Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 22, 2018

'Progressives Are Putin Stooges' - How Centrist Democrats Help To Reelect Trump

Updated Below
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Blaming 'Russian meddling' for their loss of the 2016 elections allowed the democratic establishment to avoid any discussion about their unelectable candidate and their bad centrist policies. Meanwhile the party base has moved on. Progressives candidates continue to win in primaries. The centrist party establishment will now use their genius invention of 'Russian meddling' to defeat them.

Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism links several recent pieces about the democrats and notes:

Suddenly a lot of stories about centrists. Somebody must have gotten funding.

The centrists and their big money sources feal endangered. They try to find strategies to defeat calls for 'medicare for all', demands to 'abolish ICE' and other progressive aims:

The gathering here was just that — an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, co-hosted the event and addressed attendees twice underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.
...
The invitation-only gathering brought together about 250 Democratic insiders from key swing states. Third Way unveiled the results of focus groups and polling that it says shows Americans are more receptive to an economic message built on "opportunity" rather than the left's message about inequality.

"Once again, the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era," said Third Way President Jon Cowan.

McClatchy's lede about the meeting is on point:

Leading moderate Democrats forcefully argued this week that the party can embrace a robust agenda of change while still praising capitalism and downplaying income inequality.

In other words, everything the empowered liberal base has spent a year and a half mobilizing against.

The 2016 elections have shown that people no longer buy the Third Way nonsense. The republican electorate moved to the more radical candidate Trump. The democratic electorate is now well underway to mirror that move:

[T]rends within the Democratic Party itself could take the Washington-based establishment by surprise, just as the Republican national security community found itself out of sync with the broad base of GOP voters as demonstrated in the 2016 election. The muscular interventionism championed by almost all of the Republican party’s standard-bearers was rejected in favor of an “America First” message which resonated with primary and general election voters. Similarly, the rise and growing prominence of a more unabashedly progressive wing of the Democratic Party has similar implications, because the activists’ critique of the status quo does not end at the water’s edge. The Democratic foreign policy establishment may find it difficult to forge a stable marriage with a mobilized voter base and the candidates it is putting forward.

The republican establishment has now bought into the 'Russian meddling' meme to suppress the insurgency within its party. It is trying to limit the space for Trump to achieve more radical measures, especially in foreign policies. The democratic establishment is using the very same trick. 'Russian meddling' must be responsible for the insurgency within their own party. Progressive candidates are Putin marionettes.

A few days ago Doug Henwood warned of this:

It seems that Democrats are now incapable of talking about anything but Russian interference in our sacred elections.
...
We’re seeing Dem pundits even accusing Bernie Sanders and other insurgents within their party of being Russian agents, witting or unwitting. Their indictments of Trump for treason make them sound like demented right-wingers at the height of the Cold War.

This obsession does relieve mainstream Democrats of concocting an attractive agenda that might win an election or two, but to do that they’d have to tack left, and Goldman Sachs wouldn’t like that.

This Russia obsession’s a win win for the establishment though – subdue Trump and the domestic left insurgency all at once.

A few days later Henwood points to a Facebook post by Columbia Law lecturer and Harpers author Scott Horton which accuses progressive Democrats of being Putin's agents. Horton comments on a New York Times piece that discussed the wave of progressive candidates in democratic primaries:


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Horton claims to have talked with 'European intelligence analysts' who allegedly told him that Putin authorized an 'active measure campaign' to split the Democratic party to let Trump and the Republicans win again:

The Russian operation will also aim, in the classic fashion, to pick Democratic candidates in the primary period who, for whatever reasons, are seen as likely not electable. Some evidence for this is clearly at play now. The key thing to look for is not positive messaging supporting any particular policy program, but negative messaging attacking other Democrats.

To point out what Democratic candidates Putin will pick Horton adds a picture from the NYT piece which shows a 'progressives' candidate with an 'Abolish ICE' t-shirt.

Political scientist and author Corey Robin notes:

In other words, we should look at these [progressive] candidates as tainted by a "Russian operation". Based on nothing other than the word of an individual who cites no facts but alleged conversations with "European intelligence analysts".

Robin points to historic similarities with McCarthyism. He adds:

If this thing catches on, if it becomes something that now gets reported in the paper, everything single candidate from the left, who is running in a Democratic primary, will be tainted by the suspicion that they are somehow or other a Putin operation.

Tainting leftish candidates as Putin stooges is the ideal tool for Democratic centrist to defeat them. Tuition free colleges, single-payer health care and $15 minimum wage are obviously Russian conspiracies designed to destroy the United States. This scheme is effective and will therefore be widely used by the centrists during all primaries and the next federal elections.

It also guarantees that Trump and the Republicans continue to win.

During the Obama years the Democrats lost over 1,000 positions in state and federal elections. Centrist policies have been tried and they failed to win votes. More of the same will not lead to different results. To move even further to the right to catch a few conservative votes from republican voters disgruntled with Trump will not help to win. The further the party moves to the right the more people on the left will abstain from voting for it. These are the decisive few percent that cost the Democrats the presidency and the majorities in Congress and in various states.

These centrists are the ones who are really helping Trump. Aren't they the real 'Russian agents'?

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Update - July 23 10:30 UTC

A long time Republican prosecutor, former FBI chief and hedge fund millionaire recently said that he would vote for Democrats to oppose Trump. That made him the new 'hero' of the centrist 'resistance'. A few days later, he is already giving his new party some terrible advice:

James Comey @Comey - 20:37 UTC - 22 Jul 2018

Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership.

How much is Putin paying him?

More of the centrist same won't work. The people will not vote for a 'Democratic' Comey-Kristol ticket against a president with such a high approval

NBC/WSJ POLL: Donald Trump’s approval rating has risen to 45%, with disapproval at 52%. Among Republicans, 88% approve. That’s the highest intra-party rating of any president at this stage since the dawn of modern polling, except Bush post-9/11.

The Democrats need a more radical message. They will have to either move left or sink into the same permanent minority status as many of the Social-Democratic parties in Europe have done.

Posted by b on July 22, 2018 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

Comments

thanks b...lol your last line.. maybe..

how far are we from a civil war in the usa? i think we are a long ways away.. i think most of the folks buying into this bs will go for a hot war with russia instead..

horton is trying to make like christopher steele with his intel sources, lol.. now if horton had talked with skripal, i would be impressed!

mccarthyism version 2 seems very prevalent in the usa at this point..

Posted by: james | Jul 22, 2018 1:06:16 PM | 1

ot - please put up an open thread as i and others will use it.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Jul 22, 2018 1:07:29 PM | 2

“Little Marco” Rubio was on Face the Nation today describing his Bizarro World. He said Russia doesn’t share the US’s “Win/Win” approach. Wham! FunHouse mirror stuff.

Then he said that Russia was disrupting US elections by scrubbing voters off of voter rolls.

Of course, his State of Florida was the first time that massive voter roll scrubbing was known to have been systemically practiced. That would be 2000 when FL Sec of State Katherine Harris (Chair of the Bush II election campaign) hired a TX company (owned by a Bush II associate) to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters who just so happened to match the demographics of typically Democratic Party voting blocs.

In 2016, the Republicans hired Kris Kobach’s company, Crosscheck to scrub probably millions of voters.

https://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/

And now, President Trump has appointed Korbach to head his new, national Commission on Election Integrity.

https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article149910457.html

This and other methods of election fraud are propped up by both party flavors of our duopoly. The very fact that most of these known techniques have generally favored the Republicans, but the Democrats refuse to even admit they exist shows that.

And of course, Marco is pushing for legislation to “protect our election infrastructure”. After the 2016 election, President CareBear had designated our election system “critical infrastructure” so that the DHS has control over it now.

Something like a century and a half ago, Mark Twain is reported to have said, “If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 22, 2018 1:18:21 PM | 3

"Once again, the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era," LOL at that choice piece of advice which has been trotted out by centrists and conservatives at least since the legion horrors of the capitalist system were mercilessly exposed to the world by William Wordsworth, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Freiderich Engels, and dozens of other perceptive writers during the 19th Century. And we have global neoliberal capitalism, the very acme of capitalist cruelty to the vast mass of humanity forced to labor hard daily, for relatively ever worse wages and under deteriorating conditions as well, rather than be able to make millions, indeed, even billions annually simply by being lucky stock holders in a financial market system rigges in favor f the plutocrats and against everyone else! The only people daft enough to buy the idea that the vicous, inhuman, indeed, inherently ever more unequal, irrational, environmentally detructive, and profoundly unjust neoliberal capitalist system all are subjected to today needs merely to be "mended, not ended" are those who are historical, social, political, cultural and economic illiterates. "Capitalism lives on as ruthless totalitarianism, because the moment for the transition to socialism was missed," said Max Horkeimer as early as the 1930s while observing the rise of Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini. High time we quit missing it and built a movement to end capitalist exploitation in all its forms once and for all! ON TO SOCIALISM!!

Posted by: William Fusfield | Jul 22, 2018 1:37:56 PM | 4

Psyops. The gift that keeps on giving.

What happens when your in-group controls the narrative AND the counter-narrative.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22, 2018 1:38:27 PM | 5

Establishment Democrats have, since 1968, considered holding the left in check a main function. I forget who formulated this sentence but it is completely accurate: "The Democrats preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Sanders."

The NBC News article on the so-called moderate Democrats reveals the game of the past five decades: the Republicans go further and further to the right, and the Establishment Dems follow them to hold an ever-shifting centre. (not to mention that the party has been deliberately courting potential candidates who have military and Intelligence backgrounds)

oops, according to Scott Horton, by using the term "Establishment Democrat" I've revealed myself as part of a Russian influence campaign.

Posted by: jayc | Jul 22, 2018 1:41:40 PM | 6

"Tainting leftish candidates as Putin stooges is the ideal tool for Democratic centrist..."
Why would you call this people 'centrist' when they in reality attack Tronald from the right, praising the deep state, as you reported yesterday? Call'em the war party or the Wallstreet party which is exactly the same.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 22, 2018 1:56:44 PM | 7

This article is one of Bernhard's many masterpieces -- this time, about political strategy.

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Jul 22, 2018 2:14:49 PM | 8

jayc @ #6

"The Democrats preferred to lose with Hillary than to win with Sanders."

Sounds like the words of Jimmy Dore. And right on the money.

Clearly in league with Putin. Ha ha

Posted by: johnt | Jul 22, 2018 2:21:23 PM | 9

so called left committing political suicide by signing on to Russiagate

Posted by: Ragheb | Jul 22, 2018 2:44:11 PM | 10

The MSM is now admitting that Putin is not a genious but that the US government is so greedy, corrupted and stupid that it has become an easy puppet to be played by anyone smart.
Has America become so weak and polluted that it can be manipulated so easily?

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 22, 2018 2:49:28 PM | 11

@10 'so called left committing political suicide by signing on to Russiagate'

You're right. But they don't have a lot of choice. If they admit Russiagate is a farce they don't have much dirt left to throw at Trump. 'Putting kids in cages' seems to have lost its impact.

Posted by: dh | Jul 22, 2018 2:49:39 PM | 12

I am now thoroughly disenchanted with your website, and indeed almost on the verge of tears since I just spent the last 40 minutes writing up a comment and editing and proofing it, commenting on this article, only to be told when attempting to post it that my session had "timed out" and that I should thus "reload and repost" it to which I answered the box "O.K." only to discover that by doing so my entire comment, and frankly it was one of my more significant ones, had been instantly erased. How in the world in this day and age could you still have a website that doesn't have any autosave for comments, and that actually misleads one as to what to do if the session 'times out" -- and by the way, why the Hell does it time out so quickly? And am now far too exhausted mentally to attempt to recreate my entire message. I am also, quite frankly, too angry to want to do so, or indeed ever visit, comment on, or continue to support your website monthly again. Even this message highlights a problem with your web design, since I am forced to leave it quite inappropriately on this comments blog for a particular article only because, if you have contact information anywhere her at all, I sure as hell can't find it. Good bye and good luck to you.

Posted by: William Fusfield | Jul 22, 2018 3:00:18 PM | 13

Bottom line is this: the myth of the end of History of the early 1990s evaporated after 2003-2008 (the period which begun with the Iraq Invasion and ended with the financial meltdown). After this, there's an ongoing debate in the USA about what the empire must focus on.

As I've mentioned before many times in this blog, there're three extant doctrines in the USA, of which only two are accessible to the civilian population.

The first is the Wolfowitz Doctrine, by far the dominant one, so dominant Americans don't even give it a name (it's just spelled out a common sense), which states that Russia is the military successor State of the USSR, which inherited its nuclear arsenal, therefore, objectively, the only country materially capable of turning the entire American territory into radioactive ash. So, long story short, Russia is still the main enemy.

The second is the "Clash of Civilizations" doctrine, which states that, after the Cold War, conflict on a global scale would happen only in the cultural front, between many cultures and creeds. The main conflict in the long term, however, would be the cultural clash between West and East, i.e. Western Civilization against the "Yellows", a.k.a. China (the Japanese are the "Westernized yellows", the "honorary whites", as is South Korea, Japan's carbon copy, so they don't count).

Note that the predominance of these two doctrines undeline a deeper contradiction in the USA: its resources are limited, therefore it can only fight one of the two at a given time. This is funny, because that means the USA is not destined to be the sole superpower in the first place (the underlying objective of both doctrines).

Posted by: vk | Jul 22, 2018 3:05:54 PM | 14

William@13

Happened to me. Learned to just save the comment, and then paste after it gets disappeared. Fortunately I learned over a short comment being disappeared, not too painful

Posted by: Pft | Jul 22, 2018 3:12:04 PM | 15

In general, I also think that by banking mainly on the evidencefree Russiagate conspiracy theory instead of normal political opposition based on issues that are important to most people, mainstream Democrats set themselves up for losing again.

But increasingly, I also think that we (everyone interested in world peace and fearing an escalation of conflicts) also have to hope that this is the case. I find it quite strange that I now think that way because as a center-left European I always used to think that Democrats are the lesser evil and Republicans are the greater evil.

Now, I think there is a scenario that really seems frightening to me. Progressives have won some primaries, but in general, the Democratic party is still dominated by the same forces, and I have read that now, a record number of people from the secret services and other organizations of the military industrial complex will probably be on the Democrats' ballots. If Democrats manage to win in the mid-term elections, the establishment forces in the Democratic forces may see this as a sign that the strategy of banking on the Russiagate conspiracy theory and extreme hostility towards Russia and treating everyone who doubts the allegations of secret services a traitor was the right one. Then, if in 2020 a mainstream Democrat wins the primaries and then the general election, what is he or she going to do? Their core base will be those people who daily watch Rachel Maddow's minutes (or hours) of hate against Russia, and there will be an expectation that they will act on these sentiments. After four years of extreme demonization of Russia, when even just a normal meeting between the US and Russian presidents was treated as a kind of treason, it will be very difficult to return to normal international relations. They will hardly be able to say that all this hatred was just a means to weaken the Trump administration and can be done away with after winning the elections, they have caged themselves in with their extremely hostile rhetoric, and their core base will probably expect that they act on their jingoistic rhetoric and conduct an extremely hostile kind of foreign policy with ultimatums against Russia, which could have extremely dangerous consequences.

I think that the more likely scenario is that mainstream Democrats' behavior will lead to losing again and Trump being re-elected, but I think we should not forget about the possibility of such a horror scenario which could bring the world to the brink of the abyss or beyond.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Jul 22, 2018 3:18:57 PM | 16

It seems to me that both Democrats and Republicans are colluding with each other now. They have agreed to share the Presidency and alternate with each other every 8 years. They wont get serious about winning until 2024, assuming there will still be elections then.

Both parties have the same elite controllers. Basically voters chose between 2 flavors of neoliberal imperialism. One is a bitter in your face brew, the other is a sickly sweet poison. Both make you sick.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 22, 2018 3:20:40 PM | 17

Talk of 'progressives' makes me wonder what kind of candidate the Democrats think has the best chance to run against Trump. I'm guessing they'll find some kind of anti-Trump. Sanders is played out. It will have to be someone youngish who appeals to women, blacks and migrants. Going full LGBT might be a step too far.

Posted by: dh | Jul 22, 2018 3:31:10 PM | 18

Alternative theory:

Trump was used by the establishment to "turn the page" on the Obama years.

Just as Obama was used to "turn the page" on the Bush years.

If we surmise that the Presidency is the most important office for the Empire, and is the "face" of the Empire, if you will, then the Obama Presidency was designed to present a peaceful and rational public face (very different from the Bush neocons!) while covert opts were used to further the interests of the Empire.

The Obama faux populist psy-op worked very well. Putin recently admitted that he was slow to understand how the game had changed.

The Trump/MAGA psyop lays claim to a new sort of "realist" peaceful and rational standpoint: ending costly adventurism and ending the new Cold War with Russia. But what does the establishment really want? They want to recover from the embarrassing Syrian debacle and stop the rise of SCO. They aim to do this via distractions and splitting Russia from China. Iran is the anvil for splitting Russia and China.

The howls of protest about Trump's meeting with Putin are NOT because Trump seeks "peace" with Russia but because he wasn't successful in convincing Putin to play ball.

USA deep state's Russian gambit expires on November 4th when the embargo on Iran goes into effect. It is already clear that China will support Iran.

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

1) Neo-macarthyism as just another aspect of the Trump psy-op. The 'bad cop' to Trump's 'good cop'.

2) Hillary could never have "turned the page" like Trump. In fact, she talked about how her election would secure Obama's legacy. Conclusion: the 2016 election was a set-up.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22, 2018 3:37:29 PM | 19

William@14

Always use a text editor! Then copy and paste: it's a computer, after all.

Posted by: kgw | Jul 22, 2018 3:41:57 PM | 20

The Reps, representing Capital uber alles, hate Labor and any empowerment of a Middle Class (of laborers). The Dems screwed Labor, at first covertly & incrementally and then entirely, because they found it profitable (taking the same bribes that the republicans get) to enable Capital through the back door.

Once Labor was destroyed, the D Party saw no other avenue to success, except to be the me-too, Republican-lite Party. (I feel your pain, but I'm still going to feck you. We only like "just" wars.)

They've boxed themselves into a losing strategy. If they do anything of value for the commons, their donors will dump them.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 22, 2018 3:49:36 PM | 21

@13 william.. you need to learn how to copy your post, or use the arrow back key to go back and copy and save it... these are simple internet tools that can help you.. everyone has run into this and the problem can be solved with some basic computer skills.. i am sorry this happened to you...

Posted by: james | Jul 22, 2018 3:51:52 PM | 22

some of the targets of these tactics aren't helping themselves; both sanders and ocasio-cortez have hinted that they actually believe the russiagate stupidity. nor did the latter score any hits with the stumbling (and possibly cowardly) interview regarding israel's lunatic tendencies. just letting that idiot get away with saying "the war in the middle east" is enough to make me question her spine.

the establishment dems - like any "establishment" group - are whores. so are the media who have their collective backs. at this point it's time to realize they all - like their financial masters - mistake kindness for weakness. what anyone needs to win at this point is to (unfortunately) copy pre-election trump's tactics with their own message.

there's no law that says you can't be for $15 minimum wage and single payer while also saying "shut up you dumb cunt" to any media prostitute that brings up russiagate. the idiots acting as middle(wo)men for their plutocrat owners rely on forced politeness and decorum. many people have noted that is their main grievance with trump: it's cool that he's horrible and surrounded by warmongers but does he have to be so vulgar and gauche? well i never!

the US is (as it has been for most of its short bloody history) quite angry and wound up right now. obama showed what good a "polite yes man" does. the left needs a fire-breathing populist demon. what they have is a pleasant bartender from the bronx.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 22, 2018 4:24:25 PM | 23

Bernie Sanders was quick to respond to these attacks by giving in. For every 'progressive' Democrat who has won in the primaries there have been ex CIA, ex FBI, ex military types to add the appeal of their blood stained hands to that of the former prosecutors (boasting about the number of death sentences they have won) and ultra rich candidates.
In every case what they are looking for is candidates who are not 'soft.' Not soft on crime. Not soft on Russia. Not soft on welfare etc etc.
Thus it is that the primary defenders of "our nation's intelligence services" and cops nowadays are the democrats, and none more than the 'progressives' howling about the treason of not believing in CIA intelligence assessments, as leaked to the Washington Post.
Democrats simply cannot understand what the word 'principle' means. That is why they are continually adopting their opponents' ideas- filling the prisons with black people, cancelling welfare programmes- and persecuting their own supporters.
Now Sanders, who knows very well why Hillary lost the election, and spent months warning her that she would do so in the primary campaigns, is front and centre in the farcical campaign to blame Putin and internet trolls 'sowing discord'!
And what is his evidence? The most dishonest and reactionary deep state warmongers say it is true. So it must be.
What will be interesting in the coming months is to watch as these "progressive" Democrats-the victors of primary battles- settle down to agreeing that "Israel has a right to defend itself" by massacring defenceless Palestinians whenever the mood comes over it. And attacking Iran.
Watch in the coming weeks for people like Sanders to attack Trump for not changing the 'regime' in Damascus- the way that Obama with their support did in Libya.
The great thing about the Democrats is that they are united-they are all as bad as each other. This is after all the working man's party that supported slavery with such enthusiasm that when it had been abolished they re-introduced it, in the form of Jim Crow plus lynching, in the states that they controlled. In which it lasted until the late 1960s. Its shadow-in the form of vote suppression and a crooked criminal justice system- still looms over America.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 22, 2018 4:33:25 PM | 24

@18 dh

The dems have nobody. Not at the plate or on deck. After DJT's state of the union, they trotted out a Kennedy that had vasoline smeared all over the sides of his mouth as he gave the Dem response. No one remembers what he said, but they do remember that substance.

Now this inexperienced Socialist-airhead from the Bronx who claimed a rough upbringing only to have forgotten her silver-spoon childhood comes along.

Here on the west coast, in Seattle, a socialist mayor and city council has tried to push egalitarian policies regarding wages and taxation, allthewhile dealing with a pervasive homeless population that is tainting the city and its reputation. Their policies have gotten a stiff rebuke from Amazon and Microsoft and so their ironfisted will has itself been crushed and they have yielded to these business behemoths. They will be ousted very soon. As will the wannabe-socialists up and down the west coasts. If they are not...we are talking mass exodus and floundering economies.

So b is right that the centrists will prevail but it is mostly because the left is lost right now. Can't drum up a unified beat to march to for the life of them.

At least DJT tapped into what must be done to save this country, irrespective of his actual will and desire to get there (which I believe is being hampered by both sides of the aisle).

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 22, 2018 4:37:25 PM | 25

Does this not come down to a fight for the BRAND - DNC? The establishment wants to keep the "donors" (same as the Rs) and millions rolling in so they support their interests and try to freeze out progressives.

It's like an invasion, what happens the next day? The progressives take over the DNC, then the donors depart and the DNC brand is the worth about as much as the Green brand.

The problem is that the entire system of Western Liberal Democracy is corrupted entirely and clearly an unmitigated failure.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jul 22, 2018 4:41:15 PM | 26

The so-called "insurgents" are no such thing. That's a standard Democrat scam to keep potential apostates roped in. Bernie Sanders always has been a con artist. Not that it's any secret: His entire senate record is of worthless grandstanding and zero real monkey-wrenching or grid-locking action.

As for his campaign, from day one he proclaimed he was a loyal Democrat soldier and that he would support Clinton and do all he could to deliver his supporters to her. He dutifully kept that promise. Along the way and since the 2016 election he's done zero toward building any kind of grassroots alternative. That's because he never intended to be part of any real alternative in the first place. And that's why the DNC always has supported his "independent" senate campaigns - he does an excellent con-job on behalf of their agenda.

And today he's fully on board with the Russiagate campaign, doing all he can to rope in "progressives" who might be having doubts about the anti-Russia lunacy. His usual job.

As for the latest wave of progressive heroes, for just one typical example I'll observe that Ocasio-Cortez immediately after her primary win lost no time scrubbing the anti-war plank from her site and publicly retracting her previous statements on behalf of the Palestinians. The Democrat con always runs like clock-work.

And as the post describes, with Russiagate the fake insurgents provide a new service to the Party: To serve as bogeymen for internally-directed Party propaganda, as an organizational vehicle to "get out the vote" among establishment loyalists.

There's no way forward with the Democrat Party. It always has been a death trap for all progressive, let alone radical aspirations. The Party and its partisans must politically perish completely, as a prerequisite for any good transformation of America.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 22, 2018 4:53:40 PM | 27

@23 said:"the left needs a fire-breathing populist demon. what they have is a pleasant bartender from the bronx."

Absolutely, but it won't happen. The malignant billionaires have won the battle.

b, you nailed this one..

The Kochs, The Mersers and the Adelsons with R. Murdoc own the whole system now.

Workers, bend over!!

Posted by: ben | Jul 22, 2018 5:39:16 PM | 28

I used to have great admiration for Scott Horton for his intrepid reporting on Gitmo and the War on Terra during the Bush era, so it's very sad to see how he deep has fallen into silly Neo-McCarthyian group-think.

I don't think much of Trump as a person or as a politician. But I think he's great as a trickster performance artist, doing what used to be the task of the 20th century avant-garde: shocking bourgeois complacency. And boy, is there a lot of that around these days. Trump is 21st century Dada.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Jul 22, 2018 5:53:44 PM | 29

#20
My thought also.

Good shut out to Lambert and NC

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 22, 2018 6:02:50 PM | 30

The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier. To be a truly modern Progressive: one must 1st be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others of all stripes--even terrorists (not imitation state-sponsored mercenary terrorists); and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the #1 promoter of inequality. As you might imagine, by that set of criteria there are very few Modern Progressive Politicians in any nation at any level of government--certainly an endangered species within the Outlaw US Empire. Bernie Sanders is not even close to being a Progressive of any sort as he supports and promotes Militarism and Apartheid. The actual differences between his political stances and Hillary Clinton's is really very small--health care and social security are the only two with large gaps.

But there appears to be much happening at the grassroots nationally and the next 2 months will see lots happening--but how will it be reported locally and nationally is my main concern. Insurrections are being aimed at a great many Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats. IMO, this off-year election will be the most important for the planet ever as the stakes are very high. IMO, the key factor is if Russiagate's still in play or will it finally be slain by November.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 22, 2018 6:15:35 PM | 31

True progressives and populists (which characterizes a lot of Trump supporters such as myself) have a lot more in common with each other than with the Centrist Democrats and Beltway Republicans (A.K.A. Cuckservatives.) If we could only dispense with all the BS identity politics, we could join forces.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Jul 22, 2018 7:13:03 PM | 32

Posted by: William Fusfield | Jul 22, 2018 3:00:18 PM | 13
(Comment lost after Timeout)

Some wag once said "Experience is a good school, but the fees are high."

You can easily bulletproof your draft comment by right-clicking in the comment box and choosing Select All from the menu. That hilites the entire draft. Right click again and select Copy. You can then safely refresh the page knowing you've preserved a copy.

All you really need to do is back arrow and refresh. I've never had a draft erased by refreshing. But then again I usually refresh AFTER copying..

Also Undo (in the right click menu) can usually recover accidentally deleted text.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 22, 2018 7:54:44 PM | 33

Wow - Comey, the guy that fixed Hillary's email problem has an urgent centrist plea.

"Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership."

https://twitter.com/Comey/status/1021132108381683712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Posted by: daffyDuct | Jul 22, 2018 8:52:56 PM | 34

Seeing as Russia is meddling and supporting the Republican Party, and Trump is trying to stick it to China, Iran and Venezuela; the latter three should get together and meddle on behalf of the Democrats, to even the playing field, after all, Obama made the deal with Iran.

Unfortunately, aside from the Iran deal China, Iran and Venezuela can't count on any party in the U.S. duopoly overridden by Zionists. Maybe they can count on the Left of the Party that shuns aggressive, interventionist foreign policy.

Seriously, the Democrats have not learned any lessons after railroading Bernie Sanders. Unlike Republicans, with their tea party wing, Democrats always throw their Left wing under the bus to attract Republicans and the Left rightly returned the favor by staying home or voting for Stein.

Democrats will never learn, therefore, more Trump karma will prevail.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 22, 2018 9:46:06 PM | 35

The Democrats can win if they move center on some domestic issues (except health care where premiums should go down and big pharma should be forced to reduce their drug prices) and move to the Left of Trump on foreign policy.

Stop funding Israel Apartheid State and Saudi Arabia's war crimes; reinstate Iran deal; eliminate some tariffs; eliminate/reduce them on China, get out of Syria, keep improving direct talks with North Korea and Russia, reduce military bases everywhere, remove sanctions on Russia and start talking solutions regarding Ukraine and Syria. Stay clear of regime-change schemes. Improve trade with Cuba. All this for starters.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 22, 2018 10:03:19 PM | 36

Looks like Comey got the anti-socialist Democrat centrist message, too (Twitter).

https://twitter.com/comey/status/1021132108381683712?s=21

...truly amazing to see these spooks & shills simultaneously grasp onto & regurgitate the same talking points and messaging.

Posted by: Myrna | Jul 22, 2018 10:56:09 PM | 37

@36 I get your point Circe and it would be nice to see some real change. But seriously....do you think the Democrats could win an election with that kind of platform? It sounds too radical even for California.

Posted by: dh | Jul 22, 2018 11:12:48 PM | 38

Re: Posted by: William Fusfield | Jul 22, 2018 3:00:18 PM | 13

Seriously Bill?

It's always prudent anywhere on the web to always "Ctrl-A" then "Ctrl-C" whenever you're commenting on anything anywhere.

Certainly not merely pertaining to this fine website!

Are you new to this thing called the Internet buddy?

Posted by: Julian | Jul 22, 2018 11:38:49 PM | 39

I've finally completely run out of synonyms for "bat-shit-crazy" - to use in my admittedly less than enthusiastic attempts to discuss and reference our current two year long group-tug Russiagate idiocy. Oh, wait, if I just add a few modifiers I can get: "Surreal-post-reality-psychedelic-bat-shit-crazy = Russiagate!" Yeah, I think that works. That's all I've got.

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Jul 23, 2018 12:45:17 AM | 40

"Progressives" are signing on to the new McCarthyism as well. They'll probably be flogging it hard to inoculate themselves from the smear that they're Putin agents. They've also buried the better parts of their platform beneath identity politics open borders nonsense. My guess is that they're setting themselves up to lose like the Clintonites, just for different reasons.

The only sensible words from any MSM talking head I heard over the last week of Russia hysteria were from Senator Rand Paul.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 23, 2018 5:11:55 AM | 41

US Congress elections '18

Unlikely major difference among candidates on the 'Russian meddling' issue. Nobody is going to stick his (own) neck or contradict intelligence opinion. In July'17, only 5, out of roughly 500 combined, voted against. Sanders was one of the two senators against, but it was because of Iran, not Russia, as he stated on video to explain his vote.

In the longer run (like 3018 or so) things are stacked on the side of Democratic left, but not because of Russia, rather that scaled robotization will increase unemployment and, unless something is done, inequality; on the other hand, ronotization will create opportunity to give more free time and/or some basic guaranteed income, or employment. Without doing it, either many people will be excluded altogether, as there is no real need in them being employed; or essentially enslaved in a bubbled up economy producing artificial imaginary values, mostly for the sake of more paper money for the 1%

Posted by: Don Karlos | Jul 23, 2018 6:02:56 AM | 42

The neoliberal ‘progressives’ and their bankster mates are becoming rattled

To begin, the sell-out progressives in the social democratic movements around the world, have began to articulate a new narrative. I should add that articulate would imply it was articulate, which is to give what is going on too much credence.
More of a guttural rant out of fear of losing relevance.

You heard it from the Blairite progressive traitors when Jeremy Corbyn was overwhelmingly elected British Labour Party leader.
We heard it during the French national election when Jean-Luc Mélenchon broke from the Socialist Party to run under the banner of La France Insoumise.
And the decibels have been rising in recent weeks since the New York Primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
...
The spokesperson, by the way, was one “former Goldman Sachs banker-turned-Congressman” (Jim Himes), and the story came out of the “Opportunity 2020 conference” which has focused on the “fears that Democrats might embrace too strongly an agenda pushed by those like Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont who sought the Democratic nomination in 2016, hurting them among the more conservative districts and states they need to win to retake power in Washington”.
...
All these progressive traitors are running scared because the idealists are getting the headlines and derailing their cosy plans to regain power after stuffing up monumentally by supporting Hillary Clinton’s tilt at the White House.

The Time Magazine also presents some curious arithmetic.
On the one hand, we read that leftists haven’t done very well anyway (they cite a case where a “far-Left” candidate lost a 2017 primary for Governor in Virginia

Note that the Virginia governor candidate (so-called “far-Left” candidate) was attacked by NARAL pro-choice America because he had voted to prohibit federal funding for abortions under the Affordable Health Care for America Act. That is “far-Left” in the US.
...
And what about this Third Way organisation who hosted the “Opportunity 2020 conference”. Who are they?

The Washington-based (DC) organisation claims its purpose it to advance “center-left” ideas in the American political context through “high-impact advocacy campaigns” which they hope will change “how Democrats view the shape of their next electoral majority” (Source).

Apparently, Third Way released its latest report at the Conference which was the result of “a year-long assessment launched after the 2016 election”.

Media coverage of the Conference related that (Source):

Included in its report were a dozen big-picture policy recommendations — such as adopting a robust apprenticeship program and expanded unemployment insurance to help workers find new jobs — and encouragement to bypass talk of income inequality for an emphasis on creating opportunity.

The participants at the Conference were urged to drop any reference to “moderate” in favour of promoting themselves as “opportunity Democrats”

So these “opportunity Democrats” don’t want to use frames such as income fairness because that might reinforce voters attention on the dramatic increase in income inequality in the US.
...
I read an article in The Nation (December 11, 2013) – Third Way: ‘Majority of Our Financial Support’ From Wall Street, Business Executives – that discussed how this centre-left organisation were attacking Senator Elizabeth Warren about her policies to rein in Wall Street excesses and how the group were funded by Wall Street executives.
...
Last Tuesday, Bernanke, the former central banker, and two former US Treasury Secretaries (Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner) attended a “roundtable” and claimed that the GFC was the result of policy makers allowing the:

… financial system outgrow the protections we put in place in the Great Depressions and … made the system very fragile and vulnerable to panic …

Loose banking regulations and excessive risk-taking helped plunge the U.S. into its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Their mission it seems was to warn again the abandonment of the Dodd-Frank Act that Obama introduced to deal with the banking crisis.

There is on-going outrage about this relatively weak piece of legislation from various banking and ‘freedom’ lobbies, many of whom claim the Act pushes up costs for banks and therefore destroys jobs.

The argument amounts to saying that the jobs are disappearing because corruption, criminal behaviour and other types of misconduct.
Sure, that is the point.

The more apposite criticism of the Act is that it was tepid and doesn’t rein in the Banksters sufficiently.
...
So why are these three economists spreading these falsehoods?

They want to leverage opinion against Trump presumably. At least Bernanke knows there are no intrinsic financial limits to government spending in the US.

And that is even when we consider the debt limit hoopla that the politicians tease each other with from time to time.

Posted by: c | Jul 23, 2018 6:30:09 AM | 43

William @13

Too bad that happened to you. Try composing your messages either on your device, or on a simple online editor like editpad.org. BTW the median comment size on this site is about 150 words long, and very few are more than 300, so a relatively short timeout for the comments window makes sense.

Pretend you're writing a 240 char tweet, without the snark.

Posted by: rackstraw | Jul 23, 2018 9:09:48 AM | 44

The obvious and very simple platform for the 'left' is to combine foreign and domestic policies by pointing out that a reform programme- Universal health care, free education, renewed social security and welfare safety nets, early retirement, infrastructure renewal etc becomes immediately practical by slashing the Pentagon budget and easing Israel off the taxpayer's teet, putting an end to those 800 bases and bringing the troops home
Imperialism is expensive and the cost to the working class of the imperial centre is permanent.
If they want a slogan how about "Make America a Great Place to Live Again" ?

Posted by: bevin | Jul 23, 2018 11:34:23 AM | 45

Obviously, it was Russia's strategy to have Hillary Clinton run to destroy the Democratic Party, right?

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 23, 2018 11:49:34 AM | 46

I am now thoroughly disenchanted with your website [...] only to be told when attempting to post it that my session had "timed out" and that I should thus "reload and repost" it to which I answered the box "O.K." only to discover that by doing so my entire comment, and frankly it was one of my more significant ones, had been instantly erased. [...]
Posted by: William Fusfield | Jul 22, 2018 3:00:18 PM | 13

Few answers.

1. Welcome to the real world of vicious capitalism. The purpose of free software (and the bulk of paid software) is to force you to buy more hardware. E.g. by making you smash your laptop/keyboard/screen, for you it is an aggravation and a loss, for "them"...

2. The feature of MoonOfAlabama that you observe is rather unique. Is b getting paid to use this atrocity, was he duped, or he designed it himself, not aware of the consequences?

3. To avoid "fool me twice", save the current un-posted comment using a proper drop-down menu or a shortcut -- in MacOs it is [command]c, only then reload the page and past the saved stuff in the comment window -- in MacOS use [command]v.

While I did not see an identical annoying feature on other sites with comments, there are others, I suspect that "widgets in software in which you specify comments window have cryptic and unhelpful documentation, but this is a mere speculation.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 11:53:30 AM | 47

sorry for "past the saved stuff in the comment window"

paste

OTOH, comment readers (perhaps ALL readers of this website) should have some spelling/grammar correction ability.

Further from the topic, I read that machine translation now uses neural networks and other advanced method so I tested again

krew zalewa dziewczyny -> blood pickle girls

Correct translation -> girls are [very] angry

So while advanced concept are used, the grammar is not -- zalewa may mean "liquid used to submerge, e.g. marinate" or "[it] pours over [with the purpose of possibility to cover completely]", so correct literal translation is "blood pours over girls"

And no list of idiomatic expressions seems to be in use either.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 12:03:19 PM | 48

@0use4msm "I used to have great admiration for Scott Horton for his intrepid reporting on Gitmo and the War on Terra during the Bush era, so it's very sad to see how he deep has fallen into silly Neo-McCarthyian group-think."

Last time I looked more than one living person went by the name Joe Smith.

You are mixing up two different Scott Hortons.

Posted by: b | Jul 23, 2018 12:12:27 PM | 49

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 12:03:19 PM | 48

It is possible that your use of Polish is outdated. Or that Polish is not the language Google Translate concentrates on.

When I put a complex text from a German website through Google Translate, the result in English is quite impressive.

You can always trick a machine as they lack human context. It will take a long time before a machine can cope with irony.

But whenever humans do normal stuff, a machine can do it better.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23, 2018 12:51:43 PM | 50

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23, 2018 12:51:43 PM | 50

When I put a complex text from a German website through Google Translate, the result in English is quite impressive.

How do you know that the result is impressive? You know German so you can compare?

Posted by: hopehely | Jul 23, 2018 2:04:40 PM | 51

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 12:03:19 PM | 48

krew zalewa dziewczyny

I am not a Polish speaker, but the sentence above does not seem quite right. The sentence has Subject-Verb-Object form, shouldn't the third (object) word be in accusative case instead of nominative?

Posted by: hopehely | Jul 23, 2018 2:19:17 PM | 52

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 12:03:19 PM | 48
krew zalewa dziewczyny

I am not a Polish speaker, but the sentence above does not seem quite right. hopehely | Jul 23, 2018 2:19:17 PM | 52

I have a dim idea what is "accusative", in Polish there is "biernik", and for noun dziewczyna (girl, also, girlfriend), "mianownik" (nomitative) is the same as "biernik" (accusative?) in plural. To get the correct ending you need to select properly one of the four tables. This is what makes Russian easy to learn, they use the same four tables, although the endings are merely similar. There are also exception groups that match etc., in other words, Russian grammar is very easy.

In any case, there exists a blood sausage but no blood pickle that is suggested by a machine translator.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 4:11:32 PM | 53

For example, “the Moon of Alabama” site offers an intelligent interpretation of the Trump strategy, which sounds infinitely more plausible than “the story”. In short, Trump is trying to woo Russia away from China, in a reverse version of Kissinger’s strategy forty years ago to woo China away from Russia, thus avoiding a continental alliance against the United States

http://www.unz.com/article/mass-dementia-in-the-western-establishment/

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 23, 2018 4:18:16 PM | 54

Interestingly, nobody bothered to critique my definition of a Modern Progressive @31. Don't know whether to be shocked, surprised or saddened.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23, 2018 4:26:04 PM | 55

@ karlof1 who has time to be shocked, surprised or saddened

I can only speak for myself but want you to know that your comments are appreciated even if I don't follow all the links.

I think TPTB are winding everyone up for something so if they crank up the MSM output then there is less time to pause and observe.......lots of brainwashing out there is very prevalent or we would not be where we are.

Thanks again for your contributions to MoA comments

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 23, 2018 4:55:01 PM | 56

@55 karlof1

I definitely appreciated your defining of the term "progressive." I thought it was worded well enough to go beyond the generic understanding of the term and had a lot of merit. I will read it again.

That being said...many comments go unchallenged or even acknowledged. But we know that b's blog has incredible reach and seems to be growing all the time. We should know that contributions are being looked at by a lot of eyes and so are being internalized. But we don't always have to challenge, critique, or offer rebuttals for everything that is posited. That would be exhausting!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 23, 2018 5:05:00 PM | 57

karlof1 asks for critique...

I remember Andy Rooney talking about his misgivings to "New, improved!" attached to consumer products. Among others, he showed a box with "New color, red!" and grumpily commented "Red is not a new color!".

In our contect, ca. 100 years ago Progressives could be anti-war, and so they should be today. Forefathers were idiots on some issues, but on that point they were wise. The same with "Pro-Justice".

And the same with not trusting the "intelligence officials" as to who is a terrorist who does not deserve a free trial, humanitarian concern etc. Recall Sacco and Vanzetti, or "terrorists" courageously gunned down by Chicago police at Haymarket in 1886.

I want Progressives who face the issues of 21st century, some of which are the same as 100 years ago, resistance to militarism, red (Russian) scare, kangaroo justice. "Modern" is not always the most enticing adjective.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 5:11:18 PM | 58

@#32
>If we could only dispense with all the BS identity politics, we could join forces.
Why do you think neolib dems push that line so hard? Because they really, truly care about trans rights and microagressions?

Posted by: Iguanabowtie | Jul 23, 2018 5:24:48 PM | 59

Karlofi @ 31: By your definition of a Modern Progressive Politician, the Syrian President Bashar al Assad might come close to being such a creature.

At a time when Syria had come under attack from foreign terrorists, in 2012 the country put a revised constitution (in which the Ba'ath Party was no longer the leading political party and 7-year terms with a maximum of one re-election were imposed on the presidency) to referendum. Voters approved the changes and the new constitution was adopted in February 2012.

Consider that during periods of war and emergency, most governments impose limits on (or withdraw) people's political rights and freedoms and/or arrogate more powers to themselves, and what the Syrian government did in 2011 - 2012 looks quite extraordinary.

On top of that, the Syrian government has offered amnesty and reconciliation to those terrorists who willingly surrender and give up their arms. Even those who refuse to surrender at least have the option of going into Idlib province (where no doubt they eagerly await resettlement in Canada - preferably in an area where the spiritual and moral descendants of WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera live, so they can all "amicably" settle any disputes that may arise among them) if they want to stay alive. Whereas in most other situations the very idea of amnesty and reconciliation is never even considered.

In the past, Assad may not have been a Modern Progressive but who is to say in the future (and now that a former economic advisor Abdullah Dardari seems to be out of the way in Lebanon) that he will return to neoliberal economic "reforms" that weakened Syria and set it up for regime change?

Posted by: Jen | Jul 23, 2018 6:33:46 PM | 60

@59
Identity politics has always had an elitist undercurrent. It mainly gets support from academics, media, and bureaucrats, and their allies at the top of the power structure. Its original targets were the base of the old New Deal coalition in the Democratic Party. IP is now used to further policies that attack economic equality. It provides a ready-made pretext for bureaucratic power plays. It was even used as a smear against Sanders supporters. The left's failure to recognize the tremendously destructive effect of IP has been their downfall.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 23, 2018 6:35:00 PM | 61

These centrists are the ones who are really helping Trump. Aren't they the real 'Russian agents'?
Yes, and all Pootie has to do to twist their negative identities is fund the real news.

Posted by: Indian Jones | Jul 23, 2018 6:51:41 PM | 62

...
2. The feature of MoonOfAlabama that you observe is rather unique. Is b getting paid to use this atrocity, was he duped, or he designed it himself, not aware of the consequences?
...
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 11:53:30 AM | 47

I don't know what you're talking about. Could that be because you don't either?
Some time after commiserating with 'William Fusfield' I ran into the timeout message after composing a comment. I clicked on the OK box in the message (which I've always assumed to be the intended response), the massage closed, I followed my Standard Operating Procedure for this situation and posted my intact and unsullied comment.

Imo, and in retrospect, William Fusfield's gripe doesn't ring true. Forgetfulness, or something else? However we can agree that the "feature you observes is rather unique."
Unique to William Fusfield?

Also, I can't fathom the basis of your insinuation "Is b getting paid to use this atrocity, was he duped, or he designed it himself, not aware of the consequences?"
The propriety system b has adopted as a platform for MoA works just fine in all significant respects (and Good Enough will always be good enough).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 23, 2018 7:03:13 PM | 63

As you may know, Hoarsewhisperer, I sometimes joke, so no, I do not think that b was paid to cause misery, smashed keyboards etc. That said, timeout feature is rather unique and I also lost the text a few times. Not loosing a longer text is at times tricky because to save it you need to highlight it using scrolling, you may need to try a few times.

I like most the comment version when you do not have "timeout" and when you can edit the comment after posting, e.g. for 15 minutes. Other version allows only for deleting. In any case, the "demerit" experienced by Fusfield and myself has a rather easy work around so it is not significant.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 7:35:06 PM | 64

Thanks for the replies! They're appreciated since the definition of Progressive is very much being attacked/adopted by those far from being real Progressives. I've struggled to come up with another word to represent those attributes, Social Democrat being another equally abused term. Economic Justice was a possibility. But I must admit having a soft spot for Progressive Populist given its strong historical pedigree as the only real democracy movement other than MLK's Civil Rights Movement. Based on his 2013 Valdai Club Speech, Putin marks himself as a Progressive, which is also possibly the most detailed description I've ever read of what defines a Progressive and the policies a Progressive would pursue.

I'd like to set forth the idea that the Neocon and Neoliberal philosophies are offshoots of Fascism in that they're fundamentally anti-democratic--politically, economically and socially--militaristic and seek the subjugation of the vast majority by those deemed to have superior attributes; and despite the rhetoric, their actions prove their deep antipathy to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights--Obama's "Rainbow" being one of this century's Big Lies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23, 2018 7:48:23 PM | 65

@59 Identity politics has always had an elitist undercurrent. [...] The left's failure to recognize the tremendously destructive effect of IP has been their downfall.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 23, 2018 6:35:00 PM | 61

I would put accents differently. First, "elite" is also used as "identity marker", "I am true Z-ian because in spite of excellent schools I attended I speak in incomplete sentences, I view science as an anti-Capitalist plot, I will do my best to eliminate abortion etc." And it is not progressive to return to good old days when gay people lived in the closet and Negroes were not uppity.

That said, the central issues are economic one, are we for dog eats dog or some humanization and augmentation of the "raw capitalism"? A decent mix of economic issues is as vital in Massachusetts as it is in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The poisonous aspect of "identity politics" is that it is used instead solving problems that beset 90% across the country (IMHO, upper 10% is doing OK if not as well as the top 1%). Of course, the reverse form of "identity politics", like catering to the worst instincts of the rednecks, is at least as toxic. All groups have "identities" and they are played.

I would not begrudge liberals their shiboleths if their priorities were not upside down. My favorite example is a story from Fresno, California, where a "white trash" person felt depressed while drunk and a bit stoned, went to the country hospital, was not admitted to he finally fell asleep on a sidewalk near the hospital, a misdemeanor. Police found him, and unleashed a dog to check him out, he was "non-cooperative" so they proceeded to beat him until he would become sufficiently cooperative. Second police car joined, at least six policemen were using batons on him and then he expired. NYT mentioned the story, founding "particularly disturbing" the fact that police confiscated cell phones of nearby folks who tried to film it.

However disturbing that aspect was, I was most disturbed that police can beat a person to death with total impunity. Coroner found that death was from natural causes, the dead guy was overweight and had high blood pressure, and indeed, a documented case of beating a person in an American base in Afghanistan showed that it may take two days of beating to end in death rather than 10-15 minutes, so a healthier person could survive. That is manifestly not the standard applied to civilians causing death. And it was very disturbing to me that Obama's Department of Justice did not found any causes to prosecute the killers.


Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 23, 2018 8:16:19 PM | 66

"Identity Politics" is a two-way street. Otherwise, it wouldn't serve the purpose of dividing us. The "liberal" MSM mostly presents one side of it, and so the other side (Christian Identity, White Identity, Patriot Identity, Male Identity, Hetero Identity, etc. etc.) is made to feel like the underdog.

It's quite brilliant, really.

Sometimes I sum it up this way, "After 500 years of world domination, I finally became a middle-aged white male, just in time for that to become an oppressed minority."

Perhaps not surprisingly, I've had many a white male strongly agree when I say that. LOL.

So then I'll add, "Don't you wish you were born a poor, black lesbian so you could take advantage of all the great perqs they get?" And I swear, not once has any of those enthusiastic oppressed white men had a single word to say. Any takers, or can we just agree that IP is a tool of oppression of all of us?

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 23, 2018 10:39:54 PM | 67

Nicely done, Jen @60.

Oksana Boyko, on her RT show, Worlds Aapart did a terrific interview with the head of the UN panel looking into war crimes in Syria. Oksana is quite the pit bull, and she handles this one really well. It boils down to, it’s pretty obvious the UN has deliberately structured this “investigation” so as to find President Assad guilty, and ignore the role of the many foreign sponsors of terror.

Justice or jaundice? Catherine Marchi-Uhel, head of the UN Intl, Impartial & Independent Mechanism

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 23, 2018 10:48:00 PM | 68

I, too like sites where I can edit comments after they've posted. And those who have read a few of my comments here can understand why. ;-)

But I've also seen people go back and fundamentally change their comment after having been shown to be completely off base. The same is spades for being able to delete comments.

So, I'm trying to get better at doing my proofreading before I hit "Post," and sometimes even considering the content of the comment first. Sometimes.

I vote for b keeping this the way he's set it up.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 23, 2018 10:58:08 PM | 69

@Jen 60
Not to take anything away from President Assad, but what is happening in Syria is very much a Putin initiative. This is what happened in the second Chechen war. Amnesty and reconciliation combined with the destruction of outside forces/ideologies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 23, 2018 11:11:07 PM | 70

What a great post! I enjoy reading each words of your article hotmail login

Posted by: Kaity | Jul 24, 2018 12:40:06 AM | 71

@ b with his update ending with
"
The Democrats need a more radical message. They will have to either move left or sink into the same permanent minority status as many of the Social-Democratic parties in Europe have done.
"

I agree but don't expect any change because there is not enough momentum for such yet. BUT! What is real exciting is to read folks on both sides communicating about how they agree on dealing with private finance/Fed........I understand that the devil is in the details but 10 years ago this subject was forbidden in most circles and NEVER observed by both sides as the coalescing point that it may become......still my beating heart.

How many layers of manipulation will be pushed just to stir the pot so no good can come out?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 24, 2018 1:28:53 AM | 72

@ Peter AU 1 | 68

Not to take anything away from President Assad, but what is happening in Syria is very much a Putin initiative. This is what happened in the second Chechen war. Amnesty and reconciliation combined with the destruction of outside forces/ideologies.

Assad was doing reconciliation deals YEARS before Russia got involved. And even Russia's military involvement happened only after Iran convinced them. That said, Russia is doing a major part in "softening" terrorists with airstrikes and then playing as 3rd party negotiators, as not all terrorists are open to talking with Assad, and even less so with Iran.

P.S. Speaking of "Time out" and lost messages issue, before posting I always do Ctrl+C, and if post doesnt go through - refresh and Ctrl+V. Easy. Never had lost post the last few years.

Posted by: Harry | Jul 24, 2018 1:51:56 AM | 73

Ha! The farce escalates as Trump says Russia will meddle in election to help Democrats! Trump's now just as crazy as HRC and like her has become a walking/talking BigLie Projector. I never thought anyone could top George W. Bush's inanity and profound ignorance, but I think Trump has eclipsed him.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24, 2018 12:46:44 PM | 74

@74 Sounds like he's simply turning the tables. If they can constantly fling accusations at him from all sides with no evidence, maybe he figures he might as well do the same.

Posted by: Ash | Jul 24, 2018 1:03:36 PM | 75

Ha! The farce escalates as Trump says Russia will meddle in election to help Democrats!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24, 2018 12:46:44 PM | 74

If you take long historical perspective, "farce" was a vital genre since Ancient Athens. This genre, like many other, requires tropes, I guess "meddling" is as popular nowadays as "blackface" 100 years ago. As I noted the other day, in NYT Op-Ed, a member of the German chapter of The Borg, certain Wolfgang Ischinger (Germany's ambassador to the Court of St. James's from 2006 to May, 2008, now teaching in some obscure "school of government" in Berlin and presumably participating in some think tanks) postulates that "Europeans" should meddle with American Senate, using that exact term. Perhaps Amb. Ischinger only pretends to belong to The Borg while being a Putin's stooge with the mission to make "meddling" concept totally laughable.

On similar note, NYT has an article about importance of timing food intake wisely, and I must admit that I have to apply it also to reading NYT -- too much in one sitting can overwhelm my digestion capability. Thus when I read a report about "the latest Russian spy", Maria (a.k.a. Mariia) Butina, I read about her probably largest infraction: she shacked together with a "Republican operative" who was twice older (when she was 24, not THAT shocking), AND she referred to him disparagingly AND made him write her homeworks, I had to stop reading at this point. Oh, humanity! What a degradation! When a Russian agent dated James Bond (a) she was much better looking (b) praised Bond highly (kakoy kulturny = how sophisticated) and (c) did not request any demeaning tasks. Not only RF has the temerity to send spies to USA, but these girls are homely cheeky slackers.

Day later I resumed reading ready for even more shocking details. But there were none! Just a boilerplate about violating some obscure laws, apparently you have to register as a foreign agent before you request an American citizen to write a homework for you.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 24, 2018 8:20:27 PM | 76

Daniel @67: ... can we just agree that IP is a tool of oppression of all of us?

Yup.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 24, 2018 9:00:49 PM | 77

karlof1 @31: Bernie Sanders is not even close to being a Progressive of any sort

Once one recognizes this and the manipulations of the 2016 election by DNC-Hillary, it is not difficult to see Bernie as a 'sheepdog' for Hillary.

And once one recognizes that the Democratic Party nomination was a set-up, it should be possible to entertain the possibility that the Presidential race was a set-up. That "Trump was meant to win.

Yet few will go consider such a possibility. They can't believe that what appeared to be a well-fought, contentious race for President could be a set-up.

Even when I and others ADD evidence (in addition to the Democratic Party set-up) like: how the faux populist model of government works so well for the establishment (example: Obama's trickery), how the establishment conducts numerous psy-ops like "White Helmets", and how Trump's election set-up the good cop / bad cop negotiation to split Russia from China.

Several people here at MoA have written of the President as a figurehead of a permanent establishment and how personalities, identity politics, and Parties are distractions from that fact. Why don't more people see this?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 24, 2018 10:50:50 PM | 78

Jackrabbit @78--

Your thesis has merit; it's most interesting to see which interests are being served and which few are being served best. From that data, a leash might be drawn from Trump to his suspected handler and then that aspect of the thesis tested. I think it best to look at the domestic policy side for that data, as it's mostly business as usual with the overseas empire. With luck, the current apple cart will be upset in November, and a new dynamic emerge.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 12:08:23 AM | 79

Jackrabbit @78 asks, "Why don't more people see this?"

"it's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled"

~ attributed to Mark Twain

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 25, 2018 2:06:55 AM | 80

karlof1 suggests, "I think it best to look at the domestic policy side for that data, as it's mostly business as usual with the overseas empire."

Good point. I recently posted a link showing Goldman Sachs' profits have gone up 44% since Trump's Goldman Sachs Cabinet was confirmed. But I'd expect a broader coalition... or what Paul Simon called "a loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires."

In general, I suspect that any "Deep Event" requires at least the sign-off from a number of different interests.

Another place to look is who/what invested big in Trump... both politician Trump and the earlier businessman Trump. Those - or the ones that pull even their strings - would likely include those who groomed Trump and paved the way for his (s)election.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 25, 2018 2:16:43 AM | 81

Jackrabbit @78 asks, "Why don't more people see this?"

"it's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled"

~ attributed to Mark Twain

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 25, 2018 2:06:55 AM | 80

Especially since, with rare exceptions, you can't fool anyone who doesn't want to be fooled.

Americans who still vote for the Corporate One-Party or any fake "alternative" most definitely are not among the exceptions.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 25, 2018 2:45:54 AM | 82

Daniel @81--

Yes, it's that age-old adage: Follow the Money. I once coined the term Corporate Communism, which I thought better than Friendly Fascism, to describe the actual government-corporate dynamic as practiced within the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 10:58:32 AM | 83

Ah, karlof1; a fan of alliteration, I see. I've grown fond of Wolin's "Inverted totalitarianism." Have you read his "Democracy Incorporated?" I copied a PFD of it online, but didn't keep the url.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 25, 2018 8:08:26 PM | 84

Daniel @84--

I've my own copy but have only read snippets. Have you read/heard of Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, U.S. Intervention, and Hegemony, William I. Robinson, 1996? I found it very valuable along with David Korten's works, of which When Corporations Rule the World is best known, in order to explain events of the late 1990s and Neoliberalism to students. Typing promoting polyarchy into the Yandex search box gets you a link to a pdf of an International Relations article by Robinson discussing his book and events since its publication 20 years ago for which you don't need to have read the book to digest.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 8:34:10 PM | 85

karlof1. Chris Hedges was quite the fan of Wolin, and it was on his repeated recommendations that I read the book a few years back.

I haven't downloaded the Yandex software/app/whatever. What do you know about it? That is, who's behind it, what are its privacy features? ie. I didn't purge the goog just to open my 'puters to another trojan horse.

I did a couple of searches for that article, and though I found references to it, I couldn't find it. Can you drop a link? I'm not likely to read the whole book, but I'd love to read an even long-form sort of article by the author. Especially with the perspective of 2 more decades.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 25, 2018 9:20:56 PM | 86

I didn't download anything; I just made Yandex.com my homepage. To get the article, you'll need to type promoting polyarchy into the Yandex search box, and it'll be at the top of the returns. The "shortcut" is many many lines of code that b's software is likely to reject. The article's only 7 pages.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 9:56:43 PM | 87

karlof1 @79:

... a leash might be drawn from Trump to his suspected handler and then that aspect of the thesis tested.
I don't think it works like that. Trump is not a puppet, he's part of the team.

A better formalism would be "sponsorship". You don't get to be President without sponsorship by the most powerful interests related to foreign policy.

What are those interests? Well, EVERY presidential candidate in the last election pronounced complete and absolute support for the military and Israel (which would translate to US neocons?). These two interests are joined (in a secondary position) by commercial interests like energy and financial.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 25, 2018 10:33:18 PM | 88

Yes, "sponsorship" is fitting! Korten would certainly agree; Wolin too. Deep State Figurehead might be going too far with Trump, but that was certainly true for at least the past several decades. Regarding 2000's Judicial Coup, I always ask if Gore would have done anything differently since 911 was planned and prepared during Clinton/Gore. In retrospect, he behaved quite a lot like Sanders in his failure to challenge the results in Florida. I'd argue for Imperial Policy continuity since 1943 with just a few hiccups over the ensuing 75 years always accompanied by supportive/justificational Big Lies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 25, 2018 11:03:08 PM | 89

@ jackrabbit who wrote: "...Trump is not a puppet, he's part of the team."

I am not sure you can say that given we do not know who the other members of the team are.........

Your sponsorship term fits to the same degree my Apprentice plutocrat one does. In any case, Trump does not represent you, nor I.

I agree with karlof1 who argued "for Imperial Policy continuity since 1943 with just a few hiccups over the ensuing 75 years always accompanied by supportive/justificational Big Lies."

I would only add that we have discussed before that "Imperial Policy continuity" goes back centuries in one form or another and is powered by private finance covered by public myth and collusion with, at least, the Xtian religions that don't walk the talk of throwing the bankers out of the temple.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 26, 2018 12:46:31 AM | 90

A better formalism would be "sponsorship". You don't get to be President without sponsorship by the most powerful interests related to foreign policy


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Posted by: Xperia Stock Roms | Aug 15, 2018 6:11:05 AM | 91

I am not sure you can say that given we do not know who the other members of the team


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What are those interests? Well, EVERY presidential candidate in the last election pronounced

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Posted by: lara | Aug 15, 2018 6:53:54 AM | 94

A better formalism would be "sponsorship". You don't get to be President without sponsorship

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Posted by: foad | Aug 15, 2018 6:58:06 AM | 95

Especially since, with rare exceptions, you can't fool anyone who doesn't want to be fooled.

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Posted by: willium | Aug 15, 2018 7:00:51 AM | 96


I agree with karlof1 who argued "for Imperial Policy continuity since 1943 with just a few hiccups over the ensuing 75 years always accompanied by supportive/justificational Big Lies.

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Posted by: willium | Aug 15, 2018 7:02:48 AM | 97

the Xtian religions that don't walk the talk of throwing the bankers out of the temple.

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Posted by: Smruf | Aug 15, 2018 7:05:11 AM | 98

I am not sure you can say that


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