Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2020

Another Look At Joe Biden's Foreign Policy Team

The choices the incoming president Joe Biden has made so far are not great at all. The people he so far selected are staunch interventionists who will want to continue the wars they have started during their previous time in office.

Tony Blinken will become Secretary of State. (It was probably thought to be too hard to get Senate confirmation for the similar bad Susan Rice.) In 2013 the Washington Post described his high flying pedigree:

Blinken is deputy national security adviser to President Obama, who has also invoked the Holocaust as his administration wrestles, often painfully, with how to respond to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. One of the government’s key players in drafting Syria policy, the 51-year-old Blinken has Clinton administration credentials and deep ties to Vice President Biden and the foreign policy and national security establishment in Washington. He has drawn attention in Situation Room photos, including the iconic one during the May 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound, for his stylishly wavy salt-and-pepper hair. But what sets him apart from the other intellectual powerhouses in the inner sanctum is a life story that reads like a Jewish high-society screenplay that the onetime aspiring film producer may have once dreamed of making. There’s his father, a giant in venture capital; his mother, the arts patron; and his stepfather, who survived the Holocaust to become of one of the most influential lawyers on the global stage. It is a bildungsroman for young Blinken — playing in a Parisian jazz band, debating politics with statesmen — with a supporting cast of characters that includes, among others, Leonard Bernstein, John Lennon, Mark Rothko, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Abel Ferrara and Christo.

The man is a war mongering psycho:

Blinken surprised some in the Situation Room by breaking with Biden to support military action in Libya, administration officials said, and he advocated for American action in Syria after Obama’s reelection. These sources said that Blinken was less enthusiastic than Biden about Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for a strike in Syria, but is now — perhaps out of necessity — onboard and a backer of diplomatic negotiations with Russia. While less of an ideologue than Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (a job for which he was considered), he not surprisingly shares her belief that global powers such as the United States have a “responsibility to protect” against atrocities.

He has since shown no remorse about those foreign policy failures:

Blinken maintains that the failure of U.S. policy in Syria was that our government did not employ enough force. He stands by the false argument that Biden’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq was a “vote for tough diplomacy.” He was reportedly in favor of the Libyan intervention, which Biden opposed, and he was initially a defender and advocate for U.S. support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen. In short, Blinken has agreed with some of the biggest foreign policy mistakes that Biden and Obama made, and he has tended to be more of an interventionist than both of them.

Jake Sullivan will become National Security Advisor. He is a Hillary Clinton figure:

If you can’t quite place Jake Sullivan, he’s was a long-serving aide to Hillary Clinton, starting with her 2008 race against Barack Obama, then serving as her deputy chief of staff and director of the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning when Clinton was Obama’s secretary of state. (...) In 2016, during her failed presidential campaign, Sullivan once again teamed up with Clinton, and he was widely expected to have been named to serve as her national security adviser or even secretary of state had she won.

Since 2016, and since the creation of NSA, Sullivan has emerged as a kind of foreign policy scold, gently — and sometimes not so gently — criticizing those who reflexively oppose American intervention abroad and who disparage the idea of American “exceptionalism.” Indeed, in an article in the January-February issue of The Atlantic, “What Donald Trump and Dick Cheney Got Wrong About America,” Sullivan explicitly says that he’s intent on “rescuing the idea of American exceptionalism” and presents the “case for a new American exceptionalism".

Sullivan send classified documents to Hillary Clinton's private email server. He wrote to her that Al Qaida is "on our side in Syria." He also hyped fake Trump-Russia collusion allegations.

It is yet unknown who will become Secretary of Defense. Michèle Flournoy is the most named option but there is some opposition to her nomination:

[B]ackers of Michèle Flournoy, his likely pick for defense secretary, are trying to head off a last-minute push by some left-leaning Democrats trying to derail her selection, with many progressives seeing her nomination as a continuation of what critics refer to as America’s “forever wars.”

I expect that the progressive will lose the fight and that either Flournoy or some other hawkish figure will get that weapon lobbyist position.

Progressives also lost on the Treasury position. Biden's nomination for that is Janet Yellen who is known to be an inflation hawk. She is unlikely to support large spending on progressive priorities.

As usual with a Democratic election win the people who brought the decisive votes and engagement, those who argue for more socialist and peaceful policies, will be cut off from the levers of power. 

In three years they will again be called upon to fall for another bait and switch.

Posted by b on November 24, 2020 at 16:32 UTC | Permalink

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There are so many creatures that the swamp holds. Don't be surprised by what comes next.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Nov 24 2020 16:37 utc | 1

biden promised there will no changes and he's a man of his word. Those that thought he would be the second coming of FDR I have a bridge to sell you;-)

Posted by: jo6pac | Nov 24 2020 16:41 utc | 2

@jo6pac | Nov 24 2020 16:41 utc | 2

More like 2nd coming of Hillary, unless the fraud is exposed.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 24 2020 16:48 utc | 3

The entire project for Democrats in this election cycle was to get rid of Trump. There was never any vision for the future or a presentation of policy to gain voters. It was all "Trump is an existential threat and the only priority is to defeat him at the polls." Bernie Sanders made this all quite clear as he again led his legion of lemmings off a cliff and into an ocean of Neoliberal/neoconservative Forever Empire.

But hey, it's all worth it to get rid of The Man With The Golden Toilet.

Meanwhile, yeah, it's back to future with more of the same as far as the eye can see. Which, with an economy in shambles, and a populace with a death wish, might not be as long as one thinks.

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 24 2020 16:54 utc | 4

You would think by now people would get tired of the Hollywood hyped trailers which the more they push them at you the bigger dog of a movie you're going to get. I guess the old saying is true, "no one ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of the public." Maybe we are stuck in "Ground Hog Day".

Posted by: Tobi | Nov 24 2020 17:00 utc | 5

At the very least “gravitas” will have been restored to its venerable and “sacred” institution. And a good portion of the american population can heave a huge sigh of relief, and go about their business of profound ritualistic conformity.

Gravitas restored by an aging old man, potentially on the verge of dementia, which is a sad condition by any measure. A collection of Human beings about as bereft of solutions of philosophy of spiritual comprehension as possible, at this point in human history. We all have an enormous amount to look forward to!

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 24 2020 17:03 utc | 6

It's a veritable who's who of the same criminals who instigated and executed the covert (and sometimes overt) military and economic aggressions across several regions of the globe, to include North Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 24 2020 17:08 utc | 7

The same faction tried to pull the exact same nonsense last time, but some rather serious elements of the intelligence, military, and security services elected to not allow it (via real time monitoring and enforcement).

Posted by: Josh | Nov 24 2020 17:11 utc | 8

The BBC is something, but we have NBC News giving us another lesson of professional journalism with this headline:

Russia chases off U.S. warship in spat over territorial waters

The confrontation was the latest in a string of close contacts between Russian and American forces across the globe.

Maybe I do not understand some hidden message, but at first sight I would imagine maybe it is the Bering Strait or somewhere in the middle of the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans, or across the world, but no, it is just a few miles off Vladivostok. The distance from Seattle to Vladivostok is almost five thousand miles, so we have a US destroyer five thousand miles from home sniffing the Russians at about 10 miles from their main city and Pacific Ocean military base, yeah its only a spat, and it is only freedom of navigation right in the kitchen of your main rival. Keep it on USA, maybe one of these days you’re going to have the Russians or Chinese right by the Golden Gate Bridge or by Puget Sound enforcing free navigation for all. One more detail, the US vessel was the destroyer John McCain, a true friend of Russia and East Asia, or maybe the navy guys are just welcoming the new Biden team.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 24 2020 17:12 utc | 9

As I said over at Ian Welsh's blog

"this is brought on by the “blue no matter who crowd” who can’t understand that guaranteeing their vote at the outset without extorting any firm quid pro quo a priori guarantees that [working people] can be safely ignored. And yet, almost everybody here [reminder, posted at Ian's] argued for just that…and will the next time…and the next.

Why will something like that happen…

If the polls are to be believed, Biden is the most popular Democrat of all time and by a large margin. If polls are to be believed, the DNC denying the Sanders wing was the smartest thing the DNC has ever done. If polls are to be believed, Biden strode through battle unscathed while lessor Democrats were squashed. The DNC was right, the Sanders people are fools, if…polls are to be believed. The immense Biden vote proves once and for all, that any who diverge from DNC dictata should be ignored for all time.

That was the message sent in 2020”


Biden is to the extreme right of Trump on the issue of the US's endless neocolonial wars. And Biden is already laying the groundwork for the deconstruction of Social Security, work he began as VP to Obama. That makes Biden to the extreme right of Trump on foreign & domestic issues...all thanks to the "blue no matter who" crowd. Meanwhile, the election "make 'em scream" ploy Pelosi employed will toss millions off federal extensions of unemployment midnight 31 Dec 2020 until congress reconvenes.

And for all those who claimed Trump to be evil incarnate, worse than a few weeks, facts will show those people to be clownish frauds.

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 24 2020 17:14 utc | 10

Sadly, the last administration was rather quickly and effectively prevented from effecting the necessary course corrections which would bring about a full cessation of ongoing conflicts and restore peace. Furthermore, the corrections needed to ensure the survival and wellbeing of our own people were also effectively prevented.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 24 2020 17:15 utc | 11

The rest of the world is going to get very tired very fast of the US remaining a hot spot for covid. The incoming administration may find important avenues for diplomacy closing fast if this country does not make important strides to rejoin the world community. We have already seen how the non-response is going to affect the US this winter. It will affect trade and all other avenues as well, particularly if the vaccines do not produce long lasting immunity in countries that have successful ones.

The US should be looking to a larger degree of self-sufficiency, just as its citizens must prepare for that as the new season for growing stuff approaches. It ought to be apparent to these incoming old hands that they ought to be taking care of business at home. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 24 2020 17:16 utc | 12

When I read the Janet Yellen was the Treasury pick I shuddered a bit at the thought of an almost all female leadership cast when the ship goes down....ah, the smell of patriarchy in the morning

Watching the demise of our current empire in what seems to be slow motion is fascinating. How long will it take to lose faith/control of the private monetary system? Given the incoming foreign policy team it looks like continuation of failed policies of the past.

We can only hope that the rest of the world continues to build an alternative world than the one proscribed by the dying empire of the West.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2020 17:21 utc | 13

In three years they will again be called upon to fall for another bait and switch.

From Tulsi Gabbard.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 24 2020 17:23 utc | 14

Thanks B.
On point, no BS.
That is the MoA i love and am addicted to.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr | Nov 24 2020 17:25 utc | 15

No drama Obama ==> Go with the flow Joe


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 24 2020 17:32 utc | 16

@ Juliana: "particularly if the vaccines do not produce long lasting immunity in countries that have successful ones."

Tac Zacks, Moderna’s chief medical officer says that vaccine trial results only show that they prevent people from getting severely sick — not necessarily that recipients won’t still be able to transmit the virus

Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks told Axios that the public should not “over-interpret” the vaccine trial results to assume life could go back to normal after adults are vaccinated.

Zaks warned that the trial. . . results don’t show that the vaccine prevents transmission of the virus.
. . .
“I think it’s important that we don’t change behavior solely on the basis of vaccination,” he said.

Posted by: ChasMark | Nov 24 2020 17:57 utc | 17

We all knew in advance that a vote for Harris/Dead Guy was a vote for war. The somnambulistic "woke" faux left PTSD (Post Trump Stress Disorder... you don't really think that kind of psychological damage ever heals, do you?) will shrilly shriek that it isn't so, but we all know the truth.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 24 2020 17:58 utc | 18

Well, a lot of cronies are looking to these yuuuuge stocks of missiles and bombs and think about some bigly emptying and replenishing of stocks after 4 years of drought for not starting a war that send a s**t hole country to the stone age.

What about the famous no fly zone in Syria, promised by Hillary C., to prevent the butcher Assad to commit more chemical massacres?, after all everyone knows the russkies are guilty of the Trump victory in 2016, and in fact Trump is merely a Putin's puppet and it is time to teach them a lesson and show that the boss has returned home.

People in the ME, fasten your seat bealts: ¡el toro va a salir corriendo del toril!

Posted by: DFC | Nov 24 2020 18:06 utc | 19

I always come here first (after chores in the morning)--thank you b. So my post @ 12 reflects that. Next I do go to other sites, and so this morning came on this:

This is a very comprehensive post, and has a link first up to China's full explanation of the Wuhan experience. I haven't seen more, but the emphasis on successful containment is I believe an important message for whatever administration we end up with in January.

I enjoyed Yves's introductory editorial on this. Will post an excerpt.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 24 2020 18:08 utc | 20

S Brennan @10 - As you will know all too well...the vast majority who voted for the Blue Lot are members of the bourgeoisie - and they only care about their comforts. They give absolutely NO thought, concern, conscience (do they even have one - seriously doubtful_ when it comes to "bomb, bomb, bomb" wherever the peoples are of darker skin hue, different cultures.... These Blues are totally but totally lacking in any moral fibre, compassion (not that that the Strumpeters were much better)...and their private pension plans, shares depend upon the MIC bringing in mucho dinero...

Paco @ 9 - Thou knowst as well as I that "the globe" is Usian... It is sickening. Bad enough that we presume to control who governs and how Latin American countries...That we also presume that we can determine the international water rights of other nations .... Obscene...

Posted by: Anne | Nov 24 2020 18:09 utc | 21

I feel like I have seen this movie a million times. What is interesting is there seems to be a fair amount of push back happening from the left, unlike what happened during the Obama years. I wasn't expecting much from people talking about putting pressure on Biden after the election, but maybe I was wrong about this.

Posted by: Edward | Nov 24 2020 18:09 utc | 22

juliana @12 And we should abide by the absolutely humane dictum: DO As You Would Be Done By.... Not how the west has worked, viewed its machinations for several centuries...More than time the Pigeons of Effects came home to roost

Posted by: Anne | Nov 24 2020 18:12 utc | 23

thanks b..... but americans are not supposed to be concerned with foreign policy! meanwhile the rest of the world watches the train wreck unfold... as long as the usa is in bed with israel, all will be fine... according to some..... so biden is in bed with israel.. trump was in bed with israel... who is a better lover? lol...this is usa foreign policy according to israel... funny how that works...

@ juliania... yes - covid might actually force the usa to naval gaze in a different way... nothing a war, or the threat of war on some other foreign country, can't cure... get back to basics... like the 100 mile diet, as opposed to big agra, big pharma, big money - wall st and etc? i wish you luck on that.. support the local food bank, and local merchants and food producers... getting back to basics like this would be a smart move... it will be resisted every step of the way by the msm and corporations... uphill battle doesn't seem like it has even started... but thank god biden is in the drivers seat - NOT! it is hard to control something that is out of your hands..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2020 18:15 utc | 24

yep. sad. Yellen for Treasury is interesting, and a crucial position to watch. Mnuchin basically ran the Trump administration's economic policy, as far as there was one.

One of the watchwords of the coming era is the "Great Reset", i.e. a limited shift in the direction of a technocratic planned economy. In a way, this began after 2008 when the FED intervened in stock and bond markets to such a degree that its interventions became the dominant driving force. With that, "market forces" couldn't plausibly remain a reflection of free competition as the theory postulated. The fact that this measure had to be taken (i.e. markets had to be overtly "fixed"), is an implicit admission that the thesis of the free-market purists, the dream of the Reagan-Clinton era, has been falsified.

The proposed solution, at least the version coming from the high business class (and exaggerated further still by right-wing critics of Great Reset) seems like a recipe to worsen the problem of "regulatory capture" above all else. I.e. the agents and beneficiaries of the neoliberal era making an effort to adapt, without giving up the benefits of the prior economic regime. Likelyhood of fixing inequalities is nil. The emphasis is on reinforcing the stability of the system, holding on to power, perhaps competing with threatening alternatives from the "outside", although that would seem to be a second priority.

Trump did put up a facade of a nationalist alternative, which had the effect of acknowledging the inequalities and failures of the neoliberal system, but offering an equally harmful solution. Besides that, if you look at who was making economic policy in the past 4 years (Treasury Dept), the nationalist facade was false, as far as domestic economic matters were concerned.

IMO, all three of the turn-of-the-century free-market-neolibral model, the hypothetical Trump(ish) nationalist model, and the revised technocratic-neoliberal schemes, are fatally flawed. Despite the political rhetoric of US Republicans, there's no real prospect of an even mildly leftist (i.e. inclusive, egalitarian, and internationalist) alternative anytime soon in the US. I suspect the same is true in most neoliberal countries.

So Biden comes into this moment, with a clear mandate -- from the sponsors -- to reinforce the status quo. He brings Yellen into this moment in a the crucial position.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 24 2020 18:20 utc | 25

Thanks Anne, and previously also ChasMark. Here is the excerpt from Yves's prologue I promised above. She fittingly ends with an Aussie comment:

Or as reader Norseman observed:

Since the rebuttal graphs cited Australia (where I live), I have a dog in the fight. I observe that successful lockdowns here are accompanied by Government, community and non-profit support at most levels of society, imperfect as it was. Despite some missteps & car wrecks here, that happened well enough, plus most people in Australia are practical & support practical efforts given a good explanation. The energy went into fixing it. Can do!

I contrast that with the USA which used to have a Can do culture of exceptionalism, but as the comments here show blindingly clearly, the social energy is going into a thousand different stupid arguments as to why things can’t work, or didn’t really work anywhere else supposedly.

If I was in the US, I’d be taking a long hard look in the mirror, not wasting energy arguing like a kid who has not done his homework.

My bolds. Love that Aussie enthusiasm!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 24 2020 18:24 utc | 26

MoA U R sooo Right I'm sooo sorry that I didn't vote 4 Trump. Can I still vote 4 Trump in the Georgia run off election ? ? ?

Trump / Pompeo is committing actual genocide in Yemen.

Trump / Pompeo have already imposed a full trade embargo on Syria.
So what's left for the new psycho to do, start a war with Russia in Syria?

The new guy can yack all he wants to about the Holocaust. It doesn't matter. We are a nation of asses. It is just a matter of who will piss away our war making ability faster.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 24 2020 18:37 utc | 27

It's a close call, but the scariest of the bunch to me may be Sullivan. It's a position very close to a president in likely steep mental decline and a clueless vp and thus even more powerful than normal.

They will want to reestablish "normalcy," that being defined as leadership by western capital. But the world has changed a lot in the past four years and even back then the cracks and strains were showing.

Posted by: Caliman | Nov 24 2020 18:38 utc | 28

"As usual with a Democratic election win the people who brought the decisive votes and engagement, those who argue for more socialist and peaceful policies, will be cut off from the levers of power.
In three years they will again be called upon to fall for another bait and switch."

Which brings us also to a consideration highly relevant to the comments:
We should have a conspicuous mark for every commenter who voted Democrat or Republican again in... 2020 (it doesn't have to be shaped as a star or be yellow, at that) so we know what to skip without fearing that we'll miss any significant contribution. This will substantially simplify reading MoA.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Nov 24 2020 18:44 utc | 29

The common theme from all the post-election Summits was Multilateralism, respect for International Law, and the requirement that all nations pool their efforts to defeat the virus. I'd go so far as to say that's the Global Consensus. This short op/ed is a must read as it educates the reader as to the basic differences between the West's--especially the Outlaw US Empire--and China's diplomatic philosophy. IMO, as the Global Consensus views the situation, the West and in particular the Outlaw US Empire have failed to lead as they've always boasted about doing for the past 75 years. That fact is going to make it very difficult for Biden's hawks to operate; for as with Pompeo, they'll be shouted down or ignored everywhere except in Occupied Palestine and NATO circles. The not agreement capable Empire has lost most of its credibility since 2003 and must regain it if it ever wants to try leading the world again.

So, given the above, what will Biden's hawks attempt? Will they continue to egg on the Taiwanese secessionists; tell their Ukrainian puppets to attack Donbass again; re-escalate in Syraq; attempt a direct attack on Iran--all losing propositions? And what of the woeful state of the Empire's military readiness and impotence in the face of new weapons denying past force projection ability? Will reality finally invade and win in their fantasy obsessed minds, or will their dementia spread?

There's some chatter about Trump retaliating at some Deep State financiers in such a manner that will enable him to continue as POTUS. I think it very unlikely, or more likely disinformation injected into social media to keep the two sides riled up.

I certainly agree with juliania that the pandemic must be solved as the first order of business both domestically and diplomatically.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 18:48 utc | 30

Clearly, Biden has a mandate to start a war if:

...the polls are to be believed, Biden is the most popular Democrat of all time AND BY A LARGE MARGIN. The DNC was absolutely right,if…polls are to be believed. The immense Biden vote proves once and for all that D "lefties/progressives/liberals" can be bitch slapped around the house and still be reliably counted on to put on heavy make-up, large sunglasses and go out to vote for whatever shit sandwich the DNC serves up.

I can't wait to hear "lefties"/"progressives"/"liberals" telling me another war is an absolute necessity know, would you rather have peace with a guy worse than Hitler in the White House?

"I THINK NOT!" the virtuous "lefties"/"progressives"/"liberals" will say. "Anything is better than Hitler; thank God President Biden started this war to save the [insert name here]; anybody who doesn't support our war against country [insert name here] is a Putin puppet"...and so it goes.

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 24 2020 18:48 utc | 31

It is curious, but for all the invented illnesses, demons, and direct orders to shut up by Trumpsters on any of us, here a guy who sees it as we did/do, the worst US presidency ever. He must be suffering that syndrome too, anyway with an exceptional intelligence service, that we lack, to keep him on the trails, in case he could deviate through delusional paths, which he obviously does not. He makes no ilusions on Biden´s presidency, but describes what has been in front of the eyes of the whole world ( at least researching a bit on geopolitics ), for anyone who wanted to see.

Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, on Trump´s presidency:

Of course, emotionally, there’s no doubt –and I’m talking about my personal feelings here– that when you look at the Trump administration, the Trump government, it turns out to be the worst government (in US history), or, if not the worst, it is one of the worst US governments in history. This government was the most heinous, the vilest, the most despotic, the most arrogant, the most contemptuous of its friends and allies –for example, there was a difference in the way Trump behaved with Saudi Arabia [repeated humiliations], and his way of addressing Iran: when he addressed Iran, he was more balanced, more measured, more cautious; and he will step down from power with bitterness over not having been able to find a single Iranian official to answer him on the phone. It was the most tyrannical, the most despotic, the most arrogant, the most criminal, the most terrorist government… Such was the Trump administration.

Let’s remember what he did for 4 years. For 4 years, he put the whole world on the brink of war, whether he (deliberately) played on the level of psychological warfare, (on the permanent threat) of the brink of the abyss, or whether he was serious (and willing to go to war). Against North Korea, he brought things to the brink of war. Likewise with China, with Iran, with Venezuela, with Cuba, with Syria, with many places in the world. He brought the whole world to the brink of war! As far as states and peoples are concerned, he has intensified blockades, acts of manifest aggression and the most explicit interference in internal affairs… Of course, we recognize in Trump a very important quality, which is that he showed the true face of the United States. This is their true face. Arrogance, tyranny, (permanent) aggression, despotism, imperialism, terrorism, bestiality, crime, (mass) murder, corruption… This is what Trump showed. His predecessors wore make-up and measured their words, but his quality is that he showed the US as they were to the peoples of the world, (without wearing a mask or using false rhetoric).

(...)But at a practical level, we need to know, through our assessment of these four years (of Trump’s rule), that under such an aggressive (US) government, having such a high level of tyranny and willingness to enter into war… Because it is obvious that the possibility of the Trump administration going to war was higher and will remain higher than that of the next administration. This administration was very inclined to go to war. They had no caution, no limits.

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on November 11, 2020.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 24 2020 18:49 utc | 32

Caliman @ 28:

The Klintonator missed out on getting the position of Defense Secretary and the post of US ambassador to the UN. Never mind, whatever she needs to know what Biden, then Harris is up to, Jake Sullivan will send the information to her through his private email server.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 24 2020 18:50 utc | 33

The new RCEP agreement includes 30% of world trade and ⅓ of world population - these figures will only increase.RCEP trading will use only local currencies. De-dollarisation is growing steadily, and with it the decline in US ability to fund huge deficits and also huge amounts of 'defence' war spending. The empire will be defunct within 10/20 years, despite all Biden and his warmongering cronies can do. "Hail the Chief"

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Nov 24 2020 18:51 utc | 34

Why should we care about what policies the appointees will favor. The US is a democracy where the whole population determine policy through their elected representatives, and then the executive branch carries out the policies that the citizens have determined.

One can't believe impossible things? . . Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2020 18:53 utc | 35

james @ 24, my first thought was yes, okay, but there is a better part of every country, even Israel. To me, you represent (in a very small way but still!) a better part of Canada. Which, like Russia, will be having some more positive aspects of global warming in the future that can be built upon, even as it seems the old beloved terrain is undergoing nature's inevitaable path of destruction. These changes plus the virus mean the old ways, even if they were good ways, will have to change, and that (to coin a phrase) is change I can believe in! I trust nature, even when it seemingly creates havoc; even if it destroys my own little habitable corner.

Let old Obama have his multimillions and houses by the sea. We know what is going to happen there. Good luck, Obama! You have what you wanted, enjoy! What does the Good Book say? They have their portion in this life ... as for me, I shall be satisfied with righteousness...Thy good spirit will guide me to the right land.

We are witnessing it, james. The awesome majesty of change, like the great clouds I see low to the ground, passing over. My goodness, they are awesome!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 24 2020 18:53 utc | 36

I wonder how many of Biden’s cabinet picks have been to Little St. James?

Posted by: DougDiggler | Nov 24 2020 19:00 utc | 37

Of course Biden’s foreign policy team and the policy itself will be shit. As it was for the trump admin, the Obama admin, the Bush II admin, the Clinton admin, the Bush I admin, the fucking Reagan admin, then there’s carter and Nixon. Look, I can take this back all the way to Washington. Biden’s not special. It’s always been an empire; trump did nothing to dismantle it; but now it’s a failing empire.

And don’t try the “Trump’s instincts were dashed by the deep state”. Dude constantly bragged about how much he spent on the DoD. If he could find a way to personally profit from the empire he would have.

Posted by: Lex | Nov 24 2020 19:08 utc | 38

Well, they certainly have their work cut out for them. I wonder if they will handle losing any better than Trump has. Who is more unrealistic, Trump of his enemies? We're about to find out.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 24 2020 19:10 utc | 39

First of all I want to remind everyone that Trumpo is pardoning turkeys while Biden is rolling out his first Cabinet picks. So I wonder, hmmm...will Trump pardon the biggest turkey of all...himself?

Before I begin with my honest assessment unlike the dishonest hype around here, let me start by being kind to Biden before I get brutally honest.

Biden is 1000 times better than the fascist, depraved ego-maniac leaving.

Blinken is 100 times better than the Zionist Bibi ass kisser Pompeous.

Okay, now that that's out of the way... I really don't like Blinken for SoS. He is no better than Susan Rice, it's true.

The only reason Biden picked him is character compatibility. Blinken is an unapologetic Liberal Zionist. Yuk! It is meaningless because the Zionist part cancels out the Liberal part. Do I care that he's not as hostile to Russia as Hillary was? Nope. I no longer give a damn about Russia.

My major foreign policy concerns are Yemen, Palestine and Iran. I want the killing and starving of Yemeni to end and that one-sided war to cease for good! I want U.S. arms sales to KSA, UAE and other Gulf States to end. Mostly, I want a fair and honest deal with Iran.

Blinken was involved with drafting the first JCPOA. Hopefully, he doesn't f**k up the renewal by asking for trust and blind faith from Iran when the U.S. broke all trust and put Iran on the road to near ruin.

I also hope Blinken can reason with his Ziofascist comrades and condemn forcefully the egregious violation of Palestinian rights and theft of land.

I have no illusions and will hold all their feet to the fire when they f**k up and they will, and when the do I'll be blistering and merciless!

I have no issues with the U.N. Ambassador, and Jake Sullivan brokered an end to the Israeli massacre in Gaza and helped with the Iran deal, but I don't know enough about his policy towards Syria and Libya, yet. They have important roles to play, so same goes for them.

I WILL BE ON THEIR CASE, and Biden better respect the emerging power of Progressives and DELIVER.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 24 2020 19:15 utc | 40

Jake Sullivan thinks that Dick Cheney is too nice? Is that even humanly possible?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Nov 24 2020 19:20 utc | 41

Norwegian, 3:

Which "fraud" is that? There's no evidence that fraud elected Biden in 2020, and Biden was an easy to beat candidate.

There is however evidence that fraud "won" Trump, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida in 2016.

Further, your use of the term "fraud" has massive racist implications.

You see, even the avowed racist Rudy Giuliani isn't spouting off about "fraud", he's still "coherent" enough to blame Biden's win on communists in Cuba, Venezuela, and China. Not of course that any evidence supports Rudy's delusional claims.

Posted by: Jay | Nov 24 2020 19:28 utc | 42

This proposed team is awful and disturbing on many levels: it is obumer II but only worse-approaches hillary as a war mongering objective.

One thing is clear: knee walking obsequious groveling to israel will be the modus operandi.

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Nov 24 2020 19:37 utc | 43

In three years they will again be called upon to fall for another bait and switch.

Yup, b, you got that right!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 24 2020 19:44 utc | 44

I'm totally zen. Russia is going to kick the US' ass in any area the yanks choose to try and assert themselves. Its a russophobes war cabinet. Already started today, the entire crew of the USS Insane McCain have all got severe butthurt after being chased away from the RF coastline. Chicken sh*ts all got PTSD now. Boohoo, medical discharge and crack addiction await.

Posted by: Geraldo | Nov 24 2020 19:48 utc | 45

Circe @40:

Blinken is 100 times better than the Zionist Bibi ass kisser Pompeous.

Don't be too sure of that one. As far as I can tell, everybody who's anybody in the top five layers of persona in and around US government loves Bibi's keister. They have to, or they wouldn't be where they are.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 24 2020 19:50 utc | 46

On the previous thread, Paco linked this video of a BBC reporter having her ass handed to her when it comes to media freedom and Assange. It's awesome and really needs as much help as it can get to go viral. Thanks again, Paco!!!!!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 19:57 utc | 47

#34. The observation that the RCEP mandates local currencies is the most salient looking ahead. The Biden admin is stocking up with advocates of the same "smart power" seen from the Obama era. This smart power will not be able to reverse the de-dollarisation trend, and it is not clear the extent to which this problem has even been engaged. From their own words, they intend to move forward with short-term multilateral coalitions of NATO allies, etc. in various hot-spots of their own choosing, like the Dutch boy at the dike, with a likely attempt in the next year to avenge themselves for Russian "election interference".

China's recent economic punishment of Australia has certainly raised awareness of the consequence of one's actions. The expressed confusion and dismay in Australian economic and national security circles seems to suggest that a tough Chinese response had not been a considered possibility. The hawkish policy advisors' solution - to create a fund through 5-Eyes allies to compensate the Australian economy - is not a solution at all, which is obvious to all. Theses types of actual consequence in response to "exceptional" behaviour should define the next decade.

Posted by: jayc | Nov 24 2020 20:13 utc | 48

Not endorsing VT, just think the graphics on the article is funny, war-war-war.

You have NY Harbor w/the Statue of Liberty, a military helicopter w/soldiers repelling down, fighter aircraft, one heavy bomber in the background, an eagle (what's he doing there??) and last but not least a Zeppelin (must be ww1 Steampunk).

Pardoning the Turkey I'm waiting for the President who has the courage to kill and eat the damned Turkey. Good God, we eat millions of turkeys on the same day, and most Presidents have human blood on their hands so what is so special about a dumb bird. I would actually respect Trump more if he did that.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 24 2020 20:14 utc | 49

the east and southeast asian countries have just entered the RCEP agreement.
If China favors globalism, favors climate agreements, favors a new
regotiated WTO
If within RCEP all tariffs have been erased (suspended) for 20 years.
if within Rcep not a single godamn greenback is welcome.
The US of A has two options: a) join the RCEP [and ge flooded with
east asian products with the consequent EXPORT of all its remainder industries and jobs to the yellows.. b) OR to fight against it with
all his ''allies'' left - escluded Japana, South korea, Australia and NZ.
Namely with UK, the Africans and south americans but Venezuela, cuba and Bolivia.
Nice or doom prospects for the Exceptionalistan.

Posted by: augusto | Nov 24 2020 20:18 utc | 50

Earlier today, the Ceremony for presenting foreign ambassadors’ letters of credence was held at the Kremlin and the traditional welcoming talk given by Putin that provides a look into the world of diplomatic relations as conducted by Russia that IMO is beneficial for all barflies. I rather doubt the Outlaw US Empire has a similar ceremony, but then the Kremlin's ceremony's been ongoing since well before the USA was settled by Europeans.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 20:18 utc | 51

I can't imagine how dividing Syria and other Arab countries into a "mosaic of feuding mini-states" as envisaged by the zionist program outlined in "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties" as advocated by Oded Yinnon advances the actual interests of the American people in any way. Biden's incoming administration and foreign policy team appointments list could have been compiled by Tel Aviv, also known as The Great Beast. Sooner or later their thrall will be broken.

Posted by: Paul | Nov 24 2020 20:22 utc | 52

Just today Joe Biden, presenting his new team, said:

"Ready to lead the world and not retreat, to sit again at the head of the table, ready to challenge our adversaries and not reject our allies, ready to defend our values"

People of the ME, duck for cover, look for the closer bomb shelter, after four year iddle the boss has returned to spread "democracy", "freedom", "human rights" and "prosperity", to end "tyranny", all for the sake of all the peoples on Earth, cause that is the Manifest Destiny of USA.

As arrogant, if not more, than the orange whale

Posted by: DFC | Nov 24 2020 20:26 utc | 53

Geoff (#6) gets it, well put.

But hoping that b cares to report on something other than US politics or corona?! Ideally a sitrep on somewhere barely heard of. Surely anyone that can would be trying to get away with murder with the present levels of distraction??

Posted by: Rae | Nov 24 2020 20:41 utc | 54

Of course my friends seem to have all bought the China evil propaganda.

Had this thrown in my face today. Had not even heard about it.

Chinese fishing armada plundered waters around Galápagos,

Posted by: arby | Nov 24 2020 20:42 utc | 55

Interesting take on Biden's team from Politico:

"For all the attention to the various ideological messages Biden may be sending with appointments, as he tries to hold together a Democratic coalition of jostling factions, what he is assembling is not so much a team of rivals as a team of careerists. A contender for Secretary of Defense is Michele Flournoy, who has been in national security circles for decades. She started a public affairs firm with Blinken, and graduated from Harvard a couple years before him.

Perhaps the closest equivalent is George H.W. Bush, who relied on decades-old relationships in Washington to fill his administration. The next four successors —Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump — all arrived from outside Washington or after a very short tenure here, and had to integrate personal loyalists into the Washington firmament. In Biden’s case, these two groups are exactly the same."

Joe Biden’s Team of Careerists

They are all very "exceptional" I'm sure. The main question I have on my mind is whether they will be any better in contact with military and political reality in the world today than Trump and his circus. I'd say there is hope for that, despite my general distaste for Biden and his politics. The comparison with GHW Bush is interesting to me, Bush the Elder was the last of the old school anglo aristocrats to actually BE President, and everything bad said of him is true, but he new better than to go to Baghdad. If Biden and his minions start frothing at the mouth like Obama and his harpies, then I'll have to reassess. Should know pretty soon.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 24 2020 20:45 utc | 56

I think this next administration is being set up to take the next Big Step Down for the US....and be blamed for it so that the pendulum swings more right than it ostensibly is now....which to me translates into a win for the top of the top/bottom reality we live in empire.

So lets speculate on how many countries will join the late empire circle of wagons. US, UK, SA, Occupied Palestine and then the list gets a bit sketchy depending on when the tight circling of wagons begins. Maybe include most/all of EU, AU, India, SK, Japan, ??? What happens to all the outstanding debt held by various countries when this shit goes down?

And 2020 is not over yet and to consider Trump entirely out of the game is probably a bit premature....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 24 2020 21:00 utc | 57

So just remind me ———-
What did trump do about the Israeli lobby groups ?
4 years wasn’t it.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 24 2020 21:15 utc | 58

One of the first things Biden will do is to pull down the "Trump Wall" between the US and Mexico. In it's place he will dig a dirty great canal to cut off america from the rest of the world. Let Mexicans swim for a change.


Didn't think you'd buy it.
However, most of the estimates about what Biden will really do, start off from the point where Trump leaves them.

There is the possibility that it won't be like that at all. Covid restrictions have caused a backlash in most, if not all the countries in the world. Incoming regimes like Biden can talk all they like about foreign policy but it is local insurrection that is going to be the main "topic" next year. (This goes for the UK, Germany and France as well). As the miss-named "populism" comes to the fore... OK the alternative theme of corporate/state "reset" is also on the cards, if the oligarchs and can pull it off. There are also the Rep v Dems local regional micro-agressions to be reckoned with.

Times have moved on from US "exceptionalism" and into an age where personal/private dissention is becoming a way of life.

So it may be "domestic" policy that will be the key factor for an incoming "Bidet" conglomerate government. So who will look after that?

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 24 2020 21:30 utc | 59

Trade Policy was once more important than overseas military policy for the USA, and here's an analysis of what's to come: "Confrontation Versus Trade":

"Around the world there is movement to improve levels of trade and to ease formalities in order to make multilateral commerce simpler, less costly and beneficial to all participants. Naturally, individual countries want to protect their particular specialities while continuing to profit from their attraction (think French wine and Scotch whisky, for example), but negotiations can solve such problems, and it is apparent that more and more countries are prepared to engage in dialogue rather than flouncing away from compromise.

"Except, most notably, the US and Britain which seem to consider that concession in negotiations is in some fashion weak and inescapably detrimental to their national interests....

"China’s Premier Li noted that 'Under the current global circumstances, the fact the RCEP has been signed after eight years of negotiations brings a ray of light and hope amid the clouds,' and it is hoped the partnership will expand in due course, especially as 'members of the RCEP make up nearly a third of the world’s population and account for 29% of global gross domestic product. The new free trade bloc will be bigger than both the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.' Prosperity looms for participating nations, and it is coming about because of peaceful compromise and negotiation rather than aggressive hostility — and it was ironic that on the day of agreement there was an example of further military provocation by Washington."

Given the choice of team members, the likely policy to use the author's term is confrontation, which is to say continuity of Trump's failed policies regarding engagement with the world. This author, and others, has deciphered the media's term for the team members--"Internationalists"--as based on their actual behaviors as "Interventionists", thus agreeing that we'll get a continuation of confrontation that fails to do anything positive aside from further diminish the Outlaw US Empire's standing.

IMO, the most stealthy team member is Janet Yellen, ex Fed Chair and next Treasury Secretary as she's certain to forward what's been dubbed the "Big Reset," which is explored in Alastair Crooke's latest as the Grand Peers of Neoliberalism become desperate to keep their heads above water as their Titanic sinks. Here's an important snippet:

"The optimism spurred by the original internet as a global ‘good’ thus has receded in favor of a rivalrous clash for Technological hegemony – a clash that might easily one day turn ‘hot’. One might have assumed that the next generation of digital technology would continue the Internet pattern as ‘win-win’ for everyone, but it didn’t. Machine learning is different. Machine learning broadly refers to ‘modelling’ that is not pre-programmed – as in having instructions (code) that the computer then executes, but which instead uses a set of AI learning-models which enable the computers themselves to extract patterns from large data sets, and evolve their own algorithms (decision rules). These new algorithms that the machine evolves then are run against new data, problems and questions (which can be highly profitable – such as in Cloud analytics)."

The above and more from the essay tell you why Putin and likeminded others are pushing so hard for a global conference dealing with AI, Robotics, and the Digital Economy. And with tech once again going well beyond the state of the world's morality, we need that conference much more than any inkling of confrontation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 21:53 utc | 60

Are we going to be selectively cherry picking. To suite our own biased narrative ?
If so that is no better than the ‘harpy’ paco linked to. (thanks again @186 last post)
So this new appointment looks good. ——-
Also there is the encouraging sign of Biden walking back Israeli from war with Iran.
Give the guy a break he hasn’t got his foot in the door yet.
But hey ! Don’t expect me to defend him.
As far as I’m concerned he better ‘shape up and fly right’
Or we’ll do another trump style take down.
They work for us not the other way round.
Let’s see a bit of unity and less hate both here and US.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 24 2020 22:13 utc | 61

Here's an interview given by acclaimed Canadian International Law lawyer Christopher Black who is rather pessimistic given the team members and its chief. While I disagree on a few minor points, I agree with his overall assessment:

"The Americans proclaim they are all for competition but we know that means only when it puts them in the superior position; and to maintain their position they are willing to threaten and attack the world if necessary; and there are a myriad of domestic problems in the USA which they have no way out of, since the two ruling parties have no solutions to offer, except war."

I would disagree with war being a solution; rather, it exacerbates many already existing problems. However, war would make revolution more likely. Since it's highly unlikely the Empire could make the "Moderate Rebel" ploy work again, to escalate in Syraq as Biden's nominee wants would require a direct assault by Imperial Stormtroopers, and that would be a huge domestic error during the continuing pandemic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 22:25 utc | 62

That link of mine has failed, I shortened it so as not to mess the page up.
Anyway ——- Biden nominates —-
Alejandro Mayorkas as chief of Homeland Security.
He looks to have a good track record and good form.
Just the message to send out to the hard core extremists.
I’v seen their sites !! Trust me they need to be stamped out.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 24 2020 22:26 utc | 63

I might be wrong, but isn't "Czar" a RUSSIA term - for Emperor? John Kerry must a very big ego that needed to be regularly stroked.

I am sure I have been told countless times that ALL THE RUSSIANS are in the Trump camp and that the Biden camp is Russian-free-zone - except of course for those Ukrainians who are no longer Russian, really.


Posted by: James | Nov 24 2020 22:32 utc | 64

Mark2 @ 63

Your buddy was born in Havana and grew up in Miami’s Cuban hole. And he’s Jewish. I’ll eat my hat if the family was not personal friends/business partners with Meyer Lansky and Myer Schine. Wonderful, Homeland Security has been given to the Mafia.

Expect more of same from Biden.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 24 2020 23:32 utc | 65

Posted by: James | Nov 24 2020 22:32 utc | 64

"I might be wrong, but isn't "Czar" a RUSSIA term - for Emperor?"

Actually Czar is a variation of "Caesar", not unlike "Kaiser" for the german ruler.

Posted by: naiverealist | Nov 24 2020 23:41 utc | 66

The author of this blog did not see the forest for the trees.

Those are all irrelevant nominations. Don't worry, American people: let Russia, China, Venezuela and Iran deal with them.

The important nomination was this one: Janet Yellen.

Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary is no surprise

Former Fed chair under Obama, before the current incumbent Jay Powell, Yellen is perfect for Biden. She will act midway between more radical fiscal measures on one side and pleasing Wall Street on the other, in trying to keep fiscal spending and corporate taxation down. So it's Jane and Jay in tandem.

Translation: she's nothing special. And yet, she's Treasury Secretary.

The fact that Biden nominated someone very forgettable to the most important office in a moment of crisis can only mean one thing: the Empire has given up.

It reminds me very much Khrushchev's government. He went in guns blazing, accusing Stalin as outdated and promising a whole new paradigm (economic and geopolitical). He failed miserably in both. He was toppled in 1964 and substituted by a figure of the "establishment", Leonid Brezhnev, who basically restored what existed during Stalin and effectively gave up making the USSR better. The first proletarian State would disintegrate soon.

Not saying Yellen-Biden will be the American Brezhnev - they are much lesser historical figures than he was - but pay attention to the pattern.

Posted by: vk | Nov 24 2020 23:42 utc | 67

Should come as no surprise that where it matters, Biden is Trump wearing a smiley face, just like Pelosi is Trump in a wig. Actually, considering actual body count and misery inflicted on vast populations, Biden's record is WORSE than Trump.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 25 2020 0:00 utc | 68

Yes, yes and yes to just about everybody above.

What is to be DONE?

Why should serious reformers inside the Democratic Party or elsewhere continue to bang their heads against the neolib/neocon stonewall of the DNC? Waste of time, isn't it clear? They should pull out of the Democratic Party now and ally with many other groups across the land, active or sitting on the sidelines, to form a Third Party. Let’s call it a People’s Party, one that at least starts off intending to be true to its name, one that can be big from the start because of the disparate majoritarian interests that would make it up, and not a perpetually semi-private mini-protest party like the old Greens.

Only a big-tent new party of the ignored of many colours and stripes would be believable as it promised deep correctives at home and abroad. Of course such a party needs leaders with brains and will. They must be found and drawn into the effort to found a convincing Third Party. And a Third Party of imposing size has got to be in place in time for the election of 2024, lest we end up with something worse than Trump2 or Harris2. Anything less than a Third Party amounts to capitulation to one wing or another of the Duopoly.

Posted by: Jay-Ottawa | Nov 25 2020 0:06 utc | 69

With the amount of cooperation in Asia, I'm feeling America is becoming less and less relevant.

Japan, despite having some antagonism, is making more cooperation with S. Korea and China, if these countries team up, along with SEA, the West doesn't matter anymore.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 25 2020 0:09 utc | 70

A search at Michael Hudson's website for Yellen reveals the following:

"Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen’s husband, George Akerlof, has written a good article about looting and fraud as ways to make money. But instead of saying that looting and fraud are bad, the Fed has refused to regulate or move against such activities. It evidently recognizes that looting and fraud are what Wall Street is all about – or at least that the financial system would come crashing down if an attempt were made to clean it up!"

"HUDSON: Yeah, Attorney General, to make sure that nobody has to pay the price for financial crime. Then the Council of Economic Advisors comes to assure people that Wall Street really is adding to the economy, and if you can only do what the Federal Reserve is doing. So Janet Yellen says, let’s give the banks more money, and the economy can borrow its way out of debt … if only we can have enough quantitative easing.

"So the Federal Reserve has given Wall Street $4.5 trillion. That $4.5 trillion could have been used to write down the debt. And then we wouldn’t have a problem. Then everybody would have a lower costs of living. The $4.5 trillion could have been spent into the economy."

"So look at who the losers will be if the Federal Reserve stops quantitative easing. Well for one thing, if they raise interest rates here–and when they say stopping quantitative easing, Janet Yellen really means let’s raise interest rates and get them high again, as if that’s going to help the economy....

"But now if the interest rate goes up, the stock market may fall easily by 20 percent. That’s what people are so worried about. Whenever Janet Yellen talked about ending quantitative easing, the stock market takes a couple of hundred points’ plunge."

Those were from 2015-16. Not very much in my book, just the usual Fed Chair behavior abetting Wall Street fraud as initiated by Greenspan. I think it much more likely that Yellen will work with Powell to make direct payments from the Fed to citizens a reality, thus bypassing Congress when it comes to making monetary input directly into the consumer side of the economy. Recall that Barron's clearly anointed Powell the election winner, not Biden or Trump. Hudson has yet to say anything about the prospective Biden team. But as he said above, he'd much rather the trillions be directed to The People rather than Wall Street to stimulate the economy; so, he might see Yellen in a positive light. I'm sure he'd also like her to remove all the sanctions illegally deployed by Mnuchin. But IMO, the most important legislative proposals Biden could make are those that would allow workers to become more competitive globally, which means drastically reducing their cost of living--Insurance of all types, but medical most importantly; housing; transportation; and taxation--all of which Hudson has talked about/advocated since 2000.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2020 0:28 utc | 71

Hey, Defense is still open for Tulsi!

What fraction of a 1% chance is there I wonder that she is even mentioned?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 25 2020 0:52 utc | 72

US-based companies doing business in/with China are also very pleased at the prospect that Trump's draconian trade restrictions will soon be lifted:

"US multinationals aim to clear away a stumbling block, the Trump administration's protectionism and anti-globalism, to push forward their international plans, in particular their exploration of the Chinese market, experts said. They made the comments in response to news that New York business leaders signed a letter urging the Trump administration to start the power transition to the incoming Biden administration.

"They also predicted that many of the prejudicial and disruptive policies launched by the Trump administration against China, like sanctions on Huawei and tariff hikes, will be corrected once Biden becomes the new US president.

"More than 160 top US executives have signed a letter pressing the Trump administration to acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect and begin the transition to the new administration, according to a report by The New York Times. Most of the executives come from US multinationals including Mastercard, Visa, Condé Nast, WeWork and American International Group.

"Many top executives from US financial companies have signed the letter, including David Solomon, chief executive of Goldman Sachs and Jon Gray, Blackstone's president."

Such an attitude might sway Biden away from a confrontation first policy with China since the overall balance of power has changed greatly since he was Vice-President. Perhaps the Neocons will finally learn Peace is more profitable than war.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2020 0:52 utc | 73

Karlof1 @47
I had seen a shorter clip, but it is even better in the longer version. "Back to the conflict," she says at the end. And he says, "Yes, we had better go back to the conflict, because talking about this is not what you like."

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 25 2020 0:58 utc | 74

Posted by: Paco | Nov 24 2020 17:12 utc | 9

Annoying Russians with a destroyer 10 miles or so from Vladivostok under good old Trump. Apparently, after a series of moves that replaced some top figures in Pentagon. The relationship with Russia, under Trump, is fully under control of Kaganate of Nulandia, or whatever we see on the top of that iceberg -- and try to make a search what it would take to change the course of an iceberg from Antarctics (people were investigating it as a way of bringing fresh water to Arabian peninsula where money is plentiful but water is scarce).

Posted by: Smith | Nov 25 2020 0:09 utc | 70

There are two important aspects there. Local trade is more profitable than distant trade when consider in totality, i.e. including the products that you would never make profit after crossing oceans. Second aspect is that Far East is a cultural zone like Europe -- lots of animosities collected over centuries, but even more commonalities in culture. As USA imposes various types of tribute on allies/vassals, centripetal forces in various continents should increase. Among visible costs of vassaldom:

1. paying costs of American presence
2. annoying China beyond the national needs, thus decreasing the national security
3. participating in sanctions imposed by USA, directly and indirectly (through resulting conflicts) reducing profits in economies that are struggling

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 25 2020 0:59 utc | 75

Re: Treasury policy, Yellen, "Reset", carbon tax+tariff+rebate

Besides whether and how far trade policy with China is reversed, another domestic point is fiscal policy for carbon reduction.

Yellen is apparently a proponent of a carbon tax (on the initial sale or importation of a carbon based fuel), *instead* of any hard regulations on specific technologies. Exxon and BP are cool with it so you know it will be great. Hear her discuss it at your favorite evil think tank here around the 22 minute mark. [ps: if you favorite evil think tank is the other one, fear not, she promoted it with them too]

To make the concept work in principle, a tariff ("border adjustment") is levied on other goods to prevent production of carbon intensive goods from fleeing the country. This of course has global trade implications. Finally, to prevent the public reaction that took place in France, a large per-person rebate (a little more for the poor) is proposed. This will be massively contentious, since typical "red state" people outside cities can argue that they're more dependent on automobiles, or simply that they like their trucks. Yellen as head of the Treasury positions her to implement both the tariff and rebate portions of the scheme.

Of course with 49 or fewer reliable Democratic votes in the Senate, and not the majority most were expecting, the "tax" portion of this package will take a somewhat different shape than they planned in 2018-2019. Another political battle to look forward to.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 25 2020 1:14 utc | 76

@ Piotr Berman

Yeah, the jap industries cannot ignore the chinese market, which is now the biggest in the world.

So the only thing remaining is the old bags that hold the jap government, who are USA's puppets, but I'm feeling even the puppets are feeling their puppetmaster are getting old.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 25 2020 1:23 utc | 77

re ChasMark #17
I've taken up the habit of watching the abysmal Australian ABC 'breakfast show' or whatever they call it and last week they featured an interview with a vaccine specialist who stated a lot more categorically than Zaks that these mRNA vaccines such as pfizer's & moderna's will mostly prevent those who have been inoculated from getting Covid 19 symptoms but they won't stop that person from shedding and therefore spreading the virus, which will cause Covid 19 in people who have not been vaccinated.
The bloke was specific about it being for mRNA vaccines and I took from that older technology vaccines such as Sputnik V (which I have applied to buy on their website) and the Chinese vaccines none of which use mRNA tech, will prevent virus transmission. That wasn't why I picked Sputnik though, I prefer to use stuff which isn't chocka with nasty side effects.

I dunno what we're going to use here in Aotearoa, as I along with others have been hassling Pharmac to go with Sputnik V but they seem to have lapped up the anti-Russian propaganda or at least believe too many kiwis have and don't want to get caught in yet another shitstorm with big Pharma lobbyists.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 25 2020 1:54 utc | 78

@ karlof 73
Trump's draconian trade restrictions will soon be lifted

wiki: The trade war has negatively impacted the economies of both the United States and China. In the United States, it has led to higher prices for consumers and financial difficulties for farmers. In China, the trade war contributed to a slowdown in the rate of economic and industrial output growth, which had already been on a decline. Many American companies have shifted supply chains to elsewhere in Asia, bringing fears that the trade war would lead to a US-China economic 'decoupling'. In other countries the trade war has also caused economic damage, though some countries have benefited from increased manufacturing to fill the gaps. It has also led to stock market instability. Governments around the world have taken steps to address some of the damage caused by the economic conflict.//

As on war, and many other issues, the corrupt US Congress has allowed "executive privilege" to enact measures and programs that would never be allowed in a real "democratic" country, governed by citizens with availability to a free press.

Edward Abbey: "Democracy--rule by the people--sounds like a fine thing; we should try it sometime in America."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 1:57 utc | 79

No surprise here, but have a bad feeling that with this kind of armchair generals we will have a nuke exchange... so sick of the empire of the world... so be it!

Posted by: Val Goetz | Nov 25 2020 2:17 utc | 80

All I wanted for Christmas was a pretty unicorn. But all I got was an old donkey. Life is a disappointment and Santa's a fat bastard.

Posted by: Shadow | Nov 25 2020 2:28 utc | 81

@ 36 juliania.. i love your sense of optimism and embracing change! keep it up!

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2020 2:53 utc | 82

@ PB 75
visible costs of vassaldom . . costs of American presence....decreasing the national security. . .participating in sanctions
Yes, plus a primary reason . . .Cost of buying US military junk like F-35. Foreign military sales is a mainstay of the US economy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 3:43 utc | 83

@ Smith 77
the jap industries cannot ignore the chinese market
I think you mean Japanese.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 3:47 utc | 84

@ Don Bacon

Jap, japanese, same thing.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 25 2020 3:50 utc | 85

@ Paco 9
The US Navy has called Russia’s maritime claims “excessive” -- the US claims that Peter the Great Bay, where the USS McCain was sailing, was improperly claimed by the USSR in 1984. Moscow has stuck by the Soviet demarcation of its waters, which was determined by drawing a straight line between its adjacent coasts across a great bay. The US is implying that the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea--UNCLOS--is in its favor.

Article 7 -- Straight baselines
In localities where the coastline is deeply indented and cut into, or if there is a fringe of islands along the coast in its immediate vicinity, the method of straight baselines joining appropriate points may be employed in drawing the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.//

But that doesn't matter to the US which although it failed to ratify UNCLOS--'we don't want anybody telling us what to do'--any foggy opportunity to provoke Russia (or China) will be employed. We're the US Navy, and that's what we do, calling it "freedom of navigation." Live with it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 4:06 utc | 86

Where is Sydney?

I understood that Sydney Powell said she would make a "Biblical" court filing "this week". With Thursday - Thanksgiving - off the calendar
we are fast running out of week, there is tomorrow, Wednesday, and then Friday.

Where is Sydney?


Is your name your destiny?

Sydney Powell anagrams to "Yell: spy owned"

Who owns Dominion and Smartmatic? Which spies stole our election?

Posted by: librul | Nov 25 2020 4:07 utc | 87

Nothing can beat Trump...out on his ass. Don't spoil it for me; I've been waiting for what seemed like a lifetime!

I want to savor this monumental victory as long as I can.

Tomorrow's another day. I really don't like that Zionist Blinken, but hey, I liked the JCPOA, but that might have been more Kerry and less Blinken. Kerry's foreign policy, although much better than Hillary, was hot and cold inconsistent. He did draft the Resolution condemning Israel's settlements at the end of the Obama Presidency, but he pissed me off with his statement on Gaza. Whatever... 🙄 he's got the Climate portfolio now.

Anyway, I want to enjoy the ass-kicking of Trump and then I'll take on Biden, Blinken and co.

When asked if he would appoint a Trump Republican to his cabinet, Biden stated he would consider it. WHAAAT? Put an effing Trump spy in his cabinet? That's crazy naive! Take a page from Obama. His stupid team of rivals was a bust! That hawk, Robert Gates, hated Obama from beginning to end and then trashed him in his book for being weak on Iraq and Syria; so what did that handshake get him? A slap for being stupid and trying to please the other side!

Don't go there! NO REPUBLICANS. PERIOD! And don't take Democrats or Bernie out of the Senate either or Mitch the Senate b*tch will kill the Iran deal on arrival! All hands on deck. Biden wants kumbaya; but he's gonna get a cold shower instead if he doesn't play it smart.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 25 2020 4:09 utc | 88

Quit "effing" around. He is one of many Obama Administration War criminals and they should be labelled as such. And what is the war crime? Quick the Nuremberg wiki.... hmmm planning war of aggression? propagandizing. Biden says "Blinken" I will see your "Blinken" and raise you a Rosenberg. "

The Nuremberg Trials

After the war, the top surviving German leaders were tried for Nazi Germany’s crimes, including the crimes of the Holocaust. Their trial was held before an International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg, Germany. Judges from the Allied powers—Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States—presided over the hearing of 22 major Nazi criminals. Subsequently, the United States held 12 additional trials in Nuremberg of high-level officials of the German government, military, and SS as well as medical professionals and leading industrialists. The crimes charged before the Nuremberg courts were crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes.

In all, 199 defendants were tried at Nuremberg, 161 were convicted and 37 were sentenced to death, including 12 of those tried by the IMT. Holocaust crimes were included in a few of the trials but were the major focus of only the US trial of Einsatzgruppen leaders. The defendants generally acknowledged that the crimes they were accused of occurred but denied that they were responsible, as they were following orders from a higher authority.

The Nazis' highest authority, the person most to blame for the Holocaust, was missing at the trials. Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in the final days of the war, as had several of his closest aides. Many more criminals were never tried. Some fled Germany to live abroad, including hundreds who came to the United States.

Trials of Nazis continued to take place both in Germany and many other countries. Simon Wiesenthal, a Nazi-hunter, provided leads for war crimes investigators about Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann, who had helped plan and carry out the deportations of millions of Jews, was brought to trial in Israel. The testimony of hundreds of witnesses, many of them survivors, was followed all over the world. Eichmann was found guilty and executed in 1962.
Key Dates

August 8, 1945
Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) announced at London Conference
The International Military Tribunal (IMT) is composed of judges from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Leading Nazi officials will be indicted and placed on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, under Article 6 of the IMT's Charter for the following crimes: (1) Conspiracy to commit charges 2, 3, and 4, which are listed here; (2) crimes against peace—defined as participation in the planning and waging of a war of aggression in violation of numerous international treaties; (3) war crimes—defined as violations of the internationally agreed upon rules for waging war; and (4) crimes against humanity—"namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecution on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated." His offenses are legion....

Posted by: SteveLaudig | Nov 25 2020 4:11 utc | 89

karlof1 @ 62
"to escalate in Syraq as Biden's nominee wants would require a direct assault by Imperial Stormtroopers, and that would be a huge domestic error during the continuing pandemic.

Bah. What are the Zionist entity and the Saudoids being paid for? Or paying us for?

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Nov 25 2020 4:16 utc | 90

@ PC 90
The US natural tendency, when Saudi was ineffective against Syria, was to hire al-Qaeda which McCain was involved in. Probably do it again, plus ISIS. Recently the UAE has been quite strongly in favor of Assad, so that's a new plus for Syria. When Hillary was SecState Syria was job One for her, so it's a natural for Blinken. But yeah, the US military incapable of doing much. The untold story is how much they are relying on the National Guard for overseas deployment these days.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 4:37 utc | 91

For anyone foolish enough to believe that a Biden Administration will be more peaceful than Trumps, just look at Raytheon's stock price since Nov 3, it's risen from $57.04 to $74.36 (about 22% increase). Raytheon hasn't announced any big projects and in fact had terrible Q3 sales, laid off 17000 employees and declining revenue linked to Covid's impact on the airline industry and Boeings various disasters (in Oct Raytheon was regarded as a "do not buy" stock). Yet somehow in the past month, several large institutional investors decided to rushed in and push the stock's value up 22% (a 5 month high) and this only happened after the election. Clearly, there are a large number of high net worth investors who expect that Raytheon will significantly outperform its Q3 expectations for the next 12 months. To be blunt, the decision for more US wars in 2021 has already been made and the insiders are positioning themselves to profit when Biden orders more missiles from Raytheon to replace the ones he'll be firing off into Syria or Iran.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 25 2020 5:22 utc | 92

This is nothing new, the war machine keeps going and going. I actually found an individual that has the same outlook on stopping the behavior of the United States as I do. International lawyer Christopher Black in this interview had the following to say.

A Biden Administration Will Be Dominated by More U.S. Aggression

Question: What in your view needs to change in order to make U.S. foreign conduct abide by international law and therefore enhance the prospects for world peace?

Christopher Black: It will require a revolution in the United States to do that, an overthrow of the economic powers that control the machinery of the state, but there is no prospect of that happening. There is really no effective opposition to these policies in the U.S. The peace movement is weak and fragmented, dominated by the “cruise missile liberals”. The voices of reason have no power, no real influence among the masses of the people which are dominated by a sophisticated propaganda machine known as the “media”. Censorship is increasing and the few critical voices that exist are being silenced.

It will take, in my view, a military defeat of the United States in order to bring about the conditions necessary for the required changes. And, perhaps that will happen, as China has stated time and again, that if Washington decides to take direct control of their island of Taiwan and the Americans interfere or if they are attacked in the South China Sea, they will defeat the U.S. But such a war would have world consequences and would cause realignments of power not only in the USA, if we all survive it.

Posted by: One Too Many | Nov 25 2020 6:24 utc | 93

Now that Biden has constructed exactly the war-mongering fascist zionist administration that so many of us predicted he would, I trust that we will all refuse to tolerate the avoidance of blame, pretend to be critical posts that the pseudo-peaceniks who incessantly spruiked for Biden will inevitably try and inflict upon us.

You advocated or voted for a particular pol YOU carry the can for all the bad shit he/she does - especially when it was as predictable as Joe Biden's act is.

The only way voting can ever be meaningful is if everyone who backs a particular candidate is made to face the consequences of that candidate's election. Idiocies such as 'lesser of two evils' will cease if everyone who backs a particular pol is held to account for their spruiking. You break it you own it.

I for one reckon that this site functions much better as place to discuss/debate politics when partisan spruikers are not around. I get amerikans have been brainwashed into the belief that freedom of speech amerikan style (which lets face it is only the freedom to talk in a certain way) is somehow sacred.

This isn't a freedom of speech issue, it is a freedom from bullshit issue & repeating either of the two halves' talking points adds nothing, because that is just foisting the same lies & prevarications that the corporate media has already overwhelmed everyone who comes here for relief from, I.E. elite generated distortion.

Worst of all the dembots have ensured that the dems won't be forced to acknowledge the actual wishes, needs and desires of amerikan citizens.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 25 2020 6:30 utc | 94

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 4:06 utc | 86

"Live with it" is mutual. Here you have a clip from 1988, freedom of navegation preceeded the freedom fries.

USS Yorktown sailing freely the Black Sea met by the Soviet friggate Bezzavetny:

No need to recall the Donald Cook, that incident occurred not long ago and it is well documented. The point is the MSM reporting as a “spat” something that could trigger the big one, and second, who needs this crap with all the problems that the world is facing right now?.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 25 2020 7:32 utc | 95

Debsisdead @ 93
Last point first ——- I think Americans just did express their wishes, it’s called an election they kicked trump out ! Democracy.
But I like your ideas of voters carrying the can. Let’s see that work ‘now’ with trump voters bareing responsibility for trumps crimes over the last 4 years.
Freedom from bullshit you say, you punch to the left but not to the right I see mmm !
You think you’v got the moral high ground ? I think you just lost it.
As to your first line, that’s just psychological projection, lazy minded psychopathic symptom.
As to you criticising anti trump voters hear 👆🏾

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 25 2020 7:46 utc | 96

Bidens most important task will be dealing with America’s right wing terrorists, condoned by trump. Their more of a threat to America than Isis. Same people controlling them.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 25 2020 8:20 utc | 97

karlof1 | Nov 25 2020 0:28 utc | 71

"I think it much more likely that Yellen will work with Powell to make direct payments from the Fed to citizens a reality, thus bypassing Congress when it comes to making monetary input directly into the consumer side of the economy."

Small addition here; this is part of Schwab's "reset" where citizens receive "credit-money" directly from the Fed in the form of debt. bypassing any US or Congress oversight, and effectively decimating Banks. (They will be deprived of the ability to lend-create money).

(Addition to that; Once Banks become bankrupt - all "savers" lose their savings as they become "Unsecured creditors", due to changes in EU "law". They will probabaly never see any of their assets again)

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 25 2020 9:38 utc | 98

@Post 98
Small typo there, it should have read "definitely".

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 25 2020 9:40 utc | 99

Mark2 # 97

Yeah yeah - whatever burble on. I am so tired of idiots rationalising the reasons why a proven murderer - Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria are all wars dopey joe backed to the hilt. Some of us know that as awful Trump was biden is gonna kill a helluva lot more innocents. Justify your nonsense then.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 25 2020 10:34 utc | 100

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