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Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Populism properly understood is about popular and democratic opposition to the rule of the money power – to the reign of concentrated wealth. It emerged from radical farmers’ fight for social and economic justice and democracy against the plutocracy of the nation’s Robber Baron capitalists during the late 19th century. It was a movement of the left.    at 11:22

Common Dreams
'Partial Fix': NSA Scraps Part of Warrantless Surveillance
"The truth changed everything," tweets NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden    at 11:12

Benedict Evans
Two foundational technology changes rolling through the car industry: electric and autonomy.
Electric is happening right now, largely as a consequence of falling battery prices, while autonomy, or at least full autonomy, is a bit further off - perhaps 5-10 years, depending on how fast some pretty hard computer science problems get solved.

How do cities change if some or all of their parking space is now available for new needs,
or dumped on the market, or moved to completely different places? Where are you willing to live if 'access to public transport' is 'anywhere' and there are no traffic jams on your commute? How willing are people to go from their home in a suburb to dinner or a bar in a city centre on a dark cold wet night if they don't have to park and an on-demand ride is the cost of a coffee? And how does law enforcement change when every passing car is watching everything?    at 10:54

The Media’s First 100 Days
A new Morning Consult poll released Friday said that more people are trusting of the White House than the media to tell them the truth. The poll also said that more than half of Americans think the media are out of touch and that 48 percent think the media have been harder on him than on past presidents.

Yale Grad Students Go on ‘Symbolic’ Hunger Strike Where They’re Allowed to Eat

Yale College Republicans barbequeing by union fast site
"Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. By their "hunger strike" that allows them to eat when hungry, the snowflakes of Yale have more than earned ridicule.    at 10:10

Zero Hedge
Mayo Clinic: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Does the following description remind anyone of a current small-handed US politician?    at 09:19

World Socialist Web
No to Macron and Le Pen! For an active boycott of the French election!
The purpose of an active boycott of the election is to prepare the working class for struggle, regardless of which reactionary candidate wins the second round. The active boycott call is made not from the standpoint of parliamentary calculations, but the dynamic of the class struggle.    at 09:13

29 de Abril    at 00:00


Patrick J. Buchanan
Has President Donald Trump outsourced foreign policy to the generals?
President Trump’s seeming renunciation of an anti-interventionist foreign policy is the great surprise of the first 100 days, and the most ominous. For any new war could vitiate the Trump mandate and consume his presidency.

“Of course the people don’t want war. - Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” — James Madison

The government has spent $4.8 trillion on wars abroad since 9/11, with $7.9 trillion in interest
That’s a tax burden of more than $16,000 per American. Almost a quarter of that debt was incurred as a result of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and Syria. For the past 16 years, these wars have been paid for almost entirely by borrowing money from foreign nations and the U.S. Treasury.

George Friedman
US and Russia: Three important questions.
What is the U.S. strategy in the Middle East?
What is the U.S. strategy toward Russia?
What is the Russian strategy in general?

Sic Semper Tyrannis
"Did Trump have clear authority under international law to attack Syria?" NY Times
The strike raises two sets of legal issues. One involves international law and when it is lawful for any nation to attack another. The other involves domestic law and who gets to decide — the president or Congress — whether the United States should attack another country.

Moon of Alabama
The allegation of any Trump-Russia connections may now die down.
The Trump presidency had been held hostage by unfounded allegation of "Russian interference" in the U.S. elections in support of the Trump candidacy. The air strikes on Syria might have been the ransom that was demanded for the release of the hostage. His opponents are now gushing about him. \\ BUT, the U.S. airstrike delivers a message to al-Qaeda. Whenever under military pressure al-Qaeda can now stage or fake a "chemical attack" and the U.S. will act to destroy its enemy, the Syrian government. Acts as the one last night are then direct military support by the U.S. on al-Qaeda's request.

The Russians have an impressive grasp of Washington’s global strategy
Here’s a short clip from a recent speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “The concept of managed chaos appeared long ago as a method of strengthening US influence. Its basic premise is that managed chaos projects should be launched away from the United States in regions that are crucial for global economic and financial development. The Middle East has always been in the focus of politicians and foreign policy engineers in Washington. Practice has shown that this concept is dangerous and destructive, in particular for the countries where the experiment was launched, namely Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan…In Iraq, Syria and Libya, this chaos was created intentionally.

Strategic Culture
US to Plunge Into Yemen’s WarUS to Plunge Into Yemen’s War
The war in Yemen is unwinnable; the complicated conflict is caused by many reasons, some of which go back to the ancient history. Suffice it to remember the conflicts and tensions between the nation’s South and North.

Mint Press
Despite Campaign Rhetoric, Trump Wades Further Into Middle East
Despite that campaign platform and electoral mandate, now-President Donald Trump is doubling down on military intervention in the Middle East.

Unz Review
The neocons are most definitely an integral part of the Deep State
Having a plausible and dangerous enemy like Russia on tap keeps the cash flowing from defense industries to the foundations and think tanks that the neocons nest in when they are not running the Pentagon and National Security Council. Follow the money. So it is all about self-interest combined with tribal memory: money, status and a visceral hatred of Russia.    at 10:22


Wall Street on Parade
Breaking Up the Big Wall Street Banks Is Back in the Headlines
The problem with the newspaper debate today is that almost no one has their facts straight. The New York Times has played a leading role in obfuscating what actually caused the financial crash – first through writer Andrew Ross Sorkin and more recently under the pens of economist Paul Krugman and writer William Cohan.

What Would Jesus Disrupt?
I believe this is answered by Matt 21:11-13, but what would I know?
Matthew 21:12: Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

Beat the Press
Robert Rubin, Who Made a Fortune on the Housing Bubble, Argues for Preserving Wall Street's Power Over the Fed
The Federal Reserve Board has more direct control over the economy than any other institution in the country. When it decides to raise interest rates to slow the economy, it can ensure that millions of workers don't get jobs and prevent tens of millions more from getting the bargaining power they need to gain wage increases. For this reason, it is very important who is making the calls on interest rates and who they are listening to.

Beat the Press
Uber and the Federal Reserve Board
With changes in the economy, many workers may have no choice but to rely on Uber jobs. In this context, it is worth mentioning the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board has raised interest rates twice in the last four months because it is concerned that the economy is creating too many jobs. It is expected to raise interest rates three more times this year. If people consider it bad that workers have few options other than working for Uber, they should be very upset that the Fed is raising interest rates. These interest rates are helping to ensure that millions of workers have limited job opportunities.

Peak Prosperity
Banks Are Evil
In 2016, JP Morgan's daily average trading revenues were $80 million. Per day! That's nearly $20 billion for the year. So if not "trading", what should we call it when a bank can extract tens of billions of dollars a year from the markets, with no downside risk? "Sanctioned theft" sounds about right.

Audit the Fed, Then Close It
Auditing the Fed is only a baby step. We need to end the Fed, end fractional reserve lending, and have a free market in currencies and interest rates. Regulation can be conducted by other Federal agencies and states.

Market Watch
House panel passes bill to audit the Fed
Democrats in the committee were firmly against the bill.

New York Times
Trump Wants Faster Growth. The Fed Isn’t So Sure.
The central bank, for its part, is indicating that it will seek to restrain any acceleration in economic activity. The Fed does not want faster growth. Fed officials estimate that the economy is already growing at something like the maximum sustainable pace. Fed officials predicted in December that the economy would expand 2.1 percent this year, slightly faster than the 1.8 percent pace they regard as sustainable.

Peak Prosperity
Federal Reserve squeezes retirees, hurts savers
Fed's low interest policy transfered a trillion dollars in wealth from savers to the 1%?

naked capitalism
President of Richmond Fed Leaks Insider Information and Gets to Walk Free
Bill Black makes clear how Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker got away with conduct which would have earned mere mortals a big fine and maybe even jail time.    at 08:22


John Perkins
After independence, the US Congress perceived corporations as threats to democracy
and determined never to allow them to have such power again. Laws were passed that restricted the granting of corporate charters to companies only if they guaranteed to perform a public service. No company was allowed to purchase another. On average, charters were limited to ten years. After that, as a condition for renewing its charter, each corporation had to prove that it had in fact served the public and guarantee that it would continue to do so.

Charles Hugh Smith
The Plantation Economy is a mono-culture of large corporations and their partner, the state.
Our economy is a state-cartel finance-debt system; it's only capitalist on the margins, that is, in the fringes that aren't profitable enough for corporations to control.

Charles Hugh Smith
Wal-Mart is the quintessential plantation in the U.S. and global economies.
Like a classic agricultural-commodity plantation, Wal-Mart enters a region and market with a diverse, employment-rich ecology of small businesses and networked supply chains of local and regional manufacturers and distributors, and it bulldozes the entire "forest" of businesses, suppliers and distributors with the irresistable blade of global supply chains and "lower prices, always."

Personhood' is not synonymous with 'humans.'
A 'person' is the law's way of saying that entity has the capacity for rights.

Unz Review
American corporations have all the rights of citizens, but none of the responsibilities
The first step is not to make corporations better citizens, but to roll back the “super-citizen” status that corporations currently enjoy. That would be a huge step, and this is what “conscious capitalism” basically aspires to: persuading corporations to follow the damn laws of a democracy, just as we regular citizens have to. The problem is that corporations will never embrace the laws of democracy. History proves that they systematically avoid, buy off, rewrite or break the laws written by humans.

Democracy Now
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people with free speech rights
and can spend unlimited amounts of their money in our elections. And as a result, we now see effectively a corporate takeover of our democracy.

Mint Press
It quickly became clear that toppling Saddam wasn’t the U.S.’ only goal.
The powers taking control of the Iraqi government were also seeking control of the country’s agriculture industry. One order, in particular, had a crippling effect on Iraq’s centuries-long farming and seed cultivation traditions. Order 81 — the Patents, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety Law — gave those who hold patents on certain plant varieties absolute rights over the use of their seeds in Iraq for 20 years.    at 22:56


An Article Five(5) Convention
How to legally dissolve the U.S. Federal Government
Thirty four (34) is the number of Legislatures from the several States necessary to call a States Convention or a Constitutional Convention. Thirty eight (38) is the number of legislatures from the several States that is necessary to ratify and thus amend the U.S. Constitution after such a convention. This amendment could be “to dissolve”. By “dissolve” I mean the whole compact between the several States. Yes, the entire Federal Government and every thing it has or was created under it's jurisdiction.

Bill Moyers
A constitutional convention is looking increasingly likely
On Feb. 24, Wyoming became the 29th state to pass a resolution requesting a convention specifically to add a single balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Many of these legislative resolutions also attempt to set the rules for the convention and limit who can attend it to a select list of largely GOP state leaders. There are two major legislative pushes for a convention at the state level. One would attempt to engineer a convention for a balanced budget amendment only, and the other tries to secure an open convention for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. But once a convention is underway, all bets are off. The convention can write its own rules, resulting in a wide-open or “runaway” convention that can make major changes to the constitution and, some argue, even change the number of states required to ratify those changes.

Patrick J. Buchanan
Is Democracy in a Death Spiral?
How, outside an external attack that unites us, like 9/11, do we find unity among people who dislike each other so much and regard each other’s ideas and ideals as hateful and repellent? Democracy requires common ground on which all can stand, but that ground is sinking beneath our feet, and democracy may be going down the sinkhole with it. Where liberals see as an ever-more splendid diversity of colors, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles, the Right sees the disintegration of a country, a nation, a people, and its replacement with a Tower of Babel. Visions in conflict that democracy cannot reconcile.

Antonius Aquinas
Trump’s capitulation makes it abundantly clear that the system itself is beyond repair.
Getting the right individual to salvage the American welfare/warfare state cannot be done. Trump had many advantages that no future candidate will likely possess which means that anybody that follows will be an “insider.” Much of his base, therefore, will no longer support a future Republican candidate or will give him only lukewarm support . With no independent personality to rally around, the millions of disappointed Trumpians will seek new governing paradigms which hopefully will lead to the growth of secession movements.

How Dissolution Could Happen
This Archdruid post is part of a fictional scenario of American imperial defeat and collapse.
"That was the way it went, day after day, week after week. A handful of states bucked the trend, but only a handful, and the count rose steadily toward the crucial number of 38 states, three-quarters of the total. On January 29, when the Nebraska convention assembled in Lincoln, the count stood at 37 for and 9 against. It was a quiet, businesslike meeting. Once the delegates had been seated and the preliminary business taken care of, by unanimous vote, the convention closed debate and went straight to a roll call vote. By 118 to 32, the 28th amendment was ratified and the United States of America ceased to exist."

Anti-Federalist vs Federalist
In U.S. history, anti-federalists were those who opposed the development of a strong federal government and the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, preferring instead for power to remain in the hands of state and local governments. Federalists wanted a stronger national government and the ratification of the Constitution to help properly manage the debt and tensions following the American Revolution.

Revolutions podcast
The Constitutional Convention: The Miracle in Philadelphia
This podcast is the last installment of Mike Duncan's series on the American revolution. After you listen to it, you will see why it is remembered as "The Miracle in Philadelphia."

Tennessee Star
A Republic, If You Can Keep It
Minutes after the Constitutional Convention adjourned in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, Elizabeth Powel, a friend of George Washington who hosted many social events for the political class of the time, asked Benjamin Franklin if the convention had given us a republic or a monarchy. “A republic, madam, if you can keep it,” the venerable 81-year-old delegate, ambassador, and inventor responded.

Ian Welsh
The filibuster is anti-democratic.
The Founders put in checks and balances but they didn’t intend that if one party had control off all branches of government they couldn’t do what they wanted, subject to the Constitution.

The Geopolitics of the United States: The Inevitable Empire
Americans are not important because of who they are, but because of where they live. The Greater Mississippi Basin together with the Intracoastal Waterway has more kilometers of navigable internal waterways than the rest of the world combined. The American Midwest is both overlaid by this waterway and is the world's largest contiguous piece of farmland. The U.S. Atlantic Coast possesses more major ports than the rest of the Western Hemisphere combined. Two vast oceans insulated the United States from Asian and European powers.

Fabius Maximus
America has bred an underclass of young men
who are dispirited by their upbringing in feminist-run schools, by poor prospects for careers, too beta to interest attractive young girls, despised by both political parties. Many have retreated to booze, drugs, sports, porn, and video games. For years I have said that young men will do as they always do: self-organize into packs and find that they are strong when they stand together.    at 07:35


In Secret Court Hearing, Lawyer Objected to FBI Sifting Through NSA Data Like It Was Google
The NSA harvests data from major Internet companies like Facebook and from huge fiber optic backbones in the U.S. without a warrant, because it is ostensibly “targeting” only foreigners. But the surveillance program sweeps up a large number of Americans’ communications as well. Then vast amounts of data from the program, including the domestic communications, are entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer at the 2015 hearing described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.”

The CIA is expressly forbidden from spying on US citizens
and anything overheard incidentally when bugging foreigners is supposed to remain suppressed or “masked.”) Somebody at the CIA just handed the info straight to The New York Times, The WashPo, and CNN. That story broke in back in January. How come the CIA has not rooted out the culprit and handed him/her/zhe over to the Department of Justice?

Why Vault 7 Tools Used by Private Contractors Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild
If these tools were solely in the hands of a US agency, you would be much safer. The agencies have limits on what they can do and agencies have oversight providing protections. Instead, intelligence and counterterrorism tools are in the hands of people that make most of their money pushing political agendas forward. And there is no oversight for what they are doing with the tools.

Do We Live in a Police State?
We have created a monster, a Deep State with such unchecked power, armed with such Orwellian technology, that it represents a clear and present danger to our constitutional republic. This threat is underscored not only by the latest WikiLeaks revelations, but also by the intelligence community’s intervention in our domestic politics, which has been documented in the headlines of the nation’s newspapers for the past few months.

The US president can spy on anybody, anytime, anywhere. No warrants necessary
Judge Napolitano also stressed that “wiretapping” per se, is not even really required, since everything we say or write on our mobile phones or computers is already digitally captured by the NSA and stored for future retrieval. It would therefore have been a simple matter for the Obama administration, as well as those in the intelligence community hostile to President Trump, to obtain private conversations of Trump or anyone they wished.

Paul Craig Roberts
Truth Is Rare and Hard to Find
If the CIA can leave the fingerprint of an innocent party, we must assume the CIA can also put secret documents or child pornography on a person’s computer. Because of the CIA’s capability, henceforth we cannot know if any evidence presented in any trial against any defendant is real of faked.

Mint Press
Border officials have long had broad powers — many people just don’t know about them.
Border officials, for instance, have search powers that extend 100 air miles inland from any external boundary of the U.S. That means border agents can stop and question people at fixed checkpoints dozens of miles from U.S. borders. They can also pull over motorists whom they suspect of a crime as part of “roving” border patrol operations.

Foreign Policy
The Multibillion-Dollar U.S. Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard of
The NGA remains by far the most shadowy member of the Big Five spy agencies. The NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its principal function is to analyze the billions of images and miles of video captured by drones in the Middle East and spy satellites circling the globe. But because it has largely kept its ultra-high-resolution cameras pointed away from the United States. Few civilians have any idea how advanced these military eye-in-the-sky drones have become. Among them is ARGUS-IS, the world’s highest-resolution camera with 1.8 billion pixels. Invisible from the ground at nearly four miles in the air, it uses a technology known as “persistent stare” — the equivalent of 100 Predator drones peering down at a medium-size city at once — to track everything that moves.    at 23:50


The Archdruid
Fascism is usually used as a snarl word
That is, it is a content-free verbal noise that expresses angry emotions and nothing else

Washingtons Blog
What is fascism? There is no one tidy definition, but it has three essential elements:
1) State and corporate elites govern society and the economy as one unified class.
2) This status quo (i.e. The Establishment) seeks to impose a conformity of values and opinion that support the dominant narratives of the status quo via the mass (corporate) media and the state-controlled educational system.
3) Dissent from any quarter is suppressed via mass-media ridicule, the judicial crushing and silencing of whistleblowers, and all the other powers of the central state: rendition, extra-legal imprisonment, political gulags (in our era, disguised as drug-war gulags), character assassination, murder by drone, impoverishing dissenters via firings and blacklists, and on and on.

Washingtons Blog
The Left’s Descent to Fascism
History often surprises us with unexpected ironies. For the past century, the slide to fascism could be found on the Right (conservative, populist, nationalist political parties). But now it’s the Left that’s descending into fascism, and few seem to even notice this remarkable development. By Left I mean socialist-leaning, progressive, internationalist/globalist political parties.

The Archdruid
Any fascist movement ALWAYS had these three organizational features
* a cult of charismatic leadership,
* a uniformed Party militia,
* the goal of totalitarianism.

Any fascist movement NEVER had these three features
* Marxism
* Liberalism
* Conservatism - the hot-button

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
-- Sinclair Lewis

Fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative. -- Trotsky


Charles Hugh Smith
A more accurate definition of socialism
The means of production are owned and controlled by those who produce the goods and services. The only truly socialist system would be comprised of worker-owned collectives and co-ops, and privately owned and operated small enterprises. In a truly socialist system, global corporations would pay such high entry fees and taxes that they could not compete on price against local worker-owned collectives/ co-ops. In a truly socialist system, state functionaries would be banned from accepting bribes, campaign contributions, seats on philantro-capitalist foundations, corporations, etc., and barred from taking jobs in corporations after leaving state employment.
   at 13:42


Unz Review
Our American Pravda
The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept, or at least that was true in my own case. For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.

Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria
In wartime, US television instantly converts into state media. Nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.

The Federalist
When Will The Media Realize That Anonymous Sources Undermine Their Credibility?
The New Yorker, along with many other ‘mainstream media’ publications, obfuscates the truth in subtle ways. Here we’ll focus on anonymous sources. As the Society of Professional Journalists states in its Code of Ethics: Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability … The most important professional possession of journalists is credibility. If the news consumers don’t have faith that the stories they are reading or watching are accurate and fair, if they suspect information attributed to an anonymous source has been made up, then the journalists are as useful as a parka at the equator.

Paul Craig Roberts
The media serve as propagandists for military/security complex and Wall Street

George Friedman
Rage between a president and the press is not new.

World Socialist Web
CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”
This thuggish statement is a direct threat aimed at Assange and all who oppose the crimes of the government. In the US, the punishment for treason is death. Last November, Pompeo argued that whistleblower Edward Snowden should be put to death.

Paul Craig Roberts
Wikileaks doesn’t steal the documents. The documents are leaked to Wikileaks by whistleblowers
who cannot tolerate the immorality and lies of the US government. Anyone who tells the truth is by definition against the United States of America. And the moron Pompeo intends to get them. When I first read Pompeo’s accusation against Assange, I thought it had to be a joke. The CIA director wants to revoke the First Amendment. But the moron Pompeo actually said it.

Zero Hedge
Cernovich Explains How He Learned About Susan Rice
All he needed was some well-placed IT sources inside of a couple of America's corrupt mainstream media outlets.

American Conservative
Alternative Facts at the NYT
The paper of record goes out of its way to downplay the Susan Rice revelations.

Manufacturing Consent
Summary of Noam Chomsky's analyses on how the corporate media functions.    at 16:00


Two Wings of the Democratic Party
1. Democrats (Neoliberals, Neocons, Globalists) led by Hillary & Obama
2. Democratic socialists (Single payer, free college, trade reform) led by Bernie Sanders

Five Wings of the Republican Party | Duran
1. The Old Right (typified by Robert Taft and Pat Buchanan)
2. The Goldwater Right (at times typified by Ronald Reagan)
3. Neo-conservatives (they like Israel and lots of war)
4. Libertarians (Ron and Rand Paul: anti-interventionist, anti-war, protectionist, and deregulated markets
5. The Trump Wing (Nationalists-Populists) | FiveThirtyEight

Four Factions in the Trump Wing | FiveThirtyEight
1. ideological conservatives like Vice President Mike Pence;
2. more party-establishment figures like Chief of Staff Reince Priebus;
3. family members and those who had few deep ties to the GOP before Trump started running for president;
4. the Bannon wing of nationalist-populist ideology.

What’s Bannonism? | FiveThirtyEight
The former Breitbart editor opposes broad international trade agreements and favors an adversarial relationship between the Trump administration and the news media, as well as between the administration and the federal bureaucracy. He wants very tough policies on illegal immigration, has called for limiting refugees from the Middle East from coming to the U.S., and has expressed deep concerns about the rise of Islam, both at home and abroad

Single-issue factions, small "third parties" and 'ignored captives' such as African-Americans
Tea Party and/or Freedom Caucus
Second Amendment (NRA)
Abortion (both pro and anti)
Green Party
Religious Right
Trade Unions

Neil Howe
I think the two parties are already being remade.
“Rising regionalism and nationalism around the world could lead to the fragmentation of major political entities … and the outbreak of hostilities.”

The Atlantic
The Republican Identity Crisis
These are confusing times to be a Republican. A conservative by any other name would still be confused about where they fall on the ideological spectrum in the Trump era.

Voters’ support is slipping for congressional GOP – even among Republicans.
When you look more loyal to K Street than to your voters, you lose. They should have learned that lesson in 2006.


California Shaping Up To Be An Elephant's Grave Yard In 2018 Midterms

The biggest
Democratic delegation in Congress is, by far, from California. Of
California's 53 House members, 39 are Democrats. Only 14 are Republicans
and it's realistic to imagine that 14 being cut in half in the 2018
midterm cycle.

As Trotsky said, fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative.

Sanders wins big with free public college and Medicare for all
In the most important sense, Sanders and progressives are winning the battle of ideas in American politics, which will serve Democrats well in the midterm election in 2018 and the presidential election in 2020. It is ironic that Trump acts more like Clinton in national security; Clinton acted more like Sanders during the last Democratic convention, and Sanders and progressives are winning the larger battle of ideas that will define the future of Democratic and American politics.

Thomas Frank
What to Make of the Age of Trump
The day after Donald Trump was elected president, The New York Times recommended six books “for those trying to understand the political, economic, regional and social shifts that drove one of the most stunning political upsets in the nation’s history.” Among them: Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Frank, a Kansas City native, has followed up, embarking on a 13-city barnstorming tour to talk to Trump voters, union leaders, and progressive activists across the Midwest in conjunction with Listen Liberal’s release in paperback.

Thomas Frank
Listen Liberal: The broken two party political system
Thomas Frank asserts that the two political parties dominated by societal elites have systemically failed the workers in America, resulting in a space for populism to naturally grow into.

This is Hell
The Democratic Party represents a class. | Thomas Frank
It is a class party, and they act on that class's behalf and they act in that class's interests and they serve that class. And they have adopted all the tastes and manners and ideology... It's just that class is not the working class. It's not the middle class. It's the professional class - affluent, white-collar elites. They can't see what they're doing. This is invisible to them, because it's who they are.

Where the left finds itself now. | This is Hell
We saw in his budget the kind of country Trump envisions for us. Essentially a country in which the government does nothing but its policing functions - all it does is lock people up, deport people and kill people. All the things that make our world happier and more humane - helping poor people, having libraries, taking care of children after school, giving food to the hungry - all of those things are on the chopping block. We are already a meaner country.

Robert Reich
America is in a crisis of governance. No adult is in charge.
the Republicans who now control the House, as well as the Senate, don’t like government. They’re temperamentally and ideologically oriented to opposing it, not leading it. Their chronic incapacity to govern didn’t reveal itself as long as a Democrat was in the White House. They let President Barack Obama try to govern and pretended that their opposition was based on a different philosophy of governing. Now that they have a Republican president, they can no longer hide. They have no philosophy of governing at all.

The Archdruid Report (Sept 28, 2016)
The Coming of the Postliberal Era 
Over the decades ahead, in other words, we can expect the emergence of a postliberal politics in the United States, England, and quite possibly some other countries as well. The shape of the political landscape in the short term is fairly easy to guess. Watch the way the professional politicians in the Republican Party have flocked to Hillary Clinton’s banner, and you can see the genesis of a party of the affluent demanding the prolongation of free trade, American intervention in the Middle East, and the rest of the waning bipartisan consensus that supports its interests.

Listen to the roars of enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—or better still, talk to the not inconsiderable number of Sanders supporters who will be voting for Trump this November—and you can sense the emergence of a populist party seeking the abandonment of that consensus in defense of its very different interests. What names those parties will have is by no means certain yet, and a vast number of other details still have to be worked out. One way or another, though, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Why liberals have embraced Hamilton, our most dangerously reactionary founder

American Conservative
The Five Most Powerful Populist Uprisings in U.S. History
The 2016 election constituted one of the great populist uprisings of American history. A large segment of the electorate rose up against American elites and many of their underlying governing nostrums—globalism, lax border control, free trade, American military adventurism, a wariness toward nationalism, the cozy relationship between Big Government and Big Finance. It’s an open question whether President Trump, who ran against those nostrums, will govern as he campaigned.

How the Left Can Win
You might think that the Democrats would, in response to their catastrophic defeat, try to adjust to the populist surge and indeed try to capture it. But it seems to me very unlikely that they’re going to do this, for the very reason that Clinton took the political positions and adopted the electoral strategy she did.

Unz Review
Trump Is Obama’s Legacy. Will This Break Up the Democratic Party?
It is easier to begin afresh than to try to re-design a party (or any institution) dominated by resistance to change, and whose idea of economic growth is a pastiche of tax cuts and deregulation. Both U.S. parties are committed to this neoliberal program – and seek to blame foreign enemies for the fact that its effect is to continue squeezing living standards and bloating the financial sector.

Trump’s Choice: Populism or Corporatism
The real division in American politics today is no longer right or left,
but rather between populism and an increasingly dominant corporate ruling class. This division is obvious within the Trump administration, elected on a nationalist and populist program but increasingly tilting toward a more corporatist orientation.

The four political economy systems that have struggled for power since WWII worldwide:
Progressive liberalism
Conservative liberalism
Stalinism    at 18:00


The Federalist
Why Progressives Hate Steve Bannon's Cyclical View Of History
It undermines a progressive worldview that yearns for utopia. If you want to make a progressive squirm, tell him that history is cyclical. Whether they realize it or not, progressives borrow their entire worldview from Christianity, and therefore have a fundamentally millenarian view of history. The idea of cycles makes them uncomfortable. \\ Progressives take it as a matter of faith that history has sides, that it is heading in a certain direction, and that it’s up to us to usher in a secular paradise.

WBUR On Point
President Trump’s top advisor Steve Bannon is a big fan of the book “The Fourth Turning” and its dark message of political upheaval. We’ll check it out.

Neil Howe: Peak Prosperity
What To Expect From The Fourth Turning We're Now In
Fourth turnings are characterized by a growing demand for social order, yet supply of it remains weak. So we now have a demand for order and no supply. That creates the unusual dynamics of a fourth turning -- kind of like we had in the 1930’s. People suddenly feel that no one is in control and that enormous events are overtaking their society which no one of leadership age has any idea how to confront or how to manage

Burning Platform
Similarities of Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy to Strauss & Howe’s Fourth Turning
I have no illusions Trump is some sort of savior who will reverse decades of political corruption, currency debasement, financial market rigging, global military missteps, cultural decay, pervasive entitlement mindset, and out of control espionage operatives. At best, he will slow some aspects of the decline over a short time frame. More likely, he will provoke his enemies to such an extent the decline will be accelerated due to civil and/or global war braking out. The oncoming financial collapse will further push the country toward the brink. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And the when is closer than most people imagine.

Burning Platform, Part 1
The catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning was the 2008 financial crisis

Burning Platform, Part 2
Who will lead the country during the second half of this Fourth Turning Crisis.

Burning Platform, Part 3
Economic distress is likely to be the driving force in next phase of this Crisis

Steve Bannon’s Apocalyptic ‘Unravelling’
Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon sees apocalyptic days ahead, a harsh winter before society’s renewal.    at 01:00


Stephen Cohen
US Claims in Syria Same As WMD Mistake in Iraq
Saker: Professor Stephen Cohen is, in my opinion, the best Russia specialist in the USA. He is also a wise, decent, honest and courageous man. We are, once again, looking at the very real possibility, or even probability, of a hot war between Russia and the USA. As I write these words I ask myself whether I am exaggerating or not, and I come to the extremely depressing conclusion that no, I am not.

Patrick J. Buchanan
If we go to war in Syria, what would we be fighting for?
A New World Order? Democracy? Separation of mosque and state? Diversity? Free speech for Muslim heretics? LGBT rights? If, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we do not want America in yet another Mideast war, the time to stop it is before the War Party has us already in it. That time is now.

Charles Hugh Smith
The Long Game
When we speak of The Long Game, we speak of national/alliance policies that continue on regardless of what political party or individual is in office. The group responsible for playing America's Long Game--the Deep State--is now splitting into two main camps:
1. The dominant Neocon camp that seeks to actively intervene on a global basis (mostly civilian);
2. The "rogue progressive" camp that views the Neocon strategy as a disaster for America's long-term interests, i.e. The Long Game (mostly military or military-related).
Put yourself in the shoes of a patriotic insider who understands the Neoliberals/Neocons are a mortal threat to America's interests. If you go public with your views, you'll get your head handed to you. The only way to play The Long Game in an internecine war is with great patience, and out of the public gaze.

An Amazing Panel
John Michael Greer, James Howard Kunstler, Chris Martenson, Frank Morris, and Dmitry Orlov.
Naked Capitalism: As readers may know, Lambert and I prefer transcripts since they are much faster to process than listening to videos or podcasts. In most cases I feel the same way and usually will skip watching/listening altogether if there is no transcript. However when I read who was on this panel I was intrigued enough to give it a try, even though it a bit over 2 1/2 hours long. Am I ever glad that I did! Furthermore the discussion is so lively that it’s hard to imagine one would get anywhere nearly as much out of it from just reading it.

Thomas Frank
What to Make of the Age of Trump
The day after Donald Trump was elected president, The New York Times recommended six books “for those trying to understand the political, economic, regional and social shifts that drove one of the most stunning political upsets in the nation’s history.” Among them: Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Frank, a Kansas City native, has followed up, embarking on a 13-city barnstorming tour to talk to Trump voters, union leaders, and progressive activists across the Midwest in conjunction with Listen Liberal’s release in paperback.

Robert Parry
Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment
“I’m hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle East, people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is available who are saying that the essential narrative that we’re all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham.”

The Archdruid
Fascism and the Future
What almost always gets forgotten about the fascist movements of Europe between the wars is just how much promise they seemed to hold, and how many people of good will saw them as the best hope of the future. Hitler’s party, for example, had a huge success among German college students long before it had a mass following anywhere else. Both parties also drew to a very great extent on the avant-garde culture and popular ideas of their time. The fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s were thus closely attuned to the hopes and fears of the masses, far more so than either the mainstream parties or the established radical groups of their respective countries. Unlike the imagined “fascism” of modern radical rhetoric, they were an alternative to business as usual, an alternative that positioned itself squarely in the abandoned center of the political discourse of their eras.

James Howard Kunstler
Why do you think the US is in so much trouble?
In 1952 we had plenty of oil and the ability to make a lot of cars, which were fun, fun, fun! And we turned our war production expertise into the mass production of single family houses built on cheap land outside the cities. But the result now is that we’re stuck in a living arrangement with no future, the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.    at 09:35


naked capitalism
IMF Blames Fall of Middle Class on Globalization and Technology
Yves: One of the big problem of reports like this is they never consider the question that income distribution is a function of political and social arrangements, and in particular, the rights of capital versus labor. It is hardly an accident that labor stopped sharing in the benefits of productivity gains in the mid 1970s, well before globalization and technology would have played much of a role. The big culprit was loss of labor bargaining power, which become official policy due to Volcker committing the Fed to creating more labor slack to keep inflation as close to his preferred target of zero as possible, and the Reagan/Thatcher “free market” fetish.

Climateer Investing
"Neoliberalism” is characterised by four significant economic policies:
1) the abandonment of full employment as a desirable policy goal and its replacement with inflation targeting;
2) an increase in the globalization of the flows of people, capital, and trade;
3) a focus at a firm level on shareholder value maximization rather than reinvestment and growth; and
4) the pursuit of flexible labor markets and the disruption of trade unions and workers’ organisation.

naked capitalism
Don’t Side With Neoliberalism in Opposing Trump
Trump is attacking two of neoliberalism's foundations: free trade and unlimited capital mobility..

Beat the Press
The "Free Traders" Who Do Not Believe in Free Trade
Almost none of the people who pronounce themselves devotees of free trade actually do consistently advocate free trade policies. Rather they push selective protectionist policies, that have the effect of redistributing income to people like them, and call them "free trade."

Beat the Press
U.S. Pursues Selective Protectionism: Not Free Trade
The Washington Post and other major news outlets are strong supporters of the trade policy pursued by administrations of both political parties. They routinely allow their position on this issue to spill over into their news reporting, touting the policy as "free trade." We got yet another example of this in the Washington Post today. Of course the policy is very far from free trade. We have largely left in place the protectionist barriers that keep doctors and dentists from other countries from competing with our own doctors. (Doctors have to complete a U.S. residency program before they can practice in the United States and dentists must graduate from a U.S. dental school.    at 00:30


Medical systems is a hostage racket
By “racket” I mean a criminal enterprise. There are only two plausible arcs to this story. One is that the nation might face the facts and resort to the Single Payer system found in virtually every other nation that pretends to be civilized. There is no other way to eliminate the deliberate racketeering. The other outcome would be the inevitable collapse of the system and its eventual re-set to a much less complex, cash-on-the-barrelhead, local clinic-based model.

Democrats Against Single Payer
The push for “Medicare for All,” one high-profile liberal pundit tells us, is simply based in “outrage that private insurers get to play any role,” and aims to “punish or demonize insurance companies.” Oh and by the way, it’ll “never, ever come to pass” anyway, according to the Democratic Party’s former standard-bearer. How times have changed.

New York Times
The Case for Medicare for All
“Single-payer national health insurance, also known as ‘Medicare for all,’ is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands.”

World Socialist Web
A socialist policy for universal health care
The capitalist principle of for-profit health care must be ended. Working people must take the position that health care is a social right—along with education, housing, employment, retirement and access to culture—not a privilege reserved for the wealthy, and must be provided to all free of charge.

Beat the Press
New Health Care Plan: Open Source Drugs, Immigrant Doctors, and a Public Option
Now that the Republican health care plan has been sent to the dust bin of history, it’s worth thinking about how Obamacare can be improved. While the ACA was a huge step forward in extending insurance coverage, many of the complaints against the program are justified. The co-pays and deductibles can mean the plans are of little use to middle income people with relatively low bills.    at 06:30


USA Today says end Chain Migration
When a mainstream media outlet calls for an end to Chain Migration, the debate over legal immigration is heading in the right direction! This sort of commentary from a mainstream news outlet was unheard of several months ago. The tendency for the MSM has been to side with the big businesses that seek cheap, foreign labor and provide news outlets with coveted advertising dollars. But Pres. Trump's focus throughout the campaign on protecting American workers, particularly those who have been impacted by massive amounts of unskilled labor through legal immigration, has opened the door for a debate shift.

Trump's Wall Is Already Collapsing
Funding and congressional support seems hard to come by.

Does the US want a population of 500 million, a billion?
The Pew Research Center estimates U.S. population to rise to 441 million by 2065. Immigration policy will alone be responsible for 88 percent of the increase (103 million).

Real Clear
Common Sense on Immigration
As usual, California leads the lunacy. Gov. Jerry Brown, who famously laid out a “welcome” sign to Mexican illegal and legal immigrants, has also given them drivers’ licenses and provides financial aid for college, even while cutting aid for middle-class residents. Some Sacramento lawmakers are pressing to give undocumented immigrants’ access to state health insurance.

Ten Steps to Re-establish the Integrity of the Immigration System

Without H-1B visas tech-industry employment of U.S. workers would have increased by 10.8%
A recent Politico Poll showed that the H-1B visa is unpopular with American voters with only 30% saying they believed that H-1B visas are needed to fill jobs.

Are there “no-go” areas in Sweden and France ruled by sharia law, not controlled by the state?
The New York Times calls such ideas “fake news”. The Gatestone Institute says the New York Times is fake news. One side has to be wrong.    at 23:54

Ron Paul
Don't Forget JFK's Fight With The CIA
JFK was threatening the existence of the entire national-security establishment.

The origins of the overclass can be traced back to the CIA    at 21:00

Unz Review: Andrew Napolitano
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is a Monster Created by Congress    at 18:57

Neoconservatives and liberal hawks have much in common    at 15:00