Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 20, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2020-100

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> While Kushner was not a driving force behind AMMC, the source who spoke on a condition of anonymity explained, the joint effort was led by campaign lawyers to reassure a paranoid Trump that no one was taking secret cuts. Parscale, it was thought, should not hold dual roles as head of a company serving as a campaign clearinghouse and campaign manager. Parscale and Kushner both signed off the arrangement, the source confirmed. <

---
Other issues:

737:

Covid-19:

There is a new variant (B.1.1.7) of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Britain. It seems to be more transmissible and has become the predominant variant. There are no signs so far that it causes a more severe Covid-19 disease or more deaths.

Prof Francois Balloux @BallouxFrancois - 7:02 UTC · Dec 20, 2020
I felt it may be helpful to provide an update on the new #COVID19 lineages in the UK and in SA that might both be more contagious than any #SARSCoV2 in circulation until recently. Those comments should be considered preliminary as the evidence available to me is still sketchy.
1/...
Nick Stripe @NickStripe_ONS - 21:39 UTC · Dec 19, 2020
I have seen the table below being widely shared to falsely imply that deaths are no higher than normal this year
The table is both factually incorrect and misleading
Those who created it deliberately sow confusion and doubt
1/6

M4A:

Syria:

Saudi Arabia:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 20, 2020 at 14:41 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Desperate Crazy Uncle T. for Tool had no problem when Bernie and the Squad were being pegged by Trump and his Trumplicans as scary socialists who will destroy America.

The hypocrite was on the sidelines sneering and enjoying the tarring of the Progressive Left. No vitriolic obsession on display then.

However, ever since Biden won the Presidency, suddenly MOA's Crazy Uncle is front and center here crusading for Left purity ranting and railing drunk on hate for Dems with the most vile, filthy misogynistic vomit-inducing rhetoric he can fish out of his toilet mind of braindead excrement.

Of course he's said nothing of Mitch McConnell's extortionist leadership of a Trumplican-ruled Senate and how all good-intentioned policy for the underfunded, deprived people goes to die there even as the hair-brained scheme will to force M4A on the House floor only to make Dems look bad and then once that's done, M4A too will die swiftly in the Senate bludgeoned by McConnell.

Methinks there are too many tools here with ulterior motive pretending to be purist Leftists, and they're driven by spite and hatred because their mangod Trump is headed for the dustbin of history, but they somehow have it in their foolish brain that if they can trash every little thing Dems do for four years maybe, just maybe somehow in 4 years Trump will look all shiny and new and all the disaffected Left can protest vote for him again or turn to Jill Stein's replacement who aspires to be another Trump kingmaker.

You dum-dum tools would be better off putting your money on Michael Flynn's cockamamie martial law coup to get Trump reinstated or on a reinvented pizzagate. That's how pathetically transparent you are, koo-koo uncle & company.

Try again, losers. I got your number way back.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 21 2020 14:32 utc | 101

-steven t johnson | Dec 21 2020 13:15 utc | 94

You are missing the part about the easily documentable Cipollone factor that Byrne blows the whistle on, and Cipollone's long association withBarr-nedict Arnold, who of course is CIA deepstate through and through, going all the way back to the early 1970's with CIA deepstater GHWB.

Just for starters, Barr-nedict Arnold's wikipedia gives brief note of the next 14 years (1994-2008) of his career right after his GHWB-AG gig, Barr spent at GTE/Verizon as Executive VP and General Counsel, where he worked in characteristically smooth and low key fashion to broaden the powers and reach of the growing electronic Mass Surveillance State:

In 1994, Barr became Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the telecommunications company GTE Corporation, where he served for 14 years. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[73][74] In 2000, when GTE merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon Communications, Barr became the general counsel and executive vice president of Verizon until he retired in 2008.[75] Barr became a multimillionaire from working in GTE and Verizon.

Much more on Barr-nedict from this Housatonic Live investigative YT that premiered last night:

https://youtu.be/sQOzDuD15WY?t=713

I suppose Trump, being an outsider businessman/entertainer his whole life, and unfamiliar with the deepness and festering rot of the viper pit that DC really is, relied on the advice of people he judged at the time he could trust [erroneously as it has clearly turned out to be the case with many of his choices].

But I think Trump is still a quick study, and he has learned a bunch since 2016...and he has planned a way to fight back and win.

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 14:44 utc | 102

EU approves merger between Chrysler and Fiat:

Fiat Chrysler, PSA win EU antitrust okay for $38 billion merger

The European project has been a huge success so far.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 15:11 utc | 103

ERRATA @ 103: Fiat Chrysler merged with PSA. The merger between Fiat and Chrysler happened in 2014.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 15:13 utc | 104

'Michael Flynn said he was provided information that foreign intelligence agencies were monitoring the U.S. election on Nov. 3 and are willing to provide evidence to President Donald Trump.'

(https://www.theepochtimes.com/flynn-foreign-intelligence-agencies-were-monitoring-us-election-willing-to-provide-information-to-trump_3626171.html)

So this is what this SolarWinds hacking ruckus is all about?

Posted by: dh-mtl | Dec 21 2020 15:26 utc | 105

Re: gm@78 has no reason for thinking Byrne is more honest, though everyone has reason for thinking people urging a coup would lie about it...

Of course, gm doesn't commit to Byrne's veracity *and* correct understanding.

-Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 21 2020 13:15 utc | 94

I just thought of another reason why it is quite likely what Patrick Byrne is saying is true; one anyone can check for themselves:

Just search the Deep State's bestest, most favorite mockingbird news aggregator site for the terms:

' patrick byrne overstock snowglobe '

and see what YOU gat back as a return...

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 16:26 utc | 106

On single payer.
I recall reading a story where an American reporter went to Canada to have a look at the system.
He went to one of the large hospitals to have a look around and asked to see the floor where billing etc. was handled. The person showing around had to stop and think and then remembered that there was a small room in the basement where some of that went on.

The reporter was flabbergasted and said that whole floors in the US hospitals were taken up for billing purposes.

Posted by: arby | Dec 21 2020 16:42 utc | 107

Another thing I garner from the above posts on the different prices for the same medicine. Surely the insurance companies are aware of these massive price differences but still pay the outlandish one which leads me to the conclusion that Pharma and Insurance are in cahoots with each other.

Posted by: arby | Dec 21 2020 16:51 utc | 108

Surprised this has STILL not been mentioned at MOA. I posted a link to the CNN and Bellingcat investigation last week.

Now CNN says they actually got Navalny to phone one of his alleged poisoners and that the "novichok" was put in his underpants HERE.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Dec 21 2020 16:55 utc | 109

John Helmer assumes, for the sake of argument, that the Russian Hack did place.
http://johnhelmer.net/russian-code-supremacy-means-theres-only-one-secret-the-us-government-has-left-that-the-government-has-no-secrets-from-russia/#more-45694

In any case the last of the friends of the United States in high places, the fifth column in the Kremlin, are losing their last scraps of influence. Whether Russia "attacked" the US is debatable and unlikely but there is no doubt that, once again, the US has attacked Russia. It has closed down its last two consulates and is reducing the Embassy in Moscow to skeletal staff. All the indications are that they are preparing for war, as are their NATO allies. The hyenas in Ukraine and Poland are salivating over spoils of war coming their way.
As for Navalny-the indestructible kid- the only prospect of his return to Moscow is in an American tank

Posted by: bevin | Dec 21 2020 17:12 utc | 110

The Russians poisoned Navalny's boxer shorts!! The Guardian is on it!!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/21/navalny-russian-agent-novichok-death-plot

So the door handle did not exactly work, and neither did the interior lining of a pair of boxer shorts - but the fearsome novichok assassination weapon will yet be the most fearsome deadliest substance known to man.

Posted by: jayc | Dec 21 2020 17:28 utc | 111

It seems like I've read this same Global Times op/ed 6-10 times in the last few months berating the West for its inability to contain the virus as China has proven:

"As the epidemic is out of control in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said they 'cannot continue with Christmas as planned.'

"It's frustrating not being able to enjoy the most important holiday. Some Westerners may have a need to vent their anger and desperation, and Nigel Farage, leader of UK Brexit Party, is one of them. Farage tweeted to accuse China for the 'canceled' Christmas. However in China, many Western expats and some Chinese people are ready to celebrate the coming holiday season.

"A Twitter user said under Farage's tweet, 'They're going clubbing in Wuhan for Christmas. Why can't this great country [UK] do that?' Indeed, why has China, the country stigmatized, blamed, and scapegoated by the West, largely returned to normal life? Why are the UK and many other developed Western countries sinking into another epidemic spiral?

"The reason is simple. The Chinese government and Chinese people have attached utmost importance to epidemic prevention. But until today, Western societies still haven't realized that being indifferent toward the coronavirus is the chief culprit of their mess."

The frustration on the part of the writer is made clear by being truthful, although that probably won't budge governments who have so much invested in the many lies they've told their citizens:

"The British government should take all necessary measures to tackle the virus spread before it is too late. Nobody likes lockdowns, but they save lives. Is a lockdown worse than COVID-19 that kills? Perhaps the answer is always 'Yes' to the politicians who care about only their political interests and see ordinary people as roadside grass.

"These politicians have never stopped misleading people since the very beginning of the pandemic. They avoided making hard decisions which might jeopardize their political interests. They are the reason why the pandemic is still fierce in the West. But they declined to see it squarely, and carry on their tricks of ducking their responsibility to others.

"UK politicians like Farage exploited the so-called universal values, such as freedom and democracy, to misguide their people. These, not China, are what led the UK to this place.

"Western-style governance has been at a loss as to what to do in the face of COVID-19. Demonizing China didn't help the West address the pandemic. Instead, it made Western people misunderstand China's measures, which have proven to be among the most successful ones, and refuse to accept similar moves." [My Emphasis]

Of course, those that need the bolded entries smashed into their faces will never see them and continue to treat their citizenry as expendable. What ought to happen is for the People to rise up like a Tsunami and remove those proven incapable of governing, replace them, then lock down tight while adopting very rigorous controls to finally bring the virus under control. Hell, China's even offered to help these refusenik nations; and in it's main editorial today, Global Times again calls for global solidarity as the #1 requirement needed to control the pandemic:

"The US has almost given up efforts to mobilize society to fight the virus, but pinned all of its hopes on vaccine. The harm of this attitude has so far been fully proven. The US' attitude has profoundly affected many countries in the West and even the world, which is a bad example of giving up the COVID-19 fight because of the difficult work.

"There are too many infected people worldwide. This provides more possibilities for the virus to fight human beings for a long time through mutation and other methods. If the infection level of most parts of the world is the same as that in China and East Asia, it would definitely be much easier to wipe out COVID-19 after the vaccine is released. But now, COVID-19 has spread to all parts of the world, and the conditions that cause their mutation are very different. It will be much harder to eliminate them, and by no means can vaccines developed by American companies such as Pfizer quickly achieve it.

"To defeat COVID-19, in addition to relying on vaccines, the world must unite as soon as possible and take coordinated actions. The world should truly form as a whole from detection, monitoring the latest trends of the pandemic, to responding to it. There is a mutated virus in the UK and many European countries have temporarily suspended flights from Britain. But the US and some countries are slow to take action, and most countries have close aviation ties with the other US. Such kind of prevention and control is far from being networked. Many countries believe that by suspending flights, their governments have done their job. But many infected people may have already entered their country. Such a COVID-19 fight is largely superficial.

"The US took the first step to ban flights when the coronavirus broke out in China and Europe. However, the US later experienced the world's worst epidemic explosion. This is a lesson for countries and regions that have cut off flights from Britain.

"The current ruling team in Washington is the main obstacle to the world's unity in fighting the pandemic. They are the main culprit of why the world lacks cooperation when facing the coronavirus. According to the current situation, the mutated virus in the UK has a high possibility of spreading to all parts of the world. The consequences will depend on whether the mutated virus is really more contagious and deadly. Human beings are almost resigned to their fate." [My Emphasis]

The words are harsh yet unfortunately true. China and other's cries for cooperation have been ignored--deliberately--for ideological reasons, not for any rational reason. The West has dug a gigantic hole which it's fallen into and will pull in other nations it has ties to that cannot afford to also fall in. Many were predicting just this sort of tragedy and offered ways to avoid it that were again ignored.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 17:37 utc | 112

-_K_C_ | Dec 21 2020 16:55 utc | 109

Novichok (~8x deadlier than VX) in underwear...sitting on ~3.5 hr long flight from Tomsk Siberia to Omsk ... and Navalny 'survives*?

And with *no* serum cholinestrase inhibition [easily measured and persistent for weeks/months following AchE targeting nerve agent poisonings] ?

Hoh Boy, the Deepstate must really be flailing about now to put such story out.

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 17:46 utc | 113

The lies told about Russia were done to keep any news coming from Putin's annual year-end presser out of the media, like my article about Putin/Russia giving its under 7-year-olds 5,000 Rubles while 13 million American families face eviction on January first. Of course, Russia's success with its vaccines can't be allowed in Big Lie Media, so a raft of negative garbage must again be thrown at the West's citizens about Russia. None of the words and newsprint wasted on them have deterred Russia from its projects; indeed, they merely provide further resolve. NATO nations will soon find themselves under attack by the new virus variant, while Russia inoculates close to 100,000 of its citizens daily, with that pace soon to improve with the third vaccine's approval. Fortunately, a great deal of anti-viral coordination's occurred between the Eurasian nations such that they'll fare far better in dealing with the new variant.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 17:55 utc | 114

AstraZeneca's top boss has to eat humble pie in order to reduce the financial and reputational damage; give an interview to RT:

Collaboration on Sputnik V components can make ‘doctors’ lives simpler’ & vaccination easier – AstraZeneca CEO to RT

The pimps become the prostitutes; everything solid melts into thin air.

--//--

US War Machine Masquerading as Country

Didn't read, just agree with the headline. That's what I would put on the USA's grave as an epitaph.

--//--

Belarusian prosecutors initiate criminal case against Tikhanovskaya, Coordination council

Window's closing to Juanita.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 17:58 utc | 115

Hey Trump w a C FUCK OFF NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK FEEL OR SAY.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Dec 21 2020 18:07 utc | 116

@ juliania | Dec 21 2020 5:16 utc | 65

@ 76 debs quote
"Getting all dems votes out there in public is essential to be certain there is a
minimum of 'talk left, walk right' dem pols in DC.

Those who vote against M4A need to be held accountable in their next primary.

Polls have demonstrated that medicare for all transcends the usual partisan divide
and at least 72% of amerikans of whatever stripe want it now."

well put debs.. thanks.. i like your line - "talk left, walk right".. that appears to be the case here in spades...

@ 107 / 108 arby... quote " which leads me to the conclusion that Pharma and Insurance are in cahoots with each other." exactly... and yes to the rest of your posts too..

@ _K_C_ | Dec 21 2020 16:55 utc | 109... thanks.. that just says the intel agencies of the west are definitely working directly with navalny and that anything they say is open to question... basically what @ 113 pete richards says... ditto.. i would say if anyone soiled their underpants here, it is the western intel who are having a hard time keeping this story in focus....

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2020 18:30 utc | 117

@ @ juliania | Dec 21 2020 5:16 utc | 65... thanks juliania... i will keep you posted on all this.. i think all the writers of the gospels are quite different.. john is the most mysterious of the 4...

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2020 18:31 utc | 118

@bystander04 #56
Indeed. The for profit nature of US health care is clearly driving monopoly behavior on the part of hospital chains.
To be fair, some of this is defensive: the large chains are better able to negotiate with the health insurance giants.
But yes, hospitals are an excellent example of a choke point which can be used to drive up prices. It takes a really long time and a lot of money to build a new hospital - so any entity that can take over sufficient capacity in any given market has tremendous pricing power.
As for what gives: my view is that it is political. The Democrats have long since championed for-profit health care - and that's why Medicare For All will never come from that side of the political aisle.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 21 2020 18:31 utc | 119

Posted by: bevin | Dec 21 2020 17:12 utc | 110

It has closed down its last two consulates and is reducing the Embassy in Moscow to skeletal staff.

Excellent news for Russia, it is well known those consulates main function was to instigate separatism, especially the one in Ekaterinburg, dreaming about splitting the country apart and trying to popularize the idea of a Siberian Republic, plus supporting islamic separatism.

https://ria.ru/20170731/1499456285.html

Posted by: Paco | Dec 21 2020 18:33 utc | 120

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 21 2020 18:31 utc | 120

Don't understand the surprise. Pelosi has publicly stated the Democratic Party is a capitalist party:

Pelosi: "We're capitalist." [VIDEO]

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 18:38 utc | 121

With the US reducing its "diplomatic" presence in Russia, China should also consider capping the total number of US "diplomatic staff" working in US consulates in its territory to a level equivalent to what the US allows of China on American soil. No doubt the long-term result will be similar: the US will end up shutting its consulates in Hongkong and Wuhan as it did in Chengdu in July 2020 for lack of staff.

The blackshirted umbrella movement will have to move to Taiwan or the US to survive. There'll be no more opportunities for US consulate staff to try to foster 5th column movements, organisations and charismatic leaders. Opportunities to seed the local water or food supplies with exotic disease germs will dwindle.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 21 2020 19:07 utc | 122

Glenn Diesen op/ed on the death of Ostpolitik and future direction of German/Russian relations. Also changing are German/China relations. Apparently supporting the Outlaw US Empire's many lies plus its crucial support for the Ukraine Coup has had very serious effects for Germany. And the message being sent from Russia's Defence Ministry's year ending forum makes this breakdown in relations more evident. Then add onto it all the many criticism's made by Lavrov over the past week, and the overall seriousness ought to be seen easily. Putin's first words at this forum put much in perspective:

"This year has been challenging for everybody. As you know, the world has faced the coronavirus pandemic. One would think that it is high time for state leaders and the entire global community to show utmost responsibility and join efforts. But unfortunately, that has not always been the case. We have seen new regional conflicts break out and old, years-long conflicts escalate. Attempts have been made to undermine global stability."

As with China, Russia's military was key in its coronavirus response:

"With the recently opened medical centre in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, in nine months, the Ministry of Defence has quickly built 30 medical centres for patients with this dangerous infection. Eight mobile hospitals have been deployed in the regions with particularly challenging situation. I know that those specialists, military builders worked as if in combat conditions, and acted according to wartime or front-line laws, when an assigned task has to be completed at all costs, no matter what."

How many hospitals and medical centers did NATO nations construct? Here within the Outlaw US Empire, none.

In the Sputnik article linked above, Putin's excerpted citation isn't complete. Here it is in full:

"The second point, it is as important to consolidate the potential of the non-nuclear deterrent capability, primarily high-precision weapons. We do not intend to produce and deploy medium- and shorter-range missiles in the European part of Russia or in other areas of the country, for that matter. However, we must be ready to respond in a timely manner to the Western countries’ deployment of counterpart missiles near our borders. If we are forced to, we must take all response measures and do this in the shortest time possible. I have no doubt that we will do this, both as regards the deployment locations of the relevant systems and their control centres." [My Emphasis]

I bolded the text since it's my opinion that Putin expects NATO to do exactly that, which is also the reason for keeping Russia's nuclear triad in top shape. And another form of defense comes from allowing your presumed opponents to see just how ready and formidable are your forces:

"In addition, new approaches to using the Union State’s regional group must be tested during the upcoming Zapad 2021 (West) exercises.

"Some of our neighbours are already showing increased interest in our plans for the exercise. But we traditionally invite observers to them. Mr Shoigu, we must invite them this time as well. Let them watch: we are open in this sense." [My Emphasis]

As we celebrate Solstice today, it's very clear that 2021 will be an even greater challenge than 2020 since it seems loaded with even more threats. Unfortunately, I don't see anyone in the West capable of voicing sanity as all that seems to concern them is how many of their citizens they can mow down like grass along the roadside.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 19:12 utc | 123

China has released a new White Paper, "Energy in China's New Era" which can be downloaded at the link. The Introduction's conclusion tells you what to expect:

"The Chinese government is publishing this white paper to provide a full picture of China’s achievements in its energy development and its major policies and measures for energy reform."

Recall, China has pledged its carbon emissions will peak in 2030, and it'll reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Again, here's the link to China's entire White Paper Archive.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 19:25 utc | 124

vk #96


What downward trend? That mortality graph shows a gentle fluctuation over ten years with little change. In the last two there is slight decline but the trend if any is nil - generally flat. All else is speculation like - perhaps there are behavioural changes in the population over the last few years that attenuated other seasonal infections but masked by covid surge.

There is zero evidence for your claim for downward trend from this graph.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 19:27 utc | 125

@ Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 19:27 utc | 125

If the very source of the data claims COVID-19 was responsible for some of the deaths in 2020, then it is logical the number of deaths for 2020 should be even lower, had the pandemic never happened.

On the other side, there's the empirical evidence that mortality in general lowers when capitalism is in recessions (I already posted the data here before). This happens because working life is very stressful and deadly, so the extra deaths from COVID-19 - up to a certain point - are "compensated" by the fall of work-related deaths.

Posted by: vk | Dec 21 2020 19:35 utc | 126

Good news re embassy closures. Hopefully the Soros agents provocateurs will be reduced simultaneously.

Especially good news that Astra Zeneca and Russia are surging ahead with their collaboration.

I heard reports that Trump was undermining his very own Senate Leader, Mitch McConnel - may they destroy each other in their ignorance.

Another day, another step closer to Medicare for all. Peoples party for all - yes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 19:50 utc | 127

_K_C_ @109

Thanks! That had me rolling on the floor laughing!

It's amazing how western "journalists" cannot even tell when they are being trolled.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 21 2020 20:00 utc | 128

gm@102&106 makes a response. And I have to make a confession. For too many years as a youth I really believed in Stalinism as a cynical pack of lies, told solely to justify killing political enemies. I didn't accept that people could sincerely believe that people with a years long record could suddenly turn out to be traitors, who had wormed themselves into power by preying on the naivete and trust of an honest leader struggling against odds. You know, Bukharin the party's favorite was a traitor and thank God Stalin found out. And Yagoda and Trotsky and Zinoviev and Kamenev etc. etc. etc. But people like gm have proven to over and over again that gullibility, ignorance, fearfulness, an ill temper can turn a defective understanding into blind approval of utter nonsense.

First of all, it's still true: Barr was Trump's choice, and Trump's friend, and has been long criticized for acting like Trump's personal lawyer instead of the nation's. If Barr has refused to prosecute this person or that at Trump's whim, you don't assume he's betraying Trump, but that, like a Pentagon general telling Trump he can't guarantee an easy win, Barr didn't want to humiliate the administration and, even worse, get people to seeing the enemy du jour as vindicated, or worst of all, as a martyr. It's true that like the mass media (forget the increasingly meaningless MSM acronym!) Barr isn't nearly as interested in servicing a lame duck. That is just politics. People are now putting the eye on the coming man and that isn't Barr. Barr doesn't think Trump is worth personal loyalty in the face of defeat? That's a friend's judgment on Trump and you are still in no position to say, nay.

Second, we should have some inkling of how Byrne knows Cipollone, unless he dialed the NY Times or CNN for Cipollone. If he was correct, if I was to guess, he was told this by a Trumper who checked with Cipollone's secretary or some other way of spying on him. A far fetched possibility is he is trying to knife Cipollone, or indirectly Cipollone's old associate Barr, for some personal reason or to curry favor with Trump, so he just makes an accusation. The real problem here is, does it matter if Cipollone leaked anything? Leakers often leak the truth because they want to stop some policy they disagree with. And all that really matters is, did whoever, Cipollone, outright lie? Is Byrne simply lying? Or in a room of people shouting did the two men react differently to some words? I am not at all certain we can really say that the meeting discussed a coup, because such discussions need to be with the relevant parties, like actual military men, not a disorganized bunch of prima donnas. (And yes, serious coup plotting does work at lot harder at discretion...but yes, no matter what the Trumpers here say, political conservatives BSing about government is the problem and businessmen are smart, government is the solution to many problems and businessmen are some of those problems. Men addled by their own nonsense don't do good jobs.) Assholes like Trump have been screaming treason about enemies for a long time, just like all conservatives for decades. If you can't take it, don't dish it out!

Third, George H.W. Bush was old money rich, (more the Walkers than the Bushes,) and old politics (uncle Senator Prescott Bush,) open elite Yale Skull&Bones, military service. Unless you're implying Bush had the CIA send family friend scion John W. Hinckley Jr. to shoot Reagan, there's nothing very "deep" about this so-called Deep Stater. Establishment, meaning upper class, the English call this. But that's not a state. Given the supernatural powers routinely attributed to the "Deep State" here, how ever could GHW Bush have been merely a one term president?

To expand just a little, thing about how the CIA could continue to have its own policies and programs, inevitably enacted by the all powerful CIA, when the upper administration keeps changing with the President, when the budget has to be approved by numerous politicians, when the official retirement packages are paychecks from the public treasury and, perhaps most decisive, the legendary revolving door and the post-career high-level, high-paying executive positions and seats on the board are dispensed by...who? Generals have arms companies and news media commentator sites. It is the people who give out the jobs, who cut the checks who ultimately have the real power. The CIA as an institution doesn't have an independent budget to make it an independent institution. (Suggestions that the drug money are like the fines and court costs our corrupt judicial system should be judged forget that the dirty money has to be laundered. Dirty money? It's the Trumps who move in that world.)

Least, calling something "mockingbird" isn't an argument or a fact. And by the way, there is indeed a lot of fake news, but the faking is usually by pretending something is a crisis or an existential threat or a hideous outrage or an obvious crime by the designated villains, all against us, where "us" is *never* defined. The real corruption is in what's legal. To pick an example from Barr, Hunter Biden's apparent efforts to peddle influence are probably legal because the system is deliberately vague or sets arbitrarily high standards to permit it, and on top of that, it really only matters if there is evidence to connect Joe Biden as actually doing something to abet it. None has *ever* been publicly provided, no, not the laptop either. If there's any mocking of birds going on, it's Trumper mocking reason.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 21 2020 20:03 utc | 129

"I heard reports that Trump was undermining his very own Senate Leader, Mitch McConnel... "

Sorry to say, but it is much more likely Mitch (the Turtle) McConnell, not unlike Pelosi, Feinstein and probably more than a few other US gov long embedded/burrowed-in muckety-mucks, has been compromised/turned by his own family's version of the 'Hunter Biden' trap, and has been 'leveraged' into undermining Trump.

Perhaps you missed this Peter Schweizer interview from yesterday:

https://youtu.be/6Kn43WEJcNo?t=1615

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 20:19 utc | 130

@ Piotr Berman => 9
=====
Zovirax Cold Sore cream 2G
Price NZ $ 15.45
PHARMAC, the NZ drug buying agency.
Posted by: David KNZ | Dec 20 2020 19:23 utc | 17

Walmart Canada
Abreva Cold Sore Treatment Cream 2 g
$18.97

Posted by: David G Horsman | Dec 21 2020 20:52 utc | 131

gm #130

Thank you, interesting financial links across the spectrum are revealed in that interview. I sense a new book is emerging. The USA is so totally disabled by its psychotic love/hate with competition, diversity, freedom and zero sum as being the only laudable outcome.

I am getting sick and tired of the mass media referring to China as 'the Chinese Communist Party government'. I guess from now on I could refer to any western government as the Global Oligarchy Party government of UK or USA or EU or whatever. Slur slur slur non stop.

On Trump, short of openly campaigning against Mitch, there is nothing Trump can do. If he did campaign against Mitch the entire GOP dog pack would unload on Trump and his life would be misery for a decade. Mind you that would be fine with me - Mitch gone and Trump unraveling and I hope the Kushner crap house goes with him.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 21:06 utc | 132

Oh how I want to sit and converse with Alastair Crooke, whose latest is full of information that provokes thoughts and further questions. His essay begins with the following premise:

"Does the centralising project of progressive ‘wokedom’ in Blue America, and in Merkel’s Europe, have the ‘grit’ to persevere – or will its leaders fold in the face of the approaching crises – and concomitant public anger?

"The Project has three main pivots: the centralisation of Big Tech and MSM; the concentration of banking and financial tech, within centralised Central Banking; and Merkel’s centralisation of politics in Europe, at the head of an empire claiming to occupy the ‘moral high-ground’."

IMO, the anger will win. When is the remaining question.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 21:06 utc | 133

_K_C_ #109

Now CNN says they actually got Navalny to phone one of his alleged poisoners and that the "novichok" was put in his underpants HERE.

That was too good. CNN is a clown cart as well as the D's. They actually lack all credibility and believe this BS. Its bad enough they spent time assembling this fool report, let alone putting it to air. Mass Media is beyond incredible - it is dangerous and its time to break it up. There has to be better ways of doing this.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 21:14 utc | 134

-uncle tungsten | Dec 21 2020 21:06 utc | 132

I wince reflexively at the term 'CCP' also, and always describe China as- either just China, or mainland China. Its a country with its own national interests, like any country.

And China does things to advance and secure its own national interests. Nothing unique there. Many/most countries do the same sort of things as China, and in the case of US it is clear from history we do things across planet that are *much* worse in most respects.

I first started noticing the 'CCP' term being used by certain repugs perhaps a year ago; and its usage in repug circles has been growing since then. It is nowadays becoming almost part of the official propaganda lexicon within republican circles.

Posted by: gm | Dec 21 2020 22:39 utc | 136

After digesting Crooke's latest, I suggest digging into what might be considered an exotic essay by Pepe Escobar, "Behold the dawning of the Age of Aquarius", which happens to begin today, Winter Solstice. It's the Great Mutation versus the Great Reset. As I see things, the Mutation's already winning.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 22:47 utc | 137

CCP--Christian Conservative Party.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 22:50 utc | 138

More Congressional Bullshit:

"'This Is Atrocious': Congress Crams Language to Criminalize Online Streaming, Meme-Sharing Into 5,500-Page Omnibus Bill.

"Lawmakers in Congress are under fire from digital rights campaigners for embedding three controversial changes to online copyright and trademark laws into the must-pass $2.3 trillion legislative package—which includes a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and a $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill—that could receive floor votes in the House and Senate as early as Monday evening.

"The punitive provisions crammed into the enormous bill (pdf), warned Evan Greer of the digital rights group Fight for the Future, 'threaten ordinary Internet users with up to $30,000 in fines for engaging in everyday activity such as downloading an image and re-uploading it... [or] sharing memes.'

"While the citizenry had almost no time to process the actual contents of the 5,593 page legislative text, Greer said Monday afternoon that the CASE Act, Felony Streaming Act, and Trademark Modernization Act 'are in fact included in the must-pass omnibus spending bill.'"

New legislation ought to be written that no bill can be longer than 2,000 words. Actually, my first thought was to get rid of Congress completely. Clearly, all three branches of the federal government are 100% dysfunctional and need to be retired. I wonder what would be said of China if it tried to do the same to its people?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 23:19 utc | 139

CPC -- Communist Party of China.

The Party's own preferred acronym in English - accurate, since that it's name (and not the Chinese/China Communist Party).

I have used CCP a lot, but I recently saw that correction from a Chinese source and will use it as CPC in future. I now note that Chinese news agencies refer to CPC.

It's the CPC of the PRC - but CCP ain't nowhere to be found, except wrongly. So I guess it would be great to leave to the mainstream - who will never learn - and move on to the correct usage ourselves.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 23:20 utc | 140

@139 karlof1

Get rid of Congress completely? That would be the States acting in agreement by Convention to amend the Constitution to dissolve the Union. Simply throw away the federal part that seems beyond repair or redemption.

Throw it away.

It could be done. But people would have to hurt far more than they do already - that hurt is coming, of course. 2021 will make 2020 seem like the last of a bygone age.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 23:25 utc | 141

People here were discussing the meaning of the large astrological conjunction that actually happened today. Pepe Escobar has an interview with an astrologer with geopolitical sensibilities on the meaning of all this:
Behold the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 23:32 utc | 142

@86 Paco - SputnikV is effective against the new variant of the virus

That is excellent news, many thanks.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 23:33 utc | 143

@ karlof1 | Dec 21 2020 22:47 utc | 137... that was probably the best article i have read blending astrology with what is happening at present... she got a few things wrong as i see it.. mostly the section on black moon, instead of addressing the jupiter-saturn-pluto triple conjunction this year - responsible for the pandemic.. but overall a good article that highlights the mutation of the grand cycle of jupiter-saturn, always followed by astrologers in the deep past, with it's passage into the air signs.. in fact the one from jan 1st 1980 happened to be in the sign libra at 9 degrees tropical - an air sign... so the mutation has been a more gradual one - not finally into the air signs fully until now for the next 200 years... thanks for sharing that... yes - reset or mutation... i would say great mutation... and yes - i think those into finance follow this stuff closer then the ordinary person on the street...

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2020 23:41 utc | 144

@ 142 grieved - karlof1 shared the same link @137... see my comments at 144.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Dec 21 2020 23:42 utc | 145

Just finished listening to 45 minutes of the Rentier discussion between Hudson and Escobar that's more Hudson lecture than discussion, at least until Pepe asks questions about China and its issues. Yes, Here's the link. If you've read lots of Hudson, much will be known to you, but much of the current events--particularly what Hudson says Biden plans to do along with China--will be new as are some of Escobar's observations. Yes, I'm only half-way through, but I'm calling it a day now and wanted to share the link again as I believe few saw it the first time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 0:30 utc | 146

Phillip Kline Blasts Mark Zuckerberg for Using 350 Million to Interfere in 2020 Election - 12/11/20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DacSP6yDwAs

Posted by: Mao | Dec 22 2020 0:41 utc | 147

@ Posted by: Grieved | Dec 21 2020 23:20 utc | 140

I use the "CCP" instead of the correct CPC because it is easier to memorize for me, as it is closer to the acronym used in my mother tongue, and only in informal circumstances.

But there is a reason the West uses the acronym CCP (Chinese Communist Party), and it is not innocent and has very grave consequences: at the table is the CPC's internationalist character.

If you use CCP, you're essentially insinuating the CPC is just a nationalist - even proto-fascist, according to some Western leftists outlets and newspapers -, borderline parochial, and exotic (Asiatic) party. This is ideologically advantageous to the Western capitalists, as it keeps the CPC isolated, as something that can never serve as inspiration to the rest of the world (i.e. the West). Even more importantly, it creates a potential justification for a future hot war of annihilation, aimed at exterminating the Popular Republic of China. It also paints communism as some kind of distorted and disgusting Asiatic chimera, an exotic beast destined to be hunted down by the civilized West - as it happened with India, SE Asia, Africa and the Americas during the colonial era.

If you use CPC, then you're emphasizing the internationalist character of the CPC. It is the Communist Party first, Chinese second. With that, you're keeping the flame of the world revolution alight. It makes it clear the CPC is the direct descendant of the October Revolution, which is the direct descendant of the French Revolution. It makes clear the CPC claims its lineage directly to Karl Marx. It makes it clear the CPC's true goal to peace and prosperity for the whole world, not just China ("win-win").

We don't need to delve into unnecessary debate here, as the second definition is the objectively correct one: the correct acronym is CPC and the CPC makes its name justice, as they really are a Marxist (Marxist-Leninist, to be more specific) party. They call themselves the CPC and they call themselves that way correctly.

So, yes, long story short, the correct terminology in English is CPC, not CCP.

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2020 1:06 utc | 148

karlof1@146, thank you for the pepe hudson link. i watched it several days ago & yes you are correct, it's essentially a hudson lecture...but i found lots of new ideas embedded through out...hope you do as well.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Dec 22 2020 1:24 utc | 149

@ psychohistorian | Dec 21 2020 6:53 utc | 72

Oops -- I wasn't being critical, I was just trying to be funny. Perhaps I should have tried harder.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 22 2020 1:27 utc | 150

With regard to insurance costs in US healthcare.

I was recently involved in a surgery situation with someone, on a procedure that would cost around $70,000 at retail rates, reimbursed by insurance.

But when the patient, having no insurance, paid cash instead, the cash price was $7,000. There's a 90% discount for cash pays - and that's what the industry says clear and out loud: cash pays 10% of the retail price.

Here's what I'm pondering, and it's two things that maybe belong as one thing:

1. Why is the cash pay only 10% of the insurance price?
2. If you have insurance and pay a deductible cost - what percentage of the whole is that typically?

But more to the point, regarding the deductible - why do you even pay that? Why does insurance set its price based on a deductible? Yes, you can get a policy with no deductible, but the premium is so high that it's really just an actuarial way of covering up the deductible - not "covering" but "covering up" the deductible.

Is it something like saying: most of the retail price is froth whipped up on top of the real cost, and the real cost is the 10% cash pay? The real cost with insurance is the deductible part that gets paid with cash?

And are these two things related? Are they the same thing?

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 22 2020 1:50 utc | 151

"Hunter Biden's apparent efforts to peddle influence are probably legal because the system is deliberately vague or sets arbitrarily high standards to permit it, and on top of that, it really only matters if there is evidence to connect Joe Biden as actually doing something to abet it..."
steven t johnson@129

It is clear enough that Hunter's appointment to the Burisma Board followed Joe's bringing about the firing of the prosecutor about to charge the man who appointed Hunter with corruption.
Whether or not that is legal I have no idea but it is obviously corrupt.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 22 2020 1:50 utc | 152

State of Japan looks very volatile.

This means that there might be more hopes for them, the government has failed them utterly.

Posted by: Smith | Dec 22 2020 1:58 utc | 153

@ karlof1 and Grieved with the Pepe Escobar link...thanks

Below is the quote from it that I like
"
To counter the objectification of humans, it may be timely to draw from the Tupis’ conception of human beings: tu + pi , seated sound. A human being is a sound which has taken a seat, has taken place and vibrates. We gotta keep our bodies, faces and words vibrant. For the native South American Tupis, each human being is a new music, a new word vibrating and co-creating life with others and nature.
"

Since the early 1950's science has been focused on the bio-chemical view of how we work but recent bio-electric science and my traumatic brain injury healing using neuromodulation/vibratory techniques supports the Tupis' conception of human beings.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 22 2020 2:16 utc | 154

@ c1ue | Dec 21 2020 18:31 utc | 119
"It takes a really long time and a lot of money to build a new hospital . . ."

The Chinese did it in ten days.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 22 2020 2:34 utc | 155

The FSB got into the crotch seams of Navalny's underpants; I mean briefs...with Novichok. They couldn't find a more dignified means of conducting the dirty deed? Seriously?

And Navalny dupes one of the agents into a giving him a play by play account of them stealing his clothes and washing his briefs and pants before he left Russia in possession of the evidence.

Imagine when they make the movie with Russian agents stealing and poisoning a political adversary's briefs and then stealing them again to wash them? What are they gonna call it: The gang that couldn't shoot straight in the underpants caper.

Putin must answer for this briefsgate humiliation immediately!

Ahhhaaaahaaa!

Posted by: Circe | Dec 22 2020 3:14 utc | 156

Below is a ZH link that I thought important enough to share because it has a link to the whole thing....

House Passes 5593 Page Stimulus Bill Without Anyone Having Read It

The take away quote
"
Needless to say, the bill is chock-full of garbage:

This bill is beyond.

Example: It literally legislates the process for the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

See pg 5099 of the PDF.

— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) December 21, 2020
Good luck to anyone tasked with reading this porkulus monster from cover to cover.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 22 2020 6:39 utc | 157

@146, karlof1

That video unfortunately cannot be downloaded anymore from Google Drive. It says the maximum number of downloads has been exceeded. Is it available anywhere else?

Posted by: Eric | Dec 22 2020 6:49 utc | 158

In contrast to the latest pork barrel legislation from the US that I linked to above is a China legislative example from a current Xinhuanet posting
"
BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers on Tuesday began deliberating a draft law on preventing food waste to ensure food security.

The 32-article draft was submitted to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for its first reading.

The law is of great significance to promoting a healthy, rational and green lifestyle and way of consumption. It is also essential to accelerating the construction of a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society, and to sustainable economic and social development, according to an explanation submitted to the session.

Lawmakers elevate the effective policies and measures the country has adopted over the past years into the draft law in an effort to establish a long-term mechanism to prevent food waste, says the explanation.

The draft specifies the anti-food waste responsibilities of the government, catering service providers and individuals.

It also requires the establishment of a mechanism to combat food waste, in which various parts of society are involved, including industry associations, the education sector and the news media.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 22 2020 6:52 utc | 159

Below is another short Xinhuanet posting that supports the contention that the EU may not stay in the wagon circling of empire going forward.

"
BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- No matter how the international situation changes, China and the European Union (EU) should stay on the right track of dialogue and cooperation for mutual benefit, and properly manage and control differences, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday.

Wang made the remarks when meeting envoys to China from the EU and 27 of its member states in Beijing.

Saying this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU, Wang added relations have made significant progress while overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical cooperation has become a highlight of the development of China-EU relations, Wang said, adding that China has become the largest trading partner of the bloc for the first time. The two sides have formally signed the China-EU agreement on geographical indications and are expected to reach the China-EU investment agreement. The two sides also decided to establish two high-level dialogue mechanisms on environment and climate as well as digital cooperation.

Wang said China and the EU, as two important forces in the process of multi-polarization, should jointly provide more stability to the world. "For China and the EU, cooperation far outweighs competition, and our areas of consensus far exceed differences. China-EU are mutually beneficial partners and bilateral relations are strong."

The head of the EU delegation to China and the envoys to the country from EU member states said Europe attaches great importance to China's important role in the world. Europe is willing to work with the country to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two sides, strengthen communication and exchanges, and jointly push forward major agendas and cooperation in various fields, they added.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 22 2020 6:57 utc | 160

psychohistorian #154

The early pharaohs of Egypt practiced sonic healing and there are relics at Saqqara of audio chambers as I understand. Not just the extraordinary large boxes but in other structures where one lies on a stone platform and rests the head inside a resonant cavity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 22 2020 7:17 utc | 161

This attitude is what better describes the crumbling empire hubris, the company that produces the rockets that during the last decade took american astronauts to the International Space Station has been sanctioned. And this is what Rogozin has to say about it, in a direct letter to NASA, quick translation:

Now it seems that our american colleagues have a working trampoline again, and the first thing they decided is to spit in the Samara well. Don’t you think it is a bit early, all of the sudden your trampoline breaks down again and you’ll be forced to satisfy your passion for space from our well?

Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 9:12 utc | 162

Posted by: Circe | Dec 22 2020 3:14 utc | 156

Dear Circe, where were you?, missed you, hope you’re not projecting with the underpanties thing, don’t tell me you’re yearning for some underwear fantasy, ‘cause if you believe the laundromat story of that wretched patient then babies come from Paris on a stork beak and not delivered by UPS or the US Postal Service. Wow, big dissapointment, I thought you strongly disliked Trump -something quite understandable- but overall were a reasonable being, but it seems you’re all for the Russiagate fairy tale. Fasten your belt, uncle Joe and Kamela might make the orange ogre look good.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 9:59 utc | 163

At least there is one topic for which US policy is still on the move. The whole planet can go down, Trump/Kushner know were they put their interests for their coming phase out of the WH.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/397370/World/Region/Morocco,-Israel-to-seal-normalisation-with-first-d.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Dec 22 2020 10:12 utc | 164

Dr. Didier Raoult, other five, formally accused of "charlatanism" by the French equivalent of the Council of Medicine:

Les professeurs Raoult et Perronne visés par une plainte de l’ordre des médecins pour leurs propos sur le Covid-19

Raoult et al initiated a massive disinformation campaign, centered on the miracles of Hydroxycloroquine to treat COVID-19. The "trial" was made with 86 patients of Raoult's private clinic, and he claimed absolute success of the drug only a few days later, not through a peer-reviewed publication, but a YouTube video that soon viralized.

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2020 11:45 utc | 165

Typical middle class hypocrisy:

Reopen Schools, and Reform Them

So, in exchange to reopening the schools (which will mean the death of more proletarians) for their kids, the middle class - represented here by the NYT Editorial Board - is offering a "reform" so the children of the proletarians can have a shot at getting in their schools.

Pathetic. But that's the middle class' whole history.

--//--

Return of Boeing 737 Max to China dependent on safety, not political considerations

Translation: the 737 MAX is such a bad commodity that we'll not even have to use the political card. The whole thing crumbles by itself.

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2020 12:04 utc | 166

Thanks for the link to Pepe astrological interview (even though he redacted it with a heavy hand!!)

Well summed up here (as for Brexit too)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9UQeua87fs

Posted by: Mina | Dec 22 2020 13:07 utc | 167

Smell the butthurt:

Breakingviews - China’s economic triumphalism gets harder to take

I suppose it is just out of the question to mention that this is exactly what was predicted to happen if we didn't take steps to stop the pandemic. You stop it fast, or it costs you more.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2020 14:29 utc | 168

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2020 14:29 utc | 168

Well, China plans to double their overall length of their HSR rail network at some $150B cheaper than the latest American $900B "stimulus". Pretty obvious which side of the Pacific has actual capital and the other only paper wealth.

Posted by: J W | Dec 22 2020 15:44 utc | 169

NPR was criticized for censoring the Hunter Biden scandal(s).


“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR Managing Editor for News Terence Samuel told McBride. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

However, this morning NPR went into a state of naval-gazing ("Russia", "Russia", "Russia..."Om"..."Russia", "Russia", "Russia"..."Ommmmmm")
and just had to tell us the saga of Alexei Naval-ny's
underpants.


Navalny coaxed details of the attack from Kudryavtsev, who said the nerve agent Novichok was applied to the politician's underwear.


Kudryavtsev was one of the agents who was part of an elite team dispatched to poison and ultimately assassinate Navalny while he visited the Russian city of Tomsk in August, according to a joint investigation by the research group Bellingcat, CNN, Russian media outlet The Insider, and German weekly Der Spiegel.

NPR sourced impeccable outfits, all of them outfitted with impeccably clean reputations and underwear.

Posted by: librul | Dec 22 2020 16:05 utc | 170

Posted by: librul | Dec 22 2020 16:05 utc | 170

So what I see is the Russians are trolling us and it winds up as our mainstream news. After a brief gesture in the direction of "real news" we go right back to the gossip and "reports".

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2020 16:13 utc | 171

Please, people, don't be so skeptical about the underpants story. The essential point is that Navalny's mother put the poison in after she washed his underwear.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 22 2020 16:19 utc | 172

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 22 2020 16:19 utc | 172

Come, come, do you think we are all fools here? And where did she get all this Novichok(tm) from?

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 22 2020 16:39 utc | 173

Navalny, his handlers and their mouthpiece media,
are trying to eek [sic] out the last bit of news-bites
from this "Russia Russia Russia" froth
by having:

Headline: Navalny Jumps the Shark With Underwear

Posted by: librul | Dec 22 2020 16:41 utc | 174

bevin@152 I've forgotten the order myself, but, no, I don't think it's iillegal absent a proof of quid pro quo. And there isn't any. But I wholeheartedly agree that either way, it is corrupt. Hunter Biden, God bless his heart, is a mess and doesn't qualify for any high-ranking positions, except for his name. But the standard claim by the Trumpers is not that the system is corrupt, the standard claim is that, with no evidence of the quid pro quo, this is an obvious felony and more, that it is treason. Or at least treasonous. This is BS, for approximately the same kinds of reasons that similar allegation against Trump re Ukraine were BS. (The politically acceptable reasons for impeaching Trump as you recall, which when Trump like so many presidents is genuinely guilty of so much that is---surprise, surprise---legal in lawyer's logic.) Or like it was BS when Benghazi/email servers/Clinton Foundation meant Clinton was a traitor. The screams of treason, treason, treason, overt or covert as a standard weapon in the mad reactionaries' arsenal have been pretty endless since the heyday of Harry Truman and the post-war purge of the Left. The relentless determination to undo the New Dea/American Popular Front has been the driving force in US politics ever since.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 22 2020 16:47 utc | 175

One of the scariest things about the Navalny Underpants narrative is it pushed out by the same sources that are foisting the 'Biden won fair and square' narrative upon us.

As C J Hopkines so aptly wrote earlier this Month:

You will do what you are told. You will not ask questions. You will believe whatever they tell you to believe. You will believe it, not because it makes any sense, but simply because you have been ordered to believe it. They aren’t trying to trick or deceive anybody. They know their lies don’t make any sense. And they know that you know they don’t make any sense. They want you to know it. That is the point. They want you to know they are lying to you, manipulating you, openly mocking you, and that they can say and do anything they want to you, and you will go along with it, no matter how insane.

Posted by: gm | Dec 22 2020 17:06 utc | 176

Ms Mina

The deal with Morocco is strategically irrelevant, in fact, it diminishes the cache of the Monarch of Morocco as Al Amir al Mo'amenin.

Hezbollah and Israel are locked in a mutually assured destruction situation. The Mad King cannot salvage that situation at all: it requires the level of sanity not seen since 1944.

Posted by: Fyi | Dec 22 2020 17:35 utc | 177

Bemildred@173 asks "Come, come, do you think we are all fools here? And where did she get all this Novichok(tm) from?"

First answer, no. Having crazy ideas or being dishonest for partisan reasons are neither one being a "fool." Nor do I think everyone here has crazy ideas or is a partisan hack.

Second, obviously, if you were Navalny's mother, you would search heaven and earth for a guaranteed lethal way to correct your mistake, and get on your knees to anyone who had the answer for you.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 22 2020 17:41 utc | 178

@AntiSpin #155
The CCP doesn't have to worry about buying land, getting it zoned, having building plans and permits approved, raising funds or staffing and equipping.
Nor does the typical hospital in China get built in 10 days...

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2020 17:59 utc | 179

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 22 2020 17:59 utc | 179

What I've heard from an American medical expert some weeks ago is that the problem with the USA is not to build a hospital in ten days (it can do that), but that it doesn't have enough doctors and nurses to operate them.

A similar problem happened with the relative overproduction of ventilators. At the beginning of the pandemic, the USA had a ventilator deficiency. It then gave up its IP rights and authorized China to freely build them and imported them. But the ventilator is such a complex machine that even a nurse can't operate it: you need a specialized doctor called an intensivist. The USA now has thousands of excess ventilators because it doesn't have enough intensivists to operate them.

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2020 18:04 utc | 181

Great YT Mercouris/Christoforou discussion yesterday:

"Cyber Attack Distraction"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbyTpaUrlnA&feature=youtu.be

It's ~90 min long, but it goes by fast. Topics covered:

- Putin's annual State of Russia address and Q&A 5hr marathon (M sez Putin was did magnificent job, was in great form and health)

- Putin's Russia is on a non-globalist self-sufficiency economic footing/pathway ("MRGA" if you will "Make Russia Great Again")

-M went into the dynamics between Russia and China. Russia is wary of going the way of US, Au and EU, becoming dependent on cheap Chinese manufactured goods and processed materials.

M says Russia instead is focused on building/protecting its domestic manufacturing/processing industries, which makes Russia largely invulnerable to western trade sanctions AND dependencies to China.

- M makes note of Putin's curious/indirect (to M) responses at the Year-end Q&A on the subjects of Erdogan/Turkey Armenia-Azerbaijan conflicts.

-China has a 'One-way' globalist foreign trade footing/policy when it comes their exports and non-econmic foreign policies, but has de facto and strong MAGA-like 'MCCGA' internal manufacturing industrial infrastructure protection polcy.

- Neither M&C buy the latest scary 'foreign' 'pearl harbor' cyberattack psyOps dujour -- and they talk about tweets that Trump likewise is calling BS on them. They suspect if cyber attscks are happening they are being done by warring factions within the US gov or US parties, and the 'foreign attack' narrative is distract from the actual (US) combataants.

-Also go into apparent strategic deployment of Covid Fear during US election and Great Reset run-ups, and more.

Posted by: gm | Dec 22 2020 18:08 utc | 182

Eric @158--

I'm sorry to hear that news. Usually, once a transcript is available it gets posted at Dr. Hudson's website, but as of this moment that hasn't occurred. One of the topics discussed was China's housing issue, which was compared to the situation within the Outlaw US Empire. Dr, Hudson has some previous discussions on that already posted at his website that provide a basis for understanding the current issues there and here. This is from 2018 while this one is 5 years older. Together they provide a very sound footing for the issue. Add this essay to the group, and you'll know more than most Econ profs. When the transcript becomes available, I'll link to it as I usually do, for there are some useful passages. The two items below the Rent discussion announcement at Hudson's website are also packed with current data and discuss the political problem at the root of it all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 18:10 utc | 183

Update on Taiwan issue: Trump pushed and China's acting:

"Zhang Wensheng, a deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told Global Times that the anti-secession law enacted in 2005 drew a redline to Taiwan secessionists. And the possible imposition of the reunification law would mark a substantive stage in China's reunification.

"'The reunification law would be a firm response to US interference and Taiwan secessionists who seek separation from the mainland. The law, like the national security law for Hong Kong, may contain more detailed rules on the punishment of Taiwan secessionists, as well as countermeasures against external interference and collusion with them… It may even include provisions for future political negotiations and the signing of agreements,' said Zhang.

"Shaw Chong-hai, a columnist and former head of the school of social sciences at Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said that the national reunification law is like 'an arrow on the bowstring' and is probably being drafted....

"'If a reunification timetable is announced publicly next year, it will lead to high tensions in Taiwan society, which cannot be eased by a US arms sale,' Tang Hsiang-lung, a Taiwan-based commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday."

IMO, it was easy to see this step coming. In 1949, the Bankers didn't understand why China was lost despite the billions wasted. And I'm certain they'll cry Who lost Taiwan when it's reclaimed by China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 18:31 utc | 184

Russia issues more sanctions on EU and specific nations over their unsubstantiated sanctions over Navalny. I can see Nord Stream 2 being completed, gas turned on, then see all the gas transiting to the EU shut down over the long list of never ending lies. Yes, it would be a drastic action, but the EU fascists don't seem to understand any other form of language. The big snag in getting the long awaited trade treaty between China and EU is also snagged on the Outlaw US Empire's lies. China as we know detests having political conditions tied to its commercial dealings. The EU seems to think it has the commanding position when it does not; China, like Russia, has other options, while the EU doesn't.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 18:59 utc | 185

In Russia, "today is Energy Industry Worker’s Day, and this year it coincided with the 100th anniversary of the State Plan for the Electrification of Russia." Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak reviews that history and brings Putin up-to-date "on developments in the fuel and energy complex, in particular, in power generation." Novak delivers a very comprehensive report that details Russia's energy diversification and the overall quality of the industry. Lots of interesting and useful facts, such as the decrease in coal used for electricity generation and increase in green-based power production and far better policy than that of the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 19:24 utc | 186

By chance I ran into a series of slides shot by the late Thomas T. Hammond, professor at the U. of Virginia. Some are from the fifties, in color, very interesting pictures. The great destruction visited by the war is visible, a poor country indeed. Very nice collection, big changes can be appreciated in the 70’s. I really enjoyed this series from the city of Pereslav-Zalessky which a visited in winter time too. Boy what an impression to see that beautiful town in those hard years.

Slides Pereslav-Zalessky

Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 19:39 utc | 187

This one works

Pereslavl

Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 19:42 utc | 188

@ paco.. your link @ 187 doesn't work..

Posted by: james | Dec 22 2020 19:45 utc | 189

that one works... thanks! interesting pictures......

Posted by: james | Dec 22 2020 19:48 utc | 190

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 19:24 utc | 186

Communism is soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country

VK must have heard that. A century today, that's why Putin mentions it without crediting the author, he goes indirectly with "you and I remember from our school years..."

Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 20:03 utc | 191

As noted in this article on West Point cadets cheating:

"Law professor Tim Bakken described the scandal as a national security issue, noting that 'when the military tries to downplay effects of cheating at the academy, we’re really downplaying the effects on the military as a whole.' And indeed, the military has been wrangling some public relations disasters lately, with an investigation of the army’s troubled Fort Hood base leading to over a dozen firings and suspensions – including the base’s top enlisted soldier." [Emphasis Original]

Calculus was the test subject, which indicates rather poor STEP candidates and thus a degrading of the Army in general as the citation points to. But Pompeo would be proud.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 20:07 utc | 192

Paco @191--

As you note @162, the Americans are absolutely nuts and have no idea of what they're doing aside from making asses out of themselves. If sanctions were a product of industrial output, the Outlaw US Empire could boast of leading the world in at least one productive area. But they aren't; I see them as a symbol of defeat, of helplessness, a total failure of imagination of ingenuity. IMO, the utter degeneration of politics coupled with the height of corruption is epitomized by the just enacted Covid "Relief" Bill that goes well beyond pathetic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 20:29 utc | 193

@ Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 20:03 utc | 191

One of Lenin's most famous quotes. It highlights the materialist - in opposition to the idealist liberals - aspect of Marxism: there's no silver bullet or magic formula, but the development of the productive forces.

Here's the link to the original:

Vladimir Lenin, Report on the Work of the Council of People’s Commissars. December 22, 1920

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2020 20:31 utc | 194

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2020 20:31 utc | 194

Excellent reading and valid after a century to the day.
Curiously, literacy should have been added to the quote, even if it was not expressed in the same sentence.
That took me to a poem by Blok, and I found a translation in english of which I copy an excerpt, valid also today.

Advance, advance to Ural’s crest,
We offer you a battleground so neat
Where your machines of steel in serried ranks abreast
With the Mongolian savage horde will meet.

But we shall keep aloof from strife,
No longer be your shield from hostile arrow,
We shall just watch the mortal strife
With our slanting eyes so cold and narrow.

Unmoved shall we remain when Hunnish forces
The corpses’ pockets rake for plunder,
Set town afire, to altars tie their horses,
Burn our white brothers’ bodies torn asunder.

Made me remember the poem "Europe" by the late Limonov.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 22 2020 21:26 utc | 195

Eric @158--

In addition to my previous reply, I'll add this link that provides the Preface to Absentee Ownership and its Discontents: Critical Essays on the legacy of Thorstein Veblen, co-edited by Dr. Hudson who also wrote the Preface. I also found the focus of comments by trolls useful--they're all ad hominum and fallacious.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 22:41 utc | 196

"IMO, the utter degeneration of politics coupled with the height of corruption is epitomized by the just enacted Covid "Relief" Bill that goes well beyond pathetic."

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 22 2020 20:29 utc | 193

This coverage suggests the state of affairs is far far beyond "pathetic":

Covid-19 catch-22: Regime-change policies come packed with US pandemic relief

Posted by: suzan | Dec 22 2020 23:31 utc | 197

“$600 is a slap in the face to every American struggling due to the pandemic. You deserve better.

"I voted against the 5,593-page spending bill that gave billions to corporate interests, the military-industrial complex & other countries, leaving crumbs for you who need help most.

"This bill dished out hundreds of billions of dollars going toward special interests, going toward the military-industrial complex, going towards foreign countries meanwhile saying, 'Here's what's left for you. You get 600 bucks.’”

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1341223345992462336

Posted by: suzan | Dec 23 2020 0:15 utc | 198

suzan @197--

Thanks for the link. The article there is as expected. In my quest for a temporal "smoking gun," related to my working hypothesis about the rise of Neoliberalism, I've come across Absentee ownership and business enterprise in recent times: the case of America, a work by Thorstein Veblen published in 1923. In his first paragraph of the introductory chapter he declares:

"The Great War arose out of a conflict of absentee interests and the Peace was negotiated with a view to stabilise them."

The term "absentee interests" is equivalent to our present day Neoliberals that form the majority of the Deep State. The biggest threat to those interests then as now is Socialism--100% Public Ownership of all assets--which would effectively end their many century's long Free Lunch, a Class Distinction they've proven willing to commit genocide to retain. As the enacted bill proves beyond doubt, the aim of Neoliberal Parasites is to eliminate public ownership of assets globally, the $600 for each human within the Outlaw US Empire is merely a means to pacify them until the next set of screws turn. We can also see that any attempt to socialize medical care within the Outlaw US Empire will be defeated regardless of its popularity. Since that's the one policy area where Reds and Blues agree and become Purple, it must be relentlessly pushed so as to expose the unwavering hostility to such a policy by the Neoliberal Parasites so the masses will finally erupt and oust that vermin. IMO, that's the easiest path as opposed to learning the long history behind it all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 23 2020 0:22 utc | 199

The Duran's Mercouris/Christoforou duo discuss Barr-nedict Arnold's sabotage of the Hunter Biden bribery, and CIA (Russiagate plot) investigations on his way out the door.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx5GMfDbDzI (26 min)

Posted by: gm | Dec 23 2020 1:01 utc | 200

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