Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 31, 2020

What Would A Democratic Presidency Really Change?

Pepe Escobar is as pessimistic about a Harris (Biden) administration as I am. The incoming foreign policy team would be the return of the blob that waged seven wars during the Obama/Biden administration:

Taking a cue from [the Transition Integrity Project], let’s game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later. That means, essentially, The Return of the Blob.

President Trump calls it “the swamp”. Former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – a mediocre hack – at least coined the funkier “Blob”, applied to the incestuous Washington, DC foreign policy gang, think tanks, academia, newspapers (from the Washington Post to the New York Times), and that unofficial Bible, Foreign Affairs magazine.

A Dem presidency, right away, will need to confront the implications of two wars: Cold War 2.0 against China, and the interminable, trillion-dollar GWOT (Global War on Terror), renamed OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) by the Obama-Biden administration.

The Democratic White House team Escobar describes (Clinton, Blinken, Rice, Flournoy) would be an assembly of well known war mongers who all argue for hawkish policies. The main 'enemies', Russia and China, would be the same as under Trump. Syria, Venezuela, Iran and others would stay on the U.S. target list. U.S. foreign policy would thereby hardly change from Trump's version but would probably be handled with more deadly competence.

But Escobar sees two potential positive developments:

In contrast, two near-certain redeeming features would be the return of the US to the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, which was Obama-Biden’s only foreign policy achievement, and re-starting nuclear disarmament negotiations with Russia. That would imply containment of Russia, not a new all-out Cold War, even as Biden has recently stressed, on the record, that Russia is the “biggest threat” to the US.

I believe that Harris (Biden) will disappoint on both of those issues. The neoconservatives have already infested the Harris (Biden) camp. They will make sure that JCPOA does not come back:

Last night on an official Biden campaign webinar led by “Jewish Americans for Biden”, and moderated by Ann Lewis of Democratic Majority for Israel, two prominent neocon Republicans endorsed Biden, primarily because of Trump’s character posing a danger to democracy. But both neocons emphasized that Biden would be more willing to use force in the Middle East and reassured Jewish viewers that Biden will seek to depoliticize Israel support, won’t necessarily return to the Iran deal and will surround himself with advisers who support Israel and believe in American military intervention.

Eric Edelman, a former diplomat and adviser to Dick Cheney, said Trump’s peace plan has fostered an open political divide in the U.S. over Israel, ...

Eliot Cohen, a Bush aide and academic, echoed the fear that Israel is being politicized. ...
Cohen and Edelman opposed Obama’s Iran deal, and both predicted that Biden will be hawkish on Iran.
“There will be voices” in the Biden administration that seek a return to the Iran deal, but the clock has been running for four years, and we’re in a different place, he said. And “it will be hard [for Biden] not to use the leverage that the sanctions provide in part because Iran is not abiding by a lot of the limits of the nuclear agreement… They’re about three, maybe four months away from having enough fissile material to actually develop a nuclear weapon.”

For lifting the sanctions against Iran the Harris (Biden) administration will demand much more than Iran's return to the limits of the JCPOA. Iran will reject all new demands, be they about restricting its missile force or limiting its support for Syria. The conflict will thereby continue to fester.

The other issue is arms control. While a Harris (Biden) administration may take up Putin's offer to unconditionally prolong the New-START agreement for a year it will certainly want more concessions from Russia than that country is willing to give. Currently it is Russia that has the upper hand in strategic weapons with already deployed hypersonic missiles and other new platforms. The U.S. will want to fill the new 'missile gap' and the military-industrial complex stands ready to profit from that. The New-START prolongation will eventually run out and I do not see the U.S. agreeing to new terms while Russia has a technological superiority.

Domestic policies under a democratic president will likewise see no substantial difference. As Krystal Ball remarked, here summarized from a Rolling Stone podcast:

But even with a Biden win, Ball doesn’t think it will mean much for policy.

“My prediction for the Biden era is that very little actually happens,” says Ball. “Democrats are very good at feigning impotence. We saw this in the SCOTUS hearings as well. They’re very good for coming up with reasons why, ‘oh those mean Republicans, like we want to do better healthcare and we want left wages, but oh gosh, Mitch McConnell, he’s so wiley, we can’t get it done.'”

'Change' was an Obama marketing slogan to sell his Republican light policies. A real change never came. The Harris (Biden) administration must be seen in similar light.

I therefore agree with the sentiment with which Escobar closes his piece:

In a nutshell, Biden-Harris would mean The Return of the Blob with a vengeance. Biden-Harris would be Obama-Biden 3.0. Remember those seven wars. Remember the surges. Remember the kill lists. Remember Libya. Remember Syria. Remember “soft coup” Brazil. Remember Maidan. You have all been warned.

Posted by b on October 31, 2020 at 16:45 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: visak | Nov 1 2020 12:48 utc | 136 OT - I was very surprised at your take on greenwald, I would have thought you would have been one of the first to have caught on to him. Eh, to each his own.

Agree with your points. On Greenwald, he's rarely said anything I disagree with (other than some things about Syria.) I don't know what his financial situation is or anything else about his behind the scenes activity, and don't particularly care. I'm sure he has a ton of attitudes and beliefs I disagree with - since I disagree with almost everyone on almost everything. As long as he writes logically and references what *appear* to be facts, I tend to trust him exactly that far and no farther - like everyone else. Same with Pepe Escobar, who I consider a bit looser with logic but *appears* to be a good source of facts due to his enormous connections and considerable energy at digging facts up all over the place. Same with Sy Hersh. People who appear to be able to be factually correct and set things in a logical context I tend to follow. People who have nothing but assertions I don't.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Nov 1 2020 22:57 utc | 201

Gruff wrote

For some reason the individual cannot see those are precisely the demographics that the establishment wants demoralized and silenced and just doing what they are told. Strange the poster cannot see that.

You are wrong about wanting them demoralized and silenced. Trying to do that has just made that demographic very pissed off and extremely dangerous to the oligarchs and their plans.
The establishment may have once wanted them them demoralized and silenced but Trump has shown them that was a bad strategy.

But you got the "doing what they are told" part right. The main reason the establishment wants Trump for another four years is that Trump has been very successful at getting that demographic to do what they are told.

Posted by: jinn | Nov 1 2020 23:05 utc | 202

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 1 2020 15:21 utc | 155 Some might call your view an establishment-serving narrative.

Heh, so I'm pushing an "establishment-serving narrative"? Right... Just because it disagrees with your conspiracy theories doesn't make it serving the establishment. What I'm telling you is that not being able to do anything about the establishment is a *fact*. Facts do not "serve" anything. They are. Conspiracy theories - without evidence - serve the establishment by producing confusion and division.

"gg studiously ignores the failure of Democrats to provide any real "resistance" to Trump and the numerous 'October surprises' that we have been subject to just before the 2020 election."

So unless we take your conspiracy theory as truth, which gg hasn't even been asked about to my knowledge and therefore can not be accused of "studiously ignoring" anything, I'm supposed to stop following gg?

Bullshit. You have all the earmarks of someone who is absolutely obsessed that he's right about some conspiracy theory for which you have provided zero evidence references other than a "connect-a-dots" board game. Assuming you know what is going on because you can theorize some motivations and connections is not the same as having actual evidence that those motivations and connections physically exist. That fact renders your ability to predict actual outcomes as weak.

Go read H.Schmatz's post at 134. *Assuming* the article he references is actually describing actual facts, that's how you reference actual facts. It's not "ground truth", but it puts things in context. Against those facts, your theory that Trump is a "shoe-in" because the Deep State wants him to be comes off as speculative at best. Now, it *could* still be absolutely correct - when the election is over. But your evidence for your prediction will *still* be weak as of *this* moment. And a Trump win *still* won't be *proof* that your theory is correct - unless actual evidence is produced that directly shows the hand of the Deep State in the election results.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Nov 1 2020 23:13 utc | 203

- I DO know that Obama wanted to reduce US military spending but he wasn't able to do so. Too much people earning too much money off the Defense Industry/Budget.
- Obama and a number of other people in high places (e.g. Biden) were opposed to start the war in Libya (in early 2011) but it was one Hillary clinton who moved heaven and earth to get that war started. And in the end Obama gave in and then indeed that war started.
- Obama didn't start a bombing campaign in Syria in september 2013. And the neocons were VERY disappointed. And then they started to work on the coupe in the Ukraine (January/February 2014).
- The plans for the JCPOA were started by John Kerry and were approved by Obama as well. Will the JCPOA be re-instated ? Depends on how much "influence" the Neo-cons are going to have in the Harris-Biden administration.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 1 2020 23:16 utc | 204

Why hasn't anyone mentioned this?

Posted by: anon48 | Nov 1 2020 23:39 utc | 205

@ RSH #196
. . .the culture drives out cops who want to serve the public and retains cops who are racist and corrupt
It's worse than that in Vallejo, CA: (Jul 28, 2020)
Vallejo police bend badges to mark fatal shootings

They call it, “The Badge of Honor.” For a generation, a secretive clique within the Vallejo Police Department has commemorated fatal shootings with beers, backyard barbecues, and by bending the points of their badges each time they kill in the line of duty, an investigation by Open Vallejo has found. The custom was so exclusive, some officers involved in fatal shootings were never told of its existence.
But senior law enforcement and government officials say everything changed when a police captain tried to end the practice following the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Willie McCoy in February 2019. Over the next six months, the tradition became known at the highest levels of Vallejo city government and the district attorney’s office.
The captain who pushed for an investigation, John Whitney, would soon be out of a job. A former SWAT team commander with two master’s degrees, Whitney says he was forced out of the department after raising concerns about the badge-bending tradition and other misconduct. He filed a retaliation claim against the city in March.
“The community we serve will lose faith in us,” Whitney told Open Vallejo. “This practice needs to end." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 1 2020 23:48 utc | 206

12.8% of America's police are Black.

13.4% of America's population is Black.

What an enormous difference there.

America's problem is not racism, it is capitalism.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 1 2020 23:53 utc | 207

Richard Steven Hack @Nov1 23:13 #202

... so I'm pushing an "establishment-serving narrative"?

No. My comment was directed at visak who turned your "unpredictable" into "unknowable".

I'm supposed to stop following gg?

I didn't say people should stop following gg, just pointed to deficiencies that seem a little to convenient.

... Assuming you know what is going on because you can theorize some motivations and connections is not the same as having actual evidence.

Which I have acknowledged. Yet that doesn't obviate the utility of the theories.

Go read H.Schmatz's post at 134 the article he references is actually describing actual facts ...

And the article he cites points out the "facts" in 2016 were inaccurate.

... your theory that Trump is a "shoe-in" because the Deep State wants him to be comes off as speculative at best.

Theories need to be validated. That is what I'm doing by making this prediction.

And in that regard, it's important that you get the theory right. I'm not saying just that "Trump is a 'shoe-in'" but that Trump will TROUNCE Biden. My theory isn't just about who wins but about the goals and motivations of the Deep State that is behind Trump. If I'm right and Trump wins big, then those goals and motivations are perhaps a little more visible to those who are not as cynical.

If I stayed silent prior to the election and tried to make claims about the Deep State based on Trump's "unforeseen" victory then no one would give a damn. We see the no-one-could've-foreseen tarp thrown over important events all too frequently. 9-11 and the 2008 subprime credit debacle being two of the most prominent.

It's a big call with big implications if I'm right.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 2 2020 0:01 utc | 208

Hippo - Well said, I don't read pepe any more for precisely this reason. Careful however, several people at the bar think pepe is a saint.

MarkU - I agree with RSH's response to you, and would add another thing: police unions. It is virtually impossible to discipline or fire a police officer for misconduct because the unions are so strong.

RSH - Thanks for responding, that is a perfectly rational approach to any blogger/author. For me personally, when I feel a someone has blown their credibility in my opinion, I am done with them. I don't want to spend the energy required to determine if the current statement is truthful or not.

Posted by: visak | Nov 2 2020 0:07 utc | 209

Pepe Escobar is a joke. Trump is a sociopath, bellicose and would start a bloody war if he could.. Trump did not start a war because the USA's position in the world is not the same as that of the USA in the early 2000s (Bush era) or even that of the early Obama era, 2009. The decade of the 2010s gave to us a great rise of China and a fantastic revival of Russia as global players.

Biden/Harris will not start wars, their strategy will be to try behind the scenes to separate China from Russia.

Posted by: Nick | Nov 2 2020 0:08 utc | 210

Wiily2 @203

I thought that the Ukraine coup was started because Russia stuck its nose in Syria.

JCPOA, To reinstate the JCPOA they would need Iran's approval.
As far as I know Iran has already said they will not deal with the US on anything anymore including the JCPOA.

Posted by: arby | Nov 2 2020 0:37 utc | 211

arby @210--

Ukraine coup--2014; Russia comes to aid of Syria--2015. Yes, Iran has said as much.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 0:43 utc | 212

Jen 197&98; Bemildred @195; William Gruff @194; Quiet Rebel @192--

Thanks to you all for your well considered and valuable replies. I hope some more are generated by others since there's a gigantic chasm between what Westerners know about the workings of China's political-economic system and what they're told, which are lies on a consistent basis so they are worse than ignorant when it comes to any attempt at evaluation.

Something I'd really like to know is if any barfly disagrees with my portrayal @191 of the Outlaw US Empire's method of presidential elections and overall system of federal governance--If there's something worthy of merit, please make a comment about it; I'll even read what the trolls have to say!!

The reason I seek additional input is that the issue of our broken federal government and the method of being placed into office is a very important aspect of the building Critical Mass and merits a whole chapter in the book I'm composing. There's a saying Bill Hightower used often that applies more than ever: "If God had wanted us to vote, He'd have given us candidates." And that's true of the bureaucracy too, which in many important departments seems to be teeming with lunatics, sociopaths and worse. Perhaps for the USA and other Western nations, government ought to be treated as a sports team, which are usually meritocratically based systems deemed acceptable by citizenries. Such an arrangement would certainly come closer to China's and be an improvement over the current failure.

So, thanks again for the replies already made. I hope to read many more!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2020 1:22 utc | 213

I tried to be subtle in my post @204 to highlight something that I felt was interesting, important and relevant.
It directly ties the DNC and HRC to the Steele dossier and later Russiagate. It exposes the despicable behavior of the Director of the FBI and his demonization of a President's staff. I also learned some unobvious truths about how government and media work together to create narratives that just seem to slide past without notice.
One such item is that if a member of of a Congressional committee reveals something about a meeting that is secret and is disclosed the revelation is a crime. So if you see Schiff talking to CNN outside the doors of the chamber about what was going on inside the only information he can give would have to be a lie. A CNN camera crew arriving at the scene of an arrest of a high ranking government official 15 minutes before the FBI shows up also doesn't seem to be noticed.
There is a lot more to this documentary that should make every American truly disgusted at what has become of our constitutional government. The time you spend watching it is worth it. BTW did anyone else notice that when you critique the Covid lockdown on the basis of mental health and wellbeing you can be demonized for who you say it to (RT) because they are Russian agents. Orwell thought he was writing a book and not the first chapter of an instruction manual.

Posted by: anon48 | Nov 2 2020 2:06 utc | 214

@204 anon48

Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan or the quacks of Congress. No wonder it got no traction!

Posted by: Circe | Nov 2 2020 2:21 utc | 215

Posted by: arby | Nov 2 2020 0:37 utc | 210

"I thought that the Ukraine coup was started because Russia stuck its nose in Syria."

The War Party always doubles down. So as each ill-thought-out attempt to grab the initiative fails, they try to stall and move on to the next. I trace it from Iraq(2003) to Lebanon(2006) to Georgia(2008) to Syria(2011)(2013 was when they really got pissed at Putin), then Ukraine, and then Putin got more pro-active and put direct military support into Syria. Recently we have been stirring up trouble in other places on the Russian periphery with varying "success". Others may have a different list, but I think it is fair that Ukraine was an attempt at payback for Georgia and Syria, an attempt to distract Putin from Syria, or give him a Vietnam, or something like that, which didn't work.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2020 2:33 utc | 216

karlof1 @Nov2 0:43 #211

Ukraine coup--2014; Russia comes to aid of Syria--2015.

While your correct about these events, Arby was referring to Russia's refusal to let USA bomb Syria in 2013.

Under Russia guidance and protection, Assad agreed to give up all Chemical WMD and USA's plan for massive bombing (Kerry: "US doesn't do pinpricks.") was nixed.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 2 2020 3:10 utc | 217


I really didn't expect you to respond based on your history and the hatred of Trump. . The pattern of your response though is predictable. Discrediting someone based on your opinion won't make you any smarter or more informed. If you watch the video and then challenge what is said might be a better alternative (the facts). Pay particular attention to the part of "following the money".
As for why a discussion hasn't taken place yet my bet is that it only came out on Oct 30, but it is now on Amazon Prime for all to see. Remember too that even if Trump loses the election indictments will be available for all who deserve them.

Posted by: anon48 | Nov 2 2020 3:42 utc | 218

karlof1 @ 212, thank you for your posts on this thread, and best wishes to you on your book project. It's hard for me to realize that I have lived more than 50 years in this country, the US -- you would think I would be much wiser, and I wish I had helpful things to say. All that I can contribute centers on my own experiences - as a teenager here I was privileged to have a good education - I'd say a great one - when it was still possible for everyone who wanted to do that to do it without being debt burdened for life. And,education is the key to meritocracy, isn't it?

My debt burden after four years at a private liberal arts college near Washington DC, and a 'burden' I shared with my classmate husband, was $2,000. As you know from my posts, I'm no brilliant scholar, not high on the meritocracy scale -- and my parents weren't rich, very middle middle class. But they too had no debt. It seems impossible to think it today - most people back then had no serious debt!

How is it possible to have a meritocracy in this country now that everyone is so burdened? In government, I do agree - that is what we need but do not have. These are not presidential candidates, neither of them. Nor are those who would be their ministers fit for office. So, what is to be done? Must we acquiesce to really really rich new leaders, because they are the only ones not so overwhelmed by debt, and possibly have gained some sort of education better than most, as the saying goes? Unfortunately, riches warp souls - that seems to be the lesson here. It's a catch 22- riches warp souls but riches are the only staircase to heaven, that's now the rule.

It is not that poor people are less intelligent -- there are brilliant minds there! This, and previous governments as well, is and has been, for far too long, mindlessly neglecting its finest resource, squandering its future, in not making education be first and of foremost importance for all its young citizens - open the doors; give them the tools they need to become the leaders we need! Give them the opportunities to become doctors and scientists and teachers - those are the highest vocations desperately needing more entrants to fields ... society can't exist without them! They should not be burdened with debt!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, we need better medical care, a universal system. And we need better politicians. But we need better educated elders - not ancients like me but elders in the generation still able to meet the challenges of this age. I'm on the way out. I still go up and tar my roof, but you'd laugh to see me. My day has passed. And with it, I am sorry to say, went free (or close to it) education. I just think that is the key.

I think it can still happen. I have grandchildren on the way up; they are doing incredibly well in spite of, or perhaps because of, the steep road ahead. Their parents are hands on. I'm sure there are many parents and children doing just this - no time for blogging or rioting - they know what is important and they are giving their children the best information they know how to give, and the best support. It's not about this or that political ideology; it's about nature and beauty and positive effort facing future challenges.

I'll just say with Saint John the Theologian, "Little children, love one another, and shun idols!"

Posted by: juliania | Nov 2 2020 5:44 utc | 219

@arby | Nov 2 2020 0:37 utc | 210

I thought that the Ukraine coup was started because Russia stuck its nose in Syria.
The US led coup in Ukraine was in February 2014 (it was planned in 2013). Russia intervened in Syria in September 2015.

JCPOA, To reinstate the JCPOA they would need Iran's approval. As far as I know Iran has already said they will not deal with the US on anything anymore including the JCPOA.
Yes, Iran has no interest in dealing with the US anymore, except persuade them to leave the middle east. The US abandoned the JCPOA and will not be allowed to return.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 2 2020 6:32 utc | 220

Donald Trump became too powerless in the end, the cia, fbi, miliary, MSM campaign against him was too much for Trump in the end and thus he was unable to get that extra support he needed for a reelection.
I will not even watch the election, cant stand the liberal warmongering smug, deepstate cheering when Biden win.

So tragic to realize how the warmongering will be restarted if Joe Biden become the president.

North Korea
Biden on North Korea: Fewer summits, tighter sanctions, same standoff

'Trump sold them out': Joe Biden hits the president over Syria troop withdrawal in Iowa speech

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 2 2020 10:08 utc | 221

Thanks JR @ 217

I thought that Ukraine came after Russia's interference in Syria.
The refusal to allow the US freedom to bomb whoever and wherever they liked.

Posted by: arby | Nov 2 2020 12:15 utc | 222

The US self-declared “progressives” are horribly dumb people, no matter their degrees and “intellectual” professions. Stupidity is the illness (weakness) of the societal immunity system. The Blob of the parasitic class is the pestilence that thrives on the immune weakness of the US society. Not happy with mine, then find a better metaphor.

I repeat myself from before, US presidents change, US policy (Mayhem Inc.) does not. Nether on Russia, Syria, Iran, Venezuela ..., nor on China. If Trump loses, I will miss only the potential duel at the OK Corral between Trump and the Blob/Swamp. If Trmp wins, I am buying popcorn.

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 31 2020 17:40 utc | 8

It is a bit unfair. For starters, there are not that many self-proclaimed progressives, and as far as I could see, liberal and moderate Democrats are not a whit better. Concerning Republicans, if the adds I see when I watch YouTube are indeed appealing to them, they do not give credit to their wisdom and knowledge. Most of all, it lacks historical perspective. Certain Irish author penned "Travels of Gulliver", and in one of the adventures, the title character is marooned on an island with tiny inhabitants. They were clever enough to disable the unknown giant, but their chief effort was on more important matters: bloody strife between those who would eat a soft boiled egg from the wider side, and those who would start on narrower side. It was probably referring to the civil war in England during that time with unfortunate repercussions for Ireland.

If I can make a guess, you are a kind of person who could not care less how to eat a soft boiled egg, so he/she belittles those who do. A type of elitism? (Honestly, "elitism" is an interesting invective. Like someone who belittles others just because they are stupid -- did you ever care about the feelings of the stupid people?)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 2 2020 13:53 utc | 223

arby @222

The Russian objections to US killing in Syria was still just along the lines of polite requests back in 2013. Remember that at that point Russia was still preparing for the Sochi Olympics and was not expecting their gesture of international goodwill to be sneered at so viciously by the West. The Russians were still under the illusion then that issues could be worked out with the West through diplomacy and negotiations. It was only after the West openly and vocally backed neo-Nazis in Ukraine, trumped up charges over the downing of MH-17, slandered Russia's athletes and diplomatic corps, and began unjustified sanctions that Russia realized the West was no longer agreement-capable.

Note that America routinely disregarded Russian requests concerning Syria. It wan't until Russia started upgrading Syria's air defenses that America's pretense of bombing ISIS largely came to an end. Thus it wasn't until the end of 2015 (November 25, to be exact) that "Russian interference in Syria" became an issue that forced Americans to pay attention. This was long after Ukraine had turned into a mess.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 14:10 utc | 224

Richard steven hack

Not to interject myself into that discussion, but this caught my eye. What makes you think a Democratic mayor - or any mayor - controls the police in any given city? Even a black police chief can't control a force which is ninety percent white.

Did you notice that your argument is..racist? There are black mayors that did nothing, there are white mayors that did nothing.
How mayors acted during riots in cities where riots occured, have nothing to do with the color of their skin.
It has to do with the ideology of these mayors (and/or police).
Thats why Democrat mayors never condemned the riots, never called upon law enforcement and never called upon federal help even when the riot got out of hand for them.

Cops in the US are ninety percent conservative, not to mention racist and fascist.

Could you get any more cringe?
Of course the police will support a party/candidate that supports them. Law and order is not a priortiy in with the Democrats that even talk about defunding the police.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 2 2020 14:19 utc | 225


Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan or the quacks of Congress. No wonder it got no traction!
Could you name any rep. that did more to expose the Russiagate in congress than Nunes?

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 2 2020 14:31 utc | 226

Piotr Berman @223: "...did you ever care about the feelings of the stupid people?"

By an odd quirk of psychology, stupid people, and in particular well-educated ones, are prevented from becoming aware of their own stupidity by the stupidity itself. Bringing a well-educated and credentialed stupid person's attention to their own stupidity will invariably result in smug dismissal by that stupid person. Because of this such stupid people's feelings are well-nigh bulletproof and they can be ridiculed for their stupidity all day long with no harm coming to their feelings at all.

The principle behind this is the "Dunning-Kruger effect", which is made even more interesting by the observation that it seems to primarily be a western, "global North" phenomenon. Stupid people in many other cultures don't seem to have as much difficulty developing awareness of their own stupidity.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 15:06 utc | 227

I do think the constant criticism of Trump has had an enormous effect on the US population. There is out and out editorializing in every main stream news outlet, and everything reported comes with anti Trump vitriol. Many of my intelligent friends who haven’t followed the plot for ever so many years, just fall in line with pure disgust, and like some commenters here, it’s not very rational.

One of the benefits of Biden winning, will be the predictable disappearance of some commentators here once they are confronted by the real agenda of this nefarious Biden group. I personally think it will be ugly, but I’m willing and open to be surprised!

Another objection to Biden and Harris is were they actually “elected?” Their selection was appalling. In my opinion. On that basis alone, I can’t “vote” for them, if indeed votes matter, and mine never really has as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 2 2020 15:50 utc | 228

Jackrabbit @ 208 et al - always enjoy your posts (as well as most on this board.) Many of us will wait to see if your prediction of a Trump Landslide comes true - if it does, against all the (for-profit) conventional wisdom - it is as you say a very big deal with powerful ramifications as to the actual power of the 'deep state.' And if your prediction doesn't come true - indeed if it is a Biden Landslide, which according to the polling (yeah I know) is much more probable than a Trump victory, then isn't it equally possible it is Biden that is needed for the Great Reset, more than a rogue non-team player? Peace.

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 2 2020 15:59 utc | 229

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 15:06 utc | 227

The problem of what you call "stupidity" is very complex. For example, it was observed that "intelligence" is multi-faceted. A brilliant chess player may be a disaster as a car mechanic or a gardener. Given that, we rely on specialists. How do you recognize who is a specialist? When the outcomes of the work of a specialist are easy to evaluate, people cope well with the problem of finding one. I can be a disaster with gardening work, but I can see if a handyman hired for a task does not pad the hours, if the results look fine at the end of the day and if the plants are doing well for quite a while afterwards. It is already harder with car mechanics, but those guys at least compete with each other.

Nevertheless, most people cope well with selecting specialists for things in everyday life, and yet they seem more gullible that five years old on matters like national security or even experts on healthcare systems. A Nobel Prize winner may take all trash about "Russian hacking and interference" as an "obvious fact". I even bought his book and read his columns for a while. In other words, people who know what is critical thinking, logic, evidence, phony evidence etc. and practice those arts for living can totally fail on the subjects discussed in this blog. How it happens is, as I wrote, complex, but it does not fall under "stupidity" as we usually understand the word.

One important explanation is in an under-appreciated resource on the rules of social interaction that can be found by searching for "deranged sorority girl letter". A charming-looking student was deeply grieved by the behavior of many of her sister and penned a letter so brilliant that you can find many YouTube videos with recitations of that letter by professional actors, some of whom, but not all, are comedians. Let me quote:

"... I've gotten texts about people actually cheering for the opposing team. The opposing. Fucking. Team. ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?!! I don't give a SHIT about sportsmanship, YOU CHEER FOR OUR GODDAMN TEAM AND NOT THE OTHER ONE, HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO A SPORTS GAME? ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND? Or are you just so fucking dense about what it means to make people like you that you think being a good little supporter of the greek community is going to make our matchup happy? Well it's time someone told you, NO ONE FUCKING LIKES THAT [much harsher language is deleted]."

As social creatures, human possess what may be called "team spirit". At least, most of them. When this team spirit is fully operational, the issue of "stupidity" does not operate because the people possessed by this spirit do not even think about true or false etc. when "NO ONE FUCKING LIKES THAT" (in their team, that is).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 2 2020 16:10 utc | 230

Philip Giraldi: The Disappearing America: Progressives Want a Revolution, Not Just Change

The Beatles once sang “You say you want a revolution!” It seems that many so-called progressives, minority spokespersons and assorted radicals want one here in America. Truth commissions, laws that only apply based on race and quotas in schools are only the beginning. Joe and Kamala, if they are elected, will no doubt encourage all that and more. As there are many “deplorable” Americans who want to preserve what the United States once was, the Democrats might well regret the path that they have chosen even if they do win the election.

Especially true if Biden would have to step down during his presidential period and Harris would take power.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 2 2020 16:26 utc | 231

Piotr Berman @230

Your quote of Circe is appropriate, I think, and you are entirely correct that the nature of stupidity is multifaceted. This "team spirit" that you describe is referred to by others as "tribal behavior". That is quite stupid behavior, to be sure.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 16:38 utc | 232

Far more important than specific campaign promises is the general tone of the campaign. If a winning candidate had campaigned on ending wars, bringing jobs back from abroad, and fighting corruption in government, this isn't just an indication that the public wants something done about these issues. First and foremost it forces an acknowledgement that these are indeed major issues that the public wants to be part of the national discourse that the capitalist mass media tries to control. Allowing these issues to become part of the national discourse is diametrically opposed to the interests of the power elites. They do not want these issues to even be discussed, much less addressed by the state. Gruff at 175.

I agree with this part, mostly. More plainly put, the issues become pegs, visible pegs, on which one can hang one’s hat. So, Trump won. One needn't make things super complicated.

The opposition - Dem tops - didn’t expect it. From their superior perch as the ‘credentialised’ ‘civilized’ class who are, just, well, naturally! smarter and better, thus more worthy. Plus having more money - entirely deserved! - though that isn’t shown outright. — Trump capitalised on that of course.

To pursue about the ‘issues’. Trump’s record can be judged as lacking or horrible, whatever, his supporters see a refusal to have their voices heard.

The ‘Dems’ did not oppose for ex. giving more moolah to the MIC. They did not set up / push forward any creative or interesting or ‘skew left’ (if that still has any meaning) policies. The likes of AOC mouthing off about Green Deals doesn’t fill that gaping void. Much less Pelosi bragging about designer ice-cream. Heh ;)

You can’t, as a pol party, be Republican Lite or Neo-Connish to the Core and pretend to be … for the ppl.

If offering an empty, zero, platform (proposals, plans, actions..) you can’t win.

The ‘Dems’ were reduced to offended posturing (“deplorables, racists, etc.”), turned into hysteria (Russia 3x) and of course to bashing Trump (note, not Republicans) and plotting against him from before he was elected. That is the behavior of sore loosers and many ppl see that.

sidebar. Russia was chosen because it was judged it would not retaliate, + see Biden and others links with China.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 2 2020 16:56 utc | 233

@ Posted by: Noirette | Nov 2 2020 16:56 utc | 233

The Bidens don't have a "link with China". Read the NY Post piece entirely.

A Hong Kong mogul exiled in New York lured Hunter Biden to a promising business which allegedly involved an ex-executive of a Shanghai SOE. This executive from Shanghai (the only possible link with the CCP) never had any contact with Hunter Biden, the whole string of e-mails were exchanged with this HK mogul.

Either way, the whole scheme involved creating a façade company in Hong Kong - not in the Mainland. Remember, we're talking about an era where HK was still pretty much independent from the Mainland. Hunter Biden was never supposed to even set foot in the Mainland, nor he knew anybody from there. In fact, the HK mogul was then condemned in HK and extradited to the autonomous city (and not to the Mainland) for crimes he committed there (and not in the Mainland). He was, by all effects and purposes, a citizen from HK.

The scheme didn't ask much of Hunter Biden: he just had to play as a figurehead, to give the newly founded business in HK the legitimacy a member of American political elite could give. He would just lend his signature to documents and his presence to corporate meetings. At most, he would travel to HK once or twice a year. It was easy money, the kind of money being born in the elite would give you.

So, what we have here is that a HK mogul living in the USA (he lived in Long Island; could've been his neighbor) convinced Hunter Biden there was a golden opportunity in China. Could as easily been an Arab mogul, a Russian mogul, a Thai mogul or a Malaysian mogul. But the NY Post - being the anti-China tabloid it is - put "Chinese" instead of "Hong Kong" in its headline.

Posted by: vk | Nov 2 2020 17:22 utc | 234

vk @234

You are correct that the "Biden links with China" are imaginary and have been manufactured from whole cloth. I think Noirette was referring to perceptions rather than reality, though, because the poster made that reference in the same sentence as referencing Trump's fictional links with Russia; nevertheless, it is useful to make sure the difference between perception and reality remains clear, so your clarification is welcome.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 17:52 utc | 235

Noirette @233

I think it is important to draw a distinction between what happened in 2016 and normal partisan bickering between Team Red and Team Blue. For generations in America the establishment and the mass media that is a part of it have been very carefully, and quite deliberately, managing the "Overton Window". Issues that can be kept out of the national dialog as the mass media defines it are always non-issues. If the concerns of the majority of the population can be kept to the level of non-issues then the establishment doesn't even have to acknowledge them, much less justify why they are not doing anything about those issues.

Then along comes the Sanders campaign, and then Trump's upset victory. That one-two punch blew the "Overton Window" right out of its window frame. The establishment wanted to close the "Overton Window" that Sanders' campaign had opened, not destroy it. They wanted to equate Trump and Sanders as being the same thing and ridicule any who would vote for a populist by making "populist" a bad word; an insult. They wanted to immunize the political process against any future candidates like Sanders.

I do suggest caution with one of your claims: "If offering an empty, zero, platform (proposals, plans, actions..) you can’t win."

There are many who are extremely confident that Biden will win the election. If the Biden campaign does win, then that will be a campaign winning that had no platform other than not being Trump, which of course is no platform at all. It will be very interesting to see if you are correct, though. If so then there will be a remarkable display of individuals rending their garments and pulling their hair, and maybe some laying upon the ground accompanied by holding of breathes and kicking of heels.

Either way it will be fascinating.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 2 2020 18:24 utc | 236

karlof1 @192

You can't tear everything down at once because it would take too long to put back together again. Losing our elected officials though is much easier to do and the country could at least provide the services required to have a civilization. Do we really need new laws that today never really see the light of day? And those trillions in "stimulus" that only stimulate the few.
If our bureaucracy was competent our infrastructure wouldn't be crumbling and I'm sure that the response to the Covid hysteria would have been more rational and scientific as opposed to the constant fear mongering and draconian lockdowns.
Simply enforcing the current laws on money laundering, bribery, blackmail, treason and sedition would go a long way of thinning the ranks of government and even the legal and judicial systems. Nationalizing certain essential industries, in particular health care would go a long way. The role of the media and it's failure to be factual should be examined as well as their motivations for these actions.
To me it seems that elections are held only to give people the false premise that their lives will change for the better. Usually their hopes end up in the same dumpster as "campaign promises".

Posted by: anon48 | Nov 2 2020 18:54 utc | 237

William Gruff @ 235

You are correct that the "Biden links with China" are imaginary and have been manufactured from whole cloth

whole cloth?

Posted by: john | Nov 2 2020 19:17 utc | 238

I expect Trump to win a second term as POTUS.
I liked his original Drain the Swamp, "restore control of the USG to The People" platforms, and his derisive remarks about Career Politicians. Imo he meant what he said, and is an extremely clever person.
If he loses in 2020 all it will mean is that he wasn't as clever as he, and I, thought he was. Simple as that.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 2 2020 19:34 utc | 239

I expect Trump to win a second term as POTUS.
I liked his original Drain the Swamp, "restore control of the USG to The People" platforms, and his derisive remarks about Career Politicians. Imo he meant what he said, and is an extremely clever person.
If he loses in 2020 all it will mean is that he wasn't as clever as he, and I, thought he was. Simple as that.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 2 2020 19:34 utc | 239

Imo, this is quite delusional. Trump, as a real estate/casino/hospitality developer was (and remains) a typical swamp creature. When you need assortment of permits, tax abatements, regulatory decisions on casinos etc. you donate generously to all that may influence those things, wine them and dine them etc., and Trump has done all of that. Being on the donor side, he feels superior to all the shmucks he had to humor, but it is no more than that. Once in Washington, he quickly appreciated how vital are the wetlands (not swamps) to the ecosystem of the county, and the wetlands on both sides of the lower Potomac are particularly precious.

Mind you, during his business years, Trump was great at promoting himself and his brand, but otherwise mediocre at running businesses -- occasionally, to the ground. And an old dog does not learn new tricks -- he is still good at promoting himself, but ACTUALLY running the government?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 3 2020 5:29 utc | 240

Yeah, vk, you are right to point this out, but I meant as claimed / perceived/ propagandised, as others have said. I saw a cartoon today - a quick search didn’t bring it up:

Hunter (whose face is not visible) is dressed like a female whore (his bag has Hunter written on it in case the viewer doesn’t get it) leaning into a car, which bears a license place with only 5 letters - CHINA. Joe, dressed as a pimp, is lurking around the corner. All this in a dark street.

Ouch !

Another, which I can’t link to, shows a small Hunter in a bigger Joe’s pocket who himself is in a bigger Xi-like figure with panda face's pocket.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 3 2020 14:08 utc | 241

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