Putin and Trump: Hiding the Cash

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Globalist.

A mysterious encounter on the side of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, is likely to take place between Russian president Vladimir Putin and U.S. president Donald Trump.

Once again, as was the case when they met in Helsinki in July 2018, there may be no notes taken and no assistants in the room and, consequently, we may never know what was said and what was agreed.

Overshadowing this meeting are continuing concerns that Putin has found ways to compromise, indeed blackmail, Trump.

There is no hard evidence to support this view. However, Trump’s continuous friendly comments about Putin and his secretive conversations with him have generated suspicions.

The FBI remains silent about the findings of a counterintelligence investigation that it opened in early 2017.

Election support

Trump has publicly contradicted himself in various interviews and Tweets recently as to whether he would welcome foreign (that is Russian) information against his Democratic Party opponents as the 2020 U.S. presidential election campaign proceeds.

He has brushed aside suggestions that accepting such information would violate U.S. election laws.

The U.S. president has ignored all of the evidence in the April report by special counsel Robert Mueller of enormous Russian engagement in the years leading to the November 2016 election. Instead, he has stated that he trusts Putin who told him there was no interference.

Trump agreed, with a big smile across his face, in a long and wide-ranging interview with U.S. NBC TV reporter Chuck Todd that was fully aired on Sunday, June 23, that he would raise the subject of Russian interference in U.S. elections when he meets Putin in Japan.

Sanctions and cash

Mueller did not investigate the Trump Organization’s financial dealings with Russia, or large-scale acquisitions of Trump owned properties in the United States by wealthy Russians.

Investigations now being pursued by New York State authorities and by Congressional committees may provide information on such matters as Trump’s taxes, as well as his many ties to Deutsche Bank.

Some of these investigations have now been going on for more than a year.

In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank has been investigating whether Deutsche Bank was involved in transactions that saw it move Russian funds through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank into New York accounts. Deutsche is under a further set of investigations by European authorities.

And further aspects of the dirty cash investigations in the United States embrace Deutsche Bank’s involvement in possible transactions with Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who headed a family real estate firm and who is now a senior White House advisor.

It seems likely that Putin will try and convince Trump to lift U.S. financial sanctions on major Russian enterprises and the close circle of Putin’s multi-billionaire friends.

Few issues anger Putin as much as this one, but it is difficult to see just what Trump may ask for in return to pledging an effort to curb sanctions – perhaps a private Putin promise of further help to Trump in the 2020 U.S. elections.

Or perhaps Russian support for Trump’s strategy of “maximum pressure” against Iran?

Putin’s money

The importance to Putin of seeing the United States lift sanctions cannot be underestimated. The issue is prominent in the Mueller report. It is a critical and compelling feature of extensive research contained in a brand new book by Atlantic Council scholar Anders Aslund – “Russia’s Crony Capitalism.”

Drawing upon multiple sources, Aslund suggests that the private investments held by Russians in real estate and other assets in the West could be around $800 billion, and: “Putin personally holds tens of billions of dollars of assets abroad, probably in the range of $100 billion to $160 billion.”

Aslund notes that many of Putin’s friends and associates have created opaque complex sets of offshore holding companies to launder the cash and invest it and that a significant portion of these funds belongs to Putin himself.

So, when Putin forcefully argues against Western sanctions, he is not just doing this on behalf of his friends, but he sees himself as a victim as well.

Raising transparency

Many Trump properties are registered in the names of holding companies that mask the identities of the true owners, although Russians are thought to be particularly prominent at Trump properties in New York and in Florida.

Putin has every reason to try and see that the United States continues to allow such real estate investment secrecy and Trump may have personal financial reasons to share this view.

Surprisingly he has been silent, so far, as legislation to secure beneficial ownership of assets in the U.S. has recently been gathering bi-partisan support in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

The FACT Coalition, representing approximately 100 different organizations, has been lobbying hard for this legislation and secured formidable political and business support.

A transatlantic effort

This comes at a time when greater efforts to curb money laundering, investigate banks and pressure offshore havens to be more transparent are being seen on both sides of the Atlantic.

For example, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK’s House of Commons has recently warned that Putin is striving to undermine British security and it has argued that both sanctions on Russia and UK anti-money laundering regulations need to be strengthened.

If there is one thing that Putin and his cronies do not like it is transparency (while Trump is going to extreme lengths to keep his own finances secret).

The question is – will Trump in this week’s meeting provide Putin with any joy when it comes to lifting those sanctions and keeping a tight lid on Russian investments across the world?


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

12:31 PM 6/25/2019 – Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ | Trump’s toadyism to Saudi Arabia: a new moral low – The Guardian | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions.

12:31 PM 6/25/2019

Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’

Trump’s toadyism to Saudi Arabia: a new moral low – The Guardian

Saved Stories – 250 |  Saved Stories – 25 – Page | Trump Investigations on RSS Dog | 

Trump Investigations News Review – Saved Stories – 25 – Saved Stories – None on RSS Dog 

Saved Stories – None
“political crimes” – Google News: Why Tackling Urban Violence Should Be First on America’s Domestic Agenda – Crime Report

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – fox23maine.com

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – NBC 15 WPMI
Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – CNYcentral.com

Trump’s toadyism to Saudi Arabia: a new moral low – The Guardian

Trump: Jeff Sessions ‘biggest mistake’ of first term – GOPUSA
US issues Turkey new warning over Russian missile purchase – WPEC
Did Trump and His Team Successfully Obstruct Mueller’s Investigation? – Just Security
“political crimes” – Google News: Austrian court says Ukrainian oligarch with ties to Manafort can be sent to U.S. – NBC News
Twitter search feed for: michael novakhov.: #JerusalemSecurityMeeting2019 – #AllWin: A very good and promising start, an enhancement of the Middle East regional and global security; and also of the international cooperation and stability. Mr. Bolton appears to be on the right (correct) track, and he is doing a good job.pic.twitter.com/ptWWcCpdHJ
“political crimes” – Google News: China Confesses To Abusing Interpol System In The United States – Forbes
Public opinion on wrongful convictions swayed by entertainment series, study finds – Phys.Org
Report suggests hackers are using telecom companies as ‘global surveillance systems’ – MarketWatch
Facing Big Brother’s Stare – The American Interest
Mueller could face two subpoenas to testify before Congress – Politico
What the Iran Crisis Reveals About European Power
“Russia investigations” – Google News: The Media Shrugs Its Shoulders at Trump’s Rape Allegation – Mother Jones
Trump picked Christopher Wray to clean up the FBI ⁠— now it’s Wray who could get the broom – AlterNet
Schiff hopes to resolve impasse around Mueller testimony this week | TheHill – The Hill
We Don’t Need Airstrikes to Restore Deterrence in the Strait of Hormuz
Trump warns Iran of ‘overwhelming force’ in the event of an attack on ‘anything American’ – The Washington Post
Ukraine Oligarch Linked to Paul Manafort Can Be Extradited to Chicago – Newsweek
Ex-Armenian President Kocharian behind bars again
US-Iran crisis: Trump lashes out at ‘ignorant and insulting’ statement
mikenov on Twitter: #JerusalemSecurityMeeting2019 – #AllWin: A very good and promising start, an enhancement of the Middle East regional and global security; and also of the international cooperation and stability. Mr. Bolton appears to be on the right (correct) track, and he is doing a good job. pic.twitter.com/ptWWcCpdHJ
Saved Stories – None
“political crimes” – Google News: Why Tackling Urban Violence Should Be First on America’s Domestic Agenda – Crime Report

Why Tackling Urban Violence Should Be First on America’s Domestic Agenda  Crime Report“Agree or disagree with him, but by all means read him.” That’s The New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb’s take on Thomas Abt, whose just-published book, “Bleeding …

 “political crimes” – Google News

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – fox23maine.com

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’fox23maine.comLONDON (AP) — An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into telecommunications companies in order to spy on high-profile targets …

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – NBC 15 WPMI

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’  NBC 15 WPMILONDON (AP) — An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into telecommunications companies in order to spy on high-profile targets …

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’ – CNYcentral.com

Report: Hackers using telecoms like ‘global spy system’  CNYcentral.comLONDON (AP) — An ambitious group of state-backed hackers has been burrowing into telecommunications companies in order to spy on high-profile targets …

Trump’s toadyism to Saudi Arabia: a new moral low – The Guardian

Trump’s toadyism to Saudi Arabia: a new moral low  The GuardianThe Saudis are good customers, Trump says – which evidently outweighs the fact they murdered and carved up a Washington Post journalist.
Trump: Jeff Sessions ‘biggest mistake’ of first term – GOPUSA

Trump: Jeff Sessions ‘biggest mistake’ of first term  GOPUSAPresident Trump says naming Jeff Sessions — an ardent supporter in 2016 — as attorney general was the biggest mistake of his time in office. Mr. Trump, asked …

US issues Turkey new warning over Russian missile purchase – WPEC

US issues Turkey new warning over Russian missile purchaseWPECBRUSSELS (AP) — The U. S. envoy to NATO says Turkey will be axed from the advance high-tech F-35 fighter jet program if it goes ahead with plans to buy …


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

How 9 People Built an Illegal $5M Airbnb Empire in New York

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

So David Corn is a CLOSE FRIEND of  the FBI’s former top lawyer, James Baker? Well isn’t THAT interesting? Knew each other for yearsandyearsandyears…. carpooled, with kids, for years… Corn isn’t a middle of the road journalist. Nowhere NEAR the middle of the road. Not really a journalist, either.Well, congratulations, Proggies! You’ve played yourselves. The date is 5/15/2019. The election is 11/3/2020. Roughly a year and a half from now. And John Durham has already started studying how your attempted coup transpired.The point is the narrative going into the midterm elections will NOT be how the Orange Man Bad conspired with the Roosians . We’re going to be hearing about FISA court abuse, the notorious Piss Dossier being nothing more than unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiatable) oppo research used to provide a veneer of justification to a grossly illegal act. We’re going to hear about corruption in the last administration.All the while the American economy hums along, Americans are at work, life is good.Congratulations, Proggies. You’ve played yourselves.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Can Democrats Win Back the Internet In the Age of Trump?

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

After 2016, against the landscape of a shattered party once unmatched in its digital prowess, Dutta and Hoover identified two major problems facing Democrats. First, the party had become complacent about its tools and failed to adapt as America’s media and digital habits changed. Second, veteran pollsters and traditional media consultants still maintained a curious chokehold on the Democratic establishment, convincing candidates and campaigns to pay top dollar for their wares even as their value withered. For TV ad-makers, the problems are well-known in Washington, but sometimes politely ignored: voters under the age of 55 are abandoning live television. Since 2017 alone, according to AdAge, 27% of 18-49 year-old television viewers have vanished, turning their attention to streaming platforms and mobile devices, platforms that also happen to deliver better measurement for advertisers. Pollsters, meanwhile, are experimenting with online questionnaires and modeling, but many still dial voters on landlines, a costly venture for campaigns as a diminishing number of Americans use traditional phones or answer calls from random numbers. In 2012, according to DNC data, the blended response rates for voter contact via door knocks and phone calls hovered around 30%. Today, that number has plummeted to less than 10%. “We need to do a better job of meeting people where they are,” Hoover said. “The places that people are spending their time, it’s constantly changing. Not just cycle-to-cycle, but year-over-year.”

Voters might be retreating into their phones and hiding from traditional campaign outreach, but the early Trump moment was also marked by spontaneous grassroots convulsions of like the women’s marches or March For Our Lives, creating fresh opportunities to organize. Companies like Mobilize America, Tuesday Company and OutVote—all seeded by Higher Ground—began developing tools to make it easier for activists to connect and build their movements from the ground up, as well as share manpower across campaigns, without the top-down structure of a regular political organizations. OutVote was launched after Trump’s election in Cambridge, Massachusetts by a pair of millennials, Naseem Makiya, a Harvard-educated engineer, and Nadeem Mazen, an MIT graduate and former city councilman. The goal was to empower everyday activists with modern political tools, without waiting for guidance from experienced Washington hands, a decentralized and distributed organizing model powered by fingers tapping a smartphone.

“Right now, you can have the biggest rally in the country pop up overnight, but what happens the day after?,” Makiya told me. “There is an energy out there. People want to canvass or get involved but don’t know how. Even now, still, budgets are spent on ads and impersonal marketing. Texting from campaigns came into play a few years ago, but that novelty is already wearing off. People are getting all of them. The thing that works best is when a friend makes a recommendation. That’s not just in politics, it applies to everything. You do what your friends are doing in any aspect of life.” Organizations like MoveOn.org, the DNC and Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign have used OutVote’s tools to tap into small, curated networks of peers, who share political content and encourage one another to get involved, even for 30 minutes a week. Like many Democrats who labored in the campaign trenches of 2018, he heralded the growing importance of “peer-to-peer” campaigning. “We are hoping to grow around relationships and friends,” Makiya said.

Campaigns have long been reluctant to embrace the animating idea of OutVote and other Higher Ground companies: allowing civilians outside the protected shell of a professional staff put their own twist on outreach and messaging. That remains true in 2019, even as terms like “focus-grouped” and “poll-tested” have become everyday pejoratives for politicians who just can’t relate, advised by ladder-climbing staffers who tend to play it safe cycle-to-cycle. Today, though, political power flows not from perceived stature or the best consultants, but from the two most important commodities on the internet: attention and trust. Both forces are powered by the friends, peers and influencers you follow and connect with online. “We have to trust our activists,” Dutta told me. “The way we used to run command-and-control campaigns needs to change, and now the activist needs to be the center of the hub of action. Trust is at an all-time low for hierarchical systems, whether it’s in government, media, politicians. Even hospitals and universities. The only place trust has actually increased is in a distributed fashion amongst your peers. And because trust has changed, the kinds of people you have to listen to in politics has to fundamentally change.”

Democrats have the data to identity and reach voters. It’s never been easier for commercial marketers or campaigns to target Americans based on their online behaviors, purchasing habits or voting history. But how Democrats are using that data—and what they are saying to voters once they find them—has become a source of grumbling among digital strategists who want the party to evolve. In 2012, the Obama campaign perfected the use of large-scale surveys to slice-and-dice the electorate into targeted audiences of voters, an idea carried over onto Clinton’s campaign in 2016. With its statistical models and voter scores, Democratic politics almost became too sophisticated for its own good, with too many machines but no emotional core. Guy Cecil, the chief strategist for Priorities USA, told me after Clinton’s loss in 2016 that “Democrats micro-targeted themselves to death.”

While Democrats spent the last decade running A/B tests and refining their voter models, Republicans stumbled into learning how to weaponize content on social media by going after the heart and gut. “You have right-wing organizations like Turning Point USA pouring millions and millions of dollars into churning out videos, GIFs and memes that are then fed into massive distribution networks,” said Lindsay Holst, who served as Director of Digital Content in the Obama White House. “For these groups, the digital content is the point, not the window dressing. We’re lacking the necessary volume of emotional messaging that appeals to people as human beings, not as data points. Most Americans don’t wake up in the morning charged with purpose to share some talking points, or a canned direct-to-camera fundraising appeal, or language that sounds like it was incubated in some kind of pollster laboratory. We don’t view ourselves as brand ambassadors for a particular PAC or party committee. But this is precisely what so many Democrats seem to be assuming with the majority of the content we’re producing.” Democrats opting for a more unvarnished approach on social media—Bernie Sanders in 2016, Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018, or Andrew Yang this cycle—have seen their stocks rise from almost nowhere. “Social media is a reflection of humankind,” said Hougland, the Main Street One founder. “It’s non-binary, it’s conflicted, it’s nuanced. Our campaigning needs to reflect that.” It’s a problem that technology cannot solve on its own. Candidates themselves have to find a way to forge an emotional connection with voters, and those candidates are granted more leeway to experiment and fight their opponents online as results. When Ocasio-Cortez was mocked by the right for an unearthed video of her dancing at Boston University, she responded by posting a video on Twitter of herself dancing into her new congressional office—a video that now has over 21 million views. But even candidates without that kind of charisma can be aided by more sophisticated tools and a greater willingness to plug into the normalized behaviors of the social web.

On issues like climate, abortion, immigration or guns, Hougland said, public opinion lands on the side of Democrats. With facts on their side, he added, Democrats don’t need to create their own disinformation campaigns to fight back, as one progressive cyber security firm did in the 2017 Alabama Senate race when they invented phony accounts to meddle with Republican candidate Roy Moore. (The firm apologized after their Russian-style efforts came to light.) Hougland’s case is that the facts just need to be presented in a vernacular that reverberates online—the mission of Main Street One. Still, much of the content produced by Democrats for the web—mostly video and display ads on social media platforms—still often resembles the canned and predictable television advertising that ruled campaigns for decades. Those advertisements represent one side of an asymmetrical political war. On the other, Trump and his supporters are gleefully tossing red meat and false information to the algorithms of agnostic platforms, allowing misinformation to flourish and reach swing voters. “All our donors are obsessed with ways to get content to the right people more efficiently—but not on the actual content we’re feeding into these fancy tools,” Holst said. “We love talking about our six-figure digital ad buys, but how confident are we about the actual substance of the ads themselves? We’re not doing a sufficient job of putting content in voter’s hands that allows them to say, to their peers and to anyone else who might be persuaded by them, ‘Yes, this is what I believe.’” Progressives are running ads starring middle-aged people in suits talking sternly about health care costs. Conservatives are being shown trash memes about Elizabeth Warren’s heritage and sinister YouTube videos about Mexicans coming across the southern border to rape and steal. Which packs more of a punch?

A handful of the companies funded by Higher Ground are charging into this territory, largely uncharted for Democrats, using artificial intelligence and more responsive listening techniques to help campaigns get a better feel for what’s energizing voters. “We, as Democrats, have a really bad habit of bringing facts to an emotional battle and getting our asses kicked,” said Michiah Prull, the CEO of Avalanche Strategy, which marries artificial intelligence with online surveys to reveal “the values, emotions and associations” around certain issues. In a past life, Prull worked in Florida politics and for environmental causes, but found that white papers and 10-point plans rarely moved the opinion needle. Democrats listen to people, he said, but not deeply enough to understand what connected them to a cause. And until recently, strategists have been unable to connect certain emotional dots across a broad sample of voters to figure out what’s meaningful and what’s noise. “The core challenge for Democrats isn’t that we are bad at writing ad copy. It’s that we don’t understand people very well, where they are when it comes to values,” Prull said. “Emotional resonance dictates political power.” Avalanche performs what the company calls “psychographic listening,” prompting representative samples of a community to give written responses to open-ended questions on an issue—essentially a focus group at a much larger scale, with as many as 10,000 respondents at a time. Humans and artificial intelligence analyze these tranches of qualitative data to divine how voters are thinking about a topic, giving clients valuable intelligence on how to run their campaigns.

Avalanche recently worked with one of the country’s largest labor unions for a campaign on income inequality. The union assumed that raising the minimum wage would be the top issue among its target audience. But through Avalanche’s listening tool, they found the issue of gender pay equity emerging as the top concern for its targeted voters. Minimum wage was “only sixth or seventh” on the list, allowing the campaign to adjust its messaging. “What distinguishes us from traditional polling, is that with a poll you sometimes have to decide which five things to put on the survey,” Prull said. “But we find things you wouldn’t even know to put on the list in the first place. Usually people that are inside the bubble, be it the D.C. or the Twitter bubble, leave things off that list because they just never thought of it. But what we saw was that minimum wage was assumed to be the top issue, only because we didn’t even bother to put gender pay equity on the list.” Avalanche also published research last week on the hot-button topic of presidential electability. Predictably, given the media narratives around the campaign, the research revealed that a candidate’s gender was a source of worry for Democrats hoping to defeat Trump. But the research revealed something more nuanced about electability: women, not men, are the Democrats most likely to harbor doubts about a woman’s ability to win in 2020. “There’s a lot more texture around what drives people than we assume,” said Dutta. “What Democrats usually do is they look at a Latino woman who is 30-something with kids and say, ‘Oh, immigration is her issue! It must be immigration! This is her demographic. Let’s talk to her about immigration!’ The reality is more complicated. We need to find ways of making sense of all of the data available around people, while listening to them carefully in their own words. And the data has made it abundantly clear that we are just all emotional decision makers.”

Deck Apps, another Higher Ground-backed firm, is trying to make the data-focused aspects of campaigning more responsive to the social media age, when voters are constantly bombarded with flecks of information about politics. Campaigns using data typically rely on statistically-created models of voter audiences—married white moms, for instance, or African-American women under 30—which can be targeted with ads or volunteer outreach. Those voters universes are “scored” over the campaign to track movements in support, allowing campaigns to pull levers where necessary. But according to Max Wood, the founder of Deck, those models are created at a single point in time at the outset of race, instead of constantly being re-trained during a campaign to respond to shifting signals like media coverage or fundraising spikes in certain demos. “If our finance data that we’re collecting shows that younger people, for example, are donating in really large numbers to candidate X, the model would infer that that group likes that candidate more, and people with those traits are more likely to vote for that candidate,” Wood said. “Or, if we have media data from a particular outlet, and we know certain groups are more likely to pay attention to that news outlet, then that’ll influence it, too.”

“The idea,” Wood continued, “is that you run a campaign because you’re trying to change the context in which people are making their decisions. So, basing all of our strategic and targeting decisions on data that reflects one specific point in time, and isn’t reflective of whether or not those changes are successfully being made, doesn’t feel aligned with the goal.” Wood wants Democratic targeting models to refresh themselves as fast as we scroll and tap and refresh our screens every day. Online lives and offline lives are no longer distinct, he said, and political technology must respond in kind. “If you’re the kind of person who clicks on a Bounty ad, and Bounty makes an ad buy on Facebook, Facebook will start showing you more Bounty ads, right? That’s the targeting system that powers all the digital ad networks. We’re just trying to bring some of that to organizing and kind of targeting.”

Whether these start-ups fail or achieve wide adoption on the left, their backers say the stakes are too high not to take risks and re-imagine how campaigns can work. “What’s missing right now is a digital-first argument against Trump, because Trump is doing that right now in battleground states on his own, uninterrupted right now, with zero pushback,” Dutta said. “And that should be deeply, deeply concerning.” Higher Ground says it is “in the business of saving democracy”—an audacious boast for a private sector entity. But is anyone else? Congress, federal regulators, cash-starved political campaigns, righteous newspapers columnists complaining about the platforms: none of them are doing much to save democracy from the hungry algorithms and fever swamps of the web. Nor is most of the Democratic establishment, focused on the presidential primary and preoccupied with the insular world of Twitter and cable news, blind to vast swaths of the internet where support for Trump thrives unchecked.

“Democrats are largely still relying on traditional media outlets to put their stories out,” Dutta added. “It’s not going to work. Right-wing websites and MAGA people are very good at flooding networks with lots of content all the time, and those networks have biases towards outrage and fear and anger and disgust. We have to learn how to cope with those things.” Hougland, who arrived to politics after studying ISIS and Russian intelligence, said he’s not sure that Democrats fully comprehend the mammoth challenge ahead of them, or the risks required to confront it. “With ISIS, that was the seminal moment on the internet when you realized a small group of people online could inflict global damage and push an ideology far beyond the reach anyone else had,” he said. “If you want to know the future of mankind, it’s what happens when a small group of individuals gains control over a system. And that could be happening right now.”

Peter Hamby is the host of Snapchat’s Good Luck America.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Dear Democrats, Here’s How to Guarantee Trump’s Reelection

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

To: All Democratic candidates

As you prepare for your first debates later this week, some unsolicited thoughts on what you could do to blow this election. With 20 of you clamoring for attention over two nights, the opportunities are abundant for you to kick off the primary season with an easy win for the president.

Story Continued Below

This might seem impossible. Donald Trump remains historically unpopular because the past three years have cemented the public’s image of the president as a deeply dishonest, erratic, narcissistic, Twitter-addicted bully. As a result, a stunning 57 percent of voters say they will definitely not vote to reelect him next year and he trails Democratic challengers in key states. Trump himself seems to have given up on swing voters, instead focusing on ginning up turnout among his hard-core base. But, as columnist Henry Olsen points out, this is unlikely to be successful because millions of “reluctant Trump voters” from 2016 have already shown a willingness to bail on him by voting for Democrats in last November’s midterms.

Even so, Trump could still win reelection, because he has one essential dynamic working in his favor: You.

Trump’s numbers are unmovable, but yours are not. He doesn’t need to win this thing; he needs for you to lose it. There are millions of swing voters who regard Trump as an abomination but might vote for him again if they think you are scarier, more extreme, dangerous, or just annoyingly out of touch.

And, you have some experience at this, don’t you?

Despite the favorable poll numbers and the triumphalism in your blue bubble, you’ve already made a solid start at guaranteeing another four years of Trumpism. Last week’s pile-on of Joe Biden was a good example of how you might eat your own over the next 16 months.

On Tuesday, Trump refused to apologize for calling for the death penalty for the Central Park 5, a group of black and Latino men who were later exonerated of charges that they had beaten and raped a woman in the 1980s. But rather than focusing on the latest Trumpian racial outrage, many of you spent the next few days hammering your front-runner for saying that civility required working with people like the late segregationist senators John Eastland and Herman Talmadge.

This week’s debates give you two more chances to form circular firing squads, turn winning issues into losers, and alienate swing voters.

Here are 11 pointers on how to guarantee that the most unpopular president in modern polling history wins reelection next year.

1. Hold firmly to the idea that Twitter is the beating heart of the real Democratic Party.

Woke Twitter is convinced that anger over Trump means that voters want to move hard left. You should ignore polls showing that most Democrats, not to mention swing voters, are much more likely to be centrist.

2. Embrace the weird.

George Will carries around a small card listing all the things that you have said “that cause the American public to say: ‘These people are weird, they are not talking about things that I care about.’” A short list:

Terrorists in prison should be allowed to vote. End private health insurance. Pack the Supreme Court, abolish the Electoral College, ‘Green New Deal,’ … reparations for slavery.

“The country hears these individually,” says Will, “and they say I’m not for that.”

Story Continued Below

He’s going to need a bigger card.

3. Keep promising lots of free stuff and don’t sweat paying for it.

Trump and his fellow Republicans have run up massive deficits, but you can make them look like fiscal hawks by outbidding one another. People like free stuff, but they are less keen on having to pay for free stuff for other people, so talk as much as possible about having taxpayers pick up the tab for free college, day care and health care.

By one estimate, Elizabeth Warren’s various plans would cost about $3.6 trillion a year—or $36.5 trillion over 10 years. She insists she can pay for much of this with a vast new wealth tax that is politically impossible and constitutionally dubious, but, hey, at least she’s not Bernie.

4. Go ahead and abolish private health insurance.

Health care should be a huge winner for Democrats in 2020, as it was in 2018. But you can turn that around by embracing a Bernie Sanders-like ‘Medicare for All’ plan.

Sure, the idea polls well and is wildly popular in MSNBC green rooms. But, unfortunately, when voters find out that it would double payroll taxes, cost trillions of dollars and lead to the abolition of private health insurance, support plummets—even among Democratic primary voters. In fact, when Democratic primary voters are told that Medicare for All would cost $3.2 trillion a year, support drops to just 38 percent. And that is among Democrats.

The numbers are even worse with the wider electorate. The Kaiser Tracking Poll found that Medicare for All’s net favorability drops to minus 44 percent “when people hear the argument that this would lead to delays in some people getting some medical tests and treatments.” Voters also turn sharply against the idea when they are told that it would threaten the current Medicare program, require big tax increases and eliminate private health insurance. Count on the GOP to spend hundreds of millions of dollars making those arguments.

5. Spend time talking about reparations.

There may be no magic bullet to guarantee Trump’s reelection, but support for reparations for slavery may be awfully close. Even before Charlottesville, Trump’s record on race was horrific, and his winking appeasement of the white nationalist alt-right has been a running theme of Trumpism. But Democrats can neutralize Trump’s most glaring weaknesses by redoubling their support for reparations.

You have already made the hyperdivisive issue a big theme of the campaign and the Democratic House seems poised to pass legislation calling for a study of the issue. Support for considering reparations has also quickly gained support in the 2020 Democratic primary, with contenders like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris expressing their interest in Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s plan. It’s a stark shift from previous presidential campaigns in which Barack Obama opposed reparations.

The problems here are obvious. No one really knows how reparations would work. The historic wrongs committed against African Americans are undoubtedly unique, but as the debate heats up, the questions will be: Who pays? Who is owed? How do we pick the winners and losers? And then there are other inevitable questions: Who else? The Irish? Jews? Native Americans? Asian Americans? Gays and lesbians?

Story Continued Below

What is clear, however, is that reparations are opposed by somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of white voters, so your support is a huge gift to Trump’s reelection campaign, which would like nothing more than to drive a deeper wedge between black and white Americans.

6. Trump thinks that immigration and the crisis at the border are winning issues for him. They aren’t. But you can turn that around.

Trump is actually underwater on the immigration issue. In a recent Fox News poll, 50 percent of Americans said Trump has gone too far, more than double the number of voters who think he hasn’t been aggressive enough. Family separations continue to shock the conscience of the nation and his threats to round up millions of illegals could backfire badly on him. Moreover, huge majorities favor giving legal status to the so-called Dreamers.

But you can flip the script: instead of talking about Dreamers, talk as much as possible about your support for sanctuary cities, double down on proposals to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and be as vague as possible about whether or not you really do support open borders.

7. Lots more focus on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

By no means allow voters to hear more about centrists who actually swung the House like Abigail Spanberger in Virginia, Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey or Dean Phillips in Minnesota. Trump wants nothing more than to make AOC the face of the Democratic Party. You can make it happen.

8. Socialism.

Trump will accuse Democrats of being socialists who want to turn the United States into Venezuela. This is a tired, implausible trope. But you can make it work for him by actually calling yourself socialists and loudly booing your fellow Democrats who suggest that “socialism is not the answer.”

9. Turn the abortion issue from a winner into a loser.

Polls suggest that there is wide opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade and Republicans have drastically overreached in states like Alabama where they have outlawed abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

But here again, Democrats can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by moving to a hard-line maximalist position. While the public leans pro-choice, its views are quite nuanced. So, instead of talking about abortion as “safe, legal, and rare,” you should demand the legalization of late-term abortions, focus on taxpayer funding and express as much contempt as possible for people with different views.

Story Continued Below

A model for this is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who compares being anti-abortion to being racist. When she was asked whether her pro-choice litmus test for judges threatened their independence, she said:

“I think there’s some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable. Imagine saying that it’s OK to appoint a judge who’s racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic. Telling or asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America, I don’t think that those are political issues anymore.”

You might recall how Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment played in 2016; this time around, Democrats can convey their contempt for much larger groups of people, which will be immensely helpful to Trump’s efforts to convince his base and swing voters that Democrats look down on them.

10. You can also turn a winner into a loser on the issue of guns.

There is a growing bipartisan constituency for reasonable restrictions on guns, including overwhelming support for expanded background checks. Trump’s GOP is especially vulnerable here because it remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Rifle Association, which is stumbling under the weight of its own extremism and grift these days.

But you can easily turn this into a firewall for Trump by joining Senator Cory Booker’s call for vast expansions of the licensing of guns and banning certain kind of weapons. Under Booker’s plan, “a person seeking to buy a gun would need to apply for a license in much the same way one applies for a passport.”

Let’s see how that plays in Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.

11. As you try to get Americans more alarmed about Trump’s attacks on democratic norms, make sure you talk as much as possible about your support for court-packing.

Tinkering with the makeup and independence of the Supreme Court hasn’t been a winning issue since 1937, but, waving the bloody shirt of Merrick Garland as often as possible still feels satisfying, doesn’t it?

Given Trump’s deep unpopularity, losing to him won’t be easy. But don’t despair; remember, you managed to pull it off in 2016.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Trump’s Confused Russia Policy Is a Boon for Putin

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

Andrew S. Weiss is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment. During the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, he worked on Russian affairs at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Defense Department.

The next Trump-Putin meeting in Osaka, Japan is only days away, but the White House is maintaining radio silence about what it hopes to achieve there. Meanwhile, three senior voices with experience of dealing with Russia, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford, the NSC’s in-house Russia expert Fiona Hill, and, reportedly, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, are all on their way out.

These developments are not linked, but they tell us a lot about how Russia policy actually works in the Trump administration.

Story Continued Below

The conventional wisdom has long held that Trump’s bizarre brand of Russian policy (which he invariably describes as “getting along with Russia”) doesn’t matter all that much because the rest of the U.S. government is taking a tougher line on the Kremlin’s misbehavior. When it comes to sanctions, military cooperation with Ukraine, or cyber operations against Russian critical infrastructure, this argument goes, largely sensible day-to-day decisions are being made.

Experienced professionals like Ambassador Huntsman, General Dunford, and Hill have focused on reestablishing reliable lines of communication with Russian counterparts that can be used to manage discrete pieces of business. In Dunford’s case, a secure hotline with Russian General Staff chief Valeriy Gerasimov has helped reduce (but not eliminate) the risk of unintentional military clashes in Syria’s crowded battlespace. All three have tried, with remarkable patience and firmness, to channel their boss’s undiminished desire to strike a grand bargain with Putin in a more realistic direction and to focus his energies on contending with a Kremlin that keeps ratcheting up the pressure rather than seeking a new modus vivendi.

Yet none of this obscures the fact that there is still no overarching Russia strategy in place, let alone the discipline to implement it. The Administration’s actual day to day policy on Russia is mostly reactive, bordering on incoherent. Sure, there’s lots of attention on the appearance of countering the Kremlin’s malign activities, but little sustained focus on how best to manage an adversarial relationship with Moscow over the long haul. Tough talk on issues like Venezuela or U.S. election meddling has hardly changed the Kremlin’s risk calculus. With different parts of the president’s team marching off in different directions, the result is a mishmash of competing approaches that don’t add up to an effective policy.

Consider the following. Hardly a week goes by without gratuitous moves by the White House to antagonize Germany, which used to be America’s single most important partner in managing relations with Russia. Trump’s frequent slaps at NATO and other U.S. alliance relationships are a gift to the Kremlin that keeps on giving. The decision to deploy more U.S. troops to Poland does little to deter Russia and serves mainly as a vehicle for tweaking the Germans while catering to Trump’s vanity about creating a possible “Fort Trump.”

Making matters worse is the propensity of powerful figures to pursue pet policies even if doing so doesn’t obviously align with the president’s stated priorities. For National Security Adviser John Bolton, that means trying to dismantle what’s left of the U.S.-Russian arms control edifice. His next target appears to be the 2010 New START Treaty on strategic arms reductions, which is due to expire in early 2021. In recent months, Bolton and his team of arms control skeptics (including Tim Morrison who will replace Hill) have been talking about roping in countries like China for new initiatives, but this seems to be a smokescreen for blocking agreement with Moscow on extending the New START treaty.

Then there are thinly disguised tensions between top players at the NSC, State Department and the Pentagon on whether it’s even useful to engage with the Russians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has minimized his dealings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and subcontracted most of the work on topics like North Korea, Syria, and Afghanistan to special envoys. For his part, Bolton is actively courting Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, including via an unusual three-way conversation in Jerusalem June 25 with their Israeli counterpart.

That brings us to the questionable desirability of the Osaka meeting between the two presidents. Trump keeps insisting that release of the Mueller report means he can finally get down to business with Putin. But what exactly does he have in mind? Trump has never provided a coherent explanation for why Russia is so important to his vision for U.S. foreign policy. Instead, he’s limited himself mostly to happy talk while endorsing Putin’s clumsy denials about interference in the 2016 presidential election, including a disastrous performance alongside Putin at their Helsinki summit meeting last summer.

Story Continued Below

The blowback from Trump’s past encounters with Putin have even prompted jokes that the best way to avoid further deterioration to the U.S.-Russian relationship is simply to prevent the two leaders from ever meeting again. Putin has effortlessly outmaneuvered a far less experienced counterpart who famously disdains preparation and briefing materials. Does anyone even remember the time Trump endorsed Putin’s suggestion about forced repatriation of Syrian refugees under the auspices of the Assad regime? Or the “impenetrable Cyber Security unit” to fight election hacking unveiled at a July 2017 meeting in Hamburg, Germany? (The latter gaffe helped trigger a near-unanimous Congressional vote on new Russia sanctions legislation.)

The rest of the agenda for a meeting in Osaka looks almost completely barren. Russian officials have sharply criticized U.S. actions on Iran amid reports of aborted U.S. airstrikes late Thursday, suggesting that Trump is deliberately pushing the region into war. And they have compared tough U.S. rhetoric about Iran to the “ vials with white powder” that the Bush administration used to justify its invasion of Iraq.The administration has rather conveniently blamed Russia for its failure to engineer the swift removal of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, even though that exaggerates the extent of Russian influence in Latin America. In Ukraine, the Russians have ratcheted up pressure on newly-elected President Volodymyr Zelensky by handing out passports to residents of Donbas; Trump’s feckless attempt to condition any future meetings with Putin on the prompt release of 24 Ukrainian sailors and three naval vessels seized at the end of last year has been quietly buried.

Even in the best of times, none of these problems would be easy to manage, let alone resolve. But they are being exacerbated by Trump’s glaring shortcomings as a manager and continued inability to staff his national security team properly. Against that backdrop, the U.S.-Russian relationship is likely to stay stuck regardless of any grand gestures aimed at turning Putin into his “new best friend.” And, sadly, Trump’s own staff will continue to view interactions like the Osaka meeting as exercises in damage limitation, not as serious chances to advance U.S. national interests.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

What Does Putin Really Want?

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

When I met Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a military think tank, at the elegant Cafe Pushkin, he did not mince words. “Every time some Western observer says ‘Russians did this, Russia did that,’ I say: ‘You describe Russians like they are Germans and Americans. We are not.’ I also ask: ‘Do you know the word bardak?’ ” I did. “If you don’t know the word bardak, you are an idiot and not an analyst of Russia. Because bardak is disorder, it’s fiasco.” Pukhov’s point about bardak — which technically means “mess” but is also used colloquially to describe utter chaos — was that Russia’s political system isn’t a streamlined, top-down dictatorship. Only naïveté, paranoia or both could convince you that the system functioned efficiently enough to execute a grand global anything.

Russia has long been a canvas on which Americans project their thoughts or fears — of the Red menace, and of Putin’s quest for world domination. This tradition only accelerated after the 2016 election, when it seemed as if everyone were an expert on Putin’s agenda. There wasn’t an election he didn’t hack, a border he wouldn’t violate or an American ally he couldn’t manipulate. The very word “Putin” has come to symbolize a coherent, systematic destruction of the post-Cold War international order. But no one I spoke with who had an intimate knowledge of Russia saw that as anything but fiction. Instead, they talked about Russia’s strides back onto the world stage as improvised reactions, tactics, gambles that were at times more worrisome than masterful.

Because a nation’s foreign policy is in part built on its perceptions of itself, magnified to the world stage, I came to Moscow to understand how Russians saw themselves as much as how they saw the world. On and off for over two years, I visited other countries in the Middle East and Europe — historical allies of the United States that were portrayed in the press as pivoting to Russia — to do the same. If Americans tried to see the world as the Russians did, and as our allies did, could we better understand what any of these countries were doing? And if we understood what they really wanted, could we better understand the world ourselves?

To comprehend contemporary Russian thinking about the West, I was told to start at the beginning. Yet even identifying the beginning of the post-Cold War international order is a fraught exercise. Russian policymakers often set the start date in 1989, when General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev willingly dismantled Russia’s political and military dominance over Eastern Europe. After such a magnanimous gesture, Moscow believed it would be treated as an equal partner of the United States, rather than as a rival, with the right to retain influence over countries in what it considered its neighborhood.

Western observers, on the other hand, date the dawn of the American hegemonic age as 1991, when the Soviet Union was roundly defeated and collapsed, costing Russia any say over its neighboring countries. That is, each side would come to blame the other for reneging on a post-Cold War compact that the other side never agreed on or perhaps even really understood. As the Russian academics Andrej Krickovic and Yuval Weber noted in a 2016 article in the journal Russia in Global Affairs: “The basic disagreement becomes clear: Was the status quo set in 1989, making the U.S. a revisionist hegemon, or was it set in 1991, making Russia a revisionist challenger?”

The 1999 war in Kosovo provided the first clear indication that the Russian view would not be reciprocated. Under President Boris Yeltsin, Russia had joined the Council of Europe in 1996 and the G7 in 1998. It sought special status with NATO and even flirted with joining the European Union. The Russians were furious when NATO forces launched a military campaign in Kosovo without United Nations Security Council authorization. The Kremlin viewed Yugoslavia as within its sphere of influence. Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov was over the Atlantic, en route to Washington, when Vice President Al Gore called to inform him that airstrikes had commenced. In a show of anger, Primakov turned his plane around.

When Putin assumed the presidency in 2000, he remained “convinced that he could build good relations with the West, in particular with the United States,” the Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar writes in “All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin.” He took pains to court Tony Blair and George W. Bush, and he was the first leader to call Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. Russia was fighting the second Chechen war, and Putin sought to portray Chechen separatists as terrorists. He mistakenly believed the attacks on Sept. 11 would align the two countries’ world views around the war on terror.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Trump won’t say if he has confidence in FBI director Christopher Wray – Axios

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

Trump refuses to say if he has confidence in FBI director

President Trump wouldn’t say during an interview with The Hill Monday if he has confidence in FBI Director Christopher Wray, stressing he disagrees with him over his administration’s claims its agents spied on his 2016 campaign.

Well, we’ll see how it turns out.”

— President Trump’s response to a question on his level of confidence in Wray

The big picture: During his interview with The Hill, Trump made clear he disagreed with Wray telling Congress in May he would not describe FBI investigations as “spying.” Wray made the comments in response to a question about Attorney General Bill Barr’s assertion that law enforcement officials “spied” on the 2016 Trump campaign.

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing. You may even disagree with him on that.”

— President Trump to The Hill

Why it matters: Trump has a history of issues with the FBI. In 2017, he fired then-FBI director James Comey. He publicly criticized then-acting director Andrew McCabe, who was later fired by Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions. The president has also criticized on several occasions former FBI agent Peter Strzok and ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 campaign.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Yes, Donald Trump really is going to prison

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Palmer Report.

Considering the nightmarish horror film this has all been, it sounds like far too happy of an ending: once Donald Trump’s time as illegitimate President of the United States is over, he’s going to prison for the numerous crimes he’s committed before and since taking office. But it’s not merely some kind of fairy tale or pipe dream: it really is the (only) logical outcome for where this all headed.

There’s a reason Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said weeks ago that she wants to put Donald Trump in prison: the whole thing is already teed up. Robert Mueller didn’t just lay out the eleven obstruction felonies that Trump committed; he made a point of spelling out that Trump can be criminally charged for these crimes and prosecuted in the court system once he’s out of office. But that’s only one-third of the equation.

We’ll see if the next presidential administration goes forward with obstruction charges against Donald Trump, which would likely have to be signed off on by the next Attorney General. But either way, the Feds at the SDNY have already teed up felony charges against Trump in the Cohen-Daniels payoff scheme, and they’ve spelled it out in the Cohen court filings.

Even if Trump somehow ends up pardoned on all of these federal charges, it’s a given that the New York Attorney General and/or Manhattan District Attorney will bring state charges against Trump over a number of criminal matters. Those can only be pardoned by the Governor of New York, which obviously isn’t happening. And while a jury may not convict Trump on every last criminal charge brought against him, some of the charges will be so straightforward that a conviction is essentially a given; just ask Paul Manafort.

So yeah, Donald Trump is going to prison when this is all over. That’s the only part of the story we know for sure. Other questions, such as how soon he’ll be removed from office, and how much more horrific damage he’ll do along the way, remain unanswered. But Trump’s future status as a prisoner-for-life is already written. Those fatalistically grumbling that he’s going to magically “get away with it all” are suffering from reverse-Pollyanna thinking, in defiance of all available facts.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

8:54 AM 6/24/2019 – ‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera English |  US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBC |  A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN |  Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business Insider |  Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post  | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions.

8:54 AM 6/24/2019

‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera EnglishUS secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBCA 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNNLeaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business InsiderSanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post 

http://michael_novakhov.newsblur.com/

All News Review In 25 Saved Stories

Saved Stories – 250 |  Saved Stories – 25 – Page

Saved Stories – None
‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera English
US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBC
A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN
Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business Insider
Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post 
Sanders to propose eliminating all $1.6T of student debt in US: report – Fox News
‘We’ve had enough’: Huge crowds in Prague demand PM Babis quits – Al Jazeera English
Bitcoin: Could 100K Be New 10K? – Forbes
A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN
Check your settings if you don’t want Google tracking every move – USA TODAY
Trump Shrugs Off Killing of Khashoggi by Saudi Agents, Saying Saudi Arabia Is an Important Trading Partner – The New York Times
Psychoanalysis of intelligence operations – Google Search
Psychoanalysis of intelligence operations – Google Search
Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand
President Trump’s Full, Unedited Interview With Meet The Press | NBC News – YouTube
“trump investigated by the fbi” – Google News: President Trump’s full, unedited interview with Meet the Press – NBCNews.com
“trump investigated by the fbi” – Google News: President Trump’s full, unedited interview with Meet the Press – NBCNews.com
“trump russian candidate” – Google News: President Trump’s full, unedited interview with Meet the Press – NBC News
Who’s going to use the big bad Libra?
Google Alert – Israel and US Elections 2016: Trump the proportionality president, and the Iranian wild card – analysis
Trump’s Peace Plan: As Deep as a Beauty Pageant Speech and Twice as Vain
“israel and germany” – Google News: How the Israeli Left Lost It – Algemeiner
Bolton Sets Hawkish Tone on Iran Before Rare Regional Summit
Iran on the Table When Russia, US and Israel Gather for Summit
Controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash accused in bribe plot may be headed to Chicago …
Saved Stories – None
‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera English

  1. ‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner planAl Jazeera English
  2. Kushner’s Palestinian peace plan resembles real estate brochureQuartz
  3. Cut out of the process, Palestinians reject Trump’s economic plan for Mideast peaceNBC News
  4. U.S. plan will not lure Lebanon into settling Palestinians: parliament speakerReuters
  5. Take the Palestinians’ ‘No’ for an AnswerThe Wall Street Journal
  6. Trump’s Middle East plan is a refreshing changeCNN
  7. View full coverage on Google News
US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBC

  1. US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions  CNBC
  2. Saudi Airport Struck by Deadly Attack  The New York Times
  3. Pompeo reveals new details on US tensions with Iran  Fox News
  4. Pompeo accuses Iran of spreading ‘blatant disinformation’ on downing of drone  The Washington Post
  5. White House Is Pressing for Additional Options, Including Cyberattacks, to Deter Iran  The New York Times
  6. View full coverage on Google News
A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN

  1. A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic  CNN
  2. Long Island Pizzeria Owner, 56, Died in the Dominican Republic ‘After Drinking Something’  PEOPLE.com
  3. Long Island pizzeria owner is latest Dominican Republic death  New York Post
  4. Long Island pizzeria owner dies in latest Dominican Republic horror  New York Daily News
  5. View full coverage on Google News
Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business Insider

  1. Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transitionBusiness Insider
  2. Trump Transition Vetting Documents of Nearly 100 Officials Leaked: AxiosThe Daily Beast
  3. Leaked Trump transition vetting documents show numerous officials with ‘red flags’: Axios | TheHillThe Hill
  4. Document leak reveals vetting during Trump’s transition to White HouseNew York Post
  5. Trump Administration Was Well Aware Of “Red Flagged” Officials: ReportNDTV News
  6. Documents show how Trump transition team staffed administration with officials who had ‘red flags’Daily Mail
  7. View full coverage on Google News

Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post

Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle  The Washington PostSen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will propose on Monday eliminating all $1.6 trillion of student debt held in the United States, a significant escalation of the policy fight …

View full coverage on Google News

Sanders to propose eliminating all $1.6T of student debt in US: report – Fox News

Sanders to propose eliminating all $1.6T of student debt in US: report  Fox NewsBernie Sanders, the 2020 hopeful, is set to announce on Monday a policy proposal that would eliminate all $1.6 trillion of American student debt, according to a …

View full coverage on Google News

‘We’ve had enough’: Huge crowds in Prague demand PM Babis quits – Al Jazeera English

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

New Zealand neo-Nazi jailed for 21 months for sharing video of mosque shootings

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from World Socialist Web Site (en).

 

By
Tom Peters

24 June 2019

On June 19, the Christchurch District Court sentenced 44-year-old Philip Neville Arps, a well-known neo-Nazi, to 21 months in prison for sharing fascist gunman Brenton Tarrant’s video of the March 15 Christchurch terrorist attack.

Tarrant livestreamed his horrific attack on two mosques, where he killed 51 people and injured dozens more. Hundreds of people viewed the footage live on Facebook and YouTube and millions of copies have reportedly been shared since the attack.

After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern denounced the sharing of the video, it was classified as “objectionable” by New Zealand’s Chief Censor David Shanks soon after the attack, as was Tarrant’s fascist manifesto. Under these anti-democratic restrictions anyone caught in possession of the footage or the document can be imprisoned for as long as 14 years.

Arps pleaded guilty to sharing the video on social media. He had also posted numerous comments glorifying the massacre, including a suggestion that a “kill count” be added to the video. A hardened fascist, Arps reportedly possessed copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and compared himself to Rudolf Hess, a leading figure in the Nazi Party.

Arps’ views are repugnant, but it would be a very dangerous error to believe that his imprisonment will do anything to stop the growth of the extreme right-wing movements, which have been deliberately promoted by the political establishment and protected by the state, including the police and courts.

Arps was not jailed for making violent threats against Muslims, although he has done so in the past, but simply for sharing a banned video.

His trial represents a test case for anti-democratic legislation that can and will be used against the working class, especially its most conscious left-wing and socialist elements. The laws under which Arps was charged are part of a broader turn towards police state forms of rule, directed against mounting opposition to social inequality, authoritarianism and war.

The sentencing of Arps has been universally praised in the New Zealand media, which is hypocritically denouncing racism and seeking to wash its hands of any responsibility for promoting nationalism and xenophobia.

The same media glorified Ardern’s phony display of “compassion” following the Christchurch attack, despite the fact that the anti-Muslim NZ First Party plays a major role in her Labour Party-led coalition government. NZ First leader Winston Peters, who is both deputy prime minister and foreign minister, has ranted on numerous occasions against Muslim immigration, in language similar to that used by Brenton Tarrant.

News outlets have also heavily promoted racist provocateurs such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who visited from Canada last year, and Brian Tamaki whose fundamentalist Destiny Church staged an anti-Muslim rally outside the Al Noor mosque, after the terrorist attack.

At least eight other people have reportedly been brought before the courts for possession or distribution of the mosque attacks video. The accused’s names and many other details have been suppressed, but they include a 17-year-old, two 18-year-olds and one aged 22. One of the teenagers had made threats against the Al Noor mosque, but it is not clear that all those arrested have fascist and racist views.

Many thousands of people shared the video during and after the Christchurch attack, the overwhelming majority of whom were horrified by its contents and wanted to alert others to the appalling magnitude of the crime. Ardern herself has said she came across the video in her Facebook feed.

Countless journalists also watched the video and excerpts appeared in the media internationally, including on Australian television. In New Zealand, reporting that includes Tarrant’s video has effectively been criminalised.

The banning of the video and manifesto will not prevent their circulation in extreme right-wing circles. As Chief Censor Shanks admitted, censorship has given the manifesto “cachet” among fascists internationally.

The corporate media is complicit in this censorship. After Ardern personally urged reporters not to focus on Tarrant, and pledged to never speak his name, five NZ media organisations signed an extraordinary agreement to self-censor their coverage of his trial to avoid any reference to his racist ideology and manifesto.

The censorship is aimed at severely restricting public scrutiny and discussion of the terrorist attack, its political causes, and the role of the police and intelligence agencies in failing to prevent New Zealand’s worst mass shooting.

The manifesto’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim language resembles the right-wing nationalist rhetoric used by the Trump administration and many other governments, including the Labour Party-NZ First coalition. It also highlights Tarrant’s hatred of Marxism and socialism and his sympathy for the military and police.

As the WSWS has noted, the 17-minute video raises serious questions about why Tarrant was not stopped. It shows the gunman driving for several minutes to the Al Noor mosque after publicly announcing his intentions on Facebook and a fascist 8chan forum, with his gun visible in the car. Tarrant was able to kill dozens of people before driving to a second mosque, without being stopped by police, to continue his massacre.

The Christchurch attack could only happen because the state ignored violent threats from the extreme right. In 2017, Dunedin police dismissed a complaint about racist and violent discussions at the Bruce Rifle Club, where Tarrant was a member. The previous year, Australian police dismissed a complaint from someone in Melbourne who received a death threat from Tarrant.

Arps has 30 previous convictions, including for assault. In 2016 he and several other fascists dumped a box of pigs’ heads outside Al Noor mosque. He then shared a video of himself threatening to kill Muslims on social media. For that crime Arps was merely fined $800 for “offensive behaviour” and nothing was done to protect the mosque from attacks.

Ardern is playing a leading role in a global campaign to exploit the Christchurch attacks to ban “violent” and “extremist” content from social media. Already, the Australian government has passed a law allowing social media executives to be prosecuted and imprisoned if they fail to remove content that is deemed objectionable.

Ardern falsely claimed that removing such videos will reduce the danger of terrorism and is not censorship. What constitutes “extremist” material, however, will be decided by the state in collaboration with giant corporations such as Facebook. Such laws can easily be used to censor any videos or pictures of violence, for instance exposing war crimes or police shootings, and imprison those sharing such material.

Fascism cannot be combated by strengthening the forces of the state, including the police, military, intelligence agencies and the judicial system, which exist to protect capitalism and suppress the working class.

Today, amid economic turmoil and the rising danger of war, the state is again nurturing fascist forces, including in Germany and the US, to be mobilised against the working class. The political and academic efforts to revive fascism in Germany are analysed in the new book Why Are They Back? by Christoph Vandreier.

At the same time, journalists and whistleblowers who expose war crimes, such as Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, are being persecuted and left-wing and socialist publications, including the World Socialist Web Site, are being censored.

All historical experience, including the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s, demonstrates that the only way to defeat fascism and prevent a repeat of the horrific crimes of the twentieth century is through the independent political mobilisation of the working class based on a socialist and internationalist program.

The author also recommends:

The fight against fascism in Germany requires a socialist perspective
[4 September 2018]



Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Deepfakes aren’t a tech problem. They’re a power problem | Oscar Schwartz | Opinion

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Guardian.

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, very few predicted the degree to which online misinformation would disrupt the democratic process. Now, as we edge closer to 2020, there is a heightened sense of vigilance around new threats to truth in our already fragile information ecosystem.

At the top of the list of concerns is no longer Russian bots, but deepfakes, the artifical intelligence-manipulated media that can make people appear to do or say things that they never did or said.

The threat is being taken so seriously that last Thursday, the House intelligence committee held Congress’s first hearing on the subject. In his opening remarks, Representative Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, talked of society being “on the cusp of a technological revolution” that will qualitatively transform how fake news is made. He spoke of “advances in AI” that will make it possible to compromise election campaigns. He made repeated mention of how better algorithms and data will make it extremely difficult to verify the veracity of images, videos, audio or text.

In essence, he framed the problem of doctored media as a new threat caused by sophisticated emerging technologies.

Not that Schiff’s alone. The broader discourse around fake content has become increasingly focused on AI-generated content, where cutting-edge machine learning techniques are used to create uncanny copies of people’s faces, voices and writing styles. But as technologically impressive as these new techniques are, I worry that focusing on the “state of the art” is a distraction from a deeper problem.

To understand why, consider the most high-profile example of manipulated media to spread online to date: the doctored video of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, made to seem as if she was drunkenly slurring her speech. Far from being created by a technically savvy operator misappropriating the fruits of a “technological revolution”, it was made using rudimentary editing techniques by a sports blogger and avid pro-Trumper from the Bronx named Shawn Brooks.

The reason this fake video spread so far and wide was not because it was technologically advanced, or even particularly visually compelling, but because of the cynical nature of social media. When a platform’s business model is to maximize engagement time in order to sell ad revenue, divisive, shocking and conspiratorial content gets pushed to the top of the feed. Like other trolls, Brooks’s most salient skill was understanding and exploiting these dynamics.

Indeed, the Pelosi video demonstrated just how symbiotic and mutually beneficial the fake news-platform relationship has become. Facebook refused to take down the altered video, noting that its content policy does not require a post to be true. (Facebook did “reduce” the video’s distribution in the news feed, in an attempt at harm minimization.) The reality is that divisive content is, from a financial perspective, a win for social media platforms. As long as that logic underpins our online lives, cynical media manipulators will continue to exploit it to spread social discord, with or without machine learning.

And herein lies the problem: by formulating deepfakes as a technological problem, we allow social media platforms to promote technological solutions to those problems – cleverly distracting the public from the idea that there may be more fundamental problems with powerful Silicon Valley tech platforms.

We have seen this before. When Congress interrogated Mark Zuckerberg last year about Facebook’s privacy problems and involvement in spreading fake news, instead of reflecting on structural issues at the company, Zuckerberg repeatedly assured Congress that technological solutions that would fix everything were just over the horizon. Zuckerberg mentioned AI more than 30 times.

Underpinning all of this is what Evgeny Morozov has called “technological solutionism”: an ideology endemic to Silicon Valley that reframes complex social issues as “neatly defined problems with definite, computable solutions … if only the right algorithms are in place!” This highly formal, systematic, yet socially myopic mindset is so pervasive within the tech industry that it has become a sort of meme. How do we solve wealth inequality? Blockchain. How do we solve political polarization? AI. How do we solve climate change? A blockchain powered by AI.

This constant appeal to a near-future of perfectly streamlined technological solutions distracts and deflects from the grim realities we presently face. While Zuckerberg promised better AI for content moderation in front of Congress last year, reports have since emerged that much content moderation still relies on humans, who are subjected to highly traumatic content and terrible working conditions. By talking incessantly about AI-powered content moderation, the company diverts attention away from this real human suffering.

The “solutionist” ideology has also influenced the discourse around how to deal with doctored media. The solutions being proposed are often technological in nature, from “digital watermarks” to new machine learning forensic techniques. To be sure, there are many experts who are doing important security research to make the detection of fake media easier in the future. This is important and worthwhile. But on its own, it is unclear that this would help fix the deep-seated social problem of truth decay and polarization that social media platforms have played a major role in fostering.

The biggest problem with technological solutionism is that it can be used as a smokescreen for deep structural problems in the technology industry, as well as a strategy for stymieing precisely the type of political interventions that need to happen to curtail the singular power that these companies have in controlling how we access information.

If we continue to frame deepfakes as a technological problem instead of something rotten at the core of the attention economy, we leave ourselves just as vulnerable in 2020 to misinformation as we were in 2016.

  • Oscar Schwartz is a freelance writer and researcher based in New York


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Michael Flynn Latest: Will He Get a Pardon From President Trump?

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may have a singular goal in replacing his longtime criminal defense attorneys this month with the politically provocative Sidney Powell — to win a pardon from his old boss, President Donald Trump.

“This is for an audience of one,” former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer said of Powell’s hiring.

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army general who admitted he lied to government investigators and awaits sentencing, shed the legal team that represented him since the case began in 2017. Powell is scheduled to make her first appearance for Flynn at a status conference Monday in Washington before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

Powell, an ex-federal prosecutor, has been a caustic critic of the U.S. Justice Department and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Perhaps more pointedly, two weeks before she was hired, Powell referred to the case against Flynn as “the targeted takeout of a very good man.” She also shares her views on two the president’s favorite platforms, Fox News and Twitter.

In a June 13 tweet, Trump cheered Powell’s hiring, saying Flynn was getting a “GREAT” lawyer.

“How can you dispute his decision when you get that reaction and that comment?” said Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department attorney. “Clearly this is at least in part designed to position Flynn for a pardon.”

Courting the president may make sense as a legal strategy because Trump has pardoned eight people since March 2018, including anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio, political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and one-time media mogul Conrad Black, who Cramer helped to convict. Trump hasn’t pardoned his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, despite repeated public statements by Manafort’s lawyer that the charges had nothing to do with Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The reasons for Flynn’s split with defense attorney Robert Kelner at Covington & Burling LLP haven’t been disclosed in court documents. Kelner told Sullivan only that he was withdrawing because his client had hired new counsel.

There was some discussion of a potential conflict of interest for Covington during a June 13 federal court hearing in a related illegal lobbying case involving Flynn’s former business partner, who the general may testify against. According to transcripts of the hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, the discussion involved the law firm’s role in preparing government documents for the lobbying firm Flynn and his partner owned.

Legal Strategy

Powell, in an email, said she is “honored to be representing General Flynn.” She declined to comment on her legal strategy or why she was hired.

The switch in attorneys is unlikely to result in Flynn withdrawing his guilty plea, because he’s already admitted his wrongdoing in court on multiple occasions, Fayhee and Cramer said. Powell had previously said that Flynn would continue to cooperate with the government.

Flynn has all but discharged his obligation under the plea agreement to cooperate with the government. He remains a potential witness in the trial slated for next month against his former business partner on charges of illegal lobbying for Turkey, conduct for which Flynn has already admitted guilt, even though he wasn’t charged with that offense.

“As long as that doesn’t touch the White House and doesn’t touch Trump, a pardon is still in the works,” Cramer said. “That’s the only reason to change horses in mid-stream, is if you’re hiring this lawyer with a clear political bent, sending a message to the White House that you don’t intend on saying anything negative or inculpatory against the president or anyone close to the president.”

Pardon Risks

If a pardon is Powell’s goal, it isn’t without risks. Among them is that a pardon may not come before the 2020 election, and Flynn may have already served his sentence by then.

In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to misleading investigators who’d questioned him at the White House nearly a year earlier about his contacts with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. His conviction was the first obtained under the auspices of the Russia probe even though Mueller had not yet been named special counsel at the time of the FBI interview.

Flynn agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team. In exchange, the special counsel’s lawyers asked Sullivan to spare the general from incarceration, even as the crime carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Still, in a sentencing memo filed with the court, Flynn’s now-former counsel, Kelner, implied that the agents who questioned his client — one of whom was then-Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok — had lulled him into believing he was in no legal jeopardy. The judge found that assertion potentially troubling.

At a Dec. 18 sentencing hearing, Sullivan asked Flynn to reaffirm his plea, including that he believed he was, in fact, guilty and that he was satisfied with the work done by his attorneys. After Kelner assured the judge that he wasn’t asserting an entrapment defense for his client, Sullivan warned Flynn that he may not get the deal he bargained for.

‘Very Serious’

“I’m going to be frank with you,” Sullivan said. “This crime is very serious. As I stated, it involves false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the premises of the White House, in the White House in the West Wing by a high-ranking security officer with, up to that point, an unblemished career of service to his country. That’s a very serious offense.”

Upon learning that the general was still helping prosecutors assemble their case against his former business partner, Sullivan warned Flynn he wouldn’t get full credit for his cooperation until that task was completed. The sentencing was postponed and has not been rescheduled.

“I think that shook Flynn a little bit,” Cramer said.

Kelner may have misread how his criticism of the investigators’ tactics would play with Sullivan, Fayhee said. Hiring Powell allows for a reset. Still, an overtly political approach could backfire too, resulting in Sullivan’s imposition of a stiffer sentence than sought by prosecutors. Paradoxically, that may not matter to Trump, who wields that ultimate power.

“It’s quite a gamble,” Fayhee said.

The case is U.S. v. Flynn, 17-cr-232, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Maksym Eristavi: Europe is about to rollback key sanctions against Russia | KyivPost

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from KyivPost.


A man holds a placard depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiling, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe-line, during a rally in front of the German embassy in Kiev, on April 11, 2019. – Demonstrators held an action demanding to stop Germany’s attempts to lift sanctions against Russia and to increase pressure to release detained Ukrainian. Russia has detained or condemned at least 97 Ukrainian political prisoners on the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, as well as more than 120 prisoners of war and civilian hostages in the occupied Donbas. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Photo by AFP

Here’s how Russia’s return to a key European international body is a nightmare for every fighter with autocracy across the continent.

Last week was emotionally challenging if you follow Russia. Watching my friends and colleagues in Moscow, alongside hundreds of protesters in support of Russian political prisoners, being clobbered, hunted down and thrown into police vans was hard to process. Sorting through new messages of disappearing queer people in state-sanctioned violence in Southern Russia was hard to process. Tracking down the victims of new wave of terror against Muslim minority of Crimean Tatars in the Russian-occupied Crimea was difficult to fathom. But what was even harder to understand is why would we want to reward the Russian authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin for such behavior? Because the upcoming vote at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to invite Russia back is exactly that — a big pass for Putin on human rights crimes.

Russia was sanctioned and suspended from PACE in 2014 for invading and annexing parts of Ukraine. The Kremlin has made zero efforts to undo the sanctions since then: aggression and occupation of neighboring Ukraine and Georgia continues, the Russian elections are being rigged (now complemented by Russian meddling with democratic elections around the world) and human rights violations are systemic and brutal. Yet, a new pending vote at the PACE session on June 24-28th will allow Russians to come back. The idea of ‘forgiving’ Russia is championed by the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and is backed by France and Germany.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Clapper Hears Barr’s ‘Chilling’ Footsteps

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from American Thinker Blog.

Clapper Hears Barr’s ‘Chilling’ Footsteps

They really counted on Hillary wining, didn’t they?  Former director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in panic mode, realizing that the so-called “intelligence community” he supervised under President Obama is about to be revealed by Atty. Gen. William Barr and U.S. atty. John Durham as a weaponized arm of the Clinton campaign, with indictments to follow.

The man who lied to Congress about spying on the American people was shocked back in April to hear Barr testify before  Congress that yes, he thought the Trump campaign had been spied upon by his political opponents.  As Breitbart reported:

Well, I thought it was most stunning and scary. I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term “spying” has all kinds of negative connotations, and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately. And I think it’s incredible that if he has concerns, he would have easily on his first day on the job, after his confirmation, asked his own IG, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, for a briefing on his preliminary, in the course of his investigation, that is, the IG’s investigation, whether there was any wrongdoing by the FBI. I think it would have been far more appropriate for him to just defer to that investigation rather than postulating, apparently with no evidence. He just has a feeling that there was spying against the campaign.

Barr has more than that, it would seem, and has sent chills up Clapper’s spine that he and Durham are dead serious about checking out the real reasons for the Intelligence Community’s “assessment” that Russia wanted Trump to win and was meddling in the election to achieve that result.  According to a Wall Street Journal report:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says The Wall Street Journal report that Attorney General William Barr appears to be investigating a high-confidence finding of the US intelligence community assessment of the 2016 election sends a “chilling message to the intelligence community.”

Close scrutiny of the Intelligence Community’s actions should send chills up Clapper’s spine.  In the search for the answer as to how the whole Mueller collusion probe and spying on Team Trump originated, one does not have to look far.  One needs only to revisit the interview Deep State conspirator and perjurer James Clapper gave with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  He points his finger directly at Barack Hussein Obama as leader of the coup against Donald Trump:

Former Obama administration director of national intelligence James Clapper admitted that former president Barack Obama gave the order to Peter Strzok to kick off his Operation Crossfire Hurricane targeting of President Donald Trump.

Obama — who also gave a stand-down order on stopping alleged Russian hacking — was personally implicated in the plot according to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s texts. Clapper confirms the obvious.

This is James Clapper’s interview with Anderson Cooper, which confirms that Obama ordered Strzok to carry out an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which became the basis for the entire Mueller probe.

“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place,” Clapper said in his Anderson Cooper interview.

That Intelligence Community assessment would have included in it the “unverified and salacious,” as former FBI director James Comey described it, dossier paid for by Hillary and the DNC and compiled from Russian disinformation source by British agent Christopher Steele in the only real collusion with Russia in this whole affair.

The announcement by Attorney General William Barr that yes, he believes that Team Trump was spied upon by Hillary and the Democrats, and yes, he’s going to look into it, is a rarity these days — a genuine bombshell.  And he’s going to examine the application process used by the FBI to convince a FISA judge to grant a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign gadfly Carter Page.  Make some popcorn and sit back.  A.G. Barr will find all the bread crumbs in this genuine conspiracy leading back to Clapper, Brennan, and Obama.

As Barr and Durham get closer, the attacks on him will grow.  As Jed Babbin writes in the American Spectator:

Last Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency[.] …

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is running the investigation under Barr’s direction. From the Times report, we can easily deduce the fact that those who ran the spy op — including CIA Director Gina Haspel — are running scared from the Durham investigation[.] …

The reason the CIA’s “analytical work” is being subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny is that there is a lot of evidence of criminal conduct by the CIA and FBI. That’s one of the fundamental differences between the Barr/Durham investigation and the Mueller investigation into the imaginary conspiracy between candidate Trump and his campaign and the Russians[.] …

Durham’s investigators will begin with people such as those but first they’ll want to get the relevant documents from the CIA. Those documents will include an enormous volume of classified emails, text messages, and other communications among the top CIA officials and between them and the FBI’s senior officials — James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, James Baker and Bruce Ohr — who ran the FBI’s part of the spy op on Trump from the Justice Department.

It is worth noting that John Durham has crossed paths with former “collusion delusion” czar and special counsel Robert Mueller III before.  Durham is familiar with the often illegal lengths that Mueller, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, et al. will go to to nail their prey.  As Rush Limbaugh noted, citing a New York Times article:

“Mr. Durham has a long history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among law enforcement and national security officials. He was appointed to the federal bench in 2017 by President Trump. Mr. Durham has even investigated the use or misuse of FBI informants.” In fact, one of his best-known investigations was an investigation of the FBI’s handling of the mass murderer and Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. This is very significant.

It was Robert Mueller III[.] … Keep in mind (we’ve talked about this a few times, but it’s been a while, and I don’t know how many of you are gonna remember this) it was Robert Mueller III, Mr. Integrity, Mr. Honorable, who kept four innocent people in prison for decades in order to keep Whitey Bulger from being exposed as an FBI informant. Four people. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

Durham and Barr are getting closer to putting the leaders of the Deep State coup in jail for years for their crimes against their country.  And James Clapper is beginning to feel the chill.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. 

They really counted on Hillary wining, didn’t they?  Former director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in panic mode, realizing that the so-called “intelligence community” he supervised under President Obama is about to be revealed by Atty. Gen. William Barr and U.S. atty. John Durham as a weaponized arm of the Clinton campaign, with indictments to follow.

The man who lied to Congress about spying on the American people was shocked back in April to hear Barr testify before  Congress that yes, he thought the Trump campaign had been spied upon by his political opponents.  As Breitbart reported:

Well, I thought it was most stunning and scary. I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term “spying” has all kinds of negative connotations, and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately. And I think it’s incredible that if he has concerns, he would have easily on his first day on the job, after his confirmation, asked his own IG, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, for a briefing on his preliminary, in the course of his investigation, that is, the IG’s investigation, whether there was any wrongdoing by the FBI. I think it would have been far more appropriate for him to just defer to that investigation rather than postulating, apparently with no evidence. He just has a feeling that there was spying against the campaign.

Barr has more than that, it would seem, and has sent chills up Clapper’s spine that he and Durham are dead serious about checking out the real reasons for the Intelligence Community’s “assessment” that Russia wanted Trump to win and was meddling in the election to achieve that result.  According to a Wall Street Journal report:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says The Wall Street Journal report that Attorney General William Barr appears to be investigating a high-confidence finding of the US intelligence community assessment of the 2016 election sends a “chilling message to the intelligence community.”

Close scrutiny of the Intelligence Community’s actions should send chills up Clapper’s spine.  In the search for the answer as to how the whole Mueller collusion probe and spying on Team Trump originated, one does not have to look far.  One needs only to revisit the interview Deep State conspirator and perjurer James Clapper gave with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  He points his finger directly at Barack Hussein Obama as leader of the coup against Donald Trump:

Former Obama administration director of national intelligence James Clapper admitted that former president Barack Obama gave the order to Peter Strzok to kick off his Operation Crossfire Hurricane targeting of President Donald Trump.

Obama — who also gave a stand-down order on stopping alleged Russian hacking — was personally implicated in the plot according to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s texts. Clapper confirms the obvious.

This is James Clapper’s interview with Anderson Cooper, which confirms that Obama ordered Strzok to carry out an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which became the basis for the entire Mueller probe.

“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place,” Clapper said in his Anderson Cooper interview.

That Intelligence Community assessment would have included in it the “unverified and salacious,” as former FBI director James Comey described it, dossier paid for by Hillary and the DNC and compiled from Russian disinformation source by British agent Christopher Steele in the only real collusion with Russia in this whole affair.

The announcement by Attorney General William Barr that yes, he believes that Team Trump was spied upon by Hillary and the Democrats, and yes, he’s going to look into it, is a rarity these days — a genuine bombshell.  And he’s going to examine the application process used by the FBI to convince a FISA judge to grant a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign gadfly Carter Page.  Make some popcorn and sit back.  A.G. Barr will find all the bread crumbs in this genuine conspiracy leading back to Clapper, Brennan, and Obama.

As Barr and Durham get closer, the attacks on him will grow.  As Jed Babbin writes in the American Spectator:

Last Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency[.] …

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is running the investigation under Barr’s direction. From the Times report, we can easily deduce the fact that those who ran the spy op — including CIA Director Gina Haspel — are running scared from the Durham investigation[.] …

The reason the CIA’s “analytical work” is being subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny is that there is a lot of evidence of criminal conduct by the CIA and FBI. That’s one of the fundamental differences between the Barr/Durham investigation and the Mueller investigation into the imaginary conspiracy between candidate Trump and his campaign and the Russians[.] …

Durham’s investigators will begin with people such as those but first they’ll want to get the relevant documents from the CIA. Those documents will include an enormous volume of classified emails, text messages, and other communications among the top CIA officials and between them and the FBI’s senior officials — James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, James Baker and Bruce Ohr — who ran the FBI’s part of the spy op on Trump from the Justice Department.

It is worth noting that John Durham has crossed paths with former “collusion delusion” czar and special counsel Robert Mueller III before.  Durham is familiar with the often illegal lengths that Mueller, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, et al. will go to to nail their prey.  As Rush Limbaugh noted, citing a New York Times article:

“Mr. Durham has a long history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among law enforcement and national security officials. He was appointed to the federal bench in 2017 by President Trump. Mr. Durham has even investigated the use or misuse of FBI informants.” In fact, one of his best-known investigations was an investigation of the FBI’s handling of the mass murderer and Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. This is very significant.

It was Robert Mueller III[.] … Keep in mind (we’ve talked about this a few times, but it’s been a while, and I don’t know how many of you are gonna remember this) it was Robert Mueller III, Mr. Integrity, Mr. Honorable, who kept four innocent people in prison for decades in order to keep Whitey Bulger from being exposed as an FBI informant. Four people. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

Durham and Barr are getting closer to putting the leaders of the Deep State coup in jail for years for their crimes against their country.  And James Clapper is beginning to feel the chill.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. 


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Arab world turns its back on religion – and its ire on the US | Global development

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Guardian.

The Arab world is turning its back on religion and on US relations, according to the largest public opinion survey ever carried out in the region.

A survey of more than 25,000 people across 10 countries and the Palestinian territories found that trust in religious leaders has plummeted in recent years.

The study, compiled by BBC News Arabic and Arab Barometer, a Princeton University-based research network, also identified a marked rise in the proportion of people describing themselves as “not religious” – from 11% in 2012-2014 to 18% this year.

Just 12% of the countries surveyed – which included Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen – had a positive view of Donald Trump. More than twice as many (28%) felt positively towards Russia’s Vladimir Putin, while Turkey’s Recep Erdogan fared the best (51%).

At least 60% of respondents in eight of the 11 places surveyed said violence against the US was a logical consequence of interference in the region. The sentiment was most pronounced in Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen, where 75% or more of those surveyed were of this view.

Respondents also expressed concern over rising disquiet in their home countries: people in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Sudan, said they felt they were sliding towards dictatorship. More than six in 10 Algerians, and four in 10 Sudanese, believe the last elections were not free and fair, the survey found.

Michael Robbins, the director of Arab Barometer, said the survey – which was conducted at random in private and face-to-face, and consisted largely of multiple-choice questions answered on a tablet presented a number of significant findings.

“Most importantly, in the vast majority of countries surveyed, governments are not meeting the expectations of their citizens,” said Robbins.

“Often, trust in government tracks more closely with performance on providing security than on economic issues.”

Respondents expressed a change in attitudes over a number of other issues, from migration and mental health to women’s and LGBT rights.

RELIGION

The proportion of people who said they were not religious rose from 11% in 2012-14 to 18% in 2019. Trust in religious leaders has also decreased everywhere but Lebanon, where it has doubled since 2016. Morocco, Libya and Palestine showed the steepest drops in confidence.

Trust in Islamist movements, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, is even lower than for religious leaders Faith in Tunisia’s Ennahda party has declined by 24% in Tunisia since 2011, by 21% in Jordan since 2012, and by 20% since 2013 in Morocco, the survey claims.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Across the region, most respondents supported a woman’s right to divorce her husband but felt that husbands rather than wives should have the final say on family decisions.

In 91% of the places surveyed, majorities said women should be allowed to serve as head of government in a Muslim country, but the same margin claimed that men are better political leaders.

The notion of a female political president or prime minister was most acceptable in Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, and least acceptable in Algeria and Sudan.

Dima Dabbous, Equality Now’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said the apparent contradiction in responses was “indicative of the dominant mood in the region”.

“There is a realisation that gender equality is a marker of progress and the ‘right thing’ to say is to support women empowerment. But when the framing of the question focuses on the role of men, then the real patriarchal, male-centric bias comes to the surface,” said Dabbous.

“Women in the Middle East and North Africa are getting more educated and participating increasingly in the labour force, but their empowerment will remain incomplete as long as they are still excluded from decision-making positions and political participation.”

MIGRATION

More than half (52%) of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia said they were considering migrating – an increase of 10% from 2016 figures.

Moroccan adults under 30 exhibited the greatest desire to leave their home country, with 70% thinking about emigrating. But almost half the entire population surveyed in Jordan and Sudan, and one-third in Iraq, said they were contemplating leaving. Europe was the first choice for North Africans, while Egyptians, Sudanese and Yemenis favoured the Gulf. North America was the top destination for people in Jordan and Lebanon, according to the survey.

The figures also revealed that potential migrants would be willing to leave without official papers: more than 40% of Algerians, Sudanese and Tunisians, and 38% of Iraqis, Moroccans and Yemenis said they would leave without formal documentation.

LGBT RIGHTS

In the West Bank, only 5% of respondents said it was acceptable to be gay; in Lebanon, the figure was 6%, while in Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia it was 7%. Algeria showed the greatest tolerance, with 26% of respondents expressing no objection to homosexuality.

For taboo or difficult questions, respondents were asked to select “acceptable practices” from a series of options. People believed “honour” killings were more acceptable than being gay in all but one of the countries where this question was asked (Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan and Tunisia).

In Algeria, for example, 26% of respondents said being gay was acceptable, while 27% believed “honour” killings were acceptable; in Jordan, the figures were 7% and 21%. Sudan was the only country where a greater number of respondents found homosexuality more acceptable than “honour” killings (17% v 14%).

Dabbous said the responses demonstrated a machismo still heavily prevalent across the region.

“Of course ‘honour’ killings are more acceptable than homosexuality. [They] preserve a social order based on ‘male honour’ and dominant masculinity – which is heterosexual – while homosexuality is a threat to it.”

MENTAL HEALTH

On average, one in three people surveyed said they felt depressed, with the highest proportion in Iraq (43%), Tunisia (40%) and Palestine (37%). Women and less affluent respondents appeared most affected, the survey found.

… like you, are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.

The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.

Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.

We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Accepted payment methods: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Psychoanalytic Activist.

By Stephen J. Ducat

The Problem of Diagnosis

Trump 1Debates rage in the increasingly politicized world of mental health clinicians about how to name and understand Trump’s evident psychopathology. Is he a narcissistic psychopath, a psychopathic narcissist, or simply a ruthless con man who managed to grift his way into business and then into the White House?

There are those cautious souls that still abide by the “Goldwater Rule” a proscription against clinicians diagnosing politicians and others in public life who haven’t been interviewed directly. This was an attempt by the American Psychiatric Association to prevent the kind of reductive and politically motivated pathologizing that was directed against Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign. As it turns out, the rule was an overreaching corrective for an overreaching use of diagnosis. We have a wealth of data on what those in public life do and say in the world, something we don’t have access to with our patients. Although patients behave in certain ways in the context of treatment, we can only speculate how that translates to other relational contexts.

Even though we cannot know Trump through a personal analytic transference, we have seen and heard him engaging in a multiplicity of transference-like enactments, and we have witnessed the many countertransference-like responses he has invoked in others (such as aggressive retaliation and submission, often in the same person). He has shown a particular talent for getting those under him to abandon any moral constraint when those morals interfere with serving his interests. In October of 2017, we witnessed the supposed “adult in the room,” presidential Chief of Staff General John Kelly devolve into a more persuasive and articulate but no less mendacious Trumpian mini-me. A Florida Congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson, had overheard on speakerphone Trump’s callous and thoughtless attempt to console the newly widowed wife of a slain soldier, and dared to criticize the President for his stunning lack of emotional intelligence. Leaping to his boss’s defense at a press conference, Kelly attacked Wilson’s character and fabricated a story about her supposed outrageous behavior at a public event, in spite of readily available news footage of that event that shows Kelly’s assertion to be an elaborate lie.

Furthermore, assessing Trump’s psychology requires little speculation as we have available to us a life-long history of personal, romantic, business, and political relationships. With the exception of some of his predatory and criminal behavior, he has led his entire life in public. We know what he says and how he says it. Through his own words Trump has even let us in on what provokes him to act – primarily vengeance, vainglory, lust, greed, and an obsession with domination. It has been on this public stage, not behind closed doors, where we have witnessed him reward anyone who flatters him and punish those who fail to do so. His daily Twitter tantrums have constituted a kind of ongoing characterological EEG reading, as if the vicissitudes of his personality disorder produced brain waves that could be converted into a text form readable by all.

To discuss and explore his obvious psychopathology – a malignant narcissism and psychopathy that threatens us all – is not to adopt the Soviet-style use of psychiatric diagnosis in the service of political repression. Rather, as I will argue, it is understanding that can be put to emancipatory purposes. This is because knowing his psychology is central to the project of resisting his policies, and to the task of understanding his appeal to a significant plurality of Americans. If the central thesis of this essay is correct, that Trump’s pathology is isomorphic with his brand, then what may look to some of us as signs and symptoms of profound impairment is precisely what makes him the object of near delirious veneration on the part of his base. As he well understands, to them he can do no wrong. Or, rather, every wrong he commits is righteous. This will be unpacked in the next section.

Allen Frances, a former editor of the DSM, argues against the tendency of some inside and outside the mental health field to apply diagnostic categories to an understanding of Trump. He insists that because Trump’s personality traits do not seem to bring him suffering and have made him quite successful, this militates against evaluating him in terms of psychopathology. However, in taking this position, Frances illustrates one of the many weaknesses of the DSM, a pseudo-empirical insurance coding guidebook of little clinical utility.

In this case, he ignores a central feature of personality disorders – their ego-syntonic nature. In other words, the behavior of such patients is untroublingly congruent with how they want to see themselves. This is especially the case with narcissism. Furthermore, it is not that “successful” narcissists, like Trump do not suffer distress. Rather, it is that their psychic pain is hidden behind the central preoccupations that mark their character: a ceaseless obsession with zero-sum status competition, a desperate Sisyphean pursuit of admiration that is never satisfied, and an unrelenting series of vendettas against those who have questioned his greatness. Like most narcissists, Trump would never seek treatment for his character – not because he doesn’t suffer, but because he locates that suffering in the failures of others to affirm his most grandiose self-image.

Fortunately for Trump, he is wealthy and privileged enough to get others to accommodate his pathology rather than challenge it. In fact, a December 2017 New York Times profile of Trump, drawn from 60 sources, advisors, aides, and political allies, fills in the details of a picture many can see from a distance: a petulant, brittle, and impulsive baby-man, a mad king who must be managed by a large team of courtiers and Trump 2sycophants whose main task is to protect him from his own actions. Functioning as a kind of fun house mirror in reverse, they render his deficits and dysfunctions as admirable virtues. For example, to counter the accusation that Trump is a perpetrator of fake news and a relentless fount of confabulation and conspiracy mongering, those who serve him affirm the notion that he is instead the long-suffering victim of and noble crusader against the “fake media” and lies of liberals. His loyal coterie of buffers and fluffers, seem to operate as a kind of auxiliary component of his personality disorder, ensuring that his impulses and actions remain ego-syntonic and his sense of self-importance remains sufficiently inflated.

From Personality Disorder to Brand to Political Order

One of the remarkable features of Trump’s personality is the way it has come to saturate, in fact, define his brand as a businessman and now as a politician. As Naomi Klein has pointed out in her new book, the essence of the Trump brand is not simply wealth and power but impunity, which is what that wealth and power have bought him. Such impunity becomes an even more useful currency when congealed in his brand, which becomes the semiotic carrier of the fantasy of being able to “do anything,” as he bragged in the infamous Access Hollywood tape. During the campaign Trump expressed a more murderous vision of his moral if not legal indemnity when he said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and “not lose voters.”

For him, of course, it has not been just a fantasy. While impunity is deeply felt by Trump, it is also realized in the external world. Ms. Klein has detailed how his administration has been able to function as an unapologetic kleptocracy and a heretofore unconstrained one. As I see it, he has transformed a personality disorder into a brand and from there into a form of rule, an entire regime of psychopathy.

The fact that Trump and his family have enriched themselves by outsourcing the production of their products and real estate development projects to manufacturers and builders that use sweatshop and slave labor has not stopped him from being able to depict himself as an America Firster and a working-class hero. And frank treason has not impeded his efforts to portray himself as an uber-patriot.

His life of salacious debauchery, greed, and marital infidelity has not diminished the gushing enthusiasm with which he is greeted by the Christian Right. In the case of Trump, these good Christians do not merely defer to Caesar; they worship him. Some evangelical leaders compared him to Churchill, arguing that Trump “may be profane but ordained.” The mantle of God’s imperfect vessel was passed to former Alabama judge Roy Moore during his 2017 Senatorial race. He, like Trump, faced numerous sexual assault allegations. (In Moore’s case, some involved underage girls.) And like Trump, Moore denied everything and attacked his accusers. As with many Trump clones on the Right, the Moore scandal illustrates the extent to which impunity, at least among pious Republicans, is conferred upon those who disclaim any accountability for their actions. While Moore lost the Senatorial race against Doug Jones, it was by a narrow margin. And, he enjoyed the enthusiastic support from the President who made robocalls on Moore’s behalf. In addition, the Republican National Committee, the executive arm of the “family values” party, resolved their earlier ambivalence about backing an accused pedophile, and gave him a full-throated endorsement prior to the election.

In the case of Trump, his Teflon exoskeleton is even slipperier than the one attributed to Ronald Reagan. One could argue that the Trump “T” emblazoned across the top of his phallic buildings fundamentally stands for Teflon. He is the spokesmodel for impunity – impunity for sexual assault, for stiffing contractors, for wage theft, for providing investment safe havens to laundered Russian mob money, for proudly embracing murderous autocrats around the world, and for alternately denying and celebrating Putin’s corruption of our elections. In addition, at least among his supporters, Trump evinces impunity for praising the virtues of Nazis and white supremacists, for blaming Puerto Rican hurricane victims for their suffering and mocking their plight with Marie Antoinette-like “gifts” of paper towels tossed into desperate crowds, for exalting sadism and belligerence into noble virtues, and for compulsively and ceaselessly lying about both trivial and profound matters. In some ways, the latter, the normalization and acceptance of his lying, may be the most impactful and defining aspect of impunity in the present era.

“How Many Fingers, Winston?

In the reign of Trump, we have witnessed the emergence of a paradoxical species of disinformation, the open cover-up. It is a lie about something we can all see. It is an attack on our capacity to know what is true, to apprehend reality outside the assertions of the autocracy. It can be about trivial matters, such as inaugural crowd sizes. Or, it can involve more substantive concerns, such as the popular vote or Don Jr.’s well-published glee over getting the dirt on Hillary Clinton from Putin surrogates.

“Orwellian” is an appellation easily thrown around these days. But in the current moment, the descriptor seems especially apt. In the famous scene in 1984, O’Brien, the interrogator, confronts the prisoner, Winston, “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.” What follows is the nightmare exchange burned into all of our memories in which O’Brien holds up four fingers and insists under the threat of escalating torture that Winston must not only say that he sees five fingers but believe he does. We are now in a world where our masters not only demand obedience but also hysterical blindness. Fortunately for Trump, he has had and continues to have an eager team of well-paid liars, such as Sean Spicer, Kelley Anne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the entire rogue’s gallery of Fox News fantasists to share the labor of rewriting reality.

Astonishingly, in an episode that could have been scripted by Orwell, Trump even tried to assert, once elected, that the aforementioned Access Hollywood tape, in which he gloated over his special ability to get away with sexual assault, was fake. This was in spite of his prior video-taped campaign admission and perfunctory apology.

There is an important prehistory to the current administration’s attack on the possibility of a consensual reality. For many decades, right-wing pundits and politicians have not only lied whenever it suited their purposes but elevated lying itself to a kind of political sacrament and an admirable sign of Machiavellian mastery. Many may recall author Ron Suskind’s interview with a senior presidential advisor employed by the GW Bush administration that derided journalists as anachronistic members of the “reality-based community.” He had insisted that the only necessary function of reporters was to be stenographers of those in power – the movers and shakers whose stories were the only ones worth telling. This was the soil from which a thousand “alternative facts” would later bloom. There is no greater impunity than the ability to repudiate reality, and to suffer no consequences for that repudiation.

The Meaning of the Trump Brand

Every brand makes a promise: that the qualities projected onto it, as with totem animals, can be bestowed upon those who purchase the associated products. In fact, the brand functions as a kind of meta-product. Just as a product used to be and still is marketed as a currency that can confer qualities and experiences you might never be able to get on your own – power, sexiness, glamour, admiration and envy of others, freedom from moral or legal sanction – the brand can perform this magical transfer without the need for an actual object. The label or logo now embodies the same spiritual essence as the material thing once did – a fetish that has been liberated from the fetish object itself. The impunity that animates Trump’s character and life can, in the wishful imagination, be licensed like his brand and inhabit his customers and fans. He is the permissive super-ego who says, “Since I can do it, so can you.” His brand thus offers a kind of preemptive pardon (anticipating the legal one he has openly considered for those loyal to him), not just for his cabinet members, his consiglieri and official explainers, but also for his base. The grace of normalization is not just conferred on those white supremacist groups filled with “good people,” but also ordinary Americans who no longer have to sublimate their ethnic hatred and misogyny.

Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign, incidents of racist verbal and physical assaults and vandalism have not only dramatically escalated but have involved the use of his name in the text of those attacks. As one businessman said to a Kennedy Airport worker in a hijab, “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.” In Connecticut, fans of an all-white high school basketball team hurled racist taunts at the opposing team comprised largely of black and Latino players, and yelled “Trump! Trump! Trump!” This incident is one of many similar examples in which the President’s name has joined the swastika and the Confederate flag as brands signifying unapologetic exterminationist white supremacy.

At this point, some of my strenuously tolerant liberal readers might assert that not all Trump supporters are racist or contemptuous of various Others. And yet, they voted for someone who was, and cheered rapturously at his rallies. What does it mean to say you are not a bigot but are happy to support someone who is?

Forgive me for moving to the rhetorical third rail but occasionally Hitler analogies can be clarifying. How might we have regarded “good Germans” in the post-Weimar era who looked upon the brash Austrian rabble rouser and his party as simply the sort of nationalist disruptors the country needed? “Well,” they might say, “I don’t really think Jews are vermin, the principal vectors for all our economic and social maladies, but that Treaty of Versailles was a really bad deal. The Nazis promise to make Germany great again, create jobs, and build that beautiful autobahn. So, I want them in the Reichstag. And, you’ve got to love that idea of Lebensraum. Who doesn’t want to stretch out?”

Whether you are a bigot or can overlook bigotry in your leaders, the distinction doesn’t seem to constitute a meaningful difference, especially when it comes to policies those elected leaders get to enact. (For a fuller account of racism, in particular its role in eclipsing class as a driver of political identity, see my essay, “Tribe vs. Class in the Age of Post-Reality Politics,” which appeared in the anthology River of Fire: Commons, Crisis, and the Imagination.)

Absolute Power, Absolute Impunity

Impunity preempts any need to even imitate, let alone feel, empathy and other emotions common to the rest of the species. For Trump, regret and remorse are affective kryptonite to his singular superpower, untrammeled entitlement. He seems to live by his version of the medieval dictum of le droit du seigneur, the right of the lord. Originally, this referred to the master’s prerogative to rape any woman living on the land over which he ruled. For Trump, it is a more inclusive privilege and applies to anything and anybody he covets. So, unlike other politicians and CEOs, he cannot allow himself to even insincerely apologize, regardless of whatever short-term political or economic utility it might offer. The long-term damage to his brand would be too great.

Impunity is linked to another central feature of the Trumplandian universe – its authoritarianism and admiration of dictatorship. This may be why the Right is not just unperturbed by the Russian electoral espionage scandal, but even sees it as a good thing. To them, Putin is no villain but an icon of “manly” dominance whose central virtue is his ruthless proficiency at crushing those who impede his pursuit of empire. From this perspective, it makes sense why Trump and his base would want him to follow in Putin’s goose steps. And should the Mueller investigation present evidence of collusion with the Russians, Trump World will likely reframe it as one more affirmation that the President is a virtuoso at the “art of the deal.” If treason leads to a win, it is an unalloyed good. And, should there be a charge of obstruction of justice, there is no reason to worry because, according to Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, the president has impunity when it comes to that crime as well.

For his supporters in particular, the fantasy of domination without limits, consequences, or regret can be an effective if short-lived antidote to feelings of impotence. So, while those outside the Trumpian universe may be filled with bilious revulsion, his base cheers every act of destruction: every attack on an Obama era achievement, every display of arrogant swagger on the global stage, every assault on public health, every puerile insult directed at the enemy of the day, every thinly veiled racist incantation, and every ludicrous denial of science. All his actions say, “I’m here to fuck things up and burn it down. And I can get away with it.” And for those who feel powerless and enjoy little impunity in their own lives, his brand is burnished further.

Truth and Consequences

What can challenge this impunity? It will not be the invertebrate “mainstream” Republicans whose individual and collective Faustian bargains feel to them like offers they can’t refuse. Trump promises to give them what they want, a world safe for unregulated corporate predation, if they give him their loyalty. If they keep the praise coming and block any effort to impeach him for his crimes or to invoke the 25th amendment for his manifest incompetence to govern, he won’t invite Bannonite deplorables with pitchforks to primary them. The few exceptions to GOP moral cowardice have been those whose belated courage has been born of impending retirement.

Trump 3When it comes to enabling Trump and his team to evade any consequences for their potential crimes, there is now a plurality of Republican members of Congress that are going well beyond looking the other way or uttering low-risk overdue protests as they exit public life. There is now a well-organized and resolute effort underway among GOP politicians, the editorial board of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and FOX News (what is now essentially Trump State TV) to subvert and delegitimate the Mueller investigation, discredit the Justice Department, and slander the FBI. Perhaps this anticipates their slogan for the 2018 mid-term elections – Impunity: It Takes a Village.

While some Democratic politicians may have finally developed a modicum of spinal integrity since the devastating losses of 2016, it has come too late to do anything beyond handwringing or cheering on the resistance from the sidelines. They are largely without sufficient political power to stop the nihilistic Trump juggernaut.

For a solution, among the many that can be employed, we must return to Naomi Klein’s book and its compelling call to arms. She makes the case that, in addition to local grass roots efforts at organized resistance, one of the most effective forms of opposition to the destructive ambitions of the current regime would be to undermine the Trump brand itself. This should be a two-pronged strategy: 1) reframing his brand and 2) boycotting its associated products.

First, there needs to be an unrelenting campaign of semiotic guerilla warfare against his brand in which it becomes infused with meanings that displace its current salutary symbolic freight. The Trump T must bring to mind treasonous loser instead of tough guy winner. Every effort must be made to recast his putative strengths as the weaknesses they are. As many have already done, we need to redefine his impulsivity. Instead of allowing his spokespeople and brand managers to present his thoughtless acting out as bold frankness, it must be portrayed as the infantile psychological incontinence that it is. Then there are the “luxury” attributions carried by his brand. We must bring to the surface the unconscious lexicography of the Trump name itself. In other words, few may know that the actual meaning of trumpery is something that is “showy but worthless” (according to the America Heritage Dictionary) – an accurate description of everything Trump. Poetic justice will be done.

As polls indicate, our numbers are growing. If the resistance can unite across its many differences, and if we are creative, focused, and steadfast in our efforts, even his Success deodorant (a real Trump product) will not be able to cover up the stink.

Once the patina of the brand is tarnished and the products licensed to bear the ignominious T come to signify all that is vile and cheesy, a global effort must be undertaken to subvert its monetary power – its ability to generate a profit for those who license it. Once a world-wide boycott turns a marker of pride and impunity into a symbol of shame and liability, the stigmatization of Trump’s brand could be one bankruptcy from which Russian mob money will not be able to rescue him.

Like this:

Like Loading…


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

12:44 PM 6/23/2019 – SOCIALISM – Google Search: M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.  | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions.

12:44 PM 6/23/2019

Image result for SOCIALISM

Trump Investigations News – Page Link – News In Brief | Tweets | Videos

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – Page

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – In Brief

Trump Investigations News In Brief –  http://feed.informer.com/share/CGD4YTZW07

Trump Investigations on RSS Dog

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – on RSS Dog

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures
Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019
SOCIALISM – Google Search
SOCIALISM – Google Search
SOCIALISM – Google Search
SOCIALISM – Google Search
SOCIALISM – Google Search
socialist society – Google Search
socialist society – Google Search
socialist society – Google Search
socialist society – Google Search
socialist society – Google Search
socialist society – Google Search
healthy society – Google Search
healthy society – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
social organism – Google Search
Trump dismisses UN request for FBI to investigate Jamal Khashoggi’s murder | World news
Trump won’t say if he’ll ask FBI to probe Khashoggi killing
trump letter to kim – Google Search

 

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

1 Share
Image result for socialist society

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

Update – June 23, 2019

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTHSOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions:
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy, as the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes, is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM.
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures.
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept.
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity.
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism.
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources.
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented.
The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism.
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully.
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple:


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

1 Share
Image result for socialist society

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

Update – June 23, 2019

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTHSOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy, as the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes, is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept. 
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity. 
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism. 
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources. 
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented. 
 The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism. 
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully. 
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

Read the whole story

 

· · · · · ·

SOCIALISM – Google Search

1 Share
Related image

SOCIALISM – Google Search

1 Share
Image result for SOCIALISM

SOCIALISM – Google Search

2 Shares
Image result for SOCIALISM

SOCIALISM – Google Search

1 Share
Image result for SOCIALISM

SOCIALISM – Google Search


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.

Image result for socialist society

Socialism: an American Story – Update in pictures, tweets, and posts – 11:49 AM 6/23/2019

Update – June 23, 2019

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTHSOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy, as the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes, is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept. 
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity. 
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism. 
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources. 
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented. 
 The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism. 
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully. 
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions.

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 

“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”

Democracy: the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes. is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 

Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 

This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept.

The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity.

The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces and processes are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism.

The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources.

The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented.

The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism.

The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully.

Michael Novakhov

9:21 AM 6/23/2019

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

After watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism” as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is he trying to do?

Here’s how Sanders talked about his ideology in a recent speech at George Washington University:

“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”

“That,” he continued, “is what I mean by democratic socialism.”

Compare this with the vision of his political hero Eugene Debs, whom Sanders profiled in the 1979 documentary Eugene Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary.

“Socialism,” Debs wrote in 1904, “is first of all a political movement of the working class, clearly defined and uncompromising, which aims at the overthrow of the prevailing capitalist system by securing control of the national government and by the exercise of the public powers, supplanting the existing capitalist class government with socialist administration.”

It is, Debs said, “the collective ownership and control of industry and its democratic management in the interest of all the people.”

More modern programs for American socialism started from the same place. In his 1978 essay “What Socialists Would Do in America—If They Could,” Michael Harrington, who would co-found the Democratic Socialists of America a few years later, assumed a “national planning process in which all the people would have an effective right to participate.” This would include democratically owned and managed property as well as a private sector where “many of the existing functions of corporate power” had been socialized.

Sanders has proposed a capital fund controlled by workers at major corporations, but that arrangement lies quite a distance from the direct ownership envisioned by Debs or Harrington. That, Sanders rejects.

“The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this,” he said in a 2015 speech at Georgetown, “I don’t believe the government should own the means of production.”

Instead of a Marxist, Sanders likes to frame himself as a New Dealer, an heir to the party of Franklin Roosevelt.

Roosevelt, Sanders said last week, “led a transformation of the American government and the American economy” and was “reviled by the oligarchs of his time,” who attacked his New Deal programs as “socialism.”

It’s clear that Sanders wants to drain those attacks of their power by leaning into them, by saying yes, the New Deal was socialist and that was a good thing. And he is right about the reactionary opposition to Roosevelt. They warned of creeping Bolshevism and imminent revolution under programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Works Progress Administration. But being attacked as a socialist doesn’t make one a socialist, and neither Roosevelt nor the New Deal was socialist.

Roosevelt came to office a fiscal conservative. He wanted to balance the budget. He also understood, however, that mass unemployment threatened the “profit system.” In the face of labor unrest and direct action by industrial workers, he was willing to change course, to meet the activists and movements to his left with policies that satisfied some of their demands. But Roosevelt’s goal was always preservation: to reform capitalism and harmonize labor and capital, not to forge a replacement.

What, then, should we make of Sanders’ decision to embrace a nearly revolutionary label, “democratic socialism,” but define it in terms of American left-liberal politics?

One answer is that as someone who did live and work in left-wing and Marxist circles for much of his adult life, he wants to bring the term into the mainstream of American politics. To not just embrace the “socialist” attacks as a badge of honor but to make “democratic socialism” an extension of the New Deal is to make it sound normal, even desirable.

More Americans may embrace the label. And because the term still implies a larger set of ideological commitments outside Democratic Party liberalism, some of Sanders’ followers will become bona fide socialists who want that Debsian transformation of economic relations in the United States.

It has already happened with the substantial growth of the Democratic Socialists of America since 2016 and an increasing (albeit still small) number of Americans with a positive view of “socialism,” including a bare majority of the youngest adults.

The term does other political work. It distinguishes him from his rivals in the Democratic primary and suggests he wants to go further than his stated views—that he’s also interested in fundamental transformation, even if his program isn’t more meaningfully progressive than that of his closest ideological rival, Elizabeth Warren.

There’s another way to understand Sanders’ rhetoric around “democratic socialism.” For Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, Sanders embodies the not-always-clear divide between liberals and the left.

“In running as a democratic socialist who seeks to complete and update FDR’s agenda,” he writes, “Sanders straddles the very fuzzy border between social democracy and American left liberalism.” In both traditions, democracy is an economic project as well as a political one. Perhaps Sanders is just trying to make that explicit—to once and for all marginalize the centrist Democratic Party politics of the past three decades, in which the economic rights of workers were subordinate to the demands of capital—as well as show Americans how effective governance can include left-wing politics. It is the political project of his entire career, from Burlington to the Capitol Building.

At the beginning of his speech at George Washington, Sanders took note of the “growing movement toward oligarchy” in the United States and the world at large. He listed the leaders of several governments—Putin in Russia, Xi in China, Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Viktor Orban in Hungary—that “meld corporatist economics with xenophobia and authoritarianism.” I think this analysis, which I’ve written about in the past, can also help us make sense of Sanders’ idiosyncratic use of “democratic socialism.”

In a 1977 essay for Dissent magazine, “Socialism and Liberalism: Articles of Conciliation?,” socialist writer Irving Howe addressed the “tacit collaboration of right and left extremes in undermining the social and moral foundations of liberalism,” which he described as “a great intellectual scandal of the age.” Those critics failed, he wrote, “to consider what the consequences might be of their intemperate attacks upon liberalism.” To assault the foundations of liberal democracy, he added, “meant to bring into play social forces the intellectuals of both right and left could not foresee.”

In straddling the two sides of the left-wing divide—in tying “democratic socialism” to the legacy of the most important figure in American liberalism—Sanders might be modeling a kind of pragmatism. Not the colloquial pragmatism of do what works, but something from the American philosophical tradition where the truth of the matter is in the doing, not the definitions.

He calls himself a “democratic socialist,” others call themselves “liberals,” but in the United States they’re part of a common project, fighting on a united front.

____________________________________

Trump Investigations News – Page Link – News In Brief | Tweets | Videos

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – Page

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – In Brief

Trump Investigations News In Brief –  http://feed.informer.com/share/CGD4YTZW07

Trump Investigations on RSS Dog

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – on RSS Dog

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism
Trump’s playbook for victory in 2020 is reportedly an audacious attempt to turn his biggest weakness – YouTube
Jared Kushner’s $50 billion ‘peace to prosperity’ plan faces broad Arab rejection
2:19 PM 6/22/2019 | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
Kushner reveals peace plan to inject $50 billion into Middle East economies
Palestinians reject Jared Kushner’s ‘economy first’ approach to Middle East peace, Middle East News & Top Stories
Bolton arrives in Israel ahead of ‘unprecedented’ security summit in Jerusalem
Inside the Trump presidency: A mad king roams empty halls
Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system – The Guardian
Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system | Evgeny Morozov | Opinion
Sat Jun 22 2019 09:48:01 GMT-0400 –  TRUMP AND TRUMPISM – SITE REVIEW | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
9:29 AM 6/22/2019 – Elliott Broidy, Donald Trump, and Michael Cohen – Google Search | Prosecutors intensify scrutiny of Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
8:13 AM 6/22/2019 – Jerusalem Security meeting 2019 – Google Search
Jerusalem Security meeting 2019 – Google Search
8:13 AM 6/22/2019 – Jerusalem Security meeting 2019 – Google Search
7:03 AM 6/22/2019 – $4 million defense contract for George Nader | The Wall Street Journal: Prosecutors intensify scrutiny of Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
How 2 Gulf Monarchies Sought to Influence the White House
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
Elliott Broidy, Donald Trump, and Michael Cohen – Google Search

 

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions.

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM. 

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy: the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes. is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept. 
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity. 
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces and processes are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism. 
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources. 
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented. 
 The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism. 
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully. 
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
__________________________________________________________

Donald Trump and his political movement | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump – by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Sites: http://trumpinvestigations.org/ | https://trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/ | https://trumpandtrumpism.com/

M.N.: My take on it, very simple: SOCIALISM IS HEALTH, SOCIALIST SOCIETY IS THE HEALTHY SOCIETY, in all respects; as the SOCIAL ORGANISM.

All the “RIGHTS” that Bernie Sanders had listed here,  are the elements, the prerequisites, and the parts of the HEALTHY Society’s structure and functions: 
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
Democracy: the harmonious balance of forces and processes of the body politic and the governing modes. is the inseparable part of the HEALTHY SOCIETY as the the social organism and the self-regulating and self-organising, sui generis, SYSTEM. 
Thus, the TRUE SOCIALISM, by my (Michael Novakhov’s) definition, can only be the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM, as evidenced in commonly accepted practices and patterns of functioning of the democratic political systems, primarily minted by the WESTERN CULTURE, and its acceptable versions in other cultures. 
This concept is gnostically opposite to Marxism, and it views its dogmas about the primacy of the economic forces (Marxist “political economy”), class struggle, and the role of working class, just as such: unscientific, incorrect, counterproductive, and historically dangerous dogmas. Employing their Hegelian “unity and conflict of the opposites”, the Marxists, in my humble uneducated opinion, overemphasize the “conflict”, and discount the “unity”, elaborating on the “false dichotomies” of these concept.
The Healthy Society contains both the Social Peace and class harmony, as well as the class tensions and class struggles, in the true mix of the real life complexity.
The biological, psychological, and the social-cultural forces and processes are the true, primary, and natural determinants of the social and historical processes, together with the economic ones. “Political Economy”, in a non-Marxian sense, is the Alimentary-Energy System of the Social Organism.
The idea of the Society as the Organism is very old, it descends to Plato, and it is a part of the Western Canon of Ideas, although it is referred to under the different, and sometimes confusing terms, in various sources.
The true leader of the Society, of course is not the Working Class, the most they aspire to become (as a class), is to move upper, to the middle strata, and these tendencies were well studied and well documented.
The true leaders of the Society are the Thinking, the Intellectual classes, in all their varieties, colors, affiliations, philosophies, etc., etc. It is them who move the Society forward. They are the head of the Social Organism.
The elaborations on all these ideas should follow, hopefully.
Michael Novakhov
9:21 AM 6/23/2019
Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

After watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism” as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is he trying to do?
Here’s how Sanders talked about his ideology in a recent speech at George Washington University:
“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”
“That,” he continued, “is what I mean by democratic socialism.”
Compare this with the vision of his political hero Eugene Debs, whom Sanders profiled in the 1979 documentary Eugene Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary.
“Socialism,” Debs wrote in 1904, “is first of all a political movement of the working class, clearly defined and uncompromising, which aims at the overthrow of the prevailing capitalist system by securing control of the national government and by the exercise of the public powers, supplanting the existing capitalist class government with socialist administration.”
It is, Debs said, “the collective ownership and control of industry and its democratic management in the interest of all the people.”
More modern programs for American socialism started from the same place. In his 1978 essay “What Socialists Would Do in America—If They Could,” Michael Harrington, who would co-found the Democratic Socialists of America a few years later, assumed a “national planning process in which all the people would have an effective right to participate.” This would include democratically owned and managed property as well as a private sector where “many of the existing functions of corporate power” had been socialized.
Sanders has proposed a capital fund controlled by workers at major corporations, but that arrangement lies quite a distance from the direct ownership envisioned by Debs or Harrington. That, Sanders rejects.
“The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this,” he said in a 2015 speech at Georgetown, “I don’t believe the government should own the means of production.”
Instead of a Marxist, Sanders likes to frame himself as a New Dealer, an heir to the party of Franklin Roosevelt.
Roosevelt, Sanders said last week, “led a transformation of the American government and the American economy” and was “reviled by the oligarchs of his time,” who attacked his New Deal programs as “socialism.”
It’s clear that Sanders wants to drain those attacks of their power by leaning into them, by saying yes, the New Deal was socialist and that was a good thing. And he is right about the reactionary opposition to Roosevelt. They warned of creeping Bolshevism and imminent revolution under programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Works Progress Administration. But being attacked as a socialist doesn’t make one a socialist, and neither Roosevelt nor the New Deal was socialist.
Roosevelt came to office a fiscal conservative. He wanted to balance the budget. He also understood, however, that mass unemployment threatened the “profit system.” In the face of labor unrest and direct action by industrial workers, he was willing to change course, to meet the activists and movements to his left with policies that satisfied some of their demands. But Roosevelt’s goal was always preservation: to reform capitalism and harmonize labor and capital, not to forge a replacement.
What, then, should we make of Sanders’ decision to embrace a nearly revolutionary label, “democratic socialism,” but define it in terms of American left-liberal politics?
One answer is that as someone who did live and work in left-wing and Marxist circles for much of his adult life, he wants to bring the term into the mainstream of American politics. To not just embrace the “socialist” attacks as a badge of honor but to make “democratic socialism” an extension of the New Deal is to make it sound normal, even desirable.
More Americans may embrace the label. And because the term still implies a larger set of ideological commitments outside Democratic Party liberalism, some of Sanders’ followers will become bona fide socialists who want that Debsian transformation of economic relations in the United States.
It has already happened with the substantial growth of the Democratic Socialists of America since 2016 and an increasing (albeit still small) number of Americans with a positive view of “socialism,” including a bare majority of the youngest adults.
The term does other political work. It distinguishes him from his rivals in the Democratic primary and suggests he wants to go further than his stated views—that he’s also interested in fundamental transformation, even if his program isn’t more meaningfully progressive than that of his closest ideological rival, Elizabeth Warren.
There’s another way to understand Sanders’ rhetoric around “democratic socialism.” For Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, Sanders embodies the not-always-clear divide between liberals and the left.
“In running as a democratic socialist who seeks to complete and update FDR’s agenda,” he writes, “Sanders straddles the very fuzzy border between social democracy and American left liberalism.” In both traditions, democracy is an economic project as well as a political one. Perhaps Sanders is just trying to make that explicit—to once and for all marginalize the centrist Democratic Party politics of the past three decades, in which the economic rights of workers were subordinate to the demands of capital—as well as show Americans how effective governance can include left-wing politics. It is the political project of his entire career, from Burlington to the Capitol Building.
At the beginning of his speech at George Washington, Sanders took note of the “growing movement toward oligarchy” in the United States and the world at large. He listed the leaders of several governments—Putin in Russia, Xi in China, Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Viktor Orban in Hungary—that “meld corporatist economics with xenophobia and authoritarianism.” I think this analysis, which I’ve written about in the past, can also help us make sense of Sanders’ idiosyncratic use of “democratic socialism.”
In a 1977 essay for Dissent magazine, “Socialism and Liberalism: Articles of Conciliation?,” socialist writer Irving Howe addressed the “tacit collaboration of right and left extremes in undermining the social and moral foundations of liberalism,” which he described as “a great intellectual scandal of the age.” Those critics failed, he wrote, “to consider what the consequences might be of their intemperate attacks upon liberalism.” To assault the foundations of liberal democracy, he added, “meant to bring into play social forces the intellectuals of both right and left could not foresee.”
In straddling the two sides of the left-wing divide—in tying “democratic socialism” to the legacy of the most important figure in American liberalism—Sanders might be modeling a kind of pragmatism. Not the colloquial pragmatism of do what works, but something from the American philosophical tradition where the truth of the matter is in the doing, not the definitions.
He calls himself a “democratic socialist,” others call themselves “liberals,” but in the United States they’re part of a common project, fighting on a united front.
____________________________________
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism
Trump’s playbook for victory in 2020 is reportedly an audacious attempt to turn his biggest weakness – YouTube
Jared Kushner’s $50 billion ‘peace to prosperity’ plan faces broad Arab rejection
2:19 PM 6/22/2019 | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
Kushner reveals peace plan to inject $50 billion into Middle East economies
Palestinians reject Jared Kushner’s ‘economy first’ approach to Middle East peace, Middle East News & Top Stories
Bolton arrives in Israel ahead of ‘unprecedented’ security summit in Jerusalem
Inside the Trump presidency: A mad king roams empty halls
Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system – The Guardian
Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system | Evgeny Morozov | Opinion
Sat Jun 22 2019 09:48:01 GMT-0400 –  TRUMP AND TRUMPISM – SITE REVIEW | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
9:29 AM 6/22/2019 – Elliott Broidy, Donald Trump, and Michael Cohen – Google Search | Prosecutors intensify scrutiny of Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
8:13 AM 6/22/2019 – Jerusalem Security meeting 2019 – Google Search
Jerusalem Security meeting 2019 – Google Search
8:13 AM 6/22/2019 – Jerusalem Security meeting 2019 – Google Search
7:03 AM 6/22/2019 – $4 million defense contract for George Nader | The Wall Street Journal: Prosecutors intensify scrutiny of Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
How 2 Gulf Monarchies Sought to Influence the White House
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
$4 million defense contract for George Nader – Google Search
Elliott Broidy, Donald Trump, and Michael Cohen – Google Search
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠
Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

After watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism” as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is he trying to do?
Here’s how Sanders talked about his ideology in a recent speech at George Washington University:

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Bernie Sanders’ definition of socialism

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
.

After watching Bernie Sanders try, for at least the second time, to defend himself as a “democratic socialist” by defining “democratic socialism” as something that is not actually socialism, I’m struggling to understand the purpose of it all. What does he gain from this? What is he trying to do?

Here’s how Sanders talked about his ideology in a recent speech at George Washington University:

“The right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a good job that pays a living wage, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement, and the right to live in a clean environment.”

“That,” he continued, “is what I mean by democratic socialism.”

Compare this with the vision of his political hero Eugene Debs, whom Sanders profiled in the 1979 documentary Eugene Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary.

“Socialism,” Debs wrote in 1904, “is first of all a political movement of the working class, clearly defined and uncompromising, which aims at the overthrow of the prevailing capitalist system by securing control of the national government and by the exercise of the public powers, supplanting the existing capitalist class government with socialist administration.”

It is, Debs said, “the collective ownership and control of industry and its democratic management in the interest of all the people.”

More modern programs for American socialism started from the same place. In his 1978 essay “What Socialists Would Do in America—If They Could,” Michael Harrington, who would co-found the Democratic Socialists of America a few years later, assumed a “national planning process in which all the people would have an effective right to participate.” This would include democratically owned and managed property as well as a private sector where “many of the existing functions of corporate power” had been socialized.

Sanders has proposed a capital fund controlled by workers at major corporations, but that arrangement lies quite a distance from the direct ownership envisioned by Debs or Harrington. That, Sanders rejects.

“The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this,” he said in a 2015 speech at Georgetown, “I don’t believe the government should own the means of production.”

Instead of a Marxist, Sanders likes to frame himself as a New Dealer, an heir to the party of Franklin Roosevelt.

Roosevelt, Sanders said last week, “led a transformation of the American government and the American economy” and was “reviled by the oligarchs of his time,” who attacked his New Deal programs as “socialism.”

It’s clear that Sanders wants to drain those attacks of their power by leaning into them, by saying yes, the New Deal was socialist and that was a good thing. And he is right about the reactionary opposition to Roosevelt. They warned of creeping Bolshevism and imminent revolution under programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Works Progress Administration. But being attacked as a socialist doesn’t make one a socialist, and neither Roosevelt nor the New Deal was socialist.

Roosevelt came to office a fiscal conservative. He wanted to balance the budget. He also understood, however, that mass unemployment threatened the “profit system.” In the face of labor unrest and direct action by industrial workers, he was willing to change course, to meet the activists and movements to his left with policies that satisfied some of their demands. But Roosevelt’s goal was always preservation: to reform capitalism and harmonize labor and capital, not to forge a replacement.

What, then, should we make of Sanders’ decision to embrace a nearly revolutionary label, “democratic socialism,” but define it in terms of American left-liberal politics?

One answer is that as someone who did live and work in left-wing and Marxist circles for much of his adult life, he wants to bring the term into the mainstream of American politics. To not just embrace the “socialist” attacks as a badge of honor but to make “democratic socialism” an extension of the New Deal is to make it sound normal, even desirable.

More Americans may embrace the label. And because the term still implies a larger set of ideological commitments outside Democratic Party liberalism, some of Sanders’ followers will become bona fide socialists who want that Debsian transformation of economic relations in the United States.

It has already happened with the substantial growth of the Democratic Socialists of America since 2016 and an increasing (albeit still small) number of Americans with a positive view of “socialism,” including a bare majority of the youngest adults.

The term does other political work. It distinguishes him from his rivals in the Democratic primary and suggests he wants to go further than his stated views—that he’s also interested in fundamental transformation, even if his program isn’t more meaningfully progressive than that of his closest ideological rival, Elizabeth Warren.

There’s another way to understand Sanders’ rhetoric around “democratic socialism.” For Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, Sanders embodies the not-always-clear divide between liberals and the left.

“In running as a democratic socialist who seeks to complete and update FDR’s agenda,” he writes, “Sanders straddles the very fuzzy border between social democracy and American left liberalism.” In both traditions, democracy is an economic project as well as a political one. Perhaps Sanders is just trying to make that explicit—to once and for all marginalize the centrist Democratic Party politics of the past three decades, in which the economic rights of workers were subordinate to the demands of capital—as well as show Americans how effective governance can include left-wing politics. It is the political project of his entire career, from Burlington to the Capitol Building.

At the beginning of his speech at George Washington, Sanders took note of the “growing movement toward oligarchy” in the United States and the world at large. He listed the leaders of several governments—Putin in Russia, Xi in China, Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Viktor Orban in Hungary—that “meld corporatist economics with xenophobia and authoritarianism.” I think this analysis, which I’ve written about in the past, can also help us make sense of Sanders’ idiosyncratic use of “democratic socialism.”

In a 1977 essay for Dissent magazine, “Socialism and Liberalism: Articles of Conciliation?,” socialist writer Irving Howe addressed the “tacit collaboration of right and left extremes in undermining the social and moral foundations of liberalism,” which he described as “a great intellectual scandal of the age.” Those critics failed, he wrote, “to consider what the consequences might be of their intemperate attacks upon liberalism.” To assault the foundations of liberal democracy, he added, “meant to bring into play social forces the intellectuals of both right and left could not foresee.”

In straddling the two sides of the left-wing divide—in tying “democratic socialism” to the legacy of the most important figure in American liberalism—Sanders might be modeling a kind of pragmatism. Not the colloquial pragmatism of do what works, but something from the American philosophical tradition where the truth of the matter is in the doing, not the definitions.

He calls himself a “democratic socialist,” others call themselves “liberals,” but in the United States they’re part of a common project, fighting on a united front.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

2:19 PM 6/22/2019 | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions.

2:19 PM 6/22/2019

TRUMP AND TRUMPISM – SITE REVIEW – Trump and Trumpism – Donald Trump and his political movement 

Trump Investigations In 50 Posts – from Michael Novakhov – On RSS Dog

Trump Investigations News Review In Brief – 50 – http://feed.informer.com/share/8WYQ8FQWLA

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ | On Twitter: https://twitter.com/mikenov

Trump News Review Playlist on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCFEC4F4C78CD6358 | Trump News TV |

Audio and Video Links | Mueller Report In Video & Audio

VOA Newscasts – https://www.voanews.com/voa-newscasts

NPR Newscasts – https://www.npr.org/podcasts/500005/hourly-news-summary/

Trump Investigations from Michael Novakhov In 250 Brief Posts – Page Link 

THE STUDY OF TRUMP AND HIS MIND – PAGES – TRUMP AND TRUMPISM

Trump Investigations In 50 Posts – from Michael Novakhov – On RSS Dog

Trump Investigations News Review In Brief – 50 – http://feed.informer.com/share/8WYQ8FQWLA

Trump Investigations from Michael Novakhov
“Jared Kushner” – Google News: Here’s an early look at Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan – The Week Magazine
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Kushner reveals peace plan to inject $50 billion into Middle East economies
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Palestinians reject Jared Kushner’s ‘economy first’ approach to Middle East peace, Middle East News & Top Stories
Trump News TV from Michael_Novakhov (12 sites): msnbcleanforward’s YouTube Videos: Julián Castro: We Can’t Move On Until We Address The Original Sin Of Slavery | MSNBC
NPR News Now: NPR News: 06-22-2019 1PM ET
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: I am at Camp David working on many things, including Iran! We have a great Economy, Tariffs have been very helpful both with respect to the huge Dollars coming IN, & on helping to make good Trade Deals. The Dow heading to B
Google Alert – Jared Kushner: Palestinians reject Jared Kushner’s ‘economy first’ approach to Middle East peace
Trump Investigations, Middle East, and Israel from Michael_Novakhov (17 sites): “Mueller Investigation and Israel” – Google News: White House unveils $50 billion Palestinian economic plan – WKEF ABC 22
Trump News TV from Michael_Novakhov (12 sites): CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: 7 dead, 3 injured in New Hampshire motorcycle crash
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: pic.twitter.com/mUc2KZFZON
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: Thank you Jessica! pic.twitter.com/gxNRfFqZCm
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “Trump anxiety” – Google News: The Editors Podcast: Restarts, Rallies, and Regulations – National Review
Trump News TV from Michael_Novakhov (12 sites): msnbcleanforward’s YouTube Videos: Sen. Harris: It’s A Given That Trump Doesn’t Represent The American People | MSNBC
Google Alert – Jared Kushner: Kushner reveals peace plan to inject $50 billion into Middle East economies
Google Alert – Jared Kushner: Palestinians reject Kushner ‘economy first’ approach to Mideast peace
“2016 Presidential Election Investigation” – Google News: Trump: Military action against Iran still ‘on the table’ – KLEW
“bank of Cyprus” – Google News: Hackers steal $1.8m from 2 private banks – Dhaka Tribune
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “crime and terror” – Google News: California police are refusing to take part in Trump’s immigration sweeps. Here’s why – Los Angeles Times
Google Alert – Benjamin Netanyahu: ‘The only one that matters is me’: Trump backs Bolton amid Iran tensions
Google Alert – mueller investigation: Hannity: Of Course Manafort and I Were Text-Bros About the Mueller Investigation
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): Palmer Report: One of Donald Trump’s own nominees just pulled a fast one on him
Trump digital operations from Michael_Novakhov (3 sites): “social media in trump campaign” – Google News: 2 Trump Stories on Social Media You Shouldn’t Believe – Fortune
NPR News Now: NPR News: 06-22-2019 12PM ET
Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: A great book! twitter.com/erictrump/stat…
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: RT @EricTrump: The crowds and the spirit outside the Amway Center waiting for @realDonaldTrump is absolutely incredible! #Orlando #2020 #Ma…
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: RT @EricTrump: This isn’t a campaign, this is a movement! Thank you Orlando – we love you! #Florida #KeepAmericaGreat
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: Looking good. We MUST WIN to KEEP AMERICA GREAT! twitter.com/erictrump/stat…
realDonaldTrump on Twitter: RT @EricTrump: Behind the scenes in #Orlando – what an amazing night! ⁦@DonaldJTrumpJr⁩ ⁦@IvankaTrump⁩ pic.twitter.com/DRqicdEFFY
Google Alert – Jared Kushner: Trump’s Mideast plan envisions $50 billion investment in Palestinian economy
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “Trump anxiety” – Google News: LAPD confirms ICE sweep will target individuals in Los Angeles – fox5sandiego.com
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “trump electorate” – Google News: The Latest: SC Democrats kicking 2020 presidential tires – Alton Telegraph
Trump’s YouTube Videos: Trump: I’m not looking for war with Iran
RealClearInvestigations – Homepage: Trump Fillip to Poor Aids Sportswear Mogul
mikenov on Twitter: Michael Wolff on the Trump Presidency, Journalism & Politics Without Ideas by Inside Politics via #soundcloud soundcloud.com/irishtimes-pol…
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Bolton arrives in Israel ahead of ‘unprecedented’ security summit in Jerusalem
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Inside the Trump presidency: A mad king roams empty halls
mikenov on Twitter: Inside the Trump presidency: A mad king roams empty halls irishtimes.com/culture/books/… via @IrishTimesBooks
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “Russian Intelligence, organized crime and political interference” – Google News: A Few Words in Defence of Francis Fukuyama – Modern Diplomacy
“Mueller’s Russia investigation” – Google News: Democratic presidential candidates attend Planned Parenthood Candidate Forum in SC – KLEW
1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): “Trump and the Mob” – Google News: Late Night Lately: Jon Stewart Fights Back, James Corden vs. Michelle Obama, Seth Meyers Goes Day Drinking – Hollywood Reporter
“wilbur ross” – Google News: Pritzker signs order to jumpstart 2020 census outreach, ensure accurate count – Chicago Daily Herald
mikenov on Twitter: Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system – The Guardian (“Conspiracy…) michael_novakhov.newsblur.com/story/facebook…
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system – The Guardian
Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts
Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts
NPR News Now: NPR News: 06-22-2019 11AM ET
mikenov on Twitter: Fuck Facebook!!! theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
mikenov on Twitter: Facebook’s plan to break the global financial system | Evgeny Morozov theguardian.com/commentisfree/…

 

Trump Investigations from Michael Novakhov
“Jared Kushner” – Google News: Here’s an early look at Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan – The Week Magazine
Sat, 22 Jun 2019 13:22:04 -0400
Here’s an early look at Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan  The Week MagazinePresident Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to unveil his “peace to prosperity” plan at an international conference in Bahrain next week …

“Jared Kushner” – Google News

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Kushner reveals peace plan to inject $50 billion into Middle East economies
Sat, 22 Jun 2019 13:10:15 -0400

Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on Saturday revealed the long-awaited details of the economic aspect of the US peace plan, saying it would inject $50 billion into struggling economies in the Middle East over the next ten years.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency three days ahead of the Washington-led economic workshop in Bahrain, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law said that over half of the funds ($28 billion) would go toward the West Bank and Gaza Strip while $7.5 billion would go to Jordan, $9 billion to Egypt and $6 billion to Lebanon.


Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    151
    Shares
  • 151
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •