Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 16, 2017

"Grown-ups" Versus "Ideologues"? The Media Narrative of the White House May Be All Wrong

Updated below (Aug 19 2017)

The Democrats and the media love the Pentagon generals in the White House. They are the "grown ups":

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., had words of praise for Donald Trump's new pick for national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster — calling the respected military officer a "certified, card-carrying grown-up,"

According to the main-stream narrative the "grown ups" are opposed by "ideologues" around Trump's senior advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon is even infectious, according to Jeet Heer, as he is Turning Trump Into an Ethno-Nationalist Ideologue. A recent short interview with Bannon dispels that narrative.

Who is really the sane person on, say, North Korea?

The "grown-up" General McMaster, Trump's National Security Advisor, is not one of them. He claims North Korea is not deterrable from doing something insane.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your predecessor Susan Rice wrote this week that the U.S. could tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea the same way we tolerated nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union far more during the Cold War. Is she right?

MCMASTER: No, she’s not right. And I think the reason she’s not right is that the classical deterrence theory, how does that apply to a regime like the regime in North Korea? A regime that engages in unspeakable brutality against its own people? A regime that poses a continuous threat to the its neighbors in the region and now may pose a threat, direct threat, to the United States with weapons of mass destruction?

McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one. Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all.

Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue:

“There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

It was indeed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which "got" the United States and stopped the U.S. escalation game. It is wrong to think that North Korea "backed off" in the recent upheaval about a missile test targeted next to Guam. It was the U.S. that pulled back from threatening behavior.

Since the end of May the U.S. military trained extensively for decapitation and "preemptive" strikes on North Korea:

Two senior military officials — and two senior retired officers — told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
...
Of the 11 B-1 practice runs since the end of May, four have also involved practice bombing at military ranges in South Korea and Australia.

In response to the B-1B flights North Korea published plans to launch a missile salvo next to the U.S. island of Guam from where those planes started. The announcement included a hidden offer to stop the test if the U.S. would refrain from further B-1B flights. A deal was made during secret negotiations. Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans. McMaster lost and the sane people, including Steve Bannon, won.

But what about Bannon's "ethno-nationalist" ideology? Isn't he responsible for the right-wing nutters of Charlottesville conflict? Isn't he one of them?

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

Bannon sees China as an economic enemy and wants to escalate an economic conflict with it. He is said to be against the nuclear deal with Iran. The generals in Trump's cabinet are all anti-Iran hawks. As Bannon now turns out to be a realist on North Korea, I am not sure what real position on Iran is.

Domestically Bannon is pulling the Democrats into the very trap I had several times warned against:

“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

This worked well during the presidential election and might continue to work for Trump. As long as the Democrats do not come up with, and fight for, sane economic polices they will continue to lose elections. The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump.  But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.

Update (Aug 19 2017)

UPI reports:

Strategic assets of the U.S. military, including an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine, may not be deployed during the upcoming joint exercises on the Korean peninsula.

South Korean television network SBS reported Friday the United States canceled plans to deploy the strategic assets during the drill set to begin next week, and the move is taking place a week after tensions spiked between Washington and Pyongyang.
...
The exercises known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian came under verbal attack from North Korea this week, when Pyongyang warned of a "second Korean War" should Seoul and Washington go ahead with the drills.

After a week of high tensions, Pyongyang also stated leader Kim Jong Un would "monitor" the United States before taking unprecedented measures against Guam, the location of a key U.S. air force base.

The U.S. not only held back the B-1B flights out of Guam but also scaled back on other strategic assets in its yearly training for a war on North Korea. The investment North Korea made with its nuclear and missile weapons is paying off.

Posted by b on August 16, 2017 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

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A couple of very interesting links from the last thread were the one to the Bannon article, and also the link to the Carter/NK article.
Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing that predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior.

Many pictures of Kim show an overweight youngster amongst gaunt hungry looking generals.
Gave the impression of a spoilt kid simply handed power. Not going to the May 9 parade in Russia when invited also gave the impression he was paranoid.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third geration at war with the US and his seen his father fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

The link to the Carter article http://www.fox5atlanta.com/national-news/273096065-story

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

b said: "The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it."

With that statement b, you nailed it..

Posted by: ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:22:28 AM | 2

“There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

Doesn't that at least show Bannon as the adult in the room?
I would say so.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 1:32:51 AM | 3

So lets start parsing this economic nationalism that Bannon is making happen with Trump.

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies.

Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario.

At least now, IMO, the battle for a multi-polar (finance) world is out in the open.....let the side taking by nations begin. I hope Bannon is wrong about the timing of potential global power shifting and the US loses its empire status.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 1:53:13 AM | 4

I thought that maybe Bannon was being a bit too forthright in his recent comments and perhaps he has just painted a big bullseye on his back for the racist clowns he has used to aim at.

Check this out

Bannons colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5

Bannon thinks the bombast on display between the Kim and Trump has been "a sideshow". The real show, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the dramatic sparring between the two leaders. The Mother Of All Policies, according to Bannon, is an all-bets-on trade war with China, whose endgame admits to only one outcome,--that is to say-- that only one hegemon will remain standing at the end of this struggle.

There can be only one King-of-the-Hill. But where is the Greek Chorus?--the prophetic warning that goes by the name of necessity?-- that tries to ward off hubris? "One must never subscribe to absurdities" (it was Camus who aptly said that).

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 17, 2017 2:30:36 AM | 6

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5

I had read this before; interesting to say the least.
Truth be told, I'd never heard of Bannon prior to Trumps election and still know little about him.
Politics aside Bannon seems a straight shooter; I certainly can't argue his statement re: what would happen if we attacked NK. His statement is echo'd by many long before today.
I do plan to start paying attention from this point forward.
Oh, and I did read that Trump is afraid of Bannon, but don't remember the reason stated.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 2:39:11 AM | 7

Here is Bannon's latest:

Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant:

“Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists.

Posted by: Realist | Aug 17, 2017 3:18:01 AM | 8

Bannon is a Zionist 5th column....The yanks the enemy of all humanity as are the far right and the zionists against the whole of moral humanity......smash the anglamericanzionist fascists once and for all...

Posted by: charlie | Aug 17, 2017 4:24:57 AM | 9

charlie | Aug 17, 2017 4:24:57 AM | 9

Bannon is a Zionist 5th column
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Name calling is not helpful; what do you mean in what you wrote

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 4:34:28 AM | 10

To be more specific; what is a zionist 5th column?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 4:37:18 AM | 11

No, whoever planned that "United Right" rally walked Trump into the trap.

As Trump was incapable to disassociate himself clearly from people who protest against the take down of a statue of General Lee. Trump now owns the race issue.

Steve Bannon is a fascist. That does not mean he is stupid.

The generals are clearly dangerous. They have the power to walk everybody to world war III. Trump has pledged to spend even more on the US military, the military already has the highest spending world wide. The generals don't want to admit that they cannot solve anythings by military power.

Trump going off script in that press conference into a stream of consciousness was bad. He reminded everybody of their rambling demented great-grandfather. He tried to get the discussion to economic issues, he did not succeed.

Veterans Today is a dubious source, but this here sounds genuine
Washington behind the mirrors

In stepped more lies and garbage, this time more fake than the other, with chaos theory and psychological warfare organizations drowning in capabilities from the overfunded phony war on terror and too much time on their hands now lending their useless talents toward disinforming the general public.

The result has been a divided US where “alternative facts” fabricated for a vulnerable demographic now competes with the “mainstream” now termed, and I believe rightly so, “fake news” to support different versions of a fictional narrative that resembles reality only in the most rarified and oblique manner.
...

America has left itself open to dictatorship. It long since gave up its ability to govern itself, perhaps it was the central bank, the Federal Reserve in 1913 or more recent erosions of individual power such as the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2005. Whatever milestone one chooses, the remains of democratic institutions in the US are now difficult to find.

What we are left with is what increasingly seems to be factions, mistakenly defined as “right” or “far right” jockeying for control over America’s military, and with that, control over the planet itself.

You see, whoever controls the American military controls the world, unless a power bloc appears that can challenge, well, challenge what? If the Pentagon controls America’s military and the Pentagon is controlled by a cabal of religious extremists as many claim or corporate lackeys as most believe, then where does the world stand?

Then again, if Trump and his own Republican congress are at war over impeachment, and I assure you, little else is discussed in Washington, two sides of the same coin, servants of different masters, has all oversite of the newfound military power over American policy disappeared?

To this, we reluctantly say “yes.”

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 4:49:34 AM | 12

Bannon can be perfectly mature, adult and realist on some points and be totally blinded by biases on others - him wanting total economic war against China is proof enough. So I don't rule out that he has a blind spot over Iran and wants to get rid of the regime. I mean, even Trump is realist and adult in a few issues, yet is an oblivious fool on others.
Kind of hard to find someone who's always adult and realist, actually. You can only hope to pick someone who's more realist than most people. Or build a positronic robot and vote for him.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2017 5:24:06 AM | 13

There is something to that interview by Steve Bannon with a left wing website.

More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump’s election were “Resisting Trump” and “Containing Trump”) and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He’s probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump’s base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

Explanation a) He wants to explain the climbdown of his boss on North Korea.
Not really helpful to Trump.

b) He wants to save his reputation as the association with the KKK and White Suprematists has become toxic.

Checking on what Breitbart is doing - splitting the Republican Party

A trade war with China would mean prices in the US would become very expensive. It is a fool's strategy.

In other news Iran is threatening to leave the nuclear agreement, and Latin America unites against the US threatening Venezuela with war.

The generals are completely useless.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 6:16:13 AM | 14

I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 17, 2017 6:35:17 AM | 15

psychohistorian a

Posted by: c | Aug 17, 2017 6:51:35 AM | 16

psychohistorian at 4: 'as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting...'

as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

Posted by: c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17

c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

Very good; and I agree with your POV; the usa can not run out of dollars.
And therein lies its power; a very dangerous situation that I do not think the world is equipped to deal with in toto...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 7:43:30 AM | 18

Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

It appears that as a purely nominal Republican, an owner in a hostile takeover, Trump has no qualms about trashing the system. Practically speaking, this is the very opposite of draining the swamp, which requires effective leadership.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing that predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

OR, looked at another way:

Perhaps the gurning wunderkind Kim's ascent to the North Korean Throne was completely predictable and was predicted a long time ago, and plans were set in motion to ensure that he was co-opted as a kid, and now works with the US to help counter the rising Chinese power.

Perhaps the alleged face-off Trump, Kim and the western MSM treated the world to over the past while, was merely nothing but a pre-scripted choreographic display, a piece of theater agreed upon beforehand by all participants except China

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Jong Un and Trump actually play for the same side.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:51:55 AM | 20

Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, i

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Actually as far as I can tell the real political swindlers are the ones who refuse to acknowledge that a US Presidential election is, (and has been for nearly whole time the US has been in existence, which is more than 200 years for those who have problems keeping track of such simple matters) decided NOT by the popular vote but by the results of the Electoral College voting.

Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Again, just to repeat the actual reality regarding US Presidential elections: They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:59:31 AM | 21

Economics PhDs are resisting the only thing that can actully cause higher inflation rate: trade war

Posted by: Thegenius | Aug 17, 2017 9:08:56 AM | 22

19

He is doubling down now defending General Lee statues as beautiful. He is doing the same strategy as he did in his duel with Hillary Clinton when everybody thought he was insane, playing to his core Republican base to make sure Republicans have to stay in line or face a primary challenge.

Breitbart is doing the same threatening "Republican traitors".

The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

But Republicans who have to pretend they are religious right wing nuts in the primaries, then have to appeal to independents to win the actual election.

So they cannot go against Trump but cannot defend him. They are paralysed.

That what it comes down to. That the main aim of the president of the United States is to paralyze the party he hijacked.


Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23

add to 23

Breitbart has gone full culture wars. It is comical, have a look.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:58:52 AM | 24

Just Sayin' says:

They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe

indeed, though, speaking of political swindlers, there's mucho evidence that Trump may have won the popular vote as well.

Posted by: john | Aug 17, 2017 10:26:02 AM | 25

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Have you read the Constitution of the USA? The Electoral College elects the President by the rank and file voters electing the Electors to the College on November election day. That’s how the system works.

Ask Al Gore; he won the popular vote.

Oh and btw, the Hillary won the popular 2016 vote meme. Take a look at Detroit, MI heavy Democrats' precints - more votes than voters - and the millions of illegal aliens’ vote in California who voted after the invite of Obama.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:32:06 AM | 26

Trump won the election. Period. End of story. Done. Finished. Get over it and get on with your life. He didn't compete to win the popular vote. He competed and campaigned to win the election. Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star.

Posted by: WJ | Aug 17, 2017 10:50:13 AM | 27

@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014


Progressives and Steve Bannon have something surprising in common: hating Wall Street

Pop quiz—which major American political figure said the following:

“The 2008 crisis… is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the
greed of the investment banks.”

“I think the bailouts in 2008 were wrong.”

“[N]ot one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis.”

“The Republican Party “is really a collection of crony capitalists that feel that they have a different set of rules” and are “the reason that the United States’ financial situation is so dire.”

LINK

and here is BusinessInsider’s analysis of Bannon’s worldview:

LINK

In the Vatican talk, Bannon described in length and detail how he views the biggest issues of the day:

He wants to tear down "crony capitalism": "a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people.[.]

He is against Ayn Rand's version of libertarianism: "The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism.[.]

He believes the West needs to wage "a global war against Islamic fascism": "They have a Twitter account up today, ISIS does, about turning the United States into a “river of blood” if it comes in and tries to defend the city of Baghdad. And trust me, that is going to come to Europe.[.]

He believes the capitalism of the "Judeo Christian West" is in crisis: "If you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West.[.]

He believes the racists that are attracted to Trump will become increasingly irrelevant:[.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

this recent Bannon interview with The American Prospect will now go viral. Drudgereport headlines the WAPO spin.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.


Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23


Nope - first part of the sentence is correct but the rest of is just you, as usual, repeating crap you found on the Internet and then repeating it here pretending it is profound and that you actually understand what you are talking about, which you clearly don't as evidenced by the fact that you then go on to reference Nate Silver whose fame was never anything but media created hype with little or nothing to back it up.

Silver's feet of clay were evident long before the latest Prez election. It became obvious that his alleged electoral statistical prowess rested as much on luck as anything else. Lucky in prediction when it came to the 2008 election but by 2010 things started to go wrong but the media ignored his feet of clay and kept hyping him as a stats genius.

By the time 2016 rolled round Silver was exposed for the lucky fraud he is.

The real truth of Hillarys inability to win lies not in her being female as you and many others disingenuously (at best) try to claim, but simply lies in the fact that she is a thoroughly unpleasant person with a complete lack of charisma and a massive sense of entitlement.

Blacks and others, minorities generally and independents, who came out in droves for the Obama elections simply refused to go and vote for her.

The Republican vote however changed very little - pretty much the exact same demographic voted republican as voted for Romney.

Trump won partly because of Clintons massive hubris in refusing to campaign in several key states. Cambridge analytical were not required to give him the win, no matter what you read, without analysing it, elsewhere on the web and are now repeating here in an effort to pretend you know what you are talking about.

CA probably helped somewhat but it unlikely that they were central to the win. Clintons hubris and her complete lack of charisma, ensured low black/minority/independent for her in key states, especially those where she had refused to even bother to campaign, which was enough to seal the win for Trump

You simply repeating crap you heard on the net and pretending that if you say it in an authoritative fashion it will magically become true, just ends up making you look completely clueless, as usual. (or dishonest)


Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 10:56:25 AM | 29

@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30

Except for the selective Zion-flavored warmongering, Bannon appears to be an intelligent and thoughtful person. Also crafty. Is he not "Trump's Brain" in the way that Rove was Bush's Brain?

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 17, 2017 11:05:47 AM | 31

US politics is a great big clusterfeck - worse than ever, which is hard to believe.

Bannon's big liar. He did heaps to create this very situation with the White Supremacists.

Of course the Democrats are worse than useless. All they're doing is presenting themselves as "We're not Trump" and whining about Putin.

All of them are clowns. Every last one. Including the so-called "Generals." Worthless.

Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 11:21:24 AM | 32

"Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans."
but: "Yesterday (...) two US B-1 strategic bombers, operating with Japanese fighter jets, conducted exercises to the southwest of the Korean Peninsula." says WSWS. ?

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 17, 2017 11:27:14 AM | 33

@30 Just Sayin'

Agree. I think Bannon's quite bright and very very clever and crafty.

However, if anyone believes the lies he spewed yesterday about white supremacists, let me enlighten you that that's what's called "good PR" or something. Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

Caveat Emptor.

Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM | 34

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.

@ 8 as you say... Bannon does not seem himself as an "ethno-nationalist". Yet his slanderous contempt for the liberal ethos/values of many Americans would tend to make one question if he can be called a Nationalist.

@ 9 If Bannon was a Zionist, he would never make the comments he does against the financial sector (see @28).

@28 Bannon would never call himself a Socialist, but the most logical expression of his individualist views when applied to the business world are expressed by none other than Ayn Rand. The financial world simply got legal cover to act on the views that he rails against. Bannon does not like what he sees when the rules he claims for himself are given to the rest of the world. Which makes him an "Exceptionalist"??

Isn't exceptionalism the same as narcissism?

At least the concern for 10 million in Seoul (mostly missing in the discussion of other leaders) show he is not a psychopath.



Posted by: les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

The first group to call themselves Progressives were the 19th century Populists. Their mantle was adopted by T. Roosevelt and other like-minded Republicans. Lafollette and Wallace are perhaps the best remembered Progressives--yes, FDR is portrayed as one, but when examined really isn't: Eleanor was far more Progressive and since she was people also thought he was too. Once Wallace was ousted from government, Democrats reverted to their old ways, although Truman did order the military to desegregate--perhaps his only Progressive act. JFK was in the process of becoming a Progressive in the months prior to his murder. LBJ very reluctantly made some Progressive noises in his War on Poverty that he was essentially forced into thanks to massive ethnic strife and related riots during the 60s. But essentially since the beginning of WW2, Progressives and their goals vanished from the political landscape. Nader brought it back to the fringe from the wilderness, but the so-called Progressive Caucus really isn't Progressive thanks to its war promotion.

Admittedly, I don't know much about Steve Bannon; he certainly isn't a Progressive, but he doesn't seem to be a Regressive either. The points he made at the Vatican Talk supplied by likklemore @28 are rather encouraging in an anti-Deep State manner. So, his interaction with The American Prospect I don't see as surprising--he's seeking allies: "'It’s a great honor to finally track you [Robert Kuttner] down. I’ve followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it.'... Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me." I think Kuttner will discover Bannon will "still [be] there" after Labor Day, so he might as well make his travel plans.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 17, 2017 12:30:01 PM | 36

@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive... i can't imagine the usa being happy if this didn't continue until it's demise..the 2 party system hasn't worked out very well as i see it.. failed experiment basically.. oh well..

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37

@ Just Sayin’ 30

I won’t give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.
Read and understand as Bannon is proven right on events.

The $28 - trillion (US dollar) global bailouts in 2008 is proven to have failed. A handful on Wall Street became trillionaires instead of being suited in special stripes.
Negative interest rates steal the retirement savings of seniors. Pensions and Insurance companies cannot meet promised payouts.

And all is fine. Corruption flourishes. Judeo-Christian moral values are not in crisis.


Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 12:45:43 PM | 38

@19

If I remember correctly, wasn't it both the President Elect and the Republican Congressmen who won clear majorities in nearly 80 percent of congressional districts? Presuming an issue like the gerrymandering of districts wasn't significant, that's a far more legitimate victory than an extra million Democrats voting in California (determining the future of national policy). I'm not a fan of the Republicans, but denying the short term efficiency of 'populist rhetoric' isn't helping the left win any substantial electoral victories in the future.

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 12:51:38 PM | 39

Good Lord. Can't people read anymore? The election is all about the EC. Keep talking and running for the popular vote, and Trump will keep winning the Electoral College. You either want to win or you don't. I hope you keep preaching the popular vote personally.

Posted by: Morongobill | Aug 17, 2017 1:03:36 PM | 40

@ Just Sayin’ 30

I won’t give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.


No pass for little ol me? Aw shucks, I'm heart broken.

The fact that you think Bannon&Trump are going to do anything about Wall Street and the Banking System in general is quite amusing.

Perhaps you could list a few of Bannon&Trumps anti Wall Street achievements or initiatives since Trump took office?

It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little.

So, do please tell us: what have they actually done?

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:06:52 PM | 41

@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive...

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37

As the CIA might say: "Mission Accomplished!!"

Keep the proles spilt in their little "identity groups", their micro-tribes, and continue building the Kleoptocracy/Prison/Military State while the dumbed down demos are busy hunting micro-aggressions/fighting gender & race wars etc etc

During the last 5 Prez Election cycles the population spilt on utterly retarded lines such as Gay-marriage, Gender-free toilets etc. All this while the US fought or financed numerous very expensive wars in the Middle East ukraine etc, resulting hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 42

@26

The 2008 elections had one of the highest ever voter turnout rates for the Democrats and the 2016 elections had one of the lowest ever. The turnout rates (abysmal if ever compared to voter turnout rates in Germany and Japan) easily explain the initial victory and the eventual defeat, not 'Detroit fraud' or 'the millions of illegals' voting in your head. Racial gerrymandering against black voters in the Southern States is a far more real issue.

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 1:16:15 PM | 43

somwbody @ 12: Good link thanks..Interesting read about "The Forth Turning"

psycho @ 5: good link also..

WJ @ 27 said:" Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star."

Yep, so-called "Russian hacking" wasn't the problem, HRC was the problem...

Posted by: ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:33:55 PM | 44

Just Sayin' @ 41 said:"It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little."

Kinda' waitin' myself to see all those "accomplishments"....

Posted by: ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:40:34 PM | 45

@40

I'll assume this was directed to me.

I understand and respect your point, but I was responding to the initial comment's implicit argument on public opinion: "a common argument is the lower-middle-to-upper-middle-class social base of the Republicans is less receptive to the short term effects of Protectionist policy and this would reduce political morale, as well as grassroots and voting organization. However, the Democrats 'won the popular vote.' So, it's 'obvious' in saying the classless definition of 'the American people' oppose this Republican policy, and naturally, the social base of the Republican Party isn't especially relevant to consider when organizing voters and grassroots movements for a renewed Democratic Party."

To be fair, I think like the early Unionist and Communist circles, and presume public opinion translates to expressions of grassroots politics between conflicting classes (more so than it actually happens in American class society).

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 2:01:34 PM | 46

If one proceeds on the assumption that politics in the United States closely follows themes, scripts and production values pioneered by WWF, then all becomes clear. It's simply pro-wrestling on a global scale with nuclear weapons and trillions of dollars in prize money.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Aug 17, 2017 2:52:38 PM | 47

@42 just sayin'.. yes to all you say - it is quite sad actually.. not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 48

not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49

Most of the younger generation seem to be much to busy, obsessing over non-existent things like "Micro-agressions" or "hetero-normative cis-gender oppression", to pay attention to, let alone acknowledge, the enormous global macro-aggressions their own country is engaged in on a world-wide scale.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 3:12:27 PM | 49

Just Sayin @ 20

I suppose anything is possible. I don't see your scenario going down, though.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Aug 17, 2017 3:24:12 PM | 50

But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.
Is there a "don't" missing from that sentence?

I must disagree that DPRK nuclear missiles are a qualitatively similar threat to those possessed by the Soviet Union and China. DPRK's guiding Suche ideology is a literal cult that goes far beyond the cult-of-personality that held sway over the Soviet Union and China when Stalin and Mao ruled. And by the time the Soviets developed delivery capabilities Stalin was dead and his cult was done. By the time the Chinese developed delivery capabilities Mao was declining into figurehead status and Zhou Enlai, who as commander of the PLA realized how weak China really was militarily, had no illusions about what would happen in a military confrontation with the US. But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers that allowed them to drive the Japanese off the peninsula then fight off an American "invasion." They truly don't mention the role of the Soviets and the Chinese in saving their bacon. In terms of face-saving, the Kims have set the bar pretty high for themselves by fostering their cult. Their legitimacy would be threatened if their statecraft as rational actors undermined their Suche cult.

DPRK have been rogue actors against ROK and Japan out of sheer spitefulness, fully exploiting the umbrella provided by the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Assistance with China. They have done extraterritorial kidnappings and murders not for perceived strategic reasons but merely to intimidate. DPRK has pointedly refused to enter talks for a formal peace between them and the ROK. Those kinds of motives do not bespeak of someone who can be trusted with nukes.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 3:24:12 PM | 51

Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM

Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

What are your reasons for believing this about Bannon? What counts as contributing, and how did you come to your decision?

It's not that I don't believe you. It's rather important to establish in what way his words (whether the ones you found or the recent ones in American Prospect) are lies or misdirection, so that I, and anyone interested, can evaluate this for ourselves and come to similar or different conclusions.

Posted by: Charles R | Aug 17, 2017 3:39:13 PM | 52

I don't think Bannon wants a "trade" war with China but he is right that there is an economic war going on. The "silk roads" and the various new organisations that the Chinese-Russians have set up, (Major Banks, "Swift" equivalent, Glossnass satellites, card payment systems, industrial independence, and food self-sufficiency etc), plus the use of currencies other than the dollar - are all examples of a break-away from a US-EU domination.

However, they have not suddenly introduced everything at once to "bring the US house down". Why? One possible reason could be that they are expecting the US to collapse anyway. Another is that viable alternatives also take time to set up.

b has mentioned the "grown ups" v the Idealogues". The impact of the military on the economic war seems to be underestimated. How much longer can the US afford the more than trillion dollars per year of the "visible" arms? This does not include hidden costs ("Intelligence agencies and pork). Nor does it include costs borne by other countries. ie. Italy has about 80 US bases (the most in the EU) and about 77 nuclear warheads on its soil. Italy PAYS for those bases, and even that does not include infrastucture (roads, increased airport capacity, sewage, water mains, etc) which are paid for by the Italians themselves. Other countries will have similar systems. Some like Kuwait are "paying" back the amounts spent on arms for example.
The total cost is astronomical.
A brief reminder the USSR collapsed because of massive overspending on arms and military projects - leaving the rest of the economy in the lurch. Presumably the Chinese and Russians are expecting the same thing to happen again.

(Aside - yes, you can print dollars as a sovereign state, but printing roubles didn't help the soviets either)
So McMasters and the others are in fact just spoilt brats who think that the good times are forever.
----
One example of the new "bluff-calling" cheaper method of economic warfare (*NK is the another) were the recent NATO/US manoeuvres in Georgia (country) on the anniversary of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. The number of trooops and means involved would have been enough to carry out a "surprise" attack this time too. The Russians - sent in Putin, who declared that the Russians supported S.Ossetia and were ready to deal with any threat - exactly as they did "last" time. Cost? One plane trip.

(*The NK threat by the US would have seen about 40'000 men from S. Korea and Japan sent against about 700'000 motivated local troops and massive artillery arrays. It was a non-starter, even with nukes)

Posted by: stonebird | Aug 17, 2017 3:40:47 PM | 53

thirdeye @52

You are forgetting to mention the main sticking point to talks is our refusal to halt our annual̶d̶e̶f̶e̶n̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶d̶r̶i̶l̶l̶s̶ invasion practice before they will come to the table. At least from what I read.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Aug 17, 2017 4:03:19 PM | 54

54

Even with China's international financial position growing more robust with SWIFT independence, AIDB, the New Silk Road and such, they still have an interest in the Dollar-based western financial system as long as they can make money off of it. They are not going to shoot themselves in the foot by deliberately causing it to collapse. They might even prop it up in a crisis, but I suspect they would drive a hard bargain.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 4:04:22 PM | 55

Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?


MCMASTER: Says classic deterrence strategy won't work with NK.

"Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires."

Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly.

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Aug 17, 2017 4:09:49 PM | 56

re #50

OT but not really -
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-unfortunate-fallout-of-campus-postmodernism

    "In an article for Quillette.com on “Methods Behind the Campus Madness,” graduate researcher Sumantra Maitra of the University of Nottingham in England reported that 12 of the 13 academics at U.C. Berkeley who signed a letter to the chancellor protesting Yiannopoulos were from “Critical theory, Gender studies and Post-Colonial/Postmodernist/Marxist background.”

    This is a shift in Marxist theory from class conflict to identity politics conflict; instead of judging people by the content of their character, they are now to be judged by the color of their skin (or their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, et cetera).

    “Postmodernists have tried to hijack biology, have taken over large parts of political science, almost all of anthropology, history and English,” Maitra concludes, “and have proliferated self-referential journals, citation circles, non-replicable research, and the curtailing of nuanced debate through activism and marches, instigating a bunch of gullible students to intimidate any opposing ideas.”"

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 4:18:43 PM | 57

Stonebird

The Soviet Union collapsed because of its internal contradictions. Not due to overspending.

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Aug 17, 2017 4:25:43 PM | 58

@53 Charles R: fair enough question.

What I base my analysis of Bannon is his leadership at Bretibart which may or may not be continuing right now. Just read Breitbart if you think Bannon isn't fully behind the White Supremacists rising up right now.

Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 4:31:17 PM | 59

Thirdeye @56.

Gently is the name of the game. The whole "movement" is probably based on a long-term scenario. The Chinese think along those lines. So OK they won't blow the house down, but they will move in incremental steps. It might take generations to fully exploit the gap left by the US loosing influence.
"Save the US"? Maybe, if they can gain something in exchange - but it won't be cash.

Madderhatter67 @59
That was one of them, and another would have been the "rise" of the Nomenklatura (with only one million card-carrying voters). Which just shows that an "elite", when in power, simply won't look after anyone but themselves.

I presume that is what you meant by "internal contradictions", - having an unaccountable elite in a supposedly socialist/egalitarian country. But it was for their egos that they overspent on the immediately visble - and not on the infrastructure needed to keep the country going.
(Tut tut, doesn't that remind you of somewhere?)

Posted by: stonebird | Aug 17, 2017 4:45:30 PM | 60

@52

I remember reading Shahak's translation of Yinon’s “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties" and seeing other articles in the Zionist collection arguing nuclear war was the ideological core of Marxism-Leninism, implying the Soviet Politburo and Soviet society would never accept reform without it.

Do you think 'ideological readings' of foreign policy are always the best interpretation?

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 4:59:14 PM | 61

Stonebird

Nomenklatura was an internal contradiction.

"Some Marxists, such as Ernest Mandel, have criticised Djilas and the theory of state capitalism: "The hypothesis that the Soviet bureaucracy is a new ruling class does not correspond to a serious analysis of the real development and the real contradictions of Soviet society and economy in the last fifty years."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomenklatura#Criticism

&


"The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System is a political theory book by communist Yugoslav figure and intellectual Milovan Đilas about the concept of the new class.[1][2] He proposed that the party-state officials formed a class which "uses, enjoys and disposes of nationalised property".[3]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Class:_An_Analysis_of_the_Communist_System

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Aug 17, 2017 5:21:58 PM | 62

35
Steve Bannon is a fascist.

exhibit A
Steve Bannon Allies with Catholic Theo-Fascism Against Pope Francis

exhibit B
Steve Bannon shares a fascist's obsession with cleansing, apocalyptic war. And now he's in the White House

exhibit C
Generation Zero - Bannons Film using the theory of the fourth turning

The idea that people (a people) have to suffer a big war in order to cleanse themselves from moral depravity is fascism pure and simple as who should force people to do this but a dictator.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 5:26:37 PM | 63

@59

@61

It is an apologist work for Khrushchevite and Gorbachevite ideology, but Kotz and Weir's "Russia's Path From Gorbachev to Putin" is decent as an explanation.

The rate of Soviet GNP was uneven, but not consistently negative until after the successions of Russia and the separate Soviet Republics from the Union.

To sum it up, laws in 1986-87 effectively criminalized the 'command departments' of the Central Committee in planning policy through Gosplan, Gossnab, and Gosbank. A national market was encouraged by individual activity laws, joint stock laws, cooperative laws, and the directive banning the federal monopoly on inter-state trade in 1988.

Out of this top-down 'reform,' a minority of Soviet Enterprises began mimicking capitalist infrastructure: managers, directors, and ministers (of companies and banks) granting themselves larger wages or salaries, using the surpluses to buy up and monopolize the stocks and infrastructure of competing companies, using artificial resale of (monopolized) local goods or exclusively selling natural resources to Western clients, tripling the profits for a minority of private households.

This nascent middle class used this newfound profit to privatize Soviet media, effectively monopolizing it by the end of the decade, shifting the narratives of Soviet society, bribing politicians to convince the Soviet population that 'market reform' wasn't total privatization of resources, stocks, and companies, and 'Russian autonomy' wasn't succession from the Union (neutral European Polls found clear majorities in the original nine Soviet Republics continued to support democratic socialism, social democracy, and preserving the Union in 1991). Political crisis, like the Moscow coup in August of 1991, was used to manipulate the passive public in accepting fundamental change.

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 5:28:18 PM | 64

@63

While I come from a Yugoslav family, I have far less sympathy for market socialist ideology. I've never understood the romanticism so many Westerners have always had for the Old Country. Mind you, I'm not including you in this.

The Soviet Union effectively repeated the Yugoslav model: self-governed, democratically managed, or autonomous companies (and later republics) 'fairly competing' in an unregulated or semi-regulated national market. Both models produced middle classes pushing for the acceptance of IMF credits, total privatization of any state companies to repay Western debts, and seceding from a Union of socialist states.

Fair competition in a 'socialist' market is a myth.

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 5:40:53 PM | 65

All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy.

Posted by: Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:08 PM | 66

55 Tom in AZ

That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years. Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place? The US knows that China would not tolerate a US invasion of DPRK. Why take the risk of invading across great defensive terrain when you can simply destroy?

57 Madhatter67

Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?

That's a dumb analogy and a pathetic attempt at deflection. Criticize American Exceptionalism all you want, but don't compare it to a supernaturalist cult. That's just stupid.

DPRK has a history of doing whatever they think they can get away with, exploiting their treaty with China. If their delusional Suche ideology leads them to miscalculate or paints them into a corner trying to prop it up, it could lead to war.

If there's any bright spot in the whole picture it's China's chilly stance towards DPRK after recent events. The excesses of DPRK's ruling cult have occurred largely because they figured China had their back. But China's regional interests have changed dramatically over the past 30 years. ROK is no longer a competitive threat to China and is economically more important to China than DPRK ever was. DPRK's military power is of much less benefit to China than it was in the past. It might even be considered a liability.

61 Stonebird

It wouldn't be cash, it would be be assets and/or the means of controlling them. Big Chinese money is already coming into the west coast of the US and Canada. Oh well, we fucked things up here; maybe the Chinese will do a better job.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:20 PM | 67

@10, this article was written while Bannon was heading Breitbart, bragging about being "conceived in Israel." http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/11/17/breitbart-news-network-born-in-the-usa-conceived-in-israel/ Bannon is against the nuclear deal, and is one of the top people in the administration arguing for Trump to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bannon has been cited as promoting Sheldon Adelson's Israel policy in meetings with Trump. http://www.timesofisrael.com/pro-abbas-lauder-hawkish-adelson-battling-to-influence-trump-on-mideast/ If anything Bannon/Breitbart push an even harder line on Israel than most politicians and media do.

Posted by: Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:20:48 PM | 68

First of all, I will now declare that I am 99% confused! So please let me review the 1% that comes through my little keyhole. What has been said?

/~~~~~~~~~~
<<= Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well sure! The guy's a political operative -- One does not get to be a political operative by being some kind of a Dudly Do-Right. Damn.

/~~~~~~~~~~
<<= les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well since we can't believe anything from Bannon... And aside from that I am sick of hearing Mussolini's definition of fascism -- After all, he was a psycho-villain -- so why believe it?!

UNTIL WE HAVE STRATEGIC HEDGE SIMPLE SCORE VOTING WE WILL BE SADDLED WITH THE TWO-PARTY "SYSTEM" (really only one party). Who cares if we really have no choice whatsoever. We are held hostage to the false alternatives of the vast legion of the election methods cognoscenti.

See my simple solution soon at Global Mutiny!

Posted by: blues | Aug 17, 2017 6:27:33 PM | 69

@31, "except for the Zion-flavored warmongering." I don't know about you but completely disqualifies him in my view.

Posted by: Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:30:54 PM | 70

@35, please refer to post 69. If Bannon was not a Zionist, he would not have ran a site which brags of being conceived in Israel and which pushes a harder line on Israel than almost any other, and he would not be promoting Adelson's Israel policy within the administration.

Posted by: Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:34:43 PM | 71

Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 17, 2017 7:03:10 PM | 72

"That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years."

I doubt any substantial transcripts from early talks will ever be released, so whoever had diplomats offering the 'fairest' compromises for terms of an early framework (resulting in a later settlement) cannot be known (regarding specifics).

If I remember correctly, there has been at least three Chinese-sponsored peace conferences (on Korea) since 2007, where the general position of the U.S. was: North Korea had to freeze total nuclear production, accept existing and additional (U.N.) verification missions, and dismantle all warheads PRIOR to the signing of any peace treaty. How is demanding unconditional surrender not intransigence? Are we going to just pretend the United States hadn't sponsored military coups in Venezuela and Honduras and hadn't invaded Iraq and Libya (in a similar time frame)?

During peace talks, any terms are argued, refused, and eventually compromised (usually over years and sometimes over decades). Why presume the United States and South Korea had the fairest offers and general settlements in a handful of conferences (especially when we have no transcripts)?

"Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place?"

You're presuming your case and not giving specific information on what you might know.

Personally, I don't know who 'started it' (I would guess Japan 'started it' by forcing through the Protectorate Treaty of 1905, or the United States 'started it' by forcing through the Amity and Commerce Treaty of 1858), but if North Korea isn't testing missiles near Guam and the United States isn't flying specific planes over South Korea, a compromise WAS made this last week, and more can be made to ensure peace.

Why do any Americans oppose this?

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 7:41:46 PM | 73

@68

My above comment is directed to you.

Posted by: anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 7:43:18 PM | 74


The posts above marshal support for both sides of any position you seek to attribute to Bannon. Which means he really does not own any ideology.

Occam's razor would suggest he feeds the applause until it dies down or poses some kind of threat, then he moves on to a new 'conviction'. The point of my post above (35) was to bring into question any ideological center/focus that could be attributed to Bannon. As a classic political operative (and a narcissist) Bannon will say whatever gets him applause (and money).

Posted by: les7 | Aug 17, 2017 10:42:07 PM | 75

#73, Bannon has support from neocons including David Horowitz and PNAC signee Frank Gaffney. The "alternative" media has turned Michael Flynn, who co wrote a book with top neocon Michael Ledeen and pushed for military conflict with Iran, into a persecuted patriot. Doesn't make it true.

Posted by: Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 11:40:32 PM | 76

Bannon comes across as a propaganda guy, first and foremost. Probably studies the works of Joseph Goebbels to come up with good bits. And, in the end, understands almost nothing about economics in the modern world. That economic nationalism business - last seen in Hitler's Four-Year Plan, Stalin's Five-Year Plan - rubbish.

In reality, the Trump Administration so far, outside the media spotlight, is really just the Rex Tillerson / ExxonMobil Administration and the Gary Cohn / Goldman Sachs administration. This is hardly any different from how Clinton & Obama operated - Obama being really friendly with BP (appointed BP's chief scientist to #2 at DOE) and all of Wall Street.

So far, every economic promise Trump made is pure BS - he's got all the TPP people in the room on his "NAFTA renegotiations" - which are not going to happen because ExxonMobil's oil deals with Mexico would be damaged. Most of the executive orders are gifts to the oil industry, such as shutting down the EPA with industry insider Scott Pruit.

And the "infrastructure plan"? Fairy dust BS of the Goldman Sachs variety (no surprise Bannon worked there too). A real infrastructure plan would require an FDR-style approach, major public works projects and redirection of funds away from the MIC. Not going to happen under Trump.

The rest of the identity politics crap they're pushing, is likely just distraction from the backroom deals - Trump knows he'll be gone within four years and is probably just lining his pockets on the side. As far as foreign policy, he's another tool - just look at Trump and the Great Glowing Orb of Saudi corruption.

Flush Trump down his gold-plated toilet with the rest of his hangers-on, and hold the handle for three and half years - the empire game will be dead by then at least, that's the one positive aspect of this.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Aug 18, 2017 12:24:18 AM | 77

The worm turns at various levels in regards to international relations...
so today/yesterday/08/17/207 as we read about coming trade war with China in this posting/thread there is this report from China

8/17/2017 meeting with Xi and Dunford - Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Read the quote from Xi about how wind and rain create the environment for rainbows.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 18, 2017 12:45:11 AM | 78

If I remember correctly, wasn't it both the President Elect and the Republican Congressmen who won clear majorities in nearly 80 percent of congressional districts? Presuming an issue like the gerrymandering of districts wasn't significant, that's a far more legitimate victory than an extra million Democrats voting in California (determining the future of national policy). I'm not a fan of the Republicans, but denying the short term efficiency of 'populist rhetoric' isn't helping the left win any substantial electoral victories in the future.
@38 anoymous

Help me out. Why would Democrats need to stuff ballot boxes in California? The state was a sure win for Democrats, so vote inflation for Dems there wouldn´t mean jack squat nationally.

Posted by: joeymac | Aug 18, 2017 5:21:38 AM | 79

@52 Thirdeye

They have done extraterritorial kidnappings and murders not for perceived strategic reasons but merely to intimidate.

Who do they think they are? The US? Israel? The nerve!

Posted by: joeymac | Aug 18, 2017 5:28:44 AM | 80

Fun from the Israeli Right Wing International - Real News Network

Sheldon Adelson plus the Israeli Far Right with the Alt-Right against McMasters and Netanyahu.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18, 2017 5:38:15 AM | 81

The US has no problem generating wealth, and has no need to force conflict with China. The US's problem is that that wealth is funneled upwards. Wealth inequality is not a meme. "Shrinking middle class" is a euphemism for downward-mobility of the middle class, an historical incubator for Reaction. And that's what we have here, reactionaries from a middle class background who now are earning less than their parents at menial jobs, or who are unemployed, becoming goons; aping the klan, appropriating nazi icons, blaming the foreigner, the negro, the Jew, the Muslim, for their circumstances. A "trade war" will not help them one iota, it will make their lives worse, and Bannon will go out and say it's the fault of the foreigner and the immigrant, their numbers wool swell. More terror, depper culture wars. I suppose that's nationalism to some people.

Posted by: Tay | Aug 18, 2017 6:56:05 AM | 82

@82 Tay

That's exactly nationalism, for sure. The work of that wealth creation by the way is done by the all the classes below the rentier class, from working to middle class. The funneling upwards thing is actually theft. The middle class is shrinking and being pushed down closer to rage because the wealth-stealing mechanisms have become bigger and better, and saturated the entire national system, including its electoral politics. This real face of capitalism has driven out the iconic American Dream, which was the essence of upward mobility.

Nationalism is an ugly word, but it's easily reached for when there aren't any better words around. In Russia, they already went through what faces the US, and they figured it out.

Since we're looking for the grown-ups, let's turn to Vladimir Putin, always reliable for sanity when direction is lost.

Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism. "Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.

-- Putin reminds that "patriotism drastically differs from nationalism"

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 18, 2017 9:51:21 AM | 83

Thats why the next president will be young, very rich, utterly in thrall to the MIC but much more liberal.

Posted by: heath | Aug 18, 2017 10:05:33 AM | 84

@thirdeye

There is no "Suche" ideology in the DPRK. May be you mean "Juche" which is about economic self sufficiency and independence?

The "supernatural" aspect of Korean rulers is out of historic societal tradition, not dependent of the person that holds the top position. The DPRK ideology does not come from reading Marx and Engels but from a deep well of Korean history and tradition.

Posted by: b | Aug 18, 2017 10:28:19 AM | 85

83
Upward mobility has fallen sharply

"In our view, faster growth is necessary but not sufficient to restore higher intergenerational income mobility," they wrote.

"Evidence suggests that, to increase income mobility, policymakers should focus on raising middle-class and lower-income household incomes."

Interventions worth considering include universal preschool and greater access to public universities, increasing the minimum wage, and offering vouchers to help families with kids move from poor neighborhoods into areas with better schools and more resources, they said.

Is there any political party or group in the US that suggests this?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18, 2017 11:00:25 AM | 86

@79

I didn't intend to imply fraud.

I was posing a question: is a million NEW voters in one state (tipping the scale for the Democrats nationally) genuinely 'democratic' when 80 percent of districts vote Republican? Is it fair to say the Republicans now have to convince 81 percent (or even 85 percent) of districts to vote conservative (in order to win federal elections consistently)?

I prefer the Democrats in power, but I think the 'popular vote' is a bourgeois fetish used to mask the lack of grassroots organization throughout the whole country (by the Democratic Party establishment). There are literally tens of millions of working class people in the United States (who didn't vote either way last year) ready to be persuaded, organized, and integrated into a renewed Democratic Party. The Democrats ignore these people (nationally) in favor of having California 'tip the scale.'

This is a 'technical' Presidential victory, but it results in Congressional impotence.

Mind you, I have no information on voter suppression and district gerrymandering. It isn't impossible to consider the Republican victory was far less significant, and the Democrats won decisively in key states, but I have no information to prove or disprove this.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 11:31:29 AM | 87

Speaking of Grownups, Pepe Escobar recaps the recent exploits of Moqtada al-Sadr and provides a peek at the 2018 Iraqi elections. Pepe then segues into Syria and its Chinese connection. I'm somewhat surprised he didn't mention the Western supplied chemical weapon components recently captured by the SAA and prominently displayed by Russia's Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs--news kept out by Charlottesville. http://www.atimes.com/article/winners-post-daesh-era/ and https://sputniknews.com/politics/201708181056581304-syria-us-uk-toxic-agents/

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 11:36:28 AM | 88

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/17/after-attack-spain-trump-invokes-vile-myth-celebrating-mass-execution-muslims

Another ill-considered, but probably very revealing, tweet from Trump.

As Barcelona, Spain reeled from an attack on Thursday that left 13 people dead and dozens more injured, President Donald Trump quickly took to Twitter to both denounce the attack and recount a "vile" myth that claims a U.S. general—though the story has been thoroughly debunked—executed 49 Muslims with bullets drenched in pig's blood.

Facts not necessary for him, and he loves to create chaos.

"Yes, it's false," wrote MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller. "But [it's] more important that [the president of the United States] is talking about executing Muslims without trial with bullets coated in pigs blood. Appalling."

Though Trump insisted that he needed "the facts" before speaking about the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, this concern was quickly dropped by the president in the case of Spain, where the attackers may have been motivated by Islamic extremism.

"Trump is celebrating torture and mass executions here. This isn't law and order—it's war crimes," wrote filmmaker Adam Best. "The Donald is clinging to the phrase 'radical Islamic terror' to avoid talking about white supremacist terrorism. So transparent."

I don't think he feels alive unless he's instigating some kind of angry reaction. And stirring up hate on one group or another.

I knew he was a cheat and a conman, based on how he loved putting small contractors out of business by not fulfilling his end of contracts. I figured he would do the same to the voters who believed his campaign promises...but I never dreamed he would be so undisciplined. I hoped he would achieve better relations with Russia -- not happening as of yet, probably won't happen. I was relieved when he dropped the ill-advised trade negotiations, but it seems his appointees are going to try to get the bad parts into NAFTA.

So far, near total catastrophe. And Pence would probably do even more evil, but do it efficiently and smoothly.

What a mess.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 11:49:47 AM | 89

The Corporate “fascist” - with grains of salt - USA. The ‘democracy’ part is fiction, camouflaged via a fools theatre two-party system and ginormous social re-distribution, amongst others.. the Core (PTB) found itself through miscalculation and loss of power subject to a challenger who broke thru the \organised/ fake elections, to attempt some kind of re-adjustement - renewal - re-set - review...

Advocating smoothed-out relations with Russia (for commercial perso reasons, Tillerson, etc. and a need to grade adversaries and accept some into the fold, like Russia, instead of Iran…), a more level playing field, multi-polar world, to actually become more dominant in trade (China etc.) and waste less treasure on supporting enemies, aka proxy stooges, to no purpose (e.g. Muslim brotherhood, Al Q kooks, ISIS) and possibly even Israel — hmmm.

Heh, the profits of domination are to be organised, extracted and distributed, differently. One Mafia-type tribe taking over from another! Ivanka will be The Sweet First Woman Prezzie! Style, Heart, Love, Looks! Go!

The old guard will do much to get rid of the upstart and his backers (who they are exactly I’d quite like to know?) as all their positions and revenues are at risk, so they are activating all - anything to attack. The Trump crowd seems at the same time both vulnerable and determined and thus navigating à vue as the F say, by sight and without a plan… An underground internal war which is stalemated, leading to instrumentalising the ppl and creating chaos, scandals, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 18, 2017 11:56:04 AM | 90

Bannon's resigned. Did or didn't Trump fire him? Unknown at present, https://sputniknews.com/us/201708181056587800-trump-fires-bannon/

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 1:37:28 PM | 91

Thirdeye rudely says, "That's a dumb analogy and a pathetic attempt at deflection. "


Destiny under God is one of the pillars of Manifest Destiny.
God is a Supernatural entity.


Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Aug 18, 2017 1:55:05 PM | 92

80
insubstantial response

85
The tradition of shamanic religions with mythic leaders tied to divinity is a precedent but not a proximate cause for the DPRK monarchy being regarded as divinely ordained. The difference between stories referring to mythic past times and handed down by tradition, and myths propping up the divine status of recent historical figures, is the difference between a societal tradition and the contrivance of a cult. The forced ritual praise the DPRK's monarchy is cult behavior that blows the wildest excesses of the Chinese Cultural Revolution out of the water. The CCR was about ideas and it was against all tradition. The DPRK's cult is about the infallibility of the monarchy. The more recent Chinese and Japanese emperors, while also supposedly from divine lineages, were relatively impotent. But conducting foreign affairs on the premise that their nominal leader was a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess led the Japanese on a path that made them the most hated people in east Asia.

Damn right the DPRK's cult isn't about Marxism. It's a driving myth of feudalism in the DPRK. The Chinese weren't too thrilled with the DPRK when they came to realize that.

I appreciate the help with the transliteration BTW. But you can't separate the policies driven by Juche from their view of their leaders' infallibility, expressed so eloquently in the myth that Kim Il-Sung, founder of the divine lineage, was solely responsible for driving out the Japanese and keeping the Americans at bay.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Aug 18, 2017 2:05:04 PM | 93

Thirdeye

The United States of America has a history of exploiting peoples.

China won't abandon DPRK. North Korea provides strategic depth for China.


Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Aug 18, 2017 2:08:20 PM | 94

92

Manifest Destiny was more of a post-facto thing and the US sometimes acted counter to it. "Wow, Napoleon sold us everything from New Orleans to the western mountains for chump change! God is looking after us!" If it had been a true driving ideology of how the US was governed, there would have been war with Britain over British Columbia and annexation of all of Mexico after the war of 1848. Both had their advocates, but at the end of the day the US acted pragmatically.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Aug 18, 2017 2:15:30 PM | 95

The firing of Bannon leaves the Generals without an opposing view. They will no longer be contradicted.

Are we a step closer to War?

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 18, 2017 2:16:17 PM | 96

Well, with Bannon gone who will have most influence over Trump now? Will the rest of the Alt-Righters stay at the White House? Hhhmmm...

Meanwhile, while the MCM (mainstream corporate media) is unable to focus on more that one or two things, Trump has signed an executivve order which will have real work consequences as sea levels rise. Under Obama, a rule was developed to require infrastructure projects to consider the effects of global warming on flooding, effects of storms, etc. Now, developers are free to build what and where they want, with no consideration for the possible damage which might destroy those projects in the future.

Throw-away society on a grand --and expensive-- scale.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-scrap-rule-protect-094700052.html

Oh, my. Things ought to be interesting in DC in the near future. Dangerous all over in the long run.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:19:23 PM | 97

Oops. Real work consequences should have been real world consequences. Preview is a good tool to use....

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:20:53 PM | 98

Presumably, Bannon's mouth (American Prospect interview) got him fired--requested to resign--at the instigation of Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, with it being spun nicely: "Kelly and Bannon “have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. 'We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.'" https://www.rt.com/usa/400175-trump-fires-bannon-strategist/

Now it appears that Trump's completely surrounded by the former generals he appointed--a different version of Seven Days in May? Or is it the fantastical number of contradictions finally coming home to roost as The Saker seems to think, http://thesaker.is/the-neocons-are-pushing-the-usa-and-the-rest-of-the-world-towards-a-dangerous-crisis/

When Trump got elected, I thought the best outcome would be total gridlock in DC; and in some ways, that's what's occurred. Yet, as The Saker points out, something's afoot if the propaganda published by Newsweek--which is owned by Bezos--is any indication.

It's Friday. The Syrian Army is making huge gains. Congress is in recess. And the weather forecast for Monday's eclipse here on the Oregon coast is looking positive--no fog!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:29:00 PM | 99

Yeah jawbone, it's a good tool. I should've used it prior to my comment being grabbed by the spambot. Al Gore's opined Trump should resign, indicating he favors Pence, which send s what sort of message given the context Gore opined? https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/18/al-gore-has-just-one-small-bit-advice-trump-resign As most barflys know, Pence is far worse on most things than Trump. Did Gore just out himself as a previously closeted Neocon?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:37:52 PM | 100

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