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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Occam's Razor: These attacks are made to fail and make Trump look good in the end.

The Democrats haven't shown any indication that they really want to win. Russiagate was a farce. Impeachment was a farce. Sanders fake candidacy/Movement to take overthe Democratic Party was a farce. The Biden-Harris ticket is a farce.

Trump signed up for a 8-year term in 2016 and that's what he'll get. Indeed, MAGA Trump's main task is to counter Russia and China and that is far from complete.

The Empire is a bi-partisan project.

Caitlin Johnstone explains:

Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 5 2020 18:02 utc | 2

thanks b - for going down into the gutter and commenting on all this... i agree - the opponents are giving trump a free ride... our own poster here circe is living proof of it..

i am getting very tired of usa politics... i have less and less stomach for any of it for obvious reasons... i'll check out the matt taibbi article - thanks..

Posted by: james | Sep 5 2020 18:07 utc | 3

Years ago Goldberg's lying articles on Iran were routinely published on the Atlantic website blog. I regularly countered his lies with the truth, so my reward was to be blocked from the site. Now Jeffrey Goldberg as editor-in-chief of The Atlantic magazine can not only lie in his own articles, but also promote his Zionist agenda in other articles.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 18:08 utc | 4

2020 is just a repeat of 2016. In each race, Democrats and the Democratic candidate made obvious mistakes that led to Trump's election.

Hard not to conclude that it is arranged. Deep State wants MAGA Trump. But must pretend to be against him so that Trump looks like a "populist".

Trump is the shill in this shell game.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 5 2020 18:16 utc | 5

Part of this messaging reflects the attitude expressed in the Warsaw-Berlin phone call intercept (assuming it is authentic):

"When asked by the Polish official whether Navalny’s was really poisoned, the caller from Berlin said it doesn’t matter since any methods are good in warfare."

Beyond whether "any methods" are actually good or effective, approaching political or diplomatic campaigns as a form of "warfare" is itself bad form and not appropriate. Who is promoting these people?

Posted by: jayc | Sep 5 2020 18:25 utc | 6

b:

"If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the parties or candidates."

I assume you meant to put a "not" have "would.

Posted by: Jay | Sep 5 2020 18:29 utc | 7

What points to a Trump win? What points to a Biden win?

I guess this election will really bring out a big turnout of voters and the democrats will likely win that fight, if they will win the electoral college ...I am not that sure of though..

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 5 2020 18:33 utc | 8

Jay @7

No, our host's grammar is correct and the point our host is making is clear: Our host would not vote for Trump and the Republicans and our host would not vote for Biden and the Democrats.

Hopefully English is your second language too.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 18:36 utc | 9

For those of us that believe that there is now just the moneyed political party in America this makes lots of sense.

So if both parties in the US don't have a platform, what does that tell you? It tells me that they are not working for the public but working hard to keep people from seeing behind the curtain.

And so here we are communicating about the circus before us instead of the financial rape going on behind our backs. But b's source Tom Luongo was on story in his latest by writing that the economic downturn we are witnessing was caused by the effects of the Covid virus....even though the Fed was bailing out Wall Street since last September...but we have to keep the curtain up

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

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 5 2020 18:40 utc | 10

Independent of the credibility of the source, I for one do not find any problem in believing that Trump did not want to get his elaborated hairdo descomposed, and less that he could call the US vets fallen "losers" and "suckers", why not? This is Trump trade mark all the way... most probably for him to be a winner is avoiding recruitment, and indeed, due the imperialist character of each and every US wars, started only on behalf of US corporations, after all, he is right...he must have lerant it from his contacts with TPTB, Foggy Bottom, The Borg, or any of these ohantasmagoric entities..

With respect to Sarah Huckabee Sanders´ testimony, one wonders why we are not going to believe this Goldberg dude and yes her in the shameful episode he suffered in Air Force One after an official visit to North Korea, when, after asuring Kim Jong Un had winked her an eye, Trump asked her to think about forgetting his husband and children for a while and hanging around NK "for the benefit of the team", episode that she, for what it seems, shares in soon to be out book on WH memories almost all former members of Trump´s cabinet are writting and editing these years..

If that really happened to Huckabee Sanders, I guess we must expect with anxiety McEnany´s book...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 18:40 utc | 11

Jay | Sep 5 2020 18:29 utc | 7:

MoA’s usage is perfectly correct there: the double negative isn’t favored in English. Of course it is proper in Russian, and since we’re all of us here Kremlin bots and trolls, b. is especially to be commended for getting it right.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 18:41 utc | 12

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 18:40 utc | 11

"Phantasmagoric entities" and "her husband and children", of course..sorry....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 18:43 utc | 13

@Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 18:36 utc | 9

Yeah.."Neither" is the negative particle which negativizes the sentence´s action..

I usually make those mistakes too...when typing too fast or without checking with a translator...sometimes we do not have the time.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 18:47 utc | 14

The big story teed up for late October is that Trump grabbed dead soldiers by the pussy. That should put this thing on ice for the Dems for sure.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 18:49 utc | 15

,...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...

I found these words by Taibi most accurate to be applied to the recent acquisitions of trolls, who, for the time they have already passed amongst us, unmolested, we should start considering as "resident trolls"...one guess...

May be coming dfrom the same Trump election HQ...seeing which points they defend here and which commenters they so derogatorely insult with fruition...and unexpected freedom...

Also astounding, and most revealing at the same time, the "coalitions" they are forming here...with regulars... who did not seem to hold such views previously to these last months of US election campaign....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 18:54 utc | 16

"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. " There is so much bullshit concealed in these two sentences that I get tired just thinking of setting your straight, b.

Anyone who supports Trump is not worthy of respect, in my opinion. Lately your defense of the Belarus dictator triggers my impulse to vomit. Now you show your unambiguous support for this sleazy unindicted criminal authoritarian.

You are not a small d democrat, b. I've come to realize that. Democracy is the way forward. Anything less is reactionary. Trump is a lunatic reactionary, a racist landlord like his father. He is anti-democratic and he belongs to an American tradition that ended abruptly with the Civil War but persists like the Klan and nail fungus because there are some extraordinarily rich reactionaries who are able to fund their insatiable drive for political control.

I'm done with Moon of Alabama, though I may check in occasionally to see if you've recovered your senses.

Posted by: jadan | Sep 5 2020 19:00 utc | 17

Taibbi:

    "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 incantation works primarily cos it's there's so much truth in it.

"Woke-ism" ala White-Supremacy-channelling DeAngelo for example

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 5 2020 19:02 utc | 18

The quoted point by Matt Taibbi is a very powerful one in the current environment: "Trump’s argument is, “They lie about me.” ... “They lie about you.” "

Many Americans today feel as though they are being unjustly accused of being hateful bigots and chauvinists. The more the corporate mass media ratchets up the hysteria about racism and misogyny, the more these people empathize with Trump when he claims that the mass media lies about him. Rather than turning the population against Trump by stirring up the racial division, the corporate mass media is driving more people into Trump's camp.

Unfortunately for the neoliberals this is a self-wedgie that they cannot stop hoisting themselves up by. All they have to sell now that Sanders and Co. have been neutered is that they are the anti-Trump, so the only way to increase sales is to try and magnify how horrible Trump is. The more they hyperventilate about Trump the more obvious it becomes that they are just making stuff up.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 19:02 utc | 19

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


-----

Because the "left", particularly the virtue-signalling performance-artists among them, think that not only are they morally superior to deplorables, but much much smarter too, and therefore simply worth so much more.

So blinded by their own brilliance are they, that they seem to have completely ignored the fact that a deplorable's vote is worth exactly the same as a virtue-signalling performance artist's

Posted by: Contra-Conspiralóon | Sep 5 2020 19:07 utc | 20

David G @ 12

Nah, no double negative there. That would be written as "not neither" (I spent my childhood in south east London so I know of double negatives in Estuary.). Rather with "neither" you should use "nor" not "or". It should have been written as "If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the parties nor candidates."

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 5 2020 19:09 utc | 21

Brexit and Trump 2016 again. The one place these attacks really work are in the pre-election polling. No one wants to be thought a racist when some nice young lady approaches with a clipboard.
But come election day

Posted by: M Droy | Sep 5 2020 19:17 utc | 22

8 weeks to the election. ———
Bring on the false flag terror attack, complete with a full star cast of Muslims. American elections are just a Hollywood B movie. We’v seen it all before.
Same as the Trump provoked racial conflict, an election scam.
‘’ Just give me the truth, all I won’t is the truth’’ John Lennon YouTube !

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 5 2020 19:19 utc | 23

Yes, many similarities to 2016, but no longer any novelty or entertainment value. The media spectacle is targeted at people who have already made up their mind.

Unless one lives in FL, PA, or a handful of other states, it is a random event that is decided elsewhere, so the sanest thing to do is tune it out. Personally, trying to stay healthy and enjoy the fall before the university on the hill forces this town to close things down again.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 5 2020 19:20 utc | 24

@ 6 jayc
. . .approaching political or diplomatic campaigns as a form of "warfare" is itself bad form and not appropriate. Who is promoting these people?
..regarding diplomatic "warfare" campaigns
The US security state was founded in 1947, set up to conduct constant warfare, which requires enemies. The warfare is important for political dominance, along with high profits, and so enemies are appointed.
Russia is a US enemy for sure, and always will be. The demise of the USSR did not in any way get Russia off the hook. This requires the existance of NATO under US control, which gives the US total control of western European support for its anti-Russia campaigns. This strategy also makes necessary a huge and expensive military ground force to fight (hopefully) some day in Europe, against Russia.
So the Pentagon's "warfare" is a big player in the anti-Russia campaign, and together with the US commander in NATO were probably the principal elements involved in the latest poisoning case "uncovered" by fellow military types in Germany. It would be surprising if they didn't do such things.
The other part of the warfare strategy is of course the pro-US propaganda which flows from the mainstream media. That's essential. Any reporter which would nice-talk Russia would soon be an ex-reporter. That's alll covered in Norman Solomon's book "War Made Easy" -- How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 19:22 utc | 25

The Atlantic corrects its fake story about a police officer shooting a child

"The truth of the rec center episode undermines not only the author’s supposed authority in the area of police brutality but also the entire purpose of her article. The incident that supposedly drove Purnell to favor police abolition did not even involve an out-of-control police officer. On the contrary, actual law enforcement officers reacted quickly and competently to the rec center incident, booking the offender within 24 hours of his violent outburst, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It is true that personal recollections can be hazy, but they also can be repurposed for whatever cause du jour happens to be trendy — in this case, the relatively new idea of police abolition. Purnell’s embellishment makes it a much sexier and more useful story than the one about some rent-a-cop shooting his cousin.

This raises a big question for the Atlantic: Did anyone fact-check Purnell’s article? The magazine did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment. Purnell, for her part, remains defiant in the face of her article’s implosion.

“I’ve reshared this essay with corrections about the shooting I witnessed. I was not 12. I was 13," she tweeted this week, leading with the insignificant inaccuracy about her age — as if to soften the blow.

Purnell adds, "The shooter was a uniformed private guard with a badge and gun. When we say abolish the police, that includes private police, too. thank you for reading <3.”

The Atlantic op-ed still refers to the shooting victim as a “boy"

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 5 2020 19:24 utc | 26

The Taibbi piece is good till the very end where he too implicitly endorses the Democrats.

Certainly true Goldberg's is just another hit piece about something he really couldn't care less about, just like any other propagandist. Meanwhile if Trump actually did say that, it's merely a typically politically incorrect expression of the long-running consensus. I've never come across anyone in real life or online who still thinks US involvement in WWI was worth doing. Of course today's imperial wars which Trump has happily continued, and the ones in Iran and Venezuela he wants to start, are even more worthless to any real American interest.

Of course now that Trump is alleged to have said this, the Democrats and Dembots will discover a new passion for US WWI heroism, never mind that not a single one of them could pass a grade school level quiz on it.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 5 2020 19:28 utc | 27

@ Jadan 17
If you cannot see the truth in the lines you quote as "bullshit" you need to change your news sources. Sure Trump is not particularly likeable and some of his policies are crap but compared to the deceit and corruption of the Democrats is is the lessor of two evils. US politics is largely a sham anyway. The real decisions are made by the corporatist oligarchy made up of the 6 corporations that control the media, weapons manufacturers, the financial elite, big Pharma and technology companies like Google "Don't be Evil" and Facebook. Together with the intelligence agencies these clowns make up the most malign force for evil on the planet. Trump was elected espousing many policies that were positive such as rapprochement with Russia, but gets stymied at every turn by the unelected bureaucracy. The policies that create money for these corporates roll on regardless. I call them clowns because as in nature their excess will eventually lead to their destruction but in the mean time the US and the rest of the world is much worse off than they could have been.

Posted by: Ike | Sep 5 2020 19:30 utc | 28

Ever since a few months into the Trump administration – for me by mid-2017, when it was established fact (it had always been foreseeable) that none of the big changes the man had suggested might be coming during his campaign were actually going to happen (e.g., end the wars, fresh look at Israel, end “carried interest” tax break for Wall St. parasites), or even attempted – it has been obvious that the 2020 campaign would be played exactly like 2016, especially on the Dem side.

For me it was also evident back then that this time Trump would lose, because without having actually delivered anything worthwhile, he would be unable to gain any support, and his razor-thin majorities in the decisive states would be eroded by four years’ worth of increase in the general disgust he engenders in those who aren’t his devotees. Between him losing a few voters who would realize the great “deal maker” persona was just TV fiction, and gaining a few others who didn’t vote in 2016 (some uniquely repulsed by Hillary) and now would be fed up with him, I saw the race tipping to Generic Democrat X.

That was the horse I picked back then, so I’m sticking with it, even though actually seeing the Dems do it again in all its gory reality – smugly assuming they can frame the whole campaign on Orange-phobia, thereby freeing them from any inconveniences like advancing a popular program unwelcome to the plutocracy and the war/surveillance state, or even from feeling an obligation to run an unambiguously compos mentis candidate – is pretty sobering.

A win by Generic Democrat X is still my call.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 19:35 utc | 29

jadan @17: "Anyone who supports Trump is not worthy of respect..."

What is sad and pathological here is that it is obvious that our host doesn't support Trump. The pathology is clear: "If you don't go along with our lies about Trump, then you support Trump. You are either with us or against us. It is Black and white. The truth is secondary to defeating Trump!"

This is the ridiculous, nonsensical and infantile binary thinking that caused so many on America's faux left to hysterically shriek that Michael Moore was "supporting Trump" when he explained how Trump was going to win back in 2016.

"But... but for the magic to work enough people have to believe in it!" cries Tinkerbell jadan. "If you doubt the magic then that will weaken it and help Trump! Don't you understand?!?! It's TRUMP!!! Aaargh!"

What is equally sad as the above is the pathology on the faux left demonstrated by jadan's post that they have nothing to discuss with their political adversaries. No negotiations are possible for the faux left. That guarantees that there will be more interesting conflicts in our future.

By the way, if you have not recently watched that video of Michael Moore that I linked above where he explains why Trump will win back in 2016, it is useful to revisit it. The points Moore made remain valid.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 19:38 utc | 30

Ghost Ship | Sep 5 2020 19:09 utc | 21:

While any ’elp from the Mother Country is always appreciated, since b. is writing in a language he doesn’t speak in his daily life, it bears reiterating that the sentence in question (“If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the parties or candidates.”) is perfectly correct Standard English as it stands.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 19:53 utc | 31

Anyone who supports Trump is not worthy of respect, in my opinion. Lately your defense of the Belarus dictator triggers my impulse to vomit. Now you show your unambiguous support for this sleazy unindicted criminal authoritarian.

You are not a small d democrat, b. I've come to realize that. Democracy is the way forward. Anything less is reactionary. Trump is a lunatic reactionary, a racist landlord like his father. He is anti-democratic and he belongs to an American tradition that ended abruptly with the Civil War but persists like the Klan and nail fungus because there are some extraordinarily rich reactionaries who are able to fund their insatiable drive for political control.

I'm done with Moon of Alabama, though I may check in occasionally to see if you've recovered your senses.

Posted by: jadan | Sep 5 2020 19:00 utc | 17


----

The comments of the drive-by never-heard-of-before woke-ist performatives frequently refer to their need to vomit.

Perhaps a change in diet would help?

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 5 2020 19:53 utc | 32

In 2016 the media didn't like Clinton and Trump did well enough to win the Electoral College if not the popular vote. This time, the media is fine with Biden and Trump faces a more motivated Democratic vote. We'll see what tricks Barr can pull out in September but it seems Trump is up against it this time.

Posted by: Mike Adamson | Sep 5 2020 19:54 utc | 33


I don't get how some people think what the Democrats are doing is by design to make Trump look good because they really want to lose the election. Come-on!
The leadership of the party are rabid from rage toward Trump for depriving them of their control and disrupting their agenda timetable. But they are also small petty people with very underdeveloped sensibilities who are very detached from reality in so many ways. Indeed, they are just plain stupid people! They have very distorted inner intellectual, emotional and psychological dynamics and are now fueled by resentment, anger, and hate and a desperate desire to reacquire the power lever of the presidency. Mediocre people with deficient inner workings coupled with their belief in their own entitlement is why they act like the warped children that they are.

Posted by: Ray Warkentin | Sep 5 2020 20:02 utc | 34

b says: “If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the parties or candidates”.

I do. And I’ll not vote for either of the two war criminal parties. I’ll vote for the Green.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 5 2020 20:06 utc | 35

A person more clever than myself said "Trump voters aren't stupid, they're angry."

The reason that Democrats keep going all-in on the 'we hate Trump' meme is because they literally have nothing else to offer. I mean, on the issues: more Wall Street bailouts, more hollowing out of what's left of our industrial base, more cheap-labor-uber-alles immigration, more trillions wasted on endless winless pointless foreign wars, bankruptcy 'reform' that turns people into lifetime debt-slaves, 'surprise medical billing,' excessive costs of education, unaffordable rents, underinvestment in infrastructure, continued tax breaks for hedge fun managers....

OK sure the Republicans are essentially as bad, and Trump has talked a big game but done basically nothing. But certainly, on real issues that working class people care about, the Democrats have NOTHING.

I'm voting for Trump just because I can't think of anything else to do and at least he doesn't hate white people.

Posted by: TG | Sep 5 2020 20:12 utc | 36

Dear Mr. Gruff (you ol’ billy-goat),

Your very appropriate image of the “self- wedgie” has kept me chuckling out loud all afternoon.

Thank you.

Posted by: NotBob | Sep 5 2020 20:14 utc | 37

"carrier" ==> career

"he made a carrier as a war mongering journalist:"

As always, thanks for the very good articles. Much appreciated.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Sep 5 2020 20:21 utc | 38

Btw, the Dem party has been so much infiltrated by neocons, intelligence agencies and anti Trump republicans, that I don’t use the Democratic Party name. I call it DemRepIntelCon Party.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 5 2020 20:26 utc | 39

David G @ 31

Nah, it's always either neither/nor or either/or. Neither/or and either/nor are both wrong. As for Americans, most are functionally illiterate.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 5 2020 20:26 utc | 40

@31 David G

Correct you are, and flawlessly phrased was b's comment. Not only that, but I was completely impressed by b's use of the expression "falling upward".

I do love good writing, and b does more of it than many I read.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 5 2020 20:31 utc | 41

I like the first paragraph of Taibbi's Trump critique but then he lost his way and 'forgot' one of Trump's perennial gripes with US Politics - Career Politicians. The majority of them are greedy, spoilt, privileged, well-connected brats with the mental age and disposition of a 10-year old.
i.e. Peter Pan Syndrome.

Trump was a bully as a kid. It gave his father the shits. Bullies learn a lot more about provocation/motivation/manipulation, and charm, than people devoted to traditional learning. They learn young and they don't forget their blunders or their victories.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5 2020 20:36 utc | 42

Oh how I long for US elections like they use to be, both blue and red teams would lie, cheat and steal (is it a requirement to take CIA courses for this or does it come like a second nature to them?) where one side would win and would become "her majesty's loyal opposition" (in the American way) and set about to become better at lying, cheating and stealing next time. Can we blame this on the vanity of Hillary and her desire for power or is it related to the sensing end of empire by those involved and results in a mad grab for the last cookies in the jar?

Posted by: Tom | Sep 5 2020 20:36 utc | 43

Look, the biggest strike against Trump is arguably his corporate tax cuts.

From a certain lens, a leftist one, this screams that DJT is a corporatist.

However, it is not that simple.

POTUS can not outright punish companies from doing business internationally by outsourcing their labor and importing cheap goods, undercutting American-made products.

He simply can't.

The backlash would immediately doom him and this would prove his detractors correct: that he is a central-planning dictator.

I have always thought that some concessions would then have to be made to encourage international companies headquartered in the U.S. to bring production home to American workers. Hence, the corporare tax cuts.

For many here, they overestimate the ability of the executive branch and POTUS, thinking that, like Putin or Xi, POTUS pulls all the levers and string.

But being POTUS is like navigating a minefield. Ask JFK about this or Jimmy Carter.

You throw bones out and keep the dogs fed or they will come after you, the owner, and take a bite out of your ass.

But it seems that DJT underestimated, himself, the resolve of the neoliberalists, who, along with the neocons, have fought him every step of the way, figuring that four years could be endured in order to reclaim the status quo when POTUS would be ousted.

I have two predictions re: the Presidential election:

1) if POTUS wins reelection, the big guns will indeed come out. A great pullback of our troops from foreign bases and entanglements as well as a large domestic infrastructure order that will allow troops the ability to be diacharged into good-paying work. Other homecoming troops will be reassigned to border duties as illegal immigration and incoming opiates will finally be given the attention these issues deserve. Our trade with China will be severely curtailed. A tentative balance will finally be struck btw the three great military powers: China, Ru, and the U.S.

2) if the Dems regain control, the MSM narrative of Covid will spontaneously change gears and be declared on the wane, altering the broad perception of Americans to accept that the worst of the Pandemic is over and the slow rebuild, which will be ridiculously anemic, on par or worse than Obama's post-2008 recovery, will be proof that our economy has just taken another life-altering hit and shall never recover. Expect cash-for-clunkers type federal spending where debt-purchasing and corporate handouts are more likely than large infrastructure spending. Our relationship with China will revert to the prior arrangement where we look the other way while China floods our consumer and production market with cheap goods and commodities, undercutting the ability of the American worker/entrepreneur.

Russia will revert to its Boogeyman-status, where the MSM and Federal Govt. are in lockstep and the White House media secretary is fielded softballs about Russia's threat to democracy the same way Biden is given chances to respond to the claim that POTUS said our war dead were pussy-losers.

...

There are many other things to come, whether mandate on covid vaccine or violence in the street up to and after the election.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 5 2020 20:39 utc | 44

@jadan 17

I can't work out whether your post was intended to illustrate b's point. If so it was too perfect - I can't detect the irony at all!

Posted by: Tim Glover | Sep 5 2020 20:50 utc | 45

@Ray 34

I agree, the collusion theory does not fit the observed facts

Posted by: Tim Glover | Sep 5 2020 20:54 utc | 46

Pretty straight talk from an otherwise reserved diplomat 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.”

https://thesaker.is/foreign-minister-sergey-lavrovs-remarks-and-answers-to-media-questions-at-a-news-conference-following-an-online-meeting-of-the-brics-foreign-ministers-council-moscow-september-4-2020/

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference following an online meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers Council, Moscow, September 4, 2020

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 5 2020 21:01 utc | 47

A real alternative should first and foremost be speaking the truth about Assange, Snowden, and Soleimani, but nope, nothing, nothing about those who as individuals represent perhaps the most public and most revealing topics of all and which display the treasonous and criminal nature of the US government against all humans.

When it comes to the "Democrats" they would run a better campaign if they sat still and never said a word. No campaigning at all, no commercials, no nothing. Every time I see anything about or from the Democrats they make me think better of Trump and how much I do not want the Democrats to win anything at all, ever. As an ex-anti-communist I'd rather vote Stalin than Biden.

However I don't have a vote and don't want one and whoever has one should use it exactly as they themselves wish, that's the whole point. I have mixed feelings about there even being another US election since I was sure we would be rid of it all by now, but I guess, wish, and hope that this is for the better since the US is weaker than ever.

Maybe it will finally at some point end with a very slight noise and people throwing accusatory looks at each other as someone opens a window.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 5 2020 21:01 utc | 48

Right, right, right. And no chance this will change anytime soon. But, he will loose anyway - if he does not start a war shortly before election day...

Posted by: p | Sep 5 2020 21:06 utc | 49

As an ex-anti-communist..

@Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 5 2020 21:01 utc | 48

Oh mate, as what one usually hears about is just the opposite direction of the travel, of so rare, I would be most interested in how you arrived there...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 21:10 utc | 50

Well I wrote in a new name o the ballot list: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
I think he would do great as an American President.
;)

Posted by: Den lille abe | Sep 5 2020 21:15 utc | 51

As Richard III is solely remembered, 500 years on, as having murdered the Princes in the Tower....and Henry II is solely remembered for "who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" and the consequent murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.....so Trump will be largely remembered as a little man who murdered Qasem Soleimani.

While the prospect of a second US civil war may at first sight seem undesirable....it will at least distract them, even if only temporarily, from their 24/7 war mongering murder of peoples around the world.

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Sep 5 2020 21:15 utc | 52

It would be nice if reporters noted the senseless slaughter of thousands of American GIs in World War I whose intervention prolonged the war and left Europe much worse off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4e9USMWxzI

Posted by: Carlton Meyer | Sep 5 2020 21:20 utc | 53

There are as many real differences between the two parties as there are between the Bloods and the Crips.

Posted by: Tim | Sep 5 2020 21:23 utc | 54

I don't get how some people think what the Democrats are doing is by design to make Trump look good because they really want to lose the election.
________________________________________________


The democratic voters are not handing the election to trump by design. They are not in on the scam.

And the voters who elected Trump are not in on the scam either. They are being fooled by the kayfabe also.

Posted by: jinn | Sep 5 2020 21:24 utc | 55

Grieved | Sep 5 2020 20:31 utc | 41:

One thing I’ve learned from the internet, where apparently everybody besides me knows everything about everything, is the grace to let others have the last word – goes double for Englishmen like Ghost Ship.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 21:26 utc | 56

"Instead of talking about real issues the Democrats have fallen back on attacking Trump's personality.". The Democrats, like the Republicans, are never interested in "real issues".

Posted by: Steve | Sep 5 2020 21:27 utc | 57

@ 47 NM
Lavrov. . .the UN Charter principles, including equality, balance of interests and joint and honest work. We are ready for this.
This is called revisionism by the US, cause for war. To the US, China and Russia are revisionist powers in as much as they share a commitment to creating a “post-West” global order which takes their interests into account.
. . .from the 2018 National Defense Strategy
"China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while simultaneouslyundercutting its principles and “rules of the road."
The "system" was designed to be US-centric and altering it is revisionism, to be attacked.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 21:28 utc | 58

So Trump will be largely remembered as a little man who murdered Qasem Soleimani

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Sep 5 2020 21:15 utc | 52

----

I seriously doubt that's what he'll be remembered for.

Out of the 7 billion humans on the planet the percentage of people that actually even heard the name Solemani, let alone are aware that Trump killed anyone of that name, is very likely to be a great deal smaller than you seem to think it is.

I've no idea what he'll actually be remembered for, but if all he gets is 4 years in office then he may well be remembered in the future as the first US President in a long time that didn't start any new wars


Or possibly "Lowest US Presidential war-death count of the modern US Imperial era"

Though probably it'll be for one of the many incredibly stupid said about him, like "First US President who was also a Russian Agent"

Posted by: Contra-Conspiraloon | Sep 5 2020 21:48 utc | 59

I don't get how some people think what the Democrats are doing is by design to make Trump look good because they really want to lose the election.

They certainly want to win, rabidly so. But if they had any brains they'd at least consider that with everything going to hell in a handbasket, they might be better off letting Trump continue to be the bogeyman while they continue attacking him with zero responsibilities amid the rapidly intensifying chaos. Surely no one thinks the catastrophic economic collapse, which the system narrowly averted last spring by using the Covid pretext to perform a controlled demolition of the global economy (instead of a 2008-style chaotic collapse), can be put off for another four years.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 5 2020 21:48 utc | 60

@1 the account given in your link is plausible and corresponds with the explanation the historian Turchin gives of the crisis.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Sep 5 2020 21:53 utc | 61

It's just more fuel for the flaming U.S. civil war that mostly died back in 1864, but after smouldering since then has now literally broken into open flames.

White (mostly) male (predominantly) sociopaths infest the ruling elite, the military, the cops, and their buddies the white militias. This leadership is supported by a cult-following comprising at least 1/3 of the population. The bad news is these folks are not open to discussion of facts, comprise or retreat, it's literally dominate or die protecting a demi-god leader and their archaic hateful beliefs which they love to foist on everyone.

An urgent short term question is whether collapse (including open warfare) is on the horizon, or just progressively increasing chaos and disintegration? Probably safe to prepare for collapse just in case, and build redundancy and reliability to stave off human-induced entropy.

Posted by: Trisha | Sep 5 2020 21:54 utc | 62

@ 57 Steve
"Instead of talking about real issues the Democrats have fallen back on attacking Trump's personality.". The Democrats, like the Republicans, are never interested in "real issues".
It's well understood that any promises on issues are just so much talk. Take Obama, for example, Mr Hope and Change. His "issues" talk was attractive but unbelievable. The Black Agenda Report, in June of 2008, predicted that all Obama would do is implement whatever the DNC told him to do.
Obama was for peace -- and when he sent 70,000 more troops to Afghanistan immediately after he took office it wasn't reported. Obama was awarded the peace prize in 2009 for his talk but not for his actions.
Also, Obama's 2008 platform included opening up government. Important bills would be posted on the web for the public's perusal and comments. Never happened, etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 21:55 utc | 63

Guy Thornton | Sep 5 2020 21:15 utc | 52:

Trump will be largely remembered as a little man who murdered Qasem Soleimani.
Remembered in Iran, forgotten within a few days in the U.S., though the Repubs did try to get some mileage out of said crime during the recent TV “convention”, probably to the mystification of most of their audience.

I don’t believe Iran will be satisfied with the missile strikes it launched a few days later: the only reason there were any U.S. casualties at all (concussions and traumatic brain injuries, aka “headaches” per Trump) after Iran gave forewarning was the U.S. commanders’ negligence and underestimation of Iran’s targeting capabilities.

We’ve already passed the 5 months and 18 days between Iran Air Flight 655 and Pan Am Flight 103 (if anyone thinks Libya was really responsible for Lockerbie, I have a bridge to sell you), but in good time I expect them to respond proportionately.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 21:57 utc | 64

#53: "It would be nice if reporters noted the senseless slaughter of thousands of American GIs in World War I whose intervention prolonged the war and left Europe much worse off."

Indeed, one thing missing from b's article is commentary on the disgusting basis of all the hooting and hollering on the Atlantic, CNN, et al about Trump's unforgivable dissing of our hero soldiers. Of course, everything orangeman is for, they are against. But in this case, it's one thing to call the dead soldiers "losers" (whether or not, of course, he actually did that and whether or not the comment was nuanced) ... it is another thing for CNN to harp on the Heroic American GI (TM) of All the wars of the past and present. You know, the heroes who took part in Europe's war with no reason thus setting the stage for a resentful Germany's revenge attempt, the ones who burned SE Asia to the tune of millions of dead, the ones who destroyed Iraq, etc. etc.

If soldiers who served in Vietnam and Iraq are heroes, what are Mohammad Ali and other conscientious objectors to wars of offense?

Empire NEVER loses a chance to build narrative.

Posted by: Caliman | Sep 5 2020 22:02 utc | 65

Thanks to Nathan Mulcahy @ 45 even though OT for Sergei Lavrov's comments on the BRICS conference. I will give an excerpt (if it is not there already) at the open forum.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 5 2020 22:12 utc | 66

@ Caliman 65
Empire NEVER loses a chance to build narrative.
..and an essential part of the narrative is that the blood shed in wars gave those wars real meaning, .. .the blood of the lamb etc.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 22:17 utc | 67

I like Trump. Either by intention or by accident, he is the bomb at the heart of the Empire.

Democrats, in their rage, don't see that they just need to throw basic crumbs at the prolls to get back to torturing their flock - so the bomb keeps on ticking.

America lost,
Better than the world burning.
At least some will live.

Posted by: Ilya G Poimandres | Sep 5 2020 22:27 utc | 68

William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 19:38 utc | 30:

… the pathology on the faux left demonstrated by jadan's post …
In fairness, a representative Trump supporter would be as unhinged as jadan.

What is it about Trump that has let him so thoroughly to infiltrate the minds, and displace the better judgment, of much (most?) of the human race for more than five years since he descended that escalator in Trump Tower?

In Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” books, there’s a character called the Mule – a mutant whose unprecedented powers of mental manipulation allow him to almost take over the galaxy, derailing the plan for human history secretly devised and implemented by certain hidden elites. Is Trump a mutant?

However, in the end, the elites defeat the Mule and return the galaxy to the course they had set out for it. Nota bene.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 22:28 utc | 69

Caliman | Sep 5 2020 22:02 utc | 65:

My mother told me how her mother never forgave Wilson for getting into that war after promising to stay out of it during the 1916 campaign. But then again, they were probably both just Russian bots.

Posted by: David G | Sep 5 2020 22:41 utc | 70

Late stage capitalism sure does make for some creative writing.
Surrealism when it jives, pure fantasy for the most part.
But the proletariat is confused and searching for meaning.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 5 2020 22:43 utc | 71

White (mostly) male (predominantly) sociopaths infest the ruling elite, the military, the cops, and their buddies the white militias. This leadership is supported by a cult-following comprising at least 1/3 of the population. The bad news is these folks are not open to discussion of facts, comprise or retreat, it's literally dominate or die protecting a demi-god leader and their archaic hateful beliefs which they love to foist on everyone.

@Posted by: Trisha | Sep 5 2020 21:54 utc | 62

You have described in a nutshell why it is impossible "to find a common ground" with this people, so claimed by some far-righters here whi previously did not seem so, and even by alleged left-wing erudites...

You can not reason, less discuss or try to reach an agreement, with such people...they are obsessed with one goal...finish you...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Sep 5 2020 22:48 utc | 72

@ 70 DG
. . .her mother never forgave Wilson for getting into that war after promising to stay out of it during the 1916 campaign.
Yes, and before Wilson there was McKinley under similar circumstances. Talk peace and then do war. An excellent source for these two warmongers is Walter Karp's "The Politics of War, the story of two wars which altered forever the political life of the American Republic (1890 - 1920)"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 22:52 utc | 73

Wait, did I actually just read that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is being cited as a source who denies that Trump said what the “Atlantic” article claims he said? Now I have no privileged knowledge regarding the veracity of the article, but I do know for damn sure that Sanders spent roughly two years telling lies and spreading misinformation on behalf of Donald Trump. All of that is a matter of public record. So, let’s just cross her off the witness list.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 5 2020 23:15 utc | 74

David G @69: "What is it about Trump that has let him so thoroughly to infiltrate the minds, and displace the better judgment, of much (most?) of the human race for more than five years since he descended that escalator in Trump Tower?"

That video by Michael Moore that I linked back here does an exceptional job explaining.

"Trump is the human Molotov cocktail thrown at the system"

People don't so much like Trump as they like that the corporate mass media, and the "intelligence community", and the "deep state", and the rest of the establishment of elites absolutely hate him. The more hate and despite the established powers demonstrate for Trump, the more people want to vote for him.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 23:20 utc | 75

Trump mainly benefited in 2016 from the refugee crisis after the MENA wars waged under the previous US regime. Immigration and crime became hot button issues as a result of the chaos of the terrorists returning to Europe.

Posted by: Les | Sep 5 2020 23:22 utc | 76

I do think the Trump hate card played by the democratic party (basically their only party platform) Coupled with running an increasing senile candidate and his hand picked "woman"/black" running mate may well back fire on them. I was surprised when i spoke to a very dear friend the other day who said both she and her 34 year old son are going to vote for Trump. She has never voted for a republican in her life. She is tried of the hate coming out of the democratic party, the democratic state governors colluding in their disinformation around the virus, and basically politicizing the virus. Her son is musician. These are the people the democrats take for granted that they will vote democrat in the general.

Posted by: dp | Sep 5 2020 23:23 utc | 77

Ghost@40

I had to look this up in my circa '73 grammar and composition book. Either/or, neither/nor is correct.

Common usage is as b used it though.

Posted by: visak | Sep 5 2020 23:39 utc | 78

Rob@74

I noticed that as well. I wonder if the other "witnesses" are as compromised as she is?

Posted by: visak | Sep 5 2020 23:54 utc | 79

It's true. I almost feel compelled to defend Trump from these stupid attacks, despite my own dislike for him. There are more than enough legitimate criticisms to aim at him. There is no need to make up lies or invent Russian interference conspiracy theories.

The media is stuck between a rock and a hard place in criticizing him, though, since most of the best attacks against him are things that the media supports. Examples such as his multiple attempted (and failed) coups, from Venezuela to Belarus. Or his political assassination earlier this year of Iran's Soleimani. But the media will not attack him from this angle because they support overthrowing all of these countries and assassinating people. So they are stuck saying that Trump's foreign policy is not belligerent enough for their tastes and that he is "cozying up to dictators."

Posted by: Karl | Sep 5 2020 23:58 utc | 80

As others have pointed out Ghost Ship is incorrect and b’s usage is correct. To use neither / nor in his sentence correctly it would have to read as follows: “If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither the parties nor the candidates."

Posted by: krypton | Sep 6 2020 0:09 utc | 81

Disagree with everything in this post. Here are my counter-arguments:

1) Sure, this Goldberg guy is a fanatic neocon etc. etc. etc. - but it wasn't because of him that the USA invaded Iraq.

The USA invaded Iraq because the Bush administration enforced a new doctrine, called colloquially "The New American Century", which stated that, in order for the USA to continue to be the world's sole superpower, it had to wage an eternal series of preemptive wars (kill the eggs before they hatch) while reinforcing absolute military supremacy (i.e. the USA to have a military capacity to defeat the entire rest of the world at the same time, if needed). The founding block of this "new American century" would be to secure the energy sources and routes, mainly oil, which meant the ME was the first piece of the puzzle.

In this context, Goldberg et caterva were just cheap, low level propagandists, the so-called "cheerleaders". That he ended up with a wonderful career is just a statement of the American Empire's material exuberance until 2008.

2) The Democrats aren't being stupid because they're falling for some kind of Trump's magic trap, but because they simply don't have better policies to offer. After all, didn't they have to change the rules to oust Sanders? If they wanted alternative policies, they would have Sanders as their candidates, not Biden.

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.

What I think is interesting though is the fact that American presidential elections are getting more and more elaborate and expensive, while getting more and more devoid of substance. 2016 was the most expensive presidential elections in American history, and I expect this trend to continue, so 2020 will probably be even more expensive and set a new historical record. My guess is because facts are more and more against the American Empire, so the elite has to resort more and more to imbecilization/infantilization of the masses to keep them glued together.

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

Jay @7 "Give it to neither" is the same as "Not give it to either." Perfectly correct and in fact rather slick, as it bypasses the "not" adverb, due to the built-in negative in "neither." "Not give it to neither" would be hillbilly mountain talk. There are advantages to knowing more than one language.

Posted by: Gatopardo | Sep 6 2020 0:11 utc | 83

This is a response to Gruff from the last thread...relevant to this one, in my opinion.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 13:41 utc | 185 (last thread)

Agreed with just about everything you said.

"Defunding cops" technically means that less money goes to military hardware like armored cars and more for social programs - which would be a laudable goal if it were real. In practice, it's just another way to divert the discussion from the class warfare between the rich and the bourgeois and the poor and shift it to "racism" for the purpose of dividing the country more between black and white. This way they can get both the dumb blacks and the dumb whites to fight each other while the state uses that as an excuse to oppress both.

I was in prison. The Federal prison population (and I assume the local and state populations) break down into four main groups: ghetto blacks, ghetto Latinos, white urban thugs and white rural rednecks. These comprise maybe 90 percent of criminals in the US. The remaining ten percent breaks down into some white collar criminals (mostly lawyers and banking), a few native Americans (since crime on the reservation is a Federal offense), and a tiny handful of Asians. The crime problem is totally caused by the four main groups and ninety-five percent of those are in for drug-related crimes (even most of the bank robbers robbed banks to get money to buy drugs either for use or for sale.)

Solving the "crime problem" means solving the existence of these four main groups - and to quote Percival Rose yet again, "That ain't gonna happen."

"Militias" are to a large degree made up of white rural rednecks - many of whom have some military background. There may be some people in the opposing groups with military training, but my guess is it's pretty minimal. If they go up against white militias, they'll likely be toast. The problem is that in the process there will still be a lot of shootings, bombings, and occasional pitched battles before the State Police and National Guard can roll in and quell it.

People who talk about "civil war" (and that includes a lot of preppers I follow on Youtube) are clueless. You need an *army* on each side of a conflict to qualify as a civil war. It may be a trained army or it may not, but you need a *lot* of people willing to go out and die for their cause. That ain't Americans in general, and it's not the "militia" in the US (despite quoted figures of scores of thousands - see how many actually turn up when the shooting starts.) There are three hundred thousand gang members in Los Angeles alone, but I suspect most of them aren't willing to die for Antifa or BLM, regardless of any rhetoric they may spout. Looting and burning stores (and dealing drugs) isn't the same as running around in an organized guerrilla campaign, let alone an actual "civil war."

I follow a lot of the gun forums and firearm related Youtube channels. They have been noting lately that the anti-gun crowd is ticked off that another five million Americans have bought guns for the first time this year. The FBI background check system ran 50% more checks last month than usual. The anti-gun crowd thinks they can use the riots and related violence to push for anti-gun legislation. So the sales figures aren't making them happy at all. Biden and the Democrats are very big on gun control, but the pro-gun people tend to be one-issue voters and they are determined that Trump stay in power for that reason alone. Not sure how this will translate to the swing states in this election, but it could matter quite a bit.

So when it comes to "de-funding the cops", as you said, the Democrats and the anti-gun crowd aren't going to get their way regardless of who wins. If Trump wins, guns stay and so do cops. If Biden wins, guns will stay anyway - legally or illegally - and even more people will get them. In either case, crime stays because no one is doing anything about the four main criminal groups - because the state needs those groups to enable it to follow its agenda of seizing ever more power for itself.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 0:37 utc | 84

Same old, same old.

Lot of hated towards Trump, but this hate makes him stronger, kinda like Putin, Xi and other strong men.

It is an era of strong men, and the people choose as such.

I wouldn't rule out the thought of Trump or someone like Trump to screw the 8 year/2 terms and embrace the Russian/Chinese/German/Japanese way of having more terms.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 6 2020 0:37 utc | 85

As far as 're-election' goes,
Sure, probably covered.
As far as reality crashing down on those idiots and all of their little friends,...
Not exactly covered,
As far as human beings with eyes and a functioning brain are concerned.

Posted by: Josh | Sep 6 2020 0:47 utc | 86

H.Schmatz: I moved from being something close to a classical liberal and anti-communist first to being alt-right (which back then at least for me had absolutely nothing to do with nazism, think people like Pim Fortuyn and others mixing whatever they found sensible from both the left and right without hate (despite the typical accusations)) and then moved further to (at least trying to) be anti-ideological (or jokingly to the "far out" right which is so far out I'm not in the same solar system any longer). I also moved from being pro-US to being anti-US. It was mostly due to Snowden but also later because of Wikileaks and realizing I had been wrong about various things and far too forgiving and making too many excuses. In addition I tired of the meaningless and counterproductive hostility to Russia and China.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 6 2020 0:48 utc | 87

Don Bacon | Sep 5 2020 22:52 utc | 73:

Walter Karp's "The Politics of War”.

Noted with thanks.

Out of respect for the departed, I’ll just amend my earlier comment and say it was actually my great grandmother Lily who felt Wilson’s betrayal.

Posted by: David G | Sep 6 2020 0:50 utc | 88

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 5 2020 19:02 utc | 19 Many Americans today feel as though they are being unjustly accused of being hateful bigots and chauvinists.

Except, of course, that they are. :-) They just vary a bit more in who they hate than the Democrats want to admit because it's not politically useful. The Democrats can't admit that a lot of Americans hate *them* - except when they can use that to rally their troops, like when Clinton talked about the "deplorables" - which was a major gaffe on her part.

"The more the corporate mass media ratchets up the hysteria about racism and misogyny, the more these people empathize with Trump when he claims that the mass media lies about him. Rather than turning the population against Trump by stirring up the racial division, the corporate mass media is driving more people into Trump's camp."

This is related to my post to you above. This is a deliberate policy in my view - divert the discussion to racism in order to continue dividing the country. In addition to being a deliberate policy on the part of some people, for the rest it's simply a case of lack of imagination and herd following.

The real discussion here should be around what's possible post-election. How bad will the Constitutional crisis get? How bad will the rioting get? Will we be under martial law at some point? Is this just an excuse to divert attention from some upcoming major foreign policy disaster? Is it just a diversion from the coming pandemic second wave and another lockdown and further economic disaster? Basically the question is: How *big* and in what dimensions will the post-election disruption be? These have to be speculative, I suppose, since they haven't happened yet. But discussing it might help people prepare for what does happen. The preppers I follow are big on preparing for a "civil war" that won't happen, but maybe what they're saying has relevance to what will happen.

In my case, I'm not too concerned unless rioters torch my building - we got someone in here who keeps setting off the fire alarm, so that's good training. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 6 2020 1:02 utc | 89

85 smith you are are a racist prick who advocates violence. Maybe go somewhere alone where you can fantasize about 'weapons'and 'strong men'

Posted by: Abu Aisha | Sep 6 2020 1:02 utc | 90

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 6 2020 0:48 utc | 87 moved further to (at least trying to) be anti-ideological (or jokingly to the "far out" right which is so far out I'm not in the same solar system any longer).

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

@ Abu Aisha

Really now? I thought we have some big fans of Xi and Putin here, who are strong men with "long-range missiles" that can challenge US supremacy?

If you don't, you should totally advocate for China and Russia to disable their missiles and put Xi and Putin back to 2 terms.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 6 2020 1:06 utc | 92

> "If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the parties or candidates."

I think b's wording is correct, too. I read it as "If I had a vote in the election I would give it to neither of the two parties/candidates."

Merriam-Webster's definition of nor is "used as a function word to introduce the second or last member or the second and each following member of a series of items each of which is negated." The series here consists of two items or choices: Republicans/Trump vs Democrats/Biden. Since b properly wrote "neither of" and not just "neither" without the "of", and he was not enumerating the series items, the word "nor" does not apply here. My two cents ;)

psychohistorian @10 is right that everyone's focusing on the left vs right, Democrat vs Republican, Biden vs Trump circus, instead of on the divide that really matters. If American voters want to break out of that rigid binary matrix, they should, as b would do, vote for neither of those two parties or two candidates, and send a message by giving a strong showing to something like the Movement for a People's Party.


Posted by: Canadian Cents | Sep 6 2020 1:22 utc | 93

@ Posted by: Smith | Sep 6 2020 1:06 utc | 92

Why are you not using the consecrated term "personality cult"? Because now it is also happening in the USA?

Posted by: vk | Sep 6 2020 1:51 utc | 94

@ vk

I don't think I have used the term "personality cult" here on MoA.

I have always preferred strong men over weak men. Weak men and democracy lead to chaos, as it's shown today.

The US will do well to learn from China. Washington himself warned against political parties.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 6 2020 1:53 utc | 95

Though it may seem counter-intuitive to believe that demonizing Trump helps Trump, yet when placed within the context of generally-held incredulity for the mainstream media, and the widely-perceived patent incompetence of the owner elites, with their outrageous endless warfare and their greedy capitalist rape of the government and all of its institutions, -that whorehouse known as the US Congress for one example, -no wonder that people would prefer to commit a form of electoral hari kiri (as Trump is absolutely no friend of the real people) than elect yet another hopeless hack put up by the ruling class.

Posted by: Timothy | Sep 6 2020 1:55 utc | 96

reading the comments tonight, i feel like i sat thru a debate on the proper use of the english language... wow.. the fact b is german with english not his first language sure is topical!

@ 60 russ... nice to see you back...

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 1:58 utc | 97

ps - if you missed it, the comments to matt taibbis article are worth the read....

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2020 2:01 utc | 98

The comments bring me back to the book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" from fifteen years ago.
. . .a review on Amazon, from The New Yorker
Kansas, once home to farmers who marched against "money power," is now solidly Republican. In Frank's scathing and high-spirited polemic, this fact is not just "the mystery of Kansas" but "the mystery of America." Dismissing much of the received punditry about the red-blue divide, Frank argues that the problem is the "systematic erasure of the economic" from discussions of class and its replacement with a notion of "authenticity," whereby "there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer." The leaders of this backlash, by focusing on cultural issues in which victory is probably impossible (abortion, "filth" on TV), feed their base's sense of grievance, abetted, Frank believes, by a "criminally stupid" Democratic strategy of triangulation. Liberals do not need to know more about nascar; they need to talk more about money and class.
. . .my comment
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.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 6 2020 2:38 utc | 99

@97 james - "..the proper use of the English language...sure is topical"

To be honest, I struggled to find a valuable comment on the topic - but there seemed nothing worth saying about such an empty situation.

I could have kept silent but at least English grammar has rules - and as John Gotti finally agreed, even while continuing to break them, it's the rules that keep us together.

Apart from the well established and quite famous English language, b's article was the only valuable thing in the whole drift of smoke.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 6 2020 2:48 utc | 100

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