Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 18, 2019

How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party

The House Democrats continue to party on their Titanic voyage even as there are clear signs that the impeachment iceberg will sink them:

President Trump’s job approval rating has ticked up 6 percentage points since the Democrats' impeachment inquiry began, according to a new survey.

The Gallup poll released early Wednesday found Trump’s approval rating at 45 percent, up from 39 percent when the inquiry was launched in the fall. The new findings mark the third-consecutive increase in Trump's approval rating, Gallup noted.
Gallup’s new poll found that 51 percent of respondents say they oppose impeachment and removing Trump from office, an increase of 5 percentage points since the Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the impeachment inquiry into the president's dealings with Ukraine. By contrast, 46 percent of respondents now support impeachment and removal, down 6 points.

Not even the Democrats core supporters are enthusiastic about the step the House Democrats will take later today when they will vote to impeach Donald Trump:

Liberal groups organized more than 600 events from Alaska to Florida, following a familiar model of mass protest that has come to define the left during the Trump administration.
For all the passion among activists, the gatherings were notably smaller than many of the other recent mass protests ..
Some activists acknowledge that impeachment doesn't fire up people like life-and-death issues such as health care, guns or climate change.

The Democrats hope that by November 2020 the voters will have forgotten about impeachment and vote for Democratic candidates. But Donald Trump and other Republican candidates will take care that everyone will keep the issue in mind.

It is the reason why Trump's letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reads like an overlong campaign ad. Its content will be at the core of each of his campaign speeches. It is no holds barred but surprisingly factual.

Trump partisans are not the only to think that the impeachment articles the Democrats brought forward are astonishingly weak and not supported by the facts. The Senate will need little time to exculpate Trump.

So how did the Democrats get here? Trump's letter notes that talk about impeachment started as soon as he stepped into office:

Speaker Pelosi, you admitted just last week at a public forum that your party’s impeachment effort has been going on for “two and a half years,” long before you ever heard about a phone call with Ukraine. Nineteen minutes after I took the oath of office, the Washington Post published a story headlined, “The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun.” Less than three months after my inauguration, Representative Maxine Waters stated, “I’m going to fight every day until he’s impeached.” House Democrats introduced the first impeachment resolution against me within months of my inauguration ...

Since Trump stepped into office the Democrats were looking for something that would make him impeachable. The deep state delivered them Russiagate, the claim that Trump 'colluded' with the Russian government, by taking seriously an obvious fake dossier the Clinton campaign had ordered and paid for. FBI agents who hated Trump even faked FISA court certification submissions to be able to spy on the Trump campaign. They found nothing that supported the 'collusion' claims.

The FISA court is not amused about that:

"The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in an order published Tuesday.

For nearly two years the Democrats had hoped that the Mueller investigation would come to their help and deliver them the evidence they needed to impeach Trump. But Mueller did not deliver what the Democrats had hoped for. It turned out that the CIA and FBI driven Russiagate was a nothing-burger.

In 2018 eleven former intelligence and military operatives joined the House as representatives for the Democrats. This was presumably a planned invasion by the security state.

After the Mueller bubble had burst something else was needed to impeach Trump. The deep state delivered again.

A day after the Mueller act had played out Trump had a phone call with the new president of the Ukraine Zelensky.

A lunatic Lieutenant-colonel Vintman in the National Security Administration found that during the phone call Trump was not following the Colonel's preferred foreign policy. He informed a former colleague, the CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella, who then contacted two former colleagues who worked for the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff. They cooked up a scheme in which the CIA analyst would play a 'whistleblower' and accuse Trump of wrongdoing. When the legal review of the complaint within the CIA found that the 'whistleblower' had no case, the Schiff folks leaked the issue to the press to put pressure on the Trump administration to publish the complaint.

On September 23 2019 seven freshman Democrats published an op-ed in the Washington Post that called for impeachment.

CNN noted approvingly that all seven op-ed writers were (former) members of the security state:

The reason they made their announcement and explained their reasoning as a group, in an op-ed in The Washington Post, is because they had already formed a bond over their national security background -- especially the five women: Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, both ex-CIA officers; Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania who was in the Air Force; Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia were Naval officers.
The op-ed the women penned, along with Gil Cisneros and Jason Crow, two freshmen male veterans, opened the floodgates for others who had been resistant, and gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi critical political cover as she announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.

Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment. A day after the op-ed was published House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the opening of her 'impeachment inquiry'.

The 'whistleblower' claimed, solely based on hearsay and public sources, that Trump had pressured the President of the Ukraine during the phone call to deliver dirt on Joe Biden. His complaint was published and the deep state then used it to again push for impeachment.

Trump then ambushed Pelosi and the whole impeachment effort by declassifying and publishing the memorandum of the phone call in question.

Reading the memorandum it was immediately clear to us that the impeachment attempt was dead in the water:

The immediate impulse to start an impeachment investigation came from some whistle blower in the intelligence community who claimed that Trump did something nefarious during a phone call with the newly elected President of Ukraine Zelensky.

The White House published a memorandum of the phone call. The call was made on July 25 2019, a day after the final Robert Mueller testimony in Congress. There are two passages which the Democrats will claim are damaging:

...[analysis of the transcript]...

Trump asks for investigations and Zelensky assures him that those will happen. Trump applied no open pressure.
How the Democrats want to construct an impeachment out of this is beyond me.

It was therefore easy to predict this outcome that we are now seeing:

Pelosi has nothing. Six committees have investigated Trump issues but so far found nothing to charge him with. Nor did the Mueller investigation find anything damaging. How will combining all those nothing-burgers make an impeachment meal?
There is no case for impeachment. Even if the House voted for one the Senate would never act on it. No one wants to see a President Pence.

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

The current polls, quoted above, seem to support that conclusion. A majority of U.S. citizens reject the Democrats' impeachment act while Trump's approval rating is back at its previous top.

The actions of the deep state, and the Democrats falling for them, will cost them the 2020 election.

Russigate was a false story, invented by the CIA chief John Brennan with support from MI6. The Steele dossier was recognizable as an obvious fake as soon as it was published. But the FBI still used it. To find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russiagate the crooks at the top of the FBI went as far as to make false sworn statements to the FISA court. It did not help.

As soon as Mueller busted the Russiagate bubble the deep state cooked up a new issue. A Brennan man in the CIA colluded with Adam Schiff to create Ukrainegate.

Seven representatives of the security state then pushed Pelosi into launching the impeachment proceedings. Schiff again sprang into action by holding abstruse hearings in which some deep state minions were allowed to vent their antipathy to Trump and to Russia. The hearings exposed the sham for what it was.

It is unlikely that any Republican will vote today in favor of impeachment. No Republican senator will dare to vote against Trump.

Russiagate, Ukrainegate and the impeachment nonsense were all driven by members of the deep or security state. The Democrats have been riding on these issues while neglecting the real life-and-death issue of their voters - health care, guns or climate change. They will be punished for it. 

The Democrats would be well advised to distance themselves from those services that invited them to travel on the Titanic. They should remember that historically they have been far more often the victims of CIA, FBI or military overreach than the Republicans.

As the failure of this impeachment affair is imminent the deep state will likely try to cook up a new issue that it can use against Trump.

If the Democrats want to prevent the further sinking of their ship they must avoid becoming associated with it.

Posted by b on December 18, 2019 at 20:47 UTC | Permalink

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In the next episode of the 'good guy bad guy' show, the senate will probably block impeachment. The 'dems' are clearly more unhinged at the moment than the 'reps', but when the next episode is over they are all still going back to the same dressing room. The sad fact is that all of those idiots are paid employees of the same froup of foreign corporations which have bled this nation white, and they are still at it.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 19 2019 12:35 utc | 101

I wish b would stop claiming that Trump did nothing wrong in that phone call. What he did was blatantly corrupt. He used the power of his office to pressure a foreign leader to give him useful political dirt. But this kind of corrupt behavior is par for the course amongst American political 'leaders', and of course, not just American. For the same people to impeach Trump over this who refused to impeach Bush over far far far greater crimes is just so far beyond any boundaries of human sanity or decency. We have truly gone collectively mad. To make it all that much more mad, the Dems absolutely refuse to see that exposing Trump means exposing their own 'leaders' far far more egregiously corrupt doings in Ukraine. Essentially, Biden helped plunge a country into chaos and war so that his son could have a plush flow of graft. This wasn't just wrong. It wasn't just corrupt. It wasn't just venal. It was evil. And yet I saw a large crowd on the courthouse lawn last night calling for Trump's impeachment. It was the largest crowd I've ever seen there. These are supposedly the intellectuals, the 'adults in the room', society's leaders, society's conscience!!!!!!! They can't even figure out something as basic as that Ukraine reflects far worse on the Democrats than it does on Trump, even though Trump is certainly vicious and corrupt!

Posted by: paul | Dec 19 2019 12:46 utc | 102

This whole impeachment Ukrainegate business, as many have already pointed out, is as much of a farce as was Russiagate (not that the "Russia did it" meme has ever been dropped by the MSM nor by the well-educated Demrat supporters). And one shouldn't have to be a Strumpet supporter to recognize that.

Nor should recognizing that all along, aside from the Killary-DNC deep peeve at not winning the presidency (and, yes, according to the US presidency electoral rules, the Strumpet won - the Electoral College while losing the popular vote; but this set up was absolutely deliberate and has never been seriously challenged, let alone eliminated, by *either* party), the this whole charade has acted as very successful cover for the Demrat support for bills, over the past three years, which benefit their deep-pocketed cronies and foreign "friends." At the same time as has been mentioned several times above, these two charades have permitted the Congressional Dems to ignore those wants, needs that the 80-90% of the country's population desire: MFA, cheaper if not fully publicly funded education at all levels, a serious reduction of income inequality, large numbers of good, low rent social housing built across the country (jobs *and* affordable shelter as well as pressuring private property companies to reduce *their* obscene, ever increasing rental charges), and other infrastructure re-construction.

Instead, what do the Demrats do under cover of the two gates? Vote for a very nice reduction on taxation on the rich (including themselves, bien sur) AND vote (just recently) for an even BIGGER funding for the Pentagon et al for 2020... More $$$ going to the MIC, down the drain into who knows whose pockets, more pollution of the planet, more slaughter of peoples far from these shores who have done absolutely NOTHING to this country and simply want to live decent, peaceful lives while minding their own business, more support for that other execrable "state" based on ethnic-cleansing of the indigenous population, continued efforts at forcing the rest of the planet to bow and scrape before us.

Distraction and deflection - just like their friends and colleagues in the MSM, these prove very useful tools for those in political power to carry on as usual.

Posted by: AnneR | Dec 19 2019 12:56 utc | 103

josh 100

"From 'inside the box' this opera all looks very impressive. But, when you realize that it is a box, then step out of it..."

That's true of the entire Republican-vs.-Democrat farce. It seems real only to partisan devotees of the electoral cult. Reps and Dems are 99% identical in substance, yet the cultists are ready to throttle one another over that 1% of difference, same as how two religious sects might slaughter one another over whether the number of angels which can dance on the head of a pin is 36 or 37.

But to anyone outside the cult, it's self-evident that Reps and Dems are identical, and that only an idiot or a lunatic would think there's any difference.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 19 2019 13:15 utc | 104

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.
Works for me.
The Democrats have been riding on these issues while neglecting the real life-and-death issue of their voters - health care, guns or climate change. They will be punished for it.
In fairness, they only control the House at the moment, so there's really nothing they could do about those issues anyway. But for the record: the Democrats' stance on gun control and global warming aren't popular in much of the country anyway, and would be more a liability than a help.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Dec 19 2019 13:21 utc | 105

A modern state requires trained & experienced professionals to run it, these people cannot simply be changed out every time a new administration comes in. These career professionals have, however, come to be called the "Deep State" because they approach their task in light of the long-term interests of the nation and not just the short-term and personal interests of a particular President.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 19 2019 13:36 utc | 106

@106 surely you aren't including people like comey, brennan and mueller in your description, right? they don't care about the long term interests of the nation, just their own short term (and medium term, being generous) interests.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 19 2019 13:38 utc | 107

ralphieboy 106

"they approach their task in light of the long-term interests of the nation and not just the short-term and personal interests of a particular President."

Yes, the liars at the FISA court and fomenters of the Russiagate fraud were serving the long-term interests of the nation and not just the short-term and personal interests of a particular soon-to-be President Hillary Clinton.

Even if your anti-democracy ideology regarding how unaccountable bureaucrats see their interest were true, which historically and most of all today it is not (bureaucrats always seek the aggrandizement of their own bureaucracy far above any other thing), bureaucrats still would be analogous to a mechanic who works on your car - his only job is to make the car run well, but you'd never give him a say on how, where and why you drive it, let alone give him control of that.

But today the Democrats, corporate media, and anti-democracy technocrats everywhere are saying exactly that - the mechanic is the rightful maker of policy on how you drive your car.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 19 2019 14:32 utc | 108


Never have I seen such ignorance so proudly displayed. Did you skip civics in junior high? The electoral college rules in this republic. You need to quit calling those of us who believe in this republic "scum" and lay that epithet on your teachers who so obviously failed to educate you.

P.S. You might relay this to HRC who by her failure to campaign with the EC in mind, proved that she also didn't know Jack Shit about running for president.

Posted by: Morongobill | Dec 19 2019 14:49 utc | 109

I don't think it's going to get any better for the Democrats. Apparently Pelosi is now suggesting delaying passing impeachment articles to the Senate, in order to collect more 'evidence' against Trump's alleged malfeasance.

I predict that's an extra-ordinarily bad idea, all that does get closer to Barr and Durham's reports, which probably won't look good for the Democrat-inspired Russiagate project.

Russiagate, in my limited opinion, was an effort in misdirection. Look over here, at Trump, not the power-to-play Clinton private server, nor the DNC being taken over by the Clinton Foundation and shafting Sanders!

I think Ukrainegate is the same misdirection, eagerly abetted by largely Democrat-leaning mainstream media. Oh, look at Trump! Not at the Biden's, nor Obama's State Department apparatchnik's efforts.

Posted by: Ant. | Dec 19 2019 15:18 utc | 110

It is becoming more apparent to me that the impeachment process is at least partially intended to keep Sanders and Warren from campaigning prior to the Primaries.

Inasmuch as the US corporate media has put a news blackout on Sanders, the only way he and Warren have to get their message out is through public appearances, which are very well attended. As pointed out by Lambert Strether, who postulated in comments at Naked Capitalism, Warren and Sanders could be kept off the campaign trail locked in a Senate trial, stopping personal appearances in Primary states.

As he states the delay of sending it to the Senate is not a bug, but a feature.

Posted by: Michael | Dec 19 2019 15:20 utc | 111

b-you should have a pole on what party will hit rock bottom first...The British Labor Party or the Democratic Party. Both have mandates that support the people but neither follow it.
Both are sinking faster than a lead balloon and deservingly so....

Posted by: Dennis18 | Dec 19 2019 15:34 utc | 112

@ Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 19 2019 13:36 utc | 106

But that's the great contradiction of liberalism, isn't it? The fact that true democracy is objectively nocive to the capitalist system in the long run, which actually increases the necessity of its elites to double down on the democratic narrative in order to mobilize its masses to wage wars of anihilation against its geopolitical enemies.

The only two solutions to this inescapable contradiction are either nazifascism (barbarism) or revolution (socialism). In fact, the post-2008 capitalist world resembles a lot the post-1929 one: FDR was incapable of making the USA to bounce back from the 1929 structural crisis with his domestic policies; by 1937, America suffered another recession and it became clear to him the country wouldn't be able to get out of that mess. The USA only didn't descend into fascism because WWII came from the skies and saved his government and, with it, the capitalist world. They also had the extreme luck that the Third Industrial Revolution technology already existed since the 1920s, ready to be applied in an industrial scale in a war and post-war economy (the electronic technology).

Nowadays, the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are nowhere to be seen in an aplicable form (AI, nano, genetic engineering, nuclear fusion). My educated guess is that the capitalist world is waiting for them to develop enough so they can be industrially aplicable before declaring an open WWIII against Russia-China (or just China, if Russia is to fall to another Yeltsin type after Putin's death).

Posted by: vk | Dec 19 2019 15:37 utc | 113

I disagree with only one short sentence: "No one wants to see a President Pence." That's exactly what the myopic Democrats want.

Posted by: Larry | Dec 19 2019 15:55 utc | 114

The FISA court is secret. That is what one might expect of a court devoted to "foreign intelligence."

As a secret court, its cases are not made public, much less are its decisions published.

Yet this decision was published.

This is a big deal. Somebody is in big trouble. Probably several somebodies.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Dec 19 2019 15:55 utc | 115

Mark Thomason @ 115

Re the FISA court..a secret court
"Yet this decision was published."

I endorse your observations. Does it not signal and or strengthen Mr. Durham to bring criminal indictments garnished with a smidgen of treason?

How is it that people can be jailed for lying to the FBI, yet have the rogue guys walking free as enhanced millionaires from book deals, media analysts?

2020 may be dubbed "the year of abundant popcorn"

Posted by: Likklemore | Dec 19 2019 16:20 utc | 116

wether babylon is falling and drowning in its insanity, or... the real agenda is really to sink the dp, and get rid once and for all of that 2 parties bs, with only one flag : red with a black Q in a white circle.

Posted by: alain | Dec 19 2019 16:21 utc | 117

Although the phrase "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" is, IMO, overused, it is apt here. I guess Nero's alleged fiddling could be invoked,too. Do the people of the Dark State have in mind some desired outcome, say, a plan for how they intend the Empire to be revivified over five or ten years?

Because when I gauge the state of the Empire right now, particularly given the unprecedented, slow-motion crisis erupting in the repo market going on as I write this and which the Fed is furiously attempting to contain, the minions of Empire at the very top seem to have lost their f#ucking minds. The Empire has Stage 4, fully metastatic cancer in multiple organ systems, clearly incurable, and yet the priority is impeachment rather than damage control?

Posted by: c | Dec 19 2019 16:33 utc | 118

Likklemore #70

Apologies for going OT, but as a self-employed and knowing and being related to many self-employed tradespeople with families the individual mandate really p----d me off and I was glad to see your post! I will just say, briefly, yes, I do (now) recall the case resting on the Interstate Commerce Clause. Which seemed like a stretch at the time. The Texas court might just destruct the whole thing. Obamacare seems to have served a few OK, but I hear many, many complaints about it, the costs. I am just happy to be on Medicare. Not that I ever go to the dr. because even routine health care has become a nightmare in this country, egregiously padded at every turn.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 19 2019 16:43 utc | 119

If nothing else, the impeachment articles should - in a rational world - forever lay to rest Russiagate, as it included not a single charge from that particular Democrat-inspired hoax.

Posted by: Trisha | Dec 19 2019 17:04 utc | 120

more examination of the cia - fbi and there involvement in all this needs to come to light... b's article helps.. bringing the impeachment trail forward would also help..

Posted by: james | Dec 19 2019 17:30 utc | 121

Sanders and Warren call Trump "Most corrupt president in history" while ignoring the actual #1--Obama, who was far more deserving of impeachment, conviction, removal, then prison.

I interpret Gabbard's "present" votes as saying Trump ought to be impeached but not under the articles being submitted, although IMO voting No would've been more correct for two reasons: First, neither article of impeachment rises to the threshold necessary to invoke the process to begin with; thus secondly he's innocent of the charges contained in the Articles. As I've written all along, Trump's guilty of high crimes and ought to be impeached and removed--along with Pence--but the Ds will never author the proper Articles to properly impeach the pair and provide an actual chance they'd be removed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 19 2019 17:44 utc | 122

Thanks to b and everyone for covering this momentous Constitutional crisis.

I have a farout and preposterous theory I want everyone to consider. First, special thanks to Russ for his analysis at 19. I have kept what he says there in my mind as I come to the latest scenario, which is the possiblity hinted at by Pelosi that the House holds fire on sending impeachment articles to the Senate. Some have suggested that 'this' has failed so let them cogitate on what will be 'the next step' in an ongoing process.

Okay, here's my outrageous theory, so get the flak guns ready!

What if, and only if, BOTH parties are sick and tired of getting told what to do by the Deep State? What if BOTH are now bringing before the American public - in a similar fashion to what Trump has been doing - their own powerlessness and servility in the face of overwhelming brute force threats by the deep state which we have now seen on display in this impeachment process?

I am struck that Trump studiously avoided putting the blame on an underlying terror machine that we who have been following carefully knew all along was there, because the threats that machine poses are ubiquitous - gosh, we saw it ever since the century turned and war, war, war became the overweening thrust of odorous crud. This impeachment process may well be theatre of the absurd; but it reveals even to the most confused that the machine thinks it can still win the day. Here is what psychohistorian adds at 73:

"...I don't see the impeachment as being held up for too long as Durham will likely press on hard with his prosecutions and may even go after Biden for wire fraud or some such very soon. The minute Durham moves the demoncrazies will try to obstruct, They dont have much dry powder right now but then they are good at imagining things so they might try and manifest more powder. If speculation confirms that it is a kabuki hoax to kill their own leftish insurgency then that too will emerge mighty soon..."

See, much as I have myself lost faith in the Democrats, I don't see Pelosi as anything but a crafty politician. Why did she agree to this farce? And why would she wish to prolong it?

It might just be that she is hoping the people will see through it. It doesn't make much sense otherwise. If they do, and that's a big if - we have been struggling for a long time, as many of us have frequently remarked, to make our friends and neighbors "see". Do they now, or will they stay quiescent?

Posted by: juliania | Dec 19 2019 17:47 utc | 123

The Polemicist #79

Thanks for the link to your very thought-provoking article. Long but I think should be read.

If the Party (both wings) in Congress are planning a war with Iran in the spring, then preparations are already well under way and the train has "left the station," as someone stated in regard to the Iraq War. I am quite sure I have seen posts here at MoA regarding a recent US military buildup in the ME.

I wrote the following to someone else who posted this article:
"This scenario actually seems quite plausible.
I have read posts at MoA regarding US military buildup in the region.

American jews had better hang on to their hats, because if this war gets going and the USA is dragged in, there are going to be some very tough questions for Jews. Like, where does your loyalty actually lie? Why is this country going to war for your apartheid state?
And African Americans, both in the military and outside it, and all Americans of Arab ethnicity, will ask the same questions. And a lot of other Americans as well.
It will be more divisive than any war heretofore.
But such a war may also be the only way to break open the topic of Jewish/Zionist influence in the USA for discussion. Or, it may close the topic down even more (Jews =eternal victims) and that, too, may lead to a backlash.

But that narrative may not fly.
Either way, Jews will be seen as the reason for a stupid, avoidable war. All Israel really had/has to do is recognize the Palestinians civil and human rights, their rights to their own state, and settle its (Israel's) borders, forget about Eretz Israel. If Eretz Israel leads to a (US) war with Iran, the Israelis and their 'national Jewish state' deserve to be obliterated."

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 19 2019 18:08 utc | 124

I have to disagree with b on the subject of the "deep state" (the interagency consensus) being at odds with the DNC. The DNC is a full member in good standing in the ruling faction of the Western Empire. While their efforts may look at odds with each other, and actually may be temporary correct, the DNC the intelligence agencies, in fact every single key position in the US gov is occupied by an Imperial apparatchik.

The public conduct of the USG on orders from the controlling oligarchy has almost nothing to do with the people of the US and their needs.

The USG is a shell, like a shell corporation it is not there for any purpose other than to obscure where the real power lies.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Dec 19 2019 18:13 utc | 125

I noted earlier that the Impeachment charade is being closely watched globally and isn't making relations easier. Today's Global Times has an editorial that provides an example:

"The impeachment of Trump reflects the true face of American politics. Institutional flaws of Western-style democracy in recent years have increasingly been activated and expanded. The US is becoming growingly 'extreme' be it in domestic politics or on global stage. Other mainstream Western countries, to varying degrees, are 'Americanized.'

"Western countries such as the US used to act as stabilizers of the international order, but growing political polarization is turning them into a new source of instability in the world. Spillover from the US situation is inevitable.

"The US media [are] also clearly divide[d] in the partisan struggle over the Trump impeachment. The attitudes of these media toward foreign countries are similar to those of US political parties. It's said the US media are 'independent,' but their performance in fact is far from neutral and objective.

"We can hardly expect such US media to report on China based on rationality and facts. 'Snubbing facts and prioritizing stance' is infiltrating US politics and its inertia is enough to influence the attitude of American public opinion toward China." [All Emphasis Mine]

Editorials are usually the direct expression of China's Politburo. Today Putin held his annual presser which I'll go into more detail on the open thread. But on this topic, Putin responded:

"'As for continuing our dialogue until the end of Trump’s presidency, it looks like you are raising the issue that it is about to end. As for me, I am not sure of that. The Senate vote, where, as far as I know, the Republicans have the majority, still lies ahead. They will hardly want to oust a representative of their party from power for some trumped-up reasons,' Putin said.

"'This is just the continuation of the domestic political strife. The party, which lost the election, the Democratic Party, tried to achieve results through other means, accusing Trump of colluding with Russia. Later on, it turned out that there had been no collusion, so this cannot be the basis for impeachment. Now they are referring to alleged pressure on Ukraine. I don’t know what it is all about. Your members of Congress should know better,' the president added."

I'd say Putin has an excellent handle on the charade and isn't too troubled by it. Rather, he's likely more troubled by actions of the Senate, although Lavrov's mostly spoken about them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 19 2019 18:26 utc | 126

The impeachment circus is certainly a farce. I don't know if it is by design or by total and complete corruption.

Posted by: gold | Dec 19 2019 19:03 utc | 127

@ Ant. | Dec 19 2019 15:18 utc | 110

Apparently Pelosi is now suggesting delaying passing impeachment articles to the Senate, in order to collect more 'evidence' against Trump's alleged malfeasance.

The US led the Western Hegemony through the looking-glass in 2001. It's no surprise that Pelosi and her deranged cohort instinctively devolve to the Red Queen's understanding of law, due process, and logic:

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first—verdict afterwards.'
'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'
'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
'I won't!' said Alice.
Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. [...]

-- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

Strictly speaking, in Trump's case the "verdict" comes first; it's the "evidence", or fact-finding, that comes last.

Of course, like the Red Queen's terrified and frantic gardeners painting the roses red to "correct" the error of planting white rose bushes contrary to the Queen's wishes, in the Democratic Party "Resistance"'s case, the "evidence" must come last to allow the "evidence"-manufacturers every opportunity to ensure that their contrived product conforms to the established verdict.

Posted by: Ort | Dec 19 2019 19:07 utc | 128

So Trump's campaign is financed by Sheldon Adelson who winds up picking his cabinet. Upon being elected Trump cozies up to the insane psychopath crown prince of Saudi Arabia. He decides to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Declares he is allowing Israel to annex the Golan Heights and implies he is going to allow them to annex the West Bank. Could this whole circus have been organized by the NeoCons to benefit Israel? It is certainly more Israeli-gate than Russia-gate. Hell it isn't to hard to see who Trump is taking orders from. It certainly isn't Putin.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Dec 19 2019 19:08 utc | 129

Russ @ 104

When you combine fire engine red with royal blue, you get imperial purple .... bruises

Posted by: polecat | Dec 19 2019 20:08 utc | 130

Mitch 'Beijing' McConnell needs more ammo than this to play his passive-aggressive Brutus role in the play. Schiff created needless drama and in the end offered nothing. There's no greater Trump adversary in the Senate than Mitch. Trump's wrecking the Uniparty's business plan. This transcends the red/blue drapes and represents an existential assault.

To the system at large Trump is a Disruptive Agent: unvetted, exogenous, self-financed (mostly), unschooled (in the divided-sovereignty Double Government configuration of our government), then further aided in his blitzkrieg ascent by the accelerant of celebrity/name recognition.

In the parlance of Michael Glennon’s Double Government, Trump is a ‘Madisonian Institutions’ revivalist, in effect a ‘wise fool’ who can pretend not to acknowledge the emergence of the ‘Trumanite Network’ with the 1947 NSA Act (codified further with the Patriot Acts) and thus who can continue to behave as though the written Constitution did not cede an implicit, unwritten compartment of its authority to the National Security State (which it so clearly did).

The Security State can never be comfortable with Trump because he reached the Oval Office without their assistance (on the contrary, with their active opposition). He is not obliged to make extra-constitutional allowances. Schumer laid it all bare months ago when he chided Trump for his naivete and stupidity in going after the intelligence establishment AS THOUGH IT STILL EXISTED CONSTITUTIONALLY UNDER HIS PURVIEW. Big clue there, folks. Chuck rather incautiously let us all know the Security State is a discrete sovereignty unto itself.

One of Trump’s gifts is to play the wise bloviating fool in a manner that so incenses his opponents they seem to enact the worst parodies of themselves. That’s why I call Trump a wise fool, or perhaps a brassy (yet infinitely cannier) Manhattan version of Mr. Smith Comes to Washington.

Moon of Alabama has been all over Lindsey Graham for years. B's got his number alright. Unfortunately, the international alt community has been very slow to see Trump for the disruptive bonanza he clearly is. Not a panacea of course. Who is? Nonetheless a guy not willing to run into the arms of WW3 with the abandon of Hillster. Success must be counted in negative opportunity costs. It's been a half-decent three years, yes? Good, because it could have been a lot worse. No POTUS has the power to repeal WW3 altogether. That decision's taken at a much higher level on the planet. Count your days and your blessings.

“I’m going to tell the president, ‘no,’ to his witnesses request because I think what is best for the country is to get this behind us as soon as possible” -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (The Washington Examiner, link below)

Hang on Lindsey, that's not very Red Team of you. Remember, TV insists on the Red/Blue pantomime. Polish your lines and quit piercing the veil.

Don't get us wrong. We appreciate your concern for the nation an' all, but what's the sudden rush to get this "behind us as soon as possible?" And behind whom exactly? Behind We the People or behind the Quigleyan Uniparty? Many of We Peeps are relishing a rare front seat to all the behind stuff.

At this point Senate duplicity may be moot anyway as Pelosi is opting instead to suspend the entire impeachment proceeding over POTUS' head like a politicized Sword of Damocles. Why further expose the true mechanics of the system when you can suspend it in midair instead? Will the bloodthirsty Left buy her stall? Laurence Tribe and his fellow Bolsheviks at Lawfare want to let some judicial decisions flow through before they de-ice the proceedings and negotiate the Senate.

Trump's call for a protracted Senate trial has the Establishment once again tied in knots. Say what you will about his coarse style. POTUS has a knack for revealing the Wizard in the Oz control booth. Except he never pulls back the curtain. He doesn't have to. Time and again they do it for him.

The furiosity of the Deep State gyrations are becoming borderline comical. They've never had such a committed outsider inside the tent. This is a post-WW2 first. Even JFK was a well-versed military man and longtime public servant. Reagan, a genial fellow who couldn't fire anyone, acquiesced and/or got house-trained via Iran-Contra. Trump pointedly refuses to. Think of the cartoon character who, in a final desperate bid, trains a bazooka on his nose to obliterate the fly with nine lives. That'll get him! Ukraine is the bazooka. The DNC is the exploding head. Trump is the fly. Or is he the Mighty Mouse that roared?

The decisions has been taken Way On High: Trump cannot be trusted as helmsman for WW3. Blessedly, I would agree with that.

Graham is Lockheed-Martin's Man on the Crime Scene. This is no secret to MOA readers. B's covered this in the past. Hundreds of Javelins sit unused in Western Ukraine with more on the way. Even the Russian Threat narrative is fraying as Putin and Zelensky pursue normalization. LM and the MIC want to know: How can Trump stand idly by while Europe defiantly pursues healing itself from within? With Nord Stream 2 a fait accompli, can Eurasian integration and the dreaded German pivot east be far behind?

Oh and does anyone remember Graham's solemn vow in January to get to the bottom of the Russian collusion hoax as the newly installed Judiciary Committee Chairman only to warm the seat, call no hearings, burn another year off the Trump clock, then announce in October he'd relinquish the Chairmanship to Grassley in January?

I do.

With all due respect, Americans have had 70 years to dither and let this diabolical system metastasize into a global scourge. Lay down your TDS cudgels, my Fellow Americans. For the sake of the planet, let Trump be Trump. He's sure to fail in the long-term (if the ultimate litmus is averting WW3; the big war's unavoidable). At least he's a welcome retardant. For the moment he's playing foil to a blood-spattered booty-full system.…/graham-im-going-to-tel…

Posted by: FSD | Dec 19 2019 20:39 utc | 131

FSD 131

"LM and the MIC"

What is LM?

Posted by: Really? | Dec 19 2019 21:33 utc | 132

Apologies to uncletungsten @ 76. I see I attributed your quote to psychohistorian in my post. Apologies also to psychohistorian at 73. (All I can say is great minds think alike.)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 19 2019 21:35 utc | 133

@ Posted by: juliania | Dec 19 2019 21:35 utc | 133 with the clarification of the quote she used being from uncle tungsten instead of I

Yes, uncle tungsten well deserves the attribution, not I

I am not sure that I agree with the theory you posit, though I do think that both parties are in cahoots over some bigger plan.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 19 2019 22:03 utc | 134

FSD@131: I really enjoyed that. Thank you very much. Especially the Linsay Graham observation.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 19 2019 22:33 utc | 135

Brilliant analysis, many thanks.
Truly, this is riveting stuff!

Posted by: Australian lady | Dec 20 2019 0:13 utc | 136

I wish b would stop claiming that Trump did nothing wrong in that phone call. What he did was blatantly corrupt. He used the power of his office to pressure a foreign leader to give him useful political dirt.

paul | Dec 19 2019 12:46 utc

Trump arguably believed that Zelensky should keep fighting corruption as he promised, without any limits for those with American connections. I never heard of American tut-tutting investigations of political opponents from the former governments. At least, one of the misgivings about Obama was that he blocked investigations of torture etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 20 2019 1:20 utc | 137

Reagan, a genial fellow who couldn't fire anyone, acquiesced and/or got house-trained via Iran-Contra. Trump pointedly refuses to. FSD | Dec 19 2019 20:39

Reagan was trained as a corporate spokesman, and before, as an actor who remembers his lines. In either profession, straying from the given script is a no-no. Trump is a bufoon who believes in his wisdom and in people he trusts, family and acquaintances who made good impression. This is an eclectic bunch, from rabid Zionists (family) and imperialists (Bolton) to more open minded. The latter are close to paleo-cons and libertarians, and it is telling that Trump did not hire anyone like that.

Nevertheless, he strayed from the script in an unforgivable way, so he was marked for elimination -- perhaps, unnecessarily. Deep state no longer attracts best and brightest who would rather run hedge funds etc. Moreover, a target on the right is harder to handle for the deep state with many strategies how to clobber the progressives.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 20 2019 1:55 utc | 138

@131 fsd... i too enjoyed your post.. william gruff has been saying much the same thing... jackrabbit thinks trump is in on the charade though - kayfabe is what he calls it...

@ 132 really? - lm - locheed martin..

Posted by: james | Dec 20 2019 2:40 utc | 139


"If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all."

Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman


Posted by: imo | Dec 20 2019 2:42 utc | 140

Trump has not yet been impeached - will he ever be?

Pelosi says she's delaying transmitting the articles of Impeachment to the Senate because she wants an agreement with the Senate about how the Trial will be conducted.

But this may simply be POSTURING. She may actually be waiting for a decision of the Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court decides for Trump on several cases that they've agreed to decide, then the Articles of Impeachment would be null and void. AFAIK The Articles are contained in a single Congressional measure and if any part of the measure is unconstitutional, then all of it would be unconstitutional.

Would the House have re-vote on a single article of impeachment? The article that many believe is the weakest? And if they did, would it pass? Or might future events preclude or obviate a re-vote? (War?)

Bottom line: There's a good chance that Impeachment is voided and that Trump is never Impeached. If so, it was all a useless political exercise and distraction that ultimately dissipates the anger over the Democratic leadership's refusal to impeach Trump over the Mueller Report and makes the Democratics look so foolish that they probably couldn't even muster a censure of the President, let alone impeachment.

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

Trump Isn’t Impeached Until the House Tells the Senate

Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial.

Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial.

If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.

That’s because “impeachment” under the Constitution means the House sending its approved articles of to the Senate, with House managers standing up in the Senate and saying the president is impeached.

Supreme Court ruling pulls rug out from under article of impeachment
The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines last week.

. . .

President Trump has asserted that the executive branch, of which he is the head, need not comply with congressional subpoenas requiring the production of privileged executive material, unless there is a final court order compelling such production. He has argued, appropriately, that the judicial branch is the ultimate arbiter of conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. Therefore, the Supreme Court decision to review these three cases, in which lower courts ruled against President Trump, provides support for his constitutional arguments ...


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 20 2019 2:55 utc | 141

@ralphieboy #106
Perhaps you can clarify what you mean by "running" the modern state.
In particular, should these professionals be setting foreign and domestic policy?
Executing Congress' and the President's orders is one thing - trying to get their own policies acted on is something very different. So is dragging feet so that nothing happens until the elected officials are (hopefully) gone.
To be fair, this kind of thing has happened with both Republican and Democrat presidents at the helm.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 20 2019 3:47 utc | 142

To be clear, MOA has explored and exposed the Graham-Lockheed Martin relationship on more than one occasion.

Posted by: FSD | Dec 20 2019 4:59 utc | 143

I found it pathetic that groups like the Sierra Club tried to muster their membership to rally for impeaching Trump; that a pretigious environmental group like the Sierra Club would engage in the raw politics of what amounts to a trial by mob. Obviously, these groups have been subverted by the Democratic party, and now operate as extentions to the party. Corruption is spreading into our once independant social instutions like cancer. Though I still am most passionate about saving our environment, I have given up my membership to the Sierra Club, and refuse to make any donations to them and other such environmental groups long ago because of their shift into partisan politics. They are only subverting their original cause.

Posted by: Robert | Dec 20 2019 10:50 utc | 144

Maybe I'm calling in from Crazyville, or not?

So much of it might not matter.

The Democrats and "the powers that be" got rid of Nixon through Watergate without impeachment. Nixon resigned, which beats getting shot by magic bullets.

So Pence becomes the new Ford (and Nixon gets a little bit vindicated as Watergate is more easily seen for what it was). Pence is not electable and knows it; the Republican party will be back to searching for someone they don't have.

Thus US politics does a "Clinton reset" ie. back on the usual wrong track.

Tulsi is being groomed as a savior, she isn't but she'll win the election and then the war against Iran can finally start with another more credible "peace-loving" US president as meatball-in-command.

That's the plan isn't it? Boring and stupid.

There's still a few days left of 2019 but most likely the US will drag itself into 2020. Americans can thank Russia, China, and Iran for that, maybe North Korea too.

Well actually Europe too in no small measure, particularly both the UK and Norway for their massive "psychological-economical" support on account of Brexit and the immense global wealth fund (GPFG/SPU). Not that either would matter unless China and Russia also wanted stability and gradual change rather than collapse.

Iran and friends are the main reason there has been no giant war starting in Western Asia/Middle East which would be (or will be, although one hopes not) uncontainable.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 20 2019 11:18 utc | 145

Rober @ 144

And even more egregious, the ACLU jumped onto the partison bandwagon very early on with their enthusiastic endorsement and joining up with the "Resistance." Aghast, I canceled my ACLU membership. It certainly looked to me as though, per the new ACLU, Trump himself had no civil rights.

I had been a member since . . .for decades. My parents knew Roger Baldwin . . .

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 20 2019 13:14 utc | 146


On more than one occasion, Alan Dershowitz has lambasted the ACLU for its craven partisanship in the Trump matter.

Posted by: FSD | Dec 20 2019 13:31 utc | 147

Robert 144

Lots of Big Green groups jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon to suck up to upper-class liberals for more donations. Few cared to mention that Trump was just continuing and escalating Obama's ecocidal policies, which themselves were continuations and escalations of Bush, who continued from Clinton and so on.

Certainly anyone who wanted to get serious about impeachment, let alone crimes against humanity, would regard ecocide as the crime that contains all other crimes since it attempts the physical extinction of humanity, 100% dependent as this species is on the health of the Earth. But a law of impeachment is that it can focus only on the most ticky-tack trivia, never on the real crimes since the president (whoever it is) always shares these with the conjoined-twin other party. That's how it was with Clinton and that's how it is with Trump.

The national office of the Sierra Club, though far from the worst of the Big Green groups collaborating with the corporations in order to "manage" the ecocide, has done lots of wicked things. Anyone who would form a partnership with Chesapeake Energy in order to shill for fracking is an enemy of the Earth.

(Though even they pale next to hard core ecocidal corporate front groups like the Nature Conservancy. Just today we read this latest depth of their vileness: )

Some of the state Sierra Club chapters are better than the national office. As a rule the closer to the ground a branch of an NGO is, the more mission-oriented and less Mammon-oriented it may be. Just make sure any donations stay at the more local level and aren't forced upward.

If I had money to donate to environmental groups I'd give it exclusively to small groups with a concrete landbase-defined mission, fighting for specific forests, rivers, species habitat etc. (Often the Big Green front groups, having made Judenrate-style corporate deals, are on the opposing pro-destruction side of these fights.)

Posted by: Russ | Dec 20 2019 13:36 utc | 148

Tulsi is being groomed as a savior, she isn't but she'll win the election and then the war against Iran can finally start with another more credible "peace-loving" US president as meatball-in-command.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 20 2019 11:18 utc | 145

SRB, you give paranoia a bad name. Protect brain from harmful radiation, you can mail order "Classical Xray Hat,Radiation Cap,Dental Protective Hat 0.5mmpb Lead,Light Weight", tinfoil hats are actually not working properly.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 20 2019 14:17 utc | 149


"With the exception of Alan Dershowitz’ routine tongue-lashings of the ACLU over its myriad Trump-era derelictions, the American Left has veered shamelessly partisan like the beaten-down Clintonian Stockholm Syndromers they are. Cowardice makes for absent bedfellows. It’s not just a meme. There is something trance-like going on with these folks. Their autonomy long since dead, they now wander the political landscape in zombie-fied, Trump-deranged stupefaction."

Posted by: FSD | Dec 20 2019 15:23 utc | 150

SRB, you give paranoia a bad name.

Haha yeah maybe :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 20 2019 16:17 utc | 151

didn't trump replace the head of the epa - environmental protection act - with someone who could give a rats ass about protecting the environment?? might have upset the sierra club, don't ya think?? but i guess societies or clubs are not supposed to get political for some...

Posted by: james | Dec 20 2019 17:29 utc | 152

james 152

When praytell was this mythical time when the head of the EPA did give a rat's ass about protecting the environment? Certainly not under Obama. Not under Bush. Not under Clinton, or Bush I or Reagan. As for the 1970s going back to the EPA's inception I can only recommend the exposee Poison Spring by long-time EPA staffer Evaggelos Vallianatos.

You have a peculiar view of the real mission of a government bureaucracy under capitalism. I'll give you a hint: It isn't to hinder the corporate imperative.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 20 2019 18:24 utc | 153

@ 153 russ... i don't live in the usa, so i am not following it as closely, but that was what i recall about who trump had installed as head of the epa...

Posted by: james | Dec 20 2019 19:17 utc | 154

james 154

Trump did the same thing his predecessors did, installed a corporate flunkey as head of the EPA. Here as in everything else there's no substantive difference between Republicans and Democrats. He has escalated the ecocide somewhat from Obama (as Obama did from Bush) but mostly is continuing the existing inertia. (Just like with the imperial wars.)

I can't speak for the commenter I originally replied to, but my own disdain for the special "Trump" alarmism on the part of many kinds of NGOs is that it's part of the way they play to the notion that there is a difference, that voting Democrat makes a difference, that capitalism can be "reformed" to bring a "green" age. Therefore they act as as a genus of gate-keepers and sheep-herders.

Here's the template which applies to both pro-capitalist regulators and NGOs (and in many other cases - the media, academia, the science establishment etc.) :

1. The corporate project and the cancer metastasis ("growth") must go through. It must not be hindered in any significant way.

2. Given (1), the regulator may sometimes try to mitigate the worst "abuses" by some carefully selected "bad apples". More often it just makes a sham show of such mitigation.

3. Then the regulator puts its imprimatur on the process and any result and assures the people, "You don't have to worry about anything. We're on the job. Go back to your private affairs, don't question or research or think for yourself or try to politically participate. Go back to sleep."

Posted by: Russ | Dec 20 2019 19:32 utc | 155

This is truly not the democratic party of the great JFK and it's sad.

Posted by: Afi Keita James | Dec 20 2019 20:22 utc | 156

james says:

i don't live in the usa, so i am not following it as closely

yeah james, you live in the southern part of Vancouver Island, what, a couple hundred kilometers from the big, bad, USA? i mean, it's not like you're living in fucking Kamčatka or anything. so WTF does 'i am not following it as closely' even mean? god knows you're glued to the internet fairly continuously, you're at MOA every day, so why are you always distancing yourself from the American fray in this really cheesy way? you live in fucking North America, fucking Canada to be precise. what's the difference?

oh yeah, you have more trees and better healthcare(granted that that's a lot).

Posted by: john | Dec 20 2019 21:01 utc | 157

thanks john... did you fall out of bed this morning?? i hope you didn't bang your head to hard!

here's an observation.. not everyone lives in the usa and is swamped with usa news 24-7... i know who the sierra club is, as they do have offices in canada too.. do i think they are going beyond an invisible 'do not cross' line in saying trump should be impeached? probably, but there head office is in san francisco - i believe? - and if they are that pissed off with trump, that is their prerogative... i only know from recent info that the guy trump put in as head of the epa is the worst person one could put in that position... now, russ reminded me of what obama, bush and whoever else did before him.. as i said, i haven't followed it that closely... but thank you for showing what an ass you are here today..

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2019 0:15 utc | 158

@155 russ... thanks.. i know there is not much of any difference between the dems and repubs from everything i can tell.. perhaps i didn't know just how bad it is reflected in any aspect of usa govt actions... i thought obama offered some type of health care system - obamacare - that was more then the repubs did.. outside of that, i know both parties are into war big time, which is why i call the 2 parties the war party - one party - not 2... at what point to americans recognize they have been completely hoodwinked by the so called 2 party system??

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2019 0:21 utc | 159

FSD 147

The ACLU seems to be reflecting new attitudes by young Antifa sympathizers, who do not "get" the idea of neutral defense of civil liberties and freedom of speech.

The first time I noticed this new attitude was in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

As far as I knew from news reports, the Unite the Right group had a permit and also had been vetted by ACLU---the latter had something to with perhaps some kind of citizen protest against the rally and had defended the rights of Unite the Right to hold a rally.

From what I saw on videos, it was the Antifa group that created the conflict that resulted in the order for the rally to disperse. It also looked to me as though the young man driving the car that ended up killing a woman in no way intended to hurt anyone but was surrounded by a hostile crowd in a very awkward driving situation.

My young relative who lives in C'ville was outraged that the rally had occurred. I pointed out that the rally organizers had a permit from the city, and the ACLU had also defended their right to have a rally and exercise their right of free speech. She responded in a very exasperated and reproving tone of voice: "But ___ [my name], they are neo-Nazis!" Like, Auntie you are clueless. Her very strong implication was: "Having been thus labeled, they have no civil rights. Isn't that obvious??" It was pointless to try to explain freedom of speech to her at my sister's dinner table. She was too sure she was right.

It seems to me that the C'ville event was a kind of watershed in the perception of Americans as to what freedom of speech means. Trump was vilified for implying that both sides had the right to express their views and exercise the right of assembly to do so. What the heck has happened to the "marketplace of ideas"?

So-called hate speech used to be protected speech, the ultimate protected speech. Now the "hate speech" adjudicators such as the Southern Poverty Law org. have appointed themselves the hounds of hate speech.

I do think the ACLU has been prompted to make this 180 by the influx of funds after the Trump win. And, thus, has new apron strings. Roger Baldwin must be turning in his grave. Anyhow, I canceled my membership and told them why. It used to be a matter of principle for me to contribute $10 monthly. But I guess they are now flush with $$$ and they do not need my diminutive monthly contributions!

I notice that they are still doing a few good things (although I do not like their new snazzy magazine, which they are still sending me and which does not contain "ACLU" in the name and looks like the product of an NGO "media" gremlin).

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 1:28 utc | 160

James 159

Not all of us in the USA watch MSM news 24/7. Some of us don't own a TV ((:-)).

Re ". i thought obama offered some type of health care system - obamacare - that was more then the repubs did.. "

Actually, Obama modeled Obamacare on a health plan created and pushed through in Massachusetts by the Republican Mitt Romney, when he was gov. of Mass.

Obama had a mandate to forge ahead with planning for single-payer health care/insurance. Polls have consistently shown that this is what a majority of Americans want. Obama didn't even *try*. He caved in to the insurance cos. before even presenting a plan and letting them push back and see how far he could go. He was a wuss. He is wuss. Biggest setback to the Dem party since . . . the Clintons. Bigger, actually.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 21 2019 1:35 utc | 161

Russ @108
As the Dead Kennedys once said, "Trust Your Mechanic."

Posted by: robjira | Dec 21 2019 1:42 utc | 162

@ 161 really?? is his plan somewhat better then nothing, or is it pretty much the same as usual for low and middle income americans where you are one health issue away from living on the street??

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2019 1:47 utc | 163

@james #163
Obamacare has a couple good things combined with a host of very bad things.
Good: stopping the practice of denying customers with pre-existing conditions - a way to juice profits by trying to insure those who don't need it.
Bad: Not actually accomplishing its purpose of fixing health care in America, and squandering an enormous mandate to be able to do anything he wanted.
The United States spends rouhgly twice as much, per capita, for health care as any of the 1st or 2nd world nations in the entire world. This is in the order of an extra $1.25 trillion per year.
More people go bankrupt due to health care costs in the US than the rest of the world combined, multiplied by a large number.
More people forego health care due to cost than all the 1st or 2nd world nations, put together.
Nor are outcomes in the US better - they're distinctly middle of the pack.
Don't get me wrong, if you're super rich, the US health care system is great because there is much less competition for access to the best.
For everyone else - it is a disaster and the single biggest problem with the nation and economy. That $1.25 trillion is more than the US defense budget, possibly even with all the over-runs, black ops, Veteran's Affairs and pensions thrown in.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2019 1:01 utc | 164

@164 c1ue.. thanks! so it is a mixed bag, but on balance it sounds like it mostly hasn't changed things for the positive too much... it seems to me obama drove a nail in a good number of people's hopes for something better of the usa... he seemed to be so promising as a president, but let most everyone down and is now a member of the rich club when he could have really brought some of the change he was selling prior to winning the election after bush 2.. oh well... and now the usa is stuck with trump.. who's next?

Posted by: james | Dec 22 2019 17:39 utc | 165

Really?? | Dec 21 2019 1:28 utc | 160

We live in the Age of Cognitive Weaponization, Really. If you can't attach a flame-thrower to your idea or institution, it's just taking up space. Neutral defense is neutered defense.

Posted by: FSD | Dec 22 2019 20:36 utc | 166

Lurk, if you want a relevant text from Feynman about trust in science I would take 'the 7 percent solution' as a starting point. You can find it in the same book and it addresses the problem of how much weight to attach to scientific resources and the complex heuristics we use to balance them, to resolve conflicts between them, to decide where we invest our limited resources in. Take Telegdi's case for instance. Feynman is not the best example because he can afford to be at the radical end of the spectrum . I prefer to look at what the average competent scientist would do with limited resources. It is a subject I like but I'm not going to continue the discussion.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 23 2019 13:41 utc | 167

wait, the above ended in the wrong thread

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 23 2019 14:17 utc | 168

re #98

Just for the record, I am a retired English teacher in a predominantly Russian-speaking community. Hundreds of my students spoke Russian as their first language. Several Ukrainians are well-known in this community -- a musician, a family of community leaders. Everyone I ever asked about it believes that Ukrainian is a separate language from Russian.

The article below compares the two to Spanish and Portuguese. The literary prevalence of Russian is an artifact of Russian imperialism. Ironically, Russian literary culture and the language were strongly influenced by the French. The Ukrainian language shows a more Eastern European and Ottoman (northern and southern?) influence.

Historically, the region known as "the Ukraine" has a weak identity as a nation-state with Westphalian sovereignty. The US has tried to capitalize on that weakness by using the National Endowment for Democracy to undermine Russian influence and to capture strategic assets. Gas transport to Europe is the tip of the iceberg. In addition to its importance as an agricultural region, Ukraine (whose current boundaries, btw, were defined by the Soviets) is an important manufacturer of weapons and, for the purposes of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, an ambiguous former nuclear weapons Soviet. Several of my students were studying in Kiev when Chernobyl blew up.

Posted by: HardcoreEclectic | Dec 27 2019 18:12 utc | 169

It appears Biden is getting nervy about being called to testify at the impeachment hearings. Could that be because it will expose to the wider world what this is really about? That it will expose the fact which Biden himself asserted that he threatened to withhold a billion dollars in funding if they did not sack the prosecutor who was investigating Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian firm he was receiving money from? Could it be that Joe? Is that why you don’t want to testify?

Posted by: Jack | Dec 28 2019 21:48 utc | 170

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