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Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Libertarian Philosophy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
National Security State Key Myths of Neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You The Iron Law of Oligarchy Color revolutions Cold War II Two Party System as Polyarchy
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Predator state Corporatism Elite Theory Neo-conservatism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Demonization of Putin Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie
Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Civil war in Ukraine Fuck the EU Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Neoliberalism and Christianity
Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-globalization movement Neoliberal corruption DNC emails leak Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Disaster capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism American Exceptionalism The Deep State Obama: a yet another Neocon
Neoliberal war on reality In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Corruption of Regulators Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Groupthink Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Deception as an art form Mayberry Machiavellians Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers War and Peace Quotes
Famous quotes of John Kenneth Galbraith Talleyrand quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes George Carlin Propaganda Quotes
Overcomplexity of society Paleoconservatism Non-Interventionism   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

 

This site is very skeptical as for the viability of Neoliberalism as a social system and had distinct pro "New Deal" capitalism bias. You are warned.

And yes, my friends, like Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who he was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it., you are living under neoliberal regime without knowing it.  And this regime is not the same as democracy. See Two Party System as Polyarchy

What is really interesting is that the term "neoliberalism"  has the status of a semi-taboo in the USA, and seldom can be found in articles published by the USA MSM, due to some kind of "silence" pact ;-).

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Who Rules America


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It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Mar 29, 2017] Congress Poised To Obliterate Broadband Privacy Rules Zero Hedge

Mar 29, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Congress Poised To Obliterate Broadband Privacy Rules Dilluminati , Mar 28, 2017 9:31 PM

On Monday, the grassroots advocacy Fight for the Future announced that it will unleash billboards in Washington, D.C. and other select districts exposing any Congress member who votes to gut internet privacy rules.

I'll be sure to point out the hypocrisy of the representatives who vote for this.

https://zenmate.com/

I'll go with a better alternative if it passes

bamawatson -> Dilluminati , Mar 28, 2017 9:33 PM

barn door has already been left open far too long

greenskeeper carl -> erkme73 , Mar 28, 2017 9:44 PM

Highest bidder, huh? You mean the 'bidder' that gives you the ability to operate and can also tax/conjure money of of thin air? I wonder who the highest bidder will be?

Muddy1 -> greenskeeper carl , Mar 28, 2017 9:48 PM

IT IS OVER, THE HOUSE HAS VOTED< this IS A DONE DEAL

source: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/03/28/house-votes-to-block-obama-era-online-privacy-rule.html

SamEyeAm , Mar 28, 2017 9:31 PM

GOD DAMMIT. Here we go again.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/28/internet-service-providers-sell-browsing-history-house-vote?CMP=share_btn_gp

I wonder if VPN companies lobbied for this?

greenskeeper carl -> cougar_w , Mar 28, 2017 9:58 PM

Thats a true story. Everytime I go somewhere that requires me to turn off ghostery to (usually) pay a utility bill or something and I come back here without turning ghostery back on, its insane. It really is the slowest site I visit to load. The number of trackers fills up my screen. Same with when I come here on Tor. My mac can takes forever to load the page, and it seems like every other site I visit runs slower if ZH is in a tab with ghostery paused.

Edit: by the time I scrolled down to the bottom of the page with blocking turned off, it was 109 trackers. I would have guessed half that many.

bruno_the -> asteroids , Mar 28, 2017 9:47 PM

What Difference Does It Make?

WillyGroper -> asteroids , Mar 28, 2017 9:52 PM

if you pay attention to what you're saying, then look at spam calls, the answer is yes. they pay $60 for your browsing info.

commodity to be harvested. baaaaa baaaaa

i told a friend the mortician wasn't getting my gold crowns...started getting all sorts of prepaid burial calls & snail mail.

same thing for verbage health related.

smart meters know when you pee.

ClassicalLib17 -> WillyGroper , Mar 28, 2017 10:10 PM

Are you referring to the "computer experts" from microsoft who call my home at least once a month stating that they detected a problem with my computer? These cocksuckers won't even cut off the call when I start cursing at them. Except the one guy that I kept on the line for thirty minutes trying to get me to turn over control of my computer to him. He hung up when I said that his mother looked mighty pretty last night with those legs up in the air. Afterwards I kind of felt ill when it dawned on me what she could possibly look like... naked! Oh the horror... the horror...

rejected , Mar 28, 2017 9:53 PM

"...and every lawmaker who votes to take away our privacy will regret it come Election Day."

They don't care,,, the payoff made them rich enough to retire for life. Also, if their important enough (McCain, etc) the machines will re-elect them. Last but not least the moron voters out there who don't keep tabs on their elected Reps will re-elect them.

WIN, WIN, WIN, for them.

LOSE for everyone else.

Rebel yell -> DuneCreature , Mar 28, 2017 10:39 PM

If you are targeted, check this out, it is the best site on TIs, there are fake ones by the CIA : https://fightgangstalking.com/what-is-gang-stalking/

Nesbiteme , Mar 28, 2017 10:18 PM

Stupid, stupid Americans.

Youri Carma , Mar 28, 2017 10:24 PM

Your Browser History Up For Grabs – Senate Takes Back Privacy Rules https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cf...

US Senate Kills ISP Privacy Regulations Mar 26, 2017 TWiT Netcast Network https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Samr_KUxPdc

For 16 Years, NSA Has Collected Everything Part 1, 1559 Mar 27, 2017 The Still Report https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfgjlwztETg

Rebel yell , Mar 28, 2017 10:50 PM

That is really creepy, crazy, and frightening! I think that I will buy the CEOs of the communication company's histories along with their families histories and the 50 senators histories and their families histories who voted for this legislation and post them all online for public consumption if this becomes law. Naturally I would also include all Representatives and their families histories that vote to pass it, as well as Trump and his families histories if this becomes law and is signed by them.

[Mar 28, 2017] normal use of resources = Normal rate of wage growth suppression

Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Paine -> Peter K.... , March 28, 2017 at 12:04 PM

"normal use of resources "

Translation

Normal rate of wage growth suppression

"Volatility" here means an asset market contraction

Yes the capitalist class needs to be protected from excessive policy induced capital loses !

Would that the fed were as concerned about lost potential wage gains

[Mar 28, 2017] This corrupt neoliberal stooge Brad DeLong and conversion of university economics departments into neoliberal propaganda departments

Notable quotes:
"... Lately certain unrepentant members of that disgraced profession, some of whom claim to be the consciences of the liberal establishment, have been expressing concern about the disrepute of the 'experts' and the need to allow the technocrats to take control of policy and the economy. ..."
"... Brad DeLong, by the way, banned me from his site comments noting, 'Alan Greenspan never made a decision with which I disagreed.' Since then even Alan Greenspan has admitted he does not agree with some of his decisions, in a sniveling and sneaky kind of a non-apologetic way. ..."
"... But the specific factual point from Brad's piece that got me going was this: ..."
"... "Merton and Scholes's financial math was correct, and the crash of their hedge fund did not require any public-money bailout" ..."
"... I think it is less than trivial to know where and how the B-S risk model fails as math, as illustrated so well by Benoit Mandelbrot in his book The Misbehaviour of Markets. The math fails in its selection choice of variables and assumptions. Naseem Taleb has made a cottage industry and a personal fortune understanding this error. ..."
jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
Moving along, 'liberal' economist Brad DeLong of the University of California at Berkeley history of economics penned a recent column cited over at the excellent Economist's View run by Mark Thoma. The title of Brad's column is The Need for a Reformation of Authority and Hierarchy Among Economists in the Public Sphere.

Ok I have to admit that the title alone got me into a cranky mood. Lately certain unrepentant members of that disgraced profession, some of whom claim to be the consciences of the liberal establishment, have been expressing concern about the disrepute of the 'experts' and the need to allow the technocrats to take control of policy and the economy.

Granted, they may look like the lesser of two evils in some cases, as in the current nascent administration, and in their own minds. But their policy consensus and economic recommendations of the past thirty years or so, starting with the Fed chairmanship of Alan Greenspan at least, only look good in their own selective memories. Brad DeLong, by the way, banned me from his site comments noting, 'Alan Greenspan never made a decision with which I disagreed.' Since then even Alan Greenspan has admitted he does not agree with some of his decisions, in a sniveling and sneaky kind of a non-apologetic way.

For everyone else this cycle of growing inequality, policy skews to the wealthy few, and asset bubbles and bust that serve as wealth transfer mechanisms has been particularly trying.

But the specific factual point from Brad's piece that got me going was this:

"Merton and Scholes's financial math was correct, and the crash of their hedge fund did not require any public-money bailout"
Yeah, right. Let's put aside the nicety of a Fed brokered bailout of LTCM by Wall Street money as technically not requiring public bailout money, in order to save the financial system from an epic overleveraged mispricing of risk based on that correct math.

I think it is less than trivial to know where and how the B-S risk model fails as math, as illustrated so well by Benoit Mandelbrot in his book The Misbehaviour of Markets. The math fails in its selection choice of variables and assumptions. Naseem Taleb has made a cottage industry and a personal fortune understanding this error.

And what makes it most egregious is that the error hs been known among those with mathematical minds for some time. I myself read Mandelbrot's book in 2001 and said, 'holy shit.'

Let's be clear. This was not some dumb error on the part of these fellows, or some sneaky trick. They could not resolve their math without making a certain assumption, and they did it openly and consciously. And as the write of the essay below notes, there has not been anything better produced yet to his knowledge.

It is not the theory itself that is 'bad.' It is the use and misuse to which it is put by opportunists and financial predators in misrepresenting it.

But the people who use the assumptions on risk contained in the model don't care. Like the efficient market hypothesis, it is an intellectual fig leaf that covers an epic era of looting and plundering bases on what is essentially a con game. If you assume that risk is a rare event, you can persuade the regulators and the very important people to let you run on leverage at extreme levels, especially if you can use other people's money.

Like some of the other accepted truths from the turn of the century greed is good crowd, it is a meme with which to silence the protests and permit the widespread mispricing of risk in order to reap enormous short term profits for a very few wealthy insiders. This had been going on for so long that it is almost accepted as a normal way of doing business.

Here is what an essay in Criticality had to say about the Merton-Scholes math. I suppose that the sophist would say that the math was indeed right. It was just the assumptions they used to construct the model was wrong. So 3+5 does equal 8. Its just that in the real world case there were three more factors that were tossed aside and ignored because they messed up the path to the more easily determined and reassuring result.

"This implies that rather than extreme market moves being so unlikely that they make little contribution to the overall evolution, they instead come to have a very significant contribution. In a normally distributed market, crashes and booms are vanishingly rare, in a pareto-levy one crashes occur and are a significant component of the final outcome.

It has taken years for this to be taken seriously, and in the mean time financial theory has gone on using the assumption of normally distributed returns to derive such results as the Black-Scholes option pricing equation, ultimately winning an Nobel Prize in Economics for the discoverers Scholes and Merton (Black having already died), not to mention Modern Portfolio theory (also winning Nobels). That modern finance ignored Mandelbrot's discovery and went onto honor those working under assumptions shown to be false has clearly annoyed Mandelbrot immensely and as mentioned previously he spends much of the book telling us of his prior discoveries and how he was ignored.

It is like allowing tobacco companies to widely distribute their products while a bevy of hired gun experts and media pundits and PR organizations promote the theory that tobacco is not a highly addictive substance that causes a wide range of debilitating diseases, including cancer. They know damn well that it is and it does, but they do not give a damn as long as the money is rolling in. And pity the fool who tries to stand up and tell the truth.

And so to has it been with the Banks. Indeed, the PR campaign and political donations they handled through their intermediaries during the 1990s to deregulate and overturn Glass-Steagal has to be one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the twentieth century. And the follow on campaign for the US to invade Iraq in retribution for 9/11 is not far behind it for the twenty first.

The greater point is not that the B-S model is based on faulty assumptions that greatly diminish the potential risks. Rather it is how such 'laws' of economics are so often of a dodgy, optionated and theoretical nature such that taking them as a given in forming public policy is a huge mistake in judgement.

Why? Because they may embody assumptions about what is true, and what is a priority, and what our principles and objectives may be, and propagate those assumptions (biases) into a general policy of our society that ends up causing great harm to many innocent participants. Indeed, as Obama said, there is a great need to discussion and understanding. It is just that it cannot be monopolized by a particular group of insiders who adhere to certain assumptions and professional courtesies of their own, dare I say it, class.

So there are my two corrections to the mainstream media and their writing of the public record- to suit themselves and their wealthy patrons. It seems like modern America spends an enormous amount of its intellectual capital and time on finding ways to scam the public. If we could somehow reorder the paybacks on financial corruption to even a third of what it is today we could probably cure cancer in five years or less. That is what it would take to 'make America great again,' for real and not just in the funny papers.

I would like to again stress that I am not finding fault with either of the two bloggers involved, both of whom I enjoy and admire for what they do. Mark Thoma is a class act, and even when he disagrees is very fair and open minded about it. And he keeps this site in his blogroll despite some special interests who have argued for its removal. That is more than I can say for some others.

Rather, I am trying to correct a couple of things from the broader media that seem to be factually wrong, purposely, and further, to help caution the reader that things that appear in the mainstream media written by bona fide members of the certified and qualified professional establishment cannot always be taken at face value.

The deterioration of the quality of the news is startling. I think it has a lot to do with the takeover of the media by a relatively few number of large corporations (thank you Slick Willy) Yeah, there is a lot of nutty stuff on the internet and in blogs. I spend a lot of time assessing it and avoiding it where I can. But to say that the mainstream is somehow authoritative, objective and pure is self-serving baloney at best, and a thin veneer for official propaganda when it serves the purpose at worst.

[Mar 28, 2017] Staying Rich Without Manufacturing Will Be Hard

Notable quotes:
"... What's more, the overall numbers hide serious declines in most areas of manufacturing. A 2013 paper by Susan Houseman, Timothy Bartik and Timothy Sturgeon found that strong growth in computer-related manufacturing obscured a decline in almost all other areas. "In most of manufacturing," they write, "real GDP growth has been weak or negative and productivity growth modest." ..."
"... And, more troubling, the U.S. is now losing computer manufacturing. Houseman et al. show that U.S. computer production began to fall during the Great Recession. In semiconductors, output has grown slightly, but has been far outpaced by most East Asian countries. Meanwhile, trade deficits in these areas have been climbing. ..."
"... He cites Sematech, a government-led consortium that tried to help the U.S. retain its lead in semiconductor manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s, as a successful example of high-tech industrial policy. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. , March 28, 2017 at 10:23 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-28/staying-rich-without-manufacturing-will-be-hard

ECONOMICS

Staying Rich Without Manufacturing Will Be Hard
MARCH 28, 2017 8:00 AM EDT

Discussions about manufacturing tend to get very contentious. Many economists and commentators believe that there's nothing inherently special about making things and that efforts to restore U.S. manufacturing to its former glory reek of industrial policy, protectionism, mercantilism and antiquated thinking.

But in their eagerness to guard against the return of these ideas, manufacturing's detractors often overstate their case. Manufacturing is in bigger trouble than the conventional wisdom would have you believe.

One common assertion is that while manufacturing jobs have declined, output has actually risen. But this piece of conventional wisdom is now outdated. U.S. manufacturing output is almost exactly the same as it was just before the financial crisis of 2008:

[chart]

In the 1990s, it really was true that manufacturing production was booming even though employment in the sector was falling. During that decade, output rose by almost half. That's almost a 4 percent annualized growth rate. The expansion of the early 2000s, in contrast, saw manufacturing increase by only about 15 percent peak-to-peak over eight years -- less than a 2 percent annual growth rate. And in the eight years between 2008 and 2016, the growth rate has averaged zero.

But even this may overstate U.S. manufacturing's performance. An alternative measure, called industrial production, shows an outright decrease from a decade ago:

[chart]

So it isn't just manufacturing employment and the sector's share of gross domestic product that are hurting in the U.S. It's total output. The U.S. doesn't really make more stuff than it used to.

What's more, the overall numbers hide serious declines in most areas of manufacturing. A 2013 paper by Susan Houseman, Timothy Bartik and Timothy Sturgeon found that strong growth in computer-related manufacturing obscured a decline in almost all other areas. "In most of manufacturing," they write, "real GDP growth has been weak or negative and productivity growth modest."

And, more troubling, the U.S. is now losing computer manufacturing. Houseman et al. show that U.S. computer production began to fall during the Great Recession. In semiconductors, output has grown slightly, but has been far outpaced by most East Asian countries. Meanwhile, trade deficits in these areas have been climbing.

In other words, Asia is still solidifying its place as the workshop of the world, while the U.S. de-industrializes. The 1990s provided a brief respite from this trend, as new industries arose to replace the ones that had been lost. But the years since the turn of the century have reversed this short renaissance, and manufacturing is once more migrating overseas.

Manufacturing skeptics often draw parallels to what happened to agriculture in the Industrial Revolution. But the two situations aren't analogous. In the 20th century, U.S. agricultural output soared even as it shed jobs and shrank as a percent of GDP. Machines replaced most human farmers, but the total value of U.S. crops kept climbing.

Meanwhile, the U.S. to this day runs a trade surplus in agriculture even as it runs a huge deficit in manufactured products. America pays for computers and cars and phones with soybeans and corn and beef.

So U.S. manufacturing is hurting in ways that U.S. agriculture never did. The common refrain that the modern shift to services parallels the earlier shift to industry might turn out to be true, but the parallels are not encouraging.

Faced with this evidence, many skeptics will question why the sector is important at all. Why should a country specialize in making things, when it can instead specialize in designing, marketing and financing the making of things?

This is a legitimate question, but there are reasons to think a successful developed nation still needs a healthy manufacturing sector. Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government economist Ricardo Hausmann believes that a country's economic development depends crucially on where it lies in the so-called product space. If a country makes complex products that are linked to many other industries -- such as computers, cars and chemicals -- it will be rich. But if it makes simple products that don't have much of a supply chain -- soybeans or oil -- it will stay poor. In the past, the U.S. was very successful at positioning itself at the top of the global value chain. But with manufacturing's decline, the rise of finance, real estate and other orphaned service industries may not be enough to keep the country rich in the long run.

More top economists are starting to come around to the view that manufacturing is important. Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor, in a recent phone conversation, told me he now believes that the U.S. should focus more on industrial policy designed to keep cutting-edge manufacturing industries in the country. He cites Sematech, a government-led consortium that tried to help the U.S. retain its lead in semiconductor manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s, as a successful example of high-tech industrial policy.

The stellar performance of semiconductor manufacturing in the 1990s and 2000s relative to other industries in the sector, as reported by Houseman et al., seems like something the U.S. should aim to emulate with next-generation industries.

So U.S. leaders should listen to manufacturing skeptics a little bit less, and pay more attention to those who say the sector is crucial. It's worth noting that President Donald Trump, who was elected on a promise to restore American manufacturing, has shown more interest in cutting government programs designed to give industry a helping hand. If there's going to be a U.S. industrial policy renaissance, it might not be his administration that leads it.

Paine -> Peter K.... , March 28, 2017 at 01:17 PM
The Larry summers fantasy

Large creative and scientific communities located here in the global hub. Can provide vast IP income

And there's lays good old fashion capital

Not to mention direct Yankee expropriating gainful investment in comparatively cheap foreign resources and labor


Not to mention direct Yankee expropriatingly gainful investment
in comparatively cheap
foreign resources and labor

[Mar 28, 2017] Trump Asks Why Intelligence Committee Isn't Probing The Clintons

Notable quotes:
"... "Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech, money to Bill, the Hillary Russian 'reset,' praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!" Trump wrote in two tweets Monday night. ..."
"... Trump's rhetorical questions come amid a news cycle which as discussed on various occasions today has focused on the Republican chair of the Intel Committee, Nunes, who is under fire for briefing Trump about classified material he reviewed last week without sharing the information with committee Democrats. On Monday it was revealed that Nunes had secretly visited the White House grounds one day before announcing incidental surveillance of President Trump's transition team. His visit raised questions about whether the White House could have been was the source of the intelligence Nunes reviewed. ..."
"... The republican lawmaker has claimed that his findings had no relevance to the Russia probe, even as the committee examines the unmasking and leaking of surveillance information as part of that investigation. ..."
"... This whole situation is really beginning to concern me. Is the entire US Government corrupt? Is there no one in the IC and oversight committee who can be trusted? ..."
"... I am going to bet money that everyone, and I mean everyone. in DC has had their hands in the "CORRUPTION" cookie jar. ..."
"... CLINTONS are simply a mirror image of the Washington DC establishment. ..."
"... Oh no. The Clintons are in a class of their own (unless you count the Bush cartel). Plenty of corrupt characters are trying their best to emulate them. ..."
"... Because they are VIPs...very important pedophiles. ..."
"... Actually, IIRC, he said, "If I am president, you will be in prison", to Hillary. Lets keep the campaign promise Donalt!! ..."
Mar 27, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Following a day of drama involving the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, who has been under constant onslaught by Democrats ever since his disclosure last week that Trump had indeed been the object of surveillance, and whose Democrat peer at the Intel panel, Adam Schiff, on Monday night called for Nunes to recuse himself , moments ago Trump waded into the news cycle when he asked on Twitter why the House Intelligence Committee is not investigating the Clintons for various ties of their own to Russia. He then slammed the ongoing anti-Russian witch hunt, saying "the Russia story is a hoax."

"Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech, money to Bill, the Hillary Russian 'reset,' praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!" Trump wrote in two tweets Monday night.

Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech....

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

...money to Bill, the Hillary Russian "reset," praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA !

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

Trump's rhetorical questions come amid a news cycle which as discussed on various occasions today has focused on the Republican chair of the Intel Committee, Nunes, who is under fire for briefing Trump about classified material he reviewed last week without sharing the information with committee Democrats. On Monday it was revealed that Nunes had secretly visited the White House grounds one day before announcing incidental surveillance of President Trump's transition team. His visit raised questions about whether the White House could have been was the source of the intelligence Nunes reviewed.

Democratic lawmakers have now called on Nunes to recuse himself from the committee's probe into Russia's interference in the United States presidential election. Nunes on Monday evening said the chairman would not step aside from the investigation.

The republican lawmaker has claimed that his findings had no relevance to the Russia probe, even as the committee examines the unmasking and leaking of surveillance information as part of that investigation.

... ... ...

GUS100CORRINA -> LetThemEatRand , Mar 27, 2017 10:59 PM

This whole situation is really beginning to concern me. Is the entire US Government corrupt? Is there no one in the IC and oversight committee who can be trusted?

As someone recently said, President TRUMP needs to take the word GOOD out of his vocabulary when referencing people. GOOD is very clear about His perspective on humanity. None are GOOD, no NOT one!

I am going to bet money that everyone, and I mean everyone. in DC has had their hands in the "CORRUPTION" cookie jar.

CLINTONS are simply a mirror image of the Washington DC establishment.

azusgm -> GUS100CORRINA , Mar 27, 2017 11:02 PM

Oh no. The Clintons are in a class of their own (unless you count the Bush cartel). Plenty of corrupt characters are trying their best to emulate them.

The Joker , Mar 27, 2017 10:24 PM

Because they are VIPs...very important pedophiles.

Beam Me Up Scotty -> LN , Mar 27, 2017 11:01 PM

Actually, IIRC, he said, "If I am president, you will be in prison", to Hillary. Lets keep the campaign promise Donalt!!

MsCreant , Mar 27, 2017 10:28 PM

I work with smart folks. Today I was listening to a guy go on about how Trump might be guilty of treason. I asked about Hillary and the Clinton Foundation and some of the issues brought up in this article. Crickets...

I am worried.

Trump may be a lot of distasteful things. I don't see treason here. But if smart folks buy into this... aw hell we are in for it.

PoasterToaster , Mar 27, 2017 10:28 PM

The Democratic Party is the party of White Slavery.

Ms No , Mar 27, 2017 10:31 PM

This is the part where he regrets saying that he was going to leave the Clintons alone because they were good people and have been through enough. Our election system needs to be investigated before the next election also. Obviously we need hearings on the CIA, NSA, all of it. Of course who will oversee the hearings? What a joke.

Yes We Can. But... -> Ms No , Mar 27, 2017 10:46 PM

Or is this where Trump plays dumb and says "I thought they were good people. But that was before I knew XYZ"?

Trump knows they're not good people. I mean, he just asked why they aren't under investigation.

Trump knows Bill is a rapist and a predator. Trump knows why Hillary as SOS refused to use required .gub email, why she set up a secret server with classified info on it, why she wiped 30k+ yoga emails.

Animal Mother -> Yes We Can. But Lets Not. , Mar 27, 2017 10:49 PM

Trump personally has to have some things he can point to in order to prove his impartiality when the DOJ finally starts looking into the Bubba Foundation. He can claim that he is impartial and say in a nice tweet, "Hey, I thought they were nice people. Now I see how she fooled all her voters" and still have her sent to Federal Prison along with Bubba and Soetoro too.

biker , Mar 27, 2017 10:39 PM

Maxine Waters talks about Obama OFA shared-access amazon cloud secret database on USA citizens/agencies (shadow government) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d69X20HhEQg

Akzed , Mar 27, 2017 10:41 PM

"Trump Asks Why Intelligence Committee Isn't Probing The Clintons"

Nunes is head of the committee. Why didn't Trump think to ask him when he had him over?!

BitchesBetterRe... , Mar 27, 2017 10:44 PM

Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary........

Hey Trump - who's in the White house now? YOU !!!! So stop whining, get your team together & Go after them instead of tweeting about it!!!!

WTF Donald.....

Cabreado -> BitchesBetterRecognize , Mar 27, 2017 11:02 PM

The government wasn't designed to work that way. It is a mistake (and it always was) to expect the Presidency to fix-it-all-up. Your sentiments are dangerous, in part because of your expectations, and in part because you give a pass to corrupt points of control.

But don't feel bad -- nobody here (or anywhere, really) seems to give a damn.

[Mar 28, 2017] Foundation - Fall Of The American Galactic Empire Zero Hedge

Mar 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Mar 27, 2017 10:40 PM Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity-a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"Any fool can tell a crisis when it arrives. The real service to the state is to detect it in embryo." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

I read Isaac Asimov's renowned award winning science fiction trilogy four decades ago as a teenager. I read them because I liked science fiction novels, not because I was trying to understand the correlation to the fall of the Roman Empire. The books that came to be called the Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation) were not written as novels; they're the collected Foundation stories Asimov wrote between 1941 and 1950. He wrote these stories during the final stages of our last Fourth Turning Crisis and the beginning stages of the next High. This was the same time frame in which Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Orwell wrote 1984 . This was not a coincidence.

The tone of foreboding, danger, dread, and impending doom, along with unending warfare, propels all of these novels because they were all written during the bloodiest and most perilous portion of the last Fourth Turning . As the linear thinking establishment continues to be blindsided by the continued deterioration of the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions in the world, we have entered the most treacherous phase of our present Fourth Turning .

That ominous mood engulfing the world is not a new dynamic, but a cyclical event arriving every 80 or so years. Eight decades ago the world was on the verge of a world war which would kill 65 million people. Eight decades prior to 1937 the country was on the verge of a Civil War which would kill almost 5% of the male population. Eight decades prior to 1857 the American Revolution had just begun and would last six more bloody years. None of this is a coincidence. The generational configuration repeats itself every eighty years, driving the mood change which leads to revolutionary change and the destruction of the existing social order.

Isaac Asimov certainly didn't foresee his Foundation stories representing the decline of an American Empire that didn't yet exist. The work that inspired Asimov was Edward Gibbon's multi-volume series, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , published between 1776 and 1789. Gibbon saw Rome's fall not as a consequence of specific, dramatic events, but as the result of the gradual decline of civic virtue, monetary debasement and rise of Christianity, which made the Romans less vested in worldly affairs.

Gibbon's tome reflects the same generational theory espoused by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning . Gibbon's conclusion was human nature never changes, and mankind's penchant for division, amplified by environmental and cultural differences, is what governs the cyclical nature of history. Gibbon constructs a narrative spanning centuries as events unfold and emperors' successes and failures occur within the context of a relentless decline of empire. The specific events and behaviors of individual emperors were inconsequential within the larger framework and pattern of historical decline. History plods relentlessly onward, driven by the law of large numbers.

Asimov described his inspiration for the novels:

"I wanted to consider essentially the science of psychohistory, something I made up myself. It was, in a sense, the struggle between free will and determinism. On the other hand, I wanted to do a story on the analogy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but on the much larger scale of the galaxy. To do that, I took over the aura of the Roman Empire and wrote it very large. The social system, then, is very much like the Roman imperial system, but that was just my skeleton.

It seemed to me that if we did have a galactic empire, there would be so many human beings-quintillions of them-that perhaps you might be able to predict very accurately how societies would behave, even though you couldn't predict how individuals composing those societies would behave. So, against the background of the Roman Empire written large, I invented the science of psychohistory. Throughout the entire trilogy, then, there are the opposing forces of individual desire and that dead hand of social inevitability."

Is History Pre-Determined?

"Don't you see? It's Galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration – a stagnation!" – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly." – Isaac Asimov, Foundation

The Foundation trilogy opens on Trantor, the capital of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire. Though the empire appears stable and powerful, it is slowly decaying in ways that parallel the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Hari Seldon, a mathematician and psychologist, has developed psychohistory, a new field of science that equates all possibilities in large societies to mathematics, allowing for the prediction of future events.

Psychohistory is a blend of crowd psychology and high-level math. An able psychohistorian can predict the long-term aggregate behavior of billions of people many years in the future. However, it only works with large groups. Psychohistory is almost useless for predicting the behavior of an individual. Also, it's no good if the group being analyzed is aware it's being analyzed - because if it's aware, the group changes its behavior.

Using psychohistory, Seldon has discovered the declining nature of the Empire, angering the aristocratic rulers of the Empire. The rulers consider Seldon's views and statements treasonous, and he is arrested. Seldon is tried by the state and defends his beliefs, explaining his theory the Empire will collapse in 300 years and enter a 30,000-year dark age.

He informs the rulers an alternative to this future is attainable, and explains to them generating an anthology of all human knowledge, the Encyclopedia Galactica, would not avert the inevitable fall of the Empire but would reduce the Dark Age to "only" 1,000 years.

The fearful state apparatchiks offer him exile to a remote world, Terminus, with other academic intellectuals who could help him create the Encyclopedia. He accepts their offer, and sets in motion his plan to set up two Foundations, one at either end of the galaxy, to preserve the accumulated knowledge of humanity and thereby shorten the Dark Age, once the Empire collapses. Seldon created the Foundation, knowing it would eventually be seen as a threat to rulers of the Empire, provoking an eventual attack. That is why he created a Second Foundation, unknown to the ruling class.

Asimov's psychohistory concept, based on the predictability of human actions in large numbers, has similarities to Strauss & Howe's generational theory. His theory didn't pretend to predict the actions of individuals, but formulated definite laws developed by mathematical analysis to predict the mass action of human groups. His novel explores the centuries old debate of whether human history proceeds in a predictable fashion, with individuals incapable of changing its course, or whether individuals can alter its progression.

The cyclical nature of history, driven by generational cohorts numbering tens of millions, has been documented over centuries by Strauss & Howe in their 1997 opus The Fourth Turning . Human beings in large numbers react in a herd-like predictable manner. I know that is disappointing to all the linear thinking individualists who erroneously believe one person can change the world and course of history.

The cyclical crisis's that occur every eighty years matches up with how every Foundation story centers on what is called a Seldon crisis, the conjunction of seemingly insoluble external and internal difficulties. The crises were all predicted by Seldon, who appears near the end of each story as a hologram to confirm the Foundation has traversed the latest one correctly.

The "Seldon Crises" take on two forms. Either events unfold in such a way there is only one clear path to take, or the forces of history conspire to determine the outcome. But, the common feature is free will doesn't matter. The heroes and adversaries believe their choices will make a difference when, in fact, the future is already written. This is a controversial viewpoint which angers many people because they feel it robs them of their individuality.

Most people don't want to be lumped together in an amalgamation of other humans because they believe admitting so would strip them of their sense of free will. Their delicate sensibilities are bruised by the unequivocal fact their individual actions are virtually meaningless to the direction of history. But, the madness of crowds can dramatically impact antiquity.

"In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first." – Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Many people argue the dynamic advancements in technology and science have changed the world in such a way to alter human nature in a positive way, thereby resulting in humans acting in a more rational manner. This alteration would result in a level of human progress not experienced previously. The falsity of this technological theory is borne out by the continuation of war, government corruption, greed, belief in economic fallacies, civic decay, cultural degradation, and global disorder sweeping across the world. Humanity is incapable of change. The same weaknesses and self- destructive traits which have plagued them throughout history are as prevalent today as they ever were.

Asimov's solution to the failure of humanity to change was to create an academic oriented benevolent ruling class who could save the human race from destroying itself. He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." – Edward Bernays – Propaganda

In Part Two of this article I will compare and contrast Donald Trump's rise to power to the rise of The Mule in Asimov's masterpiece. Unusually gifted individuals come along once in a lifetime to disrupt the plans of the existing social order.

Beam Me Up Scotty -> BaBaBouy , Mar 27, 2017 10:56 PM

" He seems to have been well before his time with regards to creating Shadow Governments and Deep State functionaries. It appears he agreed with his contemporary Edward Bernays. The masses could not be trusted to make good decisions, so they needed more intellectually advanced men to guide their actions."

The masses aren't the ones begging to start all of these wars. They are the ones TRYING to make a few good decisions. The Shadow Government and Deep State however, are hell bent on getting us all killed. Who exactly is the problem here??

LetThemEatRand , Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM

Asimov was a good writer and created some great fiction. That's as far as it goes.

Huxle LetThemEatRand •Mar 27, 2017 10:50 PM y is the one who predicted the current state of affairs. Orwell gets honorable mention. You could also throw in some biblical passages for the mark of the beast, though the best part was clearly written about Nero.

biker Mar 27, 2017 11:06 PM
Of course its better to watch them eat themselves
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/rewriting-the-rules...

[Mar 28, 2017] Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open

Mar 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
DeDude , March 27, 2017 at 08:35 AM
This is an excellent discussion of populism and where Trump support comes from.

http://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/3/27/15037232/trump-populist-appeal-culture-economy

Peter K. -> DeDude... , March 27, 2017 at 08:39 AM
"Why Trump's populist appeal is about culture, not the economy"

Nope. Vox and the center-left are really pushing this propaganda for obvious reasons.

It's funny that even Sanjait and PGL disagree. Even funnier still that they refuse to talk about it!

Don't want to give the hippies ammunition when your job is to punch the hippies. Here's the blog post from Krugman on the same subject which they didn't want to talk about:

"This ties in with an important recent piece by Zack Beauchamp on the striking degree to which left-wing economics fails, in practice, to counter right-wing populism; basically, Sandersism has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why?

The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can't be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these "populist" voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won't hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that's what happened.

That said, taking the benefits away would probably get their attention, and maybe even open their eyes to the extent to which they are suffering to provide tax cuts to the rich.

In Europe, right-wing parties probably don't face the same dilemma; they're preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for people who look like you. In America, however, Trumpism is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open."

Populism and the Politics of Health by Krugman

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/populism-and-the-politics-of-health/

[Mar 27, 2017] Michael Hudson: Trump is Obama's Legacy. Will this Break up the Democratic Party?

Notable quotes:
"... By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy ..."
"... Naked Capitalism ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... U.S. presidential elections no longer are much about policy. Like Obama before him, Trump campaigned as a rasa tabla ..."
"... There is a covert economic program, to be sure, and it is bipartisan. It is to make elections about just which celebrities will introduce neoliberal economic policies with the most convincing patter talk. That is the essence of rasa tabla ..."
Mar 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on March 26, 2017 by Yves Smith By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy

Nobody yet can tell whether Donald Trump is an agent of change with a specific policy in mind, or merely a catalyst heralding an as yet undetermined turning point. His first month in the White House saw him melting into the Republican mélange of corporate lobbyists. Having promised to create jobs, his "America First" policy looks more like "Wall Street First." His cabinet of billionaires promoting corporate tax cuts, deregulation and dismantling Dodd-Frank bank reform repeats the Junk Economics promise that giving more tax breaks to the richest One Percent may lead them to use their windfall to invest in creating more jobs. What they usually do, of course, is simply buy more property and assets already in place.

One of the first reactions to Trump's election victory was for stocks of the most crooked financial institutions to soar, hoping for a deregulatory scythe taken to the public sector. Navient, the Department of Education's knee-breaker on student loan collections accused by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of massive fraud and overcharging, rose from $13 to $18 now that it seemed likely that the incoming Republicans would disable the CFPB and shine a green light for financial fraud.

Foreclosure king Stephen Mnuchin of IndyMac/OneWest (and formerly of Goldman Sachs for 17 years; later a George Soros partner) is now Treasury Secretary – and Trump is pledged to abolish the CFPB, on the specious logic that letting fraudsters manage pension savings and other investments will give consumers and savers "broader choice," e.g., for the financial equivalent of junk food. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hopes to privatize public education into for-profit (and de-unionized) charter schools, breaking the teachers' unions. This may position Trump to become the Transformational President that neoliberals have been waiting for.

But not the neocons. His election rhetoric promised to reverse traditional U.S. interventionist policy abroad. Making an anti-war left run around the Democrats, he promised to stop backing ISIS/Al Nusra (President Obama's "moderate" terrorists supplied with the arms and money that Hillary looted from Libya), and to reverse the Obama-Clinton administration's New Cold War with Russia. But the neocon coterie at the CIA and State Department are undercutting his proposed rapprochement with Russia by forcing out General Flynn for starters. It seems doubtful that Trump will clean them out.

Trump has called NATO obsolete, but insists that its members up their spending to the stipulated 2% of GDP - producing a windfall worth tens of billions of dollars for U.S. arms exporters. That is to be the price Europe must pay if it wants to endorse Germany's and the Baltics' confrontation with Russia.

Trump is sufficiently intuitive to proclaim the euro a disaster, and he recommends that Greece leave it. He supports the rising nationalist parties in Britain, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands, all of which urge withdrawal from the eurozone – and reconciliation with Russia instead of sanctions. In place of the ill-fated TPP and TTIP, Trump advocates country-by-country trade deals favoring the United States. Toward this end, his designated ambassador to the European Union, Ted Malloch, urges the EU's breakup. The EU is refusing to accept him as ambassador.

Will Trump's Victory Break Up the Democratic Party?

At the time this volume is going to press, there is no way of knowing how successful these international reversals will be. What is more clear is what Trump's political impact will have at home. His victory – or more accurately, Hillary's resounding loss and the way she lost – has encouraged enormous pressure for a realignment of both parties. Regardless of what President Trump may achieve vis-à-vis Europe, his actions as celebrity chaos agent may break up U.S. politics across the political spectrum.

The Democratic Party has lost its ability to pose as the party of labor and the middle class. Firmly controlled by Wall Street and California billionaires, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strategy of identity politics encourages any identity except that of wage earners. The candidates backed by the Donor Class have been Blue Dogs pledged to promote Wall Street and neocons urging a New Cold War with Russia.

They preferred to lose with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump's electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama's. Instead of Trump's victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.

Trying to ride on Barack Obama's coattails didn't work. Promising "hope and change," he won by posing as a transformational president, leading the Democrats to control of the White House, Senate and Congress in 2008. Swept into office by a national reaction against the George Bush's Oil War in Iraq and the junk-mortgage crisis that left the economy debt-ridden, they had free rein to pass whatever new laws they chose – even a Public Option in health care if they had wanted, or make Wall Street banks absorb the losses from their bad and often fraudulent loans.

But it turned out that Obama's role was to prevent the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors. He did not even pull back from war in the Near East, but extended it to Libya and Syria, blundering into the Ukrainian coup as well.

Having dashed the hopes of his followers, Obama then praised his chosen successor Hillary Clinton as his "Third Term." Enjoying this kiss of death, Hillary promised to keep up Obama's policies.

The straw that pushed voters over the edge was when she asked voters, "Aren't you better off today than you were eight years ago?" Who were they going to believe: their eyes, or Hillary? National income statistics showed that only the top 5 percent of the population were better off. All the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during Obama's tenure went to them – the Donor Class that had gained control of the Democratic Party leadership. Real incomes have fallen for the remaining 95 percent, whose household budgets have been further eroded by soaring charges for health insurance. (The Democratic leadership in Congress fought tooth and nail to block Dennis Kucinich from introducing his Single Payer proposal.)

No wonder most of the geographic United States voted for change – except for where the top 5 percent, is concentrated: in New York (Wall Street) and California (Silicon Valley and the military-industrial complex). Making fun of the Obama Administration's slogan of "hope and change," Trump characterized Hillary's policy of continuing the economy's shrinkage for the 95% as "no hope and no change."

Identity Politics as Anti-Labor Politics

A new term was introduced to the English language: Identity Politics. Its aim is for voters to think of themselves as separatist minorities – women, LGBTQ, Blacks and Hispanics. The Democrats thought they could beat Trump by organizing Women for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), LGBTQ for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), and Blacks and Hispanics for Wall Street (and a New Cold War). Each identity cohort was headed by a billionaire or hedge fund donor.

The identity that is conspicuously excluded is the working class. Identity politics strips away thinking of one's interest in terms of having to work for a living. It excludes voter protests against having their monthly paycheck stripped to pay more for health insurance, housing and mortgage charges or education, or better working conditions or consumer protection – not to speak of protecting debtors.

Identity politics used to be about three major categories: workers and unionization, anti-war protests and civil rights marches against racist Jim Crow laws. These were the three objectives of the many nationwide demonstrations. That ended when these movements got co-opted into the Democratic Party. Their reappearance in Bernie Sanders' campaign in fact threatens to tear the Democratic coalition apart. As soon as the primaries were over (duly stacked against Sanders), his followers were made to feel unwelcome. Hillary sought Republican support by denouncing Sanders as being as radical as Putin's Republican leadership.

In contrast to Sanders' attempt to convince diverse groups that they had a common denominator in needing jobs with decent pay – and, to achieve that, in opposing Wall Street's replacing the government as central planner – the Democrats depict every identity constituency as being victimized by every other, setting themselves at each other's heels. Clinton strategist John Podesta, for instance, encouraged Blacks to accuse Sanders supporters of distracting attention from racism. Pushing a common economic interest between whites, Blacks, Hispanics and LGBTQ always has been the neoliberals' nightmare. No wonder they tried so hard to stop Bernie Sanders, and are maneuvering to keep his supporters from gaining influence in their party.

When Trump was inaugurated on Friday, January 20, there was no pro-jobs or anti-war demonstration. That presumably would have attracted pro-Trump supporters in an ecumenical show of force. Instead, the Women's March on Saturday led even the pro-Democrat New York Times to write a front-page article reporting that white women were complaining that they did not feel welcome in the demonstration. The message to anti-war advocates, students and Bernie supporters was that their economic cause was a distraction.

The march was typically Democratic in that its ideology did not threaten the Donor Class. As Yves Smith wrote on Naked Capitalism : "the track record of non-issue-oriented marches, no matter how large scale, is poor, and the status of this march as officially sanctioned (blanket media coverage when other marches of hundreds of thousands of people have been minimized, police not tricked out in their usual riot gear) also indicates that the officialdom does not see it as a threat to the status quo." [1]

Hillary's loss was not blamed on her neoliberal support for TPP or her pro-war neocon stance, but on the revelations of the e-mails by her operative Podesta discussing his dirty tricks against Bernie Sanders (claimed to be given to Wikileaks by Russian hackers, not a domestic DNC leaker as Wikileaks claimed) and the FBI investigation of her e-mail abuses at the State Department. Backing her supporters' attempt to brazen it out, the Democratic Party has doubled down on its identity politics, despite the fact that an estimated 52 percent of white women voted for Trump. After all, women do work for wages. And that also is what Blacks and Hispanics want – in addition to banking that serves their needs, not those of Wall Street, and health care that serves their needs, not those of the health-insurance and pharmaceuticals monopolies.

Bernie did not choose to run on a third-party ticket. Evidently he feared being accused of throwing the election to Trump. The question is now whether he can remake the Democratic Party as a democratic socialist party, or create a new party if the Donor Class retains its neoliberal control. It seems that he will not make a break until he concludes that a Socialist Party can leave the Democrats as far back in the dust as the Republicans left the Whigs after 1854. He may have underestimated his chance in 2016.

Trump's Effect on U.S. Political Party Realignment

During Trump's rise to the 2016 Republican nomination it seemed that he was more likely to break up the Republican Party. Its leading candidates and gurus warned that his populist victory in the primaries would tear the party apart. The polls in May and June showed him defeating Hillary Clinton easily (but losing to Bernie Sanders). But Republican leaders worried that he would not support what they believed in: namely, whatever corporate lobbyists put in their hands to enact and privatize.

The May/June polls showed Trump and Clinton were the country's two most unpopular presidential candidates. But whereas the Democrats maneuvered Bernie out of the way, the Republican Clown Car was unable to do the same to Trump. In the end they chose to win behind him, expecting to control him. As for the DNC, its Wall Street donors preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Bernie. They wanted to keep control of their party and continue the bargain they had made with the Republicans: The latter would move further and further to the right, leaving room for Democratic neoliberals and neocons to follow them closely, yet still pose as the "lesser evil." That "centrism" is the essence of the Clintons' "triangulation" strategy. It actually has been going on for a half-century. "As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, 'The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them'." [2]

By 2017, voters had caught on to this two-step game. But Hillary's team paid pollsters over $1 billion to tell her ("Mirror, mirror on the wall ") that she was the most popular of all. It was hubris to imagine that she could convince the 95 Percent of the people who were worse off under Obama to love her as much as her East-West Coast donors did. It was politically unrealistic – and a reflection of her cynicism – to imagine that raising enough money to buy television ads would convince working-class Republicans to vote for her, succumbing to a Stockholm Syndrome by thinking of themselves as part of the 5 Percent who had benefited from Obama's pro-Wall Street policies.

Hillary's election strategy was to make a right-wing run around Trump. While characterizing the working class as white racist "deplorables," allegedly intolerant of LBGTQ or assertive women, she resurrected the ghost of Joe McCarthy and accused Trump of being "Putin's poodle" for proposing peace with Russia. Among the most liberal Democrats, Paul Krugman still leads a biweekly charge at The New York Times that President Trump is following Moscow's orders. Saturday Night Live, Bill Maher and MSNBC produce weekly skits that Trump and General Flynn are Russian puppets. A large proportion of Democrats have bought into the fairy tale that Trump didn't really win the election, but that Russian hackers manipulated the voting machines. No wonder George Orwell's 1984 soared to the top of America's best-seller lists in February 2017 as Donald Trump was taking his oath of office.

This propaganda paid off on February 13, when neocon public relations succeeded in forcing the resignation of General Flynn, whom Trump had appointed to clean out the neocons at the NSA and CIA. His foreign policy initiative based on rapprochement with Russia and hopes to create a common front against ISIS/Al Nusra seemed to be collapsing.

Tabula Rasa Celebrity Politics

U.S. presidential elections no longer are much about policy. Like Obama before him, Trump campaigned as a rasa tabla , a vehicle for everyone to project their hopes and fancies. What has all but disappeared is the past century's idea of politics as a struggle between labor and capital, democracy vs. oligarchy.

Who would have expected even half a century ago that American politics would become so post-modern that the idea of class conflict has all but disappeared. Classical economic discourse has been drowned out by their junk economics.

There is a covert economic program, to be sure, and it is bipartisan. It is to make elections about just which celebrities will introduce neoliberal economic policies with the most convincing patter talk. That is the essence of rasa tabla politics.

Can the Democrats Lose Again in 2020?

Trump's November victory showed that voters found him to be the Lesser Evil, but all that voters really could express was "throw out the bums" and get a new set of lobbyists for the FIRE sector and corporate monopolists. Both candidates represented Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. No wonder voter turnout has continued to plunge.

Although the Democrats' Lesser Evil argument lost to the Republicans in 2016, the neoliberals in control of the DNC found the absence of a progressive economic program to less threatening to their interests than the critique of Wall Street and neocon interventionism coming from the Sanders camp. So the Democrat will continue to pose as the Lesser Evil party not really in terms of policy, but simply ad hominum . They will merely repeat Hillary's campaign stance: They are not Trump. Their parades and street demonstrations since his inauguration have not come out for any economic policy.

On Friday, February 10, the party's Democratic Policy group held a retreat for its members in Baltimore. Third Way "centrists" (Republicans running as Democrats) dominated, with Hillary operatives in charge. The conclusion was that no party policy was needed at all. "President Trump is a better recruitment tool for us than a central campaign issue,' said Washington Rep. Denny Heck, who is leading recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)." [3]

But what does their party leadership have to offer women, Blacks and Hispanics in the way of employment, more affordable health care, housing or education and better pay? Where are the New Deal pro-labor, pro-regulatory roots of bygone days? The party leadership is unwilling to admit that Trump's message about protecting jobs and opposing the TPP played a role in his election. Hillary was suspected of supporting it as "the gold standard" of trade deals, and Obama had made the Trans-Pacific Partnership the centerpiece of his presidency – the free-trade TPP and TTIP that would have taken economic regulatory policy out of the hands of government and given it to corporations.

Instead of accepting even Sanders' centrist-left stance, the Democrats' strategy was to tar Trump as pro-Russian, insist that his aides had committed impeachable offenses, and mount one parade after another. "Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio told reporters she was wary of focusing solely on an "economic message" aimed at voters whom Trump won over in 2016, because, in her view, Trump did not win on an economic message. "What Donald Trump did was address them at a very different level - an emotional level, a racial level, a fear level," she said. "If all we talk about is the economic message, we're not going to win." [4] This stance led Sanders supporters to walk out of a meeting organized by the "centrist" Third Way think tank on Wednesday, February 8.

By now this is an old story. Fifty years ago, socialists such as Michael Harrington asked why union members and progressives still imagined that they had to work through the Democratic Party. It has taken the rest of the country half a century to see that Democrats are not the party of the working class, unions, middle class, farmers or debtors. They are the party of Wall Street privatizers, bank deregulators, neocons and the military-industrial complex. Obama showed his hand – and that of his party – in his passionate attempt to ram through the corporatist TPP treaty that would have enabled corporations to sue governments for any costs imposed by public consumer protection, environmental protection or other protection of the population against financialized corporate monopolies.

Against this backdrop, Trump's promises and indeed his worldview seem quixotic. The picture of America's future he has painted seems unattainable within the foreseeable future. It is too late to bring manufacturing back to the United States, because corporations already have shifted their supply nodes abroad, and too much U.S. infrastructure has been dismantled.

There can't be a high-speed railroad, because it would take more than four years to get the right-of-way and create a route without crossing gates or sharp curves. In any case, the role of railroads and other transportation has been to increase real estate prices along the routes. But in this case, real estate would be torn down – and having a high-speed rail does not increase land values.

The stock market has soared to new heights, anticipating lower taxes on corporate profits and a deregulation of consumer, labor and environmental protection. Trump may end up as America's Boris Yeltsin, protecting U.S. oligarchs (not that Hillary would have been different, merely cloaked in a more colorful identity rainbow). The U.S. economy is in for Shock Therapy. Voters should look to Greece to get a taste of the future in this scenario.

Without a coherent response to neoliberalism, Trump's billionaire cabinet may do to the United States what neoliberals in the Clinton administration did to Russia after 1991: tear out all the checks and balances, and turn public wealth over to insiders and oligarchs. So Trump's his best chance to be transformative is simply to be America's Yeltsin for his party's oligarchic backers, putting the class war back in business.

What a Truly Transformative President Would Do/Would Have Done

No administration can create a sound U.S. recovery without dealing with the problem that caused the 2008 crisis in the first place: over-indebtedness. The only one way to restore growth, raise living standards and make the economy competitive again is a debt writedown. But that is not yet on the political horizon. Obama's doublecross of his voters in 2009 prevented the needed policy from occurring. Having missed this chance in the last financial crisis, a progressive policy must await yet another crisis. But so far, no political party is preparing a program to juxtapose to Republican-Democratic austerity and scale-back of Social Security, Medicare and social spending programs in general.

Also no longer on the horizon is a more progressive income tax, or a public option for health care – or for banking, or consumer protection against financial fraud, or for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, or for a revived protection of labor's right to unionize, or environmental regulations.

It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims. At the time these essays are going to press, Sanders has committed himself to working within the Democratic Party. But that stance is based on his assumption that somehow he can recruit enough activists to take over the party from Its Donor Class.

I suspect he will fail. In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector.

If this slow but inexorable crash does lead to a political crisis, it looks like the Republicans may succeed in convening a new Constitutional Convention (many states already have approved this) to lock the United States into a corporatist neoliberal world. Its slogan will be that of Margaret Thatcher: TINA – There Is No Alternative.

And who is to disagree? As Trotsky said, fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative.

[Mar 27, 2017] As soon as any intelligence agency becomes a political player this means effective end of any, even traditional the USA form of façade-based , two party oligarchical rule called democracy

Notable quotes:
"... Actually "after 9/11" national security state is already a huge step forward in this direction, so we are almost arrived at the point when the USA democratic "façade" became Potemkin village for tourists. ..."
"... That's essentially the difference between "surface state" and the "deep state" that is now actively discussed in the USA due to attempt of color revolution against Trump with intelligence agencies and FBI coming out as political players. ..."
"... And as soon as any intelligence agency becomes a political player this means effective end of any, even traditional the USA form of "façade-based", two party oligarchical rule called "democracy." ..."
Mar 27, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova -> im1dc... March 26, 2017 at 07:58 PM

"That's European History not ours"

Hardly so.

Legitimacy of the US "democratic" governance can survive only as long as:

  1. 1. People of America had an expectation that if they work hard they can gain a better life. This is not true now for the majority (say, lower 80%) of population.
  2. 2. Or at least that their children could gain that better life, if they get some college degree and work hard. This is also not true now for majority of graduates. Only those, who graduates at the top of the class, or from Ivy League universities can expect to get decent positions. Most graduation are happy to land at helpdesk, doing job that does not require any college education, because it is better then being a waiter.

IMHO, if neither (1) not (2) are applicable the legitimacy of the democratic government evaporates.

And that creates favorable condition for the transition to the dictatorship in some form.

Actually "after 9/11" national security state is already a huge step forward in this direction, so we are almost arrived at the point when the USA democratic "façade" became Potemkin village for tourists.

That's essentially the difference between "surface state" and the "deep state" that is now actively discussed in the USA due to attempt of color revolution against Trump with intelligence agencies and FBI coming out as political players.

And as soon as any intelligence agency becomes a political player this means effective end of any, even traditional the USA form of "façade-based", two party oligarchical rule called "democracy."

That's a dictatorship: a form of government where a country is ruled by one person or by one or several non-elected political agencies (like the Communist Party, or STASI). And were the power is exercised through mechanisms that are completely outside the control of electorate.

If somebody here tells that Comey, or in the past Clapper and Michael Morell, were not a political players in this presidential cycle, the danger is that half of Mexico and Canada readers of this blog can die laughing.

[Mar 26, 2017] Ex-scout Bezrukov USA on the verge of changing course

Notable quotes:
"... Russia could potentially pose a problem if it creates a competitive unit that will become the alternative system in terms of security and in terms of the economy. The most serious blow to the US would be the creation of a great Eurasian bloc, such as Russia-Germany. This unit on its resource and military and political power to bring Europe and most of Asia from the control of the American system. Would become the de facto competitor. ..."
"... Interviewed By Nikolay Surkov ..."
Mar 26, 2017 | csef.ru
The former scout-the illegal immigrant, Andrey Bezrukov, has worked a long time in the USA, has told to the correspondent "News" Nikolay Surkov, why the United States needs Ukraine and why Russia got together with China to build greater Eurasia.

- The cold war ended over 20 years ago. Why the U.S. still refers to Russia as the enemy?

- Cold war is only an episode in the relations between our countries. There are two levels on which to consider the basis of relationship between the two countries. The first is the level of objective geopolitical realities, the situation of our countries and their role in the world system. The USA declare that their wellbeing depends on the vitality of the global system that they've built. They are a Central part of this system. While it exists, they will be in a privileged position. Their primary national interest - the maintenance of this global system.

In the cold war the USSR was a geopolitical competitor. He dominated in Eurasia, creating an area in which American influence did not pass. He created a pole for those who were dissatisfied with the American system.

Russia could potentially pose a problem if it creates a competitive unit that will become the alternative system in terms of security and in terms of the economy. The most serious blow to the US would be the creation of a great Eurasian bloc, such as Russia-Germany. This unit on its resource and military and political power to bring Europe and most of Asia from the control of the American system. Would become the de facto competitor.

What then should be considered at the second level?

- The second level is ideological. From our side there is no ideological barrier in relations with the United States. If the U.S. is not trying to impose their way of life and creating problems for our state, we have no problems with them. They, unfortunately, have problems. They relate to the generation that did not devoiles in the cold war. The attitude of the ruling elite towards Russia as an enemy or competitor will not leave. They had no revaluation, for it was not the cause. They consider themselves winners. But because their problem isn't solved, Russia did not become a state that does what they want, they have this element of irritation from the unfinished task.

In addition, the independent foreign policy of Russia is a challenge the people in the USA who preach American exceptionalism. These are people who not just see themselves as exceptional Americans, and consider it a blessing, ready by force to impose their position on others. This group is very closely related to the cold war. But it is still very closely linked with the principles of the Democratic party that America should be ideals. For this you can to impose their understanding of things to other countries.

I think in a few years the geopolitical component will remain, and ideological can just move away. Will be rethinking that America no longer has the right nor the capacity to impose their principles on others. After some time, leave those personalities that are now the conductors of the ideology that emerged during the cold war.

There is an ethnic component. Around the neo-conservatives many people who are ethnically or ideologically associated with anti-Russian diasporas of Eastern European countries, which believe that Russia dominated them. They too will be gone anyway.

- Why work so hard to fight with Russia? Unless China is now a much more serious competitor?

- Really, now is not Russia, but China is, from the point of view of the Americans, the main challenge for the global system. China's economy is so large that it attracts all of Asia and the influence of the Americans on these countries and markets is reduced.

The US is trying to bring China out of the brackets. To fence off a piece of Asia. Through security agreements with the surrounding countries of China. And through the construction of a TRANS-Pacific partnership without China.

The periods of tension in relations with the US are predetermined and unavoidable?

- Our interest is to ensure the security around our borders to neighbors no one told that to trade with Russia or not to trade, to war with Russia or not to fight.

In this sense, the conflict in Ukraine objective. If they need Ukraine as a buffer against us, we need it too, we are ethnically very close, this is pre-Soviet geopolitical space. Its economy is part of our economy. It is our civilizational area. Our interest there is obvious.

However, the USA is beginning to experience a redefinition of its role in the world. They haven't reached a complete rethinking. They're just starting to see the problems and the inadequacy of its policies. Rethinking will happen in a few years. Then the ideological component in our relationship is minimized. This may be due to the new President, but will not necessarily occur in the period of his reign. American policy is evolving cycles. Now ends the cycle that began with Reagan.

- That is, in 7-8 years we can count on change?

Then we may have a completely different relationship between countries. But their and our interests will remain.

Objectively, Americans want to antagonize China's neighbors - Japan, India, us. Therefore, it is important for us to build long-term non-competitive relationship with China and India.

Our goal is to provide yourself a quiet life in the greater Eurasia. It is hampered by the lack of security and lack of infrastructure linking Russia's economy with the growing economies of Asia. The policy of pairing the EEU and the silk road in building the economic infrastructure. China and Russia have an interest in stabilizing the greater Eurasia. Then there will be rapid economic growth.

- What happens to the American political system? Why the Republicans are unable to put any decent presidential candidate?

In the US there is a problem by. The American people in the face of elites, particularly business elites, was assigned to conduct the political Affairs political superstructure - the Congress, the parties of the ruling class, since the capital itself will not engage in politics. The seller has the job of defending the interests of the customer. For a long time, the ruling group did. But now the ruling group broke away from the understanding of objective tasks. Beginning to act as she wants. In America I understand that policy has become less effective, it does not reach the set goals. If this continued, it will lead to the decline of US influence in the world. The elite do not like it.

We can say that American politics is like an airplane that flies on autopilot, which was set 30 years ago. But the pilot had already begun to understand that it's time to get back into the cockpit and change course. The request for change by coming from two sides. Trump is the voice of the business elite. Sanders speaks on behalf of the young intellectual elite. Mature change in the political superstructure. The authorities will be renewed at the expense of people who are new understand the situation and can propose a new course.

Help "Izvestia"

Andrei Bezrukov was born on 30 August 1960 in the city of Kansk of Krasnoyarsk region. Graduated from Tomsk state University majoring in history. In 2000 he graduated from the School of public management John F. Kennedy, Harvard University with a master's degree. Colonel intelligence retired.

Together with his wife Elena Vavilova many years spent on illegal intelligence work. Under the name Donald Heathfield led consultancy company specializing in government and corporate strategic forecasting and planning. Was arrested in June 2010 in the U.S. as a result of betrayal.

He has state awards - the order "For merits before Fatherland" IV degrees, medals. Currently - Advisor to the President of the company "Rosneft". A member of the club "Valdai".

Interviewed By Nikolay Surkov

[Mar 26, 2017] The operatives of what Gore Vidal called the Property Party, (which has two right wings,) co-opted each successive movement. Lower middle class and working class people had the Koch brothers funded Tea Party pushed on them. The DNC sponsored identity groups quickly sucked all oxigen from the protest movement they represented

Notable quotes:
"... As Mr. Hudson explained in the piece, the operatives of what Gore Vidal called the Property Party, (which has two right wings,) co-opted each successive movement. Lower middle class and working class people had the Koch brothers funded Tea Party pushed on them. The DNC sponsored "identity groups" quickly sucked all originality out of the various specious "identities" so represented. On the war front, the Pentagon imposed "embedment" upon journalists. In each case, the viewpoints of the "average" person so involved were restricted to vistas guaranteed to promote the "sponsored" agenda. Thus, the present assault upon "alternative" media makes sense from a status quo perspective. It is all about control of the dialogue. ..."
"... Perez only got 235 votes; Sanders' candidate Ellison got 200. The Democratic Party establishment did not "ignore" Sanders by running Perez. They were semi-desperately trying to block him (and his cohort) from advancing on a low rung on the ladder to power. ..."
"... Wikileaks made it plain what the Democrats do to mavericks who win races without a party bit in their mouths. The corruption is institutional, it is their operatives' identity. ..."
"... The "masses of people who have dropped out of the workforce" are old, overweight, have multiple physical deficits and are hooked on at least 2 types of prescription dope. They will not be manning your nostalgia-draped barricades. Not ever. ..."
"... I agree with Hudson's critique of FIRE and the problem of debt in our society. But it is not easy to explain to the general public - which would not recognize the acronym. ..."
"... "Also, while I agree Dems are dominated by Blue Dogs who want to use Wall Street money to run Repub lite candidates in purple states, and that their appeal to identity politics is manipulative and a way to deflect from economic issues," ..."
"... " it does not logically follow that voters do not often think of themselves and their goals in terms of racism or religion or guns. Their are cultural "us v them" identities that have a powerful effect on politics." ..."
"... "We can beat them if we find common sense solutions to our problems and articulate those ideas to our neighbors. We need energy and hard work, but it is not clear that a third party is needed." ..."
"... I also agree that there is no solution, certainly not an evolutionary solution via EITHER of the two parties. ..."
"... The big changes in the USA occurred during the Great Depression as financial reform was introduced, the idea of government infrastructure could provide employment and what I believe is little mentioned, an increased awareness on the part of many that their success was not achieved solely by their own efforts. ..."
"... Many of the USA's post war corporate executives should have remembered that their families struggled during the thirties, and this may have made them more connected with their employees and communities. ..."
"... People are not sheep. We've been psyop'd senseless. "Public relations" began around the turn of the 20th century. It was ramped up by orders of magnitude after WWII. ..."
"... Gore Vidal quotes JFK as saying to him, we've entered an era in which "it is the *appearance of things that matters" ..."
"... Psychology and other social sciences have been weaponized and turned against us. With a facile understanding of the human mind (as if it were nothing but a mere mechanism), immense effort has gone into controlling the inputs in order to control the outputs (behavior). ..."
"... Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home. ..."
"... Today, "public opinion" is a Frankenstein's monster. Most of my fellow Americans believe in a world that never existed and doesn't exist right now. We can't even agree on what happened to JFK, or MLK, or what happened on 9/11/01. ..."
"... Contra UF, it's not that people are incapable of rational thought; rather, the information we have is hopelessly corrupted. People are acting rationally, but the numerators and denominators have been faked. On purpose. Or did the Russians really do it? ..."
"... It's far more simpler. Charter schools are about following the money. Public schools have seemingly huge revenue streams. Why can't GE get a cut is the thought process? For profit Healthcare was forbidden until 1973 (thanks to Teddy), why not public schools? ..."
"... The HMO Act of 1973 (thanks Teddy and Tricky Dick; bipartisanship at its finest) made it easier to start and run HMOs which faced regulatory hurdles mostly due to financing. Non profits had an easier time of it hence Hospitals named "St X" or "X General." Since the hospital were non profits and employers made deals with the hospitals, health insurance was effectively non-profit. There were gaps, mostly in rural areas. Other changes from the HMO Act of 1973 encouraged profit seeking from denial of coverage to pushing unnecessary procedures or prescriptions. ..."
"... The US Left has been controlled opposition since 1950. There was never a chance it could provide a reasonable and effective alternative. FBI/CIA moles make sure they never will. The Democrats have never been true Left FDR didn't really betray his class, he saved them from their own stupidity. ..."
"... "As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, 'The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them'." ..."
"... The identity politics of today lack in solidarity, too. What with Hillary Clinton running the most ageist campaign in memory, Obama breaking the record on deportations, Bill Clinton blowing racist dogwhistles as hard he can and also helping to shepherd a police state that puts Thailand to shame, and the whole of the Democratic Party stoking Russophobia and neoconservative. ..."
"... The diagnosis is mostly correct. But omits the role class bigotry and affluenza with attendant celebrity culture and pursuit of prestige plays. Thus the prognosis and protocol go astray. ..."
"... The wealthy and the politicians don't care about you/us. They care about maintaining any fiction that allows them to keep acquiring. Trump is not the problem; Mercer"s values are The Problem. Trump is the PERFECT reality TV/celebrity fantasy creature to keep the twisted Mercer chariot's wheels turning. ..."
"... Bernie was NOT The Answer. Putting on a mask of concern does not take away the sorrows of empire. As long as the blatant US militarism and imperialism continues we cannot unite the working class. Everything it needs to flourish continues - mass incarceration, join the military or stay in the ghetto, graft and corruption of military/industrial/media complex, no respect for other cultures being swarmed, consumerism. ..."
"... The jobs plan: more prison guards, border agents, munitions makers, soldiers, cops, various bodyguards for the rich and the other useful mandarins to the affluenza-stricken is set in stone. ..."
"... Michael Hudson makes great points but I am still wrestling with his (and others) push back against so-called identity politics as it pertains to this perception of it splintering or at least limiting the Democratic party. The Dems are most certainly a party committed to the ideals of neoliberalism and corporatism. They did not lose this election based on "Russian hacking/emails" and other trite nonsense. ..."
"... The Obama part of maintaining the looting of society status quo. ..."
"... The point about Trump being the US Yeltsin is one very much worth considering, if only because Russia, after much degradation and also suffering, has managed to begin to overcome those shameful and depressing times. May we do so also. ..."
"... Excellent piece. Americans have forgotten that the things they took for granted (40 hour week, humane working conditions, employer provided benefits etc.) were gained by the blood, sweat and tears of their forebears. ..."
"... The Clintons, the Obamas, the Blairs, possibly the Macrons, the Ruttes, even the Merkels of this world are wolves in sheep's clothing. They have come to represent, for increasing numbers, little better than managed decline in apparently safe hands, conducted in plain sight, in the ever narrower interests of the few. ..."
"... Regarding the subject line of the article. I'd say that the Democratic Party has been the "paid loyal opposition" for quite a while. . . meaning they are paid to loose. Given the party's ties to Wall Street and Big Pharma it's pretty clear they mostly work for the same folks that own "mainstream" Republicans so their apparent fecklessness and inability to mount ANY sort of effective opposition, even when they are in the majority, shouldn't be any surprise. ..."
Mar 26, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
ambrit, March 26, 2017 at 5:29 am

As long as the people of America had a reasonable expectation of gaining a better life, or, the next best thing, that their children would gain that better life, the Social Contract remained strong. Aspiration was both a spur to striving within the existing system, and a palliative for most discontents encountered. Where the status quo did not offer any real hope, the Civil Rights for minorities being an example, more "robust" methods were necessary, and were employed. What else is civil disobedience but counter violence against the State? Naturally, the State ramps up it's 'violence' in an attempt to quash the disaffected masses.

In this struggle, optics and expectations are crucial. As Gil Scott-Heron famously invoked; "The revolution will not be televised." Paradoxically, by ensuring the wide dissemination of images of the nascent "Revolution," activists ensured that whatever came out of the Days of Rage would not be a true revolution. The newsreels of colored people bravely enduring police oppression in the American South guaranteed that that particular issue would not be dumped down Orwell's "Memory Hole." Television footage of young American men fighting and dying in Vietnam spurred the families of those who could even potentially be drafted to go overseas to die for their country to take to the streets and vote against the war and the warmongers. Gay rights is generally considered to have begun to take form and substance after the "Stonewall Riots" in New York in 1969. See: https://www.socialistalternative.org/stonewall-riots-1969/ By "going postal," the New York gays declared loud and proud that the old way of doing business was no longer acceptable to them.

As Mr. Hudson explained in the piece, the operatives of what Gore Vidal called the Property Party, (which has two right wings,) co-opted each successive movement. Lower middle class and working class people had the Koch brothers funded Tea Party pushed on them. The DNC sponsored "identity groups" quickly sucked all originality out of the various specious "identities" so represented. On the war front, the Pentagon imposed "embedment" upon journalists. In each case, the viewpoints of the "average" person so involved were restricted to vistas guaranteed to promote the "sponsored" agenda. Thus, the present assault upon "alternative" media makes sense from a status quo perspective. It is all about control of the dialogue.

The main strength of the old style identity politics is it's ability to focus the energies of participants toward a particular goal. To that end, the concept of the "United Front" is useful. You watch my back, I'll show up at your demonstration is the operative concept. Thus, the development and widespread dissemination of images of a uniting "struggle" are needed. All of this is actually self evident. What is needed are "leaders" ready to stand up and shout it out over the rooftops.

When Paul Revere made his famous ride, he was actually stopped by British troops before he could reach either Concord or Lexington, Massachusetts. A companion, a Dr. Prescott made the actual warnings to the American rebels. Revere and Prescott were members of an extensive Patriot organization. A Doctor and an Artisan, two usually distinct social classes at the time were collaborating towards a common goal. A "United Front" made the American Revolution. See: http://www.biography.com/news/paul-reveres-ride-facts Today's struggle can proceed no differently.

Jagger , March 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

A Doctor and an Artisan, two usually distinct social classes at the time were collaborating towards a common goal

"We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." A bit of wisdom from the mind of Ben Franklin in the early days of the revolution.

ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 11:26 am

Wonderful! Dr. Franklin would be considered a "radical" even by today's standards. "The more things change .."

steelhead23 , March 26, 2017 at 11:38 am

Let us remember, when a college student asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi whether the party might move toward a more socialistic economic system, she answered, " We're capitalists. That's just the way it is. ", and went on to support a return to noblesse oblige, completely failing to grasp the contradiction between modern neoliberal theology (maximizing shareholder return/profits) and such niceties as paying a living wage. We the left have a problem we need to attack head-on – our semantics have been demonized. Socialism is widely disparaged as subordinating individual will to the state – as tyranny – and the MSM often portrays economic downturns in social democracies (Venezuela, Argentina) as caused by foolish socialist policies, not broadscale economic issues (oil glut), or financial stupidity of prior governments (Argentina). I applaud Senator Sanders for continuing to use the moniker "social democrat" as he has done much to legitimize the word. We need more. Ich bin ein social democrat.

ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Oh yes, and I remember wondering when I first read about that "interaction," just what did Pelosi really mean by Capitalist? As someone else here remarked, she might have been confusing capitalist with corporatist in her mind.

polecat , March 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm

'Crony' capitalists is what she really meant ..

Ah the Crony California Quotient Always looking out for them and theirs' !

Gman , March 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Doctrinaire [adj]

seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations:

1. 'Nancy Pelosi asked whether the party might move toward a more socialistic economic system, she answered, "We're capitalists. That's just the way it is."

pissed younger baby boomer , March 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

That's why I am changing my party status to one of the socialist parties in Oregon .

DJG , March 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

ambrit: Excellent comment. What I would add, though, is that all three of the movements that you cite had equality as a main goal: Black people wanted equality in civil rights and civil liberties. The antiwar movement drew strength from the draft, which affected people of all classes (men most directly) and led to various unequal uses of deferments that are causes of political problems to this very day. Gay folk also wanted civil rights and civil liberties (although marriage equality may not be the proper culmination–identity politics gone divergent).

A while back, I read Norberto Bobbio's influential little book, Right and Left. He states that the main motivators of leftist politics are liberty, equality, and fraternité (let's call it solidarity). And he points out that leftists usually place equality first. So to animate a new movement, we have to get back to issues of political and economic equality. The metaphor of The One Percent is a hint. That hint has to be expanded.

ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Good point. The American Revolt had it's "Committees of Correspondence." They operated outside of the MSM of the day. The Civil Rights movement early on had the black churches as sanctuaries and disseminators of the message. The anti-war movement had both the Underground press and, unwittingly, later, the MSM of the day proclaiming the problem. In general, each information spreading system used was not a part of the "Official Version" apparatus.

The point about equality is important. The unmentioned basis of Capitalism is competition. Competition implies inequality as the outcome. This is not true aspiration, but aspiration's evil twin, ambition. So, the Left's real uphill slog is going to be to frame the debate about social policy in an anti-competitive form.

Bashing the .01% is always good fun, but, as many have remarked, and the recent failed Democrat Party campaigns have demonstrated, a positive goal is needed to really motivate and engage those of us "on the ground." As earlier remarked, a "Single Payer" healthcare campaign, framed as an "equality" measure would do the trick. There are doubtless many other issues that would lend themselves to a similar treatment. Meld these issues into a "Progressive United Front" campaign and we will begin to see some movement.

In essence, as the earlier socialist and communist thinkers proclaimed, the ownership of the means of production are a good place to start. Given the unequal distribution of such ownership however, the next best thing would be the control of the distribution of the fruits of production; especially germaine with the rise of automation.

It's time to make "We the People" great.

DJG , March 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm

ambrit: Agreed, again. And time for some poetry, too:

Langston Hughes

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

Note "equality" front and center in his prophetic vision.

ambrit , March 26, 2017 at 3:19 pm

I also see the dream ahead of him, beckoning, beguiling, beatifying despite the false realities around him.
Something to believe in will generally trump something to be fearful of, in the hearts of men.

marym , March 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Great comment and resulting discussion.

IMO there's not a practical electoral solution, in the sense of electing a bunch of candidates at multiple levels of government to unwind or replace all the laws, regulations/lack of regulations, court decisions, and algorithms that misgovern our lives and misappropriate our wealth.

Building on your comment ambrit@5:29 and Ulysses@8:38:

A – No more than 3 universal issues (Medicare for All; publicly funded tuition for post-secondary education, training, and apprenticeships; end the wars, for example). Medicare for All is part of the discussion now and should have a prominent place.

B – Activism continues, as it must and will, in other areas: issues of survival (police violence, incarceration, homelessness and hunger; minimum wage ); support for activism across issues (Food not Bombs, ACLU and NLG, Light Brigades, local jail and bail support ); and forward-looking activism (local sustainable food and energy solutions, workplace and community coops ).

C – Electoral politics that functions as the political arm of the movement for "A" and locally appropriate subsets of "B" issues. In practical term, this may need to be an insurgency in the Dem ranks, or more organized Greens, plus coordination with other "third" parties that have a presence and ballot access in some places.

Then we work on ambrit's:

"You watch my back, I'll show up at your demonstration"

Adding: "We recruit candidates who understand your issues and have policy proposals to address them, you show up to vote".

DJG , March 26, 2017 at 3:10 pm

marym: Excellent comment.

I can't find much on the Light Brigades. Who are they?

And my issues at the universal level would be health care for all (with minimal fees and premiums), free education for all, an end to the endless wars, and, if I may have a fourth, expansion of Social Security with some big raises to recipients to give people a base income that they can retire on (or safely go into disability retirement). The money is there for all of these, but the political will consists of the likes of Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi.

Yes: You watch my back, and I'll watch your back. But "back" is defined broadly–we are all in this together.

Ancient 1 , March 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Good Comment. What bothers me is there is a lot of conversation about all our issues and proposed solutions, but I see no actions taking place. There are no leaders on the national level, other than Senator Sanders. We need a Socialist Huey Long with a big horn and perhaps a little action like, Act Up" to get things moving. There is going to be a revolt sooner or later. It will get to a point where ordinary people, especially our young, who will not take it anymore.

PH , March 26, 2017 at 5:58 am

Love Hudson, but no one is right about everything.

He accepts as an article of faith that it would be easier to start a new party than win primaries in Dem party. Not clear at all.

Also, while I agree Dems are dominated by Blue Dogs who want to use Wall Street money to run Repub lite candidates in purple states, and that their appeal to identity politics is manipulative and a way to deflect from economic issues, it does not logically follow that voters do not often think of themselves and their goals in terms of racism or religion or guns. Their are cultural "us v them" identities that have a powerful effect on politics.

I agree with Hudson's critique of FIRE and the problem of debt in our society. But it is not easy to explain to the general public - which would not recognize the acronym. And what exactly is the Hudson platform to address debt or FIRE now? I understand the argument (as I understand it) that 2009 was an opportunity to use bankruptcy of Wall Street to break up economic olarchy and write down debt for homeowners. I agree. I am angry and frustrated by the lost opportunity. I also understand the sly reference to having to wait for the next crisis to get another chance. Why do we have to wait? This is Hudson's concession that there is no general understanding of the debt problem or support for Willy-Nilly support for dismantling Wall Street or existing debt relationships.

I am convinced by Hudson that rising housing prices are a scam for loading debt on people and raising the burden of a rentier class. But most people who own houses are excited when you tell them housing prices are going up. What exactly should be our political message.

Some districts have strong evangelical communities and find abortion to be the top issue year in andvyear out. Some evangelicals stuck with Trump in the hope of a Supreme Court that will outlaw abortion. How to Dems or a new Hudson party win in those districts?

Politics is a fluid business. Forget coalition building (extremely tough), even finding a message for one voter (who may be of 2 or 3. Or 4 minds about the world, and change views daily, is tough.

In my view, a Progressive majority must be put together piece by piece, place by place, from the ground up. Bernie articulated a place to start. The Schumer crowd own the Dems now, but it is a fragile hold. We can beat them if we find common sense solutions to our problems and articulate those ideas to our neighbors. We need energy and hard work, but it is not clear that a third party is needed.

Carolinian , March 26, 2017 at 9:44 am

Why do we have to wait?

Because we have a political system–from the Fed to the Congress to the media–that is designed to keep current arrangements in place. Public complacency has allowed this to happen and now only another systemic breakdown is likely to force change on an entrenched elite and confused electorate. One might hope that the Democratic party would be the necessary force for reform but it's surely clear by now that its leadership intends to go down with the ship. Time for the rest of us to pile into the lifeboats (a third party). And even if one believes there is hope for the Dems, it's unlikely they will change without some serious threat to their power and that would be a viable third party. For much of the country's history there were lots of third parties and splinter movements which is what one would expect from such a diverse population. The duopoly is a very artificial arrangement.

Sanders should never have taken this third party threat off the table and it is why the Dem leadership doesn't take him seriously. It's also a reason for some of the rest of us to question his seriousness. "Don't want to be the Nader" isn't the sort of call to arms that has one putting up the Che posters.

Carolinian , March 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

Did Bernie have a big impact? The mainstream media mostly ignore him and the Dems go out of their way to ignore him by running Perez. And didn't the Bernie endorsed primary challengers in the last cycle do poorly?

You will only get the elites' attention by threatening their power, not their message. Obviously establishing a viable third party is extremely difficult which is why I agree with Hudson that it will take the next crisis to change things. Incrementalism has been shown not to work.

FluffytheObeseCat , March 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Perez only got 235 votes; Sanders' candidate Ellison got 200. The Democratic Party establishment did not "ignore" Sanders by running Perez. They were semi-desperately trying to block him (and his cohort) from advancing on a low rung on the ladder to power.

Primary challenges across the nation, in every city council and state assembly race. Again and again. Then on to the governorships and federal offices. This is the swiftest, least expensive and least damaging way to power for Sanders partisan. We could take over the party in under ten years if this tactic were widely deployed.

barefoot charley , March 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Wikileaks made it plain what the Democrats do to mavericks who win races without a party bit in their mouths. The corruption is institutional, it is their operatives' identity. A successful third party will be very difficult to achieve, but is perhaps possible. A useful Democratic party is not possible until every careerist is unemployed–ie until their employers run out of money. That can't come about, as long as there are empowered Democrats and Republicans.

Jeff W , March 26, 2017 at 4:16 pm

FluffytheObeseCat

Primary challenges across the nation, in every city council and state assembly race. Again and again. Then on to the governorships and federal offices. This is the swiftest, least expensive and least damaging way to power for Sanders partisan. We could take over the party in under ten years if this tactic were widely deployed.

I agree with this statement.

And it's happening: various groups (Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, Justice Democrats, and probably others) are planning primary challengers in just that way. And it's already happened at the local and district level in California. It's a different political environment than even just a few years ago and it will be even still more different when some (or, let's hope, many) of these candidates start winning.

Norb , March 26, 2017 at 9:48 am

The real problem is corporatism. The power to make decisions on public policy has been transferred from democratic government to corporations, run by oligarchs. Both political parties in the US are committed to this political arrangement. The thin veneer of democracy is used to check public dissatisfaction. In short order, even this facade will be deemed unnecessary and discarded. This consolidation of power was enabled by masking class consciousness. Worker aspirations mirror their corporate masters. Life consists of maximizing personal wealth in the form of money and possessions. Mass media provides the conduit to achieve this conditioning.

Trying to rebuild the Democratic party form within is a waste of energy and time that most citizens don't have. If anything, the existing political establishment has perfected the techniques and tools needed to make dissent impotent. This is largely accomplished by perpetuating the myth that change can occur by working within the existing system, and then undermining effective policy that would focus on worker interests. The chumps get scraps.

In the end, oligarchy is the cost that must be paid for our modern life of convenience and endless entertainment. Moving forward must be about rejection. Rejection of the current social and cultural order. A new party, a true workers party, is needed to restore equilibrium to the existing power imbalance. The mass of people who have dropped out of the workforce and electoral system are waiting for leadership to offer a better vision for the future. This vision is not forthcoming because the human imagination must turn outside the existing failed norms and seek new horizons removed from capitalist ideology. Political power follows or grows naturally from a social order, not the other way around. Imposed social orders are always unstable and need violence to maintain. A way of life determines the political possibilities. This is why those wanting change must always work outside the existing system, both mentally and physically.

Just as crony capitalist ideology turned the notion of individual freedom on its head to justify the greatest inequality known to human societies, the remedy centers on the rejection of exploitive violence. It is based on preservation, regeneration, and a spiritual awareness that one must give back to the world and not only take from it. To my mind, coalitions built on these principles stretch across all social groups. Spending time, money, and energy building these networks and infrastructure will be productive and longer lasting. Strikes, boycotts, and dropping out of the existing system sends a much more powerful message to the oligarchs. They will respond with violence, but then their true nature is open for all to see, making it easier for others to reject their ideology.

Capitalism was born of Feudalism. Individual rights superseding the rights of Kings. Nothing lasts forever. A post- capitalist world must be first envisioned and then articulated. Capitalism maintained the inequality and hierarchical use of violence of the previous system. This relationship forms most of the underlying root causes of intractable problems faced today. Egalitarianism provides a way and an alternative. Socialist ideas can be suppressed but never eradicated. Human social evolution points in this direction. Slavery will never return. The human spirt will not allow it.

two beers , March 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Your note has a 1930s sound to me. Spain, maybe.

What a cavalier and condescending dismissal. With an arrogant wave of the hand, history goes *poof*. And though you "agree" (how generous of you!) )with some of the symptoms Hudson identifies, you categorically deny what he identifies as the root systemic cause of those ills. Instead, a little modest, cautious, sensible, "piece by piece", "place by place" reform around the edges, and everything will work out just fine in its own time, because abortion.

You are an exemplary and model Democrat, and Exhibit A why left politics will never emerge from within the Democrat Party.

jrs , March 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm

although it may be an uphill climb now, striking and unionizing still sounds infinitely less pie in the sky and far more brass tacks and addressing some of the actual problems, than creating a 3rd party in the U.S.. If that is one's solution they have no right to criticize anyone on their proposals not being practical. At least striking has some history of actually working.

Norb , March 26, 2017 at 3:37 pm

It is the participation in our own destruction that I am trying to express and get my head around. Engagement by all means, but somehow the rules need to be changed.

The amount of time, energy, and resources needed to engage in effective politics today is prohibitive to most citizens. What Hudson is saying is that the two party system in America is broken and the only way forward is to start anew. I would tend to agree. In my lifetime, the Democratic party has been reforming for close to 40 years now. That is a long time to be ineffectual concerning worker's interests. The long dissent of the American workforce is reaching critical mass and some radical thinking and action is needed.

The left needs to develop some productive alternatives, which again Hudson points out. An egalitarian alternative needs to be articulated. Candidates running for office as socialists, espousing actual socialist ideals. Win or loose, speaking in public about socialist ideals can only help. Government sponsorship of small business and cooperatives over monopolistic corporations. Actually running and building sustainable communities. As was stated in comments, Sanders raised upwards of 240 million dollars during the last campaign. What is there to show for all that effort and resource depletion?

An actual show of distain for the elite ruling class for their crass barbarism and masked cruelty is a start. Followed by actually building something of lasting value.

FluffytheObeseCat , March 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm

The "masses of people who have dropped out of the workforce" are old, overweight, have multiple physical deficits and are hooked on at least 2 types of prescription dope. They will not be manning your nostalgia-draped barricades. Not ever.

jrs , March 26, 2017 at 2:34 pm

alrighty, everyone who can't get a job is overweight and a drug addict and unhealthy etc.. Get real. Old sometimes has something to do with it, just because companies do age discriminate in hiring.

tegnost , March 26, 2017 at 10:04 am

I agree with Hudson's critique of FIRE and the problem of debt in our society. But it is not easy to explain to the general public - which would not recognize the acronym.

People are not a miniscule fraction as stupid as you think they are, and I will posit that this is one of, if not the main problem with democrat loyalists such as yourself.

first you say this

"Also, while I agree Dems are dominated by Blue Dogs who want to use Wall Street money to run Repub lite candidates in purple states, and that their appeal to identity politics is manipulative and a way to deflect from economic issues,"

shorter, I realize democrats don't represent you, and that's too bad but you have no other option and PH doesn't want you to have another option.
followed by

" it does not logically follow that voters do not often think of themselves and their goals in terms of racism or religion or guns. Their are cultural "us v them" identities that have a powerful effect on politics."

Is this unmoored jab at rural identity not a double negative that can be rephrased "it logically follows that voters think of themselves in terms of racism or religion or guns"? and isn't that just another way of saying people are stupid and you are not because you can hide your class and race bias behind a double negative, and people being stupider than you will never know it because clever, but clever ain't working anymore, and isn't likely to start working any time soon.

You close with a call for incrementalism yeah that's worked really great for all of us in the hoi polloi, and you don't fail to mention abortion, the only democrat platform, and schumer et al's "fragile grip" is in reality an "iron law of institutions" grip and they and you are not going to let go.

"We can beat them if we find common sense solutions to our problems and articulate those ideas to our neighbors. We need energy and hard work, but it is not clear that a third party is needed."

so who is this "we" kemo sabe? I am in the veal pen. Come into the veal pen with me. We will be in the veal pen thanks but no thanks. I've had plenty of common sense discussions with my neighbors, and it's depressing as we all know none of those sensible policies will be enacted by the useless to the common citizen and enabler to the criminals on wall street democrat party, rotten to it's core.

Paul Greenwood , March 26, 2017 at 6:20 am

Федеральное агентство по управлению государственным имуществом (Росимущество) was what created Oligarchs under Yeltsin. It was headed by Chubais who helped make Khordorovsky and the rest of the Oligarchs incredibly rich. He then headed the 1996 Re-Election Campaign for Unpopular Yeltsin and bought victory and sold off State assets for nugatory worth.

Khordorovsky was to deliver Yukos to Exxon and let US interests control Russia's natural resources. Berezhovsky needed a "roof" – he had Chechens protecting his outside interests but once Yeltsin's liver gave out the KGB Siloviki would put The Family on trial so he found Putin as a Lieut-Col. with a background in St Petersburg where Chubais had been active for Sobchak also. Putin was the "roof" to keep the KGB from executing the looters for treason.

Like a new Tsar with Boyars, Putin had to find which were his "Oligarchs" and Berezhovsky turned his assets over to Abramovich who is Putin's man. Chubais now sits on CFR and JP Morgan Board for his good works.

jackiebass , March 26, 2017 at 6:56 am

Trump won on the slogan Make America Great. I live in upstate NY which is strong republican. These people thought the slogan meant great for them. That coupled with a bitter hate of Clinton made it easy for Trump to get their vote. A sad thing is that these voters are very uninformed and depend on what they know from corporate media especially FOX news. None of them know what Neoliberal means and that the root of their problems lie with neoliberal policies.

When I tell them that Obama and Cuomo aren't really democrats but moderate republicans they think I'm out of my mind. I tend to look at thing objectively based on verifiable facts.Most of these voters look at issues in an emotional way. They will say Obamacare is bad and need to be repealed. When you ask them how it's bad the best they can come up with is it forces you to buy insurance and you can't keep your own doctor. I guess what I'm saying is that the average voter is too lazy to get informed and relies on the political propaganda fed to them.

At 75 years old I don't see that the immediate future will change much. The only hope I see is in the young of our country. Unless someone or a movement can educate them about the evils that are destroying their future, democracy is dead. Because of how the economy is structured the economic future for most of the population is grim. They will not be able to afford to retire and will live in poverty. Perhaps this will wake them up. Unfortunately it will be too late for them.

UserFriendly , March 26, 2017 at 8:03 am

People are all sheep. No one thinks, they just vote based on emotions. I have never seen that more blatantly laid bare then in this one article.

HOW HIGH-END STUDENT COMPLEXES CREATED THE MOST GOP PRECINCT IN LEON COUNTY

Which ties in nicely with the slate star codex piece from yesterday.
GUIDED BY THE BEAUTY OF OUR WEAPONS

At best we can work at the margin on the handful of people that are capable of rational thought. Which is why nothing ever changes, appeals to emotion are always more potent than appeals to reason. There is no solution.

John Wright , March 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

I also agree that there is no solution, certainly not an evolutionary solution via EITHER of the two parties.

The big changes in the USA occurred during the Great Depression as financial reform was introduced, the idea of government infrastructure could provide employment and what I believe is little mentioned, an increased awareness on the part of many that their success was not achieved solely by their own efforts.

Many of the USA's post war corporate executives should have remembered that their families struggled during the thirties, and this may have made them more connected with their employees and communities.

Now we have a government of the internally connected top 10%, with the bottom 90% detached and watching from outside.

And CEO's and the executive class have loyalty only to their company's stock price.

The recent rehabilitation of serial screw-up George W. Bush and attempted elevation of serial screw-up Hillary Clinton is direct evidence that the political class does not care how much harm they do to the "deplorable" voters they appeal to every 2/4/6 years.

With the money sloshing around DC and the media control of content, how does one replace the leadership of both parties with more progressive people in any reasonable time frame?

Per Mark Blyth, Global Trumpism is the current response, but what will this morph into after Global Trumpism hangover manifests?.

sundayafternoon , March 26, 2017 at 10:57 am

I think although it may seem that only a small percent of the population is capable of rational thought I think this is actually not the case and its more productive (and optomistic) to think of this issue in terms of a behaviour rather than a fixed capability, like how some ancient Greek philosophers thought about moral behaviour or how some modern phychologists think about psychopathy. Almost everyone is capable of rational thought (or moral or psychopathitic behaviour) but its how often or more precisly in what situations an individual decides to engage in or deploy rational thought.

jrs , March 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Capable of rational thought really doesn't do much good for all the things one has no exposure to. Ok in this case they may have little real understanding of say leftists ideas. And I really think they don't. That may not be the case for the political junkies here for political ideas, but we all have our areas of things (not politics) we may have a similar stupidity about.

Katharine , March 26, 2017 at 11:23 am

Sorry, but I think that's way too disrespectful of other people and not realistic. All, save those with extreme mental disabilities, are capable of some degree of rational thought. That doesn't mean they can be quickly or easily convinced, but they will be more amenable to persuasion if you approach them as equals and open your mind to their reality in order to find the right terms with which to present your ideas. Bernie has shown himself to be very good at that, as are all good teachers. Those who insist on framing everything in their own terms without adapting their communication to another's experience will always get blank stares.

knowbuddhau , March 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Well said, Katharine.

Dehumanizing ("people are sheep") and dismissing our neighbors as incapable of rational (good?) thinking will get us nowhere. Like I've said, the propaganda is working when we're dividing and conquering ourselves. That horrid little word often seen in this context, "sheeple," is just another word for "deplorables."

People are not sheep. We've been psyop'd senseless. "Public relations" began around the turn of the 20th century. It was ramped up by orders of magnitude after WWII.

Gore Vidal quotes JFK as saying to him, we've entered an era in which "it is the *appearance of things that matters" (emphasis original in the TRNN video, The National Security State with Gore Vidal ). Psychology and other social sciences have been weaponized and turned against us. With a facile understanding of the human mind (as if it were nothing but a mere mechanism), immense effort has gone into controlling the inputs in order to control the outputs (behavior).

From How US Flooded the World with Psyops

Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.

Today, "public opinion" is a Frankenstein's monster. Most of my fellow Americans believe in a world that never existed and doesn't exist right now. We can't even agree on what happened to JFK, or MLK, or what happened on 9/11/01.

Contra UF, it's not that people are incapable of rational thought; rather, the information we have is hopelessly corrupted. People are acting rationally, but the numerators and denominators have been faked. On purpose. Or did the Russians really do it?

Once again, TPTB thought they had found a magic method of machining people into permanent compliance. But they neglected the fact that relying on psyops drives people crazy. You just can't keep rejecting real reality and substituting a manufactured Narrative (looking at you, NYT) forever.

ISTM we're acting without sufficient contact with reality. The effort to control the population, the better to exploit us, has driven many of us mad. Neglecting the century or so of effort that's gone into manufacturing consent leads to blaming the victims.

Propagandists and PSYOPeratives have put out the people's eyes, and you berate them for their blindness?

sundayafternoon , March 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

While I would absolutely agree with everything you've just said and believe the facts you've cited are the main reason for the bleak outlook for our species, how the myriad of lies fed to the population is received is a more complex process than just plain deception. People are incredibly complex and operate on a number of levels simultaneously. For instance the notion that universal health care or a strong union would be personally beneficial, or that the banking system is corrupt and that all the wars since 1945 have been unnecessary must be known to anyone with functioning eyes and ears on a relatively conscious level, but the majority have chosen to effectively overlook this reality I believe for reasons that ultimately feed in to human predispositions for conformity. It's ironic that our evolutionary highly successful nature of collectivism is now working against us as a species and leading to a destructive subservience that is almost sadomasochistic. If the population were to be unequivocally presented with reality I doubt many would tolerate the state we have now but conversely this would mean that the elite in our society had sanctioned truthfulness, so we would not really be going against the wishes of the powerful. Basically the fact that the powerful in our society have presented us with lies means lies are what they want us to believe, so dutifully most will oblige, however obviously at odds with reality those lies are.

Why such an overwhelming percent of the population do not vote in their own economic interest is because political affiliations seem to be a complex expression of self-identity, something which includes attitudes, social prejudices and 'beliefs' that are dependent on complex emotional interactions between internal and external events, and can include for instance a desire for status within your tribe, family loyalty, even sadistic impulses. I;m probably wrong about most of this but part of me cant help feeling some of the victims share a little of the blame

knowbuddhau , March 26, 2017 at 9:23 pm

>> For instance the notion that universal health care or a strong union would be personally beneficial, or that the banking system is corrupt and that all the wars since 1945 have been unnecessary must be known to anyone with functioning eyes and ears on a relatively conscious level, but the majority have chosen to effectively overlook this reality I believe for reasons that ultimately feed in to human predispositions for conformity.

You're projecting your knowledge and views, and then blaming people who don't see things your way. A majority supports single payer, yes, but the rest is wishful thinking.

If you read Zinn's A People's History of the US, you'll see that even WWII was a manufactured war. I'm willing to bet a majority still thinks we were attacked out of the blue on Pearl Harbor Day, despite FDR's plan to provoke Japan. Or that incinerating Nagasaki and Hiroshima ended the war and saved tens of thousands of US lives. There was an almost perfectly complete news blackout on the aftermath specifically so that opposition to the bombings couldn't form. There are endless examples like this.

We're not told what we need to know to govern ourselves. What we are told amounts to propaganda, sometimes explicitly so.

Yes, a lot of people have drunk the koolaid, some with gusto. Who's pouring it? You can blame the victims all you like. I blame the people who've deliberately set out to deceive us.

What our deluded brothers and sisters need is our compassion. It's hard to have compassion for someone trying to run you over for exercising your rights (been there, done that), but no one ever said it would be easy.

Kokuanani , March 26, 2017 at 7:55 am

The only hope I see is in the young of our country.

I think Trump, the Repubs and most of the Dems see that too. That's why they've promoted DeVos, Arnie Duncan, and all the other advocates of "charter schools," strangled public education, and attacked teachers.

UserFriendly , March 26, 2017 at 8:05 am

and decided college was a great opportunity to make debt slaves ...

Deadl E Cheese , March 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

The problem with this approach is that all this does is kill off liberal cosmopolitanism, not Marxism. Marxism doesn't need a widespread secondarily-educated population to spread. And it definitely does not need liberal cosmopolitanism as a stepping stone; quite the opposite, really. Just in the US, when the wobblies and Black Panthers started turning red, how many of their rank and file went to college or even finished high school?

Considering that the elites are using liberal cosmopolitanism to strangle Marxism (class-only Marxists want to throw women and nonwhites under the bus to get their single-payer and you, the woke liberal identitarian, must support capitalism to protect the marginalized), this strategy is not only pointless but it's also self-defeating.

NotTimothyGeithner , March 26, 2017 at 9:35 am

It's far more simpler. Charter schools are about following the money. Public schools have seemingly huge revenue streams. Why can't GE get a cut is the thought process? For profit Healthcare was forbidden until 1973 (thanks to Teddy), why not public schools?

NotTimothyGeithner , March 26, 2017 at 11:45 am

The HMO Act of 1973 (thanks Teddy and Tricky Dick; bipartisanship at its finest) made it easier to start and run HMOs which faced regulatory hurdles mostly due to financing. Non profits had an easier time of it hence Hospitals named "St X" or "X General." Since the hospital were non profits and employers made deals with the hospitals, health insurance was effectively non-profit. There were gaps, mostly in rural areas. Other changes from the HMO Act of 1973 encouraged profit seeking from denial of coverage to pushing unnecessary procedures or prescriptions.

There is a noticeable correlation between this act and the explosion of Healthcare costs. The Miller Center had a series on Nixon expressing doubts to the Kaiser about HMOs. The arguments played out just like charter schools today.

philnc , March 26, 2017 at 4:14 pm

I recall hearing the tape of a conversation among Nixon and his aides regarding HMOs. The audio, like most of the Johnson & Nixon tapes, was poor, but what did come through was Nixon's support for Kaiser's business model, summed up by Erlichman as, "the less care they give them, the more money they make."

https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/educational-resources/all-the-incentives-are-toward-less-medical-care

Huey Long , March 26, 2017 at 11:49 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Maintenance_Organization_Act_of_1973

Disturbed Voter , March 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

The US Left has been controlled opposition since 1950. There was never a chance it could provide a reasonable and effective alternative. FBI/CIA moles make sure they never will. The Democrats have never been true Left FDR didn't really betray his class, he saved them from their own stupidity.

Randall Stephens , March 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

"As Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere quipped in the 1960s, when he was accused by the US of running a one-party state, 'The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them'."

OK, that made me laugh out loud.

Arizona Slim , March 26, 2017 at 10:07 am

I seem to recall that the identity politics of yore were lacking in solidarity. The antiwar protestors, some of whom were hippies, were beaten up by working class union members. Remember the hard hat riots? And the African American leadership of the Civil Rights era? Well, they were from the black churches​, and they thought that the hippies were uncouth.

Deadl E Cheese , March 26, 2017 at 10:13 am

The identity politics of today lack in solidarity, too. What with Hillary Clinton running the most ageist campaign in memory, Obama breaking the record on deportations, Bill Clinton blowing racist dogwhistles as hard he can and also helping to shepherd a police state that puts Thailand to shame, and the whole of the Democratic Party stoking Russophobia and neoconservative.

A cynic might say that liberal identity politics (as opposed to post-Frankfurt/Focault Marxist identity politics) was intentionally designed to do these things both in the 60-70s and now.

And I am that cynic.

Kukulkan , March 26, 2017 at 10:30 am

I don't see how antiwar protestors qualify as identity politics, since the group is defined by a policy concern, not by some quasi-biological tag. Same with working class union members; policy and economic interests, not tags.

I'd say the same about the African American leadership of the Civil Rights era, even though they did generally share the tag of being "black". They focused on a policy goal and welcomed those who didn't share the tag to participate in the struggle.

Identity politics are not the same thing as left-wing or progressive or liberal (or whatever you want to call it) politics. In very real sense, Identity politics are a form of anti-politics since they don't address interests, policy or allow any form of accommodation or reconciliation of different points of view.

Identity politics is about tags. Non-identity politics is about interests and policies.

Kukulkan , March 26, 2017 at 4:25 pm

But the focus is on the policy issues. The campaign for gay marriage was about getting gay marriage, not about being gay. And anyone who supported gay marriage was a part of that campaign - gay, straight, black, white, male, female; all the tags. It may have started with those who were gay, but it wasn't exclusive to the tag.

By contrast, Hillary's campaign was just about the tags. Not doing anything for those with the tags, or changing any policies, no matter how they affected various tags, or even addressing any issues that are important to one or more of the tags, just acknowledging the tags and verbally supporting pride in them. That's why even a bunch of people possessing the tags didn't support her: there was nothing there for them, or, indeed, anyone else outside the financial and imperial elite.

NotTimothyGeithner , March 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Abernathy and King were from black churches. The rest of the leadership came from the street or universities. King's lament about the "white moderate" was code for the "black church." Ministers were glorified house slaves and liked the big houses. Jim Crow worked for black ministers. If better of blacks moved to white neighborhoods and more importantly white churches, who would put money in the collection plate?

With the exception of Jackson when he showed up (he was young), those young black men who were always around King were Communists and atheists. They didn't broadcast it for obvious reasons, but a guy like Malcolm X was skeptical of King for real reasons.

Jackson was important because he forced the black churches to get with the program. If there was a minister successor to King, the congregants might ask questions about their own ministers.

The black church hated hippies, but the real civil rights leadership didn't.

SumiDreamer , March 26, 2017 at 10:10 am

The diagnosis is mostly correct. But omits the role class bigotry and affluenza with attendant celebrity culture and pursuit of prestige plays. Thus the prognosis and protocol go astray.

The wealthy and the politicians don't care about you/us. They care about maintaining any fiction that allows them to keep acquiring. Trump is not the problem; Mercer"s values are The Problem. Trump is the PERFECT reality TV/celebrity fantasy creature to keep the twisted Mercer chariot's wheels turning.

Bernie was NOT The Answer. Putting on a mask of concern does not take away the sorrows of empire. As long as the blatant US militarism and imperialism continues we cannot unite the working class. Everything it needs to flourish continues - mass incarceration, join the military or stay in the ghetto, graft and corruption of military/industrial/media complex, no respect for other cultures being swarmed, consumerism.

Bernie picked up Occupy"s talking points (good plagarist!) but left the hurdle of recognizing plutocracy the same as Occupy did. Plutocracy is democratic as well it just usnt!

What is there to show for 200 million in donations to overcome the Third Way? A new minuet with the crushing DemocRATic "party".

The war has come home. First step is to admit it. Consistency in VALUES is the left"s primary directive. There needs to be funerals for both parties not more illusion.

The tax break "fight" will be hilarious. Another example of how our rulers cannot solve a single problem .

The jobs plan: more prison guards, border agents, munitions makers, soldiers, cops, various bodyguards for the rich and the other useful mandarins to the affluenza-stricken is set in stone.

You cannot heal a chronic disease without seeing the entirety of its degenerative properties. We're fighting a nasty virus.

Mac na Michomhairle , March 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Bernie did not plagiarize Occupy. He had been saying the same things in Vermont for 25 years, but saying them in ways that lots of very various people connected with.

20 years ago, Bernie lawn signs used to be run over by irate people who knew he was a no-good dirty Socialist. But because he has consistently framed issues in terms of ordinary people's lives and because he has always been absolutely honest and forthright, most of those people who flattened the signs now like and respect him and vote for him. They also pay attention to issues that only no-good dirty Socialists do in most other states.

Denis Drew , March 26, 2017 at 10:20 am

"a revived protection of labor's right to unionize"

Do this and everything else will follow - don't do this and nothing will ever follow.

"It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims."

Don't depend on right or left parties. Depend on yourselves: rebuild American union density (6% unions in private economy analogous to 20/10 BP - starves every other healthy process). Both parties will come begging to your door.

Here's how to "do this":

[snip]
80 years ago Congress forgot to put criminal enforcement in the NLRA(a). Had union busting been a felony all along we would be like Germany today. Maybe at some point our progressives might note that collective bargaining is the T-Rex in the room - or the missing T-Rex .

The money is there for $20 jobs. 49 years - and half the per capita income ago - the fed min wage was $11. Since then the bottom 45% went from 20% overall income share to 10% - while the top 1% went from 10% to 20%.

How to get it - how to get collective bargaining set up? States can make union busting a felony without worrying about so-called federal preemption:

+ a state law sanctioning wholesalers, for instance, using market power to block small retail establishments from combining their bargaining power could be the same one that makes union busting a felony - overlap like min wage laws - especially since on crim penalties the fed has left nothing to overlap since 1935;

+ First Amendment right to collectively bargain cannot be forced by the fed down (the current) impassable road. Double ditto for FedEx employees who have to hurdle the whole-nation-at-once certification election barrier;

+ for contrast, examples of state infringement on federal preemption might be a state finding of union busting leading to a mandate for an election under the fed setup - or any state certification setup for labor already covered by NLRA(a) or RLA(a). (Okay for excluded farm workers.)
[snip]

PhilipL , March 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

Michael Hudson makes great points but I am still wrestling with his (and others) push back against so-called identity politics as it pertains to this perception of it splintering or at least limiting the Democratic party. The Dems are most certainly a party committed to the ideals of neoliberalism and corporatism. They did not lose this election based on "Russian hacking/emails" and other trite nonsense.

Nor did they lose it by appealing to so-called identity politics or tribalism. If the Left is going to move forward effectively it can't pretend we are merely having class and by extension economic arguments. Race is the thru line and has consistently been since the countries inception. Many things cited i.e. the New Deal, pro-Union policy, etc are standard bearers on the Left but have also been rife with racist treatment of potential Black and Latino allies. Why would that be ignored if we are only having conversations of class? Class does not explain redlining which has economic and social implications.

Access to universal healthcare is great and should be a goal but what does one do when the practice of medicine is still effected by race based/racial administration –> https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/10/black-patients-bias-prescriptions-pain-management-medicine-opioids

Acces to higher education and supposedly higher paying job with more opportunities is also great but that access is still shielded by exclusion that again is race based –> https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/05/african-americans-with-college-degrees-are-twice-as-likely-to-be-unemployed-as-other-graduates/430971/

These are complex issues, but they are not as class focused (solely) as many on the Left would like to believe. Our failure to speak honestly and openly about it and critique capitalism and its most malevolent (and seductive form neoliberalism) as being tied to the practice and idea of white supremacy is why we ultimately will find it more and more challenging to wage a successful countermovement against it.

Scylla , March 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Wow. Ok, so since racial bias was written into past economic policy that was intended to address class issues, addressing class based inequality should just be abandoned?

How about just demanding policy that addresses class based inequality simply be written without the racial bias? Why is this so difficult to get into the minds of liberals? This is not that hard.

Jason Boxman , March 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

The refusal to recognize is a nice idea. I've often thought of late that Democrats, or at least the Left, should refuse to recognize Trump's horrible cabinet appointments, even if the delegitimizing effect is minimal. Just referring to these people at citizen or whatever rather than secretary would be some small repudiation, at least.

Mel , March 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm

There's a very long and comprehensive musing on politics and public dialog at slatestarcodex. My takeaway: if your dialog is weaponized, if you consider your mission to be "How do I force these people to admit that I'm right?" then you'll keep seeing the same results we see now.

Tim , March 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Been saying #TrumpIsObamaLegacy since early morning in November. Yves was WAAAAY ahead of the curve back in late 08 calling that out. The Obama part of maintaining the looting of society status quo.

juliania , March 26, 2017 at 1:14 pm

The point about Trump being the US Yeltsin is one very much worth considering, if only because Russia, after much degradation and also suffering, has managed to begin to overcome those shameful and depressing times. May we do so also.

Blue Pilgrim , March 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Actually, his latest book is J is For Junk Economics
http://michael-hudson.com/2017/02/j-is-for-junk-economics-a-guide-to-reality-in-an-age-of-deception/

John k , March 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Great summary, forwarding to friends.
As commented above, progressive candidates that Bernie backed did not do well. Neolib always willing to boost funding for any candidate of any party if primary challenged by a progressive. Takeover of state party machinery e.g. Ca did have some success, but pretty slow.

Third party seems both the only way and imo more doable than many think unlike in the past, electorate is now desperate for real change. Third party impossible until probable. IMO we are now at just such a point.

But neolib will fight tooth and nail to keep a progressive party off the ballot....

Vatch , March 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm

progressive candidates that Bernie backed did not do well.

I'm not so sure about that. Here's the list of candidates backed by Our Revolution (not precisely the same as Sanders, but close). I didn't bother to do an exact count, but it appears that the winners exceed the losers by about 6 to 5.

https://ourrevolution.com/election-2016/

The Republicans control a majority of the state legislatures, governorships, and both houses of Congress. Compared to the establishment Democratic Party as a whole, the Sanders people in Our Revolution are doing pretty well. A new party isn't required; we just need some new people in charge of the Democratic Party. Heck, a lot of the same people could remain in charge, so long as they change their attitudes and stop obeying Wall Street and the billionaires.

Temporarily Sane , March 26, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Excellent piece. Americans have forgotten that the things they took for granted (40 hour week, humane working conditions, employer provided benefits etc.) were gained by the blood, sweat and tears of their forebears.

Today, as the attack on what's left of employee protections and benefits is ramped up, people are alienated from one another and encouraged to channel their despair and anger into blaming scapegoats or invest their energy stoking paranoid delusions about the illuminati and Russian agents. If that gets boring there's always alcohol and heroin to take the edge off.

The left has a momentous job – it has to convince people to give a shit and think of their fate as intertwined with others in a similar position. After decades of neoliberal economics empathy and giving a shit are associated with weakness and losers in many people's minds. Nobody wants to give a shit about anyone outside their preferred identity group or groups but everyone wants, demands , others give a shit about them.

It's almost comical how self-defeating and illogical people can be.

Gman , March 26, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Almost.

My belief is that Trump (and his kin) is likely the 'apotheosis' of neoliberalism or, as is far less likely, he (or they) might pleasantly surprise us.

Like Brexit in the UK, I for one, hopefully not mistakenly, mark this anti establishment ascendency as the beginning of the end of neoliberal economics rather than a further ringing endorsement ie I fully accept things may have to get worse before they get better.

People mostly vote to maintain a status quo they believe serves or may serve their interests in the future or, increasingly in the case of ever plausible (to the trusting and naïve) neoliberalism, out of misplaced hope, desperation, exasperation or understandable fear of the unknown.

The Clintons, the Obamas, the Blairs, possibly the Macrons, the Ruttes, even the Merkels of this world are wolves in sheep's clothing. They have come to represent, for increasing numbers, little better than managed decline in apparently safe hands, conducted in plain sight, in the ever narrower interests of the few.

Unfortunately events are conspiring to demand the once virtuous, now vicious, circle be broken by fair means or foul.

habenicht , March 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

It seems that only a new party can achieve these aims. At the time these essays are going to press, Sanders has committed himself to working within the Democratic Party. But that stance is based on his assumption that somehow he can recruit enough activists to take over the party from Its Donor Class.

I suspect he will fail. In any case, it is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Its encouraging to know that minds like Hudson's are thinking in these terms.

Kirk , March 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm

Regarding the subject line of the article. I'd say that the Democratic Party has been the "paid loyal opposition" for quite a while. . . meaning they are paid to loose. Given the party's ties to Wall Street and Big Pharma it's pretty clear they mostly work for the same folks that own "mainstream" Republicans so their apparent fecklessness and inability to mount ANY sort of effective opposition, even when they are in the majority, shouldn't be any surprise.

The question might more appropriately be can EITHER party survive Trump? Frankly, one can only HOPE that the current version of the Democratic Party DOES go the way of the Whig Party. I can only hope that the Republicans stay as gridlocked as they currently are by the stupid faction of their party.

[Mar 26, 2017] They are an American Taliban: I have never read such a vitriolic comments section. Lots of Americans a seething mad.

Notable quotes:
"... The GOP and this administration are overwhelmingly self-avowed Christians yet they try to deny the poor to benefit the rich. This is not Christian but evil pure and simple. ..."
"... They are an American Taliban, just going about their subversion in a less overtly violent way. ..."
"... Much like Russian people viewed the country under Bolshevism, outside of brief WWII period. That's probably why we have Anti-Russian witch hunt now. To stem this trend. But it is the US neoliberal elite, not Russians, who drive the country to this state of affairs. By spending God knows how many trillions of dollar of wars of neoliberal empire expansion and by drastic redistribution of wealth up. And now the majority of citizens is facing substandard medical care, sliding standard of living and uncertain job prospects. ..."
"... US elections have been influenced by anyone with huge money or oil since the Cold War made an excuse for the US' trade empire enforced by half the world's war spending. ..."
"... The fake 'incidental' surveillance of other political opponents is a gross violation of human rights and the US' Bill of Rights. ..."
"... The disloyal opposition and its propagandists are running Stalin like show trails in their media... ..."
Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
reason , March 25, 2017 at 03:01 PM
I just read this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/25/why-republicans-were-in-such-a-hurry-on-health-care/?utm_term=.590e103e2761

I have never read such a vitriolic comments section. Lots of Americans a seething mad.

reason -> reason... , March 25, 2017 at 03:03 PM
By mad - I mean angry. And at the Republican party more than Trump.
libezkova -> reason... , March 25, 2017 at 05:10 PM
I like the following comment:

Farang Chiang Mai, 7:39 PM EDT

The GOP and this administration are overwhelmingly self-avowed Christians yet they try to deny the poor to benefit the rich. This is not Christian but evil pure and simple.

I would love to see this lying, cheating, selfish, crazy devil (yeah, I know I sound a bit OTT but the description is fact based) of a president and his enablers challenged on their Christian values.

They are an American Taliban, just going about their subversion in a less overtly violent way.

libezkova -> libezkova... , March 25, 2017 at 05:31 PM
An interesting question arise:

Are the people who consider our current rulers to be "American Taliban" inclined to become "leakers" of government activities against the citizens, because they definitely stop to consider the country as their own and view it as occupied by dangerous and violent religious cult?

Much like Russian people viewed the country under Bolshevism, outside of brief WWII period. That's probably why we have Anti-Russian witch hunt now. To stem this trend. But it is the US neoliberal elite, not Russians, who drive the country to this state of affairs. By spending God knows how many trillions of dollar of wars of neoliberal empire expansion and by drastic redistribution of wealth up. And now the majority of citizens is facing substandard medical care, sliding standard of living and uncertain job prospects.

ilsm -> libezkova... March 26, 2017 at 05:42 AM

I see the angst over Sessions talking to a Russia diplomat twice as a red herring.

US elections have been influenced by anyone with huge money or oil since the Cold War made an excuse for the US' trade empire enforced by half the world's war spending.

The fake 'incidental' surveillance of other political opponents is a gross violation of human rights and the US' Bill of Rights.

The disloyal opposition and its propagandists are running Stalin like show trails in their media.....

[Mar 26, 2017] The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their way of life and standards of living is not new

Mar 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova , March 26, 2017 at 04:03 PM
Trump victory was almost 30 years in the making, and I think all presidents starting from Carter contributed to it.

Even if Hillary became president this time, that would be just one term postponement on the inevitable outcome of neoliberal domination for the last 30 years.

I think anybody with dictatorial inclinations and promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC now has serious changes on victory in the US Presidential elections. So after Trump I, we might see Trump II.

So it people find that Trump betrays his election promised they will turn to democratic Party. They will turn father right, to some Trump II.

Due to economic instability and loss of jobs, people are ready to trade (fake) two party "democracy" (which ensures the rule of financial oligarchy by forcing to select between two equally unpalatable candidates) that we have for economic security, even if the latter means the slide to the dictatorship.

That's very sad, but I think this is a valid observation. What we experience is a new variation of the theme first played in 1930th, after the crash of 1928.

The story of working class and lower middle class turning to the far right for help after financial oligarchy provoke a nationwide crisis and destroy their "way of life" and standards of living is not new. In 1930th the US ruling class proved to be ready to accept the New Deal as the alternative. In Germany it was not.

Please read

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

to understand that.

Now the neoliberal oligarchy wants to go off the cliff with all of us, as long as they can cling to their power.

[Mar 26, 2017] Dear Americans: the Democratic Party is purely neoliberal, NOT Left!

Mar 26, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Posted by: nmb | Mar 12, 2017 4:36:54 PM | 4

Dear Americans: the Democratic Party is purely neoliberal, NOT Left!

From Tsipras to Corbyn and Sanders: This is not the Left we want

blues | Mar 12, 2017 4:38:33 PM | 5
The Dems and The Repubs are BOTH austerity mongers. They both want to starve the 99% and wage trillion dollar wars. The spoiler effect induced two party system is what sustains the Deep State.

Of the now literally hundreds of "fancy" voting methods all over the Internet, strategic hedge simple score voting is the only one that specifically enables the common voters to win elections against the two-party empowered Deep State. (All of the many others treat elite interest involved elections as if they were casual "hobby club" elections.)

Too bad we don't have simple score voting. Then we could give between 1 and 10 votes to many candidates. But no votes at all for Hillary the war monger. We might place 8 votes for Bernie (since he is less bad than Hillary (or more accurately, was previously though to be)), 10 write-in votes for Jesse Ventura, and 10 write-in votes for Dennis Kucinich.

Strategic hedge simple score voting can be described in one simple sentence: Strategically bid no vote at all for undesired candidates (ignore them as though they did not exist), or strategically cast from one to ten votes (or five to ten votes, for easier counting) for any number of candidates you prefer (up to some reasonable limit of, say, twelve candidates, so people don't hog voting booths), and then simply add all the votes up.

We must also abolish Deep State subvertible election machines ("computer voting"), and get back to had counted paper ballots, with results announced at each polling station just prior to being sent up to larger tabulation centers.

VietnamVet | Mar 12, 2017 5:45:45 PM | 10
b. Excellent post. The same phenomenon is occurring throughout the Atlantic Alliance. This indicates that all share something in common. It is the neo-liberal economic philosophy of the Oligarchy who have purchased western politicians, media, think tanks and education and are superseding democracy with corporate supranational rule. Inequality and chaos are hardwired into the current system.

nonsense factory | Mar 12, 2017 5:46:22 PM | 11
It's interesting that the Salon piece (essentially the Sanders viewpoint) was written in response to a Vanity Fair piece (the Clintonite viewpoint) that ends with the claim that non-Party members share
. . . the belief that the real enemy, the true Evil Empire, isn't Putin's Russia but the Deep State, the C.I.A./F.B.I./N.S.A. alphabet-soup national-security matrix. But if the Deep State can rid us of the blighted presidency of Donald Trump, all I can say is "Go, State, go."

So that's your Clinton Democrat / McCain Republican viewpoint - aka "neoliberal-neoconservative fascism." Rather tellingly, the Salon piece does not include the world "neoliberal" but just rehashes the stale PR-speak of "liberals vs. conservatives" that dominates mass corporate media in the United States. In reality, policy in Washington is made by politicians and bureaucrats who adhere to neoliberal and neoconservative ideologies and who are really servants of consolidated wealth - the American oligarch class - and their conflicts merely reflect disagreements among the oligarchs; for example do Warren Buffett and George Soros and the Koch Brothers see eye-to-eye on all issues? No, they don't, so their sock puppets like Bush and Clinton have their differences. However, the neocons and neolibs are so close to one another as to be indistinguishable to the average American citizen:

The main similarity between the two is that they have both become known as "technofacists", meaning melders of corporate, state and military power into a few political elites that allow comprehensive control. The left and the right have marched full circle and met one another.

As blues@5 notes above, fixing the electoral system (paper ballots, ranked-choice voting, voting districts that are coherent regional sectors, not octopus-like, maybe drawn along watershed boundaries, etc.) is a key step in breaking their grip on power.

Another critical issue is using anti-trust to break up the media conglomerates and destroy the centralized propaganda system that controls U.S. corporate mass media, in which a handful of Wall Street-owned corporate monsters dictate what kind of news stories are fed to the American public via television, radio and print journalism.

These reforms seem highly unlikely, however, in the current political environment.

What we probably have to look forward to is more likely continued economic downturn and rising poverty. The deep state and establishment politicians are not likely to give Trump anything, and will probably try to push an economic collapse just to make Trump look bad - not that Trump's policies have much to offer; infrastructure looks dead in the water and at best will look like Iraqi Reconstruction 2.0 under GW Bush and Cheney. We'd need an FDR-scale New Deal to turn that around and neither neocons nor neolibs will ever go for that. Instead we'll likely get infighting and factionalism, maybe a war between Trump and the Federal Reserve, etc.

Honestly given the rot in the federal government it seems the only hope is for states to take matters into their own hands as much as possible and set their own policies on rebuilding infrastructure and creating jobs but the federal government and their oligarchic corporate overlords are pressing down on that as well. One hell of a nasty situation for the American people is what it is, and maybe massive Soviet-scale collapse, and a fundamental change in government (as happened with Putin in Russia post-Boris Yeltsin) followed by rebuilding from the ground up is the only way out of this mess.

karlof1 | Mar 12, 2017 6:23:18 PM | 12
Outraged @8--

For too long, I've pointed out that the detailed list of grievances stated in the Declaration of Independence were currently alive and being carried out by the executive of the US federal government; and that if the Patriots of 1776 were correct to revolt from British tyranny, then the US citizenry was just as right and proper to revolt against Outlaw US Empire tyranny. I expounded that position through the comments at CommonDreams.org until I was banned because they went against that website's support for Obama then the Killer Queen HRC.

At the end of the previous thread, I wrote that society has only one tool to control human behavior--culture--and I've long argued that human culture in the great majority of its societies is dysfunctional and has been for quite some time--in what's now the USA, from the founding of Jamestown onward. My view is the culture has reached a level of dystopia well beyond the ability of anyone to return it to a functional state and find myself agreeing with Reg Morrison-- The Spirit in the Gene --that humanity is what's known as a plague species, a conclusion shared by some very powerful minds, https://regmorrison.edublogs.org/1999/07/20/plague-species-the-spirit-in-the-gene/

I don't particularly enjoy reaching such a conclusion given its meaning for my progeny and the remainder of humanity. But unless we--humanity as a whole--can regain control over ourselves through the imposition of a new, stronger--perhaps seen as more ridged--culture capable of suborning vice and desire to a satisfactory fitness for all, then we will reap the results of having grossly overshot our ecological support systems and like other species die-off as Morrison describes. How to accomplish such a radical change in a very short time period given the levels of resistance to such change is really the question of the moment. We know where the root of the problem lies. But uprooting that weed that threatens the garden of humanity presents the greatest challenge to humanity it will ever have to face.

jo6pac | Mar 12, 2017 6:28:13 PM | 14
The demodogs will not change any time soon if ever. They the party leaders are only interest taking all the money the can from supporters small and large giving to friends foundations and consultants.

I vote Green.

karlof1 | Mar 12, 2017 6:40:02 PM | 15
As an example of our dysfunctional culture, I offer this article as exhibit 1, which explores a microcosm of what's essentially systemic dysfunction amid unbelievable corruption, https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/epa-chief-denies-basic-climate-science

CluelessJoe | Mar 12, 2017 6:44:13 PM | 16
It's funny that pseudo-Leftists like Dems, PS, Labour, SD and others don't realize that what Kennedy once said still stands:
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
Which is why it's no wonder many of those on the shitty end of the current neo-liberal take-over are flocking to the few really leftist groups and to the numerous and vast ultra-right parties/movements.
Which is also why trying to keep them out of power at all costs - as happens in Europe, most notably in France - or trying to impeach/oust/coup/kill the elected right-wing populist - as happens in the US right now - is a suicidal move. If that sizable fraction of the population never gets anything, never any part of power, not even a bone to gnaw, sooner or later, they'll just get fed up, and when they'll have barely anything of value to lose, they will go nuts. This, of course, would be even worse in the US than in EU, considering that it's the part of society with the guns, the training to use them, and more or less the will to use them if forced to.
But then, as another US president once said, the tree of liberty must be refreshed in blood from time to time - his one famous quote who's conspicuously absent from the Jefferson Memorial. And when I look closely, I can't see any Western country where this "refreshment" isn't long overdue.

Mike Maloney | Mar 12, 2017 7:06:11 PM | 17
You're right, b. Dems will continue to bleed out. A good place to see this will be the special election to replace in Georgia's 6th CD Rep. Tom Price, who took the job to be Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary. Daily Kos and ActBlue are shaking the can raising money for a young Dem staffer named Jon Ossoff. Here's the Daily Kos pitch for Ossof:
But while Price might love him some Trump, his district doesn't feel the same way. In fact, the 6th saw a remarkable shift on election night. Four years ago, voters in this conservative but well-educated area supported Mitt Romney by a wide 61-37 margin. In 2016, however, hostility toward Trump gave the president just a 48-47 win-a stunning 23-point collapse. That dramatic change in attitudes means this seat might just be in play.
The "Women's Strike" on International Women's Day was a dud. The Dems are labeling what they're doing a "Resistance," as if they are fighting a guerrilla war against Vichy. But what they're "fighting" for is really a restoration of Vichy (Trump is more a caudillo) with young corporate-friendly Dems like Ossoff.

Jackrabbit | Mar 12, 2017 7:11:04 PM | 18
jo6pac @14

Unfortunately, the Greens seem to be hobbled. They can't get past the Democratic FEAR machine. And Jill Stein's recounts reeked of collusion with Democrats.

That's why I switched from Greens to Pirate Party. Direct democracy has appeal to anyone that doesn't want rule by a permanent monied class of neolib cronys.

Laguerre | Mar 12, 2017 7:13:57 PM | 19
Actually I don't agree that the Left has lost. There's simply a lack of ideas.

The extreme nationalist right goes in the US because geographically isolated. In Europe it is time limited. In UK Brexit has won for the moment, but it is falling apart, because it can't deliver economic success. (more to see). In continental Europe, the extreme right are not gaining in the polls (Wilders, Le Pen), rather stagnating.

Macron, in france, could have the right attitude, oriented to the young. But it could turn bad.

fairleft | Mar 12, 2017 7:37:19 PM | 20
The managed resistance serves corporate interests, just as the ruling party does. Whichever party is in power. Billions of dollars in 1% money and nearly all the media are behind keeping the 'resistance' and the party in power the only two 'acceptable' vehicles for expressing yourself politically.

But it's worse ... The universities are almost entirely populated by identity politics and/or neoliberal 'left' professors, which of course generates brain-fried future leaders and cadres of the two mainstream parties. Such university environments also mean that alternative, real left research and ideas are severely underfunded and legitimized.

But it's worse ... Even the left opposition to the two party system can't bring itself to (or is too scared to) oppose open borders for economic immigrants. Minimizing immigration had always been standard pro-worker position prior to the rise of identity politics in the 1970s.

Pnyx | Mar 12, 2017 7:52:31 PM | 21
"Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants."
Sorry B, but this is outright bullshit. No country in EU-Europe needs to import cheep labor from not-EU-countries. There are more then enough EU-Europeans in search of better wages. The EU was extended exactly in order to achieve this 'abundance' (o.k. not the only reason). The people you denounce as "simply economic migrants" are not an imported good - they enter the EU against all odds. And many, many are refguees coming from countries ruined by western military interventions.

paul | Mar 12, 2017 7:57:57 PM | 22
I don't know why this blog has to be homophobic, but the basic point is valid - class struggle is the meat and potatoes of the Left

Fedya Trezvin | Mar 12, 2017 7:59:47 PM | 23
Well, if Zero Hedge is anything to go by, in a few years automation will abolish the working class anyway. Then Bill Gates' depopulation scheme will mop up the remnants.

james | Mar 12, 2017 8:00:33 PM | 24
quote from the book ishmael by daniel quinn..

"The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away."
But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats."

Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait."

The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly."

The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!"

But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats."

Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else."

The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats."

The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats."

The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats."

Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned.

The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY."
― Daniel Quinn

EnglishOutsider | Mar 12, 2017 8:12:44 PM | 25

b - exactly so. Thank you.

On the question of the far right, only if substantial sections of the political spectrum are shut out is there scope for the extremists to come in and fill the gap. That is the danger to a minor degree in England and to a greater degree in Continental Europe, as we are told it was the danger in the Weimar republic. Some precedent, that.

I am not sure about the "populist" movements in Continental Europe but the Brexit vote in England and the Trump movement in America do not, in spite of the almost universal assertion to the contrary, represent a swing to the right, let alone the far right. They represent a return to the centre, a centre that has long been shut out in Western politics generally and that is now tentatively re-asserting itself. It is only if that return to the centre fails that we need fear the Neo-Nazis and the like coming in to fill the gap.

Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 12, 2017 8:25:36 PM | 26
Great post, b. Short and sweet and right on the money.

There's certainly a looming trend. Western Australia's 8 year-old (Turnbull affiliated) Liberal Govt was annihilated at the weekend.
On Saturday night the interim result was:
Labor 39, Liberal 11, Nats 4, unresolved 5.
(39 seats in a 59-seat parliament)
Malcolm Turnbull is pretending to be 'philosophical' about it...

jfl | Mar 12, 2017 8:39:46 PM | 27
the 'left' is a gang of 'middle-class' would-be jacobins, directing 'the masses' while eating cake. there is no left, there is no right, there is a top - the few - and a bottom - the many. as b points out the desperately vocal few are left and/or right, they are on their own side of the top, definitely not on the side of us many on the bottom. their policies create more and more of us every day. they are our fathers and mothers in that sense. we will dance on their graves.

b, please don't say 'pseudo democrats' it sounds too jacobin, like the trots at wsws.org and their constant 'pseudo left'. 'fake' will do for pseudo. and it's two fewer key strokes - three in the same row. stick with the bottom against the top.

write what you want of course ... that's just a rant roiling my gut gaining vent.

Kalen | Mar 12, 2017 8:45:09 PM | 28
B in case you do not know (I doubt that) "true left" has been murdered long time ago also in Europe where betrayal of working class interests by the so-called mainstream workers parties/socialists, so-called communists and trade unions in the West was fought on the streets in 1968 Paris and all over the Europe and surprisingly it spilled out to eastern Europe in a form of Prague revolt, Warsaw riots and mass strikes that swept across the eastern block in anger of betrayal of workers interests by the ruling socialist workers parties who turned into a calcified cliques and turned against socialist workers movements and ideals of egalitarianism and equality and started selling out to the Western oligarchs.

It was at that time that under the guise of fake political detente first time massive policies of outsourcing jobs from the western Europe to the Eastern Europe commenced (starting with Hungary and Poland and later in Romania where the Ceausescu's mafia turn away openly from Russian sphere of influence in ideological, economic and political realm) in a ploy to provoke strikes in the West and subsequently shutting down the factories (in fact transferring the production to the eastern block in Europe and/or south America ruled under dictatorships) if demanded by the oligarchs concessions of lowering wages and decrease of benefits was not agreed upon by the Trade Unions.

In other words if Trade Unions did not completely capitulate they close striking factories. Similar tactics have been use in the US under environmental or productivity requirements pretension in 1960-tois and 1970-ties and later openly outsourcing for profits down south Mason-Dickson line parallel and later to Mexico and Asia.

This unified betrayal of working class simultaneously by the West and the East prompted proud vanguard of working class (leftists students of European Universities and some of the trade unions) to respond to the exigent circumstances, to respond to mortal threat to workers movements all over the Europe in 1960-ties and 1970-ties.

These were unsung heroes of last true revolutionary leftist organizations such as ETA, BR, RAF, AD, FLQ (in Canada) who took upon themselves a heroic, revolutionary responsibility for defending vital interests of working people, betrayed by mainstream leftists political parties, via a measured, targeted and restrained self-defense campaign that aimed at threatening and destruction of vital economic and financial interest of European oligarchy including direct assaults on their personal safety and welfare, as a way to, through a personal pain, humanize for them their abhorrent inhumane ways and to make them suffer as working class comrades suffered under their inhuman policies and acts including of violence, intimidation and murder.

This was the last stand of the true left against evil of spawning global neoliberalism that in following decades swept the world with no opposition to speak of left to fight it may be except for neo-Maoist guerrillas in South America and Indian subcontinent. Even anti-imperial Palestinian FATAH has been tamed while Islamic/religious movements have been supported to control leftist tendencies within populations, a consequences of such a cold decision of globalists we live with today.

This was the last stand of the true left in the Eastern and Western Europe against betrayal of the Soviet Union elites, betrayal of the programs and ideals of the international working class struggle they proliferated all over the world.

It was utter betrayal by the descendants of soviet revolutionaries who later transformed the hope for just, socialist egalitarian project into a shallow propaganda façade of a mafia state conspiring with the West to rob their own working people of the national treasure soviet/Eastern Block working class worked hard to produce and preserve for future generations.

The betrayal culminated with a western orchestrated political collapse of Soviet Union while the country was still on sound economic footing despite of cold war military baggage, western embargoes and massive theft of the corrupted party apparatchiks and cronies of Soviet ruling elite in last decade before 1991, in way resembling massive US national treasure theft by US banking mafia especially after 2008.

It is true that true left in US (decades before) and in Europe had to be murdered since it was the last bastion of defenders of working class interests against neoliberal globalist visions of a dystopia under umbrella of US imperial neoconservative rule.

Now voters throughout the world have only two "no choice" choices between full throttle globalist neoliberalism or globalist neoliberalism with national flavor of corrupted Identity Politics of race or nationality, a politics of division to prevent reinsurgency of the true leftist ideology of simple self-defense or working class under assault that naturally brews underneath the political reality of mass extermination and neoliberal slavery.

The call to International Working Class: Proletariat or more appropriately today "Precariat of the World Unite" has not been more appropriate and needed since at least 1848 after collapse of another globalization freed trade sham under umbrella of British empire.

We must unite, and not succumb to a mass manipulation and stay united in solidarity among all ordinary working people who see through provocation and manipulation of identity politics of phony left or phony right and see that they do not have any interest in this fight set up in a way that ordinary people can only lose while cruel inhumane neoliberalism will always win.

lizard | Mar 12, 2017 8:49:04 PM | 29
I contributed to a progressive blog for years until I was finally kicked off for suggesting Bernie was herding progressives into Hillary's tent. I often criticized Obama's foreign policy and the local partisan blogs--when they weren't ignoring the perspective I represented--ridiculed me for being a "conspiracy theorist" when I pushed back against the anti-Russian consensus.

I spent many years working with chronic homeless people in Montana in the "progressive" utopia known as Missoula and when the Democrats that run this town aren't actively making housing more unaffordable with their bonds for parks and endless schemes to gentrify this town into being Boulder, Colorado, they are making symbolic stands against guns and enabling Uber.

now I work with aging individuals and I am learning a lot about the cruel complexity of Medicare and Medicaid. it's already really bad and, sadly, it will only get worse--just in time for the American Boomer generation's silver tsunami to hit entitlement programs.

dh | Mar 12, 2017 8:53:59 PM | 30
I noticed a lot of British Proletariat have moved to the Costa del Sol leaving plenty of job openings for the Polish and Roumanian Proletariat. Not sure if this is a typical European trend.

Andrew Homzy | Mar 12, 2017 10:01:12 PM | 31
It reminds me of the attitudes espoused by Ishmael:

"The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away."
But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats."

Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait."

The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly."

The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!"

But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats."

Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else."

The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats."

The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats."

The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats."

Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned.

The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY."
― Daniel Quinn

Liam | Mar 12, 2017 10:29:22 PM | 32
Here's am investgative post that is quite revealing about Snopes and definitely worth a look.

Examining the Bizarre Facebook Page of the Snopes 'Fact-Checker' of the White Helmets Terrorist Ruse in Syria

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/03/04/examining-the-bizarre-facebook-page-of-the-snopes-fact-checker-of-the-white-helmets-terrorist-ruse-in-syria/

Debsisdead | Mar 12, 2017 10:36:35 PM | 33
Life isn't gonna get better for those who are not born into a solidly upper middle class family until nation states are downsized. amerika needs to be carved up into 40 or 50 - units maybe even more particularly for the large population seaboard 'states'. The one good thing about the brexit the englander tory government is gonna deliver is that it is likely to cause scots and maybe even ulster-people to leave the union.

I've lived in quite a few nation states over the years and have found that a small population state is far more responsive to the needs of its citizens than large ones - even when a mob of carpet-bagging greedheads has jerry-mandered their way into political power in a small state and an allegedly humanist political entity is running the large state this holds true.

As far as I can discern there are two reasons for this or maybe 2 facets of one reason. Firstly even the rightist greedheads cannot shit on any group be it divided by race gender or sexual preference long term in a small population state. The reason is that in smaller population units people tend to know others better and obvious injustices always reach the ears and consciences of rightist voters - even supporters of racist or sexist asshole governments and it results in a backlash. Humanist pols in large entities fall back on 'pragmatic' excuses about 'perception' at the drop of a hat - no different in action than their 'enemy'.
The second reason is the other end of the first. Because of that degrees of separation thing, when you live in a small population political unit, you find you will always know someone who knows any political aspirant. Those with a rep for being greedy, malicious or deceitful cannot hide behind press spokespeople and bullshit for long - they cop the flick quickly.

I have long believed that this is the real motive for the corporatists to support politicians' incessant centralising & empire building.
Claims about large population groups somehow being more efficient are quickly shown to be false when put to the test of reality. In nature biological systems, even those within large entities are localised and full of seemingly inefficient redundancies because one thing evolution has taught is that a system that has inbuilt alternative modes of survivability will keep the entity alive much longer than some 'simple & straightforward' system whose failure means the death or massive disability of the entity. Corporations themselves tend to be labyrinthine full of small similarly named but legally discrete modules because that is what works best, yet corporations keep underwriting politicians who strive to make their 'entity' bigger, more centralised and 'simpler' - why?

Well because political failure is a capitalist's best ally and of course when a political entity is really large as amerika is, it is possible to deceive all the people all the time. The average citizen is a stranger to any/all of the members of the political elite and as such are entirely dependent upon third party information vectors - the so-called mainstream media who push out whatever deceit their masters instruct them to.

I make the point in this thread because too many people appear to believe that it would be possible to reform the amerikan political system despite the fact that helluva lot have already tried and failed long before they got anywhere near the centre of power.

It just isn't possible because of the simple principle that anyone who is capable of convincing large numbers of people who he/she has never had any personal contact with, to support their 'character', ideas and political objectives is by virtue of their success, unworthy of anyone's vote.

No person can convince that many strangers without resorting to some form of gamesmanship and that makes them a bad choice. There is no way around that reality yet most citizens adopt the usual cognitive dissonace every election cycle and pay no heed to what should be blindingly self-evident.

Nur Adlina | Mar 12, 2017 11:31:27 PM | 34
Finally!...this is where all mericans eyes and ears has to be, i.e if they still have them...non is so blind as those who refuse to see.Clean your own backyards before commenting on or trying to clean others.

NemesisCalling | Mar 12, 2017 11:34:46 PM | 35
b's premise is that disenfranchised voters will go the polls for far right interests under the promise of nationalistic interests and the policy that springs from this. However, I do not believe that they will rue the day for this choice from being squeezed out. The Nazi party ascension was a huge success for bread and butter interests of the common kraut. Autobahn, infrastructure, industry: this nationalism scared the allies enough to go to war with Germany for asserting it's independence and own interests. Are we Weimar Germany? No, no, no. Our military is already to the hilt and yet is being halted in its advance by Russia, Iran, etc. You can't keep squeezing the same lemon and expect more lemonade. The only option for Trump is to invest in America again, period. Anything less or a further downward trajectory will only incite the deplorables more and Trump would be gone after four years, and maybe sooner to the clicking of boots marching on the White House. Something truly unpredictable and unexpected might transpire at that juncture.

blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:25:36 AM | 36
@ nonsense factory | Mar 12, 2017 5:46:22 PM | 11

You said:
/~~~~~~~~~~
As blues@5 notes above, fixing the electoral system (paper ballots, ranked-choice voting, voting districts that are coherent regional sectors, not octopus-like, maybe drawn along watershed boundaries, etc.) is a key step in breaking their grip on power.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, what the "election methods cognoscenti" call "ranked-choice voting" always fails spectacularly. It is quite different than what they call "score voting", which can actually work, if kept simple enough.

blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:31:00 AM | 37
@ Debsisdead | Mar 12, 2017 10:36:35 PM | 33

Actually, there is a way around that. If a candidate has a previous "track record" from lower levels of power, then that can usually be relied upon.

Erelis | Mar 13, 2017 12:41:14 AM | 38
Like other people never heard of Preet Bharara. Appears he was called the "Sheriff of Wall Street". Looked up his record and yes, he did not put any banksters in jail. Lots of fines which were tax deductible I believe. Strange Sheriff who has no jail. I would bet he joins a Wall Street legal firm and gets paid six-to-seven figures to defend the banksters.
This is where Wall Street feared Sanders--Bernie appeared to insist the Sheriff's he appointed actually have jails.

guy | Mar 13, 2017 12:57:55 AM | 39
A safe bet: next wednesday ultra right-wing Geert Wilders will win the dutch elections, after the diplomatic row with sultan-wanna-be Erdogan. And then Marine Le Pen...

Perimetr | Mar 13, 2017 1:21:57 AM | 40
In the US, the Democrats and Republicans are two wings on the same bird.
Left wing, Right Wing
The US is a democratic theme park, where the levers and handles are not attached to anything,
whose only purpose is to deceive the masses into thinking that
they make a "difference"

Debsisdead | Mar 13, 2017 1:38:06 AM | 41
blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:31:00 AM |
Yep they can be relied upon to be corporate slaves for sure I cannot think of a single example over the past 50 years of any amerikan pol who succeeded at a national level, who wasn't a forked toungued corporate shill.
There are plenty of examples of pols whose history at a low level 'seemed OK' - where their occasional examples of perfidy could be dismissed as just having to toe the party line; "Once he's his own man/woman he will really strut his/her stuff for the people" a certain Oblamblamblam comes to mind as the most egregious recent example - when they get in power everyone gets to see what whores they always were. Whores concealing their inner asshole to get into real power. That type of duplicity is much more difficult to pull off in smaller populations - it gets found out and the pol really struggles to get past the bad reputation chiefly because a lot of voters can put a face to the 'victim' which makes the evil palpable.

What I find really odd is the way that even self described lefties who acknowledge the massive evil committed by amerika still seek to evade and/or justify the evil.
It goes to show how brainwashed all amerikans are. I guess they think everyone feels that way - when people who haven't been subjected to that level of conditioning about their homeland actually don't hold that blind 'right or wrong determination. I like where I live now and everything else being equal probably would go in to bat for my friends or family if this country somehow got into a tussle. But I would back off and advocate for the other side in a heartbeat if I felt the nation I lived in was doing wrong.
I was living in Australia when Gulf War 1 kicked off and up until that point I doubt there was a more dedicatedly loyal Australian but the cynical decision to suppoft GH Bush made by the Australian Labor Party just wouldn't wash and without wanting to be accused of the current heinous crime de jour ie virtue signalling, I like many others took a stance against my adopted nation that cost me professionally & personally. This was no great achievement by me, it was easy because I hadn't been indoctrinated into any sort of exceptionalism.
Yet I see the effects of the cradle to the grave conditioning amerikans are subjected to in the posts on virtually any subject made by amerikans.
That of itself makes the destruction of amerika essential, a prerequisite that must be met if there is to be any real change in the amerikan political structure.

psychohistorian | Mar 13, 2017 2:10:27 AM | 42
@ Debsisdead who wrote about ".....how brainwashed amerikans are." and
"
What I find really odd is the way that even self described lefties who acknowledge the massive evil committed by amerika still seek to evade and/or justify the evil.
"
I live in the belly of the beast you want to destroy. What exactly is it that I should do to effect your goal? I continue to struggle with knowing that. I also disagree that it is amerika that must be destroyed but the tools of those that control our world.......private finance.

I also want to state to commenter karlof1 that her call for focus on "culture" is exactly what I think I am attacking by wanting to end private finance. And I had the pleasure of studying under an anthropologist for a year and very much appreciate that perspective on our current social maladies. I think that anthropological characterizations of our species are harder to misrepresent than history....hence my reference to tenets of social organization, etc.

We need some adults in the world to stand up to the bastardization of language and communication.

Any form of social organization not based on any type of compulsion is inherently socialistic. If we can agree to socialize the provision of water, electricity, etc. why can't we do the same for finance?

Probably for the same reason we continue to prattle on about right/left mythologies and ignore the top/bottom reality.

Effective brainwashing.

OSJ | Mar 13, 2017 2:46:24 AM | 43
b, excellent analysis. Amerika is rotten to its core. There are no cures..... just sit and watch on the sideline for these tugs NeoCon, NeoLiberal, progressive etc.. Kill themselves and blames it on Putin.

I hold two valid passports, neither better than the other. Hot frying pans, hot boiling oil?

ben | Mar 13, 2017 2:50:50 AM | 44
b said.."When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that."

You nailed b, with that one paragraph!!

ben | Mar 13, 2017 3:01:25 AM | 45
P.S.- When the microphones are owned by the wealthy, they're the only voices heard by the masses.

Peter AU | Mar 13, 2017 3:17:27 AM | 46
41

Private finance... most countries have a reserve bank. Yours has the fed.
Your country has made private money an ideology and tries to export this ideology around the globe. The opposite extreme to collective communism.
Most countries have foreign policy and foreign ministers. When I looked up the websites of Your presidential candidates, none had a foreign policy. In place, all had war policy. Sanders had his titled war and peace.

Most countries have foreign ministers. Your country has a secretary of state. I guess when you are a country that feels it has the god given right to rule the world, no country is foreign, all are vassal states.

Your country needs to collapse, or be destroyed, to knock this ideology out of the inhabitants, and then rebuilt as a normal country.

What the US is now, is just a natural progression of its foundations.

estouxim | Mar 13, 2017 3:58:36 AM | 47
Thank you b, for stating the essential question.

I think there's no left left for the simple reason that it's role in the system, at least since the end of ww2, became void after 91. No competing system, no need for niceties, back to the 30's, plenty of unfinished business, 80 years of taxes to get back. New Deal and European Social Model are obsolete. The armies of workers offshored, what is left is a kind of lumpen, busy fingering their smartphones. A highly educated lumpen, probably the highest educated generation ever, but lumpen nonetheless, Indoctrinated by all media to individualism, their atomization seems assured. I wonder if anyone under 30 reads MoA. Might be wrong but looks like most of us are over 60 considering the muppet like kind of grumpyness that erupts so often.

There are drops in the ocean, in places were solidarity still has strong roots. Marinaleda (sorry, the english wiki sucks, a machine translation from the spanish wiki is certainly more informative) 0% unemployment, equal pay to all residents, housing provided through self-building, the city council provides plot, technical supervision, building materials, charges 15 euros monthly rent. Collective economy based on farming, husbandry and industrial transformation of it's products. I repeat, equal pay to all residents 1,128 euros for 35 hours a week. Just a drop in the ocean, but a worthy one.

Elsewhere true social-democracy can be found in Latin America. Nicaragua, Venezuela, Equador, Bolivia, Uruguay pop up as examples that neoliberalism, racism and neocolonialism can be defeated, on their terms, even if there are setbacks like Brazil and Argentina. There one can find rivers of solidarity. Telesur english keeps you up to date, with better coverage on Syria than CNN.

estouxim | Mar 13, 2017 4:47:48 AM | 48
Sorry, missed the monthly after 1,128 euros:

equal pay to all residents 1,128 euros monthly for 35 hours a week.

better correct it before you all start flocking to Andalucia

Anonymous | Mar 13, 2017 5:30:31 AM | 49
Very good post b,
leftists parties is a joke today there is no other way to put it, its a real shame and a real tragedy.

Also on this topic:
PROBLEMS WITH SWEDISH MEDIA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t20xx5Khov0&feature=youtu.be&t=275

Anonymous | Mar 13, 2017 6:06:42 AM | 50
Although b you actually forgot the 2 new things the leftist parties have embraced:

*Anti-russian racism and
*Warmongering

Greg Bacon | Mar 13, 2017 6:37:39 AM | 51
All those USAG's and IG's and NO one wants or has investigated where all those Pentagon missing trillions went to?
Ditto for the MSM, who use all that print space pushing to let men dressed as women use the little girl's bathroom. The USA project has failed, it's Kaput, time to turn out the lights.

Yonatan | Mar 13, 2017 7:07:07 AM | 52
The 'Left' has been bought by the oligarchs, just like the media, the NGOs, the 'human rights' organizations, etc. Tony Blair was perhaps the most blatant example, especially with his 'third way', undefined by him to this day. I guess it tried to merge bits from the right such as Nationalism and bits from the left such as Socialism, but who knows!


FecklessLeft | Mar 13, 2017 7:29:46 AM | 53
I highly recommend Chris Hedge's book "The Death of the Liberal Class." One of my favourite reads ever.

More concise lectures are available on YouTube for those who won't pick up a book.

mischi | Mar 13, 2017 8:14:16 AM | 54
I am German but not living in Germany. I am disgusted with my compatriots. They seem to have bought the line that in order to atone for their parents or grandparents' crimes they have to open the doors to the dregs of the Earth and let themselves get plundered and their daughters raped without a protest. Meanwhile, the German police continue to prosecute Germans for any transgression, including speaking out about it.

jfb | Mar 13, 2017 9:03:12 AM | 55
So the left is good at pointing to its own flaws & decay but your simplistic view of a "static" right that doesn't evolve and alway represent the "evil" is laughable. Both the left and right have merged on most issue, it's a system of croony capitalism with a big government and where "financial capitalism" has destroyed industrial capitalism and innovations. Who would invest to hire employees or innovate if it's more lucrative to sell private bonds to a central bank or "buy back" the shares of the cies (to boost their price with a loan in order to get a "productivity" bonus?
A long, long time ago both left/right were pretending to offer a solution and improve the living standards, one faction with individual liberties, low taxes and a sound money policy (gold & silver) while the left was fighting against inequalities and proposing wealth redistribution with a big government & taxes. Both the left & right started to be coopted in the 1960's

TG | Mar 13, 2017 10:08:39 AM | 56
"Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep [sic: that should be "cheap"] labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants. (Even parts of the German "Die Linke" party are infected with such nonsense.)"

Kudos. It's rare to see someone intelligent admit that an open borders immigration policy is all about cheap labor, period. Bernie Sanders started to say that, but after a couple of days of being screamed at for his 'racism' he of course folded.

I note that by refusing to acknowledge that importing massive numbers of workers we are pushing wages down, we are also responsible for the misery in places like Yemen and Somalia etc. How can we expect people in these places to stop having more children than they can afford, when our Nobel-prizewinning whores keep screaming that more people are always better? I mean, if we propagandize that eating arsenic is wonderful (or at lest not an issue), and people somewhere else keep eating arsenic, we are to blame.

Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13, 2017 10:08:55 AM | 57
The characteristics which define Right-wingers are...
1. They are are obliged to believe their own bullshit in order to sell it to the masses.
2. Bribery is an indispensable component of Modern Democracy.
3. Whenever one of their inane schemes backfires, it's ALWAYS somebody else's fault, NEVER their own.

Malcolm & the Liberals will spend the next 6 months looking for scapegoats (with their fingers in their ears - another R-W trait).

WorldBLee | Mar 13, 2017 10:15:36 AM | 58
Democrats become neoliberal Republicans, letting actual Republicans get elected. Rinse and repeat while blaming Russia for failure. That is the center-right mantra of the elite Democrats and their NGO supporters (who are well paid to represent the party line without deviation, if they deviate they get cut off). Yet my Democrat friends howl that I'm a Trump supporter because I wouldn't vote for Hillary.

The unfortunate truth is that outside of protest votes there is no political force in America for dissenters to turn to outside of what they can do on their own. The two-headed hydra of the Demopublicans appears to be fighting against itself now but in reality they still agree on most issues, to the detriment of all working people.

nonsense factory | Mar 13, 2017 10:36:25 AM | 59
@35 Your version of "score voting" is clearly the best approach to "ranked choice voting" as currently used. Also, using paper ballots that are counted by optical scanning machines? That's just as subject to hacking as electronic voting machines are, since nobody is going to back and hand-count those paper ballots.

But really, under current finance rules, the oligarchs tightly control the electoral process via their control of corporate media and their ability to run puppet candidates against any honest politicians who defy their agenda. Ultimately this is why politicians gravitate towards the BS issues describe by b, i.e.

"When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that."

But addressing the well-being of the working people - wages, homes, affordable healthcare for their parents and education for their children - that impacts multinational corporate profits. This is why politicians steer clear of such issues - they don't want to incur the anger of the oligarchs, who can spend millions to get them removed from office. Journalists do the exact same thing, wanting to keep their jobs in corporate media outfits controlled by Wall Street oligarchs. This is highly similar to how the oligarchs ran Russia during the Boris Yeltsin era.

There are clearly many similarites between the Russian billionaires of that era and their various American counterparts today, from the Silicon Valley billionaires to the oil & gas billionaires to the finance billionaires; they could never have made all that money without the active cooperation of politicians and bureaucrats who serve their interests in Washington as well as in many state governments. This vast extraction of wealth from the middle class, coupled with a desire to control the whole world and move money freely across borders without restrictions, and to use the military to invade and crush any countries who don't go with the program, that's what the neocon-neolib agenda is all about.

Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 10:38:02 AM | 60
When people like b start to make tremendous confusion between the Neoliberal Democratic party and the Left, I fear things will go from bad to worse ...
Confusing Neolib and Left after all these years, b? There's no light at the end of the tunnel, huh?
We've heard stupid people say that Hitler was Socialist ... after all the NSDAP had the "S", hadn't it? But they are stupid people, right?
Now this?

estouxim | Mar 13, 2017 11:22:07 AM | 61
Perimeter @ 59

What should we then call left in Yankeeland?

fast freddy | Mar 13, 2017 11:24:05 AM | 62
Well-meaning populist politicians throughout history are either bought off or assassinated.

Populist rhetoric is tolerated (and necessary for R vs. D political theater to function).

The rhetoric is one thing. BUT if anyone actually DOES anything of value for the common people, he will be maligned, castigated, shunned and soon become enmeshed in a manufactured scandal.

Corruption has totally overwhelmed the system.

dh | Mar 13, 2017 11:48:17 AM | 63
@60 Unorthodox gringos.

fast freddy | Mar 13, 2017 11:49:16 AM | 64
When the fake left embraced war (with all the money for crony war profiteers - no money for the commons) it abandoned its ideology.

The brilliantly-played Charles Manson Psyop killed the anti-war (peace) movement in one stroke.

They couldn't make Castro's beard fall off, but they got the hippies to shave and cut their hair and become Republicans.

fast freddy | Mar 13, 2017 11:54:46 AM | 65
Democrats more likely to accept gifts from lobbyists; while Republicans prefer cash in brown paper bags under the desk.

blues | Mar 13, 2017 12:02:18 PM | 66
@ nonsense factory | Mar 13, 2017 10:36:25 AM | 58

What the "election methods cognoscenti" call "ranked-choice voting" is quite distinct from "score voting" With the score voting method I described you could give from (1) to (10) votes to up to (12) candidates. So you could give, for example, (10) votes to Candidates (A), (B), and (C), and (8) votes to (D), (E), and (F). But with ranked choice voting, you cannot do that, since you must "rank" the candidates in an "ordinal" fashion. This could look like: (A) > (B) > (C) >(D) > (E) > (F). And this forced "ranking" leads to astonishingly complex dilemmas. So, score voting is definitely not a version of ranked voting.

I did insist on "hand counted paper ballots" because ballot scanning machines are absurdly complex, and can easily be hacked. Remember that the Deep State will always completely control anything that becomes sufficiently complex. The fine print on insurance policies is an example.

While I'm here, I might as well point out that the "holy founding fathers" of the U.S. despised the concept of democracy (except perhaps for a few, maybe Franklin). You can read all about this (it's a somewhat long read, but well worth the time) at:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Enough-with-the-Holy-Founders-Undemocratic-Constitution-20150531-0025.html

Yes, it's all true!

ALberto | Mar 13, 2017 12:07:53 PM | 67
b,

"gluten free food"

Take a look at the Italian Cooking Show ladies. They aren't fat. Their immune system see gluten as an invader causing physical inflammation.

Personally if I eat gluten my lower gut blows up like an inflated bicycle tire. Gluten intolerance is not a trend. Check out online videos titled 'wheat belly.'

The wheat we eat today has been genetically modified mainly to increase crop yields.

Gluten intolerance is not a fad.

Tim | Mar 13, 2017 12:10:39 PM | 68
Yep. There's a reason the Democratic Socialists of America has seen a huge explosion in growth over the past year. The Democratic Party has no soul, and the DSA, by far the most major democratic socialist group in the country, is benefiting from Bernie Sanders constantly calling himself a "democratic socialist." If Democrats don't take their cue from this and other leftist groups, they're going to lose elections for decades to come. We need policies that work for the people, not neoliberal giveaways to corporations or conservative policies outright hostile to people who aren't rich.

LXV | Mar 13, 2017 12:15:29 PM | 69
What do you call a Social-Democracy without social-democrats?

Although many have called the "crisis of social-democracy" in previous years (especially after the "crash" of 2007-8), so far it is James Corbett that has given us the most extensive non-scholar research on How The Left Stopped Worrying and Learned to Embrace War


Bonus reading: AD Lavelle's academic case-study on the transformation of Swedish and German social-democracy into neo-liberalism .

RudyM | Mar 13, 2017 12:24:23 PM | 70
all I can say is "Go, State, go."

This is disturbingly close to what a co-worker said to me, before knowing my views about the matter, when US-backed forces were overthrowing Gaddafi in Libya: "Go, rebels, go!" He said he "normally" wasn't pro-war. A lot of ditzy liberals out there.

NemesisCalling | Mar 13, 2017 12:29:32 PM | 71
b states that the disenfranchised will rue the day they threw in their card for the far-right. I am not sure that this reality will pan out here in the states, though I am unsure what will ultimately transpire. My reasonING for this goes back to the nazification of Germany and the great benefits to that nationalist movement in general. Autobahn, infrastructure, industry: their new deal was very beneficial for the common kraut in addressing their concerns, though this nationalism scared the shit out of the global finance cabal and hence war. I am not entirely versed as to the legitimacy of their claim to Poland or the moral implications of that seizure, though the ethnic cleanses in the Russian steppes were evil.

My point is that nationalism could be one of the only forces that could bring down the global finance elite. This propelled me to vote for Trump and to hold out hope for a while. My thought is that we already have military spending covered and I don't see how the trickle down of more military spending would impress the deplorables too much. If Trump wants a 2.0, he will have to invest in another new deal. And what choice does he have? Continually being blocked my Russia and Iran? I am not convinced yet of his total idiocy, but if he continues along a neoconservative route, there will be little doubt. I guess tyrannies are stupid after all. Are Americans that stupid, too? We'll see.

Curtis | Mar 13, 2017 12:44:36 PM | 72
Clueless Joe 16
I've started to like that JFK quote more and more these days, too. At the time he did not mean it for the US but it truly applies here.

Noirette | Mar 13, 2017 12:55:23 PM | 73
1945 - 2000 +. In Europe the 'Left' was overcome in principally 2 ways.

1) Was the 'red scare of communism', i.e. against the USSR - old memes now home again. Even though there were some quite strong Communist parties, particularly in France. (Today, the ex-leader of the dead communist party, R. Hue, has come out supporting Macron.) The 'liberals' (economic liberalism) of course used any tool and propaganda to hand.

2) The expansion of W economies, 1950-1980 (about), that so to speak 'lifted all boats', and afforded for ex. cars, fridges, TVs, and at the start, just the basics like a small flat and some electricity, and water plus a flush toilet (or better services for small houses) plus universal free education (to age 14-15) and some basic health / social care. Transport flowered (fossil fuel use and railways) As opposed to living in a hut in a filthy slum though rurals were always better off. The economy basically boomed and jobs, even if ugly and badly paid, were available. This was all a tremendous advance and it was credited to a 'liberal' economic model. NOT-communist. (Though it had nothing to do with any political arrangement per se. See Hobsbawm on the USSR.)

Later, Third-wayers (Bill Clinton, Tony Blair..) tried to 'snow' ppl who would become 'poorer' with fakey Socialist-Dem party platforms, actually favoring the 'rich' (Corps, Finance, MIC, Big Gov..), in an attempt to keep ppl quiet. This 'third way' has now failed, ppl turn where they can, for now it is voting for the 'alt-right' (Trump, Wilders, Le Pen..) along a sort of nationalist line, which seems to contain germs of proto-fascim (as some would say), but which is actually principally directed against the PTB.

juliania | Mar 13, 2017 1:00:44 PM | 74
I haven't yet read comments, but actually I don't agree with the title of this piece, though the point about no left is certainly valid. I really can't see folk just swinging far right because there is nowhere else to go, since at least in this country, the US, we were burned so badly by the right - the right took us into Iraq and we have not escaped the horrors there even now. No way we're going back to that group of crazies just because another group of crazies, and now apparently Trump as well, are marching to the same bloody tune. We are being smothered by all of them.

I'm no prognosticator - I can't see the future. All I can do is say this ongoing spilling of blood is not what I voted for, and thank heavens I did not vote for Trump. I don't blame those who did, thinking he might break the mold. In doing that, they were not 'voting far right.' They were voting for what Trump said he would do, act peacefully towards each country, take care of citizens' grievances. He hasn't, and now we know. What happens next is anyone's guess but it won't be more of the same, not in this country. Experience does matter, and when we sort ourselves out and finish licking our wounds, us deplorables will build on what has come before. And perhaps in other countries citizens facing such non-choices and aware of what has happened here will trim their sails accordingly.

Almand | Mar 13, 2017 1:11:30 PM | 75
The great tragedy of the collapse of the left is that there will be nobody around to protect the minorities who live in the nations of the West. As a nonwhite American, I see the polarization of politics around racial lines is a catastrophe waiting to happen. The Democrats want to play the good cop, using fear of to control their minority vote bank while doing sweet F A for their communities that they profess to love so much. The Trumpian right has now dropped all pretense and is openly embracing white supremacy, race baiting for votes and stirring up all kinds of anti-foreigner sentiment on top of the folksy old fashioned racism done by "good" GOPers. As disgusting as the smug, patronizing prejudice of liberals is, the wild vitriolic hatred found in parts of the white community is backed up with state force. Even when faced with this reality, the Democratic party views discussions of economic issues as pandering to the "deplorables"! Never mind the rampant poverty and unemployment in black and latin ghettoes, talking about jobs is racism! They will continue this political death spiral and we will pay the price. There have been two shootings I know of where Indians (mistaken for Muslims by rednecks hopped up on hate) and I'm sure we'll see plenty more. God help Europe when their right wingers crack down on the Muslims. You think the young are being radicalized now? You ain't seen nothing yet.

RudyM | Mar 13, 2017 1:22:29 PM | 76
That of itself makes the destruction of amerika essential

You left out two k's.

Noirette | Mar 13, 2017 2:05:24 PM | 77
Juliana at 73 wrote about Trump voters.

I don't blame those who did, thinking he might break the mold. In doing that, they were not 'voting far right.' They were voting for what Trump said he would do, act peacefully towards each country, take care of citizens' grievances.

Yes, right on. And that extends to all the 'nationalist' voters. What they - perhaps confusedly for some - are trying to effect is a timid step in the present horrific political landscape, towards having a say, >> having the space, and scope, of decision-making circumsribed, and made not only smaller, but more rigidly, clearly defined - in this case down to nation size where the ppl may hopefully garner some more power.

The labels 'right' and 'left' of course are nonsense, but we all use them as 'tags' for e.g. Dems vs. Reps, and that's ok, as long as everyone undertands the short-hand. Being 'nationalist', 'anti-globalist', 'localist', 'community oriented' (footnotes skipped) is not left or right, it doesn't project to any point on the left-right polarity. Nor does it relate to an authoritarian, controlling axis. vs. a libertarian one. But of course these challengers are painted as Hitler 'nationalist' stooges and putative vicious invaders, war mongers, conquerers, as is for ex. Putin.

ruralito | Mar 13, 2017 2:29:32 PM | 78
Lefties fight imperialism, and by fight I don't mean metaphors.

Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 3:07:30 PM | 79
@60

And why should we call something "Left" in Yankeeland?
Why, if there is nothing not even close of this there?

Perimetr | Mar 13, 2017 3:11:23 PM | 80
Just for the record, someone seems to be attempting to use/mimic my Permetr name with post number 78.
Not appreciated, Mr. Troll.

Perimetr | Mar 13, 2017 3:29:58 PM | 81
And if anyone is interested, I chose the name "Perimetr" because that is the way my friend Colonel Yarynich spelled it . . .

Also known as the "Deadhand" system, Perimetr is a semi-automated system through which a retaliatory nuclear strike can be ordered by a decapitated Russian National Command Authority. Perimetr came into being in the 1980s and appears to still be functional. You can read a detailed analysis of it in the book by Colonel Valery Yarynich, "C3: Nuclear Command, Control, Cooperation" (if you can get your hands on a copy). https://www.amazon.com/C3-Nuclear-Command-Control-Cooperation/dp/1932019081

Perimetr uses emergency communication rockets to issue launch orders to any (surviving) Russian nuclear forces; such orders would automatically trigger a launch of these forces without further human intervention. The crew that mans the Perimetr launch control center requires several things to happen before they launch: (1) an initial preliminary authorization from the National Command Authority following the detection of an incoming attack, (2) a complete loss of communication on all channels (various radio frequencies, land lines, etc) with the National Command Authority, and (3) a simultaneously set of positive signals from seismic, optical, and radiological nuclear detonation detectors indicating that a nuclear attack has occurred.

At that point, the crew is ordered to launch the ECRs. This "Deadhand" launches the missiles even after those who gave the preliminary launch order have been incinerated in a nuclear strike. Valery thought that Perimetr added a measure of safety having the system, in that it would make it less likely that the NCA would launch a "retaliatory" strike (Launch on Warning, LOW) before nuclear detonations confirmed the strike was real (if the warning was false, then the "retaliatory strike" would actually be a first strike . . . hence Perimetr offers some certainty of retaliation for choosing to "ride out" a perceived attack). I took less comfort that did Valery, as I found it disconcerting that there was a non-human mechanism or means to order a Russian nuclear attack.

see "Launch-Ready Nuclear Weapons: A threat to all nations and peoples" http://www.psr.org/nuclear-weapons/launch-ready-nuclear-weapons.pdf and http://thebulletin.org/2004/may/lets-go-no-low

Paul Cockshott | Mar 13, 2017 6:29:31 PM | 82
@21
The aim of importing cheap labour is to allow continued expansion of capital without depressing the rate of profit. Unless the labour force constantly expands, any accumulation of capital tends to drive down the rate of profit in two ways: 1) it raises the ratio of capital stock to national income, so if the wage share remains the same, the rate of profit falls; 2) Accumulation of capital faster than the growth of the labour force creates a sellers market for labour and allows real wages to rise. For these two reasons big business favours rapid immigration.

Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 10:14:10 PM | 83
@80

Are you illiterate?
"Perimeter" is graphically different of "Perimetr". In addition and mainly, interested people can differentiate one from the other ideologically. So do not worry, kid.

Fernando Arauxo | Mar 13, 2017 11:03:07 PM | 84
The thing is black people in USA are fed up. White people (including some jews) are fed up. Black people have been marginalized and are no longer the primary darlings of the Bleeding Heart Party. You must add as well that many of them like Carson are quite conservative and wealthy, so they go Republican. One cannot discount the very high sense of patriotism that many Afro-Americans feel for the USA. They can smell the BS.
"White's", can be racially disparaged, mocked, used and abused and it O.K.
You can call a certain segment of the population; "White Trash", white bitch, fucking cracker, honky, racist, etc, etc and they just have to take it.
You can openly say that it's no longer their country, that they will no longer be the majority, if you are an immigrant and have a short time in USA, you are toasted and cheered while saying it. So soft genocide against "whites" is ok.
This is wrong and it's true what B say's, there is nothing LEFT. I gave Obama 8 and I'm still waiting for my change.

Willy2 | Mar 14, 2017 3:55:52 AM | 85
- Someone in a townhall meeting asked a Democratic representitive: "What do the Democrats stand for". And the representitive replied with platitudes. and the whole thing was captured on video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9KyR86CZ1E

john | Mar 14, 2017 8:01:55 AM | 86
the left in America is small and estranged, like an illegitimate child. the blacks fucked up long ago when they aligned with the Democratic Party, which, as we know, is just a gaggle of pro-war liberals. their reckoning is on its way...like a bad asteroid.

jfl | Mar 14, 2017 9:07:47 AM | 87
@67 ALberto

i'd check out the relationship between the exponential growth in the use of glyphosate, decimated microbial populations in the human gut as a result of its use, and the sudden eruption of gluten intolerance. that'd get any biochemist / epidemiologist fired in short order, or demonized on publication. i'm sure that's why we haven't seen it.

estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 10:23:35 AM | 88
jfl @ 87

Right, plus the other wonder trans, bacilus thuringiensis.

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 10:33:11 AM | 89
@ Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 14, 2017 3:55:52 AM | 85

Thank you for the link. Succint & concise. Tragicomedy(sic) ... :(

What was highlighted with cutting clarity is what the average Joe & Betty six-pack, and not just Stateside, throughout the 'West' are primarily up in arms about, IMV. And the Owned & Controlled, Corporate 'Mainstream' Mega-Media will not touch it nor even acknowledge 'it' ... hopefully the scales will fall from enough peoples eyes to awaken from the somnolance induced by all-encompassing ' digital valium ' ...

If locales can ever reach a critical mass re numbers ... maybe the Tumbrels will yet again roll to swing humanities 'pendulum' back the other way. If they don't ...

BRF | Mar 14, 2017 10:34:28 AM | 90
There never has been a political party of the Left in America that held any political power or even a balance of power at important state or federal levels. Leaders of the emerging Left in America have been either jailed or assassinated. Any other leaders of the people, not necessarily of the left, have also met a similar fate. The American establishment has always been a repressive clique of any populous movements. Other western nations, being further from the central authority, developed at minimum Leftist political opposition that at least held a balance of power enough to effect national policies that were of benefit to the working classes as defined. In America Leftist appeal of grievances was applied through the existing two party system, mainly the Democrats with their unionized labour wing. This has all fallen by the wayside. Enough said....

Perimetr | Mar 14, 2017 12:03:31 PM | 91
RE: Perimeter | Mar 13, 2017 10:14:10 PM | 83 "Perimeter" is graphically different of "Perimetr". In addition and mainly, interested people can differentiate one from the other ideologically. So do not worry, kid.

Well let's see, would Circe be upset if someone started posting under "Circes"? Would Outraged mind if someone started posting here as "Outrages"? How about "Alberto" instead of "ALberto"??

Sorry, there are lots of other names available, so what is the point in posting under one that is essentially identical to mine, except to confuse those who might not be paying much attention?

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 12:59:06 PM | 92
@ Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 14, 2017 12:03:31 PM | 91

Concur with your sentiments, a perfectly reasonable request. Such IDs create needless potential ambiguity/confusion/mis-attribution.

So do not worry, kid.
Hm, does not augur well re civility ... nor intent ...

ruralito | Mar 14, 2017 1:02:04 PM | 93
@84, the racial-ethnic divides among populations pale in comparison to the divisions between classes. The Reptilian Order must rake up the former through media exploits lest the proles wise up to the latter.

estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 2:37:48 PM | 94
Outraged @ 89
Thanks for the compliment on the other thread.
I also value what you write.
In certain conditions it is possible to attain meaningfull goals without setting the tumbrells in motion. I linked to Marinaleda in a comment above. They din't decapitate the Duque del Infantado, they cut a substantial part of his estate. It was possible for 3 reasons, a charismatic leader, a strong sense of solidarity and a strong cultural identity. It's a tiny scale but if one looks at current examples in a multinational scale Chávez, Evo, Correa, Kirchner, Lula, were/are all outstanding leaders in nations that have strong cultural identities and a solidarity forged by resistance.


BRF @ 90
Exactly, jailed or assassinated. And when this was no longer feasible, when human rights became a tool in the cold war, the discourse was deflected to identitary policies and sex drugs and r&r

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 3:56:55 PM | 95
@ Posted by: estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 2:37:48 PM | 94

My views tend towards pacifism these last many years and am totally opposed to capital punishment for common criminal acts ... the death of even one innocent due to failures of the system, injustice, or mere errors, is one life too many, IMV.

Have personally seen the dire consequences of psychopaths & sociopaths, in Military, Intelligence, Government & Corporate environments, in positions of leadership/authority. They select alike as near peers and congregate fellow-travellers, arch-opportunists & sellswords as underlings, enablers/facilitators.

Yet, long reflection on ... bitter ... experiences, have brought me to a perceived unpalatable truth, that there likely must be, long overdue, a cull of the 'Impune', via the tender mercies of such as madame guillotine, to reset the balance, for their number and reach in primarily western first world countries has become a vast cancer upon humanity.

If one can be reviled by the community and dealt with at Law for a simple common murder, why can one who abuses the authority of the State, or delegated thereof, order policies or acts that result in dozens, 100's or thousands or more deaths of innocents, yet be impune, wholly and forever, unassailable, unaccountable ?

When exactly was it that Presidents & Prime Ministers once again quietly assumed the pseudo-Regnum like Majesty & Dictatorial Imperium of Caesars, Emperors, Kings/Monarchs of history past ?

Had thought the last 'Sun King' was in France ~160 years ago ...

Technology has opened a Pandora's Box of expanding destructive forces & potentialities at the behest of these psychopaths that, as Karlof1 somewhat similarly fears, will have a singular end result, if left unchecked.

Do not believe a little pruning of wealth/capital will any longer suffice ... Iceland alone, started tentatively upon the right path, after the GFC.

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 3:56:55 PM | 96
@ Posted by: estouxim | Mar 14, 2017 2:37:48 PM | 94

My views tend towards pacifism these last many years and am totally opposed to capital punishment for common criminal acts ... the death of even one innocent due to failures of the system, injustice, or mere errors, is one life too many, IMV.

Have personally seen the dire consequences of psychopaths & sociopaths, in Military, Intelligence, Government & Corporate environments, in positions of leadership/authority. They select alike as near peers and congregate fellow-travellers, arch-opportunists & sellswords as underlings, enablers/facilitators.

Yet, long reflection on ... bitter ... experiences, have brought me to a perceived unpalatable truth, that there likely must be, long overdue, a cull of the 'Impune', via the tender mercies of such as madame guillotine, to reset the balance, for their number and reach in primarily western first world countries has become a vast cancer upon humanity.

If one can be reviled by the community and dealt with at Law for a simple common murder, why can one who abuses the authority of the State, or delegated thereof, order policies or acts that result in dozens, 100's or thousands or more deaths of innocents, yet be impune, wholly and forever, unassailable, unaccountable ?

When exactly was it that Presidents & Prime Ministers once again quietly assumed the pseudo-Regnum like Majesty & Dictatorial Imperium of Caesars, Emperors, Kings/Monarchs of history past ?

Had thought the last 'Sun King' was in France ~160 years ago ...

Technology has opened a Pandora's Box of expanding destructive forces & potentialities at the behest of these psychopaths that, as Karlof1 somewhat similarly fears, will have a singular end result, if left unchecked.

Do not believe a little pruning of wealth/capital will any longer suffice ... Iceland alone, started tentatively upon the right path, after the GFC.

karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 5:16:09 PM | 97
Outraged @95--

"When exactly was it that Presidents & Prime Ministers once again quietly assumed the pseudo-Regnum like Majesty & Dictatorial Imperium of Caesars, Emperors, Kings/Monarchs of history past?"

I don't believe the Divine Right of Monarchs was ever completely expunged as it continued to operate in the shadows until it retuned to the surface at WW2's end with Truman.

Don't know how much you agree with my assessment above @12, but one of the smartest people I've ever known--the late Lynn Margulis, Carl Sagan's first wife, the superior microbiologist who proved symbiosis within species and agent of evolution to be fact--wrote the forward to the paperback edition of Morrison's work I cited, agreeing with him.

It's easy to observe and analyze the situation then prescribe the remedy. But said remedy must be applied by millions of currently very disparate individuals having almost no solidarity or in agreement about said remedy, or even knowing a remedy exists. I'd do more, but my responsibilities limit me to my current activities--writing and exhorting those able to act.

The great irony of our dilemma is humans have overcome Nature in almost every sphere, yet that triumph is precisely what threatens humanity and the biota--a triumph driven by Nature itself. So, to overcome our overcoming of Nature, we must again triumph at overcoming our Human Nature by limiting the impact of Nature on our actions through the use of a very ancient technology--culture, by making certain actions by humans taboo and their violation punishable by death as the Polynesians practiced.

Yes, radical, controversial, requiring a great deal of prior knowledge to comprehend the logic driving the remedy. Yet, as Spock would say, there it is: Long life and prosperity lies down remedy's path; massive destruction, pain and eventual oblivion if the status quo continues.

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 6:20:04 PM | 98
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 5:16:09 PM | 96

... it returned to the surface at WW2's end with Truman.

... we must again triumph at overcoming our Human Nature by limiting the impact of Nature on our actions through the use of a very ancient technology--culture, by making certain actions by humans (Leaders/Leadership) taboo and their violation punishable by death as the Polynesians practiced.

... massive destruction, pain and eventual oblivion if the status quo continues.

Concur.

Yet, would take that slightly further re amending formal application of Law & Sentencing & Punishment.

A number of Navies apply Mandatory MAXIMUM punishments for any offense, where found guilty, committed outside the parent nations 12 Mile limit, for good reason re discipline under a Captain's authority ... the ship becomes the nation and the crew the 'people' thereof and the ultimate survival of all dependent upon such.

The greater the status, rank, education, authority, experience, length of service of the ' Taboo Breaker, ' ( Leaders/Leadership ), the less any mitigating circumstances can be considered, and the proportionally higher the punishment, towards the maximum. Such should be able to plead no excuse, ignorance or misunderstanding, or lack of comprehension whatsoever, compared to a 'Constable/Trooper/Sailor/Airman'.

The pyramid of actual accountability & consequent punishment, must be inverted , by society.

If one looks carefully throughout humanities recorded history, across cultures, down thru millennia, sooner or later the stone ( society ) could be squeezed no further, and there was inevitably blowback and a, culling.

Yet, since the inter-continent telegraph and the widespread ubiquitous distribution of the mass 'Press', concurrent with the machinations of the Bankers & War Profiteers behind the scenes since the late 1800's, IMV, the ability to manipulate, divide & rule, society has become an artform, ever accelerating in scope, scale & effectiveness, preventing the necessary 'cull' in the 'International Community' of the 'west'.

IMV, the old grey men may have misunderstood/underestimated the accident of the 'net, hence desperation of such as ProPornOT etc, which provides alternate independent voices re communication & re perceived reality ... it may be enough, a small window of opportunity given the obvious accident of 'Trumps' ascension, to possibly enable a reckoning, there are a few discordant shrill cries and desperate pleas arising amongst the 'narrative' from the Globalists/Atlanticists (US/EU/UK/AUS/CAN), to believe & trust TPTB ... but only if there is a true, not faux, accounting .

Otherwise, yes, almost inevitably, your last. Faint hope ...

Outraged | Mar 14, 2017 6:20:04 PM | 99
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 5:16:09 PM | 96

... it returned to the surface at WW2's end with Truman.

... we must again triumph at overcoming our Human Nature by limiting the impact of Nature on our actions through the use of a very ancient technology--culture, by making certain actions by humans (Leaders/Leadership) taboo and their violation punishable by death as the Polynesians practiced.

... massive destruction, pain and eventual oblivion if the status quo continues.

Concur.

Yet, would take that slightly further re amending formal application of Law & Sentencing & Punishment.

A number of Navies apply Mandatory MAXIMUM punishments for any offense, where found guilty, committed outside the parent nations 12 Mile limit, for good reason re discipline under a Captain's authority ... the ship becomes the nation and the crew the 'people' thereof and the ultimate survival of all dependent upon such.

The greater the status, rank, education, authority, experience, length of service of the ' Taboo Breaker, ' ( Leaders/Leadership ), the less any mitigating circumstances can be considered, and the proportionally higher the punishment, towards the maximum. Such should be able to plead no excuse, ignorance or misunderstanding, or lack of comprehension whatsoever, compared to a 'Constable/Trooper/Sailor/Airman'.

The pyramid of actual accountability & consequent punishment, must be inverted , by society.

If one looks carefully throughout humanities recorded history, across cultures, down thru millennia, sooner or later the stone ( society ) could be squeezed no further, and there was inevitably blowback and a, culling.

Yet, since the inter-continent telegraph and the widespread ubiquitous distribution of the mass 'Press', concurrent with the machinations of the Bankers & War Profiteers behind the scenes since the late 1800's, IMV, the ability to manipulate, divide & rule, society has become an artform, ever accelerating in scope, scale & effectiveness, preventing the necessary 'cull' in the 'International Community' of the 'west'.

IMV, the old grey men may have misunderstood/underestimated the accident of the 'net, hence desperation of such as ProPornOT etc, which provides alternate independent voices re communication & re perceived reality ... it may be enough, a small window of opportunity given the obvious accident of 'Trumps' ascension, to possibly enable a reckoning, there are a few discordant shrill cries and desperate pleas arising amongst the 'narrative' from the Globalists/Atlanticists (US/EU/UK/AUS/CAN), to believe & trust TPTB ... but only if there is a true, not faux, accounting .

Otherwise, yes, almost inevitably, your last. Faint hope ...

karlof1 | Mar 14, 2017 8:10:59 PM | 100
Outraged @97--

"... it may be enough, a small window of opportunity given the obvious accident of 'Trumps' ascension, to possibly enable a reckoning..."

Like using The Force to guide a missile into the exhaust shaft of the Death Star. But that was just one victory amidst many losses prior to the decapitation of the sole Evil Leader. I believe our task just as daunting with our enemy best depicted as The Hydra. In both myths, Good triumphed. In both tales, the multitude of innocents had no idea what was taking place or why. I don't think we can prevail unless the multitudes know what's happening and why. All too often they seem to differ little from my Alzheimer's afflicted mom. But her fate is determined; it's just a matter of time. Our fate's in the balance, with time being of the essence.

[Mar 26, 2017] When Nothing Left Is Left The People Will Vote Far Right

Mar 26, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Some of the people around the U.S. Democrats finally start to get the message of the 2016 election. An editor at Salon writes a slightly satirical critic of the Democratic Party under the headline: How the DudeBros ruined everything: A totally clear-headed guide to political reality . The core sentence:

When "the left" endlessly debates which core issues or constituencies must be sacrificed for political gain, as if economic justice for the poor and the working class could be separated from social justice for women and people of color and the LGBT community and immigrants and people with disabilities, it is no longer functioning as the left.

When LGBT claptrap, gluten free food, political correctness and other such niceties beat out programs to serve the basic needs of the common people nothing "left" is left. The priority on the left must always be the well-being of the working people. All the other nice-to-have issues follow from and after that.

Many nominally social-democratic parties in Europe are on the same downward trajectory as the Democrats in the U.S. for the very same reason. Their real policies are center right. Their marketing policies hiding the real ones are to care for this or that minority interest or problem the majority of the people has no reason to care about. Real wages sink but they continue to import cheep labor (real policy) under the disguise of helping "refugees" (marketing policy) which are simply economic migrants. (Even parts of the German "Die Linke" party are infected with such nonsense.)

The people with real economic problems, those who have reason to fear the future, have no one in the traditional political spectrum that even pretends to care about them. Those are the voters now streaming to the far right. (They will again get screwed. The far right has an economic agenda that is totally hostile to them. But it at least promises to do something about their fears.) Where else should they go?

The U.S. Democrats are currently applauding the former United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara. The position is a political appointed one. Whoever is appointed serves "at the pleasure of the President". It is completely normal that people in such positions get replaced when the presidency changes from one party to the other. The justice department asked Bharara to "voluntary resign". He rejected that, he was fired.

Oh what a brave man! Applause!

The dude served as United States attorney during the mortgage scams and financial crash. Wall Street was part of his beat. How many of the involved banksters did he prosecute? Well, exactly zero. What a hero! How many votes did the Democrats lose because they did not go after the criminals ruling Wall Street?

Bharara is one reason the Democrats lost the election. Oh yes, he is part of a minority and that makes him a favorite with the pseudo left Democrats. But he did nothing while millions got robbed. How can one expect to get votes when one compliments such persons?

But the top reader comments to the New York Times report on the issue are full of voices who laud Bharara for his meaning- and useless "resistance" to Trump.

Those are the "voices of the people" the political functionaries of the Democratic Party want to read and hear. Likely the only ones. But those are the voices of people (if real at all and not marketing sock-puppets) who are themselves a tiny, well pampered minority. Not the people one needs to win elections.

Unless they change their political program (not just its marketing) and unless they go back to consistently argue for the people in the lower third of the economic scale the Democrats in the U.S. and the Social-Democrats in Europe will continue to lose voters. The far right will, for lack of political alternative, be the party that picks up their votes.

[Mar 26, 2017] There are cliques of employees in all these govt agencies who have political and religious views just like the rest of the world, except they have access to spy satellites, phone tapping, and every other spy tool just like Snowden tried to expose.

Mar 26, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Korprit_Phlunkie , Mar 25, 2017 6:53 PM

There are cliques of employees in all these govt agencies who have political and religious views just like the rest of the world, except they have access to spy satellites, phone tapping, and every other spy tool just like Snowden tried to expose. Finally after watching the evil satan worshipping liberals for all these years use these tool to further the NWO thru clintons and hussein, the patriot Christian conservative side is finally leaking info they have access to to TRUMP and he is able to fight back a little. THis is good versus evil, no doubt in my mind. Choose this day whom you will serve. Especially you crossroad demon from hell.

[Mar 26, 2017] Staggering cost of Finance Sector under neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Originally published at the Tax Justice Network ..."
"... US finance sector is a net drag on their economy ..."
"... It is a cleverly worked out system for wealth transfer. Complex laws, political backing and protection even if you break the law. At least in the old days when you got robbed you had the signal of having a pistol pointed at you. The modern version, with all the insider media psyops, leaves those who are preyed upon feeling that they are the ones to blame. ..."
"... The business model is straight out of the Cosa Nostra playbook – except there is media, political and legal backing. ..."
"... As an Italian friend of mine (who rarely goes north of 14th Street) once remarked, "The difference between the Mafia and bankers is that the Mafia always leaves a few crumbs on the table." ..."
"... Did I hear that right – the private finance sector will have cost us (in the US) 23Tr$ by 2020. And from 1990 to 2005 big finance cost us (already) 14Tr in fees, pay, fraud, misallocation and lost productivity. Yet we continue to deregulate even though all governments know how destructive deregulated finance is. ..."
"... yes, the EU does seem to be hungry to grab up all that finance for itself I keep thinking about Schaeuble coming to NYC c2012 and holding an impromptu news conference wherein he said it was fine with him if some banks went down because "we are overbanked." But we do have to admit that "overbanked" is an understatement since there are no productive investments and it's just self-defeating. I mean, how long can this go on? ..."
"... I don't know, how much money do you have left? ..."
"... It pays to remember that prior to 2008, hot (sovereign state backed) money flowed unimpeded like water across all EU borders, regardless of regulation, in search of quick handsome and easy returns, and much of it from subsequently bailed out by the ECB backdoor major lenders in France and Germany lending recklessly to poorer EZ members. ..."
"... The lasting results of this and its hasty, damaging retreat and the inequitable socialisation of the debt across the EZ are, of course, still being felt today. ..."
"... One of the major causes of the financial crisis was lax global regulation period. So let's not kid ourselves that by removing the UK from the European Union equation it is suddenly going to render it a bastion of sound prudential banking practice, particularly given various members recent comments that they intend to do anything in their power to tempt a post Brexit UK's financial services at the earliest opportunity. ..."
"... I do subscribe to the belief that the UK financial services sector has been and still is toxic to its economy and long-term future, and without a doubt this informed the Brexit vote, albeit in some cases on a subconscious level. ..."
Mar 26, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on March 25, 2017 by Yves Smith Originally published at the Tax Justice Network

In our March 2017 Taxcast: the high price we're paying for our finance sectors – we look at staggering statistics showing how the US finance sector is a net drag on their economy .

Also, as the British government initiates Brexit divorce negotiations to leave the EU, we discuss something they ought to know, but obviously don't – they're actually in a very weak position. Could it mean the beginning of the end of the finance curse gripping the UK economy?

Featuring: John Christensen and Alex Cobham of the Tax Justice Network, and Professor of Economics Gerald Epstein of the University of Masachusetts Amhurst , author of Overcharged: The High Cost of High Finance . Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.

Professor Gerald Epstein:

If you look at particular finance centres, say London and New York, the problem is that the net cost of this system is quite significant, it imposes a cost not only on people who use finance but for the whole economy. So, what we need to think about is what are the more productive activities that ought to be substituted for these excessive aspects of finance?

John Christensen, Tax Justice Network on Britain's weak position in Brexit negotiations:

We might be seeing the start of the end of Britain's grip by the Finance Curse

https://www.youtube.com/embed/E7oOiJl1n1I

Download the mp3 to listen offline anytime on your computer, mobile/cell phone or handheld device by right clicking here and selecting 'save link as'.

Want more Taxcasts? The full playlist is here .

Want to subscribe? Subscribe via email by contacting the Taxcast producer on naomi [at] taxjustice.net OR subscribe to the Taxcast RSS feed here OR subscribe to our youtube channel, Tax Justice TV OR find us on iTunes

skippy , March 25, 2017 at 3:01 am

Drag = Rentier = bottle neck economics which in the end becomes a death spiral due to lack of demand and jobs quality .

Si , March 25, 2017 at 3:45 am

It is a cleverly worked out system for wealth transfer. Complex laws, political backing and protection even if you break the law. At least in the old days when you got robbed you had the signal of having a pistol pointed at you. The modern version, with all the insider media psyops, leaves those who are preyed upon feeling that they are the ones to blame.

The business model is straight out of the Cosa Nostra playbook – except there is media, political and legal backing.

Genius.

Hayek's Heelbiter , March 25, 2017 at 6:14 am

As an Italian friend of mine (who rarely goes north of 14th Street) once remarked, "The difference between the Mafia and bankers is that the Mafia always leaves a few crumbs on the table."

Watt4Bob , March 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

"Wouldn't you rather give me my money, that you have in your pocket, rather than force me to take the pistol out of my pocket, and point it at you, and rob you, and become a criminal?"

As you can clearly see, the logic is flawless, we are all much better off acquiescing to the reasonable demands of the FIRE sector, the only alternative being an admission that we're in the clutches of a deeply organized criminal element.

susan the other , March 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

thanks for this Taxcast, very to the point.

Did I hear that right – the private finance sector will have cost us (in the US) 23Tr$ by 2020. And from 1990 to 2005 big finance cost us (already) 14Tr in fees, pay, fraud, misallocation and lost productivity. Yet we continue to deregulate even though all governments know how destructive deregulated finance is.

And we know that the US is the biggest and most secret tax haven of them all

The first part of Taxcast speculated that Brexit will actually free the UK from the stranglehold of big finance and the country will be able to move on to more productive economic activity. So let us hope the US comes to its senses – just as the EU has finally isolated the rot of UK finance, maybe the rest of the world will isolate us.

Regulation seems to be hand-in-glove with national sovereignty. Whereas globalized finance might have escaped national regulation bec. there was always a safe haven for banksters, now with a backlash of indignant people all over the world there will be re-regulation at national levels. Since there is no global authority that can do that yet. Anyway, now that economies are trashed, there is way too much hot money to find good investments. It has already become absurd.

Colonel Smithers , March 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

Thank you, Susan.

I would not be so hasty thinking that the EU(27) has finally isolated the rot of UK finance. Much of that finance was not UK, but using the UK. The EU(27) is no less corrupt than the UK and as susceptible to big finance's charms.

I worked as a lobbyist in Brussels (and Basel and DC) for years.

susan the other , March 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

yes, the EU does seem to be hungry to grab up all that finance for itself I keep thinking about Schaeuble coming to NYC c2012 and holding an impromptu news conference wherein he said it was fine with him if some banks went down because "we are overbanked." But we do have to admit that "overbanked" is an understatement since there are no productive investments and it's just self-defeating. I mean, how long can this go on?

Watt4Bob , March 25, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I mean, how long can this go on?

I don't know, how much money do you have left?

Gman , March 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Great piece. Thank you.

I'm not sure I get the 'rules on financial services are different than other goods and services' line being peddled here though. Maybe in theory, but it's pretty much a moot point.

It pays to remember that prior to 2008, hot (sovereign state backed) money flowed unimpeded like water across all EU borders, regardless of regulation, in search of quick handsome and easy returns, and much of it from subsequently bailed out by the ECB backdoor major lenders in France and Germany lending recklessly to poorer EZ members.

The lasting results of this and its hasty, damaging retreat and the inequitable socialisation of the debt across the EZ are, of course, still being felt today.

One of the major causes of the financial crisis was lax global regulation period. So let's not kid ourselves that by removing the UK from the European Union equation it is suddenly going to render it a bastion of sound prudential banking practice, particularly given various members recent comments that they intend to do anything in their power to tempt a post Brexit UK's financial services at the earliest opportunity.

I do subscribe to the belief that the UK financial services sector has been and still is toxic to its economy and long-term future, and without a doubt this informed the Brexit vote, albeit in some cases on a subconscious level.

[Mar 26, 2017] Plant-Closing Threats, Union Organizing and the North American Free Trade Agreement

Notable quotes:
"... These overall percentages actually underestimate the extent employers use plant-closing threats, since they include industries and sectors of the economy where threats to shut down and move facilities are much less likely and carry less weight because the industry or product is less mobile. In mobile industries such as manufacturing, transportation and warehouse/distribution, the percentage of campaigns with plant-closing threats is 62 percent, compared to only 36 percent in relatively immobile industries such as construction, health care, education, retail and other services. Where employers can credibly threaten to shut down or move their operations in response to union activity, they do so in large numbers. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... March 24, 2017 at 05:22 AM

http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=cbpubs

March, 1997

We 'll Close! Plant Closings, Plant-Closing Threats, Union Organizing and the North American Free Trade Agreement
By Kate Bronfenbrenner

Abstract

This article is based on "Final Report: The Effects of Plant Closing or Threat of Plant Closing on the Right of Workers to Organize." The report was commissioned by the tri-national Labor Secretariat of the Commission for Labor Cooperation (the North American Free Trade Agreement labor commission) "on the effects of the sudden closing of the plant on the principle of freedom of association and the right of workers to organize in the three countries."

Plant-closing threats and actual plant closings are extremely pervasive and effective components of U.S. employer anti-union strategies. From 1993 to 1995, employers threatened to close the plant in 50 percent of all union certification elections and in 52 percent of all instances where the union withdrew from its organizing drive ("withdrawals"). In another 18 percent of the campaigns, the employer threatened to close the plant during the first-contract campaign after the election was won.

Nearly 12 percent of employers followed through on threats made during the organizing campaign and shut down all or part of the plant before the first contract was negotiated. Almost 4 percent of employers closed down the plant before a second contract was reached.

This 15 percent shutdown rate within two years of the certification election victory is triple the rate found by researchers who examined post-election plant-closing rates in the late 1980s, before the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.

These overall percentages actually underestimate the extent employers use plant-closing threats, since they include industries and sectors of the economy where threats to shut down and move facilities are much less likely and carry less weight because the industry or product is less mobile. In mobile industries such as manufacturing, transportation and warehouse/distribution, the percentage of campaigns with plant-closing threats is 62 percent, compared to only 36 percent in relatively immobile industries such as construction, health care, education, retail and other services. Where employers can credibly threaten to shut down or move their operations in response to union activity, they do so in large numbers.

[Mar 25, 2017] Putin is not the only one who knows how to play a Dead Hand

Mar 25, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
warsev Mar 25, 2017 6:40 PM

Thing is, if Binney was actually a problem for the NSA et. al, the problem would be quickly eliminated. That he's still around to say what he says means that the NSA at least doesn't care, or more likely that he's a controlled disinformation mouthpiece.

Let the downvotes commence...

Not Too Important -> warsev Mar 25, 2017 6:49 PM

Or his 'insurance policy' is as big as Snowden's and Montgomery's. Putin isn't the only one that knows how to play a 'Dead Hand'.

Winston Churchill -> warsev Mar 25, 2017 6:54 PM

He probably has something much more dangerous to them to be released on a dead mans switch.

9/11 the full story perhaps.

CnStiggs Winston -> Churchillmm Mar 25, 2017 7:10 PM Indeed.

Like Kevin Shipp. I just got his book, "From The Company of Shadows" about his career in the CIA.

Paper Mache -> Winston Churchill Mar 25, 2017 7:34 PM

II was thinking about that today. How is this man still alive, given the information he was talking about to Carlson?

I hope that the climate continues to warm towards whistleblowers, and more and more honest whistle blowers come forward to speak up. It''s the way to drain the sulphurous swamp. 9/11 might could surface and blow that way .

Perhaps Trump should start looking at Snowdon and Assange in completely different light too.

crossroaddemon -> warsev Mar 25, 2017 8:12 PM

That's what I was thinking, too. To consider this genuine, or at least important, one has to assume that there's an uncompromised press outlet.

I don't believe that. I think wikileaks is a psyop as well. Maybe even Snowden.

[Mar 25, 2017] Its Not Just Unfair: Inequality Is a Threat to Our Governance

Notable quotes:
"... As recognized since ancient times, the coexistence of very rich and very poor leads to two possibilities, neither a happy one. The rich can rule alone, disenfranchising or even enslaving the poor, or the poor can rise up and confiscate the wealth of the rich. The rich tend to see themselves as better than the poor, a proclivity that is enhanced and even socially sanctioned in modern meritocracies. The poor, with little prospect of economic improvement and no access to political power, "might turn to a demagogue who would overthrow the government - only to become a tyrant. Oligarchy or tyranny, economic inequality meant the end of the republic." ..."
"... Some constitutions were written to contain inequalities. In Rome, the patricians ruled, but could be overruled by plebeian tribunes whose role was to protect the poor. There are constitutions with lords and commoners in separate chambers, each with well-defined powers. Sitaraman calls these "class warfare constitutions," and argues that the founding fathers of the United States found another way, a republic of equals. The middle classes, who according to David Hume were obsessed neither with pleasure-seeking, as were the rich, nor with meeting basic necessities, as were the poor, and were thus amenable to reason, could be a firm basis for a republic run in the public interest. There is some sketchy evidence that income and wealth inequality was indeed low in the 18th century, but the crucial point is that early America was an agrarian society of cultivators with an open frontier. No one needed to be poor when land was available in the West. ..."
"... Jefferson was proud of his achievement in abolishing the entail and primogeniture in Virginia, writing the laws that "laid the ax to the root of Pseudoaristocracy." He called for progressive taxation and, like the other founders, feared that the inheritance of wealth would lead to the establishment of an aristocracy. ..."
"... Madison tried to calculate how long the frontier would last, and understood the threat to the Constitution that industrialization would bring; many of the founders thought of wage labor as little better than slavery and hoped that America could remain an agrarian society. ..."
"... In perhaps the most original part of his book, Sitaraman, an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, highlights the achievements of the Progressive movement, one of whose aims was taming inequality, and which successfully modified the Constitution. There were four constitutional amendments in seven years - the direct election of senators, the franchise for women, the prohibition of alcohol and the income tax. To which I would add another reform, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which provided a mechanism for handling financial crises without the need for the government to be bailed out by rich bankers, as well as the reduction in the tariff, which favored ordinary people by bringing down the cost of manufactures. Politics can respond to inequality, and the Constitution is not set in stone. ..."
"... It's interesting that the language of inequality is the language of technocrats, however worthy. It's a way to talk about the politics without referring to Marxist or populist/labor traditions which often involve social movements. ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/books/review/crisis-of-the-middle-class-constitution-ganesh-sitaraman-.html

March 20, 2017

It's Not Just Unfair: Inequality Is a Threat to Our Governance
By ANGUS DEATON

THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS CONSTITUTION
Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic
By Ganesh Sitaraman

President Obama labeled income inequality "the defining challenge of our time." But why exactly? And why "our time" especially? In part because we now know just how much goes to the very top of the income distribution, and beyond that, we know that recent economic growth, which has been anemic in any case, has accrued mostly to those who were already well-heeled, leaving stagnation or worse for many Americans. But why is this a problem?

Why am I hurt if Mark Zuckerberg develops Facebook, and gets rich on the proceeds? Some care about the unfairness of income inequality itself, some care about the loss of upward mobility and declining opportunities for our kids and some care about how people get rich - hard work and innovation are O.K., but theft, legal or otherwise, is not. Yet there is one threat of inequality that is widely feared, and that has been debated for thousands of years, which is that inequality can undermine governance. In his fine book, both history and call to arms, Ganesh Sitaraman argues that the contemporary explosion of inequality will destroy the American Constitution, which is and was premised on the existence of a large and thriving middle class. He has done us all a great service, taking an issue of overwhelming public importance, delving into its history, helping understand how our forebears handled it and building a platform to think about it today.

As recognized since ancient times, the coexistence of very rich and very poor leads to two possibilities, neither a happy one. The rich can rule alone, disenfranchising or even enslaving the poor, or the poor can rise up and confiscate the wealth of the rich. The rich tend to see themselves as better than the poor, a proclivity that is enhanced and even socially sanctioned in modern meritocracies. The poor, with little prospect of economic improvement and no access to political power, "might turn to a demagogue who would overthrow the government - only to become a tyrant. Oligarchy or tyranny, economic inequality meant the end of the republic."

Some constitutions were written to contain inequalities. In Rome, the patricians ruled, but could be overruled by plebeian tribunes whose role was to protect the poor. There are constitutions with lords and commoners in separate chambers, each with well-defined powers. Sitaraman calls these "class warfare constitutions," and argues that the founding fathers of the United States found another way, a republic of equals. The middle classes, who according to David Hume were obsessed neither with pleasure-seeking, as were the rich, nor with meeting basic necessities, as were the poor, and were thus amenable to reason, could be a firm basis for a republic run in the public interest. There is some sketchy evidence that income and wealth inequality was indeed low in the 18th century, but the crucial point is that early America was an agrarian society of cultivators with an open frontier. No one needed to be poor when land was available in the West.

The founders worried a good deal about people getting too rich. Jefferson was proud of his achievement in abolishing the entail and primogeniture in Virginia, writing the laws that "laid the ax to the root of Pseudoaristocracy." He called for progressive taxation and, like the other founders, feared that the inheritance of wealth would lead to the establishment of an aristocracy. (Contrast this with those today who simultaneously advocate both equality of opportunity and the abolition of estate taxes.) Madison tried to calculate how long the frontier would last, and understood the threat to the Constitution that industrialization would bring; many of the founders thought of wage labor as little better than slavery and hoped that America could remain an agrarian society.

Of course, the fears about industrialization were realized, and by the late 19th century, in the Gilded Age, income inequality had reached levels comparable to those we see today. In perhaps the most original part of his book, Sitaraman, an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, highlights the achievements of the Progressive movement, one of whose aims was taming inequality, and which successfully modified the Constitution. There were four constitutional amendments in seven years - the direct election of senators, the franchise for women, the prohibition of alcohol and the income tax. To which I would add another reform, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which provided a mechanism for handling financial crises without the need for the government to be bailed out by rich bankers, as well as the reduction in the tariff, which favored ordinary people by bringing down the cost of manufactures. Politics can respond to inequality, and the Constitution is not set in stone.

What of today, when inequality is back in full force? ...

Angus Deaton, a professor emeritus at Princeton, was awarded the Nobel in economic science in 2015.

anne -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/6_casedeaton.pdf

March 17, 2017

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century
By Anne Case and Angus Deaton

Summary

We build on and extend the findings in Case and Deaton (2015 * ) on increases in mortality and morbidity among white non-Hispanic Americans in midlife since the turn of the century. Increases in all-cause mortality continued unabated to 2015, with additional increases in drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholic-related liver mortality, particularly among those with a high-school degree or less. The decline in mortality from heart disease has slowed and, most recently, stopped, and this combined with the three other causes is responsible for the increase in all-cause mortality. Not only are educational differences in mortality among whites increasing, but mortality is rising for those without, and falling for those with, a college degree. This is true for non-Hispanic white men and women in all age groups from 25-29 through 60-64. Mortality rates among blacks and Hispanics continue to fall; in 1999, the mortality rate of white non-Hispanics aged 50-54 with only a high-school degree was 30 percent lower than the mortality rate of blacks in the same age group; by 2015, it was 30 percent higher. There are similar crossovers between white and black mortality in all age groups from 25-29 to 60-64.

Mortality rates in comparable rich countries have continued their pre-millennial fall at the rates that used to characterize the US. In contrast to the US, mortality rates in Europe are falling for those with low levels of educational attainment, and are doing so more rapidly than mortality rates for those with higher levels of education.

Many commentators have suggested that the poor mortality outcomes can be attributed to slowly growing, stagnant, and even declining incomes; we evaluate this possibility, but find that it cannot provide a comprehensive explanation. In particular, the income profiles for blacks and Hispanics, whose mortality has fallen, are no better than those for whites. Nor is there any evidence in the European data that mortality trends match income trends, in spite of sharply different patterns of median income across countries after the Great Recession.

We propose a preliminary but plausible story in which cumulative disadvantage over life, in the labor market, in marriage and child outcomes, and in health, is triggered by progressively worsening labor market opportunities at the time of entry for whites with low levels of education. This account, which fits much of the data, has the profoundly negative implication that policies, even ones that successfully improve earnings and jobs, or redistribute income, will take many years to reverse the mortality and morbidity increase, and that those in midlife now are likely to do much worse in old age than those currently older than 65. This is in contrast to an account in which resources affect health contemporaneously, so that those in midlife now can expect to do better in old age as they receive Social Security and Medicare. None of this implies that there are no policy levers to be pulled; preventing the over-prescription of opioids is an obvious target that would clearly be helpful.

* http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112

Peter K. -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 01:18 PM
"Of course, the fears about industrialization were realized, and by the late 19th century, in the Gilded Age, income inequality had reached levels comparable to those we see today. In perhaps the most original part of his book, Sitaraman, an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, highlights the achievements of the Progressive movement, one of whose aims was taming inequality, and which successfully modified the Constitution. There were four constitutional amendments in seven years - the direct election of senators, the franchise for women, the prohibition of alcohol and the income tax. To which I would add another reform, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which provided a mechanism for handling financial crises without the need for the government to be bailed out by rich bankers, as well as the reduction in the tariff, which favored ordinary people by bringing down the cost of manufactures. "

It's interesting that the language of inequality is the language of technocrats, however worthy. It's a way to talk about the politics without referring to Marxist or populist/labor traditions which often involve social movements.

[Mar 25, 2017] Its interesting that the language of inequality is the language of technocrats, however worthy. Its a way to talk about the politics without referring to Marxist or populist/labor traditions which often involve social movements

Mar 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/6_casedeaton.pdf

March 17, 2017

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century
By Anne Case and Angus Deaton

Summary

We build on and extend the findings in Case and Deaton (2015 * ) on increases in mortality and morbidity among white non-Hispanic Americans in midlife since the turn of the century. Increases in all-cause mortality continued unabated to 2015, with additional increases in drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholic-related liver mortality, particularly among those with a high-school degree or less. The decline in mortality from heart disease has slowed and, most recently, stopped, and this combined with the three other causes is responsible for the increase in all-cause mortality. Not only are educational differences in mortality among whites increasing, but mortality is rising for those without, and falling for those with, a college degree. This is true for non-Hispanic white men and women in all age groups from 25-29 through 60-64. Mortality rates among blacks and Hispanics continue to fall; in 1999, the mortality rate of white non-Hispanics aged 50-54 with only a high-school degree was 30 percent lower than the mortality rate of blacks in the same age group; by 2015, it was 30 percent higher. There are similar crossovers between white and black mortality in all age groups from 25-29 to 60-64.

Mortality rates in comparable rich countries have continued their pre-millennial fall at the rates that used to characterize the US. In contrast to the US, mortality rates in Europe are falling for those with low levels of educational attainment, and are doing so more rapidly than mortality rates for those with higher levels of education.

Many commentators have suggested that the poor mortality outcomes can be attributed to slowly growing, stagnant, and even declining incomes; we evaluate this possibility, but find that it cannot provide a comprehensive explanation. In particular, the income profiles for blacks and Hispanics, whose mortality has fallen, are no better than those for whites. Nor is there any evidence in the European data that mortality trends match income trends, in spite of sharply different patterns of median income across countries after the Great Recession.

We propose a preliminary but plausible story in which cumulative disadvantage over life, in the labor market, in marriage and child outcomes, and in health, is triggered by progressively worsening labor market opportunities at the time of entry for whites with low levels of education. This account, which fits much of the data, has the profoundly negative implication that policies, even ones that successfully improve earnings and jobs, or redistribute income, will take many years to reverse the mortality and morbidity increase, and that those in midlife now are likely to do much worse in old age than those currently older than 65. This is in contrast to an account in which resources affect health contemporaneously, so that those in midlife now can expect to do better in old age as they receive Social Security and Medicare. None of this implies that there are no policy levers to be pulled; preventing the over-prescription of opioids is an obvious target that would clearly be helpful.

* http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112

Peter K. -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 01:18 PM
"Of course, the fears about industrialization were realized, and by the late 19th century, in the Gilded Age, income inequality had reached levels comparable to those we see today. In perhaps the most original part of his book, Sitaraman, an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, highlights the achievements of the Progressive movement, one of whose aims was taming inequality, and which successfully modified the Constitution. There were four constitutional amendments in seven years - the direct election of senators, the franchise for women, the prohibition of alcohol and the income tax. To which I would add another reform, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which provided a mechanism for handling financial crises without the need for the government to be bailed out by rich bankers, as well as the reduction in the tariff, which favored ordinary people by bringing down the cost of manufactures. "

It's interesting that the language of inequality is the language of technocrats, however worthy. It's a way to talk about the politics without referring to Marxist or populist/labor traditions which often involve social movements.

[Mar 25, 2017] Angry Bear " U.S. Has Worst Wealth Inequality of Any Rich Nation, and It's Not Even Close

Mar 25, 2017 | angrybearblog.com
U.S. Has Worst Wealth Inequality of Any Rich Nation, and It's Not Even Close

Kenneth Thomas | March 19, 2017 6:07 am

Hot Topics I've discussed the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Reports before, an excellent source of data for both wealth and wealth inequality. The most recent edition , from November 2016, shows the United States getting wealthier, but steadily more unequal in wealth per adult and dropping from 25th to 27th in median wealth per adult since 2014. Moreover, on a global scale, it reports that the top 1% of wealth holders hold 50.8% of the world's wealth (Report, p. 18).

One important point to bear in mind is that while the United States remains the fourth-highest country for wealth per adult (after Switzerland, Iceland, and Australia) at $344,692, its median wealth per adult has fallen to 27th in the world, down to $44,977. As I have pointed out before, the reason for this is much higher inequality in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. ratio of mean to median wealth per adult is 7.66:1, the highest of all rich countries by a long shot.

The tables below illustrate this. First, I will present the 29 countries with median wealth per adult over $40,000 per year, from largest to smallest. The second table also includes mean wealth per adult and the mean/median ratio, sorted by the inequality ratio.

1. Switzerland $244,002
2. Iceland $188,088
3. Australia $162,815
4. Belgium $154,815
5. New Zealand $135,755
6. Norway $135,012
7. Luxembourg $125,452
8. Japan $120,493
9. United Kingdom $107,865
10. Italy $104,105
11. Singapore $101,386
12. France $ 99,923
13. Canada $ 96,664
14. Netherlands $ 81,118
15. Ireland $ 80,668
16. Qatar $ 74,820
17. Korea $ 64,686
18. Taiwan $ 63,134
19. United Arab Emirates $ 62,332
20. Spain $ 56,500
21. Malta $ 54,562
22. Israel $ 54,384
23. Greece $ 53,266
24. Austria $ 52,519
25. Finland $ 52,427
26. Denmark $ 52,279
27. United States $ 44,977
28. Germany $ 42,833
29. Kuwait $ 40,803

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016, Table 3-1

Now that I've got your attention, let me remind you why this low level of median wealth is a BIG PROBLEM. Quite simply, we are careening towards a retirement crisis as Baby Boomers like myself find their income drop off a cliff in retirement. As I reported in 2013 , 49% (!) of all private sector workers have no retirement plan at all, not even a crappy 401(k). 31% have only a 401(k), which shifts all the investment risk on to the individual, rather than pooling that risk as Social Security does. And many people had to borrow against their 401(k) during the Great Recession, including 1/3 of people in their forties . The overall savings shortfall is $6.6 trillion! If Republican leaders finally get their wish to gut Social Security, prepare to see levels of elder poverty unlike anything in generations. It will not be pretty.

Let's move now to the inequality data, where I'll present median wealth per adult, mean wealth per adult, and the mean-to-median ratio, a significant indicator of inequality. These data will be sorted by that ratio.

1. United States $ 44,977 $344,692 7.66
2. Denmark $ 52,279 $259,816 4.97
3. Germany $ 42,833 $185,175 4.32
4. Austria $ 52,519 $206,002 3.92
5. Israel $ 54,384 $176,263 3.24
6. Kuwait $ 40,803 $119,038 2.92
7. Finland $ 52,427 $146,733 2.80
8. Canada $ 96,664 $270,179 2.80
9. Taiwan $ 63,134 $172,847 2.74
10. Singapore $101,386 $276,885 2.73
11. United Kingdom $107,865 $288,808 2.68
12. Ireland $ 80,668 $214,589 2.66
13. Luxembourg $125,452 $316,466 2.52
14. Korea $ 64,686 $159,914 2.47
15. France $ 99,923 $244,365 2.45
16. United Arab Emirates $ 62,332 $151,098 2.42
17. Norway $135,012 $312,339 2.31
18. Australia $162,815 $375,573 2.31
19. Switzerland $244,002 $561,854 2.30
20. Netherlands $ 81,118 $184,378 2.27
21. New Zealand $135,755 $298,930 2.20
22. Iceland $188,088 $408,595 2.17
23. Qatar $ 74,820 $161,666 2.16
24. Malta $ 54,562 $116,185 2.13
25. Spain $ 56,500 $116,320 2.06
26. Greece $ 53,266 $103,569 1.94
27. Italy $104,105 $202,288 1.94
28. Japan $120,493 $230,946 1.92
29. Belgium $154,815 $270,613 1.75

Source: Author's calculations from Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016, Table 3-1

As you can see, the U.S. inequality ratio is more than 50% higher than #2 Denmark and fully three times as high as the median country on the list, France. As the title says, this is not even close.

The message couldn't be clearer: Get down to your town halls and let your Senators and Representatives know that it's time to raise Social Security benefits and forget the nonsense of cutting them.

Cross-posted from Middle Class Political Economist .

[Mar 25, 2017] jamesmmu

Mar 25, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
, Mar 25, 2017 7:13 PM

Whistleblower Dennis Montgomery Is Living On Borrowed Time – Waiting With Data That Proves Trump Transition Team Was Monitored.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/whistleblower-dennis-montgomery-is-living...

Ross123 -> jamesmmu , Mar 25, 2017 7:36 PM

James

I read that info/ letter on another blog. I hope Dennis and Larry succeed, but there is one thing I don't quite understand. If Montgomery left the NSA a few years ago how can he have hard evidence Trump and his team were surveilled ? ( other than one of his former workmates telling him). If he has just been told that makes it hard to prove unless the workmate took a copy of the data and gave it to Montgomery.

Not Too Important -> Ross123 , Mar 25, 2017 7:41 PM

He has the data that shows the Trump family and many others were under surveillance for a decade or more when he was still there.

600,000,000 pages of data.

We're waay beyond Trump being surveilled after the November vote.

[Mar 25, 2017] Theyre Like The Praetorian Guard - Whistleblower Confirms NSA Targeted Congress, The Supreme Court, Trump Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... "They're taking in fundamentally the entire fiber network inside the United States and collecting all that data and storing it, in a program they call Stellar Wind," Binney said. ..."
"... "That's the domestic collection of data on US citizens, US citizens to other US citizens," he said. "Everything we're doing, phone calls, emails and then financial transactions, credit cards, things like that, all of it." ..."
"... "I mean, that's just East German," Tucker responded. ..."
"... Rather than help prevent terrorist attacks, Binney said collecting so much information actually makes stopping attacks more difficult. ..."
"... "This bulk acquisition is inhibiting their ability to detect terrorist threats in advance so they can't stop them so people get killed as a result," he said. ..."
"... "Which means, you know, they pick up the pieces and blood after the attack. That's what's been going on. I mean they've consistently failed. When Alexander said they'd stop 54 attacks and he was challenged to produce the evidence to prove that he failed on every count." ..."
"... Binney concludes ominously indicating the origin of the deep state... "They are like the praetorian guard, they determine what the emperor does and who the emperor is..." ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Chris Menahan via InformationLiberation.com,

NSA whistleblower William Binney told Tucker Carlson on Friday that the NSA is spying on "all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House."

Binney, who served the NSA for 30 years before blowing the whistle on domestic spying in 2001, told Tucker he firmly believes that Trump was spied on.

"They're taking in fundamentally the entire fiber network inside the United States and collecting all that data and storing it, in a program they call Stellar Wind," Binney said.

"That's the domestic collection of data on US citizens, US citizens to other US citizens," he said. "Everything we're doing, phone calls, emails and then financial transactions, credit cards, things like that, all of it."

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

"Inside NSA there are a set of people who are -- and we got this from another NSA whistleblower who witnessed some of this -- they're inside there, they are targeting and looking at all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House," Binney said.

"And all this data is inside the NSA in a small group where they're looking at it. The idea is to see what people in power over you are going to -- what they think, what they think you should be doing or planning to do to you, your budget, or whatever so you can try to counteract before it actually happens," he said.

"I mean, that's just East German," Tucker responded.

Rather than help prevent terrorist attacks, Binney said collecting so much information actually makes stopping attacks more difficult.

"This bulk acquisition is inhibiting their ability to detect terrorist threats in advance so they can't stop them so people get killed as a result," he said.

"Which means, you know, they pick up the pieces and blood after the attack. That's what's been going on. I mean they've consistently failed. When Alexander said they'd stop 54 attacks and he was challenged to produce the evidence to prove that he failed on every count."

Binney concludes ominously indicating the origin of the deep state... "They are like the praetorian guard, they determine what the emperor does and who the emperor is..."

Who's going to stop them?

toady -> Bank_sters Mar 25, 2017 9:22 PM
I'm continually amazed that anyone thinks they are not being "wiretapped".

One more time;

Everyone, from the queen to the homeless guy on the corner, is being tracked, recorded, and data mined to the hilt.

I hope people start to REALLY understand this....

NAV GUS100CORRINA Mar 25, 2017 7:19 PM

Bringing history more up to date, this is Stalinism, i.e., fascism. As John T. Flynn states, "Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator." Neo-fascism of course is Stalinism-blame Hitler.

So, is it fascism?

Yes, says Major Todd Pierce (retired) in an interview with Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss - who says NSA whistle blower Bill Binney has "got to be one of the smartest people in the world, I don't think that's an exaggeration. He was one of the smartest people at the NSA.

Says Weiss: "And he agrees with me fully. Because he's seen the NSA. We're a more sophisticated form of what I think has to be called fascism. The term fascism was applied to the way the communists and Stalin got on as well. You bring the term fascist to what it really means, and that ultimately is, ultramilitarism and authoritarianism combined with an expansionist foreign policy. And that's us-what you can see us becoming."

http://mondoweiss.net/2016/09/innocence-worldview-retired/#sthash.XjFDU6km.dpuf

Rubicon727 -> GUS100CORRINA •Mar 25, 2017 7:38 PM

The Roman Empire's death was far more complicated than "moral rot" and its "currency devaluation." Read some history books.

Chris Hedges makes the observation that ALL empires that are scourges of the earth, eventually turn inwards. As the empire begins its fatal decline, the terror they inflicted on outsiders, is then turned against its own citizens.

We now see that happening in America. Banks, corporations, intel/military, etc. are turning inward: destroying meaningful employment, humane health care, and pilfering billions of $s reserved for the 1%.

Just Another Vi... -> FriendlyAquaponics •Mar 25, 2017 8:05 PM

A video worth revisiting......

Reuters ..........

... Obama criticizes Donald Trump endlessly....over Trumps assertions that the election is rigged..,

telling the candidate to "stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSKCN12I27L

HRClinton -> JLee2027 •Mar 25, 2017 8:15 PM

Who does the NSA work for on the Org Chart?

That's right, the DOD. They can't go completely rogue, without the explicit or implicit approval of the Secretary of Defense and his Deputies.

It is rather phoney and hypocritical of any POTUS - including Pres. Thump - to moan about the NSA, without loping off heads at the DOD and NSA. By that, I include all the Deputies, who do the real work and know the real secrets.

It's time that Thump had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with all these guys. Else he's part of the problem, and no amount of sugar coating can stop a turd being a turd.

TheReplacement -> HRClinton •Mar 25, 2017 9:42 PM

In an honest world, sure.

In reality, no. Like Binney said, they don't have to do anything they don't like because NOBODY can prove they haven't complied with orders. There is nobody who can watch the watchers. They can blackmail anyone.

'Gosh, I have no idea how that child porn got on my computer.'

CIA or NSA knows exactly how it got there. They put it there.

[Mar 25, 2017] It's Not Just Unfair: Inequality Is a Threat to Our Governance

Mar 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM

, March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/20/books/review/crisis-of-the-middle-class-constitution-ganesh-sitaraman-.html

March 20, 2017

It's Not Just Unfair: Inequality Is a Threat to Our Governance
By ANGUS DEATON

THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS CONSTITUTION
Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic
By Ganesh Sitaraman

President Obama labeled income inequality "the defining challenge of our time." But why exactly? And why "our time" especially? In part because we now know just how much goes to the very top of the income distribution, and beyond that, we know that recent economic growth, which has been anemic in any case, has accrued mostly to those who were already well-heeled, leaving stagnation or worse for many Americans. But why is this a problem?

Why am I hurt if Mark Zuckerberg develops Facebook, and gets rich on the proceeds? Some care about the unfairness of income inequality itself, some care about the loss of upward mobility and declining opportunities for our kids and some care about how people get rich - hard work and innovation are O.K., but theft, legal or otherwise, is not. Yet there is one threat of inequality that is widely feared, and that has been debated for thousands of years, which is that inequality can undermine governance. In his fine book, both history and call to arms, Ganesh Sitaraman argues that the contemporary explosion of inequality will destroy the American Constitution, which is and was premised on the existence of a large and thriving middle class. He has done us all a great service, taking an issue of overwhelming public importance, delving into its history, helping understand how our forebears handled it and building a platform to think about it today.

As recognized since ancient times, the coexistence of very rich and very poor leads to two possibilities, neither a happy one. The rich can rule alone, disenfranchising or even enslaving the poor, or the poor can rise up and confiscate the wealth of the rich. The rich tend to see themselves as better than the poor, a proclivity that is enhanced and even socially sanctioned in modern meritocracies. The poor, with little prospect of economic improvement and no access to political power, "might turn to a demagogue who would overthrow the government - only to become a tyrant. Oligarchy or tyranny, economic inequality meant the end of the republic."

Some constitutions were written to contain inequalities. In Rome, the patricians ruled, but could be overruled by plebeian tribunes whose role was to protect the poor. There are constitutions with lords and commoners in separate chambers, each with well-defined powers. Sitaraman calls these "class warfare constitutions," and argues that the founding fathers of the United States found another way, a republic of equals. The middle classes, who according to David Hume were obsessed neither with pleasure-seeking, as were the rich, nor with meeting basic necessities, as were the poor, and were thus amenable to reason, could be a firm basis for a republic run in the public interest. There is some sketchy evidence that income and wealth inequality was indeed low in the 18th century, but the crucial point is that early America was an agrarian society of cultivators with an open frontier. No one needed to be poor when land was available in the West.

The founders worried a good deal about people getting too rich. Jefferson was proud of his achievement in abolishing the entail and primogeniture in Virginia, writing the laws that "laid the ax to the root of Pseudoaristocracy." He called for progressive taxation and, like the other founders, feared that the inheritance of wealth would lead to the establishment of an aristocracy. (Contrast this with those today who simultaneously advocate both equality of opportunity and the abolition of estate taxes.) Madison tried to calculate how long the frontier would last, and understood the threat to the Constitution that industrialization would bring; many of the founders thought of wage labor as little better than slavery and hoped that America could remain an agrarian society.

Of course, the fears about industrialization were realized, and by the late 19th century, in the Gilded Age, income inequality had reached levels comparable to those we see today. In perhaps the most original part of his book, Sitaraman, an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, highlights the achievements of the Progressive movement, one of whose aims was taming inequality, and which successfully modified the Constitution. There were four constitutional amendments in seven years - the direct election of senators, the franchise for women, the prohibition of alcohol and the income tax. To which I would add another reform, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which provided a mechanism for handling financial crises without the need for the government to be bailed out by rich bankers, as well as the reduction in the tariff, which favored ordinary people by bringing down the cost of manufactures. Politics can respond to inequality, and the Constitution is not set in stone.

What of today, when inequality is back in full force? ...


Angus Deaton, a professor emeritus at Princeton, was awarded the Nobel in economic science in 2015.

anne -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 11:26 AM
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/6_casedeaton.pdf

March 17, 2017

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century
By Anne Case and Angus Deaton

Summary

We build on and extend the findings in Case and Deaton (2015 * ) on increases in mortality and morbidity among white non-Hispanic Americans in midlife since the turn of the century. Increases in all-cause mortality continued unabated to 2015, with additional increases in drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholic-related liver mortality, particularly among those with a high-school degree or less. The decline in mortality from heart disease has slowed and, most recently, stopped, and this combined with the three other causes is responsible for the increase in all-cause mortality. Not only are educational differences in mortality among whites increasing, but mortality is rising for those without, and falling for those with, a college degree. This is true for non-Hispanic white men and women in all age groups from 25-29 through 60-64. Mortality rates among blacks and Hispanics continue to fall; in 1999, the mortality rate of white non-Hispanics aged 50-54 with only a high-school degree was 30 percent lower than the mortality rate of blacks in the same age group; by 2015, it was 30 percent higher. There are similar crossovers between white and black mortality in all age groups from 25-29 to 60-64.

Mortality rates in comparable rich countries have continued their pre-millennial fall at the rates that used to characterize the US. In contrast to the US, mortality rates in Europe are falling for those with low levels of educational attainment, and are doing so more rapidly than mortality rates for those with higher levels of education.

Many commentators have suggested that the poor mortality outcomes can be attributed to slowly growing, stagnant, and even declining incomes; we evaluate this possibility, but find that it cannot provide a comprehensive explanation. In particular, the income profiles for blacks and Hispanics, whose mortality has fallen, are no better than those for whites. Nor is there any evidence in the European data that mortality trends match income trends, in spite of sharply different patterns of median income across countries after the Great Recession.

We propose a preliminary but plausible story in which cumulative disadvantage over life, in the labor market, in marriage and child outcomes, and in health, is triggered by progressively worsening labor market opportunities at the time of entry for whites with low levels of education. This account, which fits much of the data, has the profoundly negative implication that policies, even ones that successfully improve earnings and jobs, or redistribute income, will take many years to reverse the mortality and morbidity increase, and that those in midlife now are likely to do much worse in old age than those currently older than 65. This is in contrast to an account in which resources affect health contemporaneously, so that those in midlife now can expect to do better in old age as they receive Social Security and Medicare. None of this implies that there are no policy levers to be pulled; preventing the over-prescription of opioids is an obvious target that would clearly be helpful.

* http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/10/29/1518393112

Peter K. -> anne... , March 25, 2017 at 01:18 PM
"Of course, the fears about industrialization were realized, and by the late 19th century, in the Gilded Age, income inequality had reached levels comparable to those we see today. In perhaps the most original part of his book, Sitaraman, an associate professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, highlights the achievements of the Progressive movement, one of whose aims was taming inequality, and which successfully modified the Constitution. There were four constitutional amendments in seven years - the direct election of senators, the franchise for women, the prohibition of alcohol and the income tax. To which I would add another reform, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which provided a mechanism for handling financial crises without the need for the government to be bailed out by rich bankers, as well as the reduction in the tariff, which favored ordinary people by bringing down the cost of manufactures. "

It's interesting that the language of inequality is the language of technocrats, however worthy.

It's a way to talk about the politics without referring to Marxist or populist/labor traditions which often involve social movements.

[Mar 25, 2017] The popular press acts as if governments should act like a family. And just as families have to balance the budgets, governments have to. But this is a false analogy

Notable quotes:
"... The result was the economy had to depend on banks to create the money to expand. If the government doesn't create it, who will create the spending power? The answer was the banks. ..."
"... Clinton did what he was told to do by the Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin. In effect, his policy was: "Let the banks create all the money and charge interest instead of the government creating money by spending it like the greenbacks were spent." ..."
"... The advantage of governments creating money is you they don't have to pay interest, because the spending is self-financing. Bank lobbyists cry about how large the government debt is, but this is debt that is not expected to be repaid. Adam Smith wrote that no government has ever paid its debt. ..."
"... The bank strategy continues: "If we can privatize the economy, we can turn the whole public sector into a monopoly. We can treat what used to be the government sector as a financial monopoly. Instead of providing free or subsidized schooling, we can make people pay $50,000 to get a college education, or $50,000 just to get a grade school education if families choose to if you go to New York private schools. We can turn the roads into toll roads. We can charge people for water, and we can charge for what used to be given for free under the old style of Roosevelt capitalism and social democracy." ..."
"... The guiding idea of a well-run economy is to keep natural monopolies out of private hands. This was not done in Russia after 1991. Its disaster under the neoliberals is a classic example. It led to huge immigration rates, shortening life spans, rising disease rates and drug use. You can see how to demoralize a country if you can stop the government from spending money into the economy. That will cause austerity, lower living standards and really put the class war in business. So what Trump is suggesting is to put the class war in business, financially, with an exclamation point. ..."
"... You used the word "stability" and this is often a slogan to prevent thought. George Orwell didn't use the term "junk economics," but he defined what doublethink is. The function is to prevent thought. "Stability" is akin to the "Great Moderation." Remember how economists running up to the 2008 crisis said, "This is a Great Moderation." ..."
"... By dismantling government spending on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the public news agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, you're stripping the economy away and making the American economy like what Margaret Thatcher did in England. You make it less dynamic, a less lively place, and above all a poorer economy. That is the aim of these "reforms," which mean undoing what reforms used to mean for the last century. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

RGC said in reply to RGC...

MICHAEL HUDSON: The popular press acts as if governments should act like a family. And just as families have to balance the budgets, governments have to. But this is a false analogy, because if you personally spend more than you earn, you can't just write an I.O.U., which everybody else can spend as if it's real money. You have to pay the I.O.U. at some point, usually with interest, to the bank. But that's not the case with sovereign governments. When a government runs a budget deficit, it can do so in the way that Abraham Lincoln funded the Civil War: You print the money.

You print it into the economy by spending it.

Almost every year until the 1990s, the United States, like every other country in the world, increased its debt by running a budget deficit, by spending money into the economy for infrastructure, schooling, and roads. This is what enables economies to grow. That stopped during the Clinton administration in the 1990s. At the end of the administration he fell for neoliberal theory that you should balance the budget, and he actually ran a budget surplus. So the government stopped spending money into the economy.

The result was the economy had to depend on banks to create the money to expand. If the government doesn't create it, who will create the spending power? The answer was the banks.

Clinton did what he was told to do by the Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin. In effect, his policy was: "Let the banks create all the money and charge interest instead of the government creating money by spending it like the greenbacks were spent."

The advantage of governments creating money is you they don't have to pay interest, because the spending is self-financing. Bank lobbyists cry about how large the government debt is, but this is debt that is not expected to be repaid. Adam Smith wrote that no government has ever paid its debt.

I think it's easiest for most Americans to understand this by looking at Europe. Under the Eurozone's rules, central banks are not allowed to create much money. As a result the economies of Europe are shrinking into austerity. Greece is the most notorious example. Here you have unemployment among youth up to 50% as the economy for the last five years is suffering from the worst depression since the 1930s. Yet the government is not able to spend the money needed to rebuild the economy. The banks won't let them do it. The aim of neoliberals is to prevent governments from spending money to revive growth by running deficits. Their argument is: "If a government can't run a deficit, then it can't spend money on roads, schools and other infrastructure. They'll have to privatize these assets – and banks can create their own credit to let investors buy these assets and run them as rent-extracting monopolies."

The bank strategy continues: "If we can privatize the economy, we can turn the whole public sector into a monopoly. We can treat what used to be the government sector as a financial monopoly. Instead of providing free or subsidized schooling, we can make people pay $50,000 to get a college education, or $50,000 just to get a grade school education if families choose to if you go to New York private schools. We can turn the roads into toll roads. We can charge people for water, and we can charge for what used to be given for free under the old style of Roosevelt capitalism and social democracy."

This idea that governments should not create money implies that they shouldn't act like governments. Instead, the de facto government should be Wall Street. Instead of governments allocating resources to help the economy grow, Wall Street should be the allocator of resources – and should starve the government to "save taxpayers" (or at least the wealthy). Tea Party promoters want to starve the government to a point where it can be "drowned in the bathtub."

But if you don't have a government that can fund itself, then who is going to govern, and on whose terms? The obvious answer is, the class with the money: Wall Street and the corporate sector. They clamor for a balanced budget, saying, "We don't want the government to fund public infrastructure. We want it to be privatized in a way that will generate profits for the new owners, along with interest for the bondholders and the banks that fund it; and also, management fees. Most of all, the privatized enterprises should generate capital gains for the stockholders as they jack up prices for hitherto public services."

The reason why the European countries, the United States and other countries ran budget deficits for so many years is because they want to keep this infrastructure in the public domain, not privatized. The things that government spends money on – roads, railroads, schools, water and other basic needs – are the kind of things that people absolutely must obtain. So they're the last things you want to privatize. If they're privatized instead of being publicly funded, they can be monopolized. Most public spending programs are for such natural monopolies.

The guiding idea of a well-run economy is to keep natural monopolies out of private hands. This was not done in Russia after 1991. Its disaster under the neoliberals is a classic example. It led to huge immigration rates, shortening life spans, rising disease rates and drug use. You can see how to demoralize a country if you can stop the government from spending money into the economy. That will cause austerity, lower living standards and really put the class war in business. So what Trump is suggesting is to put the class war in business, financially, with an exclamation point.


SHARMINI PERIES: You talked about the implications of cutting government spending and, in fact, your myth number 18 deals with this. You describe this myth as saying that cutbacks in public spending will bring the government budget into balance, restoring stability. And you just demonstrated through the Russian example that this is quite misleading and in fact has the opposite effect and destabilizes the population. So this policy Trump seems to endorse – the cutback in public spending – give us some examples of how this could affect society.


MICHAEL HUDSON: You used the word "stability" and this is often a slogan to prevent thought. George Orwell didn't use the term "junk economics," but he defined what doublethink is. The function is to prevent thought. "Stability" is akin to the "Great Moderation." Remember how economists running up to the 2008 crisis said, "This is a Great Moderation."

We now know that it was the most unstable decade in a century. It was a decade of financial fraud, it was a decade where economic inequality between wealth and the rest of the economy widened. So what made it moderate? Alan Greenspan went before the Senate Committee and gave a long talk on what was so "stable"? He said that what's stable is that workers haven't gone on strike. They are so deeply in debt, they owe so much money that they're one paycheck away from missing an electric utility payment. So they're afraid to strike. They're afraid even to protest against working conditions. They're afraid to ask that their wages be increased to reflect their productivity. What's stable is the wealthy people, Greenspan's constituency, the five percent or the one percent get all of the income and the people get nothing. That is stability according to Alan Greenspan.

Words like "stability" or similar euphemisms are used to make people think that somehow the economy is stable and normal. The reality is that it is being slowly squeezed. That's basically what happened in the Great Moderation. The government was cutting back spending on social programs, dismantling the New Deal array of consumer protection agencies, which Trump also wants to get rid of. The first thing he wanted to get rid of, he said, is Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The problem for Republicans serving their bank lobbyists is that it's trying to prevent fraud – and that limits consumer choice. Just like we let people go to MacDonald's and buy junk food and junk sodas to get obese, we have to let them have the free choice to put their pension funds in Wall Street companies that are going to cheat them.

These are the Wall Street firms that have paid tens of billions of dollars for the financial fraud they've committed. The Republicans want to dismantle all of the penalties against financial fraud, against cheating consumers. That would reduce the amount of money that sector can extract, and these people are what's driving the economy. But they're driving the economy largely by debt leveraging bordering on fraud. That's the kicker in all this.

By dismantling government spending on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the public news agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, you're stripping the economy away and making the American economy like what Margaret Thatcher did in England. You make it less dynamic, a less lively place, and above all a poorer economy. That is the aim of these "reforms," which mean undoing what reforms used to mean for the last century.

These words and the vocabulary used in the press dovetail into each other to paint a picture of a fictitious economy. The aim is to make people think that they're living in a parallel universe, unable to use a vocabulary and economic concepts to explain just why life is so unfair and why they're being squeezed so badly.

Above all, the aim is to dissuade them from thinking about how it doesn't have to be this way. There is no natural law that says that they should be squeezed by debt, monopolies and fraud. But that kind of thinking requires an alternative program – and an alternative program requires recapturing the language to explain what it is that you're trying to create as an alternative.

[Mar 25, 2017] What is Economism and why it is so damaging

Notable quotes:
"... Ugh what an awful display of pop economism. Globalization and technology are "impersonal forces." No mention of the rise of inequality or the SecStags. No mention of monetary policy fail in Europe. The biggest lies of economism are the lies of omission. ..."
"... Looks like this concept of "Economism" introduced by James Kwak in his book Economism is very important conceptual tool for understanding the tremendous effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda. ..."
"... When competitive free markets and rational well-informed actors are the baseline assumption, the burden of proof shifts unfairly onto anyone proposing a government policy. ..."
"... For example, the basic Econ 101 theory of supply and demand is fine for some products, but it doesn't work very well for labor markets. It is incapable of simultaneously explaining both the small effect of minimum wage increases and the small impact of low-skilled immigration. Some more complicated, advanced theory is called for. ..."
"... But no matter how much evidence piles up, people keep talking about "the labor supply curve" and "the labor demand curve" as if these are real objects, and to analyze policies -- for example, overtime rules -- using the same old framework. ..."
"... An idea that we believe in despite all evidence to the contrary isn't a scientific theory -- it's an infectious meme. ..."
"... Academic economists are unsure about how to respond to the abuse of simplistic econ theories for political ends. On one hand, it gives them enormous prestige. The popularity of simplistic econ ideas has made economists the toast of America's intellectual classes. ..."
"... It has sustained enormous demand for the undergraduate econ major, which serves, in the words of writer Michael Lewis, as a "standardized test of general intelligence" for future businesspeople. But as Kwak points out, the simple theories promulgated by politicians and on the Wall Street Journal editorial page often bear little resemblance to the sophisticated theories used by real economists. ..."
"... And when things go wrong -- when the financial system crashes, or millions of workers displaced by Chinese imports fail to find new careers -- it's academic economists who often get blamed, not the blasé and misleading popularizers. ..."
Jan 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. : January 20, 2017 at 04:35 AM

Noah Smith: The Ways That Pop Economics Hurt America - Noah Smith

"So I wonder if economism was really as unrealistic and useless as Kwak seems to imply. Did countries that resisted economism -- Japan, for example, or France [Germany?] -- do better for their poor and middle classes than the U.S.? Wages have stagnated in those countries, and inequality has increased, even as those countries remain poorer than the U.S. Did the U.S.'s problems really all come from economism, or did forces such as globalization and technological change play a part? Cross-country comparisons suggest that the deregulation and tax cuts of the 1980s and 1990s, although ultimately excessive, probably increased economic output somewhat."

Ugh what an awful display of pop economism. Globalization and technology are "impersonal forces." No mention of the rise of inequality or the SecStags. No mention of monetary policy fail in Europe. The biggest lies of economism are the lies of omission.

libezkova -> Peter K.... , -1
Thank you !

Looks like this concept of "Economism" introduced by James Kwak in his book Economism is very important conceptual tool for understanding the tremendous effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda.

I think it is proper to view Economism as a flavor of Lysenkoism. As such it is not very effective in acquiring the dominant position and suppressing of dissent, but it also can be very damaging.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-19/the-ways-that-pop-economics-hurt-america

== quote ==

...When competitive free markets and rational well-informed actors are the baseline assumption, the burden of proof shifts unfairly onto anyone proposing a government policy. For far too many years, free-marketers have gotten away with winning debates by just sitting back and saying "Oh yeah? Show me the market failure!" That deck-stacking has long forced public intellectuals on the left have to work twice as hard as those safely ensconced in think tanks on the free-market right, and given the latter a louder voice in public life than their ideas warrant.

It's also true that simple theories, especially those we learn in our formative years, can maintain an almost unshakeable grip on our thinking.

For example, the basic Econ 101 theory of supply and demand is fine for some products, but it doesn't work very well for labor markets. It is incapable of simultaneously explaining both the small effect of minimum wage increases and the small impact of low-skilled immigration. Some more complicated, advanced theory is called for.

But no matter how much evidence piles up, people keep talking about "the labor supply curve" and "the labor demand curve" as if these are real objects, and to analyze policies -- for example, overtime rules -- using the same old framework.

An idea that we believe in despite all evidence to the contrary isn't a scientific theory -- it's an infectious meme.

Academic economists are unsure about how to respond to the abuse of simplistic econ theories for political ends. On one hand, it gives them enormous prestige. The popularity of simplistic econ ideas has made economists the toast of America's intellectual classes.

It has sustained enormous demand for the undergraduate econ major, which serves, in the words of writer Michael Lewis, as a "standardized test of general intelligence" for future businesspeople. But as Kwak points out, the simple theories promulgated by politicians and on the Wall Street Journal editorial page often bear little resemblance to the sophisticated theories used by real economists.

And when things go wrong -- when the financial system crashes, or millions of workers displaced by Chinese imports fail to find new careers -- it's academic economists who often get blamed, not the blasé and misleading popularizers.

... ... ...

Russia and China have given up communism not because they stopped having working classes, but because it became obvious that their communist systems were keeping them in poverty. And Americans are now starting to question economism because of declining median income, spiraling inequality and a huge financial and economic crisis.

[Mar 25, 2017] What Russia Wants - and Expects

Notable quotes:
"... Does Russia Have a Future? ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
March 22, 2017

Washington's political infighting has blocked President Trump's plans for a new détente with Russia but also has left the global playing field open for Russian – and Chinese – advances in expanding their influence, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

As Democrats and the mainstream U.S. media focus intensely on still unproven charges of Russian election meddling to explain Hillary Clinton's surprising defeat, the furor has forced an embattled President Trump to retreat from his plans to cooperate with Russia on fighting terrorism and other global challenges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)

Amid the anti-Russian hysteria, Trump's Cabinet members and United Nations ambassador have gone out of their way to reiterate the tough policy positions of the Obama administration with respect to Russia, underlining that nothing has changed. For its part, Congress has plunged into McCarthyistic hearings aimed at Trump supporters who may have met with Russians before the 2016 elections.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has duly noted these developments in Washington. In Moscow, the breakthrough in relations that some had hoped for is now dismissed as improbable. On the other hand, while the United States is tearing itself apart in partisan fighting, Russia is getting a much-needed breather from the constant ratcheting up of pressure from the West that it experienced over the past three years.

We hear from Russian elites more and more how they plan to proceed on the international stage in the new circumstances. The byword is self-reliance and pursuit of the regional and global policies that have been forming over the past couple of years as the confrontation with the United States escalated.

These policies have nothing to do with some attack on the Baltic States or Poland, the nightmare scenarios pushed by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists in the U.S. and the European Union. The Russian plans also have nothing to do with subversion of elections in France or Germany, the other part of the fevered imaginations of the West.

Instead, the Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia's own more limited resources.

In other words, the Russians are envisioning a future world order whose contours harken back to the Nineteenth Century. In terms of details, the Russians are now inseparably wed to China for reasons of mutual economic and security interest on the global stage. The same is becoming true of their relationship with Iran at the regional level of the Greater Middle East.

The Russian elites also take pride in the emerging military, economic and geopolitical relationships with countries as far removed as Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Thailand. News about breakthroughs with each of these countries is heralded on daily television programming.

Mideast Interests

Russian elites note that the United States has misunderstood Moscow's position in Syria from the start of the war there. Russia's priority was never to keep the Assad regime in power, but rather to maintain a foothold in the Middle East. Put narrowly, Russia was determined to maintain its naval base at Tarsus, which is important to support Russia's presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. More broadly, Moscow's goal was to restore Russian influence in the strategic region where Russia once was a significant player before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

In May 2016, Russian marchers honoring family members who fought in World War II. (Photo from RT)

Russia's loss of Eastern Europe is also not forgotten, though American hegemony there is acknowledged as a reality of the present. But nothing lasts forever, and the Russians expect to be back as a major force in the region, not by military conquest, but by virtue of economic and strategic logic, which favors them in the long term. Though many East European elites have been bought off by the United States and the European Union, many common citizens have been major losers from the American led post-Cold War order, suffering from de-industrialization and large-scale emigration to more developed E.U. countries, reaching as much as 25 percent of the general population in some places. These Eastern European countries have little to offer Western Europe except for tourist destinations, whereas their shared potential for trade with Russia is immense.

This past weekend, Russian television news carried images of demonstrations in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova that you did not see on Euronews. The object of this popular wrath was billionaire financial speculator George Soros and his "Open Society" affiliates. Russian news commentary explained that these demonstrations - operating under the banner of "Go Home Soros" - became possible now because the Trump administration has dropped U.S. support for him.

It would be naïve not to see some official Russian assistance to these coordinated demonstrations across a large swath of Eastern Europe, but the Russians were simply giving the United States a taste of its own medicine, since U.S.-sponsored "non-governmental organizations" have been busy subverting legitimate Euro-skeptic governments in these countries in cooperation with Soros's NGOs.

Not Your Grandfather's Cold War

But there are key differences between what is happening now and in the Cold War days. The original Cold War was characterized not only by military and geopolitical rivalry of the world's two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It also was an ideological rivalry between – on one side – free market capitalism and parliamentary democracy and – on the other – planned economies and monolithic top-down Communist Party rule.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

Starting with President Richard Nixon, a policy of détente was put in place, which embodied the principle of co-existence of these competing principles of organizing human society for the sake of world peace. There are those who maintain we have no New Cold War today because the ideological dimension is lacking, although there are obvious differences over principles between the socially liberal U.S./E.U. and the more socially conservative Russia. But those differences hardly constitute a full-blown ideological conflict.

The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism. The West generally has favored the first of these options while Russia and China lead a bloc of nations generally favoring the second options.

On the campaign trail and in his Inaugural speech, Donald Trump spoke in Realist terms suggesting that the U.S. would abandon its Idealist ideology of the preceding 25 years, which involved coercive "regime change" strategies to impose Western political values and economic systems around the world. Instead, Trump suggested that he would do business with Russia and with the world at large without imposing U.S. solutions, essentially accepting the principles that the Russians have been promoting ever since they began their public pushback to the United States in 2007.

However, given Trump's retreat on foreign policy in recent weeks – while under fierce attack from Washington power centers asserting possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – we may be left with something akin to the re-set that Obama introduced at the start of his rule in 2009 which never went as far as détente/co-existence. It was limited to cooperation in isolated areas where U.S. and Russian interests were deemed to coincide.

The only difference we might see from the embattled Trump administration is less of a penchant for "regime change" operations and a resumption of some bilateral contacts with Russia that were cut off when Obama decided to penalize Russia for its intervention in Crimea and the Donbass in 2014.

Assuming that Washington's neocon Republicans and hawkish Democrats don't push Trump into a desperate political corner, he might at least engage Moscow with a more polite and diplomatic tone. That might be better than some of the alternatives, but it is surely not an onset of a new collaborative Golden Age.

The scaling back in expectations of how far the Trump administration will go in improving relations with Russia makes sense because of another reality that has become clear now that his team of advisers and implementers is filling out, namely that there is no one in his "kitchen cabinet" or in his administration who can guide the neophyte president as he tries to negotiate a new global order and to do a "big deal" with Vladimir Putin, such as Trump may have hoped to strike.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner lacks the experience and depth to be a world-class strategic thinker. Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has corporate skills from his years at Exxon-Mobil but also lacks a strategic vision. Many other key jobs have gone to military generals who may be competent administrators but have limited political or diplomatic experience. There was talk of guidance coming from Henry Kissinger, but he has not been seen or heard from recently, and it is doubtful that at his advanced age and frailty he could provide consistent counsel.

As Trump struggles to survive the cumulative attacks on his fledgling administration, he is also distracted from the reality of a rapidly changing world. If and when he does get to concentrate on the geopolitical situation, he may well have to play catch up with Russia and China as they make deals with other regional players and fill the vacuum left by the ongoing American political disorder.

Assuming Trump can bring on board talented advisers with strategic depth, it would still take enormous vision and diplomatic skills to strike a "big deal" that could begin to end the violent chaos that has swept across much of the world since 2001. If and when that becomes possible, such a deal might look like a "Yalta-2" with a triangular shape involving the U.S., Russia and China.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. Andrew Nichols , March 22, 2017 at 7:26 pm

Stuff your silly divide and rule. How about live and let live? I presume this is what you do in your private life. I dont feel any threat at all from Russia, Iran or China despite the Chicken Little crap from our media and bought and paid for pollies on a daily basis. So let's all chill out and tell our pollies to shut ..f..k up!

Kiza , March 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Your words reminded me of what I learned about Hitler. In Europe, all my teachers of history in primary and secondary school emphasised that if Hitler was smart enough to attack one country at a time, he would have won the WW2. For example, when he attacked Poland and Britain declared war on Germany, he should have tried to finish off Britain instead of trying to win it over whilst attacking Soviet Union.

Perhaps the US/Israeli leadership suffers from the same type of hubris, believing that it can globalize the World by conquering both Russia and China. Of course, the US/Israeli MIC believes that the bigger the enemy the higher the profit.

Joe Tedesky , March 23, 2017 at 1:35 am

KIza my hunch is the American Israeli MIC is blinded by money, and what they consider success. Here could have been the moment for America to truly be the that shinning city upon the hill, but instead we took the advice of the Project for a New American 21st Century, a project so evil it surpasses the stupidity of Dr Strangelove and here we are. If the money could see a profit in humanitarian needs, wow wouldn't that be lovely.

My grandmother always told me the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and America better watch out now it's gonna get it's ass kicked good if it doesn't wise up. I love my country, and that remark I just made isn't a reflection on our uniformed military, but these genius in DC fighting each other, and laying down some really made stuff on Russia, isn't good, and it ain't going to amount to much more than pain in the end. The whole idea of this 21st century America is nothing but a plan to inflict pain.

This fricking media we have isn't going to stop until Trump gets impeached, or we really do something stupid to Russia. The sense of all of this in my eyes always leads back to that Project for the new American Century piece of crap. America had it all to win over the love of the world, why with just the rhetoric and spirit it was enough to try and strive for, but now ah not so much. It's not too late, but I don't at this moment in time see what good is on the horizon in the meantime I'm going to just try and appreciate whatever it is there is to appreciate take care Joe

Kiza , March 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

I agree Joe, as a project of its Dual Citizens PNAC is the root of most evil in US. It is not a true American project. It is a project for global domination of Israel using US, its people and its resources, as means to an end. Who needs to discuss the veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, when PNAC is available in plain sight. I am just surprised how few US people understand this. Thanks for your great comment as usual.

Bob Van Noy , March 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

"Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia's own more limited resources." Gilbert Doctorow

Again. "The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism." Gilbert Doctorow

To me the choice, were we ever given a choice as voters, would clearly be: 1) A future multi-polar world and, 2) a balance of forces and respect for local differences. The choice doesn't seem so very controversial? However, the default position of the Neocons and the liberal interventionists has always been to double down rather than negotiate, so I expect more saber rattling aggression

BannanaBoat , March 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Jimmy Carter stated USA is no longer a democracy, true. Idealism is the opposite of true USA motives, pure machivellian greed.

backwardsevolution , March 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Brad Owen – that's the way I see it too. I don't think that Trump needs Bannon or his son-in-law to be strategic. Strategic thinking (one-upping your opponent, outsmarting him, taking what's not yours, outright lying, propaganda, coups, trying to control the whole world) has been the policy for too long. I think Trump has a particular vision, and he's, as you say, playing rope-a-dope with the "strategic" thinkers.

I see Trump as wanting to create free (but FAIR) trade. I see him wanting to stay out of other countries' business, concentrating on the home base, which has been sorely neglected for the last 20 – 30 years.

I think people totally underestimate Trump.

This is really a war between those who favor globalism/internationalism thinking (open borders, absence of a nation state or culture, multinational corporations controlling the world, one-world order) and those who favor nation states, culture, borders, fair and open trade with other countries.

Trump is not a professional politician. He is not a great orator, slick or polished. But I believe he loves his country more than the other bought-and-paid-for politicians who govern according to who is paying them the most money on any given day.

I think that the way Trump looks at business is if his competitor gets a property on one block, he gets one on the next. Everybody is happy. He doesn't set out to ensure that his competitor is crushed. He doesn't lie about him, try to get others to sanction him, try to bar him from doing business.

Arseniy Urazov , March 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Hi Brad, nice comment, I think you will like this article in case you missed it https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/14/trumps-quiet-outreach-to-russia/
And just to add to your comment, Russia and USA are working very close in Syria. Not directly of course, but Syrian army and the Kurds (who are heavily supported by USA from air) are making great progress in the Norther part of Syria. In fact they even cooperated to block further advances of the Turks (NATO member btw). So I think that the RU-USA relationship is better than the media is trying to show us

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 5:21 am

I agree,Arseniy. We are two of the three Nations (China being the third Nation) PRIMARILY responsible for securing the peace and guiding development for the entire World we three. This was Roosevelt's vision,ejected by the Anglophile intelligence community the moment he died; recovered fortunately, by our mutual ally China, in the BRI policy. Russia and USA will be the Gateway managers of the World LandBridge (tunnel, spanning Bering Straits with mag-lev rail lines, pipelines, power lines, communication lines) that ties the whole World together. This was thought of in Lincoln's time a way to bypass the powerful British and other European maritime Empires. Russia had the foresight to sell us Alaska towards this end. Russia ALWAYS supported our stand AGAINST European Empires (especially the British Empire), even in the Soviet days. Together with our friend China, AND the rest of the World's Nations we'll continue to progress and grow and move out, into the Solar System to industrialize the moon and Mars and other moons and planets, after we put away these childish, pointless, sinful, wars. Read Executive Intelligence Review website, where these ideas are championed. Remember Krafft Erikhe (spelling?) whose vision of Man the Solar Species inspired our early space program. Our next, centuries-long Era will be our inhabiting of our Solar System, after war has been abolished as obsolete and counter-productive.

Joe Tedesky , March 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

It is a sad day when detente and cooperation is replaced with demonization and belligerence to boot. When will our American leadership finally come to grips that this world isn't flat? Is liberating a nation for the sake of our installing an American fast food chain worth the price of so many innocent lives who get displaced, or worst yet killed by American bombs the price people must pay to join the NWO? Does anyone believe that by doing these things we are making any real and sincere new friends can you say blowback?

All this fuss over Putin and Russian interference is putting President Trump in a difficult box. Why even Putin critic Masha Gessen is worried ..

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/03/21/noted-putin-critic-warns-of-confrontation-between-trump-and-russia-not-collaboration/

Joe Tedesky , March 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Politics is said to make strange bedfellows, and if we include journalist well then Masha Gessen for at least on this Russia-Gate story is making charges similar to those of us who see this witch hunt for what it really is. Now don't blast me for posting a link to Gessen's article but since others are quoting her I thought you may wish to read her own words.

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/03/06/trump-russia-conspiracy-trap/

After reading what Gessen has to say, then read what Paul Street has to say about her saying it.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/22/russiagate-and-the-democratic-party-are-for-chumps/

If America can pull through these tough and difficult times all in one piece, and regain some sense of sanity and fairness of values, this moment in time will be shelved along side the McCarthy era of the lowest of times in America.

Kiza , March 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I would not be as generous to Masha Gessen as you are Joe. Ms Gessen is very anti-Russian and anti-Putin, but she recognises the damage the current DNC policy against her two pet-hates does. After all the US high-tempereture emotional madness blows out, Russia will end up standing even taller because the US Democrats were crying wolf. I have been highlighting this same point for a while now – the Democrats are really working to benefit Russia, they are the really traitorous fifth column they accuse Trump of. This is why Ms Gessen is distancing herself from the mindless bunch.

Joe Tedesky , March 22, 2017 at 11:46 pm

KIza please don't read my posting Gessen's article as an endorsement. I only posted it due to the fact that sites like libertblitzkreig and Leftist Paul Street on counterpunch talked about Gessen's concerns. You know how I've mentioned in many of my comments how I think Vladimir Putin is the only adult in the room when it comes to our world's future. I'm all for distributed power, and I am no fan, and never was of the NWO.

You are on too something though, when you mention to how Masha is no doubt distancing herself away from the awaiting disaster the Democrate's are leading us into. This whole fiasco is troubling when you think of how Hillary's conniving has brought us all to this place. It would be great if Hillary were brought to justice, but then again so much for wishful thinking.

I'll leave you with this, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

[Mar 25, 2017] Maddow has proven herself an indisputable part of "the establishment media going whole-hog on these vague suspicions". That is, she is carrying tubs of water for her Deep State masters.

Notable quotes:
"... Any moderately intelligent person who explores the news and history outside the MSM can easily find the OVERWHELMING evidence of the Deep State's crimes, including JFK, 9/11, and Israel. And it's not merely an organizational survival instinct in the CIA. The massive, long-standing MSM coverups point to tight control and coordination from a powerful center. As Deep Throat taught us, "Follow the money". ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Jessejean

March 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm Good history–wonder why Rachel The Mouth Maddow never did it in her time wasting opening segments where she repeats herself over and over to numb our minds and spend her time when she could be saying something insightful. Maybe that's why. PS. Why does she never invite Robert Parry on to comment? Oh. I see. Reply Brian Setzler , March 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Because she's paid $7 million per year to talk about some things, and not others.

Google "Jill Stein and Russia" and the results will illuminate the Democratic Party Echo Chamber

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Maddow has proven herself an indisputable part of "the establishment media going whole-hog on these vague suspicions". That is, she is carrying tubs of water for her Deep State masters.

Any moderately intelligent person who explores the news and history outside the MSM can easily find the OVERWHELMING evidence of the Deep State's crimes, including JFK, 9/11, and Israel. And it's not merely an organizational survival instinct in the CIA. The massive, long-standing MSM coverups point to tight control and coordination from a powerful center. As Deep Throat taught us, "Follow the money".

[Mar 25, 2017] Hillary and her faction were puppets of deep state. Their liberal interventionist hawk was the same idea as neocons, in many cases it was the same people.

Notable quotes:
"... I suspect that Bill and Hillary Clinton were recruited in the sixties under COINTELPRO (Hillary) and the CIA to do spywork for them. Having been a college student in the late sixties, if you went to a peace rally there was an undercover FBI agent to your left, a CIA asset to your right, a military intelligence officer sitting behind you and a cop from the local red squad in front of you. ..."
"... I understand that Bill's friends in England just presumed he was CIA. ..."
"... Hillary's morphing from Goldwater Girl to neoliberal Democrat occurred while she was hovering around Black Panther legal problems. She observed the Panther trials in New Haven and then spent a summer interning for the law firm in Berkeley that at the time was representing the Black Panthers on the West Coast. The Panthers were the FBI's number one target back then. ..."
"... having "moderate" Dems connected to the Deep State is always helpful. It appears that the role of the Clintons in our unwritten history was to move the Democratic Party to the corporate right. ..."
"... Hillary, when serving on the legal staff for the Democratic Watergate Committee, certainly sat in a place where she could report Democratic progress and how various intelligence leaks were viewed by the other Democrats. ..."
"... The current "Russia hack/Trump traitor" false flag (I describe it more fully below) was originally to give a self-righteous President Clinton the moral high ground to march into Ukraine, the one thing that Trump wouldn't give the Deep State. ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Mark Thomason , March 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm

This should be no real surprise. Hillary and her faction were neo-Republicans. Their liberal interventionist hawk was the same idea as neocons, in many cases it was the same people.

They kept control of the party. It is not Democratic in the sense of opposing war or McCarthyism or corporate abuses or Wall Street or trade agreements. It is bought and paid for by the people who were the Republicans all along.

This is the end state of triangulating courtesy of Bill Clinton. We have two Republican parties, one even crazier than the other.

Bob In Portland , March 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm

I suspect that Bill and Hillary Clinton were recruited in the sixties under COINTELPRO (Hillary) and the CIA to do spywork for them. Having been a college student in the late sixties, if you went to a peace rally there was an undercover FBI agent to your left, a CIA asset to your right, a military intelligence officer sitting behind you and a cop from the local red squad in front of you.

I understand that Bill's friends in England just presumed he was CIA.

Hillary's morphing from Goldwater Girl to neoliberal Democrat occurred while she was hovering around Black Panther legal problems. She observed the Panther trials in New Haven and then spent a summer interning for the law firm in Berkeley that at the time was representing the Black Panthers on the West Coast. The Panthers were the FBI's number one target back then.

After JFK's removal, the Deep State wanted better control of both parties. Nixon wasn't supposed to be the problem he was for them, so Watergate. But having "moderate" Dems connected to the Deep State is always helpful. It appears that the role of the Clintons in our unwritten history was to move the Democratic Party to the corporate right.

Perhaps Bill earned his bones with Asa Hutchinson in the 80s by ignoring Mena. Hillary, when serving on the legal staff for the Democratic Watergate Committee, certainly sat in a place where she could report Democratic progress and how various intelligence leaks were viewed by the other Democrats.

The current "Russia hack/Trump traitor" false flag (I describe it more fully below) was originally to give a self-righteous President Clinton the moral high ground to march into Ukraine, the one thing that Trump wouldn't give the Deep State.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Interesting speculations. For new readers just getting acquainted with the Deep State, consider the scholarly work by professor Peter Dale Scott. Here are three interviews about his books.

In the Conversations With History series from UC Berkeley.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBGgxU27kJA

Deep Politics on the 50th anniversary of JFK's murder.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0CFpMej3mA

The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QH9yOzhkio

[Mar 25, 2017] Every time the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California opens his mouth to propagate unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and Russian influence on the last US elections, he makes a reminder, inadvertently, of the First Husband (the philanderer) taking $500.000 from Russians.

Notable quotes:
"... Another official US moron has blamed Russia, this time for "supplying Taliban" in Afghanistan. US Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti announced that "it was conceivable that Russia was providing supplies to the Afghan Taliban". ..."
"... It appears that absolutely any personal or group failure by any US official gets automatically converted into "Russia did it". Little kids are more creative when they say "the dog ate my homework". ..."
"... He showed the two political parties as 'two wings of the same bird of prey" ..."
"... 69 percent of the [US] people have been taken in with the Russia bashing ..."
"... I would trace the transition of the Democrats to a war party, not to the fear of being labeled disloyal after Iraq War 1, but to their being taken over by the zionists. The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." They want those Mideast wars because they are religious fanatics and thieves. Those are the facts of the Democrats. They are owned by zionist traitors. They are Ziocrats. ..."
"... The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. While there is no doubt that Natanyahu's Israel supports a policy in sync with that of neo-con objectives, it is beyond a stretch to attribute that policy to that Israel's exaggerated influence in the US. ..."
"... Rather, Israel, as well as Israel's Saudi allies, are both instruments of British Empire policy, sometimes called "globalism," which was adopted and embraced by what can be called the Obama faction of the Democratic Party and its backers in the Republican right. ..."
"... US policy, especially in the post-Soviet era has been determined by a failing attempt to maintain a "unipolar" world that no longer exists and should never have been. The freak-out over Trump's exposure of British Intelligence's GCHQ, heralding a possible rupture in Britain's "special relationship" is an indication of the fear gripping the Anglo-American financial oligarchy that their control over the US is slip-sliding away and that the US will pursue its political and economic self-interest by establishing new relationships to true world powers Russia, China, India and Japan. ..."
"... The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. ..."
"... Can you share with readers why you used the term "dangerous illusion" and why it needs debunking? According to William Binney, Obama's use of GCHQ was nothing more than standard operating procedure, an everyday mode of business, to avoid breaking American laws – nothing new, so therefore presenting no threat of rupturing U.S.-British "special relationship". ..."
"... The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." ..."
"... I can tell you that the atmosphere is such on campus that a social science faculty member needs to be very careful not to be taken for having "sympathies" for either Russia or China. I repeatedly hear comments that are chilling, and just nod and get away. ..."
"... When did the Democratic Party turn into the post-war war party? At the Democratic convention in 1944 when the establishment did a coup against FDR's right hand man, ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Anna , March 23, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Every time the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California opens his mouth to propagate unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and Russian influence on the last US elections, he makes a reminder, inadvertently, of the First Husband (the philanderer) taking $500.000 from Russians. The money was a bribe intended to make a right impression on Mrs. Clinton. Keep going Mr. Schiff. There were also tens of millions of $US dollars delivered to Clintons Foundation by the major sponsors of terrorism. These tens of millions of dollars from Saudis, Qatari, and Moroccans constitute bribing of a State Department official. As a result of these bribes, the US government has violated the US Constitution by supplying the US-made weaponry to the Middle Eastern warmongering despots/sponsors of terrorism. That is indeed a treason. Let Mr. Schiff talk. He has been making a nice rope for his own hanging.

Skip Scott , March 24, 2017 at 8:02 am

Great post Anna.

Kiza , March 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

Another official US moron has blamed Russia, this time for "supplying Taliban" in Afghanistan. US Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti announced that "it was conceivable that Russia was providing supplies to the Afghan Taliban".

It appears that absolutely any personal or group failure by any US official gets automatically converted into "Russia did it". Little kids are more creative when they say "the dog ate my homework".

But what this sick and unintelligent bull does to Russia? It appears that the US coup in Ukraine and its support for Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria have solidified Putin's popularity rating at around an unimaginable 85%. All this in the middle of a fairly serious economic crisis in Russia. There is and there has been no major country in the World where the leader has had such approval rating, for so long and despite the economy in a bad shape. Read all about it: http://johnhelmer.net/the-us-war-has-been-good-for-president-vladimir-putin-and-the-russian-economy-looks-stable-through-the-presidential-election-so-if-you-are-a-us-warfighter-what-is-the-regime-change-opportunity-no/#more-17368

Therefore, all these US Demopublicans, generals and other assorted officials are obviously all on Putin's payroll, because they keep working to increase his popularity.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Democrats. Republicans. Same old, same old.

In 1904 Upton Sinclair wrote in The Jungle :

"The original edition of the novel concluded with its proletarian protagonist attending a mass rally addressed by the American Socialist Party's mesmerizing presidential candidate – Sinclair's fictional representation of Eugene Debs. The candidate, Sinclair wrote:

"was a man of electric presence, tall and gaunt, with a face worn think by struggle and suffering. The fury of outraged manhood gleamed in him – and the tears of suffering. When he spoke he paced the stage restlessly; he was lithe and eager, like a panther. He leaned over, reaching out for his audience; he pointed into their souls with an insistent finger. His voice was husky from much speaking, but the hall was still as death, and everyone heard him. He spoke the language of workingmen – he pointed them the way. He showed the two political parties as 'two wings of the same bird of prey" [emphasis added]. The people were allowed to choose between their candidates, and both of them were controlled, and all their nominations were dictated by, the same [money] power."

In a number of essays Walter Karp made similar points backed up by lots of evidence.

Accidental , March 23, 2017 at 8:04 pm

That book should be required reading in this country. I suspect most people have never even heard of it despite the fact that it was undoubtedly one of the most influential books of the early 20th century.

D5-5 , March 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

The time is extraordinary in the reckless and naked way the PTB (i.e. the two major parties) are exposing themselves as to NOT serving the people. I was disappointed today to read on RT that 69 percent of the [US] people have been taken in with the Russia bashing (showing I've been wrong lately on my estimates), but I'm hopeful that will not last. More important, Robert's article shows us the dedication of the parties to their deeper playbook, which is obviously controlled by financial interests, not the people's interests. The nakedness of this exposure today is unusual in my experience of watching Washington.

Recommended: a look at what could be a companion piece to Robert's article from Mike Whitney in today's counterpunch, titled "Will Washington risk WWIII to block an emerging EU-Russia super-state":

From that article:

"For the last 70 years the imperial strategy has worked without a hitch, but now Russia's resurgence and China's explosive growth are threatening to break free from Washington's stranglehold. The Asian allies have begun to crisscross Central Europe and Asis with pipelines and high-speed rail that will gather together the far-flung statelets scattered across the steppe, draw them into a Eurasian Economic Union, and link them to an expansive and thriving superstate, the epicenter of global commerce and industry."

BannanaBoat , March 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Neither the proud Russians nor Chinese will diminish their nation and culture. BRICS is the level of unity they will accept.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

I would trace the transition of the Democrats to a war party, not to the fear of being labeled disloyal after Iraq War 1, but to their being taken over by the zionists. The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." They want those Mideast wars because they are religious fanatics and thieves. Those are the facts of the Democrats. They are owned by zionist traitors. They are Ziocrats.

J. D. , March 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm

The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. While there is no doubt that Natanyahu's Israel supports a policy in sync with that of neo-con objectives, it is beyond a stretch to attribute that policy to that Israel's exaggerated influence in the US.

Rather, Israel, as well as Israel's Saudi allies, are both instruments of British Empire policy, sometimes called "globalism," which was adopted and embraced by what can be called the Obama faction of the Democratic Party and its backers in the Republican right.

US policy, especially in the post-Soviet era has been determined by a failing attempt to maintain a "unipolar" world that no longer exists and should never have been. The freak-out over Trump's exposure of British Intelligence's GCHQ, heralding a possible rupture in Britain's "special relationship" is an indication of the fear gripping the Anglo-American financial oligarchy that their control over the US is slip-sliding away and that the US will pursue its political and economic self-interest by establishing new relationships to true world powers Russia, China, India and Japan.

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Well said. It's also time to get rid of the phony "Special Relationship" (between 1%er oligarchs of The City and The Street), to replace it with the actual Special Relationship, so as to ease UK's transition into the New multi-polar Era dawning: this is tribal, in that dear old "Mother Country" need not worry that Her "Four Children" (Australia, Canada, N.Z., USA) will leave Her out in the cold. THAT is the TRUE special relationship; the far-flung, English-speaking Tribe will see to the General Welfare of ALL of its' members, but without degrading the well-being of the rest of the World. War is obsolete, not conducive to anyone's well-being, Geopolitics & divide & conquer is over, finished.

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Zionism is a product of Cecil Rhodes' RoundTable Group, which, in concert with the Synarchist Movement for Empire, concerned how to manage African and Middle East colonies and assets belonging mainly to British and French Empires (which also explains WHY the Brits dawdled in North Africa during WWII, much to the chagrin of Stalin and Gen Marshall, who wanted to open up the Western Front ASAP).

They found the perfect opportunity to implement the strategy post-WWII, and suckered USA, via The City's Wall Street Tories, into guaranteeing the existence of Israel. End of story.

Check out the tons of articles on the subject at the EIR website. Tarpley covers it well also. Argue your case with them, F Sam. Good luck. You'll need lots of it.

rosemerry , March 23, 2017 at 4:49 pm

All the talk of "Russian interference" takes over the media, but the ever-present Israeli connection is just accepted as normal. Saudi Arabia, too, is allowed plenty of influence while Iran is demonized.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Yes, Brad, I agree that Cecil Rhodes and others were involved with the zionists fairly early, although perhaps the greatest British interest was in the Suez canal. Also agree that the US was fooled into taking over the Suez protection and pressuring the UN to create Israel. No doubt there was Wall St interest, although I gather that zionists made direct "donations" to Truman's campaign for the UN pressure.

No doubt there were British zionists involved. But I think that JD's theory that Brits control US policy in the Mideast is a diversion from the obvious zionist control, whether he knows it or not. I will look again at your EIR website. Did not mean to offend.

Brad Owen , March 24, 2017 at 4:27 am

Sam, we just disagree on the location of the REAL enemy. The zionistas are indeed real, and a threat, a real enemy to the USA, but I maintain they are just a weapon wielded by our traditional enemy who has always fought to undermine us here in America; the British Empire (an entity distinct from the Anglo-Celtic people living on the British Isles who are our tribal mates and suffering under the same yoke of Empire as are we).

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Completely wrong: it is an obvious fact that the Democrats have been taken over by the zionists. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." Hillary's major campaign sponsors are all Jewish.
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/033116/top-10-corporate-contributors-clinton-campaign.asp
The top 10 contributors to HRCs Superpac were as follows:
1. Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna: $35 million
2. Donald Sussman, Paloma Partners: $21,100,000
3. Jay Robert Pritzker (Mary), Pritzker Group and Foundation: $12,600,000
4. Haim Saban and Cheryl Saban, Saban Capital Group: $10,000,000
5. George Soros (Schwartz): $9,525,000 (changed name from Schwartz)
6. S. Daniel Abraham, SDA Enterprises: $9,000,000
7. Fred Eychaner (Eichner), Newsweb Corporation: $8,005,400
8. James Simons (Shimon), Euclidean Capital: $7,000,000
9. Henry Laufer and Marsha Laufer, Renaissance Technologies: $5,500,000
10. Laure Woods (Wald), Laurel Foundation: $5 million

Your suggestion that this is "British empire" policy is way beyond the ridiculous, it is zionist propaganda. The entire UK economy is a small fraction of that of the US, and there is little financial connection.

I challenge you to deny these facts, or to substantiate the absurd theory of British control. US mass media.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm

To continue, the US mass media are also controlled by Jews, presumably zionists. About 40-60 percent of US newspapers are controlled by persons of identifiable Jewish surnames, while less than half of Jewish people can be so identified. Most of the rest are indirectly controlled by Jews.

No further explanation is needed of the mass media craze for Hillary Clinton (Kleinberg). The DNC emails show that she talks to no one but Jews about Mideast policy.

No further proof is needed of the origins of Democrat policy in the Mideast. It may play to the interests of the MIC and oil companies sometimes, but not in Syria/Libya/Egypt. And we got no special deals on Iraqi oil anyway, and had no reason to expect them.

Your move.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm

In support of your points, here is an excellent article at a Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website that points out the huge known influence of Israel on American politics that is being ignored amidst all the speculation about possible Russian influence, "Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

Mondoweiss is a site of news and analysis with high journalistic standards. Like Consortium News it has also been attacked by the Deep State for its honesty.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Thank you; it is very appropriate to note that many Jewish people are strong critics of zionism and Israeli policies. There is some hope that they will assist in liberating Jews as well as Palestinians from the racism of the zionists, as many whites assisted in greatly reducing racism among whites in the US against African-Americans.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 4:02 pm

The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking.

There were references in an earlier post quoting two former Israeli prime ministers saying, in effect, they could take care of U.S. politicians to ensure they would do Israel's bidding. I recall Yitzhak Shamir was one of them. The spectacle of Netanyahu showing contempt for Obama in the way he addressed Congress and the standing ovations Netanyahu got from the senators and Congresspersons who sold their souls to the Israel lobby kind of supports the proposition that "the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists"" Same thing goes for the Republicans.

Anna , March 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Have you heard about PNAC? Have you heard about the Lobby?
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/pnac.htm
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1810991

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm

Thanks for the links. PNAC founders Kristol and Kagan helped harness forces for zionist goals. PNAC signers W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz were principal promoters of Iraq War II, as Wolfowitz installed Israeli spy operatives Perl, Feith, and Wurmser at CIA/DIA/NSA offices to select known-bad "intelligence" to incite the war.

Jerry Alatalo , March 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

J. D.,

"The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking."

Can you share with readers why you used the term "dangerous illusion" and why it needs debunking? According to William Binney, Obama's use of GCHQ was nothing more than standard operating procedure, an everyday mode of business, to avoid breaking American laws – nothing new, so therefore presenting no threat of rupturing U.S.-British "special relationship".

Can you share the names of major influential figures composing what you describe as the "Anglo-American financial oligarchy" for the benefit of others who pass this way?

It's hard to explain away Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and so many other U.S. politicians fighting each other to get to the head of the pack in supporting Israel. Bernie Sanders only mentioned that Palestinians suffer human and civil rights deficiencies and the world shook, despite it being only a very minor, tiny critique of Israel. Can we imagine what would have happened – the titanic reaction – had Mr. Sanders blurted out during one of the debates with Ms, Clinton the same conclusion that Professor Virginia Tilley and Professor Richard Falk's report arrived at very recently – that the State of Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid?

Years ago while Mr. Sanders appeared weekly with Thom Hartmann on "Brunch With Bernie" we redialed the call-in program until finally getting through and asking two questions. The first was a request for a response from Senator Sanders on the trillion-dollar / year global tax haven-evasion industry facilitated by the world's most powerful accounting, legal and banking firms. The second requested response on the suggestion that it was time to "nationalize the privately-owned Federal Reserve". Mr. Sanders responded to the 1st, then suddenly the show went to music and a break – then after the break until show's end nothing about the Federal Reserve.

My guess is that Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hartmann were aware of a "panic button to break" to be triggered when the live call-in topics became, let's say, "unmanageable". That is just a guess,but another guess is that Mr. Sanders was the recipient of, how shall we put it, very "risky" news during his campaign for president when running against Ms. Clinton. So, long story short, Sanders capitulated because he's fully aware of what happened to JFK, MLK and RFK, Clinton became spoiled goods and unacceptable as America's new CEO, and Donald Trump was selected. Trump's long-time friends include "Lucky" Larry Silverstein, who just happened to avoid being in his Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, breaking his religiously kept routine of breakfast every morning in a restaurant located in the top floors of one of the towers – because his wife fortunately convinced him to keep an appointment with his dermatologist.

Donald Trump, "Lucky Larry" and Benjamin Netanyahu are long-time friends.

***

Men and women wishing to read, copy, save and disseminate the report on Israel apartheid by Professor Tilley and Professor Falk can find it online at the co-author's internet platform, available at:

https://richardfalk.wordpress.com

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor."

In exchange Israel got a $38 BILLION package of US aid. What a deal!! Presumably, the Israel lobby will show its appreciation to Obama with donations to his presidential library probably making that library the most expensive ever.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Yes, there can be little doubt that the zionist campaign money comes at least indirectly from US aid to Israel, and that the aid is intended substantially for that purpose. Investigation of such cashflows might turn up evidence, although there is a quid pro quo economy on both sides that could easily obscure the feedback.

You may well be right in suggesting that the vast aid flows simply make campaign donations a great investment for those who would otherwise have invested in Israel. But the Dems and Reps know that this aid to Israel is for campaign bribes, pure and simple.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm

In addition to the carrot bribes, there are also the blackmail sticks. This possibility is consistent with the following segment of a 1998 interview with Kay Griggs, former wife of the U.S. Army's director of assassination training.

Kay Griggs: "Even when he [General Al Gray] was General he ran an intelligence operation which was a contract organization trying to hook politicians, and get them. What is the word? In other words "

Interviewer: "In compromising situations?"

Kay Griggs: "Yes, yes. He had and still has an organization which brings in whores, prostitutes, whatever you want to say, who will compromise politicians so they can be used."

The above is in Part 2 of the whole interview, starting at 48:00 in the video at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-SEA9W6pmA

In Part 1 of the interview she explains the motives behind this.

Kay Griggs: "I'm talking about the Brooklyn-New Jersey mob. My husband, Al Gray, Sheehan, they're all Brooklyn. Cap Weinberger. Heinz Kissinger – there's the Boston mob, which was shipping weapons back and forth to Northern Ireland. And I don't want to get too deeply involved in that, but it goes – Israel – some of the Zionists who came over from Germany, according to my husband, were – he works with those people – they do a lot of money laundering in the banks, cash transactions for the drugs they're bringing over, through Latin America, the Southern Mafia, the Dixie Mafia, which now my husband's involved with in Miami. The military are all involved once they retire. They're – you know, they go into this drug and secondary weapon sales."

The above starts soon after 18:00 in the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ
(Part 1 of interview)

Further on the following exchange occurs.

Interviewer: "And directly under whose instructions to sell these weapons, do you know that?"

Kay Griggs: "Yeah."

Interviewer: "Okay, who would that be?"

Kay Griggs: "Well, uh, [pause] it's the Israeli-Zionist group in New York."

The above starts at 1:06:45 in the same video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ

Shortly afterward in the same segment is this exchange.

Kay Griggs: "It's kind of like Monica and Bill. I think they put Monica in there to have something on Bill. That's my own feeling. Sarah McClendon feels the same way. Because "

Interviewer: "And Linda Tripp was there to guide the situation."

Kay Griggs: "Absolutely, of course. Linda Tripp was Delta Force. Linda Tripp was trained by Carl Steiner, who's in the diary [her husband's] with my husband. And he [Steiner] tried to trip up Schwarzkopf. I mean, he was trying to take, to take the whole Iraqi thing over because they had been baiting, you know using the Israeli rogues in Turkey. They were having little zig-zag wars. It's all to sell weapons. It's all about weapons sales, it's all about drugs, it's all about funny money."

A blackmail factor, combined with financial carrots, and especially if backed up with a death threat, could easily explain why a reasonably intelligent and educated person would act uninformed and irrational. The surface inconsistency becomes easy to understand. A strategic system of blackmail of the sort Kay Griggs described could easily explain a phalanx of politicians lying in lockstep to American voters, and voting against America's best interests.

backwardsevolution , March 24, 2017 at 12:19 am

JWalters – fascinating! Thanks for posting. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Sam f , March 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

That is fascinating. There must be material on the linkages of secret agencies, ex-military staff, political gangsters, and money-laundering banksters to the drugs and weapons trade. They would be useful tools for false-flag incidents and to supply terror groups.

Those with connections should contact independent news reporters, who could perhaps train journalism students to investigate further. There may be material in the Wikileaks Vault-7 dump of CIA docs.

Pablo Diablo , March 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

A military buildup=an empire in decline.

chuck b , March 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm

before they let their hegemony over humanity collapse, they blow up the planet.

what's remarkable, for me as an outsider at least, how many insane people are running the show and that's not exclusive to the psychotic right. seeing the mad general at hillary's DNC coronation and the "U!S!A!" chants from the crowd, i'm under the impression that the majority of Americans, that has not yet been marginalized and impoverished, is as deranged as ecstatic Germans cheering on Goebbels and his total war.

Accidental , March 23, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Actually what's happening now in the US is more like France in 1848

Pauline Saxon , March 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm

I have supported you from the beginning. I would like to understand why you seem to be protecting Trump

D5-5 , March 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I don't believe Robert Parry or this site are protecting Trump. Questioning the demonizing and slandering of Trump, and efforts to remove him, also do not constitute "protecting."

Trump was elected legitimately to be the president for better or worse. An assessment means looking at both sides of whatever it is. Trump is obviously not doing well and getting negative evaluations, but some of his views (for one example) that promise toward détente or acceptance of a multi-polar world are worth considering.

Is he genuinely moving in this direction, or faking for some hidden reason? The jury is still considering. So investigating an attack on Trump that is primarily bogus and motivated as a smoke screen to demonize Russia, and prepare the nation for war, is not protecting Trump, but trying to get at the underbrush of what's really going on behind the headlines.

Perhaps you could give us some idea of what you see as protecting Trump?

For myself I'm very critical of Trump. At this time he seems bent on building up ground troops in Syria, but with ISIS already being subdued without this action, we should question why. What's going on. Is he seeking a Ronald Reagan/George W. type of glory moment as One Tough Supreme Commander? Is he now falling in to the neocon overview of controlling the middle east? It's more foolishness in my view, that will not settle the problems and what W uncorked with his phony Iraq war. But this kind of considering doesn't take the heat off the DEM Party for its unconscionable manipulations with Trump and Russia bashing at this time.

Hayden Head , March 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Well said! You are spot on in your defense of Parry, who has consistently shown himself to be committed to the truth, regardless of whom he is defending or the consequences of his position. Many of us are waiting to see if Trump might, just might, lead us away from endless war to something approaching a rational foreign policy. Is such hope foolishness? Well, hope usually is.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Unfortunately, this site is afflicted with the utterances of sloppy readers who are triggered to hit their keyboard when some sentence gets their attention and causes them to ignore other contradictory commentary.

Jake G , March 23, 2017 at 2:27 pm

What are you talking about? There are as many Trump-critic articles from him.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

It seems to me Parry is not so much protecting Trump as trying to protect America from another needless war manufactured by the Deep State, e.g. "War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Gina , March 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Excellent article. I am pretty horrified at the direction of the Dems which has become Rethuglican-lite.

LJ , March 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

The Democrats abandoned their core constituency , LABOR, when Clinton got the 1992 nomination promising to sign NAFTA a short time after having been pictured attending a Bilderberg Beer fest, Since then by jumping further under the sheets with High Finance and Tech Billionaires they have continuously bled votes everywhere except the West Coast. Recent Polling you may have noticed has the Democrats declining in favorability even more since the election. Strange Days have found us haven't they?. .when all else fails we can whip the horses eyes and make them sleep and cry .. I say for starters we separate the words Military and Intelligence forever with a Constitutional Amendment .. How then will Senators McCain and Feinstein react? What will they do for God's sake? The rest of the Two Party infrastructure will quickly implode. Sorry. Thank God and the ACA,, the Amazon Drone has just delivered my prescription meds.. Peace in our time.

chuck b , March 23, 2017 at 2:13 pm

i think it's safe to say that the democrats have been equally adept at waging war since the nutcase LBJ didn't know if they were shooting at whales in the bay of tomkin and started the American holocaust. obama let his darling Hillary run amok which resulted in a rise of refugees and idp by 50% to over 60 million, in just his first term. you actually live in a country run by Nazis for a very long time. from Kissinger to McCain, they are people in power who have collaborated with Nazis (phoenix, condor) and continue to do so in Ukraine or with Islamic extremists in syria. the prospect of McCain anywhere near the state dept must be avoided by an means necessary.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

"[B]ut what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom." That's it Mr. Parry. That is the key that we need to understand. It is not, not, a priority of either political half of the Republican/Democratic dynamic, to do good for the American people. We are being subjected to the policies which previously were our export, the evisceration of nation(s) to benefit private capital.

I had previously wondered, back in the 90's when Russia was being subjected to neo liberal economic intervention, why these vultures hadn't descended upon the United States, being the feted calf that it were. But I was blind, they were already descending, it only has take some time and a couple of "opportunities", such as 9/11, the Katrina hurricane, to implement those same measures here.

We need to understand that our current political structure is indifferent to the well being of the majority of the "citizens" ie; what are now more commonly called consumers. If the prisons stay full and the indebtedness mounts that is part of the program. Stop thinking that our present system is offering anything that would be recognized by a rational and moral human being as something even close to "a government of the People, by the People, for the People; [or] Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

ltr , March 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

I can tell you that the atmosphere is such on campus that a social science faculty member needs to be very careful not to be taken for having "sympathies" for either Russia or China. I repeatedly hear comments that are chilling, and just nod and get away.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm

It is nearly impossible to engage with someone in a political context and advocate for a least a fair mind, some neutrality in examining the domestic political situation and relations with Russia. I have to mute myself unless I am willing to engage in a long and tiring argument/discussion in which my point is lost and I have to defend simple ideas of statesmanship and diplomacy.

Sheryl , March 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I can relate. The frustrating part is that they think I'm a nut wearing a tinfoil hat.

Realist , March 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Would you go so far as to say that most such discussions now take place on terrain far removed from the real world? And, if you insist on sticking to facts rather than fantasy, are you immediately branded an enemy of the state, an intellectual exile without friends or influence, and probably someone marked for extinction, at least on the professional level, if this country must repeat the greatest mistakes of the 1930's and 40's, as it seems headed? So glad I am retired, and I worked in the natural sciences, not the more volatile and political social sciences. Now their only leverage against me is my state pension and health benefits, which many do want to make into a political football.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 7:31 pm

The distinction between the real and the ideological has been blurred in accordance with the principles of public opinion management, ie; propaganda. The prevailing mania, contextualized via the dynamic of globalized free market capitalism masquerading as the promotion of freedom and democracy, is where one finds that the seeds of "treason" are sown wider and wider against heretics.

Kiza , March 24, 2017 at 8:35 am

Just reading what all of you guys have written about the prevailing atmosphere in the so called intellectual community, which is much more serious than the atmosphere in