Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 18, 2020

Another 'Russiagate' Like Trump Scandal Which Isn't One

Some of the 'Russiagate' fanatics dream of indicting U.S. President Donald Trump as soon as he leaves his office. But they never explain what crime he should be indicted for. What did he actually do wrong?

Yes, he killed foreigners. But no U.S. president will ever be indicted for that. It is seen as a part of the job. Trump may have old tax issues. But those are usually solved by negotiating about the amount of money in question. As soon as the negotiated amount is paid such cases get closed.

But now the Russiagaters have new hope. There is a new Trump scandal!

Russiagaters on Twitter are in an uproar about a story the Business Insider broke today:

EXCLUSIVE: Jared Kushner helped create a Trump campaign shell company that secretly paid the president's family members and spent $617 million in reelection cash, a source tells Insider

The story seems well researched but is carefully arranged to put Trump and his family into a bad light.

The first graphs:

President Donald Trump's most powerful advisor, Jared Kushner, approved the creation of a campaign shell company that secretly paid the president's family members and spent almost half of the campaign's $1.26 billion war chest, a person familiar with the operation told Insider.

The operation acted almost like a campaign within a campaign. It paid some of Trump's top advisors and family members while shielding financial and operational details from public scrutiny.

When Kushner and others created the company in April 2018, they picked Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump, to become its president, Vice President Mike Pence's nephew John Pence as its vice president, and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman as its treasurer and secretary, the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
The shell company — incorporated as American Made Media Consultants Corporation and American Made Media Consultants LLC — allowed Trump's campaign to skirt federally mandated disclosures. The tactic could attract scrutiny from federal election regulators.

While that sounds like Trump pushed campaign money into the private pockets of his family there is no evidence in the story that he or his family did so.

There are in fact several exculpatory details in the different parts of the long story. When one puts those into chronological order the real story comes to light:

1. Trump wanted to put Brad Parscale, the successful digital media manager of his 2016 campaign, into the campaign lead:

In February 2018, Trump and Kushner elevated Parscale, the digital communication mastermind of Trump's 2016 election victory, to campaign manager.

2. But Parscale was a known grifter who had enriched himself by channeling campaign advertising money through a company he owned:

American Made Media Consultants was born out of a different scandal: rampant accusations that Parscale had been enriching himself off of Trump's reelection bid.

3. Trump asked his lawyers to come up with a construct that would keep Parscale away from the campaign money used to buy media time. That budget item is usually the biggest expense for any campaigns and 'private commissions' for media buys are not unusual. The lawyers came up with a good solution that had earlier been used by another campaigns:

One month later, a small team of campaign staff met with Trump's coterie of lawyers at the Jones Day law firm, the person familiar with the founding of AMMC said. The Jones Day lawyers, some of whom had worked on Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, said they had an idea for Parscale.

Romney had relied on a pass-through company, American Rambler, to make the most expensive purchases of his campaign: TV ads.

Ben Ginsberg — a Republican superlawyer who recently retired from Jones Day, the Trump campaign's preferred law firm — suggested Parscale and his team try the same. One month later, Kushner signed off on a plan to have Trump's family and campaign staff run the shell company, the person familiar with AMMC's operations said. American Made Media Consultants was formally incorporated on April 18, 2018, according to Delaware incorporations records.

To keep Parscale and other grifter away from the company Trump and Pence put family members onto its board. They were not paid:

"Lara Trump and John Pence resigned from the AMMC board in October 2019 to focus solely on their campaign activities, however, there was never any ethical or legal reason why they could not serve on the board in the first place. John and Lara were not compensated by AMMC for their service as board members," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Insider on Friday.

4. As planned the company bundled all media buys for the Trump campaign:

Some of Trump's own campaign leaders even seemed stumped by the AMMC arrangement. Generally, they knew that AMMC was being used to buy pro-Trump TV, radio, and digital advertising and pay for other media.

5. The bundled buys of media time and the exclusion of Parscale's 'private commissions' led to less expenses:

The person familiar with AMMC said the rates its vendors charged the Trump campaign were often cheaper than what an outside political firm would have demanded.

The story, when seen as above, makes sense and is far from scandalous.

While there may have been illegal moves of money through AMMC there is nothing available in the story that would support such a claim. I for one see no legal problem in what the campaign did. The construct may have muddled reporting issues under campaign law. But that is a very minor transgression no one really cares about.

The Trump family members have long known that everything they are doing can (and will) come out. In the hostile Washington environment any misstep they would make would certainly be used against them. That is why believe that they did not illegally ask for or take any money from the campaign. The risk, especially before the lection,  would simply have been too high.

Those who predicted that this or that Russiagate story would soon, anytime, lead to Trump's indictment have been disappointed. Now they have a new 'scandal' they can be OUTRAGED about. 'The walls are coming in' and any day now Trump will be led to prison.

Unfortunately for them this story will, like all others, just flame out.  

Posted by b on December 18, 2020 at 20:20 UTC | Permalink


it seems the purpose of the usa media is in large part to keep the masses riled up over cheering or booing for team red or team blue... speaking of which, i haven't seen one of the cheerleaders here lately...

Posted by: james | Dec 18 2020 20:28 utc | 1

Bernhard, I have not always agreed with you, and I usually send you 10 Euros for Christmas (My Keyboard has not got a Euro key (lol)), and I don't think you have ever banned me which makes you almost a first for me. I usually read you, and I often agree. The video does kind of feature your first sentence here. (do you do videos?)

Happy Christmas and New Year,

"Brothers Osborne - It Ain’t My Fault (Official Music Video)"


Posted by: tonyopmoc | Dec 18 2020 20:37 utc | 2

it's so sad when people such as b due to their hatred of Liberals become apologists for Trump the Asshole.
Oh well, we hardly knew ye! good riddance!

Posted by: Hoyeru | Dec 18 2020 21:09 utc | 3

There is this simple "tell"...
Trump family surely has ahistory of over 25 years of questionable/"negitiated" dealings with the Imternal Revenue Service involving, each year, $100s of millions of real-estate holding and deals-in-progress.

That fact foretells that any 3-Letter agency worth its 3-Letters would be remiss and delinquent, even malfeasant, if they did not recruit DJTrump to act as long-term asset IN EXCHANGE for immunity from, shall I say, "excessive oversight" and other "favors", extending even to counter-parties and other parties in 3-way deals
[i.e.the world of "indirect" benefits that cannot ever be proven in court; you know, the infinite forms of bribery, not to mention unmistakable threats to life-and liberty].

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 18 2020 21:17 utc | 4

There is a REMEDY fur our political nightmare:

Every 2 years, elections are held. Use P2P and internet to agree that ...

a) Vote only for a candidate who demands a vote on Medicare For All.

b)Then, 2 years later, make it another 99% issue.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 18 2020 20:19 utc | 112

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 18 2020 21:23 utc | 5

It boils down to whether you think Trump got honeypotted in Russia. There are many temptations when the guest in Moscow. Assuming he was it shows the power of the swamp to preserve itself whatever

Posted by: OJ | Dec 18 2020 21:30 utc | 6

1.Believing Romney had purely innocent motives is a stretch.
2.Treating Romney as a guide to follow is disingenuous. (See Romney's healthcare plan for whatever state he blighted.)
3.The notion that Parscale couldn't be trusted is easy to accept, being a political conservative duplicity and criminal avarice are almost prerequisite.
But the notion that he couldn't be controlled any other way isn't.
4.The observation that the buys were cheaper this way suggests this was about giving Trump cut-rates as a form of mainstream media support, especially from the community of rich people and corporate managers who buy advertising. Trump has always had elite and MSM support but this is a way to minimize public exposure on this.
5.The notion that a sensible person would believe a "known grifter" was suitable for employment is silly enough to make Trump look incompetent in a way his "bankruptcies" did (yes, I suspect they were faked for income tax evasion but no, I'm not sure, he could be that stupid even in business.) But believing that a grifter wouldn't steal credit for success is just plain stupid.

The conclusion is the critique needs work, to say the least. The real meat of the story appears to me to be the money "saved" but it is highly unlikely that every mainstream political faction would recoil in horror at the thought of how the political sausage really gets made. So they'll write in thin excuses like, it's all because the genius Parscale was too smart for them but too critical to the (second losing) campaign---like Stephen Bannon, pretending you won so that you can take the credit is a height in taking advantage of the stupidity and denial of reality in political conservatism---to be dropped. Say what? But I repeat myself, sorry.

Stepping back from the smaller errors, there is the "error" or rhetorical convenience of a double standard. The Republican Party has pioneered the fake scandal for decades, ginning up fake outrage from the political swindlers, while inflaming the small-minded, the malicious and the gullible. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. If you sling mud, it splashes back at you. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Losers whining about how their tin God isn't adored is a waste of oxygen.

Even more, the idea that anyone really wants to set the precedent of arresting and convicting a billionaire, and a guy who nearly won major elections, as if he was one of the little people? That's as silly as expecting the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. When big shots go to prison, is when we know that things are starting to fall apart. [Use of force, which includes violence, threats of violence and the fear of violence---as by outraged parties like the Proud Boys and the seemingly infinite supply of filth enamored of Trump is also indicative of political crisis and disintegration. Imperial Japan, regularly listed as a fascist power, was marked by the use of political assassinations.] They no more want to lock up Trump than Trump wanted to lock up Clinton.

Finally, when I was nineteen years old, I actually believed Richard Nixon was too smart to risk burglarizing the DNC. The world learned better, even those naifs like me. Persisting in the same lame excuse? Well, they say wisdom is learning from someone else's experience. This is good, because experience keeps a hard school, for a fool will learn in no other.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 18 2020 21:33 utc | 7

waiting for the resident witch troll springing to action screaming LOL

Posted by: albagen | Dec 18 2020 21:37 utc | 8

Whatever. The point is a swamp is a swamp is a swamp and thinking The Trump Crime Family was going to 'drain' it is akin to sending an arsonist to play with matches. What's really rather pathetic however is how many folks believe a mentally diseased conman is some kind of savior figure. Trump is certainly 'biblical' but decidedly not on the side of peace, love and understanding.

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 18 2020 21:39 utc | 9

How about charging trump with inciting ——-

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 18 2020 21:42 utc | 10

Sorry, forgot to say that I do agree with a couple of sentence about how "nobody" cares about the technical campaign violations. Hiding whose giving rebates to one candidate is actually a moderately serious violation of small-d democratic political ethics, but this is not a very ethical country in such matters: They understand very little about small-d democracy, believing in self-aggrandizing day dreams instead. But this is more or less a true description, in the context of the legal chicanery and rigging, more technical violations are something like best practices in email server security. There comes a point when fake outrage is just more dreary BS from hack partisans. Or is that, partisan hacks?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 18 2020 21:43 utc | 11

Posted by: OJ | Dec 18 2020 21:30 utc | 6

If Trump got himself honeypotted in Moscow, it shows what a chump he is.

The thing I heard about Trump is that he is never in the room when the shit goes down. I didn't understand back then.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 18 2020 21:45 utc | 12

Cross-posted withMark2@10 but the history student in me can't help it. As it turns out, a charge of this kind was actually incorporated in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. It was phrased as bringing into disrepute the Presidency. The ways Andrew Johnson did this notably included shameless race-baiting, abetting the Klan-type violence in the post-bellum South. The Great Commoner, Thaddeus Stevens, insisted on including this one, but then, Stevens was one of Black Republicans who actually was consciously motivated by a belief in equality. The general viewpoint is that impeachment can only refer to felonies, not things like winking at the murders of freedmen, because Andrew Johnson wasn't convicted.

The Framers of the Constitution were not geniuses, much less instruments of God. Their system really does rely on impeachment as a check on the executive. But it is incompetently framed and cannot serve. The Republican nonsense about a frivolous lawsuit that shouldn't have been allowed to proceed, giving a politician the Hobson's choice of openly confessing extra-marital sex or "perjury" in a civil suit, was the ignorant partisan twaddle that really finished it off. By foregoing any opportunity to refurbish the impeachment check for high crimes like nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance in the performance of duties mandated by law, and reaffirming the limitation of impeachment to narrowly defined "felonies," even ones that are so technical and remote from real significance, the Presidency is essentially unchecked. At this point, I suspect it is only the reluctance of the generals to trust the ranks, who are so working class in origin (and may be again,) even worse non-white working class, that keeps Trump from ordering troops into Congress Jan. 6, to get the right certification of the presidential election. It's like the generals refusing to guarantee an easy win is likely the only thing that gave Trump is fake rep among the rightwing dingbats as being against foreign wars.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 18 2020 21:57 utc | 13

What you mean Trump, the Trumps, and Jared, were even more obviously corrupt than Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea?

I'm shocked, just shocked./s

Next you'll be telling me that summing debts and equity, which could realistically be realized within 24 months, that the Kushner and Trump companies are in the negative worth zone. So not like B-H-C Clinton, though if you count Chelsea's husband perhaps.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 18 2020 22:07 utc | 14

Trump used Cohen to pay hush money to the porn actress in an effort to influence the outcome of an election. That is illegal. Paying someone for their silence isn't illegal. Paying someone for their silence so they don't hurt your election, is super illegal.

Posted by: noNazis_noCommunists | Dec 18 2020 22:09 utc | 15

James I would be very interested in your opinion on the vid in the link I posted ——- Mark2 @ 10
I hope you don’t mind me saying but it appears you may be harbouring a grudge against another commenter here.
It lets you down and this blog.
We’re better than that, aren’t we ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 18 2020 22:15 utc | 16

Whether Biden's AG chooses to bring any charges against Trump or not, he will face NY State charges upon leaving office. Even though he has changed his legal residence to FL, Cyrus Vance Jr. will pursue charges against him if he remains in the US. Trump may try pardoning all of his friends and family and even himself for Federal crimes, but he can't pardon himself for State crimes. Maybe he'll move to a Trump hotel in a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 18 2020 22:16 utc | 17

james | Dec 18 2020 20:28 utc | 1

Amen to that brother. With one of the most recent windows updates and their new browser (which I forlornly adopted) my home page is now the MSNBC news feed.

It is a supreme example of - my own term here - "culture fucking." We all knew a week before the infamous election that we were in for a morally depressing and socially crushing three or four weeks, but it is as if it hasn't even happened yet. That feed is replete with articles from Fox smearing the D's and those from MSN doing likewise to the R's. And every day both the developments and the coverage gets more acrimonious.

Of course it is just to monopolize eyeballs, and those not aware of their new addiction to doom-scrolling can lavishly indulge themselves to their heart's content. Until we actually start to burn the whole place to the ground.

b pulling this piece of offal from the dung heap does suggest his ongoing partisan leanings, and nary a piece on the ludicrous, evidence-free continuing "election fraud" charade. Oh well, it's his blog.

But, back to the point: your brief comment says it all.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Dec 18 2020 22:26 utc | 18

Steven T Johnson @ 11&13
Just to say I always read your valuable contributions, and learn from them. This is why I love MOA.
Here is an interesting view point on very topical events in the US.

I recomend the read. The US is heading for a brick wall !
When the police have lost all regard for the law and that is condoned by the president you know you’v got big big trouble.

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 18 2020 22:47 utc | 19

Yes, this RussiaGate story will flame out, just like all the rest, but ultimately these stories aren't about Trump, but about setting the stage for the Biden Administration to attack Russia. It doesn't matter that they are all lies, what matters is that the big pile of lies as a whole creates a false reality in which anti-Russian propaganda is so overwhelming that nobody in the west can see outside of the delusion.

Posted by: Haassaan | Dec 19 2020 0:48 utc | 20

Hassasaan (20):

Yes, this RussiaGate story will flame out, just like all the rest,

This isn't a Russiagate story, it's what Bernard is calling a Russiagate story.

Except it's not evidence free and full of stupid conflations.

See how in the headline "like" follows "Russiagate"?

Family Trump, son in law included, looks to have been engaging in activities that are specifically illegal. At a minimum, when say House members divert campaign funds to personal use, or simply personal, or family, accounts, they resign.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 19 2020 1:27 utc | 21

The neocon criminals have managed to take over foreign policy in the U.S., leveraging money power from their bankster backers. The latter is a tiny group of oligarchs and their network of highly-paid promoters that are motivated to force U.S. hegemony onto the world. They now have control over the U.S. Congress, Intelligence Agencies, and the MSM, and are increasingly exerting censorship over social media. Their latest gambit is the Coronavirus putsch using bio-warfare agents to undermine small-scale economies and autonomy, while imposing vast corporate ownership of property. Worldwide compliance is the goal using a wide range of military, financial, and media control measures to crush dissent. The pharma-promoted vaccinations that are questionable at best reinforce those controls and are part of the plot. We are witnessing a worldwide COUPS ATTEMPT, UBER-Fascism that exceeds all historical examples. Will it succeed?

Posted by: norecovery | Dec 19 2020 1:51 utc | 22

If they prosecute Trump, it may be the end of Trump, but it will certainly not be the end of Trumpism. It will make him a martyr.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 19 2020 2:23 utc | 23

norecovery (22):

Besides describing Obama-Biden-Clinton foreign policy for the USA, you realize you're also describing Trump's.

Can you clarify what you find questionable about the corona virus vaccines?

Posted by: Jay | Dec 19 2020 2:25 utc | 24

norecovery (22):

Besides describing Obama-Biden-Clinton foreign policy for the USA, you realize you're also describing Trump's.

Can you clarify what you find questionable about the corona virus vaccines?

Posted by: Jay | Dec 19 2020 2:26 utc | 25

Mr. Norecovery

Euro-Americans, hiding behind the so-called Neo-con facade, failed in their goals in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

They succeeded in Libya, however.

Americans will have sunk more than 8 trillion dollars before the next decade is out for their venture against Islam.

They have been stopped because of Iran and the Shia Muslims.

The way things are going, Americans are going to be stopped in East Asia with the coming China-Taiwan War as well.

Posted by: Fyi | Dec 19 2020 2:35 utc | 26

What nonsense. Just another 'tidbit' pushed out to stir the pot. Maybe it isn't just msnbc and all the rest of the corporate media gang interested in keeping this pot bubbling.
The tasty morsel of shit in the Aotearoa fishwraps concerns flynn who has allegedly been imploring trump to declare martial law in the 'swing states'.
It is all balderdash of course but everyone and their grasping bloggers appears intent on profiting from this specious shit.
While all the nonsense is going on all of the stirrers are careful to avoid the real question which is where does all this money that both halves of the amerikan empire party really get their $$$s from?
Jared made a packet out of his PPE scam and I imagine that went "$1 for me (Jared), $1 for father-in-law and $1 for the campaign, $1 for me (Jared), $1 for father-in-law. . . blah blah". As well as that there was the intermediary corporates who made a packet effectively raising the cost of gloves, masks and capes gowns by 300%. Those corporations would have been leant on to kick into the 'campaign' as well.

The dems biden gang would have been pulling similar stunts although they would have been asking for future favours hence the 'new' cabinet being chocka with K street whores.

All of this is classic distraction. Everyone is so busy chasing up carefully prepared cul de sacs so little attention is given to the real issue that biden trump, congress - senate & house need to be rounded up and chucked into the slammer. Don't forget the supremes as they created this farce. Get rid of the lot then have a real election where money is both restricted & accountable.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 19 2020 2:44 utc | 27

@ Mark2 | Dec 18 2020 22:15 utc | 16.. the info in your video is all valid and worth keeping in mind.. as for your later perspective, i was reading a pdf a friend sent who works on a board where people have to find consensus with one another to reach their goals.. it is a 6 page document - maybe it is available online - i will check now.. no such luck... anyway - it is about consensus making and finding ways to work in groups where everyone is heard and given a say... on page 6 of the page i thought it was worth sharing with you in response to your general viewpoint, so here it is! it is on the last page of the pdf and under the heading - "Some Problem Behaviours"..

"Hogging the Show
Talking too much, too often, too loud.

Speaking in Capitals
Speaking as if our opinion is final. (body language).

Responding to every contrary opinion as a personal attack.

Pointing out minor flaws, stating the exception to every generality.

Using theatrical behaviour to get the spotlight and perform."

i think we see some of this on moa and i agree with the way it is characterized in the pdf... what do you think??

@ vinnieoh | Dec 18 2020 22:26 utc | 18.. thanks vinnieoh... i share much of your viewpoint, but i don't see b as being partisan in all of this.. that is my take...

Posted by: james | Dec 19 2020 3:21 utc | 28

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 19 2020 2:44 utc | 27

"The dems biden gang would have been pulling similar stunts although they would have been asking for future favours hence the 'new' cabinet being chocka with K street whores."

Was the position of Secretary of State just a consolation prize for HRC as runner-up to the Obama race or the quid pro quo to enable her foundation to rake in millions in "favour funding" that quietly disappeared into the fog?

Posted by: Stumpy | Dec 19 2020 3:32 utc | 29

re Stumpy # 29 That stunt during the 08 primary where h clinton refused to acknowledge the popular vote of the primaries reeked of hanging out for a quid pro quo. If you remember there was a period before the dem convention where everything hung in the balance h clinton demanding a 'negotiation' despite seemingly not having the numbers. I always supposed she was threatening oblamblam with her control of super delegates. Ambition/greed/the need to succeed, won oblammer over - who knows; if he hadn't acceded to the shill's demand, maybe I wouldn't have named him oblamblam.

There isn't a great likelihood of that but somehow I doubt Libya would have been quite as destroyed and taking Libya outta the picture certainly kept crude prices high... Maybe the control of some uranium mines wouldn't have been sold off as that was one of many deals the shill brokered as secretary of state. I dunno but remember how the shill claimed they left the whitehouse broke after cigar bill's 2nd term? They sure weren't broke by the time she had done four years at foggy bottom.

I think anyone who studies amerikan politics must take it as a given that the current construction of the system is designed to ensure that only crooks can succeed in it.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 19 2020 4:12 utc | 30

@ debs.. check out @ 2 video from tony... that sums it up pretty well to my mind...

Posted by: james | Dec 19 2020 4:59 utc | 31

"Yes, he killed foreigners. But no U.S. president will ever be indicted for that. It is seen as a part of the job."

Yes, committing war crimes and "crimes against peace"--the supreme international crime as asserted by the Nuremberg Tribunal--is fundamental to the job description of being America's War-Criminal-in-Chief.

The fact that Americans and citizens in other self-styled "democracies" deny this uncomfortable reality, or support these war crimes, says a lot about their own criminality.

Posted by: ak74 | Dec 19 2020 4:59 utc | 32

"Lock him up!" It's amazing how often the two political camps in the USA are mirror images of each other.

Posted by: m | Dec 19 2020 5:49 utc | 33

m #33 said
""Lock him up!" It's amazing how often the two political camps in the USA are mirror images of each other." Sure the scumbag politicians shout "Lock 'em up" at their opponents but that is just the usual divisive partisan nonsense, they spout knowing that they have no intention of locking anyone up. Why? because they know better than anyone that they have pulled exactly the same illegal immorality as the other 'side' and the last thing needed is any such precedent.

By spreading that unfulfilled tosh they hope to negate the popular movement which needs to happen if amerikans are ever going to extricate themselves from the fate of all empires that once were, a millenia of misery e.g watch what is currently happening in england.
If actual ordinary amerikans have a chance of saving what can be preserved it is on to them as citizens to hold the entire ruling elite to account. this must be done regardless of any claimed political affiliation or claimed 'neutrality'.

Anyone who spends more than about 30 minutes objectively assessing the stunts amerika has been pulling since 1945 (much before really, but let's just use 1945 as a cutoff) sees that it is amerika which has been the force for just about all the evil in our world. A handful of sops to the faint-hearted bourgeoisie, eg. finally acknowledging the evil of apartheid South Africa right as the racist's downfall becomes inevitable doesn't excuse a thing. All such stunts demonstrate is the greed driven amorality of amerika's elite.
If they spouted in the 60's, 70's & 80's that allowing the apartheid government of South Africa to continue was a pragmatic call to prevent a bloodbath, yet a much needed change did occur in the early 90's with no bloodbath, blind Freddie can see they got it wrong then just as they are getting it wrong now about apartheid Occupied Palestine.
Yet they still continue, Why? The only conclusion can be that both gangs the dims & the rethugs are going where there is a dollar to be made, just as happened with South Africa.

Insisting that all 3 arms of amerikan government be taken out of the picture regardless of whatever gang the claim allegiance to is not 'more of the same'.
If it occurred it would be an indication that all non-elite amerikans have lost faith in the farcical, allegedly loyal, but in fact only to themselves, congress people, senators, prezes & vice prezes and judges that regularly behave towards 99% of amerikans so contemptuously that the corporate owned media have to expend so much resources distracting Jo/Joe Citizen from.

It won't make much difference to me in my lifetime but it will to my offspring. If amerikans don't sort this out for themselves, my kids or more likely my grankids will have to do the job.

History teaches us that no matter how bloody things can get when a population stands up to its masters, just going with the flow until the boil comes to a head and is then 'lanced' by outside forces, is much worse for everyone. The hardest hit being the citizens of the once domineering nation.
Amerikans have the best knowledge of who the crooks are, if they won't sort the problem because they have been distracted into more partisan tosh such as "they all cry lock 'em up" ; it is they ordinary amerikans, who will finish up paying the piper.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 19 2020 7:39 utc | 34

It's a little late to be circling the wagons in defense of Trump.

Yes, Trump-era grifting has peaked and MAGA is coming to a fraudulent end;

The Trump University case is real ugly if there is any Rule of Law remaining, which is big if;

And you don't want to hear how Kushner and friends stand to make billions from the Trump eviction avalanche next year;

Posted by: Moorewasthebestbond | Dec 19 2020 9:42 utc | 35

by: steven t johnson @ 13 says "the Presidency is essentially unchecked: Article II and amendment 12 clearly state
that no one can challenge the president.." <= I add "unless congress can find something they themselves are all
guilty of, and are collectively willing to accept the risk that they themselves might be removed for the same crime
for which the Congress might impeach the President .. from elected Office impeachment is impossible.

It is this improbability of removing the President from office that makes the control of the content allowed or
pushed on the public by the main stream media so important to the stability of the government and the ability of
the President to lead.

The only way a President can be impeached is to do to the President what the Lenin and Tolstoy Bolshevik regime
change team accomplished to bring down the Czar of Russia. The media began its attacks on Christian Czar led
Russia in 1875 by 1919 if the Czar had said it was raining outside the entire nation of Russia wanting to know if
it were raining would go outside to see for themselves.

Tolstoy, a public hero, blamed the Czar for the problems caused by a pandemic and a famine of 1891. The peasants
of Russia were trained by media content to distrust any and everything the Czar or any member of his staff said or
did. Propaganda said there was evil behind every act of the Czar. Tolstoy's famous propaganda undermined the
Christian faith held by millions of people.

"The Minister for the Interior told the Emperor Czar that Tolstoy’s letter to the English press ‘must be considered
tantamount to a most shocking revolutionary proclamation’: not a judgement that can often have been made of a letter
to The Daily Telegraph. Czar Alexander III began to believe that it was all part of an English plot and the Moscow
Gazette, which was fed from the Government, denounced Tolstoy’s letters as ‘frank propaganda for the overthrow of
the whole social and economic structure of the world’.” see
destroys Christain Russian government

Norecovery @ 22 says and I have added to what he said to make this list.
1. "The .. criminals have ..take[n] over foreign policy in the U.S.,
these criminals you are talking about are not part of the government, they are private persons and corporations.
Allow me to remind you that Article II of the Constitution of the USA only concerns two persons, The President
and the VP.. to them all power to act domestic and foreign is given, Congress has no power that it cannot get
into law, and no power to govern the office of the President and that has been true since the original constitution
was ratified in 1788. To conduct war around the world, it is necessary only to won the president.

2. leveraging money power .. the oligarch network employees highly motivated highly-paid promoters to force President control
onto the world.

3. The Oligarch and their corporations control Congress, Intelligence Agencies, and the content that MSM presents,

4. the MSM distributed content expresses total censorship as does Google, and social media

5. Corona virus is bio-warfare designed to undermine small-scale economies and to establish Oligarch autonomy

6. Using rule of law (generated by nation state power) oligarch owned corporations
own all non taxable property (copyrights and patents) and the right to use all technology (copyright and

7. Worldwide compliance is the goal of the oligarch.
owning the nation state allows military, financial, and media to be used to crush dissent and to extract wealth.

8. The pharma-promoted questionable gene editing vaccinations are questionable at best.

9. Humanity is witnessing a worldwide COUPS, UBER-Fascism that exceeds all historical examples.

10. WWI was a war to take control of the Ottoman owned oil rich land and to tame German competitive strength.

11. Hilter return Germany to its former power, so WWII was to take German competition completely out of the equation.

12. The wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, are about pipeline and control of oil production, transport and profit

13. the wars in Belarus, Ukraine, Modldova, Bulgaria Romania, Hunary, Slovakia Cezech Republic Poland are about getting
Western Europe access into Russia.

14. Last week the House passed a bill designed to deny the president any authority to reduce the US troops in Foreign land.

so your question at norecovery @ 22 will it succeed is relevant. I don't think it will, I was told the Governor of Florida
has refused to take the vaccine, word is getting around; people everywhere in USA governed America, in UK governed
Britain, in Republic of France governed France ( riots every weekend for over two years) , and Zionist governed
Israel (riots all over the place all of the time).. everyone is skeptical of the nation state system.

I think the take over would have succeeded if the Oligarchs had not tried to force a vaccination on people that
genetic engineers (changes the way their body works) the bodies those vaccinated were born with.

Posted by: snake | Dec 19 2020 11:29 utc | 36

Snake @ 36
You must have spent a lot of time and consideration on that far reaching summary !
That’s MOA at its very best !!
I could only add—- the disfunctional mindset that blights America right now is having an immediate impact on all corners of the world.
I see it even in my tiny peaceful backwater.
If they create a fascist monster unleash it on the world — it will consume everything and everyone in its path.
Whithin a decade.

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 19 2020 12:28 utc | 37

"Lock him up!" It's amazing how often the two political camps in the USA are mirror images of each other.

Posted by: m | Dec 19 2020 5:49 utc | 33

Good observation. I would add: It's amazing how few people see this.

Freeing oneself of the "two party illusion" opens space for putting energy into a positive vision, which attracts more energy as others feel it also. Most of us including myself often give energy to an easy "lower mind" approach (us against them) which tends to perpetuate that paradigm.

Caitlin Johnstone shines light on this:

Posted by: Kabobyak | Dec 19 2020 13:04 utc | 38

both parties are corrupt political machines like the city machines that used to be so prevalent. at least tammany hall did something for the common citizens sometimes. the parties are corrupt leeches attached to the american political system.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 19 2020 13:39 utc | 39

Et tu, Brutus?

Pompeo Claims Russia is 'Pretty Clearly' Behind Major Hack Attack on US

Posted by: vk | Dec 19 2020 13:39 utc | 40

Stumpy @29
Debsisdead @30

Re: Clinton

There was a very specific plan in development since at least the mid-1970s by the Ivy League fraternity secret society set (their right hand in action is the CIA so I usually just refer to that organization for rhetorical shorthand). This plan was to finally bury the threat of communism in the imperial heartlands by redefining to the population that conflict in society is an identity issue rather than one of conflicting interests of socioeconomic classes. This plan was going to be a massive multi-channel, multi-media affair involving every aspect of contemporary culture. Sports, literature, music, movies and TV shows, classroom content, workplace cultures, and of course political discourse all would be guided to lead to this capitalist Utopia of a population fixated on their personal perceived socially constructed non-class identities.

Of course, this project has been in development for some time now and those developing it knew it would take decades to implement. That implementation process started its roll out at the turn of the Millennium with accelerated changes in mass media products intended to soften up the population. The changes were intended to transition from a largely media push to tangible impacts on the broader population with the 2008 elections, accompanied by over-the-top fanfare surrounding America electing its first woman president. This was to be followed by a drumbeat of elections (and accompanying mass media priming of the population) in which successive under-represented populations get represented. After Clinton's victory in 2008 gave cultural "representation" to women then in 2016 Black Americans would get their "representation" by Obama, followed in 2024 with LGBTQXYZ identifying people achieving "representation" with Butt-gig in the White House. With that America would have finally arrived at the "End of History" and achieved the perfection of capitalist culture.

Of course these plans went to shit because they are based upon the retarded nonsense notion that capitalist culture can be perfected, which is patently absurd to anyone who actually understands how capitalism works (Marxists, for instance). Obama was just supposed to be getting his debut to national audiences like a political debutante at a kind of national debutante ball in order to prepare for being installed in the presidency in 2016, in exactly the same way that Butt-gig was debuted in 2016 for his/its installation in 2024.

Obama was scripted to sound rash and radical in 2008, which his image managers in the CIA felt would sink his chances for victory in 2008. Obama would then spend the intervening years until his scheduled turn as President in 2016 "maturing" and being cloaked by the mass media in artificial "gravitas". In a surprise to the plotters, though, the voters eagerly embraced the imaginary "radicalism" of Obama and took a pass on Clinton's bland "maturity".

The elites firmly believe in the moronic "identity" narrative that they are pushing and think that they just have to educate and civilize the "deplorables" to bring them on board with it. As a result these elites who are far less intelligent than they give themselves credit for totally misinterpreted Obama's success with the voters. They were sure the voters were demonstrating greater respect for Black people versus women rather than the voters responding to Obama's more aggressive political rhetoric and promise of Single Payer.

Well, the CIA's cultural engineering plan had some flexibility so they swapped Obama for Clinton and moved Clinton's presidential installation date up to 2016. In the meantime, though, Clinton had to be kept in the public eye so she could run again in 2016. Even more important was that Clinton had already been brought up to speed on the empire's covert "ratline" and "ratfucking" operations around the world and they needed someone who already knew the script to handle the public relations side of those ops (Obama was still too green at the time). Since the US State Department is nowadays nothing more than an appendage to the CIA but with a high-profile public face, the Secretary of State was the obvious place to plant Clinton.

Of course, Clinton losing in 2008 was a bit unsettling for the plotters. They thought they had it set up just right. They were not willing to take any chances in 2016. To make absolutely certain that Clinton won this time they frauded the DNC primaries to clear the field on the left and cleared the right by making sure the most ludicrous buffoon running (in their own perception) got that side's nomination.

Here is where their failure to comprehend Clinton's loss in 2008 came back to bite them. Completely counter to all the bad analyses by the miseducated morons in their stink tanks and newsrooms and boardrooms, the voters actually voted on issues rather than identity: End war and create jobs.

[Aside: The Post Trump Stress Disorder victims will shriek in their typical hysterical way and with ALL CAPS "But... but Trump never intended to do those things! I know that because I am psychotic... uh, I mean psychic!". It doesn't matter what Trump intended to do. He was simply the only candidate in the general election to even pay lip service to real issues and so he was the only one for the "deplorables" to vote for.]

"Deplorables" are too stupid to vote on issues, aren't they? It is all just emotion and knee-jerk behavior for them, in the elites perspective. The establishment had those sides of things sewn up, so what could possibly have gone wrong? It must have been the Russians!

In any case, that is why Clinton had to be installed at the top of the US State Department in 2008. It might sound complicated but it is really quite straight forward.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 19 2020 13:41 utc | 41

american political theater is funny in a bleak way, now the republicans are trying to reclaim mccarthyism from the democrats; instead of russia cubed it's china cubed. maybe they felt they were victims of cultural appropriation.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 19 2020 13:45 utc | 42

How do you spell d.i.v.e.r.s.i.o.n.a.r.y tactic.

This most recent "attack by Russia" has helped push the 9/11 sized attack upon our Constitution
off the front pages.

How many times can they play the same diversionary trick and have it work?
Every time?

Posted by: librul | Dec 19 2020 14:09 utc | 43

Jay @ 24

“Can you clarify what you find questionable about the corona virus vaccines?”

Disclaimer: I am not an epidemiologist or medical professional. I get information from various sources especially OTHER THAN mainstream media. Some of those credible sources, such as Dr. Mike Yeadon, subsequently have been censored because they don’t purvey the medical establishment’s requisite narrative. This is what I have learned:

These COVID-19 vaccines can be characterized as ‘experimental.’ Some past vaccines have a spotty record. They typically require many years of clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy. A vaccine for Coronavirus has never been developed before, in spite of having been researched to combat previous epidemics of SARS and MERS. This one was completed in a very short time, and the handling and delivery requirements are stringent.

True efficacy and the protocol used for testing the presence of viral infection in the relatively small clinical trials are unclear. We know the rt-PCR test to identify the presence of “COVID-19 infection” has been misapplied on a large scale. The FDA approval of these vaccines is based on that test, which has been proven to show a large proportion of false positives. A Portuguese high court ruled against the legality of this test to determine infection. Effectiveness of a vaccine is probably very short term, possibly only a few weeks. It is unknown whether natural immunity in a healthy individual (the body’s own defense) might be equally effective.

Potential side effects are yet to be revealed, besides the few documented cases of allergic reactions thus far. Potential long term health impacts are unknown, and due to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines’ ‘invasion’ of the body with mRNA at the cellular level, they could be serious. Only time will tell, so one must ask, “do I want to volunteer to become a clinical test subject?”

Social controls, so-called “immunity passes” which may not even have validity, are an infringement on individual freedoms and rights and are already being used in some places. That also paves the way for future vaccination requirements against a person’s will, and given the financial imperatives of the medical establishment and its collusion with oligarchs, there may exist ulterior motives that are unacceptable.

Posted by: norecovery | Dec 19 2020 15:53 utc | 44

snake @ 36 --

Thank you for expanding and clarifying my thesis. I consider your summary to be absolutely correct and a true Dissenter's Manifesto. Kudos to you.

Posted by: norecovery | Dec 19 2020 16:00 utc | 45

norecovery (44):

Okay, unfortunately by mixing in the "Portuguese court" ruling, as if that involved some significant science itself, and the NOT well supported assertion that much of the infection rate isn't real with the valid point that the 2 quickly approved vaccines are indeed still experimental, you've thrown your lot in with those, like Trump, who claim the corona-virus isn't a real thing.

You'd be on much firmer ground had you simply said that there's good reason not to trust the safety and efficacy of vaccines rushed into development and production over 10 months.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 19 2020 16:53 utc | 46

Pre and Post cyber attack on US government sites from an Iranian POV

Posted by: kooshy | Dec 19 2020 18:15 utc | 47

Posted by: kooshy | Dec 19 2020 18:15 utc | 47

Hmmm, a plucked chicken. Is that some sort of emoji?

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 19 2020 18:51 utc | 48

The next four years of Grope and Change will be SOOOO REFRESHING! :)

Posted by: JoeG | Dec 19 2020 19:24 utc | 49

Just saw scrolling on the bottom of the TV screen that Trump thinks the hack was more likely from China.

Posted by: arby | Dec 19 2020 19:27 utc | 50

arby (50):

Yes, "China 'elected' Biden" is the thing Trumpsters have been pushing for 6 weeks now. So not a surprise.

However, back in 2016-16-17, the NY Times published numerous similar evidence free claims of Chinese government hacking of various US government computers. Then the fables switched to accusations about Russia, for the most part.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 19 2020 19:42 utc | 51

Jay @ 46 -

There are many good reasons not to trust the medical establishment (esp. Pharma) or the US government or the media or the academic institutions, or the peer-reviewed journals, on anything related to Coronavirus / COVID-19. Too many lies, obfuscations, too much censorship of dissenting views. Don't try to smear me with Trumpism and "virus not real" BS.

Posted by: norecovery | Dec 19 2020 23:33 utc | 52

snake@36 among much, much more nonsense swears Article 2 of the Constitution only applies to the president and vice-president. "The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." All Civil Officers include things like judges, which is why the kind of people who love Trump wanted to impeach Earl Warren back in the day (and they did, I remember.) Timothy Pickering, a federal judge, was impeached and convicted and removed from office. But Pickering was suffering from dementia it seems, so that wasn't a strong precedent. This occurred while most of the Framers were still alive, who would have known if impeaching anyone beside the president and vice-president was impermissible, and would have said so. A Supreme Court Justice was the next impeachment, one Samuel P. Chase, who was an ardent Federalist who made John Marshall look like a pillar of integrity. (This was part of Jefferson's attack on the judiciary after John Adams---not Alexander Hamilton---packed it.)

Now Adams by his eccentricities, attempts to dominate and simple incompetence, had rendered the vice-presidents formal duty of presiding over the Senate into a formality, save for resolving tie votes. This is an example by the way of how the letter of the Constitution never was regarded as the final word, and actual precedents set by the exercise of free governments, as the restricted franchises of the time were still more or less legitimate. How the Constitution was to be understood was always meant to be the outcome of real-life political processes. In particular, since as I understand it, the impeachment of Pickering was *not* for criminal offenses, it seems to have been regarded as an unfortunate legal technicality to get a mentally incompetent justice off the bench, a precedent not really bearing on genuine high crimes and misdemeanors, which were still somewhat undefined.

However, when the Senate presides as a jury in an impeachment trial, the role of the Vice-President as, effectively, the judge, with the Senators as the jury, was not quite so set as by Adams' embarrassing eight years of failure. Thus, when the Senate presided over Chase's impeachment trial, Jefferson's Vice-President had a chance to take an unexpectedly larger role in a fashion unexpected. Burr was a very highly regarded trial lawyer, possibly even more highly regarded than Alexander Hamilton (Hamilton was more than something more than a bureaucrat, or a banker, or a publisher, or even one of Washington's staff officers, insofar as any of his leading aides could be compared to the Prussian general staff.) Jefferson's problem of course is that Burr knew Jefferson was going to ditch him from the vice presidency, would never let Burr become the presidential candidate of the Democratic-Republicans (Jefferson's party, and it really was a political party, even if the Federalists weren't, quite.) The reason for that is entirely understandable: Burr had resolutely refused to cede the presidency when the incompetent Electoral College devised for the Constitution led to a tie vote.

This happened because Jefferson and Adams had made a huge attack on every attempt to turn the Electoral College into the *real* election, with the electors as representatives, not registers of the mandate from each one's respective state. Hamilton for one intrigued to prevent a tie vote and possibly to prevent the unfit Adams from becoming president. Again, the Constitution was never understood as the sole word, that how it actually would work would be the result of what people did, partly by the legislation by the First Congress that genuinely set up a functional government, but in shockingly important ways, by what Washington said and did. See the imbroglio over the Neutrality Act for another good example. Burr, whose flexible ideas of honor let him pretend that not openly seeking the presidency was not betraying Jefferson. I don't think anyone else believed that though. So one of Jefferson's enemies, a skilled trial lawyer, presided over a key political trial aimed at undoing Adams' shenanigans with the federal courts. (Adams' high reputation would be completely mystifying save for the political need for reactionaries to idolize---almost literally---Presidents.

In the event, the Senate narrowly focused on criminal charges, instead of the political charge of openly favoring Federalists and shameless unfair rulings designed to hurt their opponents. It is widely agreed that Chase was egregiously "guilty," of this. To my mind the vague phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors," used instead of the familiar and easily understood "felonies and misdemeanors," was always meant to allow for "political" charges like deliberate discrimination. Artificially reducing "high crimes" to felony, understood as a specific infraction of an already existing law, was always meant to prevent impeachment serving as a check. That's why most of the charges against Andrew Johnson were about breaking the Tenure of Office Act, instead of his literally murderous racism and aide to treasonous Confederates trying by terror to undo their loss of the war.

What this proves is not just that snake didn't trouble to read Article 2, but that mere facts have nothing to do with the claims made by the reactionaries here. They only have talking points, selected from the Republicans they favor, aimed at the Democrats they dislike.

William Gruff@41 continues his campaign to misuse Marxist jargon at times to pretend to be a realistic leftist above, well, something. There is a saying about whose ox is being gored, that is, whose interests or self-image is being damaged. The gored ox is the one bellowing, and the phrase "basket of deplorables" is still provoking mighty loud noises from the fake Marxist. But for the record, I will note that "elites" is not Marxism, which relies on class analysis; that people who take the paycheck, which includes the CIA, are *not* to be assumed to be the bosses, anymore than it's the CEOs who run the world instead of the people who own the company; that mindreading a changing group of people like the CIA is claiming supernatural powers, anathema to scientific socialism; that most of all the burial of Communism is not some CIA plot carried out to elect Obama, or even vice versa, because the purge of Communists from the US political scene was accomplished by the "McCarthyism," which included firing numerous people, arrests and trials and imprisonment, covert intelligence operations, genuine mass propaganda campaigns quite unlike what Gruff pretends to be happening now, and so on and so forth. Nothing Gruff says has anything to do with Marxism, it's all just a few phrases intended to cover right-wing politics. Gruff may even be a conscious fascist, but then, unlike him I can't read single minds, much less many. T

The malignant stupidity of "Butt-gig" supposedly being the plan for 2024 is nonsense. Buttigieg got funding as a stalking-horse to fight Sanders but really only hurt Warren and Biden. He'll never be forgiven for it either. The DOT, assuming that he even gets it, that Biden will be glad to see Buttigieg rejected while he still gets credit for diversity, is no more a path to the presidency than Secretary of State. That seemed to be true in the first decades of the republic, but, unsurprisingly to me, it turned out not to be. Buttigieg is the modern equivalent of Shirley Chisholm, an out-there candidate by the bigots' standards, who still ran and actually got some votes. Dragging Buttigieg in is the same thing as pretending Harris is president, something to rile the, oh, well, the deplorables. Man, I hate giving Clinton credit for anything, but the woman would occasionally be honest. No wonder she is so hated.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 20 2020 1:56 utc | 53

norecovery (52):

"There are many good reasons not to trust the medical establishment (esp. Pharma) or the US government or the media or the academic institutions, or the peer-reviewed journals, on anything related to Coronavirus / COVID-19."

Yet, whether or not the new, not well proven, vaccines work, the corona virus infection is a real thing world wide--though China, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea managed to control it better than pretty much everywhere else.

"Don't try to smear me with Trumpism and "virus not real" BS."

You did that yourself, specifically by citing the Portuguese court ruling.

Posted by: Jay | Dec 20 2020 2:15 utc | 54

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