Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 05, 2020

How Attacks On Trump Help Him To Make His Case

In 2016 the Democrats lost the election despite their constant attacks on Donald Trump's personality. Over the last four years they continued those attacks with Russiagate and impeachment nonsense. Trump turned each of the attacks into a win for himself. Unfortunately that pattern continues.

Over the last two days the Joe Biden campaign made a rather hapless attempt to smear President Donald Trump over allegedly negative comments about previous wars and dead soldiers. The attack was launched with a Jeffrey Goldberg piece in the Atlantic headlined: Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”

None of what those four anonymous sources claimed is true according to on the record quotes from people who were there:

Several White House officials at the time said the decision not to take Marine One to the Belleau Wood cemetery was made by Zachary Fuentes, a close aide to Mr. Kelly, without consulting the president’s military aide. Others argued that a trip by road would have taken too long, at roughly two hours.

Administration officials said then that Mr. Fuentes had assured Mr. Trump it was fine to miss the visit.
...
More than a half-dozen current and former aides to Mr. Trump backed him up with Twitter messages and statements disputing that part of the Atlantic article. “I was actually there and one of the people part of the discussion — this never happened,” wrote Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was then the White House press secretary. “This is not even close to being factually accurate,” added Jordan Karem, the president’s personal aide at the time.

John Bolton, who at that time was National Security Advisor but has now fallen out with Trump, describes the cancellation in his tell-all book as solely weather related.

Yesterday he reconfirmed that:

Mr. Bolton said he was in the room at the ambassador’s residence when Mr. Trump arrived and Mr. Kelly told him that the helicopter trip had to be canceled. A two-hour motorcade would have put him too far away from Air Force One and the most capable communications array a president needs in case of an emergency, per usual protocol, Mr. Bolton said. “It was a straight weather call,” he said.

The next day Trump visited a different military cemetery in France.

The quotes in the Goldberg piece may be correct but are most likely not what Goldberg claims them to be:

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald - 12:45 UTC · Sep 4, 2020

It's obviously believable Trump said this, but the last person I'd trust to interpret is Goldberg. Why aren't these brave sources willing to speak publicly? ...

Michael Tracey @mtracey - 23:29 UTC · Sep 3, 2020

That story reads like snippets of Trump expressing derision toward the idea of US troops getting sent off to die in pointless wars, such as World War I, which when filtered through the prism of neocon-lite Jeffrey Goldberg becomes a “Trump mocks US war dead for some reason” story

No one should be surprised that a Jeffrey Goldberg piece turns out to be a bunch of lies. After Goldberg volunteered as concentration camp guard for the Zionist colony in Palestine he made a career as a war mongering journalist:

Goldberg’s career will be remembered primarily for a long, award-winning reported piece from Iraq that ran in The New Yorker in March 2002, at the height of the post-9/11 jingoistic fervor, which informed that magazine’s readership that Saddam Hussein had both an active WMD program and ties to Al-Qaeda. Goldberg endorsed George W. Bush’s catastrophic war of choice in an article for Slate later that year, in which he wrote, “I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”

Goldberg has since fallen upwards and is now the editor of the Atlantic. Over the last year the majority owner of that outlet, Laurene Powell Jobs, has given more than $1.2 million for Biden's and other Democrats' campaigns.

The publishing of the smear piece seems to have been well coordinated. The Democratic lobbying group Vote Vets was running an advertisement with quotes from the Atlantic piece the morning after it was published. There was also a rare Biden press conference designed to amplify the topic:

Biden, who took questions for the second time this week after going approximately a month without holding a single press conference, spent much of his time blasting President Trump over a report in The Atlantic magazine that he disparaged fallen World War I soldiers during a trip to France in 2018.
...
The first question, posed by Atlantic staff writer Edward-Isaac Dovere, was about the magazine's bombshell report.

"When you hear these remarks -- 'suckers,' 'losers,' recoiling from amputees, what does it tell you about President Trump's soul and the life he leads?" Dovere asked.

The Atlantic piece was designed to lower the military and veteran support for Trump. He has responded with a move that will earn him some gratitude from those groups:

US President Donald Trump has said his administration will not be shutting down a renowned military newspaper, following outcry from lawmakers.

Stars and Stripes, an independent military newspaper had been expected to end this month after the Pentagon decided in February to cut its funding.

The US government "will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch," Mr Trump tweeted.

The next two month will of course see more such attacks from both sides and about different issues. If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the parties or candidates. But it is somewhat disappointing how little the Democrats have learned about how Donald Trump's campaigning works and how attacks against him are only helping him to make his case. As Matt Taibbi analyses in a must-read piece:

The elite misread of Trump is egregious because he’s an easily familiar type to the rest of America. We’re a sales culture and Trump is a salesman. Moreover he’s not just any salesman; he might be the greatest salesman ever, considering the quality of the product, i.e. himself.
...
Ever since Trump jumped into politics, the pattern has been the same. He enters the arena hauling nothing but negatives and character liabilities, but leaves every time armed with winnable issues handed to him by overreacting opponents.
...
His schtick is to provoke rivals to the point where they drop what they’re doing and spend their time screaming at him, which from the jump validates the primary tenet of his worldview, i.e. that everything is about him. Political opponents seem incapable of not handing him free advertising. They say his name on TV thousands of times a day, put his name on bumper stickers to be paraded before new demographics (e.g. “BERNIE BEATS TRUMP”), and then keep talking about him even off duty, at office parties, family dinners, kids’ sports events, everywhere, which sooner or later gets people wondering: who’s more annoying, the blowhard, or the people who can’t stop talking about the blowhard?
...
Trump’s argument is, “They lie about me.” He attracts so much negative attention, and so completely dominates the culture, that the line between him and the country that elected him becomes blurred, allowing him to make a secondary argument: “They lie about you.” This incantation works.
...
The Democratic Party has no message — literally none — apart from him.
...
It feels like a co-dependent relationship, and the tightening poll numbers in battleground states make me wonder about self-sabotage. He’ll likely still lose, but this is all beginning to feel like a slow-motion rerun of the same car crash from four years ago, when resentment, rubbernecking, and lurid fascination pulled him just across the finish line. People claim to hate him, but they never turn off the show in time, not grasping that Trump always knows how to turn their negative attention into someone else’s vote.

Isn’t four years of this enough?

The current attack on Trump, especially as it is based on weak anonymous sourcing, is exactly what Trump needs to gain more voters and a higher turn out.

Instead of talking about real issues the Democrats have fallen back on attacking Trump's personality. That method has failed for more than four years of Russiagate and impeachment blubber but it continues.

Why does anyone believe that such attacks will suddenly have a different outcome than to help Trump win another election?

Posted by b on September 5, 2020 at 17:47 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 6 2020 2:38 utc | 99 This is the main function of the MSM, to divert citizen's concern about the crappy economy, poverty, endless war and the welfare programs for the rich, to cultural issues, what Trump said yesterday and other gossipy personality stories.

Yup. Perfectly stated. This is related to the rise of "celebrity culture" - of which Trump was a part with his beauty pageants and his reality shows and his model wives and daughters. As the Situationists used to refer to "the Society of the Spectacle". Or as usually referenced to the Romans, "bread and circuses" - and the circuses are at least as important, if not more so, than the bread. Also related to why "war is the health of the state" and why humans absolutely can never give up war.

I wouldn't go so far as to predict the outcome of the election - other than to say that, as the saying goes, "sure enough things got worse." I do think the Democrats are not actually trying to throw the election, as some people seem to think. But I agree with others that they simply are too blinded by their own power lust to be able to see how many of their strategies are counter-productive. A little reading of Machiavelli and other philosophers of political power might do them some good at this point.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 3:02 utc | 101

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 5 2020 19:09 utc | 21
Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 19:53 utc | 31

The sentence, as written, is clear and unambiguous English. It only becomes ambiguous when you take it apart and try to explain how it works.

Posted by: Johnson | Sep 6 2020 3:05 utc | 102

"it is somewhat disappointing how little the Democrats have learned about how Donald Trump's campaigning works and how attacks against him are only helping him to make his case."

This is only surprising if you believe the delusion that Trump has not already been chosen to win the selection and that the only reason a senile war criminal and sexual predator like Biden was put up against him was to ensure that he wins.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 6 2020 3:17 utc | 103

A relevant Intercept podcast. Worth listening to. This is clearly related to how Trump supporters - and perhaps a lot of middle-of-the-road voters - see him. I call it "Trump Savior Syndrome" as the equivalent to the Democrats' "Trump Derangement Syndrome."

Is QAnon the Future of the Republican Party?
Guest host Ryan Grim discusses the past, present, and future of the bizarre conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 3:21 utc | 104

Just read most of the Taibbi piece, not because I give a flying fuck about who wins the prez 2020 beauty contest, because I don't, there is no discernable difference in what either winner will actually do, but because Taibbi writes better than 99% of amerikan political commentators.
Of course he was gonna have to stick that props for creepy Joe at the end just as any rethug owned media outlet has to say rah, rah, repugs in at the end of a piece critical of rethugs, Rolling Stone management is gonna insist Taibbi does the same for the dims.
I thought most of us were aware enough to understand that.
The only thing which does disappoint although I am prepared to allow it may have been subbed out by some slimy RS careerist, is that at no stage does the article point out the real reason why dim apparatchiks can only campaign on trump's character & other distractions is that if they weren't calling out Trump's defects what could they say? The only alternative would be to trot out real, y'know policies but that is strictly verboten under the Pelosi 'I hold all the cash' regime.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 6 2020 3:48 utc | 105

@ 100 grieved... i always appreciate your commentary, even if it is meager! no worries! i was walking with my friend this morning who has spent some time learning esperanto... i showed me a few books he bought written in esperanto... he performed music for the gathering in montreal in the past month and is bilingual, and now working on learning a language that is designed to be more universal in scope... we both mentioned how the reason english is so universal is due economics.. this feeds into the movie i watched tonight mentioned down below.. at what point do we realize that being driven by economics is killing the planet and our environment?? languages may have an organic start, but at this point they have gone beyond that and are being driven for different reasons.. something to ponder..

@ 105 debs... that is true... no mention of the real issues facing people in the usa, or on planet earth for that matter... a big personality distraction is mostly what it is.. as i said earlier, i have less and less stomach for usa politics... funny enough, i am still commenting!

i just finished watching planet of humans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE a depressing documentary that i encourage other realists to watch... you can see just how messed up things are and how we are not dealing with the fate that awaits us if we don't figure it out soon.. as sobering as the movie is, it is worth it.. people need to sober up soon.. i'll try to be more cheerful the next time on comment... there is a lot to be depressed about, and i don't want to feed that..

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 4:12 utc | 106

james
when it comes to the so called west, planet of the apes is perhaps more apt.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 6 2020 4:18 utc | 107

james
watched a bit of your link. We are part of this planet, part of its evolution. We have the knowledge or whatever its called for sustainable life. We differ from other mammals in our ability to make tools. Wether we can differ from previous creatures on this planet remains to be seen. Though previous life forms disappeared due to events not of their choosing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 6 2020 4:30 utc | 108

@ peter... at the end of the movie there is a segment with orangutans.. it is very heartbreaking... i think we are not addressing what is going on... one of the big things is population... i know this is a hot button, as it was the last time i mentioned it... if william gruff is going to comment on this topic, i would appreciate if he watches the documentary, before he lam-blasts me for bringing it up again!! here is some erhu music to soften any blows that might come, lol.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw5s3idMsbA

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 4:58 utc | 109

Caitlin Johnstone's March 19, 2020 article: "Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China" sounds correct. It does not mention that all of them finally found out where most of their material desires are manufactured: in CCP China.
Most Big Players -globalist billionaires- hate the SARS-COV-2 outbreak in Wuhan as it exposed their tight financial ties between Hong Kong/Shanghai and Wall Street needed to produce all this stuff, including medicines and masks.

PS
"Global Warming" ran parallel with China's giant industrialization: coincidence, or was it more natural oceanic internal variability?

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 6 2020 4:58 utc | 110

Jackrabbit #2 - I agree. Surprised more here don't get that the attacks (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are designed to fail by the vested donor class and "deep state" interests that drive them. The lower levels of the corporate media are driven into a frenzy by the higher ups and they, in turn, drive the average American consumer of noooooooz into a frenzy too. But at the top of the whole thing, just behind the parapet so as not to be visible to those who aren't trained to see it, they knew it would fail and that the failure was the feature, not the bug in their plan.

Nemesis #41 - Good points up until your first option, which if true would cause me to vote for Trump in a heartbeat if I still lived in the USA. I do still have the ability to cast a ballot from here in the EU as an American citizen, but I usually don’t. But there is no way in hell a 2nd Trump term brings decreased US military deployments. His administration is playing along quite nicely with the Israelis’ attempts to fight Iran down to the last American soldier and as long as Jared and Elliott Abrams are still there, I predict a full scale war on Iran if Trump wins re-election rather than any New Deal-esque infrastructure program you’re talking about.

Jackrabbit and other barflies frequently point out that Trump has actually been harder on Russia than Obama was. Trump’s DOJ indicted and are now overseeing the British lapdog killing of Assange when Bush and Obama didn’t. Trump moved the embassy from Tel Aviv. Trump is crushing Venezuela and when oil prices begin to rise again, there will be another coup or an American backed/implemented invasion of that country. Last time I checked, we’re still in Syria/Kurdistan even though Assad won. Gotta protect the oil fields so they say. Trump, not being a member of the club that Taibbi talks about angers and annoys the Dem and RNC ruling/donor class, but his policies are not fundamentally different than a combination of Bush II and Obomber outside of the United States (and mostly inside too).

Long story short, I usually find your commentary to be a good rational right-leaning counter to my left-leaning view on things, but on this you come across like a Q-anon acolyte and are expressing magical thinking for when Trump beats Biden (which he will for all the reasons b, Taibbi, Michael Moore and others have pointed out ) – an outcome that the donor class, whether Democrat or Republican really won’t mind one way or the other and which will probably bring the American working class to the brink of a civil war. The impeachment fiascoes were meant to fail, as JR said.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 6 2020 5:02 utc | 111

Debisdead writes "The only thing which does disappoint although I am prepared to allow it may have been subbed out by some slimy RS careerist, is that at no stage does the article point out the real reason why dim apparatchiks can only campaign on trump's character & other distractions is that if they weren't calling out Trump's defects what could they say? The only alternative would be to trot out real, y'know policies but that is strictly verboten under the Pelosi 'I hold all the cash' regime."

Indeed, but what both you and Taibbi don't mention is the other main reason that they have to campaign (and otherwise fill the airwaves and print media) on Trump's character - his rudeness, his meanness, his alleged white supremacy - is not only that they can't campaign on policy (being busy killing any real economic and social progressivism in favor of intersectional wokeness and corporate fealty), but also that any of the almost certain corruption, graft, lawlessness and unconstitutional things Trump is doing, they full well plan to do as well when they get back into power, as Obama did before. Like Joe Biden has said "Nothing will fundamentally change." When people/parties tell you who they are, you should listen!

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 6 2020 5:10 utc | 112

@ 103 Biswapriya Purkayast

"This is only surprising if you believe the delusion that Trump has not already been chosen to win the selection and that the only reason a senile war criminal and sexual predator like Biden was put up against him was to ensure that he wins."

I don't see it this way. I think the donors would be very happy with either Biden or Trump. To them, it will equate in the same policies, so it really boils down to personality.

Also, many true-believer Democrats think Biden will be a good President. Biden will not be good, he will be corrupt and feckless, but all the newspapers except for Rupert Murdoch's say so and voting Democrats find a way to believe that.

As of now, the donors must realize that Donald Trump gives them zero advantages in foreign policy. The only upside with Trump to donors are swingy financial markets and increased racial divide. Biden as President opens up a lot more options for the donors and will make hawkish military moves more palatable to the public, as well as ensuring increased racial divide.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Sep 6 2020 5:16 utc | 113

@Nemesis - I just re-read my comment and it might have come across as a little more personally insulting than I was intending. I should have left it at saying your first option (Trump electoral victory in November) is fantastical and completely ungrounded in any version of reality - Trump's 3+ year history as well as the people who he is surrounded by - both by choice and by nature of the fact that he can't control every single aspect of the executive branch. This is exemplified in the very carefully circumscribed allegations/charges that the Dems and deep state ("Intelligence" Community) brought forth on him - so ridiculously narrow and *obviously* fake that anyone with a brain - regardless of who controlled the Senate - would have known from the very beginning was a huge failure. Kind of like the Dems' approach to trying to nix the Kavanaugh appointment. Just utterly ridiculous and "failure" was the feature (the circus of distraction) not the bug. In fact it wasn't a failure at all, it accomplished exactly what our owner class that has become exponentially more wealthy during the shut-down wanted.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 6 2020 5:28 utc | 114

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 4:58 utc | 109

The elephant in the room is indeed overpopulation. At what point will those who think it isn't realize that? 15 billion 20 billion humans? It's a finite planet. Those advocating that the final frontier will save us I wish they would go, take Elon Musk and the rest of the predatory billionaires and their friends (oh please take Tony Blair for the love of god) and head off to Mars. Imagine all those psychopaths all in the same "room" for the journey. Sounds like the making of an awesome sitcom. Elon wouldn't survive much beyond the launch! Life isn't worth living if it means no solitude and the only food source is green soylent. It would certainly put a crimp on reality cooking shows and you tube videos of the same.

Posted by: Tom | Sep 6 2020 5:33 utc | 115

@ 111 kc

Thx for reading my post.

Re: Ru and America under Trump.

What is helping our relationship with Russia and Putin, currently, is Trump.

My read on Trump is that he truly admires Putin. What Putin has done for the average Russian and how Putin has loyalty to the people of Russia. This is what impresses Trump mostly about Putin. And I am very much in agreeement about this and will laud DJT to the skies for recognizing this simple fact: Love for country is a beautiful thing.

Now, unfortunately, there are many idiots around Trump that can not square their worldview up the way POTUS can into a cohesive vision that can reinstill a capable nationalism to upset the globalist chokehold on America.

Look no further than VP Pence. While the VP is probably very much willing to agree with POTUS that trading with China has been a catastrophe for Americans, Pence can not put 2+2 together and see that Russia is not our natural enemy. He is too much the product of cold war middle America and as such hates the idea of the strongman. Google "Pence stares down Putin" if you want an idea how far Pence is unwilling to go to dismiss Russia under Putin as a threat.

The same, unfortunately, can be said for POTUS re: Iran.

I have said before that I believe DJT has serious hatred for Iran under the Mullahs ever since the Beirut Marine Barracks bombing which took 500 American soldiers. This happened at an impressionable age where POTUS was emerging as a potent social figure. Just a few years later he would start giving interviews to Oprah about running for President and his disdain for the do-nothingness of political squabbling.

His hatred for Iran is not borne of his role as Israel-lapdog. His hatred stems from this event and is non-politically based.

Orchestrating the General's killing in Iraq was entirely fairgame to POTUS, is my guess, if he even was clued in to what was happening at the time, according to the messy rules and our messy shared history with Iran.

But I digress.

Point is that POTUS is the one steering our ire to where it belongs: our trading relationship with China.

The Dems will quickly scratch this effort at first blush. Chinese-American globalist relations will resume unencumbered and the risk of hot-confrontation with Russia will be back on the front burner.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 6 2020 5:37 utc | 116

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2020 0:11 utc | 82

In this context, Goldberg et caterva were just…

What an elegant use of the Latin word caterva, still currently used in Spanish, made me cringe at first sight, despicable bunch, are they ever…

The 2020 election might not be as expensive as the previous one because of Covid and the fact that big meetings and gatherings will not take place, but devoid of substance for sure.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 6 2020 5:39 utc | 117

Nemesis,

I completely agree with you on China. Trump is the only politician with any amount of clout who is calling the trade deficit for what it is.

That said, I hope you know that Iran's (and Hezbollah's) ties to the Beirut bombing (as justified as it might have been considering all details) are tenuous at best. Trump and many Americans who were subject to corporate media manipulation at the time may believe that the Mullahs were behind it, but it turns out that is utter speculation, wishful thinking and even false-flagging (Hezbollah didn't even exist at the time).

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 6 2020 5:48 utc | 118

@116 addendum

~250 American military dead...not 500.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 6 2020 5:50 utc | 119

@118 kc

Now that's nice and everything and I respect going the distance to find the truth of the matter. But to DJT that would have been immaterial.

He is not one to parse alternative media fo the skinny and the narrative at the time was Iran was behind it.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 6 2020 5:54 utc | 120

Nemesis - Fair and rational enough. Nobody who was intellectually honest ever said Trump was a really smart guy (more of an indictment on most Americans and really a lot of others in so-called enlightened countries too).

But I'd still be interested in your uncensored take on why it was the Trump admin that finally indicted (and will ultimately murder) Julian Assange. Was it a calculated move to gain favor with the corporate Dems and MSM even though he knows he'll never get it no matter what, or was it because Trump is actually part of the "swamp" as Jackrabbit commonly says (and with which I agree)? Genuinely curious for another take.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Sep 6 2020 6:19 utc | 121

re _K_C_ | Sep 6 2020 5:10 utc | 112
Fair enough but in my own defence I will say that corruption in amerikan politics is at least as old as the 'republic' whereas the total no-policy movement in contemporary politics, the "let's just sledge the opposition and play as the lesser of two evils", is a newer development the exposure of which could get traction with the body politic.

I dunno cause I haven't lived there for decades but my general impression of the average amerikan vis a vis politics is that very few have not been witness to a classic piece of political corruption at some stage in their lives. Whenever I've discussed that with amerikan friends the most common response has been some version of "Well you get that".

I do not believe that many amerikans believe corruption could be killed short of a revolution, this is an election campaign, an indication that most of the participants still imagine corruption or no, voting is the way to change things. We may know it is not but when bailed up most amerikan voters still lap that tosh up - another reason why pointing out the the lack of policy & surfeit of distraction is an important way to bring citizens around to accepting revolution is an essential next step.

Corruption is so deeply entrenched in amerikan political culture that it is doubtful that a revolution would change a lot, after all straight after the first amerikan revolution, the general who never fought a battle, Washington, whined that as soon as he got to his official residence he was bailed up by types who had insisted they had been primary determinants in his election demanding key positions in the new administration.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 6 2020 6:31 utc | 122

@33: Utter junk.

FEC records show that the National Election Pool - the organisation comprised of the half dozen major news organisations covering presidential elections - was Hillary's single largest campaign donor over the course of her political career. She even received more money than Trump - by a landslide - from donors at Rupert Murdoch's Fox news.

Posted by: None | Sep 6 2020 7:14 utc | 123

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 4:58 utc | 109

Population is not the problem. Population *quality* is the problem. Although you can reverse that - if the problem is population quality, then too much population does indeed become a problem. It's a chicken and egg problem - for which there is no solution except, well, you know what I think.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 7:22 utc | 124

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 6 2020 6:31 utc | 122 very few have not been witness to a classic piece of political corruption at some stage in their lives. Whenever I've discussed that with amerikan friends the most common response has been some version of "Well you get that".

Many years back I read an article where the author attended a meeting of high-level business types. He asked them if they thought people on their level conspired with each other. They said, "sure, no doubt about it." Then he asked them if they thought the people at the top in Washington conspired. Almost to a man, they said no. His conclusion was that people on any given level can't accept that people on the level above them are capable of conspiring against them - because that would mean their lives are not in their control.

In other words, cognitive dissonance. They can't emotionally accept something - so they don't. Americans understand their government is corrupt - but they deny that it matters - because they can't let themselves understand that it does matter because that would be a threat they have no power to control.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 7:35 utc | 125

How long before they start claiming Russia is behind the violence in the streets of america? Or that Trump somehow fund the vandalizing?

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 6 2020 9:44 utc | 126

How long before they start claiming Russia is behind the violence in the streets of america?

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 6 2020 9:44 utc | 126

----

They already started doing that, first saw it appear about 10 days ago. Hasn't totally caught on yet though.

"Or that Trump somehow fund the vandalizing?"

It will be soon. That's why they have started to blame all the BLM/Antifa violence on "White Supremacists' (see comments by Dem party operatives, masquerading as "hard core foreign communists", "vk" and "Schmatz')

Once they have established that it's all White supremacists the next step will by to blame Russia and Trump.

Russia in order to elect Trump, and Trump cos he's "the most evil man in the US" and loves him some "white supremacy"

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 6 2020 10:05 utc | 127

"3) Who said the Americans want different policies? By what I'm observing, the other half of the American electorate don't hate Trump because of his policies. They hate him because he's vulgar, he doesn't have that sophistication of the Northeastern WASP. Because he's embarrassing the Empire to the rest of the world, he's eroding the Empire's soft power which, by the way, is necessary to legitimate all the kinds of regime change and color revolutions around the world"

It doesn't matter what Americans want because they have been cut off from from any power that would allow for policy goal changes. American policy is bought and paid for via the (get paid what to)think tanks the elite fund.

You may also want to look into the fact Trump has been a vulgar and corrupt asshole his entire life. He's immoral and would gladly sue you to get out of paying you what he owed you as well as using charities and fake Universities to steal money.

I doubt you'd be proud of a leader like this either.
That's not to say he isn't a disrupter or that he can't expose the think tank useful idiots and other con artists in DC. After all, it takes one to know and expose one.

America is and always has been an empire. It's just full of indoctrinated Yankee doodle dumb f*cks that still believe all the folk lore taught to them their entire lives who yearn for something they never actually had.

Trump is a brawler, he has a sophisticated sense of how to promote himself and anything else he's trying to sell, but in the end he's just trying to survive his accidental presidency and find a way to profit from it.

He even admits to being a player in the corrupt system he is trying to preserve. That would suggest that he only wants to change what threatens his ability to bribe people like the Clinton's to keep his racket going instead of just honestly out performing his competition.

Posted by: dave | Sep 6 2020 10:06 utc | 128

You may also want to look into the fact Trump has been a vulgar and corrupt asshole his entire life. He's immoral ....

Posted by: dave | Sep 6 2020 10:06 utc | 128

-----


In this, of course, he's little different at all from any other powerful US politician.

So it certainly isn't the reason that they like to so often publicly profess so much vitriol for him.

As Taibbi stated, Trump represents the public face of the concerns of the "deplorables" and those people and their wants, opinions etc must be simply vilified at every opportunity.

They must be dismissed as being everything the media has taught people to hate, and no smear label is out of bounds when smearing them.

It is important to constantly portray them as beneath contempt, morally inferior and therefore worthless.

Hence the need for all the public claims like "your thinking makes me puke" by the morally Superior virtue-signalling performance artists we see so often here.

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 6 2020 10:35 utc | 129

Conspracy loon @ 129
Nice bit of psychological rationisation.
With projection, lack of empathy, selfish disregard for the well being of others. For your own self interest completely disregarding the suffering you and your type impose on others. All rapped up in weasel words to make palitable for the unaware and gullible ! In short a classic psychopath.
Who are you ? We don’t know, you don’t tell us.
Clearly very Adept at twisting the truth, blame shifting and character assassinations.
Who do you work for ? (It’s clear to me)
Reminds me of a guy who turned up on here, by the name Craig Summers.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 6 2020 11:30 utc | 130

With projection, lack of empathy, selfish disregard for the well being of others

----

Lol only took you a mere 9 words in, to get to the pure performative virtue-signalling.

Well done the MarkII Bot. A fine start at achieving today's mandatory daily quota.

---

The pretence by the performative "woke-ists" like the MarkII "Corporate Programming Reciever" Bot (™©®) above, to pretend that what they are engaged in is some sort of class war, are simply risible.

It's clear to all but the most brain-washed and blinkered, (see above) that what we are witnessing is corporate-sponsored attempt to create all-out Race War.


That it is corporate-supported and sponsored is plain to see,

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 6 2020 11:42 utc | 131

Con loon @ 131
I think the regulars here can judge who’s genuine and who’s not.
So again ——— WHO ARE YOU ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 6 2020 11:53 utc | 132

Antifa bring incendiary devices & explosive fireworks to use as weapons, setting two people on fire. Antifa respond online by blaming police:
https://mobile.twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1302502707740028929

In recent days the BLM/Antifa have specifically targeted predominantly non-Black residential areas, attacking residential buildings with absolutely no concern for the safety of the people, predominantly non-Black adults and children, living inside.

They have deliberately targeted these areas due to nothing more than the skin color of the people living there.

Race War, not Class War is their aim. All encouraged and sponsored by Corporate elite like Soros.

The idea that the predatory billionaire George Soros is concerned with formenting class war is so ridiculous as to even not warrant any serious consideration.

Race War on the other hand, would suit corporate elites like him just fine.


Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 6 2020 11:54 utc | 133

I noticed many people here - specially the newly come right-wingers - are using the "my opinion is as legitimate as yours" rhetoric tactic to debate (or rather, degenerate the debate). Everybody has the right to have an opinion, but that doesn't make it correct. That's why we have science (aka "the numbers") to decide.

For example, the question about Trump's place in History. I have argued here for years that Trump is a weak POTUS that represents a late (i.e. declining, decadence) phase of the American Empire, in opposition to some here who think he's the second coming of FDR, a "strongman" who will revive the Empire.

Why am I, and not the others, correct?

Because I have the numbers, the data, on my side (to every point I've already provided links here, so I won't post them again):

1) For starters, Trump's corporate tax cuts didn't work: investment continued to fall and Wall Street continue to rise. Jobs can only be created through investment. Therefore, it did the opposite he stated would happen. Not a sign of a strong POTUS.

2) The "decoupling" failed in every goal. American industry continued to decline (in absolute terms and relative to its participation in the American economy; indeed, in 2019, there was a quarter where industry went in outright contraction and the American GDP still grew by more than 3%, such was the insignificance of manufacturing in America's modern economy). Most importantly, trade deficit with China rose.

3) Unemployment initially fell to historical lows, but the pandemic soon proved this was a mirage: the moment the USG offered a paltry sum of USD 900.00 to every unemployed, reality sunk in and the true figure came out. The problem here is that those "jobs" were so precarious, so fake and so insecure that the USD 900.00 stimulus checks were objectively a better deal.

4) Famine came back to the USA. A new statistic came out and shows 1 in 8 households in the USA don't have enough to eat. Not a sign of a reviving empire.

5) In bad times, the American model of a Federation proved a complete failure. The Empire was completely unable to coordinate a unified anti-pandemic policy. Fiscal wars - typical of the federation model - intensified, and has now evolved to an outright political polarization between the "coastal elites" ("Blue States") and the "heartland" ("Red States"). The Empire is having to forcibly transfer resources from the Blue States to the Red States in order to keep its territorial integrity. During the High Empire (1945-2007) fiscal wars obviously existed, but they were localized to some cities - Detroit being the most spectacular one, but also the exception that proved the rule; the Empire could brush these problems off without any serious consequences.

6) The USA's relative participation in the world economy continues to decline. This isn't Trump's fault by any stretch of imagination, but he also didn't reverse the trend. A curious fact: it's not just the USA that is declining relatively here, but also the "Global North", i.e. the entire G7 countries plus the rich peripheral countries (Australia, Switzerland, Nordics, Ireland etc etc.) since the end of the 1990s.

7) By the very nature of Trump's policies and reforms, you can infer by logic he's not only not FDR, but he's the anti-FDR. His policies are strictly pro-elites (corporate tax cuts, use of Wall Street as the yardstick for the welfare of the overall economy, use of the State machine to intervene in favor American big business etc.).

8) He's not stopping any wars. Yes, you can claim he wants to, but the Deep State is not allowing him to do so. But then there goes the "strongman POTUS" argument. Also, Trump is not winning those wars either: he's not an imperator, let alone a propagator imperii. And, as the previous points indicate, he'll not be a restitutor orbis.

Many years ago, I joked here that the American people elected Trump on the hopes of getting a Trajan, but they could well be getting a Diocletian. With recent events, they may be getting a Severus Alexander.


Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2020 13:05 utc | 134

_K_C_ @111

But at the top of the whole thing, just behind the parapet so as not to be visible to those who aren't trained to see it, they knew it would fail and that the failure was the feature, not the bug in their plan.
_______________________________________________

The top of the whole thing is trump. Trump is the one who created Russiagate and Ukraingate. Sure the corporate oligarchs and their lapdog media have provided production assistance but trump is the writer and director of this kayfabe storyline. Trump is the one who created the narrative that Russiagate and Ukraingate are witch hunts and a coup attempts to unfairly bring down a sitting president.

That is why Mueller had to meet with Trump after he was offered the job as Special Counsel but the day before his appointment was announced. Trump had final approval on casting for this important role.

And then within hours of the announcement of Special Counsel investigation Trump tweets that its a witch hunt and a coup attempt and that is all it takes to convince the morons to overlook that this was the Trump administration who was investigating the Trump administration.


Posted by: jinn | Sep 6 2020 13:18 utc | 135

So refreshing to finally see a not-outrageously-demented comment from vk, above.

A tad overdue, but better late than never.

And, if accurate, would certainly provide one somewhat plausible explaination for why the Corporate-elite feel the need to sponsor, encourge and run-interference for, through their media/propaganda programming, BLM/AntiFa's Race War efforts.

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 6 2020 13:24 utc | 136

I think the donors would be very happy with either Biden or Trump. To them, it will equate in the same policies, so it really boils down to personality.
________________________________________________
Not really. There are things that Trump can pull off that Biden can't. The obvious ones are huge increases in military spending and tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy

Posted by: jinn | Sep 6 2020 13:25 utc | 137

In case you have not noticed, there is a race to find niches of business in face of the coming genenral bankruptcy and defaults.

An unexpected, by the genuine non-violent protesters, of the violent riots in the US and calls to defund the police, is the privatization of police activity on beahlf of the MIC of always.
The danger is that this "private armies", all the way related to the "private armies" working around the world, already unleasehd in several US cities, especially the most affected by the riots, lack the accountability the public police still has ( and that you know is quite diminished in case of black rac e victims of unnecesary shootings and deaths we are witnessing almost everyday...).

This is why is to be suspected ( as I do...) that the riots are organized by the same corporate US that fund both, Trump and his alleged opponents, by buying people with criminal records or simply people who live on day to day basis, and thus are willing to accept several easy earned "benjamins" without thinking too much what their actions will imply...

Corporate police does nothing except advance the desired by the elites fascist police state...thus beware....Turn to peaceful mass protests, and present your list of requests to the authorities, who, as they support "peaceful protests" anywhere else, will find themselves embarrased with no other than to hear you..

The crisis leads to the privatization of the police in more than 40 capitalist countries

When mobilizations against police terrorism began in Chicago for the first time in late May, AGB Investigative Services telephones began to ring. This private security company employs more than 750 thugs and its clients include public institutions, companies and people with money to hire bodyguards and weapons training.

AGB has been inundated with petitions from business owners who fear the demonstrations may target their stores and merchandise. Wealthy residents in the north of the city fear for their gated communities. The city of Chicago itself wants to supplement its own police forces with private security.

On a weekend in June, Chicago gave $1.2 million to AGB and two other private security companies to provide more than 100 unarmed guards "to protect local retail stores, supermarkets and pharmacies" in the South and west of town. The contract was temporary, but Tifair Hamed, vice president of the company, says that the city can use his company's services permanently.(...)

However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's decision to hire private security guards to patrol the city raises concern, particularly because private security guards are not subject to the same accountability measures as the police.(...)

Three private security companies hired by municipalities treat the homeless more harshly than others. Tenants have little say in their neighborhoods because they are largely controlled by business owners and companies. The city did not even collect complaints against security guards in the various neighborhoods.

DHS (Home Office) has also hired private companies to quell the Portland protests. A DHS unit deployed this summer by the Trump administration, the FPS, Federal Protective Service, a uniformed security police, mobilizes 13,000 troops across the country through contracts with private security companies.

The FPS spends $1.5 billion in "incident response" to hire security guards to control crowds on federal properties, such as the sites and buildings that the FPS protects in Portland. Many of the FPS's contractors are from security companies such as Triple Canopy, which merged in 2014 with Erik Prince's Academi, former Blackwater, the world's largest private army that has operated in Iraq and Afghanistan with immunity status.(...)

Private thugs are on the rise in other major cities such as New York and Seattle as merchants hire private protection for their businesses from mobilizations against police terror. The demand for security guards in all markets is greater than ever due to popular protests. The private police are here to stay.

The number of thugs in the service of security companies has begun to outnumber that of public sector police officers after many budgets were cut as a result of the 2008 economic crisis. The cuts did not lead to a reduction in police workforce , but rather towards privatization ...

Private police forces already patrol college campuses. The University of Chicago has its own police department, with jurisdiction over more than 65,000 Chicagoans. It can search, fine and detain citizens the same as any other police officer.(...)

Legal obligations for police do not apply to thugs. A private company cannot be compelled to open its files to the public, even if they perform public functions.

Private companies collect information about people's private lives, and even information that a public authority cannot obtain. The information is then sold to the police, whose members often work underground and part-time as thugs.(...)

Thus, it seesm that private thugs were already infiltrating police departments since the 2008 crisis, which, at its time, can be in the origin of the riots, and the riots, at its time, lead to defund the police, but that the money does not go t fund social organizations to prevent crime and promote self responsability in keeping order inside the communities, but is being deviated to fund private armies of thugs.

An unexpected and obviously undesired consequence by anyone protesting who belongs really to the left and fights for a more equal, human, democratic society...

It was ages that I read about a future in the US where there would be two worlds, gated communities tightly guarded by Israeli private security, and the rest of the proles, abandoned to their own, in a post-capitalist world affected by an accute economic, social and moral crisis...Well, here it is already...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 13:30 utc | 138

Jay @7 - B's English was perfectly clear and accurate: Neither is a negative. To double the negative with "not" would, in fact negate his negation (and be inaccurate English).

Ta to Mr Gruff for pointing this out much sooner!

Posted by: Anne | Sep 6 2020 13:33 utc | 139

If Trump wins, it is what the international oligarchical demons wants. Pure and simple. They want people like Abu Aisha to screech racist at Smith, who babbles about his guns and patriotism. Sorry to single out you two, but your above posts are perfect example of left/right kabuki theater. If you haven't notice both parties play an electoral role, but at the end of the day they are one in the same. Constant war for the corporations to steal resources. Constant war to displace and cheapen people both home and abroad. Constant war to pad the pockets of some of the most repulsive prostitutes ever known.

PS. Ironically still voting for the full color flag revolution (Trump). The Covid-BLM-Antifa-Militia sit in spin is driving me nuts. I'll be a good girl here, and do my part free for the insanity of the oligarchs just to get out of this maddening limbo. Since most here are antiwar, see you all soon at the gulags.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Sep 6 2020 13:36 utc | 140

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 13:30 utc | 138

Of course, those in the allegedly "privileged" gated communities, should not promise themselves the happy, peaceful, comfortable life with the, brought by themselves at shouts, fascist police state, since, as happens with nay privatized service, and above all with mafias, the costs of "protection" only will increase exponentially each year, on the grounds of "modernization" of equipment and increasing of "risk" ratio...

You will be extorted as the mean greedy of you, unable to see further your wallet, deserves...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 13:39 utc | 141

Mr Jadan @17 - So to be worthy of your interest, your so-called respect, B needs must agree with your worldview? And where on earth does B say he supports the Strumpet? Recognizing the iniquities, the vileness of the Blue Faces does NOT negate one's recognition of the equal hideousness of the Red Faces...Your world view (assuming that it stretches beyond the USA's shores, which would seem unlikely) is, to put it mildly, simplistic. And, please, do cheery-bye.

Posted by: Anne | Sep 6 2020 13:40 utc | 142

james @109

I'll try to be gentle, though that is not part of my nature.

To try to frame the essence of the problem please reflect on why it is that yeasts and bacteria will grow in their petri dishes until they destroy the environment they rely upon in that petri dish and kill themselves off? It is because their life activity, their "bacterial economy" to be precise, is automatic and driven by simple and non-sentient formulae. Those formula are encoded in the genetic material of the yeasts and bacteria and cannot readily change, certainly not in time to save their petri dish cultures from self-extinction.

Next reflect on what is considered the chief selling point of the economic arrangement whereby private ownership of production capabilities and "free market" exchange of goods (capitalism in other words) is used to determine productive economic development. In this arrangement investment capital simply flows to where it will earn the most profit. This is a formula that is as simple as that which drives the growth the "bacterial economy" of the microorganisms mentioned above. The advertised superiority of this arrangement is how automatic it is. It bypasses what is assumed to be the built-in and unavoidable "original sin" of human corruptibility. Flawed human intellect doesn't interfere with capitalist economic development so long as the market remains free. Any effort to "guide" the market with intellect and good intentions invariably causes profitability to fall until the regulations are removed or investment finds a way around them, returning economic control to the simple formulae of bacteria.

Doubtless the reader can see the point I am making here. It is the market-based economic control mechanism used to direct development that results in human bacteria poisoning their petri dish of a planet.

But the mindless market isn't the only way to regulate and develop human economy. Bacteria and yeasts don't have brains. They don't have the capacity to alter their economic activity except through evolution, which is very similar to how capitalist economies develop. While there is nothing wrong with evolution, it is a slow process that can only ever react to the immediate environment. It lacks anything remotely like foresight. Economic activity can only ever be optimized by these automatic formulae for the immediate now. They can only react to environmental changes after those changes have occurred, and the reaction can only be slow, random, and haphazard. In a full petri dish that will be too little and too late.

So we have a choice of ways to try and keep our planetary petri dish from being poisoned by human economic activity. We can cull a portion of our population to allow our current economic arrangement to continue unchanged, or we can place our economic development under the deliberate management of human intellect topped by a strict meritocracy of hard sciences and engineering.

Some, particularly those weak in the more challenging intellectual pursuits, might prefer the population cull. After all, what a horrible world it would be if only brainiacs and eggheads decided how our transportation is powered, and what kind of grains should be grown, and what kinds of packaging our commodities should be delivered in, and how our homes will be built. It would be so much better if half the population of the planet would just go away. Then we could continue living as we always have.

But who gets culled? Of course, the best and fairest way to decide would be to cull the ones who pollute the most. Simply visit the wiki page List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita, sort the list to bring the biggest per capita emitters to the top, and exterminate the entire populations of the top thirty countries on the list (woohoo! Greenland and Japan squeak under the wire!).

Of course, that is not the way people supporting the idea of a cull of humanity envision it working. "But people in my country are important! We're exceptional. I'm exceptional! We should start with people who are not important. Africa is full of people not doing anything who nobody will miss. And then there are the Chinese! They're being mean to Muslim fundamentalists, and they eat cats and cripple their children with foot-binding and stuff, so the Chinese should go too!"

Historically and currently everyone who supports a cull of humanity always envisions it falling most heavily on the Global South, and particularly on peoples already targeted by their own nation's jingoism and propaganda. This despite the fact that culling a single individual from the Global North will have as big of an impact on environmental sustainability as taking out a dozen, or even dozens, from elsewhere.

The argument for a cull/"population control" is thus the most horrible and despicable form of racism imaginable. It is a discouraging sign of intellectual weakness and delusion to see people who protest against imaginary racist "microaggressions" arguing for backdoor racist genocide. Shallow virtue signallers can apparently live comfortably with themselves so long as there are a couple steps between their covert racism and the racist genocide that it represents.

Hint: A 100% random lottery cull is racist. Why? Because a majority of those drawing the short straw will be citizens of the global south simply because that is where the bulk of the human population resides. The problem with this is that these peoples represent a fraction of the unsustainable pressure on the planet's environment, so the number of short straws in the lottery will have to be much greater in order to sufficiently reduce capitalist humanity's impact upon the environment to sustainable levels. Billions of people who impact the environment relatively lightly will be culled in the process of hiding the racism of the cull behind a random lottery.

My recommendation with regards to the notion of a cull/"population control" of humanity is for those who find the idea attractive to start locally, as in with themselves. Don't make excuses about how "sustainable" you think your lifestyle is as you tap away on a computer or tablet made in one of those places you think need to be culled the most. Just do humanity a favor and personally do what you believe is best for the world by eating a bullet. That may sound harsh but it is actually the most fair and impactful way to save the environment for capitalism.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 13:45 utc | 143

coup d'état planned if Trump wins

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/bipartisan-washington-insiders-reveal-their-plan-chaos-if-trump-wins-election

Posted by: Lee Sonne | Sep 6 2020 13:49 utc | 144

William Gruff@143

Well said. I have used the "mold in a petri dish" analogy a lot in my life, most don't seem to be able to understand the comparison.

Perhaps we are not nearly as intelligent as a species as we think we are. Perhaps we are no more intelligent than mold in a petri dish. Our behavior indicates the latter.

Posted by: visak | Sep 6 2020 13:55 utc | 145

Disagree. I think this time the attacks will hit Trump very badly and shave off more supporters from his base. He's going down badly in November.

Previously with Hillary, the US public had the dubious pleasure of 2 terms of Hillary with Bill and also another 2 terms of Hillary with Obama. Everybody felt they knew enough about her and were sick of her.

Attacks on Trump did not work because people already made up their minds that they did not want Hillary, also while Trump was a scumbag, so far he wasn't in a position to impact most voters lives. Now he's done that for 4 years and all Americans now have direct experience of Trump in their lives n they don't like it at all.

This time Trump has become the Hillary of 2016, n he'll be a loser in November.

It's very easy to understand: even if u buy into the policies that Trump pretends to support(like Wall, Death to China, minorities r horrible), would anyone want Trump as their boss?

If you were forced to watch several hours of Apprentice every day for 4 years with Trump acting like an Orangutan on PCP and firing people, wouldn't you get sick and tired of watching it? Sick n tired of watching Trump?

Posted by: GreatSocialist | Sep 6 2020 13:56 utc | 146


The comments attributed to Trump display an attitude common to his class, on that basis alone I find them credible. The rich despise us for being their patsies even as they exploit us unto death.

Posted by: blindpig | Sep 6 2020 14:04 utc | 147

Don Bacon @67 - But it is never the blood of all the innocents (i.e. the whole populations) bombed to smithereens, Agent Oranged, Napalmed, White Phosphorus-ed, Depleted Uranium-ed into oblivion or everlasting damage to their lands, livelihoods, offspring, water...

Nope it is always the "blood" of the protagonistic US military that is lauded, hallowed, praised...In articles which in general are fairly objective on such as the wars on Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (not to mention Libya and Syria)...the US military deaths, and the number, are always, always listed first and those of the slaughtered afterwards in generalized "millions."

Frankly - I have had and continue to have zero respect for any in the Military, whatever their reason for joining. And since the ending of the draft what we have is a Mercenary military.

Posted by: Anne | Sep 6 2020 14:07 utc | 148

visak @145

True, but I think we should strive to be more than that. I think humanity has the capability of being more than just mold in a petri dish.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 14:13 utc | 149

Gruff@149

I agree, but perhaps we have not evolved to that point yet.

I read an essay about 10 years ago written in about 1915 that was titled something like "Why does man not act like man".

He was basically asking why the majority of humanity cannot act as the best of humanity does. He suggested that some of humanity, the extremely vast minority, had evolved to a higher level than the vast majority of humanity.

He suggested that these "great people" (such as gandhi, buddha, mother theresa, marcus auraleus, etc) were members of the former group and the rest of humanity belonged to the latter group.

Hence, we shouldn't be to hard on humanity as a whole, as it hasn't fully evolved yet.

I lost my copy of the essay and am unable to remember his name or the exact title so I am unable to find it again.

It is the most coherent explanation I have ever come across for how we find ourselves at this point.

Posted by: visak | Sep 6 2020 14:27 utc | 150

William Gruff @ 143
We disagree on some things Gruffy, but on reading this comment of yours I agree with all of it. Absalutly spot on !
I speak as I find. We all probably have friends relations we disagree with, but we can still respect them if they deserve our respect,
You do.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 6 2020 14:31 utc | 151

Trump's record cannot be attacked because it appeals to the majority of the electorate so they are going after him personally. I think most people can understand this and won't fall for it.

Trump will win in a landslide but the Dems and some crazy Republicans and neo-cons will do everything they can to stop him from continuing on as US President, including a coup d'etat.

It's funny. I always thought it would be the whites who would do this when a black president was elected. But it's the Lefties and the Establishment who are going full chaos.

Posted by: Lee Sonne | Sep 6 2020 14:31 utc | 152

What a sheer irrelevance, right down to the mindless quibbles against neither...or (as if voters were choosing between candidates vs. parties)! The entire page is just a drift of smoke. (Appologies to Grieved for mis-using your words).

One increasingly is inclined to suspect that Bernhard has been bought out by Trump's campaign team. It would have been a good investment (to the doubters, some of the same arguments in the article itself also apply here, as Bernhard himself would probably have agreed). Since early 2020 MoA has been obsessively US-centered in its choice of issues. At the same time it's language has been pervasively and persistently North American English rather than European English (let alone German English). The increase in "language trolls" is probably part of the bargain.

Anyone still obstinately clinging to the idea MoA is still written by a German siting in his flat in Hamburg might want to try tightening one or two screws. Things change, get used to it!

-----

As to the US "elections", I think all the fuss is misplaced. As always the elites have made their choice, and the voters will get whatever the elites have decided on whether they like it or not. Do some Americans still imagine election results are decided by counts of real votes? Never mind the massive brain-washing from the mass media that makes their work very easy, US elections (as all Western elections to a lesser extent) are just a race between two small groups of crazed professional election swindlers, as though unaware of the top powermongers among the elite pulling the election swindling puppet strings with a power that swamps that of the petty-swindling candidates themselves (although in scale Killery was exempted from the "petty" category, but that in itself was just another manifestation of the puppet strings).

With US election results overwhelmingly mediated by electronic voting machines, it is electronic digital votes that decide elections, not human voters. Whoever has most control over the electronic vote swindling decides the election result. Vote stuffing etc are just a bit of icing on the cake. Electronic vote-swindling trumps the election.

What is astonishing these days is the sheer choice of opportunities to TPTB for vote swindling. Sorry voter, you've already been shut out of the deal. What plays out in the public realm is just a theatre for public gratification.

The only other factor that has to be included in the picture is that these days there is self-evidently a major split within the ranks of the usually broadly united top elites. That almost certainly reflects the impending and unavoidable collapse of the Empire of Thieves, and the desperation of the elites to try to save their asses at all costs.

Posted by: BM | Sep 6 2020 14:31 utc | 153

James @ 106

If you have time to watch all that please click over to wrongkindofgreen.org. In the banner at top click on NGOs and scroll down to 350.org. Although you could read any of it and any of it is more informative than the movie.

Do you know the term ‘controlled opposition’? McKibben is and always has been wholly funded by the Rockefellers. In more than a few interviews he has claimed to have no knowledge of his funding. Yeah, professors at elite colleges never even think about money. All the rest of the environmental movement pretty much the same. Greta Thunberg came to the UN sustainably aboard a solar yacht christened the Edmond de Rothschild. No funny business there.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 6 2020 14:32 utc | 154

A strict grammarian uses "neither...nor..." And "either...or..." And the issue of a double negative only arises when using "would not" with "neither...nor..." Using "would" with "either...or..." obviously isn't a double negative. Personally I am not a strict grammarian for others, as I fail myself too often to prescribe grammar for them.

As to the substantive points of the original post? No, it is not clear that Trump never said it. I'm skeptical myself, but Trump has openly said similar things before. Worse than pretending proof of malice, the OP supports Trump with irrelevancies about Stars and Stripes, a trivial issue that can't do the work required. And the claim by Taibbi that it's Trump's political opponents who are giving him free publicity is absurd. Trump gets billions in free publicity, just as he did in 2016, because the rich who dominate the mass media support Trump. The real point to be made is not glorifying Trump as the OP does: It's that the whole story proves yet again that 1) the Democratic Party wants to criticize Trump from the right, and only the right, no matter what and 2) it is practically impossible to get to the right of Trump. This is no doubt what Trump supporters like about him.

One more time about the BS of Trump as economic nationalist. Cutting taxes is not reindustrialization. High wages to strengthen the internal market is reindustrialization. Continuing the fight against unions is fighting for low wages. Continuing the import of highly skilled workers is about lowering wages. Permanent tariffs on selected industries are reindustrialization, not here today, gone tomorrow negotiating tactics. Using tax policy to divert funds from finance to real investment in physical capital is reindustrialization, not pretending the stock market is the single barometer of good economy, or worse, jawboning the Fed to directly support stock prices. Cutting military spending in favor of infrastructure spending is reindustrialization. Direct government investment in industry is reindustrialization, but not privatization. Direct transfer of land etc. to individuals, a la the Homestead Act or to corporations like railroads and universities is reindustrialization. A central bank that serves the US first is reindustrializing. The projected policies (rarely enacted, by the way) of Hamilton in the Report on Manufactures, Henry Clay's American System and the revolutionary programs of the Civil War era Republican Party are economic nationalism. Everybody who claims Trump is an economic nationalist is lying, either on their own or by mindless parroting of right-wing talking points.


Paul Cockshott@61 wrote "@1 the account given in your link is plausible and corresponds with the explanation the historian Turchin gives of the crisis." Presumably this means Peter Turchin, who is not a historian but a mathematical modeler who started with population ecology, then moved into "cliodynamics." In itself this fact is trivial. Unfortunately his structural-demographic theory includes the fiscal crisis of the state but Turchin has no coherent explanation of what this is. Nor does he seem to even be aware that the issue may in fact be the fiscal crisis of the empire, if not the world. Furthermore, his theory emphasizes the role of elites, which may or may not be establishment politicians, in starting the real fighting, not the crowds in the streets. The real answers to the question of the accuracy of Turchin depend very much on what is happening in the officer corps, especially the higher ranks. This is not public knowledge.

Nathan Mulcahy@47 takes Lavrov's folly seriously. There cannot be peaceful coexistence of bourgeois neocolonial empires as they quietly divvy up the world. A world being redivided between empires is a world at war. Every suggestion to the contrary, including Lavrov's, is twaddle. The UN declaration was understood by the US to mean they organized the world, not that the USSR etc. shared power.

vk@134 brings up the notion of Deep State to defend Trump. (The whole theory of Deep State is anti-Marxist, an attempt to pretend a real democracy would control the military or something, instead of acknowledging that in a class democracy the military and security agencies have a necessary degree of autonomy in the arena of class struggle, the state. But that issue only matters to Marxists.) This is incorrect even in its own terms as one supposed core part of the mythical Deep State is the CIA, the President's Praetorian Guard, his private covert army. Factually, it ignores the many blatant pro-Trump elements in the police/intelligence/military, relying on a blatant falsification to pretend an imaginary opposition. Perhaps worst of all, it ignores the fact that economic warfare is still warfare. The fact that Trump is foolish enough to think his power over tariffs is a magic weapon to make better deals ignores the fact that what Trump deems a better deal isn't much of a deal for the people, as well as the fact it's not working well. There is precedent for delusions like this, Jefferson's Embargo Act specifically, a gigantic piece of folly that also ended damaging the country.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2020 14:34 utc | 155

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 6 2020 14:32 utc | 154

"Controlled opposition" is the perfect term for MoA under its new management team.

Posted by: BM | Sep 6 2020 14:34 utc | 156

Uh, the state is the *political* arena of class struggle. The workplace, the production process is the arena of class struggle in the most important meaning.

People should get these thing right, shouldn't they?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2020 14:39 utc | 157

GreatSocialist @146

You are simply reiterating the claim that running as the anti-Trump is a good strategy, or at least that it has now become a good strategy where it was a bad strategy before. That is bad logic that is based upon the assumption that the corporate mass media has sufficient remote control over the behavior of the population to decide the election. That wasn't true in 2016, and is even less true now. The credibility of the mass media has gone down since then, not up.

A significant portion of the population now realize that the mass media and corporate elites are trying to control their behavior, and part of that control is to compel them to vote for Biden. What this means is that even if they really dislike Trump, the only way to demonstrate their personal sovereignty and free choice is to vote for Trump... or vote for a third party, but I suppose that is a little too much to expect from people who are just barely clinging to the freedom of their minds by their fingernails.

Believe it or not, a bigger portion of the US population is more anti-mass-media/anti-elites than they are anti-Trump, despite Trump himself being a member of the elites. This has not changed since 2016.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 14:43 utc | 158

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 5 2020 18:40 utc | 10 -- And so here we are communicating about the circus before us instead of the financial rape going on behind our backs.... So keep ranting folks but don't look behind the curtain. Keep the myth of left/right going and ignore the top/bottom reality like you are manipulated to do....../sarc/sigh"

I hear you, brother. After perusing 100 comments, I have to join in your sighing.

Few are going to look behind the curtain, or as I like to put it, few will watch the Magician's Other Hand: while we argue about plandemics, rioting, shootings, elections... the robbing of the US Treasury continues as planned.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 6 2020 14:48 utc | 159

Mark2 @151

I fundamentally agree with many people here that I often sound like I am attacking. I think it is more important to be critical of one's friends' small errors than it is one's enemies' big ones. In particular I often sound like I am being supercritical over james' posts, but in fact I very much respect that poster and agree with almost everything he posts. Thing is that if he makes a mistake with his reasoning, it is almost certain that a great many other very intelligent people are making the exact same mistake. If I see that error then I have to point out in detail where the problem is, even if that level of detail isn't necessary to get the point across to the original poster. In this specific case, the issue within that Michael Moore documentary sounds reasonable in abstract, but it is in implementing a solution on it where it becomes horribly problematic. It is the thin edge of the blade of fascism.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 15:06 utc | 160

vk @Sep6 13:05 #134

I have argued here for years that Trump is a weak POTUS that represents a late (i.e. declining, decadence) phase of the American Empire ...

But you're not correct.

We can look critically at your 'proof' of being correct to understand why:

  1. Trump's corporate tax cuts didn't work ...

    They weren't supposed to "work" in the way that you think.

    They provided a "sugar high" that bridged to a bailout of Wall Street (which cam immediately after Trump declared a National Emergency due to the pandemic).

  2. The "decoupling" failed in every goal.

    Those who were gullible enough to believe that Trump's aim for "decoupling" was to bring back jobs to America now think that "decoupling" failed. But "decoupling" is really about smacking down China, not bringing jobs back.

  3. Unemployment initially fell to historical lows, but the pandemic soon proved this was a mirage ...

    This is correct! Trump boosts that he created the best US economy ever but the economy was on life support via Quantitative Easing for years before Trump's tax cuts - which were a 'sugar high' that wouldn't last.

  4. Famine came back to the USA.

    This is another "late stage capitalism" indicator that reflects policies going back two decades or more. It is not related to Trump.

  5. In bad times, the American model of a Federation proved a complete failure.

    In this point, you assume that the metric of success is the welfare of the people. But this conflicts with your thesis of late-stage capitalism and Trump as leader of the elites.

    The Empire was completely unable to coordinate a unified anti-pandemic policy.

    I and others have pointed out many times that Deep State/power-elite didn't want to fight the virus. There are many reasons for this, such as:

    - they want to blame China for the deaths;

    - the virus kills mostly older people (who are, from a capitalist perspective, unproductive drain on resources - fascism promotes such thinking: recall that Hitler also wanted to kill off the weak);

    - the virus affects black and brown minorities that white elites don't care about;

    - the virus provides looting opportunities via Big Pharma.

    ... outright political polarization between the "coastal elites" ("Blue States") and the "heartland" ("Red States"). The Empire is having to forcibly transfer resources from the Blue States to the Red States in order to keep its territorial integrity.

    This is a USA concern, not an Empire concern and was decades in the making.

  6. The USA's relative participation in the world economy continues to decline.

    After WWII USA had an outsidized share of the World economy. It has been declining for decades. This statistic is meaningly.

  7. ... he's not only not FDR, but he's the anti-FDR.
  8. This is true but it's not clear what the reversal of the welfare state means.

  9. He's not stopping any wars... the Deep State is not allowing him to do so. But then there goes the "strongman POTUS" argument.

    Once again. If the Deep State is in control, then why pretend that Trump is responsible for policy-making?

    Also, Trump is not winning those wars either

    Is the strategy to "win" those wars? Perhaps those "wars" are not meant to be won? Perhaps they are just battles in a larger war?

  10. <> <> <> <> <> <>

    The Deep State is firmly in control of USA and the Empire (and they will be until people understand how the USA political system really works). Trump is their latest front-man. Smacking down China is the priority of the Empire. We are moving to a total break in relations and permanent military tensions with SCO countries led by China-Russia-Iran-Pakistan.

    Trump's usefulness and the Empire's power is demonstrated by how ably they have navigated to confront Russia and China. Something that started in 2014 as signaled by Kissinger's Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal that called for MAGA. At the time, I called this Op-Ed a "declaration of war". Trump entered the 2016 US Presidential race 10 months after Kissinger's Op-Ed.

    !!

    Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 6 2020 15:16 utc | 161

In case there is someone who feels I am exagerating the arrival of the fascist police state...

Yesterday... The Hague...home of ICC.....

https://twitter.com/WakkerGeluid/status/1302192647340281856

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 15:21 utc | 162

BM @156

Of course.

Posted by: oldhippie | Sep 6 2020 15:25 utc | 163

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2020 14:34 utc | 155

I didn't defend the theory of the Deep State. I said that the American alt-right has to choose: either they believe in a Deep State (as the Deus ex Machina that explains all of Trump's failures, and they are many) or they believe that Trump is a "strongman", but not both (as they are mutually exclusive between them).

But the idea of a Deep State is not madness. Corrupt and powerful courts that manipulate their "head of State" are plentiful in Human History since Antiquity. You can posit that. But then, Trump is a weak POTUS, not a strong one.

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2020 15:25 utc | 164

Mark2 @Sep6 11:53 #132

Con loon @ 131
I think the regulars here can judge who’s genuine and who’s not.
So again ——— WHO ARE YOU ?

He's a sort of regular who shows up here from time to time in different guises. Long-time moa readers will remember him as foff.

He's right-leaning and he challenges our thinking (that is often a good thing). He's also very witty.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 6 2020 15:27 utc | 165

#17:
Don't let the door hit your backside on the way out.

Posted by: morongobill | Sep 6 2020 15:37 utc | 166

by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 5 2020 21:01 utc | 47 -- "Lavrov: “They (US and EU) should stop living in the past reminiscing about the colonial era and considering themselves smarter and mightier than others and start working on the basis of what they signed in 1945, namely, the UN Charter principles, including equality, balance of interests and joint and honest work. We are ready for this.”

That was strong stuff from the world's greatest living, serving diplomat. When a perfect gentleman talks to you like that, you know that you are beneath contempt.

The other great serving foreign minister is China's Wang Yi, whose mind is at the same level in excellence, correctness, accuracy, astuteness, but whose language comes across to Western ears as formulaic, stilted.

In this league, pompous pompass is not qualified to sit at the negotiating table unless he wears adult pampers: the US pigeon lies, cheats, steals, shits all over the chessboard of global diplomacy, knocks over the pieces, declares victory, then flies on to the next 'reality'.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Sep 6 2020 15:40 utc | 167

What wrong with this picture? The former jail guard, overlording the new jailed. Go Jeff. Go.

{snark}
b,

You misspelled the word career. You wrote carrier.


concentration camp guard for the Zionist colony in Palestine he made a carrier as a war mongering journalist:

{/snark}

To all the spell checkers and grammar police,
Please, there are still only 24 hours in a day, no?
Let’s get over the little mistakes and grammar errors, and let’s get to the meet of the issues at hand.

The issue at hand, is YES, 4 more years of the Orange Kool-aid. The epidemy of what the grotesque empire looks like. All the wars, and all the misdeed are boomeranging home now. A fun future awaits.

Don Bacon @4,
I have seen your refutations of the jail guard before, and I vouch for the veracity of your statement.
Thanks for your efforts.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Sep 6 2020 15:49 utc | 168

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 6 2020 15:27 utc | 166

It would be good is he could "challenge our thinking" ( which I very doubt he does with his unelaborated posts, since he limits himself to keep the commenter from its intended task, that is explain/post its point or relevant info by provoking an irrelfexive response...), without grossly insulting who he deems as ideological oponents/providing points which prejudice his defended narrative..

It´s incredible how you some here complement each other...I became aware how you contributed to their ( your?...) collective intend on discrediting me through past threads when you started, through a whole bunch of posts, projecting into me what you really do here all the time, mate...

I start to really doubt your ( some of..) apparent oppositionist stances here, since in the end, you come to support the same line of thinking, and attack, even when some try to do it subtly, the same people...There there is also those who, apparently peaceful creatures, attack unexpectedly from the flank..when you are under full indiscrimante fire...these are the most cowards...imo...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 15:57 utc | 169

...people who protest against imaginary racist "microaggressions" arguing for backdoor racist genocide.

@Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 13:45 utc | 143

It is good that you try to make the rest see in what do you think they are wrong, ven with very intelligent people, but it would be good too that you could accept the same in reverse without going "gruff"...

To see if it works...

IMO, describing the 20 times shooting by a policeman on a person, and similar events which we are witnessing every day, and have been happening in the US since its inception as state, as "microagressions", informs lack of empathy with the people affected in the best case...

May be I have missunderstood you, as some will argue soon...due my deficitary English...

Calrify this point, please.

P:S:With respect to "james", you are more fortunate than me, still to this date, I am not sure which political views, or nay other kind for that matter, james holds...I mean, his vision of the world...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 16:14 utc | 170

H.Schmatz @Sep6 15:57 #170

I disagree with Contra-Conspiraloon when he spouts obvious right-wing talking points but he also makes comments like the one that criticized the view that German's ALLOW themselves to be occupied (I agree with him that USA/NATO does not give them such a choice).

There are many instances of such sloppy thinking that we have seen here such as "Turkey is turning east" which was later proven incorrect and "Empire in decline" which promotes the thinking that SCO is an inevitable winner of the conflict between Empire/NATO and SCO/China. IMO the decline, such as it is, will not happen fast enough to be a decisive factor over the next decade.

C-C/foff uses stark, cutting language as a device, though he crosses the line into insulting more often than I like (I have criticized him for that in the past). His mockery gets attention but just looks cruel at times that he's clearly wrong. That's the risk he takes and he gets banned from time to time because of it.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 6 2020 16:59 utc | 171

George Soros is one of the biggest funders of Biden lately, says alot about his silence on the violence in the streets.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EhFcxHQWkAMFIZG?format=png&name=900x900

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 6 2020 17:18 utc | 172

Well, lot of stupid binary donkeys blahblahting in that thread.

According to them :
- bernhard is "controlled opposition", probably bought by the Trump campaign. That's a ridiculously paranoid analysis.
I'm currently living near Toulouse, France. I can tell you that Bernhard is polically free, because his hiring contract with Airbus is exclusive ;=》
- vk is "Dem operative masquerading as hard-liner Marxist". Well, here appears some bit of psychosis in ContraLoon


There are binary and childish minds
(probably not so high IQ) who can't keep themselves to think "Oh, he's not with my truth, then that's a good enough proof he pertains to the Bad party". They can't imagine that one could think out their binary POV.
Those minds are not smart enough to bring useful ideas to an argument. They just consume screen space and reader time. As such, they are pollution. Would Bernhard decide to banish them, I would happily support such a Germanic dictatorship.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 6 2020 17:20 utc | 173

Adding to my comments @Sep5 18:02 #2 and @Sep5 18:16 #5

b made a similar observation about the 2016 race:

How Clinton And Her Shallow-Brained Media Do Trump's Bidding

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 6 2020 17:43 utc | 174

tom, richard steven hack, william gruff, and oldhippie.. i have replied on the open thread for today - week in review @ 26.. thanks for your comments on this!

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 17:50 utc | 175

@ 156 BM... care to elaborate more on that and how do you fit into the equation?? thanks..

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 17:51 utc | 176

H.Schmatz @171

The racism issue indeed doesn't make sense if you are operating under the mistaken assumption that police only shoot Black people in America. Confusion is further understandable if one thinks that the bulk of the racialism concern in America is related to police shootings. Both of those assumptions are wrong. Until the rioting started this summer, the broadest impact the concern for racism had on the lives of most Americans was found in universities and workplaces. Since instances of real aggression by regular Americans against Black people are almost impossible to find examples of these days in the US, the fiction of "microaggressions" was manufactured to provide the necessary divisiveness for capitalist society.

It wasn't until recently that America's white middle class paid any attention to criminals being shot by the police, regardless of skin tone. In fact, many of those white middle class whom today are furiously virtue signally their concern for the well being of Black people being arrested by the police actually voted for Clinton, who ran on a campaign of increase police repression. Biden himself has a longer history of backing increased police repression than Trump does, and these virtue signalers are not discussing voting for anyone other than Biden.

If Biden wins the election in November, the police shootings will continue just as they are now, and probably even increase. The riots, on the other hand, will stop. Unless you are only twelve years old and it never occurred to you to look at the racism issue in America before then you know that is true. Just as the Maidan protests were shut off by the media after the fascists took power in Ukraine even though the real issues in the lives of Ukrainians remained unaddressed, the evening riots in the US will be cancelled when regime change is successful. The "white privilege sensitivity training" and "anti-microaggression seminars" will continue at workplaces and on campuses, though.

It may be that you confuse police shootings with artificial signs of hateful bigotry, but many Americans can tell the difference.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 17:52 utc | 177

William Gruff @ 160
Again thanks for that feed back. I totaly agree, with your wisdom here. Your following comment is logical and considerd, naturelly we have slightly different perspectives on areas of this big topic. Let commen sense prevail. Neither of us are ‘yes men’ good thing to.

————
Jackrabbit @166
Thanks for the feed back, very usefull. Respect.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 6 2020 19:18 utc | 178

I'm with psycho - one party, no waiting.
And avoid discussion of real issues - that would be populist.
When planning for success it helps to consider position, destination and path.

Posted by: jared | Sep 6 2020 19:38 utc | 179

So far as I can tell, if the notion of a Deep State means anything, it means a crony capitalism where only a relatively small number of cronies can use state resources to husband their wealth. It applies to countries like, perhaps, Turkey or Egypt (where the term originated I believe.) Or historically to places like Somoza's Nicaragua or Porfirio Diaz' Mexico or Stuart England or according to critics Putin's Russia, where only those willing to play ball get to pay and play. The notion that this requires a weak president is the opposite, as it is the authoritarian ones who can deliver the goods. At any rate, the crucial "idea" (to speak loosely of this nonsense) is that, basically, a cabal has distorted economic policy of the state for personal enrichment. Large economies are much less apt to this kind of monopolization. Madison in Federalist No. Ten should not be deemed the font of all wisdom, but the dude had a point for really big countries. The general notion that Deep State means elections don't change policy, which is anti-democratic relies on illusions in democracy. Democracy is all about making sure elections don't change policies that can deprive the owners of their property. That's what makes it democracy. Peddling nonsense about the Deep State is diverting attention from this unappealing aspect of democracy.

The notion Trump in particular is weak relies on the implicit assertion Trump wants to make democracy work, as opposed to trashing it. This is no more true of Trump than it was of Nixon. So far as I know, they mystifying influence of Corey Robin is spreading this nonsense about Trump. I can only say that Robin is the genius who was sure Trump's catastrophic defeat would shatter the Republican Party. It is instead the Democratic Party that has barely avoided and open split...but whose big donor base is no longer big enough to create a media campaign against Trump equivalent to the one waged against Nixon.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 6 2020 19:39 utc | 180

Everyone who visits this blog should read the Matt Taibbi article that b linked to. Here's a key quote from it:

It’s been proven across four years that Trump lacks the attention span or ambition required to implement a true dictatorial regime.

It took all too long for this commenter to realize that Trump's time horizon is normally very short. That explains his impulsiveness. Trump is also brazen, as Taibbi expounds on later in the article. These characteristics, more than any other, make Trump as President a danger to the "deep state". In typical fashion, they've taken a multi-pronged approach: temper his behavior, delegitimize him in the (mainstream) press, and otherwise do everything possible to ensure that he does not win the 2020 election. Ultimately, they'll flip the proverbial chess table and blame it on him. And all of this in spite of his alignment with them on general terms at least (wanting US hegemony to continue etc.). Another four years of him in office would be literally intolerable to the "deep state" because they can't just turn him into a cypher. From their point of view, in order to prevent him from upsetting their apple cart even further, they'll have to neutralize him by any means necessary. The only thing remaining is to establish the plausible deniability.

Posted by: Cynica | Sep 6 2020 20:13 utc | 181

On another note, it's important to keep in mind that the so-called Civil War in the US resulted from Abraham Lincoln being elected President in 1860. There's potential for either "side" to refuse to concede if they lose the upcoming election. Should that happen, it's not a big step to an actual civil war in the US. The belief that the military would monolithically support the winning candidate could well be inaccurate. Once the military is split, and each side is willing to fight for what they think is right, civil war is on.

Posted by: Cynica | Sep 6 2020 20:21 utc | 182

@Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 6 2020 17:52 utc | 178

You have not convinced me, IMO there is only one way to see what is happening in the US and the numbers are there, and not precisely related to what you define "microagressions" in workplaces and campuses...

From an older than twelve years old journalist ( not precisely on the left...) on microagressions and odious comparisons...

A country on the warpath

(...)The police in the United States - a country full of weapons - have easy trigger, any futile encounter with the uniformed men can end in tragedy due to a bad gesture or confusion. So far in 2020, agents have killed - according to Mapping Police Violence's count as of August 30 - 765 people. An enormity. And in this tragedy, blacks pay the highest toll: they represent 28% of the victims, when they are no more than 13% of the populationv.

The double standards of the American police were obscenely exposed in Kenosha itself two days later. While the mere suspicion that Jacob Blake was getting into his car in search of a gun earned him seven shots in the back, the young Kyle Rittenhouse - a 17-year-old boy from Antioch, in the neighboring state of Illinois - walked with impunity in front of the police armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, after having killed two people and badly wounded a third, without any officer considering him a threat and proceeding at least to arrest him. Of course he was perceived as one of themselves ... He was arrested hours later, at his home.

Rittenhouse, declared a supporter of Trump and the movement in favor of the forces of order baptized as Blue Lives Matter - in opposition to Black Lives Matter -, pointed to an appeal made through social networks that urged to go to Kenosha to protect homes and businesses in front of the violent groups embedded in the protesters who were protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake. The city was that night full of armed civilians without any control. Rittenhouse was one of them. Around midnight, and in circumstances not entirely clarified, he killed a first protester (Joseph Rosenbaum) and then, after falling to the ground in his career, he fired again at a group that was pursuing him (killing Anthony M. Huber and ill-wounding to Gaige Grosskreutz) None of his victims was armed.

Instead of trying to defuse the growing tension in American society, the president - whose goal of winning reelection on November 3 overrides all moral or ethical considerations - has dedicated himself to deepening the social and racial divide, and even to implicitly instigate the violence that he formally intends to combat (Law and order is his new motto). But it's not just him. His party, the once respectable GOP - today a White House hooligan -, too. When at the recent Republican convention the attitude of the McCloskeys - who on June 28 threatened protesters in St. Louis with their weapons - was praised and used as an example, they were pushing every Rittenhouse in the country to go out and shoot.(...)

There are two Americas facing each other - in an increasingly violent way - and Trump has decided to become the warlord of one of them.(...)

The spiral is enormously dangerous. The United States is on the verge of a serious civil confrontation. It is not inevitable, but neither is it implausible. Arms have begun to speak for both sides. And from the highest offices of the nation, instead of sending appeasement messages, ammunition is distributed.

@all,

Worth translating it as a whole...with an translator...to test that when you claim self-defense for those armed on your side, then you deny it to those in the other, when you asure it is a crime when one on your side is killed, then you diminish and even deny the killing of those in the other, on the dubious grounds that they some had previous criminal records...

Too much for holding not seeing events on a "black-white"/"binary" basis...


Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 6 2020 20:41 utc | 183

H.Schmatz @184

You are still talking about police and not regular people. Police are not regular people. They have their own clubs and restaurants. They tend not to mix with regular people, and instead hang out with other cops.

Moreover, cops shoot anyone they are trying to arrest who resists arrest. The skin color doesn't matter. The very simple point that you refuse to accept is that the police were trying to arrest Blake, and he gave them grief. They never attempted to arrest the 17 year old kid, though if they did he would have complied with their requests and not gotten himself shot. That said, if the kid had resisted arrest and reached for a weapon then he would have been shot as well.

Simply put, there was a massive difference in behavior between Blake and the kid. The kid approached the cops with his hands raised and deliberately presenting himself as nonthreatening to them. Blake, on the other hand, was non-compliant and threatening. If you cannot see the difference it can only be because you are being deliberately obtuse.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 7 2020 0:48 utc | 184

"That's similar to the way I progressed over the last fifty years. Keep going. You'll get to the right position - mine - sooner or later. LOL

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 1:05 utc | 91"

Haha :D I'm a bit worried about having to move even more and doubt I have the time. I strongly suspect my work here was complete in or around 84 or at least by 86 but one can never be sure.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 7 2020 1:26 utc | 185

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 6 2020 23:00 utc | 185

HAHAHA

What a donkey you are ! You did not even understand which part of my comment was pure irony. This demonstrates you are a newbie here.

Nevertheless, you believe you know what's inside b's brain. Otherwise said, you overestimate your smartness.
Oh, and you are the same who needs to put an Evil tag on peoples who dare to not follow your Enlightened binarism.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Sep 7 2020 5:03 utc | 186

I am reading now that President Donald Trump called for network correspondent Jennifer Griffin to be fired because she confirmed details of a report claiming that he disparaged military veterans.

So now that the Atlantic sources are coming out we get the typical denial.

Trump thinks everyone except himself are losers so it is just consistency of his exceptionalism. Not that I think the Democrat traitors are any better but I am tired of the defense of Trump like he has a humanistic bone in his body...I posit he doesn't!

All this shit is soap opera kabuki for the masses while economic/socially critical stuff happens behind the smoke screen.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 7 2020 5:35 utc | 187

psychohistorian

You fail to understand that this is a neocon propaganda push against Trump to get the military to back not him but Biden. You play right into their hands.
Biden have already public backing from warmongering neocons, go figure how his foreign policy would look like if we win.

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 7 2020 10:59 utc | 188

This article, like so many about about Trump misses the point. Trump is not a popular president. He didn't win the popular vote. As Greg Palast as written exhaustively, Trump is president and will likely remain president due to outright voting suppression and theft. Trump has been and will always be a minority president. The only reason why Trump is in power is due to the overt criminal rigging of elections in states and counties that Republicans control. Since the USA is practically the only Liberal Democracy in the world that doesn't have uniform standards, laws and regulations regarding national election means that voting is practically useless, especially if one lives in a poor or minority district. It's not only the Republican party. The main reason that Bernie Sanders did not become the nominee in 2016 and 2020 is due to the Democrat mafia's dirty tricks. As the great former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien wrote, voting in the USA is like playing a slot machine in Las Vegas. If Trump prevails it will have nothing to do with his popularity, which he certainly isn't, and even less to do with Democrat campaign incompetence-which clearly both Biden and Clinton excel at. Rather Trump's "re-election" will happen for the simple fact that the USA isn't a democracy. It has seldom ever been a true democracy. The United States had only 35 years of its existence where universal suffrage existed for all citizens. Ever since the 2000 Election, the USA political process is no different than in faux democracies of Eastern Europe and other parts of the so-called Third World, where elections are rigged and manipulated. The only way for Biden and the Dems to win this election is to outmaneuver Trump and the Republicans in electoral skulduggery. The sooner that people realize this reality, the sooner that hack pundits, writers and commentators will no longer be given any credence. The USA is a failed state. Period.

Posted by: Der Kosmonaut | Sep 7 2020 12:47 utc | 189

Trump is a reflection of the majority of Americans: stupid, crass, arrogant, narcissistic, self righteous and bossy shit-disturber. So the herd that posses these attributes see their reflection and love it! They want someone who looks like them just like they try to make the rest of the world look like America.

What it takes to defeat this is NOT what Michelle Obama suggested, as in when they go low we go high. It takes an iron will, fight, a wall of stoic resistance and conniving ingenuity in translating what Trump's America is really like beyond the Trump reality show that hogs all the attention. Trump's America is chaos packaged as order, economic hardship packaged as Wall Street prosperity and global decline packaged as economic and military superiority.

Trump's opposition must hammer home images of Trump's America. Trump at the presser in Helsinki cowing to Putin with a soft, whimpering voice while other leaders at a summit joke and laugh behind his back. Trump playing multiple rounds of golf while first responders, nurses and doctors risk their lives working round the clock and try to save victims of Covid on respirators and while bodies are stored in refrigerator trucks and dumped in unmarked graves. They need to show images of Trump glorifying cops vs cops suffocating, choking and shooting unarmed blacks in the back and images of Trump's fine white supremacists freely marching the street vs protestors against tyranny gassed and beaten so Trump can show off with a Bible prop. Trump shaking hands with the elite at Mar-a-Lago while tens of thousands of cars line up for food donation pantries, and tens of thousands continue to sleep in tents on the streets of America or rot away in the largest prison system in the world, out of Trump's wealthy kind, sight and mind.

Trump's America is racial oppression, kid's locked in cages, revolt in the streets, farmers bankrupted by Trump's tariff war, millions of people out of work and losing healthcare, getting sick and dying of Covid, soon in the hundreds of thousands; that's the real Trump success not the success he had at the start riding a wave!

Globally, everyone except the Russians, Israel and the Tyrant Gulf monarchs hate his guts, not to mention, the shet he's disturbing in Venezuela, Iran and Palestine!

God damn Trump's America!

Posted by: Circe | Sep 7 2020 12:50 utc | 190

Der Kosmonaut@189
"The United States had only 35 years of its existence where universal suffrage existed for all citizens."

I am curious when the 35 year span was. Can you tell me?

Posted by: visak | Sep 7 2020 13:20 utc | 191

Another four years of him in office would be literally intolerable to the "deep state" because they can't just turn him into a cypher. From their point of view, in order to prevent him from upsetting their apple cart even further, they'll have to neutralize him by any means necessary.
__________________________

That is the pablum story that you have been fed for 4 years.

You don't have any evidence. The story is mostly based Mr Trump tweeting that story repeatedly at 4AM. That is not evidence! That is just BS.

For some reason these "deep state" attacks that Trump says have occurred against him always seem to fall apart when they are subjected to scrutiny. If it looks like it is likely to fall apart you can bet its one of Trump's phony "deep state" attacks.

The current kerfuffle over the Atlantic story about Trump and the military is a classic example of Trump's Kayfabe deep state attacks.

First of all the story had already been debunked by Bolton in his book so we didn't have to wait long for yet another classic kayfabe "deep state" attack to turn into the nuthing-burger.

But the other hallmark of the trump kayfabe "deep state" attacks is they always seem to originate with leaks from the trump inner circle.

So what does Trump get by leaking this phony story to the press? What he gets is what you will see over the next 2 months where the debate gets framed as which candidate is best for the military. Its now going to be all about which candidate is going to throw the most money at the military. Guess who wins that argument|

Both candidates are draft dodgers so trump doesn't lose anything there but Biden's draft dodging will now become known to the same degree as trump's. But mostly Trump can now be sure that the voters (especially military voters) will be constantly reminded of all the wonderful things he has done for the military and for veterans compared to Obama-Biden.

And then there is the most important feature of every kayfabe "deep state" attack. And that is that they convince the morons that love trump that Trump is engaged in mortal combat with the "deep state" and against all odds is hanging on by the skin of his teeth while the morons that hate trump become more and more convinced that there is some huge govt bureaucracy that is going to take trump down so there is little reason to bother to get their fat asses off the sofa and go vote.

Posted by: jinn | Sep 7 2020 13:29 utc | 192

The violence going on will surely give Trump quite a few votes

Just like fascists, BLM activistis scare of guests from restuarants, starts yelling, sluring against 2 older white people that have the guts to sit by
https://twitter.com/drrollergator/status/1302741208570236935

Anyone want to take a guess who these 2 people would vote for after such incident?

Russia will of course be blamed for these gangs when tide start to turn.

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 7 2020 13:29 utc | 193

@jinn #192

jinn seems upset by what this commenter wrote in #181 (currently). For one thing, this commenter is not a Trump supporter. This commenter also does not base their conclusions on Trump's 4 AM tweets. It seems difficult for many to accept even the idea that anyone can believe there's a "deep state" effort to bring down Trump without supporting Trump or believing everything he posts on Twitter. Yet such people clearly do exist.

This commenter has laid out their case before, but there's no problem doing so again. To start off with, Trump and the "deep state" are largely aligned on high-level goals, namely continuing US hegemony over the world. However, Trump does not take the "deep state's" long view of things. Compared to the "deep state", at least, Trump is short-sighted, impulsive, and brazen. Therefore Trump fails to see how US foreign policy since the end of World War II has been necessary to maintain US hegemony, if not expand it. Trump's instincts are thus counterproductive. If allowed to act unchecked, he would weaken US hegemony. That's the next to last thing (see below) that the "deep state" wants, hence their efforts to neutralize him.

The fact that the "deep state" attacks fall apart when subject to scrutiny is essentially irrelevant. Perception is what matters. Those who publicize and promote the fallacious attacks are either in on the con or they're "useful idiots". Either way, the outcome is the same.

Domestic politics is only of interest to the "deep state" when it starts encroaching on the machinery of the empire. Indeed, it's in the "deep state's" interest to keep US citizens focused on relatively meaningless social issues so that the machinery of the empire can run all the more smoothly. Nonetheless, keeping a lid on domestic discontent has not been easy. Americans have a habit of electing Presidents who at least appear to be outsiders. Trump has been the least controllable of them. That's his appeal to a large part of the US electorate, and that's what has the "deep state" so concerned, because it reflects domestic discontent that's starting to boil over. The last thing they want is a serious domestic uprising. Even if they could handily crush it, it would take all too long and be all too bloody, and there'd be no guarantee that the empire would emerge unscathed.

Posted by: Cynica | Sep 7 2020 14:45 utc | 194

Cynica @Sep7 14:45 #194

Trump is short-sighted, impulsive, and brazen. Therefore Trump fails to see how US foreign policy since the end of World War II has been necessary to maintain US hegemony, if not expand it. Trump's instincts are thus counterproductive. If allowed to act unchecked, he would weaken US hegemony.

No. You are wrong and jinn is correct.

Trump, like all recent Presidents, was essentially "hired" by the Deep State to be their spokesperson and tool. I put hired in quotes because it's not like a traditional job. More like a partnership. Trump is part of the team.

Trump doesn't need to understand US foreign policy since the end of WWII, he just needs to understand what the goals of the Deep State are TODAY.

Trump has been the least controllable of them.

=
Trump is no danger to the Deep State. None whatsoever.

Sure, he's a bit of a loose canon, like when he bragged - after being selected by the Deep State to be President - that he could kill someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it, but that is a minor ego-driven infraction.

Like all recent President's is very controllable because 1) he agrees with the goals of the Deep State, and 2) he wants the big payday that comes after he's President.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 15:20 utc | 195

Der Kosmonaut @Sep7 12:47 #189

The main reason that Bernie Sanders did not become the nominee in 2016 and 2020 is due to the Democrat mafia's dirty tricks.

Wrong. Bernie is part of the mafia. He never wanted to win.

We have a term for it: "sheepdog." He herded progressive voters into the Democratic Party.

You were fooled. Along with a few million other, mostly young, naive Americans.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 7 2020 15:25 utc | 196

Jackrabbit has maintained that Trump was selected by the "deep state" from the beginning. The implication of that is that everything that has transpired from Trump's election to now has been theater. How does Jackrabbit explain things like the Transition Integrity Project? Is that all just elaborate stageplay? To what end(s)? It seems like an awful lot of time, effort, and money to spend on developing contingency plans for something that is guaranteed to not happen.

Posted by: Cynica | Sep 7 2020 15:57 utc | 197

You're a disgusting piece of shit.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 7 2020 16:11 utc | 198

@ 197 cynica.. if it is any consolation, i like what you have to say and are saying... personally i don't think all this stuff is worked out.. it is much more complex then that... however, i do believe the usa empire is on it's way down, no matter how it gets explained... trump is helping accelerate the process as i see it.. it is going to happen with biden too and it won't be much if any - slower.... the usa is in a fast state of decline.. some want to tell us it is all planned - a controlled demolition... i suppose it is planned like people getting old and dying is planned, lol...

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2020 16:20 utc | 199

The fact that the "deep state" attacks fall apart when subject to scrutiny is essentially irrelevant.
____________________________

Ha Ha. Sure declare everything to be irrelevant that shoots down your logic.

At least you seem to have the facts correct (that is saying a lot). Your analysis of what those facts mean is appalling. So appalling that it looks to me like you got your logic from Trump's 4AM tweets.

Sure being an outsider makes trump more electable. In fact it is the basis of trump's most fervent support. That is a good reason to suspect that deep state will do whatever it can to help trump to continue to look like an outsider. I mean it should be obvious they could wipe out trump's core support in an instant if the deep state endorsed trump and started attacking Biden.
____________


Posted by: jinn | Sep 7 2020 16:30 utc | 200

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