Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 11, 2021

Dear Congress - Stop Wasting Time With Impeaching Trump - End His Famine In Yemen

The pompous U.S. Secretary of State informed Congress that he will designate the Ansarallah movement in Yemen as Foreign Terrorist Organization. As Ansarallah, also known as the Houthi, is ruling over some 80% of Yemen's population such a designation will make aid deliveries to those people impossible:

The designation is to take effect on President Donald Trump’s last full day in office, a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Several aid groups pleaded on Monday for Biden to immediately reverse the designation. The Biden transition team has not yet expressed his intentions.

“Acting on day one cannot only be a figure of speech,” Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead Scott Paul said. “Lives hang in the balance.”

Six years of war between a U.S.-backed Arab coalition and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been catastrophic for Yemen. Most of its 30 million people rely on international aid to survive. The U.N. says 13.5 million Yemenis already face acute food insecurity, a figure that could rise to 16 million by June.

The threat of the designation has immediate consequences:

Yemen Solidarity Council @YSCouncil - 5:58 UTC · 11 Jan 2021

We are ceasing all operations in the United States for the time being, as well as putting a temporary halt to our intended plans for humanitarian fundraising.

Let it be known that the Trump Administration just criminalized foreign humanitarian aid to #Yemen.

The famine in Yemen is already acute:

[Seven-year-old] Faid weighs only 7 kg (just over 15 lb) and his tiny, fragile frame takes up barely a quarter of a folded hospital blanket. His family had to travel from Al-Jawf, 170 km (105 miles) north of Sanaa, through checkpoints and damaged roads, to get him there.

Unable to afford Faid’s medication or treatment, the family relies on donations to get him treated. Mohammed says malnutrition cases are on the rise and impoverished parents are forced to rely on the kindness of strangers or international aid to get their children treated.

Missing in almost all reports about the ghastly State Department act is the fact that Congress can easily prevent that the terrorist designation becomes reality. The State Department's designation of the Houthi comes under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Paragraph 219 (8 USC 1189) a.3.B.ii of the law says:

Any designation under this subsection shall cease to have effect upon an Act of Congress disapproving such designation.

In April 2019 Congress voted to end all U.S. support for the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen:

The House voted 247 to 175 to send the resolution to the president’s desk, where it is likely to be met with a veto. Sixteen Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in the effort. The Senate passed the resolution last month, with seven Republicans voting in favor of it.

It is likely that a similar majority could be found now to stop the designation of Ansarallah. To immediately do this would only need some initiative from Congress leaders.

Unfortunately those leaders are currently busy with nonsensical stuff:

As the House prepares for impeachment, President Donald Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a draft of the articles obtained by The Associated Press.

Lawmakers are set to introduce the legislation Monday, with voting mid-week. Pelosi’s leadership team also will seek a quick vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment.

The four-page impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden; his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.
...
On impeachment, House Democrats would likely delay for 100 days sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, to allow Biden to focus on other priorities.

The 'insurrection' (as noted in the 14th Amendment, Section 3) apparently relates to last Wednesday's short and seemingly unplanned intrusion into the Capitol building by some Trump supporters. But that was more pantomime or slapstick action than a serious operation against the state.

It followed after a Trump rally speech which, yes, spoke of a 'fight' but only in the sense that any other political rally is calling on supporters to fight for the cause. In the context of Trump's other remarks at the rally it becomes obvious that was a purely rhetorical not literal use of that word:

After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.

To construe an 'incitement of insurrection' out of request to people to make 'peacefully' and 'patriotically' their 'voices heard' is pure nonsense. There is no passage in his speech that can be construed as the opposite. There is no call to storm the building or to tackle the police.

This second attempt to impeach Trump is purely for show. It would have little real world consequences. Trump will leave his office nine days from now and Biden will move in. This impeachment is a political stunt which will only increase the rift within the U.S. electorate.

Congress should stop wasting its time with such nonsense. It should immediately take action to prevent the State Department's terrorist designation of Ansarallah from coming into force. That move would allow aid flow to continue and it would prevent a worsening of the famine

The Capitol building incursion needs further investigation. Even while there was a lot of chatter in open source media that some of the Trump supporters might get rowdy, there was astonishingly little done to prevent them from causing trouble. There are questions:

Why did the Mayor of Washington DC explicitly reject federal help before the Trump rally happened?

Mayor Muriel Bowser @MayorBowser - 18:53 UTC · Jan 5, 2021

To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway.

Why was Capitol Police chief Steven Sund told to not call for timely backup by the National Guard?

In an interview with The Washington Post, Sund said he had asked House and Senate security officials ahead of time for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup. But he said he was turned down.

“If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” he told the Post. He said his superiors had been uncomfortable with the “optics” of formally declaring an emergency ahead of Wednesday’s demonstration.

There was also a well timed diversion of police forces with a pipe bomb placed near the Republican National Committee headquarter. This delayed the arrival of more police forces at the Capitol:

“There was definitely a higher sense of urgency” on police radio traffic as rioters breached the east side of the Capitol, said Ashan M. Benedict, the head of the Washington field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who was working with the Capitol Police at the nearby Republican Party headquarters, where a pipe bomb was found.

Mr. Benedict connected with a commander of the Capitol Police SWAT team who was inside the complex, who acknowledged that they needed immediate help but said he needed a moment to arrange the official request.

A.T.F. and F.B.I. teams were soon headed to the Capitol.
...
When Mr. Benedict and his deputy finally got into the building, it was madness, he recalled.

Who placed that diversion?

And who are the people who let all this happen?

Posted by b on January 11, 2021 at 18:51 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Pro-Trump capitalists fire the first serious warning shot in Capitol

Posted by: killwallstreet | Jan 11 2021 19:16 utc | 1

since when has the usa, wall st, it's political class or anyone else in power in the usa been concerned for the welfare of others, in particular brown skinned people in faraway countries like yemen??? i don't recall.... you can watch how the posters here will focus on the distraction of trump and dems doing this endless fucking stupid dance, but you can bet no one will be expressing an interest in helping yemen... the usa is one sick nation and it is no where more apparent then in them wanting to designate ansarallah as a terrorist group... same shit from the same ignoramus's... thanks for drawing my attention to this latest bullshit b..

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2021 19:22 utc | 2

Totally agree. The circle-jerk politics is hilarious. Too bad it is also tragic and cruel. The Humpty Dumpty of US Society is not going back together again. Civil War 2.0 is here. Grab your musket and sword, twitter flamethrower and Facebook napalm. Civil War 2.0 will be televised, tweeted and live-streamed for all the world to see the result of bread and circuses to a propagandized population at the end of history.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 11 2021 19:24 utc | 3

It's another one of those wars where the US supplies weapons to both sides. They pretend that they were overrun by the rebels. This was done repeatedly in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Niger, Libya, and so on...

Posted by: Les | Jan 11 2021 19:28 utc | 4

Les @4, would not be surprised to learn that.

US attacks against the Houthis in Yemen seem to be bipartisan, and were happening under Obama in 2009/2010, going by an Eric Margolis article from January 3, 2010 that refers to "extensive covert U.S. military operations in Yemen."

"A military dictator, Ali Saleh, has held power since 1978. Saleh's U.S.-backed regime is accused of extensive human rights violations and deep corruption."

"neighbour Oman, a virtual colony of MI6, British intelligence."

"U.S. warplanes killed 50-100 Yemeni tribesmen fighting the American-backed regime."

"U.S. special forces, warplanes and killer drones have been active since 2001, assassinating Yemeni militants and anti-government tribal leaders."

So bipartisan since 2001, for at least two decades (Margolis started the article with the line "Welcome to the Afghanistan of Arabia.") if not longer if the US-backed dictator was in power since 1978 ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jan 11 2021 19:47 utc | 5

"Let it be known that the Trump Administration just criminalized foreign humanitarian aid to #Yemen."

Hmm. Did it, really? If, say, an Iranian ship with humanitarian aid docks in a Yemeni port, is it going to be sunk by American submarine? Is a Japanese plane with humanitarian aid going to be shot down?

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 11 2021 19:51 utc | 6

Yes, Pompeo's machinations are the dangerous moves by a genuine traitor--first his Taiwan stunt now this ploy aimed at the Houthi and supportive of the Saudis. Despite his numerous lies and felonies committed before Congress, I've seen zero calls for Pompeo's impeachment and removal where real damage is being done to the genuine interests of the US Public.

Fortunately, some have kept their eyes on the ball as with this Nomi Prins article:

"Now, for reasons you’ll soon understand, take a little trip back in history with me to the eve of Halloween, 1938, when Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre dramatized his adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 sci-fi-meets-dystopia-meets-imperialism novel, The War of the Worlds, on the radio. As Martians “invaded” New Jersey (it had been London in the novel) with mayhem in mind, panic evidently ensued among some radio listeners who thought they were hearing perfectly real reports about an alien invasion of Planet Earth. Later accounts suggest that the media blew that reaction out of proportion (“fake news,” 1938-style?), yet people who tuned in late and missed the set-up about the fictitious nature of the program did indeed panic....

"Whatever the case, fear has been both a great motivator and an anxiety provoker when it comes to the media, whether in 1938 or today. At the moment, the focus is on economic and health-related fears in all-too-ample supply. It is also on the disconnect that exists between the real economic world that most of us live in and turbo-boosted stock markets. These distorted markets are the result of wealth inequality that once would have been unimaginable in this country. In a way, economically speaking, you might say that today we’re suffering the equivalent of an invasion from Mars." [My Emphasis]

I'd be far bolder if I were Prins and call them what they are: Neoliberal Parasites. The economic picture painted differs some from Dr. Hudson's but is just as dismal. And just who enabled the Parasites? Congress, with the Ds leading from the front with Trump happily signing.

The Ds had full control of Congress as Obama/Biden began their crime spree which that Congress duly abetted. We're faced with the same situation now and the same behavioral likelihood with a similar outcome. We ought to rename the D Party the Destroyer Party or something similar, for that's what they've been doing since 1993 implementing Clintonian Neoliberalism. I should note this bit from the Crooke essay I linked at the week in review thread:

"Of course centralisation of economic activity around big business represents the central plank to the Great tech Re-set. The latter is promoted as an unstoppable, supply-side ‘miracle’ which will transform productivity, and growth. Yet, this thesis seems is not supported by history."

Now just where have we heard that bolded term before?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11 2021 19:54 utc | 7

I recall when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had Iraq's MEK (they were thrown out of Iran- and they still attack Iran to this day) removed from the Terrorist List because the U.S. could then give MEK assistance- money, Arms, etc. They met the criteria for a Terrorist Organization....but Israel is engaged in everything but name war against Iran...and Secretary Clinton was an "Israeli- firster." So it's "OK."

Not Right....but "Ok." The Houthi's are Yemenese- their own country. Their not wanting to be controlled by Saudi Arabia seems to be the only reason the U.S. doesn't like them.

Posted by: Michele Baillie | Jan 11 2021 19:55 utc | 8

@5, perhaps I should have written "were happening under Obama & Biden in 2009/2010" ...

Will our mainstream media here in Canada and the rest of the US vassal states even cover this latest US de facto sanction/blockade to further exacerbate a famine with millions of lives on the line?

I suspect they won't mention it all, however it's a pretty sure bet they will cover the so-called "coup" at the Citadel of Liberty and the show impeachment ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jan 11 2021 20:08 utc | 9

usa position on yemen is as karlof1 notes - based on the ongoing supportive role the usa has towards ksa and uae where the money and oil is... they don't give an f these fiefdoms have no interest in the welfare of their own people... hey! at this point ksa and uae act just like the usa! fuck the people... the only difference is the usa mimics the concept of a democracy, whereas ksa and uae don't bother... and of course they are all buddy buddy with that special oasis in the middle east - bastion of democracy - israel, lol.. if you think of all the empathy israel shows palestine, you know how ksa and uae have good teachers in how to respond to their neighbours to the immediate south of them.. usa condones it all...

Posted by: james | Jan 11 2021 20:16 utc | 10

Trumpstein and Fatty Pompazz spending four years kissing Bibi's puckered-up bunghole in front of the world is beyond disgusting.

For all of the bitching Trumptards do about Obama, he's the only POTUS during my lifetime who had the stones to stand up even a little bit little to AIPAC and Israel when he told Bibi to FK off and signed the JCPOA.

Posted by: Boogity | Jan 11 2021 20:19 utc | 11

Boogity @11--

Yeah, and as soon as Obama signed and Congress ratified the goal posts began to be moved and the Outlaw US Empire reneged on its responsibilities under the treaty to appease Occupied Palestine. Face it dude, Obama was far and away a bigger criminal and traitor to the USA than Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11 2021 20:31 utc | 12

Posted by: Boogity | Jan 11 2021 20:19 utc | 11

I can see that you're one of those "watch what they say, not what they do" people.

You guys are hilariously funny to watch.

Falling for the same BS time and time again, and never once learning a damn thing from the experience.

Posted by: Triden | Jan 11 2021 20:39 utc | 13

@ b who wrote
"
Who placed that diversion?

And who are the people who let all this happen?
"

You don't like being played, eh b? No one does but what we are seeing has serious planning behind it.....and intention

And that intention is not to play nice with others but to take everyone down with empire as it goes because it can't accept a multipolar world.

It has taken humanity how many centuries to get to this point in our "evolution"? Will humanity finally evolve beyond the jackboot of the private finance cult? China is showing that it can be done with good results.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11 2021 20:42 utc | 14

b says: "Stop Wasting Time With Impeaching Trump..."

I agree that is likely a waste of time because it would be hard to get Senate to convict Trump. I also agree that Democrats and others are opportunistic SOBs trying to capitalize on the missteps of the idiotic Trump supporters. But if there is a way to prevent Trump from running permanently, it might be a worthy effort though.

Posted by: d dan | Jan 11 2021 20:43 utc | 15

His, how is it his? Obama started it.

Be honest, agree that Trump is weak and he failed to curtail Obama's fascistic adventures.

Posted by: Ilya G Poimandres | Jan 11 2021 21:03 utc | 16

Pompeo has also called for putting Cuba on the same list of "supporters of Terrorism". This might be "explained" by Pompous setting himself up as a "leader" to take Trump's place in four years time.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 11 2021 21:04 utc | 17

"But if there is a way to prevent Trump from running permanently, it might be a worthy effort though."

Oh, dear. Brain-dead liberals, obsessed with their Evil Orange Man.

But if things keep going the way they are, there will be, in a few years, someone more radical and more decisive. More charismatic, perhaps, and savvier. And you fellas will yearn for your Evil Orange Man...

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 11 2021 21:06 utc | 18

@Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 11 2021 21:06 utc | 18

But if things keep going the way they are, there will be, in a few years, someone more radical and more decisive. More charismatic, perhaps, and savvier. And you fellas will yearn for your Evil Orange Man...

That's exactly right. If Trump is out he is not likely to return himself, but the chaos that has just begun will get worse and worse and then there will be a credible leader showing up. And in fact it will not be too difficult, the present political landscape in the US (and Europe for that matter) is a complete vacuum, there is nobody home.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 11 2021 21:26 utc | 19

Wasting time, misdirection, and McResistance are hallmarks of corporate Dem strategy. Universal healthcare has been on the table since the 1930s, but it's never the right time in DNCland. Giving Yemen to KSA is a favor to our favorite medieval regime for propping up the tatters of the US$.
Also, it's pretty clear that what happened at the Capitol Building was an update on the Reichstag Fire. I haven't seen this volume of propaganda since 9/11. Credit to the Trumpies that they're not rolling over the way Bernie supporters have.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Jan 11 2021 21:27 utc | 20

Mao Cheng Ji @18:

The idiots still don't understand why Trump won in the first place, other than by imagining interference by super-effective invisible KGB operations, of course. They really believe that if Trump is sufficiently publicly humiliated and his memory buried under a mountain of feces then they can reunite America on their own terms. Their arrogance and delusion is astonishing. They cannot understand that Trump was a symptom and not the cause of unrest in the US. Such fools...

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 11 2021 21:31 utc | 21

I dare offer this view to get better results in this New Year:

...Ideologies don't rise from nothingness. [vk Jan 8 2021 11:35 utc 310].
Ideologies are a response/reaction to handle circumstances, real or imagined, whether man-made or climate induced or geophysical, etc.

..fascism with American characteristics [William Gruff Jan 8 2021 12:40 utc 317].
Fascism was defined at its source long before Mussolini. As explained by Breasted*, the fasces-symbol [axe wrapped with sticks] was displayed by Ancient Roman lictors [sort of bodyguards] to warn/announce the presence of a travelling circuit judge who had authority and power to decide matters and enforce via beating [sticks] or killing [axe] . Mussolini later expressed "fascism" as the combination of gov and corporate powers, i.e. a combo to decide policy [corporate] and enforce policy [gov]....*James Henry Breasted, director of [founder JDRockefeller,Jr.'s] University of Chicago's Oriental Institute; author of "Ancient Times". That book was read by Mrs. Rockefeller to her children David, Nelson, Lawrence, according to a source I've long forgotten. [And yes, U.of Chicago was founded by Rocky].

... austerity-type policies that will further exacerbate the situation [karlof Jan 8 2021 7:55 utc 350 and karlof1 Jan 9 2021 0:37 utc 124].
Unavoidable perhaps, but could be workable if combined with basic needs-relief while putting limits on private wealth/power accumulation. E.g.,establishing and filling basic needs via redistributiion of accumulated wealth while concurrently setting limits on future accumulation of wealth/concentration of power including all forms on ownership and controlling interests...good riddance to any privacy privileges above some clear, known limits.

Impossible?...It becomes possible when the choice is either WW3 or a new bio/chem "discovery" that causes human blindness [as in interrupt the creation and maintenance of eyesight mechanics]...targeted to a specific type of DNA....the best and brightest fools are on it because it is only 2 or 3 steps after CRISPR tech...use target DNA-type to attack/enable only a type-specific outcome...as pandemic of blindness...what could go wrong?

...at this point the only way out is through. [Bemildred Jan 8 2021 14:06 utc 320]
IMO that is the most workable path to get out of the problems faced by Mankind.

We must resolve the mysteries of...just what is "mind"?...what is "memory"?... what is the barrier called "forgetting"?...what is death?...what is "spirit"?...what is "intelligence"? Are we trapped? What exactly is a trap?
Ignorance of these questions must be confronted because those topics are the basis of the persistent human tragedy.

Bemildred's "the only way out is through' suggests how and where to look to answer the above. Ignoring those items and relying on fairytales has led us into peril, not out.

Communication with all citizens on the planet who care to listen, just how dire is the situation and how a fresh set of priorities is necessary to survival.

This COVID-19 pandemic should teach us how fragile and vulnerable is Mankind's condition.

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 11 2021 21:34 utc | 22

Serious question, maybe a bit of topic. I see that most of the public faces that took part in the Capitol "insurrection" have been arrested. But there are, or where, I don't really know what's still available with all the censorship these days, videos showing the police allowing people into the Capitol. Can you be prosecuted for entering a restricted area when the security guys let you inside? I mean, I myself almost entered the presidential office in Malta as a tourist, as it looked like all the other palaces on that street. I guess it could be trespassing, but more that that it seems strange for me.

Posted by: Tod | Jan 11 2021 21:45 utc | 23

Call it what you want, it was just the time for chickens coming home to roost. In other words The american genie got out of the bottle this impeachment will not put it back. As usual US congress and media are in denial.

Posted by: kooshy | Jan 11 2021 21:50 utc | 24

The protests at the Capitol Building on the 6th were real. The analysis done by SyrianGirl is thorough. Up for debate is how those protesters ended up wandering into the building itself. Part of the cause is that much of the police force supported the protest, and the protesters themselves were not adversarial with the police. There is a possibility that someone plotted to distract a portion of the police away from the Capitol Building, but ultimately the police just let the protesters in largely unopposed.

It was known well in advance that there would be protests at the Capitol on the 6th. Doubtless the mass media spin machine was primed to negatively hype the event in advance as well, even though they really only ended up with imagery of empty water bottles on the floor to use to pump the hysteria.

I point this out because while the hysteria over the protest is manufactured, the protest itself was very real. There will be more.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 11 2021 21:52 utc | 25

Then they can reunite America on their own terms. Their arrogance and delusion is astonishing. They cannot understand that Trump was a symptom and not the cause of unrest in the US. Such fools...

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 11 2021 21:31 utc | 21

I don't think that they have much intention of "reuniting" anything.

I'll be very surprised if it ain't nonstop "Diversity Inclusion Equity" (DIE) divisiveness for the next 4 years. Gotta keep the plebs at each others throats after all, otherwise they might begin to notice patterns they're not suppossed to notice.

Posted by: Triden | Jan 11 2021 21:54 utc | 26

Tod @23

Arrested isn't the same thing as convicted. The mass media is hyping the arrests of a couple notable protesters in order to reinforce their narrative about the protests being "domestic terrorism". Some discarded empty water bottles in the hallways of the Capitol Building don't really give the necessary impact to the story the media is making up. The arrested protesters being released will not be headline news.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 11 2021 21:59 utc | 27

The original post is misleadingly coy on who Sund's "superiors" are. They were the political appointees to Sgt.-at-Arms of the House and Senate, one directly an appointee of the Senate, run more or less like a plantation by one Mitch McConnell. The House is looser, which means the Republican minority has a lot more influence over the sgt.-at-arms than the Senate minority does. Republican political influence was part of making a crowd into an insurrection by leaving the Capitol vulnerable.

The original post carefully omits the subsequent difficulties posed by Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, in concert with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, to delay sending in the National Guard.

The quote from Bowser is misleadingly selective, as it omits her discussion of how she too was pleading for help for hours on January 6.

The nonsense about how Trump did not incite ignores his own words, even though they are quoted. "After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong." In the context of blatantly dishonest claims of mass vote falsification, this is clearly an incitement. Showing strenght does not mean standing around on the lawn cheering and everyone knows it, including the OP. Remarkably, even the obligatory legal escape clause for plausible deniability has a qualifier. If an election were actually being stolen, the Big Lie behind all this, there's no way standing around can be done "patriotically."

This is the meat of the post, the brouhaha about a second impeachment is self-contradictory nonsense. Because if it is meaningless, then there's no reason to object. What Pompeo does is on Trump, not the Congress which has voted in the majority to terminate support for the Yemeni war, except that the Republicans, champions of humanity, freedom, decency and love for your mother according to the Trumpers, kept it from being a two thirds majority to override Trump. Trump stuck with Pompeo because Pompeo is a loyal Trumpist. Every pretense to blame someone else is like pissing on the grave of the Yemenis who die from disease and hunger.

The real problem with the second impeachment is it does get Trump out now, so that he can't send Pompeo to trash as much as possible. Making excuses for Trump and Pompeo to fight a supposedly meaningless second impeachment is particularly nauseating hypocrisy.

At this point, one can only conclude that the Trump loyalists are hoping that behind the scenes enough more of the military can be won over, or at least Milley can be neutralized (if it's Milley who's been blocking Trump's behind the scenes machinations?) for the next round, prior to and at inauguration, to win.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 11 2021 22:01 utc | 28

For eight long years, Obama cultists made excuse after excuse for the man. And oh, the excuses they made, often starting with the words "Mean Republicans...." Just wait until the midterm elections, the re-election, the passage of the latest security bill, this is all part of a master plan, this is eleven dimensional chess, Obama has them right where he wants them, just you see.

Eight years came and went. The hopey changey guy the groupies thought that theywere getting in 2008 never did put in an appearance. Many cultists still are making excuses to this day.

Today, after four years, we get to see Trump cultists make the same excuses for their man. In fact, many of their excuses start with denunciations of RINOs. How much longer must this go on before some here figure out that there is no master strategy, no eleven dimensional chess? Trump appears stupid, reckless and dysfunctional because he is fact stupid, reckless and dysfunctional.

No, HRC would have been no better, quite possibly even worse. But that's not an excuse.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jan 11 2021 22:02 utc | 29

PS The only way to defend Trump against incitement is to claim that the speech was full of senile drivel and the obvious contradictory meanings weren't really insinuations, just stupidity. I think neither Trump nor Biden are as sharp as they were when young men but senility is not a simple diagnosis. Only a fool honestly believes that.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 11 2021 22:04 utc | 30

Mao Cheng Ji @ 18 says: "But if things keep going the way they are, there will be, in a few years, someone more radical and more decisive. More charismatic, perhaps, and savvier. And you fellas will yearn for your Evil Orange Man..."

Sure, Trump is the symptom, not the cause of America's ills. But I believe any efforts to put him out is still positive.

Posted by: d dan | Jan 11 2021 22:08 utc | 31

If they impeach Trump, it will give him a platform to present his case, including the election fraud facts.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 11 2021 22:14 utc | 32

If the USG was a democracy or had any decency at all, it could have built all the roads, schools, and hospitals in the developing world since WWII, lifted half the world from poverty, and would have no enemies. Instead it killed 20 million in the fight of the rich against socialism, established dictatorships around the world, and taught the world that democratic institutions fail when unprotected against money power.

Two amendments to the Constitution would fix that, restricting funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations. We will not see that until the militant BLM and MAGA factions find common ground against the rich and depose them. But Americans don't have the courage until personally ruined when it is too late to organize.

So the US will decline for generations, a dead tree in the forest of democracies, noted only for its greed and hypocrisy. Unsurprising.

Posted by: Sam F | Jan 11 2021 22:14 utc | 33

Yes, the incitement to not be cheering so much is definitely an impeachable offense. Treason, really.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 11 2021 22:17 utc | 34

@Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 11 2021 22:17 utc | 34
It appears that the burden of proof imposed by the USA "democracy" is about the same as that of the Inquisition:
"Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him." Cardinal Richelieu
Not that honor applies to Trump, but the standards are the same.

Posted by: Tod | Jan 11 2021 22:25 utc | 35

Johnson @28 "In the context of blatantly dishonest claims of mass vote falsification, this is clearly an incitement."
I know you've been looking for this, Steve: https://sharylattkisson.com/2020/12/what-youve-been-asking-for-a-fairly-complete-list-of-some-of-the-most-significant-claims-of-2020-election-miscounts-errors-or-fraud/

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Jan 11 2021 22:25 utc | 36

It's very unusual for me to suggest an article three times in the course of a day, but Crooke's essay given the context/content of this thread demands reading, and it should be read in connection with his previous. I should also note that FB has blocked Strategic Culture's URL thus demonstrating the threat its content poses to the Establishment Narrative being constructed. Also, reports I read earlier indicated Twitter's stock crashed big time, but IMO there're not quite right as it opened about 10% down and closed down by 6.4%, with volume about 4X higher than the norm.

Apparently, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has closed for Christmas vacation as close to nothing's been posted to their website, while Putin has said nothing about the events within the Empire. Chinese media has published many articles; this is one of four just by Global Times:

"Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying urged people to rethink such a political stance riddled with double standards after the Capitol building was stormed by pro-Trump protesters Wednesday, but Western media still insist on their sophism to defend the wavering standards on democracy and freedom of speech, with Chinese analysts saying on Monday that double standards based on power politics and hegemony will backfire in the country with more internal struggles to ensue."

I agree with Crooke and the Chinese. Pompeo's serious actions are looked at here:

"Only 10 days are left for the incumbent US government, but it may become the most challenging period for China-US relations. Pompeo has shown his madness in policies toward China. He has the potential to play out all anti-China "cards," and had done some completely incredible acts in the recent past. Pompeo's team is working like a retreating army to knock down every building, then bury land mines, in a bid to prevent potential reconstruction."

A short discussion of the situation ensues ending with the following conclusion:

"We need to see this as a rare window of opportunity for the Chinese mainland to do something about the Taiwan question. The US has been embroiled in serious chaos caused by the loss of control over the epidemic and a bumpy transfer of power. The Trump administration has lost its prestige, and its ability to mobilize people and take action is crippled. It is unable to have a strategic collision with China over the latter's core interests by any stretch of the imagination....

"Let us summon our strength and resolution to confront the ultimate provocation of the US. We will discredit Pompeo and his likes for their hubris in misjudging the situation and deter them in the Taiwan Straits. No one in the US or the world will really sympathize with them. Everyone knows that they deserve to lose as it is them who have initiated the fight in the first place.

"We need to see this as a rare window of opportunity for the Chinese mainland to do something about the Taiwan question. The US has been embroiled in serious chaos caused by the loss of control over the epidemic and a bumpy transfer of power. The Trump administration has lost its prestige, and its ability to mobilize people and take action is crippled. It is unable to have a strategic collision with China over the latter's core interests by any stretch of the imagination....

"When they cross the line over the Taiwan question, we need to strike back firmly and hard. We must turn the fight against them in the last 10 days of the Trump administration into a process that draws a clear bottom line with the US and the island of Taiwan, showing both of them the severe consequences if they ever really touch the bottom line - this is a process to establish China's prestige....

"We would rather face a Taiwan Straits crisis, even a storm, in the next 10 days if Pompeo and his likes become more aggressive and provocative before leaving office. The crisis will teach Taiwan secessionists a lesson and nail Pompeo and his likes to the pillar of shame. Even if this will cause a shock to China-US relations during the period of power change in the US, it will bring more benefits to the normal development of bilateral relations in the long term."

And the Media and Ds are all pointing at Iran when China is clearly the target.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11 2021 22:29 utc | 37

If "incitement of insurrection” was an impeachable offence the office of President would have been vacant for decades, if not centuries.

b is absolutely correct: while Congress plays these silly games the government which it is meant to control has set half of the world on fire. In one country after another, with Venezuela and Iran being only two more publicised examples, people are dying of famines, sanctions on necessities, medical boycotts and at the hands of proxy militias-all at the direct command of the US government.

It is an obscenity that posterity will find incredible that in all the many criticisms made of Trump in the past four years the only ones focused on his foreign policy came from Liberal Democrats demanding harsher sanctions on the people of Russia and increased military terrorism in Syria and Afghanistan.
It was very recently that those accusing Trump of inciting a riot were calling for more rioting in Hong Kong and insurrection in Xinkiang while accusing him of failing to supply the neo-nazis in Ukraine with sufficiently deadly weaponry.
Nothing can exceed the international contempt with which this Congress and its cheering section in the media and the Academy (including today the ACLU) are currently behaving.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 11 2021 22:35 utc | 38

Banning Trump after he incited violence is just the loser finding out what people really think of him.

Dispossessing Parler, an outfit with less socially redeeming value than Pornhub, is a different matter. Apple or whoever provides cloud services should be legally a common carrier, so that a Parler cannot simply be dumped at will. The intellectual property laws and property rights advocated by conservatives of all stripes (which includes the bulk of both political parties by the way) *support* the right of Apple whoever to dump Parler, just like it supports the right of the website host to censor comments. Then Parler could have its cloud, but be liable for slander/libel. An imperfect solution, but still...

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 11 2021 22:44 utc | 39

Yes, whether to further starve the Houthis to death will be a key early indicator for Biden and the Dems.

Such a move would have the added thrill of reversing Trump and Pompeo.

Yet, with the most corrupt,brutal regime in the world being the main player here,certainly the principle of 10% will apply.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Jan 11 2021 22:56 utc | 40

Appalling Netanyahu gave a speech before U.S. Congress identifying Houthis as part of Iran's growing empire (Iran has taken over 4 Arab capitals). Iran is now the sole justification for our atrocities against the Yemenis, the one true genocide occurring in the world today.

Pompeo has systematically increased a starvation campaign, he cut off aid to N. Yemen, lobbied for others to do so, and is now going to ban aid groups from operating in the region.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jan 11 2021 23:13 utc | 41

The US once left Haiti upon 21 years of occupation, and left them starving. Israel's policy in Gaza does the very same.
In April thru Dec 1945, by direct orders, repeat , direct orders of the US occupation commanders in defeated Germany - more than one and a half million german prisoners were left to literally starve - and strict WRITTEN orders were give to american soldiers guarding the camps NOT to give any food to the camps prisoners, under penaly of being shot. Yes you 've read it correctly, US military guards were pevented under life menaces to feed anyone - and a few of them are still alive today... and can confirm that.
The sanctions imposed upon Iraq in the nineties led to many deaths of iraqui children.
Now the heroic American criminals do the same against the
ordinary yemeni people by the hands of a nut crackpot Pompeous in the last days of his mandate.
So what? "may the blood of the innocent and the tears of the widows fall upon his head, and the head of his children , and of the children of their children until the fourth generation"

Posted by: augusto | Jan 11 2021 23:36 utc | 42

Pompéo live in fantasy world. He has a zero chances to become a candidate to the 2024 presidency. First because no one really likes him, second because he may not be alive..

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 11 2021 23:36 utc | 43

And so, a political stunt in response to a political stunt, both with gestures and words carefully chosen to be defencible in either courtroom or Tee Vee soundbite, while carrying a clarion rally-call to either your rabid pitbulls or your sheep. Great to be in Show Business, whether you are tasked with constantly cleaning up after a diarrhoealic elephant or the clown trying to slip it another midnight enema. The Greatest ever - I don't think any other president before has ever been able to sneak peeks out the window and see his minions actually doing the insane shit he just told them to do, believing he was actually gonna "… be right there with ya!" Proof that you're soooo cool and convincing that you could jackoff everybody listening to you.
https://imgur.com/gallery/WmMhHg6
Not 1 American in 100 could point to Yemen on a world map without perusing it carefully. Not 1 in 1000 knows who is rebelling in Yemen or who is sponsoring them. Not 1 in 10,000 has any concept of why or of what "…starving to death" is, much less gives enough of a shit to text or email their congresscritter about it – so why should Pelosi do anything? Yemenis don't donate and after all, they are ragheads…aren't they???

Posted by: defaultcitizen | Jan 11 2021 23:40 utc | 44

@ d dan | Jan 11 2021 20:43 utc | 15

"if there is a way to prevent Trump from running permanently, it might be a worthy effort though."

There are two ways --

18 U.S. Code § 2384 - Seditious Conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)
//
14th Amendment, Section 3. of the Constitution of the United States
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

NOTE: No person shall . . . hold any office, civil or military . . . who, having previously taken an oath . . . to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

He could end up in prison for a long, long time, depending upon how many counts the prosecution would care to charge him with.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 11 2021 23:52 utc | 45

Oh, and then there's threatening a public official for the purpose of forcing said public official to falsify the recorded vote in a federal election -- a federal felony.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 11 2021 23:59 utc | 46

What's the real death count in Yemen?
It was frozen at 13,000 for yrs which we all knew was BS, then it jumped up to 200,000+ where it has reached a new plateau for at least 2hrs. This number is BS too. So what is the real number of starvation related deaths in Yemen, 400,000?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trump incited sedition but ... I'm fine with the Senate failing to convict him. I hope Trump rips the guts out of the Republican party. Those feckless cowards, drooling over the MAGA vote deserve it. The only one I respect (but hate) is Tom Cotton who issued this statement on Jan 3, when it took courage. https://www.cotton.senate.gov/news/press-releases/cotton-statement-on-joint-session-of-congress
He basically said that Congress cannot overturn State certified Electors but there should be a federal commission to investigate election irregularities. This was risking the MAGA base which he wants to inherit.

Trump can be tried in criminal court after impeachment fizzles and maybe even civil court by the families of the dead / injured, civil courts have a preponderance of evidence standard (OJ Simpson).
The criminal statute for incitement has three tests ... 1. defendant knowingly incited mob by reasonable standard, 2. the action was imminent, 3. it created harm. The last two are a given. The first can be argued well enough to make him sweat. In a criminal case they can subpoena people who can described how he acted after he was told or saw the mob break into the Capitol building.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jan 12 2021 0:07 utc | 47

They really believe that if Trump is sufficiently publicly humiliated and his memory buried under a mountain of feces then they can reunite America on their own terms.
Unless sarcastic this could be the silliest sentence that William Gruff has ever typed here. “Unite” only as in disenfranchise and control. Overall, I am sincerely surprised at the lack of understanding of what is going on between Trump and the global criminal syndicate called DNC and the RNC minions by the highly politically aware commenters, excluding the resident trolls. I give this to the lack of experience with color revolutions. Most of you understand the theory of color revolutions whilst you know its practice only superficially - from the MSM reporting. I have a bit closer insight.

This election was blatantly stolen as the Western (not only US) Masters of everything have done so many times in countries targeted for “democratisation” or DNC-cratisation. After this recent well organised Reichstag fire (no real fire but blown up by Congress’ and MSM’ braying in a strong competition for the most cretenic overstatement), it is not only Trump they want to get rid off. I would not be surprised if a law gets passed sanctioning Election Denial (you know, because it leads to violence) similar to the Holocaust Denial. This talk of a new populist candidate is a very silly daydream. The US political system will never ever be able to produce (even a weak) populist such was Trump again.

Unlike many commenters who saw Trump as a Trojan Horse belonging to the Masters with a role to fool the masses (which was Obama’s role), I always saw Trump as a impotent and incompetent reformer (I typed in 2016 - Trump the populist is worth 1/5 of Putin whilst successfully reforming US would require 100 Putins). Trump is a “reformer” who fooled not the masses then the Masters and got through one of the last real elections in 2016 to gain an influential role in the very sick system, propelled by the masses desperate for a change. Talking the talk but never able to come close to walking the walk.

The corrections to the sick system that the Uniparty will ruthlessly implement over the next four years will not only ban Trump from coming back then it will make the system populist-full-proof. There will never ever be a real election in US again and the easiest way to implement this will be to in-legislate mail-in voting and electronic voting machines. These US “reforms” will give a template for most other Western countries. You can be elected only if you play the game by the risk-averse Masters and if they have a ton of Compromat on you. Whilst Biden would be very easy to get rid of, for Trump the unconvincing Russian collusion has to be invented.

The only way for a reform in the US and the West is a huge financial crash. The financial system is a system of stealing by our Masters. I am most impressed by how the Masters are managing to maintain such a blatantly stealing system, as long as they control the money they control almost everything. Once the money becomes electronic only, then they will control absolutely everything and a crash will be impossible. There never will be a crash if the Masters can take from us as much as they need, want or just fancy.

Posted by: Kiza | Jan 12 2021 0:10 utc | 48

Dear congress,
Please stop pretending to be our congress, you aren't.
Please vacate all locations and properties on our land and surrender all interests immediately.
Please prepare for the rightful consequences of your actions.
Thanks,
America.

Posted by: Josh | Jan 12 2021 0:45 utc | 49

Kiza @47--

I agree with most of your reasoning. Fortunately the rise of the Eurasian Bloc is fortuitous, for that forestalls their ability to "control absolutely everything." And it will be very difficult to de-dollarize their ill-gained stashed away wealth. Quite frankly, the rest of the world has no time for these sort of games and will move onward with their development while the Empire atrophies. In the end, The Outlaw US Empire will discover exactly what Zero-sum means as Win-Win passes it by then in 80 years transitions to Steady-State leaving what remains of the USA mired in its Hunger Games.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2021 0:46 utc | 50

Kiza @47: "“Unite” only as in disenfranchise and control."

Well. yes. I said "...then they can reunite America on their own terms." The neolibs' terms are nothing less than unconditional surrender. Of the Americans suffering from delusions of their own superiority the neolibs are at the top of the charts. They are certain beyond question of the righteousness of their cause and see the task of reunification as one of forcing the "Deplorables" to submit to and accept what the neolibs' are absolutely certain is the superior worldview.

These people really are worse than the very craziest religious evangelists that have ever existed. Their certainty in their own correctness couldn't be more complete even if they had an actual deity assuring them of it on prime time TV. The faux left "woke" were already criminalizing disagreement with their worldview when the US population rejected it by voting for Trump. Disagreement with their "woke" delusions won't just be criminal now, though, it will be "domestic terrorism".

As I said, it's interesting times.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 12 2021 0:48 utc | 51

William Gruff @50--

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

The only place they're correct is in their wrongness. Many are "woke" to Woke and the backlash is international. Fortunately, this new Plague seems to be confined to the English speaking nations. The attempt to gain an inroad into Eurasia was trounced by Russians and their deep, traditional culture despite all the hype put forth by BigLie Media and its allies. Most NATO nations won't comply for similar reasons. Rove's attempt to produce a totally false reality will fail as there're aren't enough saps.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2021 1:13 utc | 52

If they prevent populist candidates from running, a lot of people won't vote. I know I won't. What will that do to the legitimacy of the system? If they lie about how many people voted, how many people will believe them?

Posted by: lysias | Jan 12 2021 1:17 utc | 53

karlof1 @51: "Fortunately, this new [woke] Plague seems to be confined to the English speaking nations."

The vector of infection is mass media, and the university equivalent of Special Ed that the people running the mass media get degrees in don't have foreign language requirements. That is rather fortuitous for the rest of the world.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 12 2021 1:19 utc | 54

The idiots still don't understand why Trump won in the first place, other than by imagining interference by super-effective invisible KGB operations, of course. They really believe that if Trump is sufficiently publicly humiliated and his memory buried under a mountain of feces then they can reunite America on their own terms. Their arrogance and delusion is astonishing. They cannot understand that Trump was a symptom and not the cause of unrest in the US. Such fools...

I want to make this expressly clear.... my conclusions expressed below do NOT signify intent on my part to participate, or otherwise enable events....

It has become clear that Biden wrote the PATRIOT ACT, but could not get it passed until 9/11 came along and his followers enacted it. It is also clear that the events of 6 Jan will be used to pass PATRIOT ACT 2.0 which will greatly curtail the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution, converting in the process, the US into a Facist Police State.

History shows that such draconian efforts boomerang.... The USA is a powder keg, needing only a match to blow up spectacularly..... The US is full of millions of desperate people, facing the loss of home, hearth, and food to feed their families.... Much of the blame can rightfully be laid at Trump.... but the Congress itself, paid little heed to the needs of it's citizenry, following loss of jobs, and means consequent to lockdowns... The US system of protection of the profits of pharmeceutical companies at the expense of the population, coupled with Trump's destruction of the US's system for managing pandemics, meant the US could and did not embrace prophylaxis with HCQ and Ivermectin.
Consequently, the virus rampaged through the population aided and abetted by COVID deniers, and local officials wanting the crisis to end, yet unwilling to commit sufficient resources to Contact Tracing and rapid testing, essentials to containing the spread of the virus..

So, the USA has 350,000 dead.... 22 million acknowledged victims... with likely 8 times as many actually infected...

AND.....

An ongoing power struggle between the two political parties, one of which has gone to extreme lengths to regain power, and to hobble their opponents for the past 4 years.....

For what??? WHY????

I say again WHY?????

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 12 2021 1:29 utc | 55

lysias @52--

The Death of the Duopoly since non-partisanship will gain momentum at the local/state levels. The Federalist Model allows for reaction and pushback. It's a huge loophole that's yet to be exploited that the Duopoly dotards overlooked because they never learned.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2021 1:33 utc | 56

Dr. George @54 asks WHY?????

Because their Neoliberal Parasite Masters told them to follow the script, just as they told the other faction of our one ruling party--Their goal is the privatization of everything, even human capital. That's why Hudson, myself and others call it Neofeudalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2021 1:39 utc | 57

karlof1@56...i suggest you look @ jonathan cook's latest on his blog, regarding twitter.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Jan 12 2021 2:19 utc | 58

@21 william gruff quote "....Trump was(and is) a symptom and not the cause of unrest in the US. "you win a prize for that, but you already have too many prizes for your many insights!

@ karlof1 | Jan 11 2021 22:29 utc | 36.. thanks for your post.. i read the links and what you shared.. i still think it does come down to finances which the 2 articles essentially point to... i think the attempt on the part of the usa to control the planet militarily is the same thing... they have to maintain control of the world financial order, although it has been slipping away and continues to slip away... as @ 47 kiza points out - "The only way for a reform in the US and the West is a huge financial crash." that is indeed how i see it too..

@ Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 12 2021 1:29 utc | 54.. true for the most part except the part about trump being responsible for it all... trump has destroyed a lot, but it is the system itself that is destroying what little is left of the present usa.... late stage capitalism looking for another thing to eat, after having eaten up most everything.. missed out on the big meal of russia and wants to make a big meal out of a war with iran, china or whoever, but looks like it doesn't quite have the legs to pull it off at this point... we'll see.. i still think financial collapse is coming... what happens after that is hard to know..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2021 2:20 utc | 59

yeah - privatization is the game in play at present too as karlof1 notes.... blackrock has designs on canada big time.. and so this financial monster continues to grow... takes what belongs to the public and give it over to the private sector... maggie, reagan and mulroney worked hard to move in this direction and most of the leaders since have followed suit... little stevie harper did a pretty good number on it all...

@ dr george w oprisko... as an example - do you think trump was responsible for the boeing max 737?? that is what i am taking about... the system has been given over to finances trump safety... that ain't trumps fault.. that is the systems fault - a total obsession with money at the cost of everything else... i would blame wall street way sooner then i would blame an individual politician for this, although the politicians are definitely beholden to wall st... read the pepe and michael hudson interview that b linked to for a more complete picture on this..

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2021 2:24 utc | 60

here is the link i refer to The Consequences of Moving from Industrial to Financial Capitalism Michael Hudson and Pepe Escobar interview...

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2021 2:27 utc | 61

What might have happened if those who stormed the Capitol had got their hands on Pence or Pelosi or some Congressperson "of color"? Apparently a makeshift gallows had been constructed outside.

Posted by: Dr.Frank | Jan 12 2021 2:55 utc | 62

Posted by: Dr.Frank | Jan 12 2021 2:55 utc | 61

Other than lot of shouting?

Nothing

Posted by: Triden | Jan 12 2021 3:28 utc | 63

what would billmon say about where b is right now. this trump fandom. circe has been here since then. and circe has weighed in respectfully. and so respectully in fact that circe's beautifully sculpted onslaught passed censor !! i myself can never seem to avoid the censor here. the word billmon used in a post must be a kind of consciential kryptonite. the skin of this blog is bills from 2006 and yet his name is illegal i guess. us unpersons.

cb

Posted by: fob cb | Jan 12 2021 5:25 utc | 64

For Billy at 50 "......then they can reunite America on their own terms." The neolibs' terms are nothing less than unconditional surrender. Of the Americans suffering from delusions of their own superiority..."

Try 'destroy it and recreate in their own image'. The last attempt failed, and the 'other team' prevailed, so nothing less than annihilation will suffice.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | Jan 12 2021 7:07 utc | 65

@emersonreturn

...i suggest you look @ jonathan cook's latest on his blog, regarding twitter.

Here's a sample, including the scare quotes:

"The protesters – and much of the Republican party – believe that Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, “stole” November’s presidential election. The storming of the Capitol occurred on the day electoral college votes were being counted, marking the moment when Biden’s win became irreversible."

"Since the November election, Trump has cultivated his supporters’ political grievances by implying in regular tweets that the election was “rigged”, that he supposedly won by a “landslide”, and that Biden is an illegitimate president."

An objective observer might conclude this is not impartial.

https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2021-01-11/trump-twitter-deepen-divide/

Posted by: babs | Jan 12 2021 7:07 utc | 66

The issue is more than b's capitulation to the right. He does that because he has always been a neoliberal fence sitter. Check back quite a few years and you'll find b owning to being an SDP man, any person from hamburg who supports the sdp is dodgy from the get go.
It isn't even that his willing go along to get along with the fascists is horrible to witness. We get that b's sole interest has always been whatever it takes to maximize page views and therefore income.
Many will resist that but for those who be an eyeball from the billmon days that has been obvious.

What has made this site worthless is the fact that now, any poster that expresses any sort of tolerant caring worldview must spend so much energy explaining to intolerant "It's all about me and my kind fascists", the basics of decent thought. This makes it impossible for a conversation about reality as one finds oneself in the weeds explaining that fascist fantasy is not real. Apart from requiring a twelve year olds logic the rightists are so entrenched that conversation is impossible. Ignorant abuse being detrimental to dialog.

The moment worthless partisans - trump ass kissers across to circe the, whoever is the current democratic thing rules, posters were able to post their nonsense without shame or apology the use of this site as a place for intelligent objective discussion of the state of our globe was lost.

Along with that is the fact this site now only discusses whatever ridiculous fantasy about the US is current headline. It shouldn't b any surprise that the most critical issues just don't appear in the msm. That is why we used this place to bring them to people's attention.

moon of alabamba was always going to go down some way but turning into a site for deluded mouth breathers from whatever side of the aisle these posters claim to represent is far, far lower than many of us imagined.
I doubt it will be much of a pension fund b.

b has tried to have his cake & eat it, he will finish with neither.

Posted by: netlander | Jan 12 2021 7:46 utc | 67

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2021 0:46 utc | 49

"The Outlaw US Empire will discover exactly what Zero-sum means as Win-Win passes it by then in 80 years transitions to Steady-State leaving what remains of the USA mired in its Hunger Games."

Well, I think the point is that if WE (USA) had decided back in the post-war period to develop our own human capital, instead of trying to keep everybody else down, they would never have caught us at all. We threw it all away, as the Bob Dylan song says.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 12 2021 8:07 utc | 68

Biden the USA Gorby? Russian media not without a bit of schadenfreude take the Biden offer to “rebuild” as Gorby Perestroika, actually the terms coincide 100%, perestroika means rebuilding, a google search for both words "Biden rebuild" gives over 18 million results. If Biden is the US Gorby, who is going to play the role of Yeltsyn? Let us remember that Clinton's pal Yeltsyn bombed the Russian White House, home of their parliament, in '93.

Another funny item, PGA, a golf association, excludes Trump golf courses from their competitions, payback for the sports sanctions dished to Russia. They're smiling, for the time being, since everybody wishes a soft landing.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 12 2021 8:11 utc | 69

Posted by: Paco | Jan 12 2021 8:11 utc | 67

"Biden the USA Gorby?"

I've thought about that a lot. Bush the Lesser (W) was clearly analogous to USSR's plunge into Afghanistan, when we tried to occupy Iraq. Hubris.

That makes Obama == Gorby the failed reformer who didn't really reform. Two narcissists, works for me.

And that makes Trump == Yeltsin the incompetent. Trump is not a drunk, but he is codependent up the wazoo.

Whether we get a Putin analog remains to be seen, but Biden is not that leader, and neither is Harris.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 12 2021 9:21 utc | 70

"Biden the USA Gorby?"

Meh. Biden more resembles Chernenko, if anything.

Trump would've been a Gorby, if he did manage to break out from the Washington Consensus and NATO. He didn't manage. GKChP's got'im.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 12 2021 9:49 utc | 71

@Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 12 2021 9:49 utc | 71

Meh. Biden more resembles Chernenko, if anything.

Indeed, the Soviet gerontocracy is a clear parallel to the upcoming US one. Here is a report on Chernenko being elected, possibly more lighthearted than the upcoming inauguration?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGNemrBw1u0

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2021 11:51 utc | 72

One wonders what level of infiltration of Trump followers is occurring in the Military and Security services and at what levels of coordination or seniority that may be happening.

It seems to me only a matter of time before we see more instances of collusion between Trump aligned protesters and those tasked with maintaining public order. This could also present itself as certain Left figures, politicians or perhaps even the media, being fed to angry crowds of Right wingers. The legitimacy of those in power is backed by those who are paid to protect them, one wonders how long before that thin layer is broken and what could happen next.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jan 12 2021 11:56 utc | 73

To all the posters who claim that this 2nd impeachment is mere empty grandstanding from the Democrats, it might help to quote this sentence from the Constitution: "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States;"

1) Impeachment does nothing but send the case to the Senate from trial.
2) conviction in the Senate immediately removes the President from office.
3) conviction allows the Senate to ALSO vote to ban that person from ever holding office again.

It is the last point that is the entire point of this proceeding i.e. Impeachment and conviction allows Pelosi to seek to bar Trump from running for President again in 2024.

My prediction is that she will try with all her might to get that Impeachment through the House before Trump leaves the Oval Office and then... do nothing.

She will pocket such that Impeachment and sit on it for the next four years, and quietly remind everyone that she can pull it out of her arse the moment Donald Trump declares that he is going to run again in 2024.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 12 2021 12:04 utc | 74

William Gruff @54

Finally, a reason to be thankful for the abysmal state of foreign language instruction in English-speaking North America! Never thought I would see the day when I would think that inability to communicate across language barriers could be a good thing...

Posted by: expat | Jan 12 2021 12:43 utc | 75

Trump's Benghazi Moment CNN did have a point this morning.

Republican's howled, 'where was Hillary when the U.S. Embassy was being attacked?' and that would have required an assault team from Italy. But here, we have the Capitol being assaulted for hours, and yes, it was an assault, much like the Ukrainian Parliament in Maidan, in the heart of DC. We have National Guard, the Pentagon and security forces in close proximity with Trump grinning at TV monitors while his own allies in Congress are calling him for help.

Trump the $8T man
Benghazi Trump
NetanyaTrump
Trump the killer of Yemenis
Trump who attacks the weak
The arsonist

These are his accomplishments.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jan 12 2021 13:35 utc | 76

I predict the 20th January will be the day the United States descends into full blown civil war, the date will go down in history, as ever the peacefull law abiding public will be the casulitys.
And yet they will have brought it about by their inaction and silence. You have to protect your freedom or lose it.
We have Trump to blame. It’s over.
For America ther will be no winners.
The people pulling these strings are the people responsible for Yemen and palistine ect ect, cue bono.
America is about to disintergrate. WTF up

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 12 2021 13:50 utc | 77

I wrote the above comment (it doesn’t take a genius) before reading this ——-
https://arcdigital.media/qanon-woke-up-the-real-deep-state-72bbfcb79488

We know it, but we don’t want to know it.
Psychological denial.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jan 12 2021 15:02 utc | 78

Hi all

A question from a foreigner: how is it possible that a quite big city, as is Detroit, gave 95% of all the votes to one candidate (Biden) an only 3,5% to the other (Trump)?

I have consulted the official data of the general elections in this city and this is not only the case of the past election, the difference was even bigger in past elections: in 2016 Hillary won with 95% vs 3,1% Trump, in 2012 Obama won with 97,51% vs Romney 2,08%, in 2008 Obama won with 97% vs 2,65% McCain.

For me, an european, is hard to undestand how such a big city, that should be full of a very diverse population, could vote so consistently and overwhelmingly for the same party election after election, decade after decade. It is that normal in your country? are there many more cities like Detroit? how do you explain that?

May be someone from Detroit could explain this to me

Posted by: DFC | Jan 12 2021 15:17 utc | 79

DFC@79 asks how a big, diverse city like Detroit could be so one-sidedly for Biden. The answer of course is that Detroit is not diverse. It has been deliberately hollowed out so that it is largely black. The Detroit metropolitan area is diverse, but not Detroit proper. This is done so that funding for schools and amenities can be reserved largely for higher income people in the outer area (suburbs, exurbs, etc.) The poorer people are largely black but there's no reason in the world for genuinely poor people to love Trump, any more than there was for genuinely poor people to love Clinton in 2016. So, no, the lopsided vote is *not* prima facie evidence of fraud, because Detroit is lopsided, by design. Redbaiting nonsense (from William Gruff?) is just more lying, with a soupcon of racist innuendo.

NoOneYouKnow@36 offers a link to the most significant allegations of fraud. A cursory inspection proves that there is zero critical analysis of what constitutes "significant" by the compiler of the list or, worst, by the people who substitute quantity of allegation for significance. Trying to snow people with a blizzard makes everything look suspicious. To contaminate the elections the allegations have to add up to a false majority and too many of these don't. Like a middle school kid raking up every grievance they can think of in a quarrel with another kid, all it really testifies to is, the anger of the list maker.

For instance, one item is about how two men were charged with voter fraud. I'm sorry but no one with any judgment thinks people being caught proves thousands more didn't get caught.

Adding proven instances of errors doesn't prove fraud. But what it does prove is that Republicans had every opportunity to catch errors or fraud, whichever they may be. None of these instances serves as evidence, much less proof, that Republicans were mystifyingly incompetent to catch other instances of error or fraud, whichever they may be. Adding this stuff is just meant to insinuate a pattern of fraud. Insinuation is not an argument. Worse, the implied pattern imagines a national actor, *THE* Democratic Party. (Or should that be Democrat Party, to tickle the fancy of partisan hacks?) Elections are state affairs, not national. Insofar as there is national coordination of state law and policy, it is largely Republican, via wealthy-donor funded organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has had things to promote regarding election laws, if I remember rightly.

One alleged witness thought a set of ballots were suspiciously "pristine" and the texture of the paper was different. Ballots are not money with stringent quality control on the reams of paper being printed on. Quite aside from the intrinsic difficulty of judging "pristine" the ballots that were falsified would have been handled by the falsifiers as well as whoever they collected them from, leading one to think that overall the suspicious ballots would be suspiciously *non*pristine.

The assumption that signatures can be matched correctly and easily is false, completely false. Many, many people have poor handwriting. Surreptitiously requiring that voters must have perfect handwriting is as unfair as it is stupid for any purpose other than vote suppression. And, vote suppression is a kind of vote fraud. The further assumption that unless signature matching is performed then it's voter fraud is partisan illogic, tendentious rhetoric instead of sound reason.

Allegations like the security camera showing "men" pulling out and counting ballots without "legal" observers superficially seem so cut-and-dried till you realize the absence of names. Not the names of the supposed perpetrators of course, but the name of the building where this occurred, the precinct or county or state house, and most of all the names of the "legal" observers indignant at not being there. At this point, we can't even rule out whether this is a deliberate hoax. Or if the "legal observers" who weren't there were...Democrats! Where there's smoke, there's fire? Except, it may just be someone blowing smoke in your eyes. Smoke bombs are a real tactic in warfare and this is true in partisan combat too.

One allegation that does seem to make a serious difference is about the alleged number of ballots sent out in Pennsylvania and received. There's just one problem, which is that this was actually in the courts, where Republican lawyers and Republican judges were testing this. But there's another problem, which is that it is not necessary that the ballots sent out be counted. What needs to be counted is the number of mail and in person votes, a count double checked against voter registration.

The incident where a precinct initially reported both in person and absentee ballots together, thereby double counting the absentee, illustrates how that's what's important. Unfortunately for the Trumpers, the discovery of this problem is not evidence that more people got away with it. It's evidence that the bipartisan counting---and counting is bipartisan!---actually leads to corrections. The further assumption that it must have been purposeful is probably projection.

The story about more than a thousand mail-in ballots disguising box numbers as Apt. or Unit sounds terrible until you remember how many forms have Apt/Unit printed above the blank for a mailing address. As to whether a state law taking the franchise from someone who doesn't have a stable domicile is just, I leave it to others to decide, possibly a court, which may feel that putting a mailing address to receive a mail ballot is common sense, not proof of fraud. Assuming every irregularity is deliberate fraud is wrong, although it may be what's called "projection."

Vote suppression is vote fraud, by the way. In my precinct the Republican Secretary of State had purged voter rolls so that people who hadn't voted in a while couldn't vote (I saw them turned away, personally.) Additionally, a very cumbersome paper balloting system was put in which slowed voting greatly, and the number of voting machines was cut in half, from four to two. (My precinct amazingly enough had voted for Clinton in 2016.) I still have no idea whether the Republican Secretary of State counted my vote for "Other." (Hawkins? I'm not quite sure.) Republicans are possibly the ones guilty of massive vote fraud, which would explain the massive difference between polling (including exit polls as I understand it,) and the supposed Republican showing.

The computer printouts that allegedly show suspicious increments of votes of 4 800 votes for Biden are very confusing, as I don't see literal increments of 4 800 votes. The last two digits of Biden totals would remain the same and they aren't exactly 4 800 unless I'm somehow looking in the wrong part completely. If the computer were reporting new vote totals after every additional count of, say, 5 000 votes, though in returns from pro-Biden areas or venues (like mail in ballots,) such a hypothesized irregularity is not so strange.

Statistics is marvelous, but it's not easy. This illustrates a key point, which is that no evidence is good until it's been tested, not just against your gut feeling of what should be, or even against random chance. Evidence has to be tested against alternative hypotheses to the cause. You do not pile up an indiscriminate pile of allegations and assume they're "evidence" of massive fraud because low standards accumulated a long list. The item about how a small error in one precinct *extrapolated* statewide would produce 14 000 votes for Trump versus the 10 000 vote margin of victory for Biden. This is like an excerpt from the old statistics book "How to Lie with Statistics" by Huff. There has to be a reason to extrapolate a 37 vote margin in one precinct statewide, such as evidence that the precinct is perfectly representative of all state precincts. When you state the requirement, the transparent dishonesty of the argument is, ironically, apparent.

The entire presumption that mail-in ballots should have the same proportion of Trump to Biden votes is exactly the same flagrant dishonesty.

And one more time, courts with Republican lawyers and Republican judges had an opportunity to support the serious allegations. All claims of massive voter fraud have a serious obstacle to hurdle, namely, why Republicans conspired to assist massive voter fraud. I think the Republicans did promote voter fraud in the form of vote suppression. (Via "legal," but corrupt means, to be as fair as possible.) Extraordinary claims require real evidence. This laundry list simply does not pass muster.

I have no doubt wasted my time. But if people were able to understand, they need to understand that a random list a la Sharyl Atkisson is nothing but cover.
Pretending it is genuine reason is to solidarize with the fascist lust for murder.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 12 2021 15:26 utc | 80

DFC @79

This is just a reminder that the establishment employs narrative management professionals who are assigned to the discussion threads of all sites with any significant traffic that allow discussions, including MoA. Be on the lookout for posts that reinforce the establishment narratives.

It is assumed that if you wanted the establishment narrative you would visit the Washington Bezos Post or the New York Langley Times.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 12 2021 15:57 utc | 81

I cannot imagine what the democrats would do coming 4 years, I suspect it will very much drift more towards dictatorship with the support of media.

Now I read big business, banks cutting off ties to Trump. When people warned about Wall street being anti-Trump before election some people here laughed, well who is laughing now? Today the left being pro-Wallstreet and pro-Big Tech oligarchs,
cannot make the extreme-left up today...

Same idiocy going on in the US will come to europe too.

And who have condemned the censorship of Trump? Only Merkel as far as I have seen!

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 12 2021 16:13 utc | 82

@steven t johnson 80 : excellent post
@netlander 67 : i sadly agree. It was often interesting, while it lasted

Posted by: Olivii | Jan 12 2021 16:34 utc | 83

It is impossible to believe that this man has a heart, a soul, and yet he professes to being a human being! Sanctions, terror lists, it is beyond belief.

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Jan 12 2021 16:34 utc | 84

Mr. DFC

Detroit has been a predominantly African-American city for many decades. It has a mentality very similar to those of post-colonial countries that gained their independence from the European states in 1960s; viz. "an Us vs. Them" conception when it comes to the European-Americans - a.k.a. Whites.

Furthermore, African-Americans, for the most part, have been voting for Democrats: Democrats helped them re-gain their Civil Rights in 1960, Democratic governments have given them money in exchange for their votes (Bill Clinton gave Detroit 400 million dollars), and the Republican party has been the party of White Christian Fascists for several decades now.

In Detroit, the African-American churches basically tell people who to vote for - the Pastors mention names and the members of the church comply. I do not know if this is a unique feature of African-American Churches or does it extend to all Protestant Churches in the United States.

Currently, Detroit demographics also include Mexicans and Muslim Bengalis as well; there is no reason for them to vote for Republicans.

Many American cities are very segregated by race as well as by income; investigate, if you have time, these two cities: San Ramon in California and Boulder in Colorado - both are cities for very rich, and for the most part, European Americans.

Posted by: fyi | Jan 12 2021 16:55 utc | 85

Mr. Christian J. Chuba

I think Mr. Trump has completed the religious war of the United States against Muslim Civilization: Mr. Bush attacked and conquered Iraq - the historical seat of Caliphate, Mr. Obama began the War in Syria - the seat of Omavid Caliphate, and Mr. Trump initiated the Siege War of Iran- the core state of Muslim culture.

These three countries, being the core areas of where Muslim Civilization was first formed, are now consigned to be enemies of the United States for the coming decades and likely centuries. I just do not see how USA can walk this back - by murdering the late Major General Qasem Solimani, Mr. Trump also introduced a sea of blood between Iran and USA.

Posted by: fyi | Jan 12 2021 17:03 utc | 86

Mr Gruff wrote:

The idiots still don't understand why Trump won in the first place, other than by imagining interference by super-effective invisible KGB operations, of course. They really believe that if Trump is sufficiently publicly humiliated and his memory buried under a mountain of feces then they can reunite America on their own terms.
_______________________________________

What nonsense! Trump won because the oligarchs wanted him to win and the oligarch's media lapdogs did all the things needed to engineer the votes for that victory.

the oligarchs have worked very hard to keep the citizenry divided almost perfectly equally over culture issues like gun ownership, abortion, and identity politics and trump was the one person who has helped the oligarchs achieve that goal of dividing the populace.

Posted by: jinn | Jan 12 2021 17:23 utc | 87

karlof1 @ 7, excellent presentation and Naomi Prins makes a compelling comparison. If still there is any doubt in the populace that we are on the edge of a precipice, her explanation of the original 'War of the Worlds' scenario makes that very plain:

"...
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Published on
Monday, January 11, 2021
by TomDispatch
The Martians of Wall Street Have Invaded
As Covid-19 grew ever worse while 2020 ended, the stock market reached heights that hadn’t been seen before. Ever.

byNomi Prins
19 Comments
As Covid-19 grew ever worse while 2020 ended, the stock market reached heights that hadn’t been seen before. Ever. (Photo: Scott Beale on Flickr)
Today, the top 1% of Americans possess more wealth than the whole of the middle class, a phenomenon first true in 2010 and still the reality of our moment. (Photo: Scott Beale on Flickr)

Sometimes things only make sense when seen through a magnifying lens. As it happens, I’m thinking about reality, the very American and global reality clearly repeating itself as 2021 begins.

We all know, of course, that we’re living through a once-in-a-century-style pandemic; that millions of people have lost their jobs, a portion of which will never return; that the poorest among us, who can withstand such acute economic hardship the least, have been slammed the hardest; and that the global economy has been kneecapped, thanks to a battery of lockdowns, shutdowns, restrictions of various sorts, and health-related concerns. More sobering than all of this: more than 360,000 Americans (and counting) have already lost their lives as a result of Covid-19 with, according to public health experts, far more to come.

And yet, as if in some galaxy far, far away, there also turns out to be another, so much more upbeat side to this equation. As Covid-19 grew ever worse while 2020 ended, the stock market reached heights that hadn’t been seen before. Ever.

Meanwhile, again in the thoroughly cheery news column, banks in 2021 will be able to resume their march toward billions of dollars in share buybacks, courtesy of the Federal Reserve opting to support such a bank-and-stock-market stimulus. The Fed’s green light for this activity on December 18th will allow mega-banks to return to those share buybacks (which constitute 70% of the capital payout that they provide shareholders). In June 2020, the Fed had banned the practice ostensibly to help them better navigate risks caused by the pandemic.

Those very financial institutions can now pour money into purchasing their own stocks again rather than, say, into loans to struggling small businesses endangered by pandemic-instigated economic disaster. As soon as Wall Street got the good news from the Fed as 2020 ended, JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank, wasted no time in announcing its intent to buy a staggering $30 billion of its own shares in the new year. And as if by magic, those shares leapt 5% that very day. Other mega-banks followed suit, as did their share prices.

The more that individuals, rather than corporations, shoulder the burden of tax revenues, the greater the inherent inequality in society.

Now, for reasons you’ll soon understand, take a little trip back in history with me to the eve of Halloween, 1938, when Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre dramatized his adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 sci-fi-meets-dystopia-meets-imperialism novel, The War of the Worlds, on the radio. As Martians “invaded” New Jersey (it had been London in the novel) with mayhem in mind, panic evidently ensued among some radio listeners who thought they were hearing perfectly real reports about an alien invasion of Planet Earth. Later accounts suggest that the media blew that reaction out of proportion (“fake news,” 1938-style?), yet people who tuned in late and missed the set-up about the fictitious nature of the program did indeed panic.

And it’s not hard to understand why they might have done so at that moment. There had already been surprises galore. The world, after all, had barely recovered from the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression that followed. It was also still reeling from the fiery Hindenburg disaster of 1937 in which a German airship blew up in New Jersey, as well as from the escalation of tensions and hostilities in both Asia and Europe that would lead to World War II. Perhaps people already equated or conflated the Martian invasion on the radio with fantasies about a potential German invasion of this country. In some papers, after all, reports on the reaction to Welles’s performance were set right next to news of war clouds brewing in Europe and Asia. With or without Welles, people were on edge.

Whatever the case, fear has been both a great motivator and an anxiety provoker when it comes to the media, whether in 1938 or today. At the moment, the focus is on economic and health-related fears in all-too-ample supply. It is also on the disconnect that exists between the real economic world that most of us live in and turbo-boosted stock markets. These distorted markets are the result of wealth inequality that once would have been unimaginable in this country. In a way, economically speaking, you might say that today we’re suffering the equivalent of an invasion from Mars.

From the Financial Crisis to the Pandemic

It’s not hard these days to imagine the chaos people would feel if their lives or livelihoods were threatened by an external, uncontrollable force like those Martians. After all, we’re in a pandemic age in which the gaps between the rich, the poor, and the middle class are being reinforced in endlessly stunning ways, a world in which some people have the means to remain remarkably safe, secure, and alive, while others have no means at all.

Covid-19 is not, of course, from Mars or sent by aliens, but in terms of its impact, it’s as if it were. And the pandemic is, in the end, only exacerbating, sometimes in radical ways, problems that already were bad enough, particularly economic inequality.

Remember that, long before Covid-19 hit, the financial crisis of 2008 was met by a multi-trillion-dollar Wall Street bailout. At the same time, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero, while purchasing U.S. Treasury and mortgage bonds from the very banks that had sparked the disaster. Its own assets then rose from $870 billion to $4.5 trillion between August 2007 and August 2015. On the other hand, the U.S. economy never quite reached a growth level of, on average, more than 2% annually in the years after that near collapse, even as the stock market regained all its losses and so much more. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, aided by an ultra-loose monetary policy, steadily rose from a financial-crisis low of 6,926 on March 5, 2009 to 27,090 by March 4, 2020, which was when Covid-19 briefly trashed its rally.

However, within a month of the market dip that followed widespread shutdowns, its climb was refortified by similar but larger maneuvers, as Federal Reserve policy was once again deployed to save the rich under the auspices of saving the economy. Rally 2.0 took the Dow to a new record of 30,606.48 as 2020 closed.

On the other side of reality, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that, according to recent Federal Reserve reports, the U.S. wealth gap continued to widen dramatically as economic inequality increased yet again in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s because the health and economic devastation it inflicted affected low-wage service workers, low-income earners, and people of color so much more than the upper-middle class and elite upper class.

Meanwhile, as 2020 ended, the richest 10% of Americans owned more than 88% of the outstanding shares of companies and mutual funds in the U.S. The top 1% also controlled more than 88 times the wealth of the bottom 50% of Americans. Simply put, the less you had, the less you could afford to lose any of it. Indeed, the combined net worth of the top 1% of Americans was $34.2 trillion (about one-third of all U.S. household wealth), while the total for the bottom half was $2.1 trillion (or 1.9% of that wealth).

And yet, American billionaires scored monumentally during the pandemic, due particularly to their lofty position in the stock market. The planet’s 2,200 or so billionaires got wealthier by $1.9 trillion in 2020 alone and were worth about $11.4 trillion in mid-December 2020 (up from $9.5 trillion a year earlier). Twenty-first-century tycoons like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos raked it in specifically because of all the money pouring into shares of their stock. Even bipartisan congressional stimulus measures meant for necessary relief turned into a chance to elevate fortunes at the highest echelons of society.

If you want to grasp inequality in the pandemic moment, consider this: while the market soared, more than 25.5 million Americans were the recipients of federal unemployment benefits. The S&P 500 stock market index added a total of $14 trillion in market value in 2020. In essentially another universe, the number of people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and didn’t regain them was about 10 million. And that figure doesn’t even count people who can’t go to work because they have to take care of others, their workplace is restricted, or they’re home-schooling their kids.

The Martians and the Inequality Gap

In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells evokes a species—humanity—rendered helpless in the face of a force greater than itself and beyond its control. His depiction of the grim relationship between the Martians and the humans they were suppressing (meant to remind readers of the relationship between British imperialists and those they suppressed in distant lands) cast an eerie light on the power and wealth gap in Great Britain and around the world at the turn of the twentieth century.

The book was written in the Gilded Age, when rapid economic growth, particularly in the United States, bred a new class of “robber barons.” Like the twenty-first-century version of such beings, they, too, made money from their money, while the economic status of workers slipped ever lower. It was an early version of a zero-sum game in which the spoils of the system were increasingly beyond the reach of so many. Those at the top ferociously accumulated wealth, while the majority of the rest of the population barely got by or drowned..."

Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2021 17:35 utc | 88

Apologies. I thought I had highlighted only the two final paragraphs of my post. I should have been more careful. Sorry.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2021 17:37 utc | 89

jinn @87

You are one of the idiots that I am referring to in that post. You still cannot accept why Trump won, as your post clearly demonstrates. Trump didn't cause the cultural divide in the US but rather was elected because of it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 12 2021 17:40 utc | 90

"The Dirty People, with their dirty feet, should not be trampling on **our** Capitol carpets."

"We may be bombing Yemen, but we aren't carpet bombing Yemen, yet."

- Nancy P. Nice

Posted by: librul | Jan 12 2021 17:43 utc | 91

DFC @ 79

Current census data has Detroit population as 78.3% Black/African American. Presume that conservatives of other heritage have long since relocated.

The number of Democratic votes is still suspiciously high. Assume that all American elections are thoroughly corrupt. In Detroit there will be zero resistance and zero accountability for marginal voting fraud. Larger than normal irregularities are not evident at first glance.

Yes, this is all somewhat normal for American cities. The divide between urban and rural America is immense.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 12 2021 17:44 utc | 92

If b could please eliminate my post:Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2021 17:35 utc | 88
what follows is the excerpt from Naomi Prin that I wished to post in support of karlof1 @ 7. Again, my apologies.

"The Martians and the Inequality Gap

In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells evokes a species—humanity—rendered helpless in the face of a force greater than itself and beyond its control. His depiction of the grim relationship between the Martians and the humans they were suppressing (meant to remind readers of the relationship between British imperialists and those they suppressed in distant lands) cast an eerie light on the power and wealth gap in Great Britain and around the world at the turn of the twentieth century.

The book was written in the Gilded Age, when rapid economic growth, particularly in the United States, bred a new class of “robber barons.” Like the twenty-first-century version of such beings, they, too, made money from their money, while the economic status of workers slipped ever lower. It was an early version of a zero-sum game in which the spoils of the system were increasingly beyond the reach of so many. Those at the top ferociously accumulated wealth, while the majority of the rest of the population barely got by or drowned..."

Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2021 17:49 utc | 93

@ 85:
"Democrats helped them re-gain their Civil Rights in 1960"

Actually, Rs voted for the 1964 bill by a higher margin.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 12 2021 17:55 utc | 94

In an attempt to make amends for my blooper earlier, let me put these days in the context of old calendar Christmas:

These are the traditional twelve days of Christmas, which, as in the western calendar end with a major feast. This year, these 12 days also happen to be the final days of the Trump presidency. On the 19th, Orthodox Christians who follow the old calendar will celebrate Theophany, the baptism of Christ in the Jordan.

Perhaps as karlof1 comments above, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, even though another poster (sorry, my scrolling can't zero in on the post) has made mention of such above. The twelve day period has that echo, however, since for the Orthodox Theophany takes Jesus from his baptism to his encounter with Satan in the desert. And that is an echo Ivan uses in Dostoievski's tale of the Grand Inquisitor.

I can do no better than repeat b's request: dear Congress, stop wasting time with impeaching Trump; end his famine in Yemen!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2021 18:18 utc | 95

Re: Detroit.

Of course it is, and has been for decades, a single-party municipality, so they can report whatever numbers they want.

But more importantly, in America, somehow it has a much more pronounced than Europe, much more conspicuous segregation (voluntary, of course) by socioeconomic characteristics.

There are suburbs for the blue-collar segment, for professionals, for executives.

And the cities (with rare exceptions, like Boston's Beacon Hill) are typically populated by lumpen proletarians: the homeless, the vagrants, the chronically unemployed.

And this segment is, currently, D's constituency.

Still, Detroit, the capital of the automotive industry, to vote 95% against the guy who killed NAFTA? Color me skeptical.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 12 2021 18:27 utc | 96

Ms. Juliania:

The 12 days of Christmas was a code for Catholics in UK when they had to hide their religious affiliations lest they be murdered.

Posted by: fyi | Jan 12 2021 18:28 utc | 97

juliania @88--

Thanks for your reply! I trust you had an enjoyable holiday! In those past periods when top->down change was being stifled, the people took to promoting bottom->up change first within their locale, then their county, within their districts, then their state, all the while crafting laws to thwart the diktats handed out by the Money Power that controlled the federal government. This is what I meant when I wrote that Federalism has built in ways to regain control. In a manner similar to the Articles of Confederation, the Federal Government exists at the pleasure of the States and it thus relies on support from the States to maintain its control. But when a considerable portion of the States become controlled by The People who demand greatly different policies from Washington, DC, the sitting President can either veto the legislation and risk being overridden and losing any remaining initiative, or s/he can change its tune and go against its Money Power masters. It's this strategy Reds will now employ who ought to be joined by the majority of those who followed Sanders flag, thus creating some politically impregnable Purple States. The tiny minority sects created by the Duopoly will find themselves greatly outnumbered by a unified Purple majority--One of the more interesting facets of US History is that Traditional Conservatives (many of whom are also Traditional Liberals) become radicalized more readily than those captured by the Money Power.

An insurrection doesn't need to be violent, but those involved must be on the same page as to their goals. There's been lots of ink spilled writing about the death of the two-party system that was already dead 40+ years ago--Romney Care being the only real bone thrown to the public over those years. The only way out of Great Depression II is for a bottom->up overhaul of the political-economy. And if we're correct about new legislation aimed at activists targeting the Federal Government, then we really have no other choice than to mobilize locally and go from there. It's quite possible taking on the Control Issue from a different direction will draw in those many marginalized who now see they're being given an opportunity to participate and make a difference--the hope that comes from a supportive community that people can feel and touch, not the artificial crap spilling from the mouth of an Obama and ilk.

That's the flesh I'm putting on Grieved's idea related to having the states repudiate the federal government without the need to employ violence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2021 18:32 utc | 98

Mr. Mao Cheng Ji

Men, for the most part, act emotionally first and then seek pseudo-rational justifications for them.

Detroit residents were not exceptional in voting against Mr. Trump; he came across as a racist.

In my opinion, Mr. Trump did not kill NAFTA, he readjusted it. But that adjustment did not bring back the manufacturing jobs from Mexico and will not do so.

Posted by: fyi | Jan 12 2021 18:33 utc | 99

The Capitol attack was a “short and seemingly unplanned intrusion... more pantomime or slapstick action than a serious operation against the state”? If so, then why bother making points whether or not the DC mayor called for appropriate backup? No, b, you are wrong about this. While you make excellent points about the actions in Yemen, and Trump’s terrorist designations of the Houthi AND of Cuba should be reversed immediately, your minimization of the events of January 6 is baffling.

But you are too good a researcher to not have seen and read articles and videos showing that there was a lynch mob atmosphere at this riot. While Trump is smart enough to say a requisite word against violence, he’s too much a demagogue not to know how to whip up a crowd, as when today he said Pelosi and Schumer are putting the country in “the greatest danger... but no violence, no violence”. The point of “greatest danger” takes his audience psychologically and emotionally where Trump wants them to go.

I despise those in power, be they Democrats or Republicans, who starve millions, overthrow countries, assassinate foreign leaders, torture, invade other countries, and ignore the needs of their own citizens, as well. But don’t let the distaste for Trump’s opponents blind you to a major play by the US far-right to overthrow US Constitutional processes in order to keep Trump in power. If this group had power, it would be open season for violence against blacks, Jews and other minorities, while carrying through policies abroad just as reactionary as the Democrats.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kaye | Jan 12 2021 18:42 utc | 100

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