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The Democratic Party establishment will continue leading the country down a path toward authoritarian government but it will not at all be communist. It will be an even more predatory version of the rentiér capitalism into which the American economy has already devolved. Furthermore the Republican establishment is on board with this because they are driven by the same force – the financial sector based on Wall Street. To paraphrase Woodrow Wilson’s comment on academic politics, the reason the conflict between the parties is so bitter is because the differences are so small. The characteristics, effects and implications of the rise and for the future of rentiér capitalism are vividly described by economist Michael Hudson in the interview linked below by Pepé Escobar,* where you can either watch the video or read the transcript. Rentiér capitalism is at odds with economic interests of the legacy core constituencies of both parties. On the Republican side, as small entrepreneurial opportunities wither, the small business people are being replaced by Christian evangelicals. Since the Franklin Roosevelt era he Democrats’ legacy base has been the blue and white collar working classes. The Party began a gradual abandonment them not long after FDR died and the betrayal went on steroids with the inauguration of Bill Clinton. Since they did not have a religious movement to fall back upon a core principle of the Party’s communication strategy has been to distract what’s left of that base from what was going on. If the Party had to lose the 2016 presidential election, it was a godsend to have lost it to lightening rod like Trump. That’s what the years of Russiagate immediately followed by the seamless segue into a farcically planned impeachment, etc., were all about. And they’re still doing it with Impeachment II! * I’m aware Escobar is not a favorite around here but Hudson dominates the platform. His message has been in such opposition to the official economic narrative for a so long that he gets no MSM exposure in spite of having at least a dozen books to his name. The revised and updated 2003 edition of his classic Superimperialism on the financially predatory nature of USA foreign policy is now available for free download at the link below. It was originally published 49 years ago.
According to a post at Ars Technica the launch is now off until at the earliest Monday. The FAA safety approval didn't come through.
Although the situation has its dangers I don’t believe it’s dire in the short term, nor do I believe the “Opposition” will be all that opposed. However the long term prognosis continues to get ever more ominous unless the USA makes fundamental change of course in both domestic and foreign policy. But I’m out here in Flyoverland far from the Beltway whisperers so what do I know? I must confess that some of what I throw out here are not based on hard evidence, but I’m not aware of evidence that contradicts them either. They are instead plausible inferences based on the observed behavior of the players involved. The Borg (i.e. “Deep State”) consists of elements in both the private and government sectors, and the most influential actors in each are Wall Street and the CIA respectively. Furthermore these two have been joined at the hip since before the latter’s creation in 1947. When early 20th century presidents needed general information from a broader perspective than what was available from the more narrowly focused info than what was produced by the intelligence bureaus of the State, Army and Navy Departments they would get in touch with their contacts on Wall Street. When its deeply connected lawyer Bill Donovan stood up the OSS in 1942 he drew heavily for staff from that same community as well as the law firms that serviced it, and many of those people went on to become founding employees and perhaps also assets of the CIA. Three facts about Wall Street are pertinent to the present situation. First, as Willie Sutton allegedly remarked when asked why he robbed banks, “That’s where the money is.” Substantial quantities of that money find their way into the campaign coffers of candidates and campaign committees of the establishments of both parties, much of it by way of bundled contributions in which the traders and other producers on the Street are “encouraged” to participate. Since Bill Clinton concluded the negotiations that had been between the DNC and Wall Street for decades, for all practical purposes the establishments of both major parties are now tools of the financial sector. Instead of political parties, we now have two coalitions of stenographers who fight over the front row seats for taking dictation. Second, the financial sector has a consensus on long term objectives, and the one that is pertinent here is to preserve the US Dollar as the world wide reserve currency. This, I believe (but with no hard evidence), is what’s driving the USA’s increasingly aggressive and intrusive foreign policy. However it’s proving counterproductive because it’s pushing our most formidable military and commercial competitors, Russia and China respectively, into each other’s arms. Not only is this making the world a more dangerous place, but it’s also ironic because had not Wall Street been so greedy the status quo could have continued for decades. Now it probably won’t. Finally, speaking of greed, for the Street the prospect of near-term bonanzas from time to time trumps its focus on its long term goals, and the forthcoming foreclosure fest has them positively drooling. The last thing they want is a hot conflict that risks stalling off into an uncertain future a feast on the misfortune of others that will approach and perhaps exceed a trillion dollars. You can count on Wall Street and their allies in the CIA to dump sand in every gear they can reach to prevent the situation from going over the edge. And as whistle blower Fletcher Prouty revealed late in his life, the Agency has had covert cells throughout the government since the 1950s. He would have known; he set them up. As for the Republican’s “Opposition,” a while back I captured a graphic off the internet entitled “The Republocrat Party Venn Diagram.” (Unfortunately I can’t now find the URL.) In the common area of its two overlapping circles it lists the multitude of issues on which the two parties agree, and elsewhere in each circle are lists of the handful of issues on which they differ. Thus much of the “conflict” we see between the two parties is political kayfabe intended to distract the parties’ faithful from the policies they jointly support. They have to do this because the overall impact of those policies are what has eviscerated our formerly industrial capitalist system and replaced it with a financial capitalism that benefits only those who are already well off. Trickle down has become deluge up. The most recent instances of the kayfabe took place just these past few weeks. For months Wall Street had been vetoing any additional stimulus beyond last spring’s CARES bill, but as hardships accumulated and the pandemic resurged they grudgingly acquiesced. $1,200 was floated initially but the Street’s long-time primary ally, the Republicans in the person of Mitch McConnell, refused to go beyond $600. After not much token resistance the Democrats caved, no doubt resulting from “suggestions” from their donors on the Street. Then President Trump threw his $2,000 curve ball. The Street and therefore McConnell held firm, again, and after some more theater and hand-wringing the Democrats caved, again. Can’t do anything that might put off that foreclosure fest now can we? As for the ominous longer term future in lieu of a fundamental course change, I suggest this recent interview of economist and economic historian Michael Hudson. The link below has both the video and the transcript. After the introduction by people from the organizations sponsoring the event Hudson is interviewed by journalist Pepe Escobar. It’s a master class by Hudson discussing how the US economy degeneration of America’s political economy and the obstacles that will prevent a turnaround within the existing neoliberal paradigm. He also draws from his decade of work as the spearhead of the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near East Economies to show why, when the financial sector of a society escapes the chains on its predatory instincts, it’s a kiss of death unless it is somehow reined in again. It’s baked in by the math of compound interest. Ancient near eastern societies addressed this issue with periodic debt jubilees. We desperately need one here in the USA.
Stueeeeee & Jersey Jeffersonian There are those who assert that is exactly why he died in an "accident" in 1945.
Algona, Iowa, where the mentioned museum is and the POW camp was is about 40 miles SSE across the border from my hometown in Minnesota. We also had a camp for prisoners who worked on farms in the area. I dimly recall its barracks on the edge of town being pointed out to me. They were torn down shortly after the war and replaced with a drive-in theater. That is now also history. In the '80s a co-worker who was 5-10 years older than I and who grew up on a farm in western MN that used POW labor recalled an "Oh S**t" moment from the era. His dad told his older brother, who was about 15 or so, to drive the pickup truck to the camp and get the crew for the day. The 5 or 6 guys piled into the back of the truck for the uneventful trip back to the farm. But when they arrived and he dropped the tailgate he was appalled to see his loaded 410 shotgun laying at their feet. He'd been rabbit hunting the evening before and had neglected to stow it properly when he had finished. My friend Herb said his brother swore him to secrecy, knowing their dad would let him have it if he knew.
Chris Chuba, As the great 20th century political scientist Josef Stalin put it, "Voters don't decide elections. Those who count the votes decide elections."
Rubble Kings: How the Violence Stopped and Hip Hop Emerged in the South Bronx
How do ya think? ;-)
Lavrov's comments at the Valdai Discussion Club, as well as the discussions in general, are addressed in more detail by Pepe Escobar at Asia Times than in the Sputnik post to which Patrick linked. Fortunately it's been reposted outside of the AT's paywall in several places, including at the Global Research link below:
So much for the "Art of the Deal."
He should know. Obama did a pretty good job of f***ing things up himself, especially by not even investigating, let alone prosecuting the banksters for the literally millions of perpetrations of perjury, forgery and fraud that let up to the meltdown of 2008. So now the TBTF vampire squid, to use Matt Taibbi's term, has open season to prey on the rest of the American public like there's no tomorrow. For many of whom there probably won't be.
A couple of provocative reads. First up a two part series by the Canadian Matthew Ehret suggesting, among other things, we here in the USA are still, de facto, a part of the British Empire: “The Brookings Hand Behind Russiagate Points Back to Rhodes Trust Coup on America” “The Birth of a Global Nation: What Makes a Modern Rhodes Scholar?” Then there’s this by James Attucher, a long-time denizen of the New York theater scene: “NYC Is Dead Forever. Here's Why”
Jack, Just to clarify, the link you posted above is about Steven Schrage, not by him. It was written by Matt Taibbi at his personal internet perch. I agree it's definitely worth the time to read.
Esper's slip reminds me of Mayor Daley during the 1968 Democratic convention: "The police are not here to create disorder; they're here to preserve disorder."
When an alleged conservative has lost the Rutherford Institute . . .
jerseycityjoan, re: " It seems that the Chinese want to apply the new laws to people around the world so it would be a crime . . " They must be taking lessons from a country we all know and love that's gotten pretty good at that.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2020 on Open Thread - 7 July 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Scott Ritter demolishes Bountygate in a long, detailed piece at Consortium News: "There's no there there," to leverage Gertrude Stein's remark about her home town, Oakland, California.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2020 on Open Thread - 7 July 2020 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Robert William, Thank you for the comprehensive and informative reply.
T. Gore: re Biden and the Logan Act Joe's been on the DC scene for so long he probably remembers the bygone days when it was usually honored. Now it rarely is except when it comes in handy to go after the "wrong" people.
Does Gen. Flynn have standing to sue? And if so, whom? This question might be more appropriate for Robert William than Larry J.
And this:
Toggle Commented May 29, 2020 on Murder is murder. at Sic Semper Tyrannis
While we're on the subject of looting, there's this"
Toggle Commented May 29, 2020 on Murder is murder. at Sic Semper Tyrannis
srw, I posted that Mint Press News link elsewhere earlier this am and a commenter later said the previous refusal to press charges came after her she had left the prosecutor job for the US Senate. I haven't had the time yet since to check that out, but she was notorious for giving police violence a pass during her watch. Jack, up-thread. Target is HQed here in the Twin Cities and it's my understanding that particular store had been their test bed for loss prevention techniques for roll-out to the rest of their properties. Some of what they tried out there didn't go down well with that inner city community and as a result the store became a focal point of dissatisfaction. Not justifying; just explaining a factor involved.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2020 on Murder is murder. at Sic Semper Tyrannis
As a native Minnesotan who's lived here all but 12 years of my live I agree. I've seen two conflicting narratives of what the alleged offense was: forging a check; and passing a counterfeit $20 bill. If it was the latter, the irony is he may well not have any idea the note was a fake. Floyd was a bouncer at a nightclub and may well have received it as a tip.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2020 on Murder is murder. at Sic Semper Tyrannis
It may be premature to write off Judge Sullivan's initiative as indicative of anti-Trump/GOP bias. As Gen. Flynn's attorney, Sidney Powell points out in the open letter to ex-President Obama posted on her website on May 13, 2020, this judge is known to be a stickler on prosecutory malfeasance. He may well be doing this to prevent the egregious misconduct in this case from being swept under the carpet.