the rising tide of anger over the elite-imposed wage cuts, the rise of low-paid temporary jobs and the massive increase in the reserve army of cheap immigrant labor to compete with displaced native workers.

Historic 'anti-populism' has its roots in the inability of capitalism to secure popular consent via elections. It reflects their anger and frustration at their failure to grow the economy, to conquer and exploit independent countries and to finance growing fiscal deficits.

The Amalgamation of Historical Populism with the Contemporary Fabricated Populism

What the current anti-populists ideologues label ' populism' has little to do with the historical movements.

Unlike all of the past populist governments, which sought to nationalize strategic industries, none of the current movements and parties, denounced as 'populist' by the media, are anti-imperialists. In fact, the current ' populists' attack the lowest classes and defend the imperialist-allied capitalist elites. The so-called current ' populists' support imperialist wars and bank swindlers, unlike the historical populists who were anti-war and anti-bankers.

Ruling class ideologues simplistically conflate a motley collection of rightwing capitalist parties and organizations with the pro-welfare state, pro-worker and pro-farmer parties of the past in order to discredit and undermine the burgeoning popular multi-class movements and regimes.

Demonization of independent popular movements ignores the fundamental programmatic differences and class politics of genuine populist struggles compared with the contemporary right-wing capitalist political scarecrows and clowns.

One has only to compare the currently demonized ' populist' Donald Trump with the truly populist US President Franklin Roosevelt, who promoted social welfare, unionization, labor rights, increased taxes on the rich, income redistribution, and genuine health and workplace safety legislation within a multi-class coalition to see how absurd the current media campaign has become.

The anti-populist ideologues label President Trump a 'populist' when his policies and proposals are the exact opposite. Trump champions the repeal of all pro-labor and work safety regulation, as well as the slashing of public health insurance programs while reducing corporate taxes for the ultra-elite.

The media's ' anti-populists' ideologues denounce pro-business rightwing racists as ' populists' . In Italy, Finland, Holland, Austria, Germany and France anti-working class parties are called ' populist' for attacking immigrants instead of bankers and militarists.

In other words, the key to understanding contemporary ' anti-populism' is to see its role in preempting and undermining the emergence of authentic populist movements while convincing middle class voters to continue to vote for crisis-prone, austerity-imposing neo-liberal regimes. ' Anti-populism' has become the opium (or OxyContin) of frightened middle class voters.

The anti-populism of the ruling class serves to confuse the 'right' with the 'left'; to sidelight the latter and promote the former; to amalgamate rightwing 'rallies' with working class strikes; and to conflate rightwing demagogues with popular mass leaders.

Unfortunately, too many leftist academics and pundits are loudly chanting in the 'anti-populist' chorus. They have failed to see themselves among the shock troops of the right. The left ideologues join the ruling class in condemning the corporate populists in the name of 'anti-fascism'. Leftwing writers, claiming to 'combat the far-right enemies of the people' , overlook the fact that they are 'fellow-travelling' with an anti-populist ruling class, which has imposed savage cuts in living standards, spread imperial wars of aggression resulting in millions of desperate refugees- not immigrants –and concentrated immense wealth.

The bankruptcy of today's ' anti-populist' left will leave them sitting in their coffee shops, scratching at fleas, as the mass popular movements take to the streets!

[Jul 17, 2017] Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons by Curt Mills

max Book is just anothe "Yascha about Russia" type, that Masha Gessen represents so vividly. The problem with him is that time of neocon prominance is solidly in the past and now unpleasant question about the cost from the US people of their reckless foreign policies get into some newspapers and managines. They cost the USA tremedous anount of money (as in trillions) and those money consititute a large portion of the national debt. Critiques so far were very weak and partially suppressed voices, but defeat of neocon warmonger Hillary signify some break with the past.
Notable quotes:
"... Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies." ..."
"... But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject. ..."
"... New York Observer ..."
"... Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, " ..."
"... : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. ..."
Jul 14, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

This week's primetime knife fights with Max Boot and Ralph Peters are emblematic of the battle for the soul of the American Right.

To be sure, Carlson rejects the term "neoconservatism," and implicitly, its corollary on the Democratic side, liberal internationalism. In 2016, "the reigning Republican foreign-policy view, you can call it neoconservatism, or interventionism, or whatever you want to call it" was rejected, he explained in a wide-ranging interview with the National Interest Friday.

"But I don't like the term 'neoconservatism,'" he says, "because I don't even know what it means. I think it describes the people rather than their ideas, which is what I'm interested in. And to be perfectly honest . . . I have a lot of friends who have been described as neocons, people I really love, sincerely. And they are offended by it. So I don't use it," Carlson said.

But Carlson's recent segments on foreign policy conducted with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the prominent neoconservative journalist and author Max Boot were acrimonious even by Carlsonian standards. In a discussion on Syria, Russia and Iran, a visibly upset Boot accused Carlson of being "immoral" and taking foreign-policy positions to curry favor with the White House, keep up his ratings , and by proxy, benefit financially. Boot says that Carlson "basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today." But is this assessment fair?

Carlson's record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump's rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, "This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It's the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it's a debate that we've never really had. And we need to have it." He adds, "I don't think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies."

Even if Carlson doesn't want to use the label neocon to describe some of those ideas, Boot is not so bashful. In 2005, Boot wrote an essay called "Neocons May Get the Last Laugh." Carlson "has become a Trump acolyte in pursuit of ratings," says Boot, also interviewed by the National Interest . "I bet if it were President Clinton accused of colluding with the Russians, Tucker would be outraged and calling for impeachment if not execution. But since it's Trump, then it's all a big joke to him," Boot says. Carlson vociferously dissents from such assessments: "This is what dumb people do. They can't assess the merits of an argument. . . . I'm not talking about Syria, and Russia, and Iran because of ratings. That's absurd. I can't imagine those were anywhere near the most highly-rated segments that night. That's not why I wanted to do it."

But Carlson insists, "I have been saying the same thing for fifteen years. Now I have a T.V. show that people watch, so my views are better known. But it shouldn't be a surprise. I supported Trump to the extent he articulated beliefs that I agree with. . . . And I don't support Trump to the extent that his actions deviate from those beliefs," Carlson said. Boot on Fox said that Carlson is "too smart" for this kind of argument. But Carlson has bucked the Trump line, notably on Trump's April 7 strikes in Syria. "When the Trump administration threw a bunch of cruise missiles into Syria for no obvious reason, on the basis of a pretext that I question . . . I questioned [the decision] immediately. On T.V. I was on the air when that happened. I think, maybe seven minutes into my show. . . . I thought this was reckless."

But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, "Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person." Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. "I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate," Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject.

Boot objects to what he sees as a cavalier attitude on the part of Carlson and others toward allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and also toward the deaths of citizens of other countries. "You are laughing about the fact that Russia is interfering in our election process. That to me is immoral," Boot told Carlson on his show. "This is the level of dumbness and McCarthyism in Washington right now," says Carlson. "I think it has the virtue of making Max Boot feel like a good person. Like he's on God's team, or something like that. But how does that serve the interest of the country? It doesn't." Carlson says that Donald Trump, Jr.'s emails aren't nearly as important as who is going to lead Syria, which he says Boot and others have no plan for successfully occupying. Boot, by contrast, sees the U.S. administration as dangerously flirting with working with Russia, Iran and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "For whatever reason, Trump is pro-Putin, no one knows why, and he's taken a good chunk of the GOP along with him," Boot says.

On Fox last Wednesday, Boot reminded Carlson that he originally supported the 2003 Iraq decision. "You supported the invasion of Iraq," Boot said, before repeating, "You supported the invasion of Iraq." Carlson conceded that, but it seems the invasion was a bona fide turning point. It's most important to parse whether Carlson has a long record of anti-interventionism, or if he's merely sniffing the throne of the president (who, dubiously, may have opposed the 2003 invasion). "I think it's a total nightmare and disaster, and I'm ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it," Carlson told the New York Observer in early 2004. "It's something I'll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who's smarter than I am, and I shouldn't have done that. . . . I'm enraged by it, actually." Carlson told the National Interest that he's felt this way since seeing Iraq for himself in December 2003.

The evidence points heavily toward a sincere conversion on Carlson's part, or preexisting conviction that was briefly overcome by the beat of the war drums. Carlson did work for the Weekly Standard , perhaps the most prominent neoconservative magazine, in the 1990s and early 2000s. Carlson today speaks respectfully of William Kristol, its founding editor, but has concluded that he is all wet. On foreign policy, the people Carlson speaks most warmly about are genuine hard left-wingers: Glenn Greenwald, a vociferous critic of both economic neoliberalism and neoconservatism; the anti-establishment journalist Michael Tracey; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation ; and her husband, Stephen Cohen, the Russia expert and critic of U.S. foreign policy.

"The only people in American public life who are raising these questions are on the traditional left: not lifestyle liberals, not the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) group, not liberals in D.C., not Nancy Pelosi." He calls the expertise of establishment sources on matters like Syria "more shallow than I even imagined." On his MSNBC show, which was canceled for poor ratings, he cavorted with noninterventionist stalwarts such as Ron Paul , the 2008 and 2012 antiwar GOP candidate, and Patrick J. Buchanan. "No one is smarter than Pat Buchanan," he said last year of the man whose ideas many say laid the groundwork for Trump's political success.

Carlson has risen to the pinnacle of cable news, succeeding Bill O'Reilly. It wasn't always clear an antiwar take would vault someone to such prominence. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney could be president (Boot has advised the latter two). But here he is, and it's likely no coincidence that Carlson got a show after Trump's election, starting at the 7 p.m. slot, before swiftly moving to the 9 p.m. slot to replace Trump antagonist Megyn Kelly, and just as quickly replacing O'Reilly at the top slot, 8 p.m. Boot, on the other hand, declared in 2016 that the Republican Party was dead , before it went on to hold Congress and most state houses, and of course take the presidency. He's still at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the New York Times (this seems to clearly annoy Carlson: "It tells you everything about the low standards of the American foreign-policy establishment").

Boot wrote in 2003 in the Weekly Standard that the fall of Saddam Hussein's government "may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history" comparable to "events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which everything is different." He continued, "If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if ), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better."

Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: "You can debate what's in [the United States'] interest. That's a subjective category. But what you can't debate is that ought to be the basic question, the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don't think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions." Carlson's interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says "there's a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It's dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it, "

Carlson seems intent on pressing the issue. The previous night, in his debate with Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel said that Carlson sounded like Charles Lindbergh, who opposed U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany before 1941. "This particular strain of Republican foreign policy has almost no constituency. Nobody agrees with it. I mean there's not actually a large group of people outside of New York, Washington or L.A. who think any of this is a good idea," Carlson says. "All I am is an asker of obvious questions. And that's enough to reveal these people have no idea what they're talking about. None."

Curt Mills is a foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest . Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills .

Image : Flickr/Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.

[Jul 16, 2017] Will the DNC lose in 2018, because theyre beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if thats good or bad, but Im getting popcorn.

Notable quotes:
"... "We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter. ..."
"... "Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman. ..."
"... The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 | ucgsblog.wordpress.com
ucgsblog says: July 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm Sorry about being MIA, I'm probably going to be MIA until mid-August, but in the meantime, here's an interesting article:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/message-democrats-must-more-talk-russia-122203301.html

"We know that we can be an America that works for everyone, because we believe that our diversity is our greatest strength. And we believe that when we put hope on the ballot we do well, and when we allow others to put fear in the eyes of people we don't do so hot," Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

___

"We need to be talking about impeachment constantly. If you're an elected Dem & you're not talking impeachment or 25th amendment then find a new party," Scott Dworkin, senior adviser to Democratic Coalition Against Trump, on Twitter.

___

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize," Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible.

___

"I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives," Jason Crow, Democratic candidate in Colorado's 6th Congressional District.

___

"Voters are getting plenty about the Russia story, and they don't need candidates' help making that case. I think it's a fundamental mistake to make this election a referendum on impeachment. That means it's not an election on a health care bill that will raise premiums and take more than 22 million people off of their health care," Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former aide to Hillary Clinton.

___

"We will both defend the integrity of our democracy (on the Russian investigation) and we will defend access to health care for tens of millions of people. The resistance is big enough and sophisticated enough to track both of those urgent and important issues," Anna Galland, executive director of Moveon.org Civic Action.

___

"All of that (on Russia) is going to come out, and if a politician was lacking in courage and never did anything about it, I think they will pay dearly for it, and they should. But if you're a governor candidate next year, you're a lot smarter saying, 'Here's what I'm going to do about jobs and education and wages' than weighing in every day on issues outside your control." David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chairman.

___

"We need to be able to explain what we're for just as emphatically as who we are against. Voters need to hear you talking about them more than they hear you talking about yourself, your opponent or the president." Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

!!!!!!-

The only two Democrats, out of that random sample, who are going "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" I mean "Russia, Russia, Russia," are Dworkin and Galland from MoveOn. I think this blog knows quite a bit about MoveOn, so I don't need to mention it, and the only other person talking about it, is someone who is trying to make his name by impeaching Trump.

Looks like the DNC is slowly starting to realize what voters want, despite inner party special interest groups. Levin and Crow summarize mainstream Democrats, so I'll just requote them:

"We're advising groups to pay attention to Russia, but the bottom line is they're trying to take your health care away. That should be the focus. Eye on the prize I focus a lot on good-paying jobs, student loan issues, health care and the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those are the issues that are at the top of (voters') minds. I don't think (the Russia investigation) has to interfere with our conversation about every day matters in people's lives"

Will the DNC lose in 2018, because they're beholden to inner-party special interests? Stay tuned. Say what you will about Trump, but he certainly made politics a lot more entertaining to watch. Not sure if that's good or bad, but I'm getting popcorn.

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

[Jul 07, 2017] 'RussiaGate' Alone Isn't Going to Put Progressives Back in Power

Notable quotes:
"... In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift. ..."
"... "We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like." ..."
"... John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus and the author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands . ..."
Jul 07, 2017 | fpif.org
John Feffer ,

June 28, 2017 .

Shortly after Democrat Jon Ossoff lost a close race in Georgia this month, Democrats began to speak up about the electoral implications of RussiaGate. Reports The Hill :

In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift.

"We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like."

At one level, this same debate recurs every election cycle - do people care more about foreign policy questions or pocketbook issues? The answer is almost always: the economy. At another level, the debate is about whether Trump's unpopularity can be used against him. It's another enduring debate: take advantage of the incumbent's negatives or field a positive alternative? As the 2004 and 2012 election results suggest, the opposition has to offer something intrinsically appealing or risk defeat.

... ... ...

According to the triple backlash argument , Trump benefited from a worldwide rejection of [neo]liberalism: economically, politically, and culturally. Large sections of the United States that didn't benefit from economic globalization watched the disappearance of well-paying jobs from the Rust Belt, rural areas and small towns, and certain big cities.

These residents of America B blamed politicians from both parties for pushing economic reforms that shifted wealth upward and out of their communities. And they also blamed a range of "others" for what was wrong with the country: immigrants, people of color, social liberals. This economic-political-cultural backlash prepared the ground for a political outsider with an anti-immigrant agenda and a promise to revive America's sunset industries.

The triple hack argument is much more focused. Trump "hacked" the system in three important ways, exploiting vulnerabilities to gain his narrow win.

The first hack was of the Electoral College. Trump didn't care about the popular vote. He knew that he could write off large swathes of the American electorate and concentrate his forces in a few swing states. So, for instance, the campaign pulled resources out of Virginia, an otherwise important state for Republicans to win, to focus on the Midwest.

The second hack was the news media. The Trump campaign exploited the mainstream media's fascination with the outrageous by constantly feeding it new outrages. It also generated a spate of "fake news" about Hillary Clinton that it distributed on the margins, in places like Breitbart News and through social media like Facebook and Trump's own Twitter account. Here, Russian journalists and trolls played a role, though probably not a pivotal one.

Finally, the campaign hacked Facebook in two critical ways. It poured money into an advertising campaign tailored to the preferences of over 200 million Americans contained in ... ... ...

The investigation into Russian meddling in the American election has inevitably acquired a partisan taint. The Democrats have used it to question the legitimacy of the election and of the Trump administration more generally. Trump and the Republicans have accused their detractors of conducting a witch-hunt.

... a supposed effort to "demonize" Vladimir Putin as part of a campaign to revive Cold War tensions between Washington and Moscow.

... ... ...

Donald Trump has an answer for the crisis of liberalism and the triple backlash that produced his electoral victory.

He's challenged the existing global economy by pulling the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and has promised to tear up - or significantly renegotiate - a number of other trade deals. He's challenged the liberal administrative state by attempting to gut social welfare and the government regulatory apparatus across the board. He's challenged liberal norms of inclusion with his travel ban, an anti-immigrant crusade, and other policies that will adversely affect women, people of color, and the LGBT community

... ... ...

Russia versus jobs is in some ways a false dichotomy. Progressives have to devise a comprehensive alternative that responds to both the challenge of Russia and the failures of liberalism. If we don't, we'll not only lose the mid-terms and the next presidential election in the United States. We'll lose the planet. John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus and the author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands .

[Jul 06, 2017] DNC Fraud Lawsuit is the Biggest Story in Politics that No One is Talking About

Notable quotes:
"... Chairperson, the designated Vice Chair as provided for in Article Two, Section 12(b) of the Bylaws, or the next highest ranking officer of the National Committee present at the meeting shall preside. Section 4. The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation asmay be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process. ..."
Jul 06, 2017 | www.msn.com
In June of 2016 Jared and Elizabeth Beck filed a lawsuit in Florida against the DNC, (Wilding v.s. DNC Services Corporation) known mostly online as the #DNCFRAUDLAWSUIT. The case has slowly wound its way through the courts but has picked up steam in 2017 as court transcripts and allegations of intimidation have become public.

The plaintiffs have filed a class action suit on behalf of three classes of people, arguing that the DNC must return all donations given in the 2016 cycle to Bernie Sanders Donors, DNC Donors and Democrats in general. Why? They claim the DNC defrauded donors in the 2016 primary by failing to remain neutral during the contest. Article 5 section 4 of the DNC bylaws state s:

CHARTER

Chairperson, the designated Vice Chair as provided for in Article Two, Section 12(b) of the Bylaws, or the next highest ranking officer of the National Committee present at the meeting shall preside. Section 4. The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation asmay be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.

Beck and Beck cite the hacked emails from Wikileaks as evidence of Democratic Party leaders tampering with the primary process.

[Jul 04, 2017] Economics of the Populist Backlash naked capitalism

Populism is a weasel word that is use by neoliberal MSM to delitimize the resistance. This is a typical neoliberal thinking.
Financial globalization is different from trade. It is more of neocolonialism that racket, as is the case with trade.
Notable quotes:
"... Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour. ..."
"... I suggest that the fact that these two countries are arguably the most unequal in the advanced world has something to do with this. Also, on many measures I believe these two countries appear to be the most 'damaged' societies in the advanced world – levels of relationship breakdown, teenage crime, drug use, teenage pregnancies etc. I doubt this is a coincidence. ..."
"... Forced Free Trade was intended to be destructive to American society, and it was . . . exactly as intended. Millions of jobs were abolished here and shipped to foreign countries used as economic aggression platforms against America. So of course American society became damaged as the American economy became mass-jobicided. On purpose. With malice aforethought. ..."
"... "Populism" seems to me to be a pejorative term used to delegitimize the grievances of the economically disenfranchised and dismiss them derision. ..."
"... In the capitalist economies globalization is/was inevitable; the outcome is easy to observe ..and suffer under. ..."
"... they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives ..."
"... This piece was a lengthy run-on Econ 101 bollocks. Not only does the writer dismiss debt/interest and the effects of rentier banking, but they come off as very simplistic. Reads like some sheltered preppy attempt at explaining populism ..."
"... But like almost all economists, Rodrik is ignoring the political part of political economy. Historically, humanity has developed two organizational forms to select and steer toward preferred economic destinies: governments of nation states, and corporations. ..."
"... The liberalization of trade has come, I would argue, with a huge political cost no economist has reckoned yet. Instead, economists are whining about the reaction to this political cost without facing up to the political cost itself. Or even accept its legitimacy. ..."
"... Second, there are massive negative effects of trade liberalization that economists simply refuse to look at. Arbitration of environmental and worker safety laws and regulations is one. ..."
"... As I have argued elsewhere, the most important economic activity a society engages in us the development and diffusion of new science and technology. ..."
"... Rodrik is also wrong about the historical origins of agrarian populism in USA. It was not trade, but the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances of the Grangers, Farmers Alliances after the Civil War. ..."
"... The salient characteristic of populism is favoring the people vs. the establishment. The whole left/right dichotomy is a creation of the establishment, used to divide the public and PREVENT an effective populist backlash. As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out decades ago, there is really only one party in the U.S. – the Property Party – and the Ds and Rs are just two heads of the same hydra. Especially in the past 10 years or so. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

'Populism' is a loose label that encompasses a diverse set of movements. The term originates from the late 19th century, when a coalition of farmers, workers, and miners in the US rallied against the Gold Standard and the Northeastern banking and finance establishment. Latin America has a long tradition of populism going back to the 1930s, and exemplified by Peronism. Today populism spans a wide gamut of political movements, including anti-euro and anti-immigrant parties in Europe, Syriza and Podemos in Greece and Spain, Trump's anti-trade nativism in the US, the economic populism of Chavez in Latin America, and many others in between. What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance.

The populist backlash may have been a surprise to many, but it really should not have been in light of economic history and economic theory.

Take history first. The first era of globalisation under the Gold Standard produced the first self-conscious populist movement in history, as noted above. In trade, finance, and immigration, political backlash was not late in coming. The decline in world agricultural prices in 1870s and 1880s produced pressure for resumption in import protection. With the exception of Britain, nearly all European countries raised agricultural tariffs towards the end of the 19th century. Immigration limits also began to appear in the late 19th century. The United States Congress passed in 1882 the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act that restricted Chinese immigration specifically. Japanese immigration was restricted in 1907. And the Gold Standard aroused farmers' ire because it was seen to produce tight credit conditions and a deflationary effect on agricultural prices. In a speech at the Democratic national convention of 1896, the populist firebrand William Jennings Bryan uttered the famous words: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

To anyone familiar with the basic economics of trade and financial integration, the politically contentious nature of globalisation should not be a surprise. The workhorse models with which international economists work tend to have strong redistributive implications. One of the most remarkable theorems in economics is the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, which generates very sharp distributional implications from opening up to trade. Specifically, in a model with two goods and two factors of production, with full inter-sectoral mobility of the factors, owners of one of the two factors are made necessarily worse off with the opening to trade. The factor which is used intensively in the importable good must experience a decline in its real earnings.

The Stolper-Samuelson theorem assumes very specific conditions. But there is one Stolper-Samuelson-like result that is extremely general, and which can be stated as follows. Under competitive conditions, as long as the importable good(s) continue to be produced at home – that is, ruling out complete specialisation – there is always at least one factor of production that is rendered worse off by the liberalisation of trade. In other words, trade generically produces losers. Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade; no pain, no gain.

Economic theory has an additional implication, which is less well recognised. In relative terms, the redistributive effects of liberalisation get larger and tend to swamp the net gains as the trade barriers in question become smaller. The ratio of redistribution to net gains rises as trade liberalisation tackles progressively lower barriers.

The logic is simple. Consider the denominator of this ratio first. It is a standard result in public finance that the efficiency cost of a tax increases with the square of the tax rate. Since an import tariff is a tax on imports, the same convexity applies to tariffs as well. Small tariffs have very small distorting effects; large tariffs have very large negative effects. Correspondingly, the efficiency gains of trade liberalisation become progressively smaller as the barriers get lower. The redistributive effects, on the other hand, are roughly linear with respect to price changes and are invariant, at the margin, to the magnitude of the barriers. Putting these two facts together, we have the result just stated, namely that the losses incurred by adversely affected groups per dollar of efficiency gain are higher the lower the barrier that is removed.

Evidence is in line with these theoretical expectations. For example, in the case of NAFTA, Hakobyan and McLaren (2016) have found very large adverse effects for an "important minority" of US workers, while Caliendo and Parro (2015) estimate that the overall gains to the US economy from the agreement were minute (a "welfare" gain of 0.08%).

In principle, the gains from trade can be redistributed to compensate the losers and ensure no identifiable group is left behind. Trade openness has been greatly facilitated in Europe by the creation of welfare states. But the US, which became a truly open economy relatively late, did not move in the same direction. This may account for why imports from specific trade partners such as China or Mexico are so much more contentious in the US.

Economists understand that trade causes job displacement and income losses for some groups. But they have a harder time making sense of why trade gets picked on so much by populists both on the right and the left. After all, imports are only one source of churn in labour markets, and typically not even the most important source. What is it that renders trade so much more salient politically? Perhaps trade is a convenient scapegoat. But there is another, deeper issue that renders redistribution caused by trade more contentious than other forms of competition or technological change. Sometimes international trade involves types of competition that are ruled out at home because they violate widely held domestic norms or social understandings. When such "blocked exchanges" (Walzer 1983) are enabled through trade they raise difficult questions of distributive justice. What arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness.

Financial globalisation is in principle similar to trade insofar as it generates overall economic benefits. Nevertheless, the economics profession's current views on financial globalisation can be best described as ambivalent. Most of the scepticism is directed at short-term financial flows, which are associated with financial crises and other excesses. Long-term flows and direct foreign investment in particular are generally still viewed favourably. Direct foreign investment tends to be more stable and growth-promoting. But there is evidence that it has produced shifts in taxation and bargaining power that are adverse to labour.

The boom-and-bust cycle associated with capital inflows has long been familiar to developing nations. Prior to the Global Crisis, there was a presumption that such problems were largely the province of poorer countries. Advanced economies, with their better institutions and regulation, would be insulated from financial crises induced by financial globalisation. It did not quite turn out that way. In the US, the housing bubble, excessive risk-taking, and over-leveraging during the years leading up to the crisis were amplified by capital inflows from the rest of the world. In the Eurozone, financial integration, on a regional scale, played an even larger role. Credit booms fostered by interest-rate convergence would eventually turn into bust and sustained economic collapses in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland once credit dried up in the immediate aftermath of the crisis in the US.

Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour.

The populist backlash may have been predictable, but the specific form it took was less so. Populism comes in different versions. It is useful to distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism, which differ with respect to the societal cleavages that populist politicians highlight and render salient. The US progressive movement and most Latin American populism took a left-wing form. Donald Trump and European populism today represent, with some instructive exceptions, the right-wing variant (Figure 2). What accounts for the emergence of right-wing versus left-wing variants of opposition to globalization?

Figure 2 Contrasting patterns of populism in Europe and Latin America

Notes : See Rodrik (2017) for sources and methods.

I suggest that these different reactions are related to the forms in which globalisation shocks make themselves felt in society (Rodrik 2017). It is easier for populist politicians to mobilise along ethno-national/cultural cleavages when the globalisation shock becomes salient in the form of immigration and refugees. That is largely the story of advanced countries in Europe. On the other hand, it is easier to mobilise along income/social class lines when the globalisation shock takes the form mainly of trade, finance, and foreign investment. That in turn is the case with southern Europe and Latin America. The US, where arguably both types of shocks have become highly salient recently, has produced populists of both stripes (Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump).

It is important to distinguish between the demand and supply sides of the rise in populism. The economic anxiety and distributional struggles exacerbated by globalisation generate a base for populism, but do not necessarily determine its political orientation. The relative salience of available cleavages and the narratives provided by populist leaders are what provides direction and content to the grievances. Overlooking this distinction can obscure the respective roles of economic and cultural factors in driving populist politics.

Finally, it is important to emphasise that globalization has not been the only force at play - nor necessarily even the most important one. Changes in technology, rise of winner-take-all markets, erosion of labour market protections, and decline of norms restricting pay differentials all have played their part. These developments are not entirely independent from globalisation, insofar as they both fostered globalization and were reinforced by it. But neither can they be reduced to it. Nevertheless, economic history and economic theory both give us strong reasons to believe that advanced stages of globalisation are prone to populist backlash.

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 6:43 am

An interesting post.

One question he does not address is why the opposition to globalization has had its most obvious consequences in two countries:- the US and the UK with Trump and Brexit respectively.

I suggest that the fact that these two countries are arguably the most unequal in the advanced world has something to do with this. Also, on many measures I believe these two countries appear to be the most 'damaged' societies in the advanced world – levels of relationship breakdown, teenage crime, drug use, teenage pregnancies etc. I doubt this is a coincidence.

For me the lessons are obvious – ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected, not just some; act to prevent excessive inequality; nurture people so that their lives are happier.

John Wright , July 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

re: "ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected"

Note that for the recent TPP, industry executives and senior government officials were well represented for the drafting of the agreement, labor and environmental groups were not.

There simply may be no mechanism to "ensure the benefits are distributed among all affected" in the USA political climate as those benefits are grabbed by favored groups, who don't want to re-distribute them later.

Some USA politicians argue for passing flawed legislation while suggesting they will fix it later, as I remember California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein stating when she voted for Bush Jr's Medicare Part D ("buy elderly votes for Republicans").

It has been about 15 years, and I don't remember any reform efforts on Medicare Part D from Di-Fi.

Legislation should be approached with the anticipated inequality problems solved FIRST when wealthy and powerful interests are only anticipating increased wealth via "free trade". Instead, the political process gifts first to the wealthy and powerful first and adopts a "we'll fix it later" attitude for those harmed. And the same process occurs, the wealthy/powerful subsequently strongly resist sharing their newly acquired "free trade" wealth increment with the free trade losers..

If the USA adopted a "fix inequality first" requirement, one wonders if these free trade bills would get much purchase with the elite.

different clue , July 4, 2017 at 4:14 am

Forced Free Trade was intended to be destructive to American society, and it was . . . exactly as intended. Millions of jobs were abolished here and shipped to foreign countries used as economic aggression platforms against America. So of course American society became damaged as the American economy became mass-jobicided. On purpose. With malice aforethought.

NAFTA Bill Clinton lit the fuse to the bomb which finally exploded under his lovely wife Hillary in 2016.

Ignacio , July 3, 2017 at 7:35 am

The big problem I find in this analysis is that it completely forgets how different countries use fiscal/financial policies to play merchantilistic games under globalization.

Doug , July 3, 2017 at 7:41 am

Yves, thanks for posting this from Dani Rodrik - whose clear thinking is always worthwhile. It's an excellent, succinct post. Still, one 'ouch': "Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade; no pain, no gain."

This is dehumanizing glibness that we cannot afford. The pain spreads like wildfire. It burns down houses, savings, jobs, communities, bridges, roads, health and health care, education, food systems, air, water, the 'real' economy, civility, shared values - in short everything for billions of human beings - all while sickening, isolating and killing.

The gain? Yes, as you so often point out, cui bono? But, really it goes beyond even that question. It requires asking, "Is this gain so obscene to arguably be no gain at all because its price for those who cannot have too many homes and yachts and so forth is the loss of humanity?

Consider, for example, Mitch McConnell. He cannot reasonably be considered human. At all. And, before the trolls create any gifs for the Teenager-In-Chief, one could say the same - or almost the same - for any number of flexians who denominate themselves D or R (e.g. Jamie Gorelick).

No pain, no gain? Fine for getting into better shape or choosing to get better at some discipline.

It's an abominable abstraction, though, for describing phenomena now so far along toward planet-o-cide.

Thuto , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

"Populism" seems to me to be a pejorative term used to delegitimize the grievances of the economically disenfranchised and dismiss them derision.

Another categorization that I find less than apt, outmoded and a misnomer is the phrase "advanced economies", especially given that level of industrialization and gdp per capita are the key metrics used to arrive at these classifications. Globalization has shifted most industrial activity away from countries that invested in rapid industrialization post WW2 to countries with large pools of readily exploitable labour while gdp per capita numbers include sections of the population with no direct participation in creating economic output (and the growth of these marginalized sections is trending ever upward).

Meanwhile the financial benefits of growing GDP numbers gush ever upwards to the financial-political elites instead of "trickling downwards" as we are told they should, inequality grows unabated, stress related diseases eat away at the bodies of otherwise young men and women etc. I'm not sure any of these dynamics, which describe perfectly what is happening in many so called advanced economies, are the mark of societies that should describe themselves as "advanced"

Yves Smith Post author , July 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Sorry, but the original populist movement in the US called themselves the Populists or the Populist Party. Being popular is good. You are the one who is assigning a pejorative tone to it.

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 1:32 am

Populism is widely used in the mainstream media, and even in the so called alternative media, as a really pejorative term. That is what he means (I would say).

witters , July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

"What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance."

On the other hand:

"What all these share is an establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the elites against the people, support for liberal economics and globalisation, and always a penchant for authoritarian governance."

Wisdom Seeker , July 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm

You nailed it. Let me know when we get our Constitution back!

Eclair , July 3, 2017 at 8:09 am

"Financial globalisation appears to have produced adverse distributional impacts within countries as well, in part through its effect on incidence and severity of financial crises. Most noteworthy is the recent analysis by Furceri et al. (2017) that looks at 224 episodes of capital account liberalisation. They find that capital-account liberalisation leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labour share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1%, 5%, and 10% of income. Further, capital mobility shifts both the tax burden and the burden of economic shocks onto the immobile factor, labour."

So, translated, Rodrick is saying that the free flow of money across borders, while people are confined within these artificial constraints, results in all the riches flowing to the fat cats and all the taxes, famines, wars, droughts, floods and other natural disasters being dumped upon the peasants.

The Lakota, roaming the grassy plains of the North American mid-continent, glorified their 'fat cats,' the hunters who brought back the bison which provided food, shelter and clothing to the people. And the rule was that the spoils of the hunt were shared unequally; the old, women and children got the choice high calorie fatty parts. The more that a hunter gave away, the more he was revered.

The Lakota, after some decades of interaction with the European invaders, bestowed on them a disparaging soubriquet: wasi'chu. It means 'fat-taker;' someone who is greedy, taking all the best parts for himself and leaving nothing for the people.

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:04 am

"So, translated, Rodrick is saying that the free flow of money across borders, while people are confined within these artificial constraints .."

Nailed it!! That's something that has always bothered me it's great for the propagandists to acclaim globalization but they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives .there should be a murderous outrage against this kind of globalized exploitation and the consequent sufferings. Oh, but I forgot! It's all about the money that is supposed to give incentive to those who are left behind to "recoup", "regroup" and in today's age develop some kind of "app" to make up for all those losses .

In the capitalist economies globalization is/was inevitable; the outcome is easy to observe ..and suffer under.

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

they never get into the nitty-gritty of the "immobility" of the general populations who have been crushed by the lost jobs, homes, families, lives

That's a feature, not a bug. Notice that big corporations are all in favor of globalization except when it comes to things like labor law. Then, somehow, local is better.

edr , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

"The economic anxiety and distributional struggles exacerbated by globalization generate a base for populism, but do not necessarily determine its political orientation. The relative salience of available cleavages and the narratives provided by populist leaders are what provides direction and content to the grievances. "

Excellent and interesting point. Which political party presents itself as a believable tool for redress affects the direction populism will take, making itself available as supply to the existing populist demand. That should provide for 100 years of political science research.

Anonymous2 : "For me the lessons are obvious – ensure the benefits of increased trade are distributed among all affected, not just some; act to prevent excessive inequality; nurture people so that their lives are happier."

Seems so simply, right ?

Anonymous2 , July 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

It ought to be but sadly I fear our politicians are bought. I am unsure I have the solution . In the past when things got really bad I suspect people ended up with a major war before these sorts of problems could be addressed. I doubt that is going to be a solution this time.

Kuhio Kane , July 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

This piece was a lengthy run-on Econ 101 bollocks. Not only does the writer dismiss debt/interest and the effects of rentier banking, but they come off as very simplistic. Reads like some sheltered preppy attempt at explaining populism

Hiho , July 4, 2017 at 2:27 am

Well said.

washunate , July 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

Yep, Rodrik has been writing about these things for decades and has a remarkable talent for never actually getting anywhere. He's particularly enamored by the neoliberal shiny toy of "skills", as if predation, looting, and fraud simply don't exist.

Left in Wisconsin , July 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

And yet, in the profession, he is one of the least objectionable.

Tony Wikrent , July 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

This is a prime example of what is wrong with professional economic thinking. First, note that Rodrik is nominally on our side: socially progressive, conscious of the increasingly frightful cost of enviro externalities, etc.

But like almost all economists, Rodrik is ignoring the political part of political economy. Historically, humanity has developed two organizational forms to select and steer toward preferred economic destinies: governments of nation states, and corporations.

Only nation states provide the mass of people any form and extent of political participation in determining their own destiny. The failure of corporations to provide political participation can probably be recited my almost all readers of NC. Indeed, a key problem of the past few decades is that corp.s have increasingly marginalized the role of nation states and mass political participation. The liberalization of trade has come, I would argue, with a huge political cost no economist has reckoned yet. Instead, economists are whining about the reaction to this political cost without facing up to the political cost itself. Or even accept its legitimacy.

Second, there are massive negative effects of trade liberalization that economists simply refuse to look at. Arbitration of environmental and worker safety laws and regulations is one. Another is the aftereffects of the economic dislocations Rodrik alludes to.

One is the increasing constriction of government budgets. These in turn have caused a scaling back of science R&D which I believe will have huge but incalculable negative effects in coming years. How do you measure the cost of failing to find a cure for a disease? Or failing to develop technologies to reverse climate change? Or just to double the charge duration of electric batteries under load? As I have argued elsewhere, the most important economic activity a society engages in us the development and diffusion of new science and technology.

FluffytheObeseCat , July 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Intellectually poisoned by his social environment perhaps. The biggest problems with this piece were its sweeping generalizations about unquantified socio-political trends. The things that academic economists are least trained in; the things they speak about in passing without much thought.

I.e. Descriptions of political 'populism' that lumps Peronists, 19th century U.S. prairie populists, Trump, and Sanders all into one neat category. Because, social movements driven by immiseration of the common man are interchangeable like paper cups at a fast food restaurant.

sierra7 , July 4, 2017 at 12:15 am

Agree with much of what you comment .I believe that the conditions you describe are conveniently dismissed by the pro economists as: "Externalities" LOL!! They seem to dump everything that doesn't correlate to their dream of "Free Markets", "Globalization", etc .into that category .you gotta love 'em!!

Tony Wikrent , July 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

Rodrik is also wrong about the historical origins of agrarian populism in USA. It was not trade, but the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances of the Grangers, Farmers Alliances after the Civil War.

In fact, the best historian of USA agrarian populism, Lawrence Goodwyn, argued that it was exactly the populists' reluctant alliance with Byran in the 1896 election that destroyed the populist movement. It was not so much an issue of the gold standard, as it was "hard money" vs "soft money" : gold AND silver vs the populists' preference for greenbacks, and currency and credit issued by US Treasury instead of the eastern banks.

A rough analogy is that Byran was the Hillary Clinton of his day, with the voters not given any way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or the House of Morgan.

Massinissa , July 3, 2017 at 9:33 pm

Honestly I would say Bryan is more an unwitting Bernie Sanders than a Hillary Clinton. But the effect was essentially the same.

flora , July 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm

"the oligopoly power of railroads, farm equipment makers, and banks that were the original grievances "

That power was expressed in total control of the Congress and Presidential office. Then, as now, the 80-90% of the voters had neither R or D party that represented their economic, property, and safety interests. Given the same economic circumstances, if one party truly pushed for ameliorating regulations or programs the populist movement would be unnecessary. Yes, Bryan was allowed to run (and he had a large following) and to speak at the Dem convention, much like Bernie today. The "Bourbon Democrats" kept firm control of the party and downed Jennings' programs just as the neolib Dem estab today keep control of the party out of the hands of progressives.

an aside: among many things, the progressives pushed for good government (ending cronyism), trust busting, and honest trade, i.e not selling unfit tinned and bottled food as wholesome food. Today, we could use an "honest contracts and dealings" act to regulate the theft committed by what the banks call "honest contract enforcement", complete with forges documents. (Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle (1906) about the meatpacking industry. What would he make of today's mortgage industry, or insurance industry, for example.)

washunate , July 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

For an author and article so interested in international trade, I'm fascinated by the lack of evidence or argumentation that trade is the problem. The real issue being described here is excessive inequality delivered through authoritarianism, not international trade. The intra-city divergence between a hospital administrator and a home health aid is a much bigger problem in the US than trade across national borders. The empire abroad and the police state at home is a much bigger problem than competition from China or Mexico. Etc. Blaming international trade for domestic policies (and opposition to them) is just simple misdirection and xenophobia, nothing more.

Wisdom Seeker , July 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I take exception to most of Prof. Rodrik's post, which is filled with factual and/or logical inaccuracies.

"Populism appears to be a recent phenomenon, but it has been on the rise for quite some time (Figure 1)."

Wrong. Pretending that a historical generic is somehow new Populism has been around since at least the time of Jesus or William Wallace or the American Revolution or FDR.

"What all these share is an anti-establishment orientation, a claim to speak for the people against the elites, opposition to liberal economics and globalisation, and often (but not always) a penchant for authoritarian governance."

Wrong. Creating a straw man through overgeneralization. Just because one country's "populism" appears to have taken on a certain color, does not mean the current populist movement in another part of the world will be the same. The only essential characteristics of populism are the anti-establishment orientation and seeking policies that will redress an imbalance in which some elites have aggrandized themselves unjustly at the expense of the rest of the people. The rest of the items in the list above are straw men in a generalization. Rise of authoritarian (non-democratic) governance after a populist uprising implies the rise of a new elite and would be a failure, a derailing of the populist movement – not a characteristic of it.

"Correspondingly, the efficiency gains of trade liberalisation become progressively smaller as the barriers get lower."

If, in fact, we were seeing lower trade barriers, and this was driving populism, this whole line of reasoning might have some value. But as it is, well over half the US economy is either loaded with barriers, subject to monopolistic pricing, or has not seen any "trade liberalization". Pharmaceuticals, despite being commodities, have no common global price the way, say, oil does. Oil hasn't had lowered barriers, though, and thus doesn't count in favor of the argument either. When China, Japan and Europe drop their import barriers, and all of them plus the U.S. get serious about antitrust enforcement, there might be a case to be made

"It is useful to distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism"

Actually it isn't. The salient characteristic of populism is favoring the people vs. the establishment. The whole left/right dichotomy is a creation of the establishment, used to divide the public and PREVENT an effective populist backlash. As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out decades ago, there is really only one party in the U.S. – the Property Party – and the Ds and Rs are just two heads of the same hydra. Especially in the past 10 years or so.

About the only thing the author gets right is the admission that certain economic policies unjustly create pain among many groups of people, leading to popular retribution. But that's not insightful, especially since he fails to address the issue quantitatively and identify WHICH policies have created the bulk of the pain. For instance, was more damage done by globalization, or by the multi-trillion-$ fleecing of the U.S. middle class by the bankers and federal reserve during the recent housing bubble and aftermath? What about the more recent ongoing fleecing of the government and the people by the healthcare cartels, at about $1.5-2 trillion/year in the U.S.?

This is only the top of a long list

PKMKII , July 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

What arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness.

Which is the primary worldview setting for the neo-reactionary right in America. Everything is a question of whether or not ones income was "fairly earned."

So you get government employees and union members voting for politicians who've practically declared war against those voters' class, but vote for them anyway because they set their arguments in a mode of fairness morality: You can vote for the party of hard workers, or the party of handouts to the lazy. Which is why China keeps getting depicted as a currency manipulator and exploiter of free trade agreements.

Economic rivals can only succeed via "cheating," not being industrious like the US.

Livius Drusus , July 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm

That describes a number of my relatives and their friends. They are union members and government employees yet hold hard right-wing views and are always complaining about lazy moochers living on welfare. I ask them why they love the Republicans so much when this same party demonizes union members and public employees as overpaid and lazy and the usual answer is that Republicans are talking about some other unions or other government employees, usually teachers.

I suspect that the people in my anecdote hate public school teachers and their unions because they are often female and non-white or teach in areas with a lot of minority children. I see this a lot with white guys in traditional masculine industrial unions. They sometimes look down on unions in fields that have many female and non-white members, teachers being the best example I can think of.

tongorad , July 3, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Economists understand that trade causes job displacement and income losses for some groups.

No, no they don't.

[Jul 03, 2017] boots-on-the-ground report

Notable quotes:
"... To put it perhaps bluntly, neoconservatism serves the Washington war machine, where the prevailing idea of "American exceptionalism" is "liberal democracy" forced on a reluctant world at gunpoint. Mainstream Republicans have also promoted the dominance of neoconservatism's flipside which we mentioned earlier, neoliberalism. Neoliberal economics underwrites the global capitalist consensus, as its public intellectuals, the first of whom were Hayek and Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), championed the unregulated market, rejected all forms of state-directed central planning (though they seemed okay with planning if corporations were doing it), lauded the privatization of public services (even prisons!), and recommended austerity to deal with public debt. Neoliberalism could be described by anyone who sought to do so as the triumph of the real Masters even if they'd never heard of Hegel: global-corporate CEOs able to buy political classes, tech billionaires often in bed with the deep state, hedge fund billionaires, corporate media pundits assuring us that all is well in the ship of state (or was until Trump got elected), Hollywood celebrities to keep us titillated and distracted, well-paid court economists and other court intellectuals to scold us against "populist" inclinations because, after all, There Is No Alternative! ..."
Jul 03, 2017 | www.stirjournal.com
and understand why working class whites voted so overwhelmingly for Trump. ( Note : that author was not supporting Trump and probably finds the alt-right horrifying.)

The alt-right, we should note, rejects the "movement" conservatism of the mainstream GOP as dead - compromised, intimidated, out of ideas, having no idea what it wants to conserve. For decades now mainstream Republicans have been walking gingerly around issues like affirmative action, because they are scared of their shadows of being called racists - a fact hardly lost on the Left. The result is a movement that has spent itself, and has little left to say. Think again of last year's GOP debates and how Trump owned them. Mainstream Republicans floundered helplessly in the face of his command of both mass media and social media. At the same time, one heard no new ideas at all from Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush or even Mitt Romney at one point. Mostly they just embarrassed themselves (and in the case of Bush, the original favorite of corporate insiders, wasted over $100 million in donor money).

Moreover, the bulk of GOP "satellite" institutions, the many "think tanks" (e.g., Heritage) and its major publications (e.g., National Review , Human Events , "conservative" syndicated columnists such as George Will, etc.), attacked Trump, but communicated no forward-looking path for the country. This was not lost on the alt-right.

The mainstream GOP has furthered not conservatism but neo conservatism. The differences are, uh, huge -- To put it perhaps bluntly, neoconservatism serves the Washington war machine, where the prevailing idea of "American exceptionalism" is "liberal democracy" forced on a reluctant world at gunpoint. Mainstream Republicans have also promoted the dominance of neoconservatism's flipside which we mentioned earlier, neoliberalism. Neoliberal economics underwrites the global capitalist consensus, as its public intellectuals, the first of whom were Hayek and Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), championed the unregulated market, rejected all forms of state-directed central planning (though they seemed okay with planning if corporations were doing it), lauded the privatization of public services (even prisons!), and recommended austerity to deal with public debt. Neoliberalism could be described by anyone who sought to do so as the triumph of the real Masters even if they'd never heard of Hegel: global-corporate CEOs able to buy political classes, tech billionaires often in bed with the deep state, hedge fund billionaires, corporate media pundits assuring us that all is well in the ship of state (or was until Trump got elected), Hollywood celebrities to keep us titillated and distracted, well-paid court economists and other court intellectuals to scold us against "populist" inclinations because, after all, There Is No Alternative!

Against all this, the alt-right raises its fist and says, Hell No, We Won't Go! We demand our identity as white Americans, the right to preserve our own culture, and the right to live and associate with those of our choice!

So after all of this explication, why do I see the alt-right as an understandable and perhaps even justifiable response to our current situation, but otherwise at least partly wrongheaded, philosophically and culturally?

Recent history should help clarify matters. Generalized open borders policies born of a multiculturalist mindset do not result in stable mass societies. If they fail for a society of around 67 million people (roughly the population of France), then assuredly they won't work for one of over 325 million people (that of the U.S.). Such policies cannot work for those who do not consciously choose them, which is most people. The term the masses sounds derogatory. It need not be. It simply means the majority, those who are average , who go off experience and habit, whose lives are circumscribed by what affects them directly (family, work, church, filing a tax return once a year, etc.), who rarely think outside the boxes these supply, and who bring to the table the talents and skills they have, along with their individual hopes, dreams, fears, sweet spots, and pain points. They are often very good at what they've learned to do. Most can generally take care of themselves, so long as their lives are not disrupted by forces they neither understand nor can control. Most prefer the company of people like them, who think like them, who can relate to them, will trust them because they've known each other all their lives in some cases, and with whom they would be comfortable sharing a beer.

Interfere with these people, force them down paths not of their choosing, and barring the appearance of a Donald Trump you might not have a rebellion on your hands, but you will almost surely get slow but increasing dysfunction, as is the clearly the case with many working class white people who voted for Trump: the one population whose fortunes are shrinking along with their numbers, and whose tendencies toward chronic health problems, substance abuse, suicide, etc., are rising.

Other things being equal, I'd allow them (including those white people who find that the alt-right is making sense) to live as they see fit and be left alone. If they wish to separate, then let them separate. This is what the alt-right gets "right."

But before they depart I'd ask them: instead of rejecting just left-wing Hegelianism, why not reject the entire Hegelian paradigm? The embrace of right-wing Hegelianism is what the alt-right gets "wrong." The Master-Slave dichotomy may have seemed necessary, but never truly was. It was always an academic construct laid on top of a far more complex reality. Slave-consciousness may be overcome, in time, by self-reliance consciousness: a large frontage road alongside the Enlightenment superhighway of modernity, less traveled but fruitful for those who did. What is good and right about self-reliance consciousness is its absence of ethnic or gender specificity. White Europeans of various nationalities other than British chose it for decades when they came to the U.S. as immigrants with nothing but the shirts on their backs. They devoted themselves to the ways of their new home, learning English, and in many cases became successful business owners. Asians followed suit. They had a rougher ride, but also succeeded. Their children went on to earn doctorates in physics and engineering. "White privilege" did not stop them.

In American mass political culture, however, self-reliance was replaced by a sense of entitlement: government should take care of us . The Fabian-inspired New Deal has proven to have its dark side, this being chronic dependency on government (i.e., on taxpayers) and, in practice, has rendered ever more people vulnerable to being taken advantage of by predatory corporations (Big Insurance, Big Pharma). Obvious example: health care. One could write extensively on the dangers of too much comfort and convenience, especially for those who grow up immersed in it, absent any sense of the work that went into producing it. But that, too, is an essay for another day.

But just note in passing - and this is of crucial importance : before separating, one must consider that the price of separation and community self-determination in a world dominated by globalized power elites is self-reliance at a community level .

For example, speaking hypothetically, were a state or group of states to secede from the U.S. today, they would relinquish any right their people might have thought they had to Social Security, Medicare, and so on. Relinquishing these systems of dependency would be part of what they'd signed off on. What to put in place of those until they could transition back to self-reliance would become a major issue, and quickly!

Moreover, "populist" economics requires self-reliance because if "populists" are elected in a country, the economically powerful pull their investments and/or remove their operations, understandably fearful of the nationalization which happened in Chile when Salvador Allende was elected president in 1970. When a Hugo Chávez becomes president in a Venezuela, the corporate movers and shakers pull out. What happens: the economy tanks. Jobs vanish. Distribution systems collapse. Goods become scarce; price inflation soars. The "populists" are blamed for the debacle.

Without self-reliance at both an individual and community level, especially after decades of living in a relatively advancing civilization, it is a given that one's standard of living will drop. Venezuela has learned this the hard way! In the real world, there are only two ways of maintaining a given standard of living. One is to depend on others to supply it. The other is to work to sustain it. One of these might be sustainable in the long run. The other is not. Readers who have followed me this far will be intelligent enough to discern which is which.

[Jul 01, 2017] Gaius Publius An Investigation in Search of a Crime by Gaius Publius

Notable quotes:
"... http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hayes_drussiafakenews_170627 ..."
"... Start at 2:25. Chris Hayes to Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" Note Swalwell's carefully phrased non-answers, as well as Hayes' seeming failure to know that not registering is a very common practice. (If video doesn't play in your browser, go here and listen, again starting at 2:25.) ..."
"... The big story is that these chicken-little stories all seam to serve as cover for the bought-and-paid for chicken little politicians ..while those elected politicians who give a damp about their office and those they represent are sidelined. ..."
"... And why do you thing tyrants, despots, emirs and dictators generously donated so much to the phoney Foundation? Because they wanted to further its good works, just like the Saudis are very worried about AIDS prevention? No, they wanted to buy influence. And Clinton gave them what they wanted. And why did these same tyrants, despots, emits and dictators stop donating once Clinton lost? Because she could no longer deliver. ..."
"... Corruption in high places is the norm. It is childish, all this virtue signaling. I would respect the sore losers more if they were honest they want to put Obama in as President for Life the US is Haiti now. Or the Kissinger faction of the MIC could install one of our TV generals as our version of Gen. Pinochet. ..."
"... It was the filthy Clintonites who gave us Trump to begin with. ..."
"... No doubt plenty of insulating layers if money-laundering took place via real estate, though its worth plumbing those depths. But given Trump appointees' soft-ball approach to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, I'd guess that's an arena well worth the time of journalists, insulating layers or not. I recall Sheldon Adelson's disdain for the FCPA likely increasing his fervor to dump Democrats. ..."
"... as I keep reminding people, you can turn on the spigot of MacCarthyism, and you may think that you can turn off that spigot, but you can't. In the case of Joe MacCarthy himself, it didn't truly end till about the time of his premature death from alcoholism. ..."
"... One aspect of the now-thoroughly-rotten system in the U S of A is the constant contesting of election results. As Lambert Strether keeps writing, the electronic voting machines are a black hole, and both parties have been engaged in debasing the vote and diminishing the size of the electorate. The gravamen in both parties is that the voters don't know what they are doing and the ballots aren't being counted properly. Maybe we can do something about that ..."
"... This is an implicit warning about impeachment. I interpret this as a recommendation to vigorously oppose Trump's actions over the next three and a half years, and to effectively campaign against him in 2020. Trump really is a terrible President, but Mike Pence would be terrible, too. And so would Hillary Clinton, but I hope we won't have to worry about her any more. ..."
"... In case you're wondering why I think that Trump is a terrible President, here's a short summary: ..."
"... None of the left-leaning writers who have been pooh-poohing the Russia investigation* have demonstrated a working knowledge of counterintelligence. I've also noticed that they correlate a lack of publicly-known evidence to an actual absence of evidence, which is the purview of the investigation. Investigators will be holding any evidence they discover close to their vests for obvious reasons, but even more so in this case because some of the evidence will have origins where sources and methods will statutorily need to be concealed. ..."
"... If they had anything concrete on Trump we've have heard about it by now. The spooks have been leaking for months – they aren't going to suddenly clam up if they've discovered something that's actually a crime. ..."
"... Until someone presents actual evidence, this investigation is nothing more than Democrat payback for Benghazi, which itself was a BS investigation in search of a crime that went on for years. Unfortunately for sHillary, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while and they did manage to uncover actual criminality in her case (and brushed it right under the rug). ..."
"... Russia disseminates propaganda that (it hopes) will sway the American election in a direction more favorable to their interests! ..."
"... This is what gets me. We're supposed to me a great power, and we're going nuts on this stuff. It's like an elephant panicking at the sight of a mouse. The political class has lost its grip entirely. ..."
"... How sad, then, that the Pied Piper email showed that the Clinton campaign wanted Trump for their opponent. Or Was she ..."
"... OK, so you are saying that we should trust the word of anonymous leakers from the intelligence community, that is, anonymous leaks from a pack of proven perjurers, torturers, and entrapment artists, all on the basis of supposed evidence that we are not allowed to see. ..."
"... For that matter, how do we know the leakers even exist? When some media outlet wants to publish some made-up story, they can just attribute it to an anonymous source. ..."
"... As Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz pointed out, the DOJ reports to the President. Trump was completely within his authority to give instructions to Comey and fire him. Dershowitz also points out Trump can pardon anyone, including himself. But Trump doesn't read and oddly no one seems to have clued him in on what Dershowitz has said. ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
...Gaius quotes Matt Taibbi's line of thought that the relentless Trump investigations will eventually turn up something, most likely money laundering. However, it's not clear that that can be pinned on Trump. For real estate transactions, it is the bank, not the property owner, that is responsible for anti-money-laundering checks. So unless Trump was accepting cash or other payment outside the banking system, it's going to be hard to make that stick. The one area where he could be vulnerable is his casinos. However, if I read this history of his casinos correctly, Trump could have been pretty much out of that business since 1995 via putting the casinos in a public entity (although he could have continued to collect fees as a manager). Wikipedia hedges its bets and says Trump has been out of the picture since at least 2011 . He only gets licensing fees and has nada to do with management and operations. So even if Trump got dirty money, and in particular dirty Russian money, it's hard to see how that begins to translate into influence over his Presidency, particularly since any such shady activity took place before Trump was even semi-seriously considering a Presidential bid.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hayes_drussiafakenews_170627

Start at 2:25. Chris Hayes to Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" Note Swalwell's carefully phrased non-answers, as well as Hayes' seeming failure to know that not registering is a very common practice. (If video doesn't play in your browser, go here and listen, again starting at 2:25.)

"And most pitiful of all that I heard was the voice of the daughter of Priam, of Cassandra" - Homer, The Odyssey , Book 11 PRIAM: What noise, what shriek is this?
TROILUS: 'Tis our mad sister; I do know her voice.
It is Cassandra.
-Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida , Act II, scene 2 "I'll be your Cassandra this week." -Yours truly

So much of this story is hidden from view, and so much of the past has to be erased to conform to what's presently painted as true.

Example of the latter: Did you remember that Robert Mueller and Bush's FBI were behind the highly suspicious (and likely covered-up) 2001 anthrax investigation - Robert Mueller, today's man of absolute integrity? Did you remember that James Comey was the man behind the destruction of the mind of Jose Padilla , just so that Bush could have a terrorist he could point to having caught - James Comey, today's man of doing always what's right? If you forgot all that in the rush to canonize them, don't count on the media to remind you - they have another purpose .

Yes, I'll be your Cassandra this week, the one destined not to be believed . To what do I refer? Read on.

How Many Foreign Agents Register as Foreign Agents? A Number Far Smaller Than "All"

Today let's look at one of the original sins pointed to by those trying to take down Trump, leaving entirely aside whether Trump needs taking down (which he does). That sin - Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort's failing to register as "foreign agents" (of Turkey and Ukraine, respectively, not Russia) until very after the fact.

See the Chris Hayes video at the top for Hayes' question to Rep. Eric Swalwell about that. Hayes to Swalwell: "How long are you allowed to go before you retroactively file as a foreign agent?" What Swalwell should have answered: "Almost forever by modern American practice."

Jonathan Marshall, writing at investigative journalist Robert Parry's Consortium News, has this to say about the current crop of unregistered foreign agents (my emphasis throughout):

The Open Secret of Foreign Lobbying

The alleged hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign's emails and the numerous contacts of Donald Trump's circle with Russian officials, oligarchs and mobsters have triggered any number of investigations into Moscow's alleged efforts to influence the 2016 election and the new administration .

In contrast, as journalist Robert Parry recently noted , American politicians and the media have been notably silent about other examples of foreign interference in U.S. national politics. In part that's because supporters of more successful foreign pressure groups have enough clout to downplay or deny their very existen