The American establishment has lost its mind in its obsession with trying to discredit Trumpism | RT.com
By Michael Rectenwald
An appallingly biased new article on Trumpism in Foreign Affairs shows that if the American establishment was an individual, it would be diagnosed as clinically insane, likely suffering from delusions of persecution and paranoia.
Yet this same establishment calls half the population of the US conspiratorial, delusional, and terroristic, even as it parades a lunatic’s version of events during a second unfounded, evidence-free impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump, and as it continues lamentations over the supposed malignancy of his presidency, weeks after it has ended.
At this point, it would be a misdiagnosis to call this illness Trump Derangement Syndrome. The idée fixe persists unabated, even in the absence of its favorite bogey, and extends well beyond any reasonable obsession with Trump himself. This syndrome, whatever it is, appears to be resistant to treatment. The ministrations of political outsiders have only left the patient with a firmer ideational conviction. Electoral engineering and repeated political exorcisms have apparently been to no avail.
This illness has affected every element of the broad political left, the political and corporate establishment, and the mainstream media. Unsurprisingly, the nation’s foreign policy “experts” remain in its thrall. Like Jonathan Kirshner, political science and international professor at Boston College, they display its symptomology without remission.
In an article titled Gone But Not Forgotten: Trump’s Long Shadow and the End of American Credibility, Kirshner exhibits the signs of the recalcitrant derangement with a fact-free, hyperbolic prognosis of US foreign policy in the wake of the Trump presidency. Like others bewitched by him, Kirshner repeats the tired shibboleths associated with hallucinatory Trump repudiation: he cozied up with dictators, scorned long-term allies, and represents “a deeply regrettable, and in many ways embarrassing, interlude” in American international relations.
The patient refers to Trump’s management of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and alludes to Trump’s most unreasonable demand that NATO partners pay their fair share of dues to the European peace-keeping organization that’s waning in importance. Yet evidence of the widespread “anarchy” caused by Trump is never given–no doubt because it doesn’t exist.
Kirshner exhibits the typical apriorism expected from the afflicted. Trump is guilty–of something, anything–in advance. The point of the exercise is to look for crimes committed by the presumed villain, even as the language for conviction must remain forever nebulous and abstract, as it does in this piece of feigned objectivity.
Somewhat off-topic for a commentator on foreign policy, Kirshner immediately excoriates Trump’s handling of “a pandemic that killed well more than a quarter of a million of the people under his charge.” Kirshner’s guilty verdict is meted out without evidence, and despite the fact that the death rate in the US is broadly on par with that of Europe and elsewhere.
It’s not as if Italy has fared any better, or that Sweden, which eschewed draconian lockdown laws, did any worse than Italy or France. But carrying on about Trump’s supposedly disastrous pandemic response measures is a requisite symptom of the establishment’s disorder, and Kirshner must display it like all the others. Never mind that, soon after taking office, Biden stated that there was nothing he could do to stem the spread of the virus.
As Kirshner sees it, one of Trump’s most egregious transgressions was the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the first week of his presidency. No mention is made of the fact that no one really knew what was in the deal. Never mind that, like NAFTA, it would likely cost more Americans their jobs, jobs probably shipped to China, where wage slaves work under penal colony conditions. And never mind that it would likely gut environmental regulations to please China.
Kirshner levies the usual charges against Trump’s foreign policy: “isolationism,” “nationalism,” and “knuckle-dragging Americafirstism.”
“America first” has been the most maligned and misrepresented element of the Trump doctrine, and Kirshner’s declamation is no exception. Like other detractors, he refuses to acknowledge what Trump meant by the phrase: the interests of the majority of Americans should come before all else when making any political decision, not that America should become a selfish, dominating player on the world stage. From the standpoint of the economic and political oligarchy, who stood to lose the most by it, “America first” was unconscionable, and remains impossible to excise from national and international consciousness.
Kirshner barely acknowledges the fact that the Trump doctrine follows from a particular brand of populist American nationalism, including a foreign policy stemming from 19th-century Republican politics. Those who have subscribed to this political position have been traditionally non-interventionist, while demanding that a premium be laid on national self-determination, the protection of national sovereignty via strong borders, and the promotion of national self-interest over international or “globalist” entanglements. Instead, Kirshner misrepresents “America first” by surreptitiously associating it with fascism and Nazism.
No mention is made of the fact that, of the past five presidents, Trump was the only one not to begin a new war, and the only one not to extend the American military presence throughout the world. Instead, Kirshner gives away his hand by mourning that the US may “soon simply be out of the great-power game altogether.” This admission signals Kirshner’s allegiance to the neocon military establishment, and practically disqualifies him as an interlocutor supposedly concerned with international order and stability. It’s as if George W. Bush’s unprovoked and disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have been entirely forgotten and forgiven, while Trump’s partially flouted attempts to withdraw troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan are the real international crimes.
Yet the biggest specter haunting Kirshner’s storyline is “the significant possibility of a large role for Trumpism” in the future, regardless of whether or not Trump himself continues to play a role in national politics. This is the crux of the matter, and the real problem Kirshner sees. How can the US be a reliable international partner while Trumpism persists? Kirshner’s real concern is that Trump’s policies were actually popular, and that Trumpism thus cannot instantly be extirpated from the national identity.
This fear of Trumpism haunts the entire political establishment. It explains the second impeachment trial, the calls for re-education, and the characterization of Trump supporters as “terrorists” and “the enemy within.” It is this new leftist McCarthyism, and not Trumpism, that really afflicts the country. And it is this which makes the US an unreliable player on the international stage. For how can the US act as a single nation when the entire establishment suffers from schizophrenia?
The World Watches While the US Elite Wages War on America | The Epoch Times
By Lee Smith
On Saturday, Peoples’ Republic of China planes flew into Taiwan’s airspace. Incursions are a normal occurrence but the most recent one represented an escalation. Typically one or two planes will probe Taiwan’s air defenses but in this case it was reportedly eight bombers and four fighter jets. It appears Beijing is eager to test Joe Biden early. It’s likely China won’t be the only one. The more than 20,000 National Guard troops in Washington to last week protect the new president’s nearly unattended inauguration is evidence that the United States is broken.
Observers widely misunderstood the National Guard deployment as a show of force asserting the Biden team’s legitimacy as the elected government of the United States. But the most salient fact of the troop presence is that some who were found to have supported Donald Trump were sent home. And thus the reason for the deployment, which may now continue into March, is that the Biden White House is keen to use the sporadically violent but mostly peaceful Jan. 6 march on the Capitol building as a political pretext to further target Trump supporters.
From the perspective of the administration and its media surrogates, Trump supporters were already deplorable, but now that they have attempted an insurrection, the gloves will come off. The nearly 75 million people who voted for Biden’s opponent deserve whatever is coming to them next—further impoverishment, further collective punishment in the guise of public health (i.e., coronavirus) measures, designation as domestic terrorists, imprisonment, and even death.
Let’s try to imagine how foreigners see our circumstances: Neither traditional U.S. allies nor adversaries can share the new administration’s assessment that the United States government faced an insurrection Jan. 6. In comparison to their own domestic challenges, those protests were plainly mild.
In France, for instance, the Yellow Vests movement has been engaged in protests for more than two years that have frequently devolved into street violence, leaving 11 dead and more than 4000 wounded. From the perspective of the nation that produced the French Revolution, Jan. 6 was nothing like an insurrection. Same for Israel, which has been fighting terrorist attacks plotted by some of the state’s Arab citizens since the country’s founding.
Consider how authoritarian states must see it. Does the Islamic Republic of Iran, periodically engaged in low-level violent conflict with its growing opposition movement, believe that Jan. 6 was an attack on America’s domestic peace? What about Russia, where over the weekend authorities arrested more than 2000 who marched nationwide to demand the release of Vladimir Putin critic Alexander Navalny? Does the Chinese Communist Party, which uses mass detentions and forced sterilizations to eradicate the Muslim minority Uyghur population, believe that American families and seniors marching in the winter cold amounted to an existential threat to the American regime? No, they all see through it—the American political, corporate, cultural, and media elite is waging war on the Americans it despises.
What can foreign powers be thinking when journalists, think-tank experts, and current and former law enforcement officials recommend that the Biden administration deploy the same counterterrorism tactics against Americans that U.S. forces have used to kill Islamic extremists around the globe since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Or how can they interpret the heavily guarded inauguration attended by faded pop-stars celebrating a man in a black mask who prophesied a “dark winter,” who for months had been hidden underground by his handlers, and who is unlikely to finish his four-year term under his own power except as a drum circle of celebrity necromancers? If our allies and adversaries see us at all clearly, they are thinking America’s leaders have lost their minds.
It can hardly surprise anyone to see the country gone mad since Biden’s inauguration represented the culmination of the U.S. elite’s four-year-long insurrection against reality.
It began in December 2016 when Barack Obama instructed his director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan to delegitimize his successor by assessing he was helped to the presidency by a foreign power, Russia. Subsequently, with the robust support of prestige media organizations and the rest of the elite’s ideological apparatus—the academy, think tanks, Hollywood, and so on—half the country invested its political convictions and mental health in a conspiracy theory.
It does not require much imagination to see America the way outsiders have for the last several years. The U.S. agency singly responsible for discovering and stopping the efforts of foreign agents to sabotage the American political system, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was focused instead on sabotaging the American president. Because top officials were not held accountable for their illegal political operation, others were emboldened to join the effort. An official from the Pentagon and another from the CIA led a government-wide campaign that included senior American diplomats to impeach Trump.
With the arrival of COVID-19, the U.S. elite’s increasing use of the phrase “the new normal” to rationalize unconstitutional edicts targeting the businesses, homes, and liberties of Trump supporters was evidence that the country was split not between political parties but between those who saw the light slipping away and those who had willfully migrated to a dark dreamworld.
We will be fortunate if adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party choose to simply stand aside and watch while America’s leadership class consumes itself in madness. But we shouldn’t count on it.
The 4-Year-Long Campaign Against Trump: Efforts to undermine the president haven’t stopped since 2016 | The Epoch Times
It is the culmination of a four-year-long campaign against him, which started during his first run for president in 2016 when the FBI launched a politically motivated investigation of his campaign. During his subsequent four years in office, there have been consistent efforts to remove him from office, first through the Russia-collusion narrative and then through impeachment.
The Epoch Times here provides an overview of some of the main efforts made against the sitting president of the United States.
This is an issue that transcends party lines, as it is not only an assault on Trump, but an assault on the office of the presidency, and with it, an assault on the foundation of America.
Politically Motivated Investigation
The FBI under the Obama administration in 2016 launched a politically motivated investigation of the Trump campaign. Based on publicly available information, we know the investigation was initiated based on the thinnest of evidence: remarks made by a junior Trump campaign adviser to the Australian ambassador in London. In reality, the investigation primarily relied on the discredited “Steele dossier,” produced by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The Trump–Russia Shadow
While the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation itself would not find any evidence of Trump–Russia collusion, the ongoing investigations, including selective leaks to the media, would create the public narrative that Trump had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. This cast a shadow over the first few years of his presidency and constrained his actions both domestically and internationally. Some members of Congress had gone so far as to call for Trump’s impeachment over the false allegations.
FBI Under Comey and McCabe
The FBI under Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pro-actively worked against Trump. McCabe was directly involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, working with FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page. After Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017, McCabe actively pushed the agency to further investigate Trump. McCabe’s FBI went as far as suggesting Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr reach back out to Steele, despite that many of the claims in his dossier had been disproven by that time and the FBI had cut ties with him over his leaks to the media.
Perhaps one of the most powerful forces working against Trump during his presidency has been the news media. Over the past five years, they have relentlessly published skewed and inaccurate information about Trump while minimizing or ignoring his accomplishments, seeking to portray him publicly as an illegitimate president. This type of reporting has created a climate of anger, hate, and instability in America. It has resulted in threats made to the president’s life and acts of violence against his supporters.
The House of Representatives on Dec. 18, 2019, impeached Trump along partisan lines. Though the Senate would later dismiss the charge, it left a mark on his presidency and dragged the country through months of public attacks in the media. At the center of the impeachment was a phone call Trump made on July 25, 2019, to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump expressed his hope that allegations of potential corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden would be investigated. Given even the publicly available information at the time, there were legitimate concerns that American political influence and taxpayers’ funds were misused in Ukraine. At the time, it was publicly known that Biden’s son Hunter had received tens of thousands of dollars a month from a Ukrainian energy giant, while then-Vice President Biden—in his own words—had pressured the Ukrainian president to fire a prosecutor as a prerequisite for receiving $1 billion in foreign aid. That same prosecutor had been investigating the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, as well its board, which included Hunter Biden.
Trump’s opponents have accused the president of mishandling the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, by acting too late. This, however, is contrary to the events of early 2020. The Trump administration on Feb. 2, 2020, banned all foreign travel from China, the source of the CCP virus. This decision was made by the president against the advice of some of his top advisers and exceeded actions taken by most other nations at the time. Meanwhile, his opponents in politics and media described it as xenophobic and an overreaction. In hindsight, the decision proved immensely valuable in helping to slow the spread of the virus. As the virus spread in the United States, the Trump administration increased testing capacity, coordinated with state governments to provide them with the federal assistance they needed, used the defense production act to compel companies to produce critical health equipment such as ventilators, and provided billions in federal funding and eased federal regulations for major drug companies to push for the development of a vaccine.
It would be accurate to say that Trump is communist China’s biggest adversary. The president broke a decades-long U.S. policy toward China that was based on the belief that, through engagement and economic development, the People’s Republic would evolve from a totalitarian regime toward a more democratic country. In reality, this strategy of appeasement merely resulted in trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs going to China. And instead of becoming more democratic, the Chinese regime used this wealth to advance its dictatorship, creating the most technologically advanced tyranny the world has ever witnessed. The CCP has consistently worked against Trump during his presidency, both publicly and behind the scenes. Beijing has used its domestic and overseas propaganda channels—often by relying on the United States’ own media—to vilify Trump, going as far as to suggest that the outbreak of the CCP virus in Wuhan was because of the American military.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been behind the riots that have plagued American cities for much of this year. The group has hijacked the concerns people have over racism and used them to justify its advance of a Marxist agenda. In a 2015 video, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors described herself and her fellow founders as “trained Marxists.” Just like in Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela, trained Marxists have hijacked righteous causes to advance the communist agenda. Many of those who lived through the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s have commented that the riots in the United States over the summer, which included the toppling of historical statues, were eerily similar. The result is a climate of chaos and insecurity that affects the entire country.
Dressed in full black gear including armor, helmets, and masks, and trained in agitation and basic combat, Antifa extremists have been involved in numerous acts of violence during Trump’s presidency. In many cases, these acts of violence, which include the use of weapons, rocks, and Molotov cocktails, were directed at law enforcement and government property. But Antifa members have also directly targeted unarmed common citizens for simply supporting Trump. We saw this happen twice in Washington, where those who had gathered to support Trump were later attacked when alone in the city at night. Antifa’s use of a militia-style force to intimidate and physically attack citizens for their political beliefs creates a powerful climate of fear and stands against the most basic American values.
The Permanent Government
Though Trump as president is the leader of the executive branch, when he came to office he inherited a federal government staffed with hundreds of thousands of employees. It’s no secret that many career officials in the U.S. government have actively sought to undermine or even openly work against Trump. Many in government have been led by false information published by media organizations to believe that they are doing the right thing, and that by working against Trump, they are putting the interests of the country first. In fact, they have done the country a disservice by blocking a rightfully elected president from executing the will of the people.
Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
Following the firing of FBI Director Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assigned former FBI Director Robert Mueller to continue the FBI’s investigation of alleged Trump–Russia collusion. Mueller would conclude in a final report that there was no evidence of such collusion. But this only came after a nearly two-year-long investigation, giving the media and Trump’s political opponents leeway to portray Trump as an illegitimate president because of his supposed affiliation with Russia.
Throughout the past four years, the Trump administration has been plagued by selective leaks aimed at damaging Trump’s presidency. Some of these leaks have been criminal in nature, such as the leak of the transcripts of Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders—a felony offense. Treasury official Natalie Edwards was found guilty of illegally leaking suspicious activity reports (SARs) on financial transactions by former Trump campaign associate Paul Manafort, among others.
2020 Election Fraud
Following the Nov. 3 elections, dozens of credible allegations of voter fraud or other illegal acts connected to the counting of ballots have emerged. Dozens of poll workers across multiple states have given testimony in sworn statements—under penalty of perjury—detailing irregularities in how ballots were counted, as well as how the workers were instructed to make otherwise illegal changes to ballots, how they were unable to properly observe ballot counting, and how they witnessed new ballots mysteriously appear out of nowhere. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee launched a number of lawsuits to challenge the process. They’ve argued that in Pennsylvania alone, 600,000 ballots should be invalidated, as Republican election observers weren’t allowed to witness the ballot processing.
The use of manufactured narratives to attack Trump has been pervasive since he assumed the presidency. Perhaps the most notable is the claim that he defended neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, when in fact he said that that there were “very fine people on both sides,” referring to people who “were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” Trump specifically added, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.” Yet despite this being on public record, Trump would continue to be asked throughout his presidency, especially during the election season, whether he was ready to “denounce white supremacy,” despite having done so on many occasions, even before becoming president.
Source: The Epoch Times
Dawning of the Corona Age: Navigating the Pandemic by Johnny Freedom | Liberty International
Author’s Note: Five months of intensive research, collating 670 research and news sources, are compacted in this succinct, readable and entertaining 167-page compendium about the “pandemic”. It provides a comprehensive overview for those with an open mind, still willing to learn, to expand perspectives far beyond media tidbits. This is the Dawning of the Corona Age.
May we remove our masks – and blindfolds – to take notice of what is actually rapidly happening around us to navigate how we can still “live free in an unfree world”.
This newly released book is dedicated to You. Thank you for educating yourself, “thinking twice before you think”, calmly sharing your insights, acting wisely and thereby reclaiming authority over your life! Enjoy the first chapter of thirty-two below.
“A compelling exploration far beyond the immediate impacts of the “pandemic”, Dawning of the Corona Age imagines how our human world may be altered long into an uncertain future. “
$10 PDF ORDER LINK: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=H7ZVUNGC58QE2
$25 PRINT ORDER LINK: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QCQQL3JUTVURE (includes PDF Version with 670 Live Links)
$25 AMAZON PRINT ORDER LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FSR3NJG
Season 1, Episode 1
1. Preface & Introduction
Like a television series straight out of science fiction films, such as, V for Vendetta, Pandemic and The Matrix, the mainstream media narrative relentlessly broadcast at “We the People” seemed at first as surreal and as strange as an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Now, suddenly, and apparently without warning, we are living in a strange hybrid between George Orwell’s novel 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and The Matrix. Science fiction has now become real.
George Orwell wisely observed that, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” In 1958, Aldous Huxley warned that, “Pharmacology and propaganda will make the masses love their slavery. As the world is forced into accepting greater and greater levels of government control in all areas of life, remember that nothing in politics happens by chance. There is a science to creating empires.”
As the lead character Orpheus revealed in The Matrix film, “The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
These perspectives reflect a deeper sense of what may be happening in our world today. For those open-minded enough to consider the truth as more important than convention and its lies, that sobriety is more essential than distorted states of consciousness, that the Earth and all of its natural wonders are more beautiful than any virtual reality, this book may just break open the possibility of a transformation of our understanding of this “pandemic”.
In truth, this may be the “crowning” of a “new age” of consciousness emerging from the rubble of an old world dying around us. A “Corona” age may very well be on the horizon if we act from a higher understanding of our own existence as true human beings instead of from our limited perspectives of material existence.
For those with the courage to question authority, to question even our present sense of reality, this book is for you.
“Do not believe in what you have heard; do not blindly believe in traditions just because they have been handed down for many generations; do not believe in anything just because it is rumored and spoken by many; do not believe merely because a written statement of some old sage is produced; do not believe in conjectures; do not believe in that as truth to which you have become attached from habit; do not believe merely
the authority of your teachers and elders,
or news sources or books.
Question all authorities and truisms.
Decide for yourself what is the veracity of your perceptions.
Ponder what is not true. Even more so, ponder what is true, deeply and continuously.”
$10 PDF ORDER LINK: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=H7ZVUNGC58QE2
$25 PRINT ORDER LINK: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QCQQL3JUTVURE (includes PDF Version with 670 Live Links)
$25 AMAZON PRINT ORDER LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FSR3NJG
THE PANDEMIC: COVID-19, Season 1, Episode 1
- Preface and Introduction (PDF)
- Seven Known Strains of Coronavirus (PDF)
- COVID-19 Did Not Naturally Occur By Animal to Human Contact
- China’s COVID-19 Coverup
- Faulty Computer Simulations & Projections
- Skepticism of Mainstream Narratives & Projections
- Herd/Individual Immunity, Lockdowns & Quarantines
- The Immune System is Your Primary Defense
- How Contagious is COVID-19?
- “Exosomes” as a Natural Release of the Human Body
- Masks or No Masks?
- Invalid Testing & Inconclusive Diagnosis for COVID-19
- Inflated Death Rates & Asymptomatic Cases
- Hydroxychloroquine is an Effective Treatment
- Emerging & Effective Treatment Protocols
- Questioning the Need, Safety & Efficacy of a Vaccine for COVID-19
- Dangers of Vaccines Laced with Toxic Materials
- Germ Theory is the Wrong Approach, Look to the Biome
THE LOCKDOWN: Season 1, Episode 2
- International, National & State Declarations of Emergency
- COVID-19 & The 5G Factor
- Total Surveillance State & The Right to Privacy
- Legal Authorities for U.S. Public Health Officials & State Governors
- Stimulus Bills Are Fast Tracks to Socialism & U.S. Bankruptcy
- Chinese Coverup & Propaganda
- Undeclared War Between China & United States
- Global Goals of the Pandemic
- The New World Order
- Big Pharma Funding Regulatory Agencies Providing Oversight & Developing Public Policy
- Internet Censorship & Medical Fascism
- The Global Health Protection Racket
- The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be
THE CORONA AGE: 2020 & BEYOND, Season 2
- Dawning of the Corona Age
Covid-911 – Insurgency | YouTube
Editor’s Note: What’s happening in America today is a clear and present danger to the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America. Wake Up or lose your freedoms forever.
You’re being scammed by enemies of America who occupy powerful positions in government and the media. November 2020 is the way we, the people, can fight back. Know your enemy. Ditch the masks. Rise.
James Woods Gives Interesting Prediction for Who Will Win the 2020 Dem Primary | Trending Politics
Johnny Liberty, Editor’s Note: Watching the Democratic candidates wrestle with each other at the numerous debates we’ve come to the conclusion that none of them are qualified to be President. Also we often thought, as James Woods does, that Hillary is still orchestrating the Democratic Party behind the scenes and might just jump into the fray to “save the day” at the Convention.
Conservative actor James Woods is back on Twitter and has a lot to say. Woods took a break from the social media platform after he was suspended multiple times by the liberal leaders at Twitter.
On Friday, Woods gave an interesting theory for who he thinks will win the Democratic primary race.
“Just for giggles, imagine this: the #IowaCauscuses were not a snafu, but an engineered ‘cluster muck’ to keep the #Democrat field wide open. The #ImpeachmentSham was a way to air Biden’s corruption. The chaos leads to a brokered convention. Guess which drunken hag saves the day?” Woods tweeted.
According to Woods, Hillary Clinton will swoop in and win the election.
“The #Clintons are like nuclear cockroaches. They can survive anything. Remember you read it here: #HillaryClinton has a solid chance at being the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee in a brokered convention. She’s the Terminator of American politics,” Woods tweeted.
Iowa was a disaster to say the least. So much so that the Associated Press couldn’t even declare a winner. “There is evidence the party has not accurately tabulated some of its results, including those released late Thursday that the party reported as complete. The AP’s tabulation of the party’s results are at 99% of precincts reporting, with data missing from one of 1,765 precincts, among other issues,” they reported.
Check out what the Daily Wire reported:
The results as they stand now show a virtual tie between former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pett Buttigieg and Vermont Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, 26.2% to 26.1%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in third at 18% and former vice president Joe Biden fourth at 15.8%.
Woods’ theory — that Iowa was no accident and intended to keep the field “wide open” — has been voiced by others, especially Sanders’ supporters. They think the entire process is slanted against their candidate, who got aced out of the 2016 nomination by a biased system set up to ensure a Clinton win.
And on Biden, it’s not the first time speculation has swirled that the whole Ukraine-impeachment fiasco was really intended to take out Biden, not President Trump.
After the smoke cleared about Trump’s July 25 phone call to the Ukrainian president asking for a “favor,” it emerged that Biden’s son Hunter made hundreds of thousands of dollars through his employment with Burisma, the largest private gas company in Ukraine — despite having no known qualifications for the job. And when word spread that a prosecutor was looking into the matter, Biden demanded that the prosecutor be fired.
Biden is on tape discussing his push for the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, bragging he had threatened to withhold $1 billion until Shokin was canned. “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” he says he told Ukrainian leaders. “Well son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden says with a smile in the video clip.
Even though Team Trump and GOP lawmakers never called Biden or his son to testify in the Senate trial, their shady business dealings were front and center. And while Trump’s approval rating went up over the course of the trial, Biden’s plummeted, leading to his dismal fourth-place finish in Iowa.
What’s more, Woods’ theory about a brokered convention could well play out. Even though Clinton is not even in the race, there’s no clear front runner and few in the party are jazzed about their choices. Along the path to the nomination, delegates are distributed proportionally, meaning a candidate who wins 14% of the vote gets 14% of the delegates, and so on. With eight candidates still in the race, it may come down to no candidate winning a majority of the delegates, which means no one would be picked until the Democratic National Committee’s convention in July.
So Woods just might really be on to something here.
Source: Trending Politics
The Game is Rigged | Counterpunch
Johnny Liberty, Editor’s Note: We publish controversial articles to inspire critical thinking. This is written from an eco-marxist perspective and is a cogent analysis of the Democratic Party and power structures in general. We do not agree with their analysis of Trump, the Republican Party or the impeachment trial.
By Paul Street
Let’s not beat around the bush. The game is rigged. The fix is in.
I’m not just talking about Donald Trump, the Republican Party, the Republican-controlled United States Senate and the fake-impeachment trial that body just concluded. I’m talking about their neoliberal enablers, the Democrats too.
Certain Depressing Things Explained
The deeply conservative corporate and imperialist Democratic Party politics and media complex is determined to deny the progressive neo-New Deal Democrat Bernie Sanders the presidential nomination.
So what if Sanders is the Democratic presidential candidate most likely to organize the working- and lower-class the corporate Democrats – the nation’s Inauthentic Opposition Party of Fake Resistance (IOPFR)– have been betraying demobilizing for decades?
So what if this makes Sanders the most electable candidate against an incumbent president and a party that pose existential fascistic and ecocidal threats to what’s left of democracy, the republic, and life itself?
So what if Sanders’ key policy proposals, including Single Payer health insurance (health care as a human right) and a Green New Deal (to put millions to work trying to roll back the soulless capitalist destruction of livable ecology) are urgently required for the common good and human survival?
So what if Sanders’ proposals are conservative in relation to the savage scale of the inequality and environmental destruction neoliberal class rule has been inflicting for several decades on Americans and livable ecology?
So what if nearly half (47%) of Sanders supporters will not commit to voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in November if it isn’t Bernie, making it likely that any other candidate is likely to usher in the tragedy of a second Trump term?
The Democratic establishment is determined to stop Sanders at all costs. As I’ve been saying for years, the corporate Democrats prefer to lose to the ever more viciously right-wing Republicans and the demented fascist oligarch Trump than to the moderately left wing of their own party.
This is why the establishment Democrats and their many media allies (at the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, The Hill, CNN, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and elsewhere) have issued repeated dire warnings over the supposed “radical Leftism” and “extremism” of the mildly social-democratic Sanders.
It’s why Democratic Party-affiliated funders and media opened the campaign season by touting the clownish center-right dementia victim Joe Biden as their “front-runner.”
It’s why those funders and media shifted to the slimy Wall Street plaything Pete Butiggieg after Biden re-exposed himself and pseudo-liberal Kamala Harris proved unable to stand strong in the “pragmatic” center-right Clinton-Obama-Tony Blair-Emanuel Macron lane.
It’s why the establishment “liberal” media harps constantly on Sanders’ supposed un-electability even as polls show him solidly beating Trump.
It’s why former Barack Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, former global derivatives trader and right-wing MSDNC (I mean MSNBC) host Stephanie (class-) Ruhle, and the noxious neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol recently joined forces on MSNBC to viciously denounce Sanders as “the worst candidate” to run against Trump.
It’s why the Democratic National Committee is working to reinstate the authoritarian veto power of unelected establishment “superdelegates” on the first ballot of the Democratic National Convention – a move clearly driven by establishment fears that Sanders could accumulate enough delegates to sweep to a first ballot victory under current rules.
It’s the reason for the Elizabeth Warren-CNN hit job in the last Iowa Democratic presidential debate – the one where Warren and the cable network conspired to falsely smear Sanders as a sexist.
It’s why MSNBC and CNN went into overdrive trying to portray Sanders’ campaign as “divisive” after Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib responded to Hillary Clinton’s malicious personal attacks on Sanders with an ill-timed reaction MSNBC blew up into “the boo heard around the world.”
It’s why MSNBC and CNN have played along with Hillary Clinton’s despicable and false claim thar Sanders didn’t work hard to help Mrs. Clinton’s (horrific and depressing) campaign during the 2016 general election.
It’s why the Democratic Party has changed its presidential debate qualification rules so that mega-billionaire and center-right Republocrat Mike Bloomberg can ascend to the top candidate stage on a magic carpet of money after skipping the campaign process in the early caucus and primary states.
It’s why the insufferable MSNBC bully Chris Matthews (the Ted Baxter of cable news) lost what little composure he has when Sanders’ campaign co-chair Nina Turner accurately called Bloomberg “an oligarch” (more on this amusing and revealing episode below).
It’s why the New York Times has been running deceptive commentaries warning falsely about the supposed “radical extremism,” “fiscal irresponsibility,” “rudeness” and “nonviability” of Sanders and his backers.
It’s why the California Democratic Party’s centrist managers are doing their best to make it difficult for independents to vote for Sanders, the state’s leading presidential candidate.
It’s probably why the Des Moines Register Star (which endorsed Elizabeth “Capitalist in my Bones” Warren) strangely decided not to release its usual “gold standard” Iowa poll of the state’s first-in-the-national caucus-goers prior to the big (and shockingly wrecked) event last Monday.
It’s why the Times, CNN, and MSNBC (the last outfit is broadcast media’s ground-zero for fake-progressive Wall Street centrism ) tout Butiggieg as the winner of Iowa’s spoiled caucus even though Sanders won the same number of state delegates and triumphed decisively in the popular vote (please see and disseminate Fairness and Accuracy in Media’s reflection on “How Corporate Media Makes Pete Look Like He’s Winning”).
It’s why CNN anchors smirkingly opine that Sanders “under-performed” and “failed to meet expectations” even after he won the Caucus.
And it’s likely why the Iowa Caucus got app-f*#^ed, with the contest’s results rendered unavailable to the public for days. The deadly Shadow app’s “failure” and the mind-boggling dysfunction and confusion of the error-ridden count that followed (so extreme that we’ll probably never know the real numbers) robbed Sanders of a momentum-building election night victory speech – and gave Trump another reason to gloat about the pathetic nature of the Democratic Party.
It turns out that the Shadow app that crashed the Iowa Caucus and threw Sanders’ Iowa victory down the media memory hole was less than politically neutral. Hardly known for leftist conspiracy theorizing, USA Today offered some chilling reflections the morning after:
‘What’s this about Shadow and where did the app come from? The app was created by a company called Shadow Inc., and issued by Jimmy Hickey of Shadow Inc., metadata of the program that the Des Moines Register analyzed Tuesday shows. A LinkedIn profile for James Hickey lists him as COO of Shadow and an engineering manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Two other former Clinton campaign workers, former Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, co-founded Shadow…The New York Times has reported that ACRONYM – a Democratic nonprofit founded in 2017 “to educate, inspire, register, and mobilize voters,” according to its website – supported Shadow. Its founder and CEO is Tara McGowan, a former journalist and digital producer with President Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, The Los Angeles Times reported….Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price, who also worked as Clinton’s 2016 Iowa political director, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday about the relationship between the party and Shadow, which it paid $63,184 for website development and travel expenses…’
It gets worse. According to the Los Angeles Times, in an article titled “Tech Firm Started by Clinton Campaign Veterans Linked to Iowa Caucus Debacle”: “Among Shadow’s clients is Pete Buttegieg’s presidential campaign, which paid $42,500 to the firm in July 2019 for ‘software rights and subscriptions,’ according to disclosures to the FEC.”
So, Shadow, Inc. got money from Wall Street Pete (from the financial sector via Butiggieg, that is), a former consultant with the infamously dark and globalist McKinsey Company and a onetime U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer.
Further feeding the sense of the Iowa Caucus Debacle as a CIA/military intelligence Black Op, Butiggieg proclaimed himself the Iowa victor with zero precincts reporting last Monday night! How Juan Guaido was that?
It worked. The fact that Sanders won Iowa was turned into a public non-fact. The confusion bought Mayor Pete a couple of days to take some undeserved victory laps across the “liberal” media, boosting him in New Hampshire.
The Democrats Did “More to Undermine Faith in Our Elections than Russia Ever Could”
No talking head has captured the evil of it all more effectively and bitingly than The Hill’s Krystal Ball yesterday morning. Her comments merit transcription and lengthy quotation:
“Let [this sink in]: Twitter is doing a better, more accurate job of tabulating the results than the Democratic Party. What else might be wrong through incompetence, malice, or a combination of both, God only knows. But as if that’s not enough, after Pete claimed a fake victory thanks to the complicity of the Iowa Democratic Party and the media, it turns out that, surprise, surprise, they saved the best precincts for Bernie Sanders to be counted and included last, because of course they did. I’m sure it was all just a coincidence, though, guys. And meanwhile, a new tracking poll shows that Pete’s fake win in Iowa has given him a big boost in New Hampshire, lifting him 9 points in 3 days.”
“What is truly criminal to me, though, is this: the people who gave Bernie Sanders this hard-fought and well-deserved win are people like this: immigrant workers at a pork-processing plant, who had to fight to even be able to cast their ballots in a caucus that conflicted with their work schedule. They were the very first to vote and among the last to be counted. For four days, their voice and their vote were completely erased, as were the Latinos who participated in satellite caucuses and went overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders. It is absolutely outrageous.”
“Do you remember the endless, three-year rant at RussiaGate and over how a foreign power spending a million or two over a month on lousy, ungrammatical Facebook ads inside a billion dollar election was the biggest threat to our constitutional republic and was material to Hillary’s loss in 2016? Let’s be completely clear here. The Democratic Party in Iowa has done more to undermine faith in our elections than Russia ever could. Period. But don’t expect a Democratic House to hold months-long hearings into the Iowa Caucus debacle. Don’t expect any degree of self-reflection on the part of the party bosses and consultant grifters who deserve to be fired en masse. Instead, the same folks who think they should be able to take the nomination from Bernie with their Superdelegates, the same folks who tweak the process so it suits them, the same folks who are now leaking out partial wrong results in a mockery of manipulation masquerading as transparency…these people will continue to run the Democratic Party in Iowa and elsewhere until and unless an anti-establishment candidate like Bernie throws them all out. ….”
“… Single moms arranged babysitters to participate in this caucus. Nurses gave up shifts, lost 12 hours of pay to participate in this caucus. People rolled in with their wheelchairs. They weren’t with their kids or doing their college homework…Volunteers donated hundreds of thousands of hours of time. Banging on doors, hosting house parties, managing selfie lines, and all for what? So that all that time, all that energy could be turned into a giant joke that makes everyone who participated in the process feel like a fool….”
“People that we invite into this process are made a sacred promise that this activity s meaningful and necessary. And then to watch such manifest incompetence, cronyism, obfuscation, and selective disclosure in what is supposed to be the most critical election of our lifetime makes a joke out of democracy and spread cynicism like the Coranavirus of the civic soul…This whole democracy looks like a Potemkin Village farce where the GOP and Democratic Party insiders seem to almost laugh at the rubes who take this whole thing as serious and sacred.”
I’ve never had the same degree of faith n U.S. electoral politics that Ms. Ball (who would likely and wrongly consider me a victim and purveyor of cynicism) seems to have had in the past, but that is an extremely powerful denunciation of what happened to Sanders and his backers – and the democratic ideal – in Iowa this week.
(At least we know for certain that voters are ready to pull the rusty chain on Joe Pool Chain Biden. Too bad for the companies who were gearing up to mass produce record players for the poor in response to Joe “Record Players for the Poor” Biden’s promise of Vinyl New Deal.)
This is Who the Democrats Are
Butiggieg knows he’s never going to be president. “Alfred E. Neuman’s” role is to muddle public perceptions, screwing Warren and Sanders in the early states to help set up “Mini-Mike” Bloomberg (I am borrowing Trump’s frankly clever nicknames for these right-wing candidate), who is Wall Street’s next Great Stop Sanders Hope in the wake of “Sleepy Joe’s” predictable (and widely predicted) collapse.
MSNBC is cable news central for the IOPFR’s Campaign to Stop Sanders and Re-Elect the Neofascist Trump with Yet Another Centrist Neoliberal Creep. Two days ago, the network’s “Morning Joe” hosts used the very Iowa fiasco that their on-the-ground ideological comrades created to promote Bloomberg and Super Tuesday as the alternatives to “radical” Bernie and the early caucus and primaries. The “progressive” Kissingerian network (I’ve heard MSNBC hosts praise the blood-drenched war criminal Henry Kissinger on numerous occasions) didn’t try hide its corporatist agenda to any serious degree.
“Democrats,” a popular Internet meme featuring pictures of Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi runs, “are afraid that American voters are going to interfere in the 2020 election.”
Thank you. Exactly right.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Democratic Party isn’t about social justice, democracy, and/or environmental sanity. It isn’t even primarily about winning elections. “History’s second most enthusiastic capitalist party” (as former Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips once accurately described the Democrats) is about serving “elite” corporate and financial sponsors above all, and those sponsors prefer a second fascistic Trump term to a mildly progressive first Sanders one.
Oligarchs “Take Advantage of a Broken and Dysfunctional System”
In an amusing and telling episode on MSNBC prior to the Caucus, Nina Turner told Chris Matthews that voters worry about “the oligarchs” who buy American elections. “Do you think Mike Bloomberg is an oligarch?!” an outraged Matthews asked. “He is,” Turner retorted. “He skipped Iowa. Iowans should be insulted. Buying his way into this race, period. The DNC changed the rules. They didn’t change it for Senator Harris. They didn’t change it for Senator Booker. They didn’t change it for Secretary Castro.”
Thank you. Exactly right.
Matthews then incredulously asked Turner is she really believed Bloomberg purchased his way into the presidential debates – as if there is the slightest hint of a scintilla of an iota of a sliver of a wisp of a rumor of a scent of doubt about.
After Matthews finished idiotically interrogating Turner, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams turned to MSNBC pundit Jason Johnson. Johnson also disapproved of Ms. Turner’s description of the oligarch Bloomberg as an oligarch.
“Oligarchy, in our particular terminology,” Johnson intoned, “makes you think of a rich person who got their money off of oil in Russia, who is taking advantage of a broken and dysfunctional system.”
You can’t make shit like that up! No, Jason Johnson: imperialist, Russophobic, and American Exceptionalist doctrine and bad reporting make you think that way. Merriam-Webster defines “oligarchy” as: “government by the few; a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.” There’s an abundance of solid academic research showing that the United States today fits the definition very well. Here are four for Johnson to start with: Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens, Democracy in America? What Has Gone Wrong and What we Can Do About It (University of Chicago, 2018), Ron Formisano, American Oligarchy: The Permanent Political Class (University of Illinois, 2017); Jeffrey Winters, Oligarchy (Cambridge University Press, 2011, with the United States as a leading case study); Paul Street, They Rule: They 1% v. Democracy (Routledge, 2014).
Concerned about rich people “taking advantage of a broken and dysfunctional system”? Look no further than the world’s self-proclaimed “greatest democracy”! No other “democracy” in the so-called developed world remotely matches the United States of Dark Money when it comes to giving big donors unregulated power in their national electoral processes. Along with other and related characteristics of its election and party system — winner-take-all contests with no proportional representation, rampant partisan gerrymandering of election districts, voter registration problems, corporate media bias and the “federalist” decentralization and partisan control of U.S. election process — this plutocratic campaign finance free-for-all is why the Electoral Integrity Project (a research undertaking funded by the Australian Research Council with a team of researchers based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University) ranks the democratic election integrity of U.S. elections below that of all 19 North and Western European democracies and also below that of 10 other nations in the Americas (Costa Rica, Uruguay, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Jamaica, Grenada, Argentina, Barbados and Peru), 10 nations in Central and Eastern Europe, 9 Asian-Pacific countries, 2 countries in the Middle East (Israel and Tunisia) and 6 African nations. The U.S. ranks dead last among “Western democracies.”
Don’t take it from a radical eco-Marxist like me. As the distinguished liberal political scientists Page (Northwestern) and Gilens (Princeton) showed in their expertly researched 2017 book mentioned above:
“the best evidence indicates that the wishes of ordinary Americans actually have had little or no impact on the making of federal government policy. Wealthy individuals and organized interest groups – especially business corporations – have had much more political clout. When they are taken into account, it becomes apparent that the general public has been virtually powerless… Majorities of Americans favor…programs to help provide jobs, increase wages, help the unemployed, provide universal medical insurance, ensure decent retirement pensions, and pay for such programs with progressive taxes. Most Americans also want to cut ‘corporate welfare.’ Yet the wealthy, business groups, and structural gridlock have mostly blocked such new policies [and programs] (emphasis added).”
The Table is Tilted: Beyond the Cynical Brilliance of George Carlin
It was nice of the professors to quantify and document what working-class Americans have always known: money talks, bullshit walks. My old Finish socialist Aunt Mary (a high school graduate who worked for decades as a department store clerk in downtown Elgin, Illinois) understood Page and Gilens’ point very well. In the famous words of George Carlin:
“There’s a reason education sucks and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners, now. The real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions — forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they’ve got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear.”
“They gotcha by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want — they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting f***ed by the system that threw them overboard 30 f***ing years ago. They don’t want that.”
“You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. …All day long, beating you over the in their media telling you what to believe — what to think — and what to buy. The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care.”
“…They don’t give a fuck about you, they don’t…They don’t care about you – at all. At all, At all. At all. At all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care … that’s what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue d**k that’s being jammed up their assholes every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth — it’s called the American Dream … ‘cuz you have to be asleep to believe it.”
The problem with Carlin’s brilliant rant is of course it’s extreme, well, cynicism. Millions upon millions of Americans do notice and do care. They aren’t asleep. They are capable of critical thinking. They very much want to un-rig the game, level the table, and change the system – make a people’s democratic revolution and save humanity. I run into and talk to and try to energize and learn and get energy from these people regularly. They haven’t surrendered to the American authoritarian-sexist-racist-nativist-nationalist-fascist nightmare yet.
I share with many of these people a basic underlying spiritual sense that giving up and letting the owners – our financial and political owners, yes – win is irrational and indeed morally corrupt. Let’s say the chances of collapsing the nation’s un-elected and interrelated dictatorships of money, empire, white-supremacism, and patriarchy are just 3 or 2 or even 1 in 10 (I think the real odds may be much higher). Why bring them down to zero by giving in to fatalism – to “it’s never going to change?” It makes no sense to give up: you lose nothing by believing in the possibility of democratic transformation and revolutionary change; you lose everything by not believing. Try some radical existentialism!
Should people caucus and vote for Bernie in the rigged Democratic Party nomination process? Sure, for three reasons. First, there’s a(n admittedly slim) chance Sanders could prevail and lead the enactment of changes that would make a very positive difference in peoples’ lives and capacity to fight back against American Oligarchy, which is now taking significant steps towards openly authoritarian rule.
Second, doing some work with the Sanders campaign puts you in contact with masses of people who are changing all the time (like all phenomena), people-in-process who are capable of engaging on the critical topics of how and why we must move beyond the rigged games and systems that capture and depress our energies and how and why we must begin to organize for a real revolution.
Third, even if he doesn’t win, it’s good to make the screwing over of Sanders as transparent and instructive as possible. This could help motivate millions of Americans to break in revolutionary fashion from a “broken and dysfunctional [American] system” of class rule. It could help spark millions to join a people’s movement that works beneath and beyond the rigged elections cycle and system to heroically reclaim the commons and save humanity.
There’s a lot of good and potentially radical energy out there. It needs to go somewhere positive once the “coffin of class consciousness” (in the words of the radical historian Alan Dawley) that is the American ballot box fails to deliver yes…yet once again. The capitalists hardly restrict their political pressure to the electoral process – just wait to see what happens if Sanders (somewhat miraculously) makes it into the White House. We must and can develop an anti-capitalist (and now anti-fascist) politics that fights back in ways that transcend those savagely time-staggered moments when our owners permit us to make marks next to the names of politicians who can generally be trusted to put their own interests above ours and those of the common good.
“Except for the rare few,” Howard Zinn once wrote, “our representatives are politicians, and will surrender their integrity, claiming to be ‘realistic.’ We are not politicians, but citizens. We have no office to hold on to, only our consciences, which insist on telling the truth.”
Noam Chomsky: Sanders Threatens the Establishment by Inspiring Popular Movements| Truthout
Editor’s Note: While I don’t agree with Chomsky’s assertions that Trump committed numerous crimes (which were neither enumerated or specified even in the impeachment process), or that Trump naively be compared to Hitler, Chomsky’s analysis of the current political situation on the left is of great value.
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump for power abuses is winding down, with his acquittal all but ensured when the Senate reconvenes on Wednesday to vote on the articles of impeachment. Yet, his real crimes continue to receive scant attention, and it is Sen. Bernie Sanders who is regarded by the political establishment as the most dangerous politician because of his commitment to a just and equitable social order and a sustainable future. Meanwhile, the conclusion of the Davos meeting in January demonstrated the global elites’ ongoing commitment to unimpeded planetary destruction.
This is indeed the state of the contemporary U.S. political environment, as the great public intellectual Noam Chomsky points out in thisexclusive interview for Truthout.
C.J. Polychroniou: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is nearly over, and what a farce it has been — something you had predicted from the start, which is also the reason why you thought that an impeachment inquiry was a rather foolish move on the part of the Democrats. With that in mind, what does this farcical episode tell us about the contemporary state of U.S. politics, and do you anticipate any political fallout in the 2020 election?
Noam Chomsky: It seemed clear from the outset that the impeachment effort could not be serious, and would end up being another gift by the Democrats to Trump, much as the Mueller affair was. Any doubts about its farcical nature were put to rest by its opening spectacle: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts struggling to keep a straight face while swearing in senators who solemnly pledged that they would be unmoved by partisan concerns, and at once proceeded — as everyone know they would — to behave and vote along strictly party lines. Could there be a clearer exhibition of pure farce?
Are the crimes discussed a basis for impeachment? Seems so to me. Has Trump committed vastly more serious crimes? That is hardly debatable. What might be debatable is whether he is indeed the most dangerous criminal in human history (which happens to be my personal view). Hitler had been perhaps the leading candidate for this honor. His goal was to rid the German-run world of Jews, Roma, homosexuals and other “deviants,” along with tens of millions of Slav “Untermenschen.” But Hitler was not dedicated with fervor to destroying the prospects of organized human life on Earth in the not-distant future (along with millions of other species).
Trump is. And those who think he doesn’t know what he’s doing haven’t been looking closely.
Is that a wild and ludicrous exaggeration? Or the very simple and apparent truth? It’s not difficult to figure out the answer. We’ve discussed it often before. There is no need to review what is happening on Trump’s watch while he devotes every effort to accelerating the race to catastrophe, trailed by such lesser lights as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Australia’s Scott Morrison.
Every day brings new forebodings. We have just learned, for example, that the gigantic Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica has been eroding from warm water below. The Washington Postdescribes this as “a troubling finding that could speed its melt in a region with the potential to eventually unleash more than 10 feet of sea-level rise,” adding, “Scientists already knew that Thwaites was losing massive amounts of ice — more than 600 billion tons over the past several decades, and most recently as much as 50 billion tons per year.” It has now been confirmed, as suspected, that“this was occurring because a layer of relatively warmer ocean water, which circles Antarctica below the colder surface layer, had moved closer to shore and begun to eat away at the glaciers themselves, affecting West Antarctica in particular.” The chief scientist involved in the study warns that this may signal “an unstoppable retreat that has huge implications for global sea-level rise.”
That’s today. Tomorrow will be something worse.
What’s causing the warmer water? No secret. This is only one of the likely irreversible tipping points that may be reached if “the Chosen One,” as he modestly describes himself, is granted another four years to carry out his project of global destruction.
We have just witnessed an extraordinary event at the January Davos meeting of the Masters of the Universe, as they are called; for Adam Smith, they were only “the masters of mankind,” but 250 years ago it was just British merchants and manufacturers.
The conference opened with Trump’s oration about what a fabulous creature he is. The encomium was interrupted only by a comment that we should not be “alarmist” about the climate. His Magnificence was followed by the quiet and informed comments of a 17-year old girl instructing the heads of state, CEOs, media leaders and grand intellectuals about what it means to be a responsible adult.
Quite a spectacle.
Trump’s war on organized life on Earth is only the barest beginning. More narrowly, in recent days, the Chosen One has issued executive orders ridding the country of the plague of regulations that protect children from mercury poisoning and preserve the country’s water supplies and lands, along with other impediments to further enrichment of Trump’s primary constituency, extreme wealth and corporate power.
On the side, he has been casually proceeding to dismantle the last vestiges of the arms control regime that has provided some limited degree of security from terminal nuclear war, eliciting cheers from the military industry. And as we have just learned, the great pacifist who is committed to end interventions “dropped more bombs and other munitions in Afghanistan last year than any other year since documentation began in 2006, Air Force data shows.”
He is also ramping up his acts of war — which is what they are — against Iran. I won’t even go into his giving Israel what the Israeli press calls “a gift to the right,” formally giving the back of his imperial hand to international law, the World Court, the UN Security Council and overwhelming international opinion, while shoring up the Evangelical vote for the 2020 election. The prerogative of supreme power.
In brief, the list of Trump’s crimes is immense, not least the worst crime in human history. But none merit a nod in the impeachment proceedings. This is hardly a novelty; rather the norm. The current proceedings are often compared with Watergate. Nixon’s hideous crimes were eliminated from the charges against him despite the efforts of Rep. Robert Frederick Drinan and a few others. The Nixon impeachment charges focused on his illegal acts to harm Democrats.
Any resemblance to the farce that is now winding up? Does it suggest some insight into what motivates the powerful?
Speaking of the 2020 election, the corporate Democratic establishment and the liberal media are once again mobilizing to undermine Bernie Sanders, even though he may very well be the most electable Democrat. First, can you summarize for us what you perceive to be the core of Sanders’s politico-ideological gestalt, and then explain what scares both conservatives and liberals — the possibility of someone like Sanders leading the country?
The core of Sanders’s “politico-ideological gestalt” is his long-standing commitment to the interests of the large majority of the population, not the top 0.1 percent (not 1 percent, 0.1 percent) who hold more than 20 percent of the country’s wealth, not the very rich who were the prime beneficiaries of the slow recovery from the 2008 disaster caused by financial capital. The U.S. achievement in this regard far surpasses that of other developed countries, so we learn from recently released studies, which show that in the U.S., 65 percent of the growth of the past decade went to the very rich; next in line was Germany, at 51 percent, then declining sharply. The same studies show that if current trends persist, in the next decade all growth in the U.S. will go to the rich.
The welfare of these sectors has never been Sanders’s concern.
The Democratic establishment and liberal media are hardly likely to look kindly on someone who forthrightly proclaims, “I have no use for those— regardless of their political party — who hold some foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when unorganized labor was a huddled, almost helpless mass…. Only a handful of unreconstructed reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.” By “right to work” laws, for example, or by hiring scabs, or by threatening to ship jobs to Mexico to undermine organizing efforts, to sample the bipartisan political leadership.
That’s surely the kind of socialist wild man whom the country is not ready to tolerate.
The wild man in this case is President Dwight Eisenhower, the last conservative president. His remarks are a good illustration of how far the political class has shifted to the right under Clintonite “New Democrats” and the Reagan-Gingrich Republicans. The latter have drifted so far off the political spectrum that they are ranked near neo-fascist parties in the international spectrum, well to the right of “conservatives.”
Even more threatening than Sanders’s proposals to carry forward New Deal-style policies, I think, is his inspiring a popular movement that is steadily engaged in political action and direct activism to change the social order — a movement of people, mostly young, who have not internalized the norms of liberal democracy: that the public are “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders” who are to be “spectators, not participants in action,” entitled to push a lever every four years but are then to return to their TV sets and video games while the “responsible men” look after serious matters.
This is a fundamental principle of democracy as expounded by prominent and influential liberal 20th–century American intellectuals, who took cognizance of “the stupidity of the average man” and recognized that we should not be deluded by “democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests.” They are not; we are — the “responsible men,” the “intelligent minority.” The “bewildered herd” must therefore be “put in their place” by “necessary illusions” and “emotionally potent simplifications.” These are among the pronouncements of the most influential 20th–century public intellectual, Walter Lippmann, in his “progressive essays on democracy”; Harold Lasswell, one of the founders of modern political science; and Reinhold Niebuhr, the admired “theologian of the (liberal) establishment.” All highly respected Wilson-FDR-Kennedy liberals.
Inspiring a popular movement that violates these norms is a serious attack on democracy, so conceived, an intolerable assault against good order.
I believe we witnessed something similar in the last U.K. elections in the case of Jeremy Corbyn. Do you agree? And, if so, what does this tell us about liberal democracy, which is nowadays in serious trouble itself on account of the rise and spread of authoritarianism and the far right in many parts of the world?
There are definite similarities. Corbyn, a decent and honorable man, was subjected to an extraordinary flood of vilification and defamation, which he was unable to confront. At the same time, polls indicated that the policies that he put forth — and that had led to a remarkable victory for Labour in 2017 — remained popular. A special feature in the U.K. was Brexit, a matter I won’t go into here (my personal opinion, for what it’s worth, is that it is a serious blow to both Britain and the EU, and is likely to cause Britain — or what remains of it — to become even more of a vassal of the U.S. than it has been under Blair’s New Labour and the Tories, whose social and economic policies have caused the country great harm). Corbyn’s vacillation on the Brexit issue, which became a toxic one, surely contributed to the negative feelings about him that seem to have been a major factor in the electoral disaster for Labour, but it was only one.
As in the case of Sanders, I suspect that the prime reason for the bitter hatred of Corbyn on the part of a very wide spectrum of the British establishment is his effort to turn the Labour Party into a participatory organization that would not leave electoral politics in the hands of the Labour bureaucracy and would proceed beyond the narrow realm of electoral politics to far broader and constant activism and engagement in public affairs.
More generally, much of the world is aflame. As the men of Davos recognized with trepidation at their January meeting, the peasants are coming with their pitchforks: The neoliberal order they have imposed for the past 40 years, while ultra-generous to them and their class, has had a bitter impact on the general population. A leading theme at Davos was that the Masters must declare that they are changing their stance from service to the rich to attending to the concerns of “stakeholders” — working people and communities. Another theme was that while not “alarmists,” they acknowledge the threat of global warming.
The unstated implication is that there is no need for regulations and other actions about climate change: We Big Boys will take care of it. Greta Thunberg and the other children demonstrating out there can go back to school. And now that we see the flaws in our neoliberal model of capitalism, you can put aside all those disruptive political programs calling for health care, rights of workers, women, the poor. We’re taking care of it, so just go back to your private pursuits, keeping to democratic norms.
As the neoliberal order is visibly collapsing, it is giving rise to “morbid symptoms” (to borrow Gramsci’s famous phrase when the fascist plague was looming). Among these are the spread of authoritarianism and the far right that you mention. More generally, what we are witnessing is quite understandable anger, resentment and contempt for the political institutions that have implemented the neoliberal assault — but also the rise of activist movements that seek to overcome the ills of global society and to stem and reverse the race to destruction.
The confrontation could hardly have been exhibited more dramatically than by the appearance of Greta Thunberg immediately after the most powerful man in the world — the leader in the race to destruction — had admonished the Masters to disdain the “heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers” (virtually 100 percent of climate scientists) and to take up his wrecking ball.
DOJ Says Comey Did NOT Have Probable Cause to Start Trump Investigation | Trending Politics
The Department of Justice made a bombshell announcement when they stated that fired FBI Director James Comey did not have probably cause to start surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.
“Thanks in large part to the work of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice, the Court has received notice of material misstatements and omissions in the applications filed by the government in the above-captioned dockets,” the letter from the Department of Justice said. “DOJ assesses that with respect to the applications in Docket Numbers 17-375 and 17-679, ‘if not earlier, there was insufficient predication to establish probable cause to believe that [Carter] Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.’”
Reuters reporter Brad Heath said that this letter is a “big deal,” tweeting, “This is a big deal. The Justice Department is conceding that two of the four FISA applications it used to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were not lawful, and it’s not defending the legality of its other two applications.”
“The government further reports that the FBI has agreed ‘to sequester all collection the FBI acquired pursuant to the Court’s authorizations in the above-listed four docket numbers targeting [Carter] Page pending further review of the OIG Report and the outcome of related investigations and any litigation,’” the DOJ letter added. “The government has not described what steps are involved-in-such sequestration or when it will be completed. It has, however, undertaken to ‘provide an update to the Court when the FBI completes the sequestration’ and to ‘update the Court on the disposition of the sequestered collection at the conclusion of related investigations and any litigation.’ To date, no such update has been received.”
“The Court understands the government to have concluded, in view of the material misstatements and omissions, that the Court’s authorizations in Docket Numbers 17-375 and 17- 679 were not valid,” the letter continued. “The government apparently does not take a position on the validity of the authorizations in Docket Numbers 16-1182 and 17-52, but intends to sequester information acquired pursuant to those dockets in the same manner as information acquired pursuant to the subsequent dockets.”
In December, the Inspector General released his “inaccuracies and omissions” made by the FBI. Check them out below:
- Omitted information from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;
- Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele’s prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,” which overstated the significance of Steele’s past reporting and was not approved by Steele’s FBI handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;
- Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who, as previously noted, was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a “boaster” and an “egoist” and “may engage in some embellishment” and (2) [redacted]
- Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article, based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and [Fusion GPS Founder Glenn] Simpson; this premise was factually incorrect (Steele had provided direct information to Yahoo News) and also contradicted by documentation in the Woods File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department;
- Omitted Papadopoulos’s statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like WikiLeaks in the release of emails;
- Omitted Page’s statements to an FBI CHS [Confidential Human Source] in August 2016 that Page had “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page’s emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Steele’s Report 95 that Page was participating in a “conspiracy” with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and
- Selectively included Page’s statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Steele’s Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton.
Source: Trending Politics