Monday, September 4, 2017

(Happy Un-Labor Day?)  Liars Figuring Still  (Stop Democracy Now!) Junior Soprano Unleashed: As*hole Defined  (Ignorant/Racist USA!)  Empire of Never-Ending Debt?  (White Lashed)  Vouchered Rahm?  (After Liberalism? When?)  Watershed History Moment  (New International Economics Needed)  Hillary Hype Resented?

Sorry that this is a ridiculously long one, but I'm catching up as I've been on long-term hiatus due to desperate economic circumstances . . . just grab a tall, cold one; you may need a refill. Many of us do constantly these days.

A brief moment of clarity for the jobs-bereft (as well as the life-bereft (h/t to D. Trump's "Have a good time!" to the desperate refugees as he scrambled back to his gilded lifestyle after viewing the Harvey damage)):

The Vanishing American Dream
Today is Labor Day, a difficult day to celebrate now that American labor has been cast aside and US jobs offshored and given to foreigners. The remainder of the jobs is slated to be replaced by robotics.
Friday’s payroll jobs report was full of bad news. Full-time jobs declined by 166,000. The meager 156,000 new jobs claimed are really only 115,000 net of the prior month’s revision, and this 115,000 jobs estimate is within the range of statistical insignificance. In other words, there is no confidence that the jobs are actually there.
The US work force continues to develop a Third World complexion of lowly paid part-time domestic service employment. The American Dream continues its closedown.
Meanwhile the government tells us that we are at full employment with an unemployment rate of 4.4%.

For the sensitive amongst us:

We are going to have to do far more than take down Robert E. Lee’s statue.

To resolve our internal problems is a monumental job requiring the resources now spent in trying to resolve the rest of the world's problems.

Today our country is far more divided that it was in 1860. Identity Politics has taught Americans to hate each other, but, nevertheless, the zionist neoconservatives assure us that we are “the indispensable, exceptional people.” We, a totally divided people, are said to have the right to rule the world and to bomb every country that doesn’t accept our will into the stone age.
In turn the world hates America. Washington has told too many lies about other countries and used those lies to destroy them. Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and large chunks of Syria and Pakistan are in ruins. Washington intends yet more ruin with Venezuela currently in the cross hairs.
Eleven years ago Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez resonated with many peoples when he said in his UN speech:  “Yesterday at this very podium stood Satan himself [Bush], speaking as if he owned the world; you can still smell the sulphur.”
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that America is a font for hatred both at home and abroad.

Putting a stop to democracy ASAP.

And if you are still wondering when the Republicans and the MIC-loving Democrats are going to finally get down to business about that political genius,Trump, try to remember the pretty recent history (okay, not so pretty) of these "serious" guys:

“This year was totally different,” one attendee told us. “With the current White House and all the overseas activity, military confidence is way up. I can’t tell you how many excited comments there were about the new budgetary reality.” Former CIA director James Schlesinger, recipient of the Carabaos’ 2002 Distinguished Service Award, summed it up well in his acceptance speech:  “Someone once said that war is hell and peace is heaven. But we know that the opposite is true:   war is heaven and peace is hell.” The good times were back, and more than a thousand Carabaos and handpicked guests brayed their approval, leaving us to wonder whether an imperial renaissance is upon us.
Held this year at the swanky Omni Shoreham Hotel, the Carabao Wallow attracts top military brass as well as a bull-necked assortment of politicos and eager defense contractors. Those not in black tie or military dress uniform don a kilt for the four-hour extravaganza. Among the guests, called Hombres, there are precious few women. As recently as 1995, a Carabao scandalized the Herd by arriving with his wife in tow. The couple was forced to eat in the hall.
The evening’s entertainment includes a selection of songs, lovingly composed and performed by members of the Herd, satirizing public figures and current events, with particular emphasis on the lily-livered liberals and their endless efforts to cut the Pentagon’s budget boodle. “It’s the military-industrial complex’s answer to the Gridiron,” as one Wallow regular described it.
Ditties like “Big Bad Bin Laden” and ’’An Afghan Lullaby” aired contemporary concerns, while “Base Closing Blues” evoked the mournful spirit of a blessedly bygone era. But with the greatest appropriation windfall in U.S. military history inching toward approval, it seemed entirely appropriate that this year’s major dramatic theme was "Star Wars."

“Rummy Skywalker” and “Darth Biden” provided the catchiest lyrics. “Colin Solo’s Solo” drew an appreciative response from the crowd, and “Princess Condoleia,” a stirring ode to unilateralism, was affecting indeed, even with a white guy playing Condoleezza Rice.
. . . This year’s guest list didn’t feature the usual heavy hitters — what with the war on terror being waged wide and far. Though invited to the Wallow, Capt. George W. Bush, USAF Reserve, did not attend. Nor did Colin Powell, who sat unobtrusively in the banquet hall in 2000. But the geriatric Sen. Strom Thurmond wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Joining him at the head table were, among others, Schlesinger and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs Vice Chair, and Air Force Secretary James Roche, both Carabaos, played gracious hosts at their own tables.
Once seated at his preassigned table, each tipsy reveler readied himself for a traditional rite:   the bellowing of the Carabao anthem. By this point, the room was thick with smoke — every place setting had been adorned with an authentic Cuban cigar. A disembodied voice calmly requested “Gentlemen, please turn to your songbooks,” and the Marine Corps Band seated to the side picked up a lusty tune. The Carabaos, most of whom seemed to know the words by heart, launched into the first stanza, ferociously banging their fists on the tables at each and every chorus . . . .
Fiery musical manifestoes like this one are hard to come by these days outside of museum displays. And “The Soldier’s Song” is by no means short on history. Its dulcet tones were first hummed by the “hikers” — soldiers dispatched to the Philippines in 1899 by President William McKinley to bring the Filipino independence movement to heel. Wielding smokeless Krag rifles, the forebears of today’s Herd trampled what they called the “Philippine Insurrection” under heavy hoof. Historians estimate that 16,000 Filipino guerrillas and 200,000 civilians — in addition to 10,000 American soldiers — were killed in a campaign that dragged on until 1916. As in a later colonial adventure in Southeast Asia, U.S. commanders made few distinctions between “amigo” and “insurrecto.” Villagers who did not enter “reconcentration camps” similar to Vietnam’s “strategic hamlets” were considered fair game by Carabao bulls.
Though unruffled by the continued American occupation of the Philippines, President Woodrow Wilson waged a halfhearted campaign against “The Soldier’s Song” in 1914, publicly lambasting the Order for its insults to Filipinos. He loftily reminded the Carabaos of “the high conscience with which they ought to put duty above personal indulgence, and to think of themselves as responsible men and trusted soldiers, even while they are amusing themselves as diners out.” When no one listened, Wilson blocked his Secretary of the Navy from accepting a promotion to lead bull of the Herd. Ironically, the offending anthem’s lyrics had been softened just several months before Wilson heard it (the original chorus went, “Damn, Damn, Damn the Filipinos”). Although not otherwise distinguished as a crusader against racism, Wilson may well have been an early specimen of the hated liberal-milquetoast type, the sort of guy Carabao idol Donald Rumsfeld would have stuffed in a gym locker had they been together at Princeton.
“The Soldier’s Song” emerged mostly unscathed from this early encounter with diplomatic propriety, only to meet with another slight alteration in the early Nineties. A guest from this year’s Wallow recounted the sad tale of a “shit-for-brains” who invited a friend from the Filipino government to the annual sing-along. The Filipino, duly horrified, promptly filed a complaint, while the unlucky Carabao was abruptly thinned from the Herd. Following this incident, the above stanza lauding the Filipinos as “our fondest friends” was added. The only foreigner registered for the 2002 Wallow was a Saudi lieutenant colonel named Nayef Al Saud.
For the most part, the Herd thunders in closely guarded seclusion. Apart from the obituaries, the last time a Carabao reared an antlered head in the press was in 1983, when General Dynamics was caught billing the government hundreds of dollars so that its employees could mingle with the Wallowers. This wasn’t a new stunt. The same year, the multimillion-dollar defense contractor had run up the taxpayers’ tab while pressing the flesh at the Iron Gate Dinner in New York, a similar function hosted by the Air Force Association.
In 1999, the presence of independent counsel Ken Starr at the Wallow created a bit of a stir. With the evening’s first toast to Bill Clinton, then grudgingly acknowledged as commander-in-chief, all eyes watched Starr for signs of insubordination. As glasses were raised, Starr dutifully stood, uttering the requisite “Hear, hear.” He did not, however, salute.

Stop frowning!

So, he's really just an abused child.

A very wealthy, vastly catered-to abused child.

A 21st century philosopher speaks:

It is not quite fair to say that Donald Trump lacks core beliefs, but to the extent that we can take apart these beliefs they amount to Give Donald Trump Your Money and Donald Trump Should Really Be on Television More. The only comprehensible throughline to his politics is that everything Trump says is something he’s said previously, with additional very’s and more-and-more’s appended over time; his worldview amounts to the sum of the dumb shit he saw on the cover of the "New York Post" in 1985, subjected to a few decades of rancid compounding interest and deteriorating mental aptitude. He watches a lot of cable news, but he struggles to follow even stories that have been custom built for people like him — old, uninformed, amorphously if deeply aggrieved.
There’s a reason for this. Trump doesn’t know anything or really believe anything about any topic beyond himself, because he has no interest in any topic beyond himself; his evident cognitive decline and hyperactive laziness and towering monomania ensure that he will never again learn a new thing in his life. He has no friends and no real allies; his inner circle is divided between ostensibly scandalized cynics and theatrically shameless ones, all of whom hold him in low regard and see him as a potential means to their individuated ends. There is no help on the way; his outer orbit is a rotation of replacement-level rage-grandpas and defective, perpetually clammy operators..
Trump now “executes” by way of the The Junior Soprano Method. When he senses that his staff is trying to get him to do one thing, Trump defiantly does the opposite; otherwise he bathes in the commodified reactionary grievance of partisan media, looking for stories about himself. It takes days for his oafish and overmatched handlers to coax him into even a coded and qualified criticism of neo-Nazis, and an instant for him to willfully undo it. Of course he brings more vigor to the latter than the former; he doesn’t really understand why he had to do the first thing, but he innately and deeply understands why he did the second. The first is invariably about someone else — some woman, there was a car accident, like during or maybe after that thing — and therefore, as an asshole, he does not and cannot really care about it. The second is about him and therefore, as an asshole, he really, really does.
To understand Trump is also to understand his appeal as an aspirational brand to the worst people in the United States. What his intransigent admirers like most about him — the thing they aspire to, in their online cosplay sessions and their desperately thirsty performances for a media they loathe and to which they are so helplessly addicted — is his freedom to be unconcerned with anything but himself. This is not because he is rich or brave or astute; it’s because he is an asshole, and so authentically unconcerned.

The howling and unreflective void at his core will keep him lonely and stupid until the moment a sufficient number of his vital organs finally resign in disgrace, but it liberates him to devote every bit of his being to his pursuit of himself. Actual hate and actual love, as other people feel them, are too complicated to fit into this world. In their place, for Trump and for the people who see in him a way of being that they are too busy or burdened or humane to pursue, are the versions that exist in a lower orbit, around the self. Instead of hate, there is simple resentment — abject and valueless and recursively self-pitying; instead of love, there is the blank sucking nullity of vanity and appetite.
This is what an asshole is, and lord knows Trump is not the only one in his business, or our culture, who insistently bends every incident or issue back towards his sour and jealous self. Some of the people who do this even care at some level about the broader world, but because they are assholes believe that the solution to that world’s problems lies in paying more attention to one particular asshole and his or her ideas. Trump is not one of those people. The rest of the world is an abstraction to him, a market to exploit; there is no other person in it who is real to him. They’re all supplicants or subjects, fans or haters, but their humanity is transparently not part of the equation. What other people might want, or indeed the fact that they could want at all, is crowded out of the picture by the corroded and corrosive bulk of his horrible self.
There is no room for other people in the world that Trump has made for himself, and this is fundamental to the anxiety of watching him impose his claustrophobic and airless interior world on our own. Is Trump a racist? Yes, because that’s a default setting for stupid people; also, he transparently has no regard for other people at all. Does Trump care about the cheap-looking statue of Stonewall Jackson that some forgotten Dixiecrat placed in a shithole park somewhere he will never visit? Not really, but he so resents the fact that other people expect him to care that he develops a passionate contrary opinion out of spite. Does he even know about . . . Let me stop you there. The answer is no.
The answer is always no, and it will always be no because he does not care. Every lie, every evasion, every massive and blithely issued shock to the conscience Trump authors will only ever be about him. He will never be embarrassed by any of these things, because he cannot understand anyone’s response to them except as it relates to him. Slavery? That’s another thing that his very dishonest enemies want to blame him for. Racism? He’s been accused of it, and honestly it’s so ridiculous, so ridiculous. History? He’s in the business of making it, baby. Violence? Not his fault. People protesting? He doesn’t know them.

And thus his wife's seemingly callous public disregard for his personal desires.

Almost makes you long for Nixon's smarmy attempts for connection with college students, doesn't it?


As you know, Magpie, I have been trying for a while to interest self-absorbed Americans in the fact that even what we are seeing in Texas is a minor thing compared to what is going to happen in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia in the next half century due to global warming. Of course the number of Americans who don't give one God damn about brown people is large enough, and they spend enough time (when they are not in their usual oxycontin haze) screaming about things, that no one will address that except a few lunatic left wingers.

"I believe that our species will not last long. It does not seem to be made of the stuff that has allowed the turtle, for example, to continue to exist more or less unchanged for hundreds of millions of years, for hundreds of times longer, that is, than we have been in existence. We belong to a short-lived genus of species. All of our cousins are already extinct. What’s more, we do damage.

The brutal climate and environmental changes that we have triggered are unlikely to spare us. For Earth they may turn out to be a small blip, but I do not think that we will outlast them unscathed - especially since public and political opinion prefers to ignore the dangers that we are running (from), hiding our heads in the sand. We are perhaps the only species on Earth to be conscious of the inevitability of our individual mortality. I fear that soon we shall also have to become the only species that will knowingly watch the coming of its own collective demise, or at least the demise of its civilization.
As we know more or less well how to deal with our individual mortality, so we will deal with the collapse of our civilization. It is not so different."

- Carlo Rovelli
“Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” Carlo Rovelli (pgs. 77,78) (2014).
(Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, is the head of the Quantum Gravity group at the Centre de Physique Theorique of Aix-Marseille University. He is one of the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory.)

Of current relevance is the effort to explain Donald Trump’s election in terms of ‘White backlash.’ Both the Clintons and Barack Obama made a small number of rich people much richer while making working class and poor people poorer. From starting positions characterized by unresolved institutional racism — race-based social disadvantage, the Democrats’ economic policies rewarded and punished people by these starting positions and not by capacities and effort. The Democrats ‘meritocracy’ is in this way tautological, a low-budget restatement of Voltaire’s ‘best of all possible worlds.’
For displaced Democrats the theory of White backlash has obvious appeal— barely employed, barely educated hicks get their revenge for eight years of America’s first Black president passing virtuous and inclusive policies. Questions like why a number of Americans sufficient to elect Mr. Trump are barely educated and barely employed eight years into a Democrat administration and economic ‘recovery’ are left for the communists. (The bourgeois and the rich vote — they elected Mr. Trump). And in fact, recent research supports the contention that millions of workers were forced to exit labor ‘markets’ during Mr. Obama’s tenure due to a lack of jobs.
This isn’t to dismiss the theory of backlash entirely. Amongst the 16% of the population that voted for Mr. Trump ((eligible voters / population) X 27% eligible who voted Trump), some fair portion may well be ideologically committed racists.
Furthermore, American history is full of political opportunists periodically exacerbating racial tensions to divide working people and the poor and distract attention away from capitalist predations. The problem for Democrats with charging dim jackass Trump with racial opportunism is that the Clintons mastered that game some twenty years ago. (Click on figure to enlarge.)

Graph:  capital, a remarkably sore subject in economics despite its place at the theoretical core of capitalism, is well described as control over social resources — in particular, productive resources. The Neoliberal epoch has placed most wealth, and with it control over social resources, in a small number of overwhelmingly White hands. The difference between average and median wealth is a measure of this concentration. Through deregulation, financialization, globalization and the concentration of corporate power in the executive suites, Bill Clinton helped build this system of wealth concentration. Through bailouts of Wall Street, Barack Obama restored it to power. As the graph suggests, ‘opportunity’ is a non sequitur when a few connected White people own all of the resources. (Source:  Economic Policy Institute.)
The oft-uttered contention that the Clintons are mere racial opportunists while Mr. Trump is a real racist ignores that the Clintons pushed some of the most destructively racist legislation in American history. The argument that they (the Clintons) shouldn’t be held to account for legislation they supported undermines the base precept of legal liability used to write it. In other words, the Clinton apologia appears to be that they shouldn’t be held to account, but the several million poor Blacks imprisoned under legislation they supported should have been. And there is no hyperbole in linking the language, structure and intent of the 1994 Crime Bill to Nazi Law through precedents in Jim Crow.
Finally, the ‘backlash’ thesis proceeds from the premise that there was something worthy of backlash against.There was celebration around the globe when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. And Republicans did spend the next eight years proclaiming that his neoliberal (state-capitalist) policies were ‘socialist.’ But the debased state of American political discourse hardly makes this so.
The more descriptively accurate term for a politician who bails out Wall Street, passes a ‘market-based’ health insurance sales scheme, pushes high-capitalist trade agreements and works to cut social spending is ‘Republican.
None of this is to give dim tool Trump a pass for fanning the flames of hatred and intolerance. It is to argue that the premise of difference, and therefore that there is refuge in the Democrat Party, is based on ignorance, wishful thinking and delusion. As vile as Mr. Trump is, the governing ideology of the national Democrats’ (paging Antonio Gramsci) revivifies White nationalism through reifying starting positions of asymmetrical economic power (graph above). Race and class repression have grown in lockstep with resurgent capitalism supported most effectively by national Democrats.
Ultimately neoliberalism is for those hearty souls who took Margaret Thatcher’s (and Ayn Rand’s) brain-farts seriously. From Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street, she appears to have confused prescriptive with descriptive in the sense laid out above — she believed the educated fools in $3,000 suits who had just killed the global economy were capable of running the world because they still had jobs. This is the very same ‘creative class’ that Barack Obama bailed out Wall Street to save. It also fits Donald Trump’s preference for ‘winners’ over people otherwise able to do a job.
The difference between living in a flawed capitalist democracy and a relentlessly oppressive totalitarian shithole depends more the social space that one occupies than pre-modern social apologetics. The tautological conception of merit favored by national Democrats implies that Blacks suffer from institutional racism because of some deficiency inherent to Blackness. The American ruling class favors this tautology because it legitimates the concentration of wealth and power under the illusion of merit. Neoliberalism, the governing ethos of Washington, links three centuries of White nationalism to capitalism through this circular social apologetics.
Last, a new article in The Nation gives substantive backing to the long held contention that the ‘Russian hacking’ story is complete and utter bullshit. As Julian Assange and others contemporaneously argued, DNC emails were gotten through a leak — through an inside job, and not through a hack by malevolent outsiders. A quick bet is that this will ultimately do for national Democrats what the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ fraud did for the Bushies and the New York Times. The larger question is why grift-o-crats use short-con fabrications when they will still be in full view when the con falls apart? To save the suspense, these are enthusiastically not-gifted people. So much for a meritocracy.

Lee Camp goes into detail about how easy it was for the FBI/NSA/Homeland Security/CIA/ASPCA/NAACP, etc., etc., (anyone actually) to monitor the throughput of the get.

Published on Aug 25, 2017 
Last year WikiLeaks showed Clinton’s campaign to be laughably corrupt, and suggested that the “D” in “DNC” was perhaps inserted ironically. The media promptly began focusing on the source of this information by equating WikiLeaks with “Russian hackers,” instead of analyzing the proven corruption and its implications. A group founded in 2003 to question the WMD narrative from which our consent was manufactured to attack Iraq, has re-emerged to question the Russian hacking narrative politicians and media pundits have hammered into our brains since the election.

Hard science from these forensic investigators and intelligence analysts now demonstrates the Podesta emails came from a leak, not a hack. Corporate media, unsurprisingly, won’t touch this story, as it would indict them to a devastating degree. The most nefarious things about endless media repetition of the Russian hacking narrative is that it’s been sold to us as an “attack” and an “an act of war,” and that Democratic politicians don’t have to reflect on the neoliberal economic policies that caused so many to vote for Trump in the (false) hope that he’d represent a change. In sum, the military industrial complex wins, and the Democratic establishment successfully avoids all scrutiny of neglecting the people it claims to represent.

Psychologists behind the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program have settled out of their court case with three torture victims defended by the ACLU. These “architects” were paid 81 million dollars for their techniques, yet this torture was largely ineffective. And the settlement is unsurprising, because if this went to court it would be overwhelmingly bad PR for the CIA.

After discounting their heart-stopping Stacker Burger for one day, Burger King gave 50% of that day’s profits to a startup making 3D prosthetic arms. Burger King Argentina has been airing a commercial showing that you It’s ironic because fast food increases the chance of amputations.

And how did we get this far down the rabbit hole?

Moreover, there is no evidence to support the official conspiracy theory of 9/11. Indeed, all known evidence contradicts the official conspiracy theory.
It didn't happen overnight.

But . . . wait.

It did.

In the United States “conspiracy theory” is the name given to explanations that differ from those that serve the ruling oligarchy, the establishment or whatever we want to call those who set and control the agendas and the explanations that support the agendas.
The explanations imposed on us by the ruling class are themselves conspiracy theories. Moreover, they are conspiracy theories designed to hide the real conspiracy that our rulers are operating.
For example, the official explanation of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory. Some Muslims, mainly Saudi Arabians, delivered the greatest humiliation to a superpower since David slew Goliath. They outsmarted all 17 US intelligence agencies and those of NATO and Israel, the National Security Council, the Transportation Safety Administration, Air Traffic Control, and Dick Cheney, hijacked four US airliners on one morning, brought down three World Trade Center skyscrapers, destroyed that part of the Pentagon where research was underway into the missing $2.3 trillion, and caused the morons in Washington to blame Afghanistan instead of Saudi Arabia.
Clearly, the Saudia Arabians who humiliated Ameria were involved in a conspiracy to do so. Is it a believable conspiracy?
The ability of a few young Muslim men to pull off such a feat is unbelievable. Such total failure of the US National Security State means that America was blindly vulnerable throughout the decades of Cold War with the Soviet Union. If such total failure of the National Security State had really occurred, the White House and Congress would have been screaming for an investigation. People would have been held accountable for the long chain of security failures that allowed the plot to succeed. Instead, no one was even reprimanded, and the White House resisted all efforts for an investigation for a year. Finally, to shut up the 9/11 families, a 9/11 Commission was convened. The commission duly wrote down the government’s story and that was the “investigation.”
Moreover, there is no evidence to support the official conspiracy theory of 9/11. Indeed, all known evidence contradicts the official conspiracy theory.
For example, it is a proven fact that Building 7 came down at freefall acceleration, which means it was wired for demolition. Why was it wired for demolition? There is no official answer to this question.
It is the known evidence provided by scientists, architects, engineers, pilots, and the first responders who were in the twin towers and personally experienced the numerous explosions that brough down the towers that is described as a conspiracy theory.
The CIA introduced the term “conspiracy theory” into public discourse as part of its action plan to discredit skeptics of the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Any explanation other than the one handed down, which is contradicted by all known evidence, was debunked as a conspiracy theory.
Conspiracy theories are the backbone of US foreign policy. For example, the George W. Bush regime was active in a conspiracy against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The Bush regime created fake evidence of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” sold the false story to a gullible world and used it to destroy Iraq and murder its leader. Similarly, Gaddafi was a victim of an Obama/Hillary conspiracy to destroy Libya and murder Gaddafi. Assad of Syria and Iran were slated for the same treatment until the Russians intervened.
Currently, Washington is engaged in conspiracies against Russia, China, and Venezuela. Proclaiming a non-existant “Iranian threat,” Washington put US missiles on Russia’s border and used the “North Korean threat” to put missiles on China’s border. The democratically elected leader of Venezuela is said by Washington to be a dictator, and sanctions have been put on Venezuela to help the small Spanish elite through whom Washington has traditionally ruled South American countries pull off a coup and reestablish US control over Venezuela.
Everyone is a threat:  Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Aghanistan, tribes in Pakistan, Libya, Russia, China, North Korea, but never Washington. The greatest conspiracy theory of our time is that Americans are surrounded by foreign threats. We are not even safe from Venezuela.
The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the rest of the presstitutes are quick to debunk as conspiracy theories all explanations that differ from the explanations of the ruling interests that the presstitutes serve.
Yet, as I write and for some nine months to date, the presstitute media has itself been promoting the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump was involved in a conspiracy with the president of Russia and Russian intelligence services to hack the US presidential election and place Trump, a Russian agent, in the White House.
This conspiracy theory has no evidence whatsoever. It doesn’t need evidence, because it serves the interests of the military/security complex, the Democratic Party, the neoconservatives, and permits the presstitutes to show lavish devotion to their masters. By endless repetition a lie becomes truth.
There is a conspiracy, and it is against the American people. Their jobs have been offshored in order to enrich the already rich. They have been forced into debt in a futile effort to maintain their living standards. Their effort to stem their decline by electing a president who spoke for them is being subverted before their eyes by an utterly corrupt media and ruling class.
Sooner or later it will dawn on them that there is nothing they can do but violently revolt. Most likely, by the time they reach this conclusion it will be too late. Americans are very slow to escape from the false reality in which they live. Americans are a thoroughly brainwashed people who hold tightly to their false life within The Matrix.
For the gullible and naive who have been brainwashed into believing that any explanation that differs from the officially-blessed one is a conspiracy theory, there are available online long lists of government conspiracies that succeeded in deceiving the people in order that the governments could achieve agendas that the people would have rejected.
If liberty continues to exist on earth, it will not be in the Western world. It will be in Russia and China, countries that emerged out of the opposite and know the value of liberty, and it will be in those South American countries, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia that fight for their sovereignty against American oppression.
Indeed, as historians unconcerned with their careers are beginning to write, the primary lesson in history is that governments deceive their peoples.
Everywhere in the Western world, government is a conspiracy against the people.

From Yves at Naked Capitalism:

Yves here. Notice how all the hysteria over evil Rooskies, North Korea, and neo-Nazis on the march has diverted media attention away from fights over economic issues? In Illinois, Governor Rauner is pushing through a scheme to curb funding to schools that is designed to hit lower property tax districts and Chicago particularly hard. Some schools may not be able to open. And this is the way to run a supposedly civilized country?
(By Jennifer Berkshire, the education editor at AlterNet and the co-host of a biweekly podcast on education in the time of Trump. Originally published at Alternet).
While the national education debate is largely focused on Betsy DeVos and school choice, the fiercest fights over the future of public education are playing out at the state level. This week, AlterNet begins a tour across the US to survey some of the biggest education battles. The first stop:  Illinois, where Governor Bruce Rauner, a conservative billionaire, seems determined to blow up the state’s schools. AlterNet education editor Jennifer Berkshire talks to Dusty Rhodes, an education reporter for NPR in Illinois, about the high-stakes school funding showdown that’s pitting the conservative billionaire Governor against the state’s public schools.
Jennifer Berkshire:  It seems like just weeks ago that we were cheering the fact that Illinois finally had a budget after two long years, during which the state’s higher education system nearly imploded. Help us understand what’s happening now.
Dusty Rhodes: We didn’t have a budget for two years, but the one thing they did fund was K-12 education. That’s because Bruce Rauner is the education governor and he cares very deeply about education, as he likes to remind us at his press conferences. When legislators overrode Rauner’s budget veto earlier this summer in a very dramatic fashion, Rauner’s response was to fire his top people and replace them with people from the Illinois Policy Institute, which is a right-wing think tank. The state’s payment to K-12 schools was due this week, and they’re going to miss it for the first time in Illinois’ history. We have a budget now. We just don’t have a way to fund public schools.
JB: In many ways what’s happening in Illinois is the same story that’s playing out across the industrial Midwest. Rauner and the Illinois Policy Institute don’t like taxes, unions and things with “public” in the name. But the showdown that’s playing out now is also about an ambitious, even inspiring, effort to make the way Illinois funds its schools more fair. Fill us in.
DR: This summer, lawmakers passed what’s called Senate Bill 1. A young Senator named Andy Manar from a little town called Bunker Hill in west central Illinois really led the effort. Picture the lawmaker most likely to be played by a young Jimmy Stewart in the movie version of all of this. Really what SB 1 is is way of quantifying what kind of resources a school needs and coming up with what’s called an adequacy formula for each district. Our current school funding formula just says “here’s how much it costs to educate a kid in Illinois:  $6,119.” Period. The current formula is also heavily dependent on property taxes property taxes, which means that areas with malls and fancy homes are able to spend considerably more on education. So we have a district that spends $32,000 a year per child and districts that spend $7000. This was Manar’s fourth attempt to try to make Illinois’ school funding system more fair. He’d tried every way you can think of and when SB1 passed, I was expecting a balloon drop. It was that euphoric.
JB: Alas, the movie version of Illinois’ school funding wars turns out to be more of a horror flick, complete with a Governor who some have nicknamed Governor Sauron after the bad guy in the Lord of the Rings. I’m going to close my eyes for this next part where you describe how Rauner used what’s called an amendatory veto to slash SB 1.
DR: When the Democrats finally sent Rauner the bill and he issued his amendatory veto,  what we call an AV, it was as though he did every mean thing he could think of to do to Chicago and then all these other school districts just suffer collateral damage. Chicago is infamous for its for TIFs (tax increment financing), so the Governor said ‘OK:  we’re going to recalculate everything as though those TIFs don’t exist.’ That has the effect of making Chicago seem much wealthier than it is. Lots of cities have TIFs, not just Chicago, while others are subject to property tax caps. When you think about who designates a TIF, it’s not a school district, it’s a municipality or a county. Those boundaries and school districts don’t necessarily overlap. The other thing that’s important here is that Rauner just sort of slipped in there that pension costs get shifted to local school districts for future hires. That just ends up piling inequity on top of inequity. What’s going to happen to those poor districts that are already struggling to spend $7,000 per student?
JB: I grew up in central Illinois so remember well hearing lawmakers rail against “Chicago.” Especially in rural parts of the state, throwing the ‘C’ word around was a way of invoking race without ever explicitly talking about race. Is that true with this fight over school funding?
DR:  Lawmakers don’t make it explicitly racist on the floor but a lot of people perceive that undertone.  The problem with Illinois is that it has one big city and so you can demonize that city for the rest of the state. The next biggest school district after Chicago is 1/10th the size of the Chicago Public Schools. So lawmakers stand up and say “this is a bail out of Chicago,” or “this is about pensions for teachers in Chicago” or refer to “extra funds” that are going to the Chicago Public Schools. Chicago gets a $250 million block grant, but over the years their enrollment has dropped. They are not adequately funded even with that. I have heard the governor’s education czar state that those funds have been audited and there is no indication that they’re being used for anything other than the education of children. Implying that somehow that Chicago is getting more than what it’s entitled to plays well downstate.

JB: It’s unclear at this point whether all of Illinois’ schools will be able to open. But the Governor is providing the state’s youngsters with a lesson in civics, not to mention parliamentary procedure. I’m referring, of course, to Rauner’s seeming ignorance about how many votes he’d need in order to make Operation Collateral Damage a reality.
DR: I think what happened was that when Rauner fired his staff and replaced them with right-wing think tankers, he got rid of all of the people who actually knew stuff.  In the press conference where he came out to announce his amendatory veto, it was a big deal. It was in the fancy part of his office and it was completely full of reporters and every TV station from Chicago was there. A reporter asked him how he thought he was going to get ⅗ of the vote on anything he was proposing, to which the Governor said ‘it only takes a simple majority.’ But he was wrong. It takes a super majority to concur and it takes a super majority to override. If you don’t have either of those, than the Governor’s action functions as a pure veto and the whole thing goes down in flames, meaning that schools go without funding. He didn’t know that. A reporter asked him:  shouldn’t your staff know this? Aren’t you scared that this whole thing could blow up? Rauner just blinked and blinked. 
JB: In the meantime, there’s also a proposal for a ginormous school voucher program on the table, one that make close to 70% of students in Illinois eligible for public funds to attend private schools. This week, WBEZ in Chicago broke a story about how Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicated in an email that he’d be “open” to the possibility of school vouchers. The Governor has also indicated that he wants a $100 million voucher program in exchange for his signature on the school funding bill.
DR: Vouchers aren’t part of SB1, nor are they mentioned in the Governor’s Amendatory Veto. So all that talk is happening behind closed doors. But Manar did indicate recently that negotiations have led up to the point of talking about “a signature and a trailer bill,” meaning that the Gov would sign SB1 if they also put up another bill stuffed with goodies, like vouchers. When I asked Republican Senator Jason Barickman, who serves on the Governor’s Education Funding Reform Commission, about vouchers, we got sidetracked about whether parochial schools are private schools. So, that kind of says something.

We may be living through one of those moments in history that future historians will look back on as a watershed, a period of flux that marked a transition to quite different economic and social arrangements. Unfortunately, in human history a ‘moment’ can be a very long time, so long that it could be decades before the final shape of the new arrangements are even evident; and in the interim, there could be many ‘dead cat bounces’ of the current system.
What is clear is that the established order – broadly defined as neoliberal globalised finance capitalism – is no longer capable of delivering on its promises of either growth or stability, even as it generates more inequality and insecurity across the world. In Marxist terms (as befitting the 150th anniversary of Das Kapital), the property relations under which production is organised have become fetters on the development of productive forces themselves, and generate more and more alienation. This may explain why, perhaps even more significantly, the system is also losing legitimacy in most countries, under attack from both right and left.
Whether we look at straws in the wind or green shoots in the ground, there is no doubt that there are incipient signs of change. But at this point there are many directions in which such change could go, and not all of them are progressive or even desirable. That is why it is important to get social and political traction for alternative trajectories that focus on more equitable, just, democratic and ecologically viable outcomes for most of humanity.
A Familiar Question
The question ‘what is your alternative?’ is a familiar one for most progressives, and too often we are overly defensive or self-critical about our supposed lack of alternatives. In truth, there are many economically-viable, socially-desirable alternative proposals in different contexts. The problem is not their lack of existence but their lack of political feasibility, and perhaps their lack of wider dissemination. But it is certainly true that the alternative does not consist of one over-arching theory (or even framework) that can subsume all others, since there are many good reasons for being sceptical of the days of the ‘grand theory’ that supposedly could take care of everything.
While rejecting the totalising theory, it is possible to think of a broad framework around which there could be much agreement, even among people who do not necessarily identify themselves as of the ‘left’, but are nevertheless dissatisfied with current economic arrangements at both national and international levels.
Much current discussion on economic strategies for global capitalism is framed around the financial crisis of 2007/8 and its continuing repercussions. But it does not really need a crisis to show us that the past strategy for growth and development has been flawed in most countries. Even during the previous boom, the pattern of growth had too many limitations, paradoxes and inherent fragilities. Everyone now knows that the economic boom was unsustainable, based on speculative practices that were enabled and encouraged by financial deregulation. It also drew rapaciously and fecklessly on natural resources, and it was deeply unequal. Contrary to general perception, most people in the developing world, even within the most successful region of Asia, did not gain. 
Global Transfers
The financial bubble in the US attracted savings from across the world, including from the poorest developing countries, so that for at least five years the global South transferred financial resources to the North. Developing country governments opened their markets to trade and finance, gave up on monetary policy and pursued fiscally ‘correct’ deflationary policies that reduced public spending. Development projects remained incomplete and citizens were deprived of the most essential socio-economic rights.
A net transfer of jobs from North to South did not take place. In fact, industrial employment in the South barely increased in the past decade, even in the ‘factory of the world’, China. Instead, technological change in manufacturing and new services meant that fewer workers could generate more output. Old jobs in the South were lost or became precarious and the majority of new jobs were fragile, insecure and low-paying, even in fast-growing China and India. The persistent agrarian crisis in the developing world hurt peasant livelihoods and generated global food problems. Rising inequality meant that the much-hyped growth in emerging markets did not benefit most people, as profits soared but wage shares of national income declined sharply.
Almost all developing countries adopted an export-led growth model, which in turn suppressed wage costs and domestic consumption in order to remain internationally competitive and achieve growing shares of world markets. This led to the peculiar situation of rising savings rates and falling investment rates (especially in several Asian countries) and to the holding of international reserves that were then placed in ‘safe’ assets abroad. This is why the boom that ended in 2007/8 was associated with the South (especially in developing Asia) subsidising the North:  through cheaper exports of goods and services, through net capital flows from developing countries to the US in particular, through flows of cheap labour in the form of short-term migration.
Profit-Led Costs
The collapse in Northern export markets that followed the recession brought that process to a halt, and recent moves towards more protectionist strategies in the US and elsewhere, as well as the persistent mercantilist approach of surplus-producing countries like Germany, have made it more difficult since then. In any case, such a strategy is unsustainable beyond a point, especially when a number of relatively large economies use it at the same time.
In this boom, domestic demand tended to be profit-led, based on high and growing profit shares in the economy and significant increases in the income and consumption of newly-globalised middle classes, which led to bullish investment in non-tradeable sectors such as financial assets and real estate as well as in luxury goods and services. The patterns of production and consumption that emerged meant that growth also involved rapacious and ultimately destructive exploitation of nature and the environment. The costs – in terms of excessive congestion, environmental pollution and ecological degradation – are already being felt, quite apart from the implications such expansion has on climate change.
There have been other negative impacts. Within developing Asia, for example, it led to an internal ‘brain drain’ with adverse implications for the future. The skewed structure of incentives generated by the explosive growth of finance directed the best young minds towards careers that promised quick rewards and large material gains rather than painstaking but socially necessary research and basic science. The impact of relocation of certain industries and the associated requirement for skilled and semi-skilled labour led to increased opportunities for educated employment, but it also led bright young people to enter work that is typically mechanical and does not require much originality or creativity, with little opportunity to develop their intellectual capacities.
At the same time, crucial activities were inadequately rewarded. Farming in particular became increasingly fraught with risk and subject to growing volatility and declining financial viability, while non-farm work did not increase rapidly enough to absorb the labour force even in the fastest growing economies of the region.
Restructuring Economic Relations
The boom was not stable or inclusive, either across or within countries. The subsequent slump (or ‘secular stagnation’) has been only too inclusive, forcing those who did not gain earlier to pay for the sins of irresponsible and unregulated finance. As economies slow down, more jobs are lost or become more fragile, insecure and vulnerable; and people, especially those in the developing world who did not gain from the boom, face loss of livelihood and deteriorating conditions of living. This is why it is so important that we restructure economic relations in a more democratic and sustainable way.
There are several necessary elements of this. Globally, most now recognise the need to reform the international financial system, which has failed to meet two obvious requirements:  preventing instability and crises, and transferring resources from richer to poorer economies. Not only have we experienced much greater volatility and propensity to financial meltdown across emerging markets and now even industrial countries, but even the periods of economic expansion were based on the global poor subsidising the rich.
Within national economies, this system has encouraged pro-cyclicality:  it has encouraged bubbles and speculative fervour rather than real productive investment for future growth. It has rendered national financial systems opaque and impossible to regulate. It has allowed for the proliferation of parallel transactions through tax havens and loose domestic controls. It has reduced the crucial developmental role of directed credit.
Given these problems, there is no alternative but systematic state regulation and control of finance. Since private players will inevitably attempt to circumvent regulation, the core of the financial system – banking – must be protected, and that is only possible through social ownership. Therefore, some degree of socialisation of banking (and not just the risks inherent in finance) is inevitable. In developing countries this is also important because it enables public control over the direction of credit, without which no country has industrialised.
Desirable – and Necessary
The obsessively export-oriented model that has dominated the growth strategy for the past few decades must be reconsidered. This is not a just a desirable shift – it has become a necessity given the obvious fact that the US and the EU are no longer engines of world growth through increasing import demand in the near future. This means that both developed and developing countries must seek to redirect their exports to other countries and most of all to redirect their economies towards more domestic demand. This requires a shift towards wage-led and domestic demand-led growth, particularly in the countries with economies large enough to sustain this shift. This can happen not only through direct redistributive strategies but also through public expenditure to provide more basic goods and services.
This means that fiscal policy and public expenditure must be brought back centre stage. Calls to end austerity are becoming more widespread in the developed world and will soon find their counterpart in developing countries. Clearly, fiscal stimulus is now essential, to cope with the adverse real-economy effects of the current crisis/stagnation and to prevent economic activity and employment from falling, and then to put good, quality employment on a stable footing. Fiscal expenditure is also required to undertake and promote investment to manage the effects of climate change and promote greener technologies. Public spending is crucial to advance the development project in the South and fulfil the promise of achieving minimally acceptable standards of living for everyone in the developing world.
Social and Economic Rights
Social policy – the public responsibility for meeting social and economic rights of citizens – contributes positively to both growth and development. This means especially the provision of universal good quality care services, funded by the state, with care workers properly recognised, remunerated and provided with decent working conditions. This also helps to reduce gender and other social inequalities generated by the imposition of unpaid care work, and has strong multiplier effects that allow for more employment increases over time and generate a ‘bubbling up’ of economic activity.
There must be conscious attempts to reduce economic inequalities, both between and within countries. We have clearly crossed the limits of what is ‘acceptable’ inequality in most societies, and policies will have to reverse this trend. Globally and nationally, we must reduce inequalities in income and wealth, and most significantly in the consumption of natural resources.
This is even more complicated than might be imagined because unsustainable patterns of production and consumption are deeply entrenched in richer countries and are aspired to in developing countries. But many millions of citizens of the developing world still have poor or inadequate access to the most basic conditions of decent life, such as electricity, transport and communication links, sanitation, health, nutrition and education. Ensuring universal provision across the global South will inevitably require greater per capita use of natural resources and more carbon-emitting production.
Both sustainability and equity therefore require a reduction of the excessive resource use of the rich, especially in developed countries but also among the elites in the developing world. This means that redistributive fiscal and other economic policies must be especially oriented towards reducing inequalities of resource consumption, globally and nationally. Within countries, for example, essential social and developmental expenditure can be financed by taxes that penalise resource-wasteful expenditure.
New Demand and Production
This requires new patterns of demand and production. It is why the present focus on developing new means of measuring genuine progress, well-being and quality of life are so important. Quantitative GDP growth targets, which still dominate the thinking of policy-makers, are not simply distracting from these more important goals but can be counterproductive.
For example, a chaotic, polluting and unpleasant system of privatised urban transport involving many vehicles and over-congested roads generates more GDP than a safe, efficient and affordable system of public transport that reduces congestion and provides a pleasant living and working environment. It is not enough to talk about ‘cleaner, greener technologies’ to produce goods that are based on the old and now discredited pattern of consumption. Instead, we must think creatively about consumption itself, and work out which goods and services are more necessary and desirable for our societies.
This cannot be left to market forces, since the international demonstration effect and the power of advertising will continue to create undesirable wants and unsustainable consumption and production. But public intervention in the market cannot be knee-jerk responses to constantly changing short-term conditions. Instead, planning – not in the sense of the detailed planning that destroyed the reputation of command regimes, but strategic thinking about the social requirements and goals for the future – is absolutely essential. Fiscal and monetary policies, as well as other forms of intervention, will have to be used to redirect consumption and production towards these social goals, to bring about such shifts in socially-created aspirations and material wants, and to reorganise economic life to be less rapacious and more sustainable.
Since state involvement in economic activity is now an imperative, we should be thinking of ways to make involvement more democratic and accountable within our countries and internationally. Large amounts of public money will be used for financial bailouts and to provide fiscal stimuli. How this is done will have huge implications for distribution, access to resources and living conditions of the ordinary people whose taxes will be paying for this. So it is essential that we design the global economic architecture to function more democratically. And it is even more important that states across the world, when formulating and implementing economic policies, are more open and responsive to the needs of the majority of their citizens.
International Framework
These are general points and obviously leave much to the specific contexts of individual countries and societies. But finally, we need an international economic framework that supports all this, which means more than just that capital flows must be controlled and regulated so that they do not destabilise these strategies.
The global institutions that form the organising framework for international trade, investment and production decisions need to change and become not only more democratic in structure but more genuinely democratic and people-oriented in spirit, intent and functioning. This is particularly the case with respect to the dissemination of knowledge, now privatised and concentrated thanks to the privileging of intellectual property rights. Financing for development and conservation of global resources must become the top priorities of the global economic institutions.
These proposals may seem like a tall order, but human history is replete with stories of major reversals of past trajectories and transformations that come when they are not expected and from directions that are unpredictable. What has been created and implemented by human agency can also be undone to bring in better alternatives. It may well be that the time is ripe in terms of greater social acceptance of such ideas and thoughts about how to refine and adapt them to particular contexts.

Originally published in the Red Pepper, August 6, 2017.

Why we are doomed in the short term (and don't even think about the long term after you comprehend how much you've lost in value during the last 40 years). (Click on figure to enlarge.)

Gross domestic product (GDP) has risen smartly since 2000, but the share of GDP going to wages and salaries has plummeted:  this is simply an extension of a 47-year downtrend.

Norma Desmond still ready for her closeup?


No further comment is needed.

And ending with a well-deserved (and long-expected) poisonous bite from someone with plenty of them to go around:

. . . a bit of Sméagol pathos before baring her Gollum teeth. But, yesterday, as per her 1.61 million follower Twitter account, (Ann) Coulter live-tweeted her ousting from an “extra room” seat on a Delta Airlines flight that she had paid for, and reserved well in advance of her flight. Coulter is a tall person — and to use the liberal-HR argot she professes to despise, this makes her a special needs air passenger. And anyone not of the right body size to help the airlines maximize their dollars-to-person seating knows what a relief that extra room can be. And then, Delta’s bookers decided they’d give Coulter’s seat away to someone else, and so they did.

A tiny bit of illicit joy in Mudville?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Not Very Rosy Picture (LIBOR BS Finally Smells Rank - Fanny/Freddie Rank Too - Privatized Profits/Socialized Losses)  N. Korea/Guam Terrified of Crazed Leader & Intel Folk  (Leak from DNC, NOT Hack)  US Media Has to Keep Lying?  (Dems Better Deal Spells Disaster) Bigger Systemic Risk Now Than 2008  (Glorifying Wasting the Earth's Bounty: Elites Rejoice)  Trumponomics  (NeoCon Lies & Monsanto Truth Revealed)

Anne Jones became so afraid to drink the water that came out of her well she installed a water purification system. A blue plastic jug, filled to the brim with purified water, sits on her kitchen counter.
. . . Jones’ home in Banks County, about 75 miles northeast of Atlanta, sits on the edge of the county landfill. Since 2015, trucks from North and South Carolina have filled it with at least 6.7 million tons of coal ash, a by-product of coal-fired electricity that contains heavy metals known to be toxic to plants, animals and people. And more of it is on the way.
. . . “Some of the landfills have received coal ash in the past, some want to receive it in the future and some we have no idea,” said April Lipscomb, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, who is helping assess the suitability of Georgia landfills for coal ash.

Pay no attention to the man in the corner video either.



Manipulation of emotion in support of war is no accident.

This has to be the first finance link in anyone's blog today:

Taibbi:  Is LIBOR, Crucial Financial Benchmark, a Lie?

It was easy to miss, with the impending end of civilization burning up the headlines, but a beyond-belief financial story recently crept into public view.
A Bloomberg headline on the story was a notable achievement in the history of understatement. It read:
The casual news reader will see the term "LIBOR" and assume this is just a postgame wrapup to the LIBOR scandal of a few years back, in which may of the world's biggest banks were caught manipulating interest rates.
It isn't. This is a new story, featuring twin bombshells from a leading British regulator – one about our past, the other our future. To wit:
  1. Going back twenty years or more, the framework for hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions has been fictional.
  2. We are zooming toward a legal and economic clusterfuck of galactic proportions – the "uncertain future" Bloomberg humorously referenced.

So, rest easy.

Just more BS.


The same intel "folks" who brought to you non-existent WMDs are now peddling the notion that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead.
It is mind-boggling, how the world has been brainwashed, accepting almost without questions Washington's atrocities and crimes on humanity.

The US government lies. They lie day and night. All the time about everything.
Fake news plus phony "intelligence" equal disaster
Seventy years ago we vaporized 250,000 civilians, and yet still view the bombings as an act of mercy.
Mexican newspaper reveals secret arrangement between DEA and Sinaloa cartel
The document states, that the "deep state" is trying to undermine President Donald Trump.  

North Korea: Fire, Fury and Fear

I've come to believe 1000% that the USA is a nation of Amway sellers (okay, and alacratic buyers (still) too).

If you can't comprehend what that means, then Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and all the rest of the much-touted national "leaders" of the people will remain a mystery - understood only as the bearers of mythological incantations - that will confound you for the rest of your days.

The Deep State or Military-Industrial Complex or just the Powers That Be (choose your poison) seemingly have allowed Donald Trump six months to prove his qualifications to take their orders and shut up about it, and his time is largely up.

Or not. And he will be taking their orders as soon as he returns from his vacation. (Or else?)

The country (and world too) awaits his return with bated breath.

For good reason.

Wondered why no one is talking now about that "Russian hack of the DNC?"

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Executive Summary
Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted. 
Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].
Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.
The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.
NOTE: There has been so much conflation of charges about hacking that we wish to make very clear the primary focus of this Memorandum. We focus specifically on the July 5, 2016 alleged Guccifer 2.0 “hack” of the DNC server. In earlier VIPS memoranda we addressed the lack of any evidence connecting the Guccifer 2.0 alleged hacks and WikiLeaks, and we asked President Obama specifically to disclose any evidence that WikiLeaks received DNC data from the Russians [see here and here].
Addressing this point at his last press conference (January 18), he described “the conclusions of the intelligence community” as “not conclusive,” even though the Intelligence Community Assessment of January 6 expressed “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the DNC … to WikiLeaks.”
Obama’s admission came as no surprise to us. It has long been clear to us that the reason the U.S. government lacks conclusive evidence of a transfer of a “Russian hack” to WikiLeaks is because there was no such transfer. Based mostly on the cumulatively unique technical experience of our ex-NSA colleagues, we have been saying for almost a year that the DNC data reached WikiLeaks via a copy/leak by a DNC insider (but almost certainly not the same person who copied DNC data on July 5, 2016).
From the information available, we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes:
-(1) an inside leak to WikiLeaks before Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, that he had DNC documents and planned to publish them (which he did on July 22) – the presumed objective being to expose strong DNC bias toward the Clinton candidacy; and
-(2) a separate leak on July 5, 2016, to pre-emptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.”
 * * *
Mr. President:
This is our first VIPS Memorandum for you, but we have a history of letting U.S. Presidents know when we think our former intelligence colleagues have gotten something important wrong, and why. For example, our first such memorandum, a same-day commentary for President George W. Bush on Colin Powell’s U.N. speech on February 5, 2003, warned that the “unintended consequences were likely to be catastrophic,” should the U.S. attack Iraq and “justfy” the war on intelligence that we retired intelligence officers could readily see as fraudulent and driven by a war agenda.

Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations on Feb. 5. 2003, citing satellite photos which supposedly proved that Iraq had WMD, but the evidence proved bogus.
The January 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” by “hand-picked” analysts from the FBI, CIA, and NSA seems to fit into the same agenda-driven category. It is largely based on an “assessment,” not supported by any apparent evidence, that a shadowy entity with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
The recent forensic findings mentioned above have put a huge dent in that assessment and cast serious doubt on the underpinnings of the extraordinarily successful campaign to blame the Russian government for hacking. The pundits and politicians who have led the charge against Russian “meddling” in the U.S. election can be expected to try to cast doubt on the forensic findings, if they ever do bubble up into the mainstream media. But the principles of physics don’t lie; and the technical limitations of today’s Internet are widely understood. We are prepared to answer any substantive challenges on their merits.
You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this. Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.
Copied, Not Hacked
As indicated above, the independent forensic work just completed focused on data copied (not hacked) by a shadowy persona named “Guccifer 2.0.” The forensics reflect what seems to have been a desperate effort to “blame the Russians” for publishing highly embarrassing DNC emails three days before the Democratic convention last July. Since the content of the DNC emails reeked of pro-Clinton bias, her campaign saw an overriding need to divert attention from content to provenance – as in, who “hacked” those DNC emails? The campaign was enthusiastically supported by a compliant “mainstream” media; they are still on a roll.
“The Russians” were the ideal culprit. And, after WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, “We have emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” her campaign had more than a month before the convention to insert its own “forensic facts” and prime the media pump to put the blame on “Russian meddling.” Mrs. Clinton’s PR chief Jennifer Palmieri has explained how she used golf carts to make the rounds at the convention. She wrote that her “mission was to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.”
Independent cyber-investigators have now completed the kind of forensic work that the intelligence assessment did not do. Oddly, the “hand-picked” intelligence analysts contented themselves with “assessing” this and “assessing” that. In contrast, the investigators dug deep and came up with verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of the alleged Russian hack.
They found that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else. Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider. The data was leaked after being doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia. We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.
 Read on for more of that FBI/NSA(?) goodness.

* * *
Jul 22, 2017
Lee Camp opens up a recent copy of The New York Times to read how the establishment media beats the war drums, in the most subtle ways. Lee guides you through how to read this paper by using an article about Iran’s presence in war-torn Iraq. Is Iran increasing influence in Iraq, or is just that the country’s struggling economy can’t provide for its population? Through this reading, you can see how transparent the mainstream media can be when they’re exacerbating tensions between Iran and the US. This and more on "Redacted Tonight VIP."
In this episode of Redacted Tonight, Lee Camp explores how the mainstream media shunned any investigative reporting into the REAL reason why Trump bombed Syria. Not only did it have nothing to do with a chemical attack, but evidence suggests there wasn't a chemical attack to begin with. Yet that didn't stop the media from feeding its never-ending obsession with war.

Next, on the heels of our nation’s 241st birthday, Lee reminds us that those miniature American flags we wave aren’t just cheaply made symbols of patriotism. They’re actually reminders of the death of an American labor force replaced by overseas workers who are paid pittance to make them, thanks to corporations who couldn't care less about Americans and care a lot more about deepening their already fat pockets. In the second half, Correspondent John F. O'Donnell joins Lee at the desk to discuss whether the violence wrought in the Revolutionary War was the only door open to America for gaining its independence, or if the evidence of nonviolent action that preceded battle suggests we could have achieved this much more peacefully. Finally, Correspondent Naomi Karavani exposes how Bush administration officials got a free pass for crapping over the human rights of thousands of innocent immigrants detained following 9/11. All this and more on "Redacted Tonight."
A new bill in front of Congress literally makes political activism highly illegal. It's aimed at the BDS movement fighting for divestment from Israel. But it opens the door to just about any political speech and activism being called criminal. This is and INCREDIBLY dangerous bill and now is the time to act! 
If you can actually internalize the implications of this story, it very well may shatter your worldview of the US. The truth is that the mass media, across multiple platforms, is lending exposure to a 7-year-old Syrian girl, who is calling for the overthrow of Bashad al-Assad.

There’s a major problem, however. She’s clearly just reading words from a teleprompter, sounding them out phonetically without understanding their meaning. She also has a Twitter account that is way to geopolitically sophisticated for a child. Now she has a book deal with a major publishing company and was named as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people on the internet for 2017. All signs point to this being psy-op to push America’s foreign policy agenda. It parallels what the US government did leading up to the 1st Iraq War. This report by "Redacted" correspondent John F. O’Donnell has to be seen to be believed.


On the home front we learn the latest (and greatest?) political developments (yeah, kinda scary too):

He has some self-interest in making that argument. After all, Schumer's interview with the Post was to preview the rollout of the Democrats' 2018 message: "A Better Deal." There's no better way to get some attention for a new message you cooked up than to slam your party's previous message -- and messenger. 
Schumer's critique is born out in the exit polling done in the 2016 election, however.
Neither candidate was at all well-regarded by the electorate. Trump was viewed favorably by 38% of people and Clinton by an only slightly better 43%. What the election came down to was this: Voters wanted change and viewed Trump as the candidate of change. Of the four in 10 voters who said a candidate who could "bring about needed change" was the most important trait for them, Trump won 82% to 14%. That's the entire election. 
That Schumer would be willing to slam Clinton's campaign -- and her defense of that campaign -- also speaks to the fact that most Democrats want to move beyond the former secretary of state and the 2016 election. It may be in Clinton's interest to re-litigate the election to ensure she isn't blamed, but most Democrats trying to win reelection (or election) next November want to put her campaign far in their rear-view mirror. (Remember that 10 Senate Democrats are seeking reelection in states Trump won last fall.)
The problem with Schumer's attempt to get beyond the 2016 election is that Democrats remain largely leaderless in the aftermath of an election that no one in the party thought they would lose. Schumer is simply not a well-known enough figure nationally to speak for the party. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is too unpopular among anyone outside of the Democratic base to be that person. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are prominent but cancel one another out somewhat as they both seek to be the leader of the liberal wing of the party. Former Vice President Joe Biden is in the background even as he makes clear a 2020 bid is an option. Former President Barack Obama seems very conscious of not injecting himself into every debate involving his successor. 
All of which means Clinton continues to fill that leadership vacuum with a message much more focused on reshaping her own personal narrative than re-positioning her party to persuade voters in 2018.

Oh, hadn't you heard? Hillary wants to be your personal religious guide now.

Kinda like the protestant Pope?

Certainly lays the ground for much more lucrative speechmaking.

Picture a female Billy Graham (or Sunday).

Charles Hugh Smith holds nothing back:

A deeply polarizing new president, a disastrously misguided official narrative that the political Establishment doggedly supports despite a damning lack of evidence, and an economy teetering on the edge of recession – and worse.
Sound familiar? Welcome to 1969 redux. The similarities between the crises unfolding in 1969 and the present-day crises are not just skin-deep – they’re systemic.
Consider the basic parallels.
1. Nixon was if anything more polarizing than Trump. If there was any politician Democrats loved to hate, it was Nixon. Yet Nixon won a close race against an Establishment Democrat, at least partly because he ran as a “peace candidate” and because he spoke to the Silent Majority who disagreed with the nation’s direction. The Silent Majority was mocked and ridiculed by the mainstream media as racist, close-minded deplorables.
2. The Democratic Party had become the Establishment bastion of war-mongering. The Democratic White House had been obscuring its devastating strategic and tactical miscalculations behind a slick PR campaign and a pervasive and often illegal program of suppressing dissenters and whistleblowers.
3. At the behest of the Establishment, an immense propaganda machinery had been running full-tilt to paper over foreign-policy failures and tragedies (including but not limited to the Vietnam War). In 2017, this immense propaganda machine is focused on discrediting the Trump presidency by unearthing or fabricating evidence of collusion with our default Bad Guy, Russia.
4. The political Establishment had decided to tamp down discontent with the Vietnam War by borrowing vast sums to pay for both “guns” (the war) and “butter” (the Great Society social welfare programs). Paying for the war and a military capable of fighting one-and-a-half other wars (at that time, the Pentagon was geared to fight 2.5 wars) would have required some sacrifice in domestic spending, and that would have further inflamed popular resistance to the Vietnam War. The expedient (and predictably disastrous) choice was to ramp up deficit spending so no domestic sacrifice was needed to pay the crushingly high costs of the Vietnam conflict. In 2017, U.S. public debt basically doubled during the Obama/congressional guns and butter borrowing spree from $10 trillion to $20 trillion.
5. The U.S. economy had by most measures topped out in 1966 or 1967, and by 1969 the veneer of permanently rising prosperity was shredding. The first wave of globalization washed ashore as our enemies and allies in World War II had built powerful export economies that had the advantage of cheap currencies via a vis the U.S. dollar.
6. China was a potentially destabilizing force that threatened U.S. hegemony in the Pacific. In 1969, China was deep in the chaotic throes of the Cultural Revolution which decimated its educated and leadership classes and destroyed much of its physical cultural heritage. In 2017, China’s monumental economic growth is losing steam even as its designs to establish hegemony in the South China Sea increasingly threaten its Asian neighbors’ security.
7. The Cold War with the U.S.S.R. was heating up in numerous places around the world, including the Mideast and Southeast Asia.
8. Beneath the relative stability of the Cold War geopolitical stand-off, the global economy and social order was changing in profound ways. Technological advances were poised to fatally disrupt many established and supposedly permanent centers of power. Trade and capital flows were shifting in ways that undermined the Bretton Woods currency order, and social/cultural revolutions were spreading around the globe like wildfire.
9. The mainstream media parroted the official narratives and “facts” until the counter-evidence was too overwhelming to ignore.
And here we are again, in so many ways. A deeply polarized nation, angry over rising expectations that no longer match economic realities, an Establishment that doubles down on failed policies and narratives rather than admit catastrophic errors of judgment, a political order that pursues public relations and “signaling” over substance, a political/ financial Elite that chooses political and economic expediency, kicking the can down the road rather than tackle thorny problems head-on, a stagnating economy that is poised on the precipice of profound technological and social disruption, and a global order that is fraying and coming apart at the seams.

“Bigger Systemic Risk” Now Than 2008 – Bank of England

– Bank of England warn that “bigger systemic risk” now than in 2008
– BOE, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) concerns re financial system
– Banks accused of “balance sheet trickery” -undermining spirit of post-08 rules
– EU & UK corporate bond markets may be bigger source of instability than ’08
– Credit card debt and car loan surge could cause another financial crisis

– PRA warn banks returning to similar practices to those that sparked 08 crisis
– ‘Conscious that corporate memories can be shed surprisingly fast’ warns PRA Chair
Stark warnings have been issued by the Bank of England and its regulatory arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
In less than one week the two bodies issued papers and speeches to warn industry members that many banks are showing signs of making the same mistakes that led to the 2008 financial crisis – the outcomes of which are predicted to be worse than those seen just nine years ago.
Increased risks have been noted at different ends of the financial system, from the European corporate bond markets right through to retail lenders.

Earth’s Economy Glorifies Waste, Exploitation, Debt, Expediency and Magical Thinking

“Earth’s economy glorifies waste. Its economists rejoice when a product is disposed as waste and replaced with a new product. This waste is perversely labeled ‘growth.’
Aimless wandering that consumes fossil fuels is likewise rejoiced as ‘growth.’
The stripping of the planet’s oceans for a few favored species of edible fish is also considered ‘growth’ as the process of destroying the ocean ecosystem generates sales of the desired seafood.
Even more perversely, the resulting shortages are also causes of rejoicing by the planet’s elites, as their ability to purchase the now-scarce resources boosts their social status and grandiose sense of self-worth.
Read more ›

The decade following 1969 was one of multiple global disruptions in the political, social, energy, geopolitical, currency and economic spheres. The difference now is that the buffers that existed in 1969 are now paper-thin, and so the potential downside of disruption and instability is much, much greater.
For that very large portion of the population of the USA! USA! USA! who haven't experienced the miracle recovery recorded in detail in the financial pages of major newspapers every day without pause for the last, what?, eight years . . .

The false reality constructed for Americans parallels perfectly the false reality constructed by Big Brother in George Orwells’ dystopian novel 1984.
Consider the constant morphing of “the Muslim threat” from al-Qaeda to the Taliban, to al-Nusra, to ISIS to ISIL, to Daesh with a jump to Russia. All of a sudden 16 years of Middle East wars against “terrorists” and “dictators” have become a matter of standing up to Russia, the country most threatened by Muslim terrorism, and the country most capable of wiping the United States and its vassal empire off of the face of the earth.
Domestically, Americans are assured that, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing, that is, flooding the financial markets with newly printed money that has driven up the prices of stocks and bonds, America has enjoyed an economic recovery since June of 2009, which must be one of the longest recoveries in history despite the absence of growth in median real family incomes, despite the (absence of) growth in real retail sales, despite the falling labor force participation rate, despite the lack of high value-added, high productivity, high wage jobs.
The “recovery” is more than a mystery. It is a miracle. It exists only on fake news paper.
According to CNN, an unreliable source for sure, Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, reports that about half of Americans report that their living expenses are equal to or exceed their incomes. Among those aged 18 to 25 burdened by student loans, 54% say their debts are equal to or exceed their incomes. This means that half of the US population has ZERO discretionary income. So what is driving the recovery?
Nothing. For half or more of the US population there is no discretionary income there with which to drive the economy.
The older part of the population has no discretionary income either. For a decade there has been essentially zero interest on the savings of the elderly, and if you believe John Williams of, which I do, the real interest rates have been zero and even negative as inflation is measured in a way designed to prevent Social Security cost of living adjustments.
In other words, the American economy has been living on the shrinkage of the savings and living standards of its population.
Last Friday’s employment report is just another lie from the government. The report says that the unemployment rate is 4.4% and that June employment increased by 222,000 jobs. A rosy picture. But as I have just demonstrated, there are no fundamentals to support it. It is just another US government lie like Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and so forth and so on.
The rosy unemployment picture is totally contrived. The unemployment rate is 4.4% because discouraged workers who have not searched for a job in the past four weeks are not counted as unemployed.
The BLS has a second measure of unemployment, known as U6, which is seldom reported by the presstitute financial media. According to this official measure the US unemployment rate is about double the reported rate.
Why? the U6 rate counts discouraged workers who have been discouraged for less than one year.
John Williams counts the long-term discouraged workers (discouraged for more than one year) who formerly (before “reforms”) were counted officially. When the long-term discouraged are counted, the US unemployment rate is in the 22-23 percent range. This is borne out by the clear fact that the labor force participation rate has been falling throughout the alleged “recovery.” Normally, labor force participation rates rise during economic recoveries.
It is very easy for the government to report a low jobless rate when the government studiously avoids counting the unemployed.
It is an extraordinary thing that although the US government itself reports that if even a small part of discouraged workers are counted as unemployed the unemployment rate is 8.6%, the presstitute financial media,  collection of professional liars, still reports, in the face of the government’s admission, that the unemployment rate as 4.4%.
Now, let’s do what I have done month after month year after year. Let’s look at the jobs that the BLS alleges are being created. Remember, most of these alleged jobs are the product of the birth/death model that adds by assumption alone about 100,000 jobs per month. In other words, these jobs come out of a model, not from reality.
Where are these reported jobs? They are where they always are in lowly paid domestic services. Health care and social assistance, about half of which is “ambulatory health care services,” provided 59,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality provided 36,000 jobs of which 29,300 consist of waitresses and bartenders. Local government rose by 35,000. Manufacturing, once the backbone of the US economy, provided a measly 1,000 jobs.
As I have emphasized for a decade or two, the US is devolving into a third world workforce where the only employment available is in lowly paid domestic service jobs that cannot be offshored and that do not pay enough to provide an independent existence. This is why 50% of 25-year olds live at home with their parents and why there are more Americans aged 24-34 living with parents than living independently.
This is not the economic profile of a “superpower” that the idiot neoconservatives claim the US to be. The American economy that offshoring corporations and financialization have created is incapable of supporting the enormous US debt burden. It is only a matter of time and circumstance.

The Reign of Propaganda

July 20, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts
If truth has a chance it is in a different country than America.
Masters of propaganda from its inventor, Jewish public relations expert Edward Louis James Bernays, to the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Paul Joseph Goebbels, agree that a lie can be turned into truth by constant repetition.
The more pure the lie, the more complete the success in turning it into The Truth. Lies partly based in fact or half-truths open themselves to factual challenge. For a propagandist the best lie is a lie unfettered by even a distant relationship to truth. Such a lie can be turned into such self-evident truth that no evidence is necessary. As Nikki Haley and Hillary Clinton put it:  “Evidence! We don’t need any stinking evidence. We know Russia hacked our election!”
For the typical American, who doesn’t know anything, the confidence of the former Secretary of State and “rightful President of the USA” and the confidence of President Donald Trump’s own Ambassador to the United Nations are sufficient to convince them that the lie that Russia stole the US presidency for Trump is true. We all know it. Why? Because we have all heard it endlessly repeated for many months. As one acquaintance said: “If it were false, surely the media would have exposed it.” This insouciant naivete is characteristic of Western populations.

As Bernays and Goebbels knew, one good propagandist can control the opinion of the targeted group, whether it is a gender or a nation.

Initially for Bernays the targeted group was American women. As a propagandist for an American tobacco company, “the father of spin” promoted female smoking as a sign of feminist independence. He called cigarettes “Torches of Freedom.” He also provided the propaganda that enabled the United Fruit Company to have the US Government overthrow the elected government of Guatemala in 1954.

Goebbels turned Germans into servants of the Third Reich, an accomplishment the neoconservatives have yet to attain in the United States, but they are still working at it.

The neoconservatives, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, and the US presstitutes have succeeded in blocking Trump from withdrawing from Syria and from normalizing relations with Russia. They have succeeded in this by using their fabrication, “Russia-gate,” to put President Trump in a box. If Trump now normalizes relations with Russia, it will be presented to the world by the presstitutes as proof that the Putin/Trump conspiracy against Western democracy is real. If Trump were to normalize relations, thereby removing “the threat” that justifies the power and profit of the military/security complex’s budget, he would likely be impeached as a traitor to the USA. Trump’s tweets would be overwhelmed by the onslaught of the presstitutes.

Americans, British, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, and everyone else need to understand that Washington’s hostility toward Russia is in the service of powerful interest groups. These interest groups are more powerful than the President of the US.
Israel and its design on the Middle East is one of these powerful interest groups. As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “No American president can stand up to Israel.”

The neoconservatives, who serve both the Zionist state of Israel and the US military/security complex, are another of the powerful interest groups that constrain the American government. That the neocons are firmly allied with Israel and the military/security complex increases their power and influence. President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961 in his last public address to the American people that the power of the military/industrial complex made it a threat to American democracy:

Eisenhower’s warning was 56 years ago. With the President of the United States concerned about the military/industrial complex 56 years ago, try to imagine how much more this power is entrenched after the decades of the Cold War and “Soviet Threat.” The power of the military/security complex is the premier power in Washington.

Eisenhower’s speech is the best speech any American President has ever delivered. It is only 14 minutes and 4 seconds long; yet it covers everything. There is awareness that we can be victims of our own success. Whatever their public position, neoconservatives have no alternative but to hate President Eisenhower with a passion, because he compared the threat to America from the military/industrial complex to the threat from the Soviet Union.

Americans need to wise up, as do the Russians, Chinese, Europeans and everyone else over whom the neoconservatives intend to exercise hegemony regardless of the cost. The total budget of the US military/security complex has been estimated at $1.1 trillion, a figure that is 70% of Russia’s estimated 2017 GDP. It is larger than the GDP of Mexico and Turkey. It is 45% of the GDP of France or England, and 32% of the GDP of Germany. There are 195 countries in the world. Only 14 of them have A Gross Domestic Product larger than the budget of the US military/security complex.

Washington’s wars in the Middle East involve many interests, including mundane ones such as who controls pipeline locations and energy flows. It also involves Israel’s interests. Twice Israel has sent its army into southern Lebanon for the purpose of occupying and annexing the water resources of southern Lebanon, and twice the militia Hezbollah has defeated and driven out the Israeli army, the fighting capability of which is overrated. Hezbollah receives financial and military support from Syria and Iran. Using their neoconservative allies and the orchestrated-by-propaganda American hatred of Muslims, Israel intends to use the US military to put Syria and Iran in the same state of chaos as Iraq and Libya. If deprived of outside support, Hezbollah can finally be defeated by the Israeli army. With Syria and Iran in chaos, the Russophobic neoconservatives can send jihadism into the Russian Federation to break up the biggest constraint on US unilateralism.

If we consider the combined power of these interest groups — the US military/security complex with an annual budget greater than the GDP of most countries, the neoconservatives with their ideology of US world hegemony and alliance with both Democratic and Republican parties, and Israel which has the US government in its pocket and brags about it — how is it possible for President Trump to do as he said he would do and normalize relations with Russia and withdraw from the US interventions in the Middle East? The prospect of Trump succeeding is remote.

August 10, 2017
In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the private prisons shaking down municipalities across America for more inmates. In the second half Max interviews Trace Mayer about the latest with bitcoin.

Stacy Herbert

In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the coming sequel to the global financial crisis and the bond bubble warnings from Alan Greenspan. In the second half Max interviews Dr. Michael Hudson about Trumponomics, anti-trust, repeat banking offenders and his father’s proverbs.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and Paul Jay discuss the significance of the Comey affair, the prospect of the rise of VP Mike Pence as the real power in the White House, and the danger of war as a way out for a dysfunctional administration

Did you just adore that Reaganites-chasing-Russians-and-worse, ballooning deficits, screaming war hawks furor the first time?

Then get your ticket for its grand return.

Aug 9, 2017 
Move over PNAC. The neocons have a new front. The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions. What?! Here we go again.
August 11, 2017
In this episode of Redacted Tonight, Lee opens by revealing the government sanctioned poison pusher, Monsanto’s backdoor deals. Cancer causing pesticides like Roundup were widely used, despite science to prove otherwise, but the company made a concerted effort to get scientists, the media, and the government on their side by filling their pockets or intimidating them. Monsanto also has unholy partnerships with universities which taints scientific research even further. Then Lee covers some of the most mind-blowing headlines from the week starting with the prosecution of bankers in Vietnam while American bankers are experiencing an all-time low of fines. What’s more disturbing is that news sites that keep track of how the kleptocracy is screwing and killing us at the same time, the alternative media, are now being censored by the all-powerful Google search engine. Our toddler-in-chief gets some new babysitters in the oval office: military commanders and plans to privatize the war in Afghanistan. The opioid epidemic continues in the United States while the weak state of Afghanistan continues to supply the drug. Then, in the second half, correspondent Natalie McGill joins Lee at the desk to talk about a privately-run prison in New Mexico which powers a small town’s economy by incarcerating people. Finally, correspondent John F. O’Donnell breaks down the latest in boycott movements and anti-boycott legislation, especially anti-Israel boycotts. 

In this all new episode of Redacted Tonight VIP, Lee Camp sits down with one of the most progressive and qualified politicians, Tim Canova. Not only was he a Berniecrat candidate who ran against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida on a progressive platform, but also he’s also a law professor who specializes in banking and finance. Lee and Tim discuss the current state of the two party system and its relationship to an economy that’s recovering and facing yet another crisis of automation. Canova touches upon the overlooked role of the Federal Reserve and the Democratic party in helping Big Banks after 2008, while the poor still suffered. In the second half of VIP, Lee Camp opens up a recent copy of The New York Times to read how the establishment media beats the war drums, in the most subtle ways.

Or not so.