Thursday, October 31, 2019

Missing

Monday, October 28, 2019

Valiente

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Me Too


C. J. Hopkins:
So, it looks like that’s it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have “hacked,” or “influenced,” or “meddled in” our democracy. Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup, it’s four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death’s heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.
We probably should have seen this coming.
That’s right, as I’m sure you are aware by now, president-in-exile Hillary Clinton has discovered Putin’s diabolical plot to steal the presidency from Elizabeth Warren, or Biden, or whichever establishment puppet makes it out of the Democratic primaries. Speaking to former Obama adviser and erstwhile partner at AKPD Message and Media David Plouffe, Clinton revealed how the godless Rooskies intend to subvert democracy this time:
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”
She was referring, of course, to Tulsi Gabbard, sitting Democratic Member of Congress, decorated Major in the Army National Guard, and long shot 2020 presidential candidate. Apparently, Gabbard (who reliable anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community have confirmed is a member of some kind of treasonous, Samoan-Hindu, Assad-worshipping cult that wants to force everyone to practice yoga) has been undergoing Russian “grooming” at a compound in an undisclosed location that is probably in the basement of Mar-a-Lago, or on Sublevel 168 of Trump Tower.
In any event, wherever Gabbard is being surreptitiously “groomed” (presumably by someone resembling Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love), the plan (i.e., Putin’s plan) is to have her lose in the Democratic primaries, then run as a third-party “spoiler” candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also “totally a Russian asset”) stole them from Clinton back in 2016, allowing Putin to install Donald Trump (who, according to Clinton, is still being blackmailed by the FSB with that “kompromat” pee-tape) in the White House, where she so clearly belongs.
Clinton’s comments came on the heels of a preparatory smear-piece in The New York Times, What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To?, which reported at length on how Gabbard has been “injecting chaos” into the Democratic primaries. Professional “disinformation experts” supplied The Times with convincing evidence (i.e., unfounded hearsay and innuendo) of “suspicious activity” surrounding Gabbard’s campaign. Former Clinton-aide Laura Rosenberger (who also just happens to be the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, “a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group” comprised of former Intelligence Community and U.S. State Department officials, and publisher of the Hamilton 68 dashboard) “sees Gabbard as a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division.”
The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times, and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with. Richard Spencer, David Duke, Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Tucker Carlson, and so on. Neo-Nazi sites like the Daily Stormer. 4chan, where, according to The New York Times, neo-Nazis like to “call her Mommy.”
In keeping with professional journalistic ethics, The Times also reached out to experts on fascism, fascist terrorism, terrorist fascism, fascist-adjacent Assad-apologism, Hitlerism, horrorism, Russia, and so on, to confirm Gabbard’s guilt-by-association with the people The Times had just associated her with. Brian Levin, Director of the CSU Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, confirmed that Gabbard has “the seal of approval” within goose-stepping, Hitler-loving, neo-Nazi circles. The Alliance for Securing Democracy (yes, the one from the previous paragraph) conducted an “independent analysis” which confirmed that RT (“the Kremlin-backed news agency”) had mentioned Gabbard far more often than the Western corporate media (which isn’t backed by anyone, and is totally unbiased and independent, despite the fact that most of it is owned by a handful of powerful global corporations, and at least one CIA-affiliated oligarch). Oh, and Hawaii State Senator Kai Kahele, who is challenging Gabbard for her seat in Congress, agreed with The Times that Gabbard’s support from Jew-hating, racist Putin-Nazis might be a potential liability.
“Clearly there’s something about her and her policies that attracts and appeals to these type of people who are white nationalists, anti-Semites, and Holocaust deniers.”
But it’s not just The New York Times, of course. No sooner had Clinton finished cackling than the corporate media launched into their familiar Goebbelsian piano routine, banging out story after television segment repeating the words “Gabbard” and “Russian asset.” I’ve singled out The Times because the smear piece in question was clearly a warm-up for Hillary Clinton’s calculated smear job on Friday night. No, the old gal hasn’t lost her mind. She knew exactly what she was doing, as did the editors of The New York Times, as did every other establishment news source that breathlessly “reported” her neo-McCarthyite smears.
As I noted in my previous essay, 2020 is for all the marbles, and it’s not just about who wins the election. No, it’s mostly about crushing the “populist” backlash against the hegemony of global capitalism and its happy, smiley-faced, conformist ideology. To do that, the neoliberal establishment has to delegitimize, and lethally stigmatize, not just Trump, but also people like Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn … and any other popular political figure (left, right, it makes no difference) deviating from that ideology.
In Trump’s case, it’s his neo-nationalism. In Sanders and Corbyn’s, it’s socialism (or at least some semblance of social democracy). In Gabbard’s, it’s her opposition to the Corporatocracy’s ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the Middle East (and the rest of the entire planet), and their using the U.S. military to do it.
Ask yourself, what do Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, and Gabbard have in common? No, it’s not their Putin-Nazism … it’s the challenge they represent to global capitalism. Each, in his or her own way, is a symbol of the growing populist resistance to the privatization and globalization of everything. And thus, they must be delegitimized, stigmatized, and relentlessly smeared as “Russian assets,” “anti-Semites,” “traitors,” “white supremacists,” “fascists,” “communists,” or some other type of “extremists.”
Gabbard, to her credit, understands this, and is focusing attention on the motives and tactics of the neoliberal establishment and their smear machine. As I noted in an essay last year, “the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale) is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible.” This will not save her, but it is the best she can do, and I applaud her for having the guts to do it. I hope she continues to give them hell as they finish off her candidacy and drive her out of office.
Oh, and if you’re contemplating sending me an email explaining how these smear campaigns don’t work (or you spent the weekend laughing about how Hillary Clinton lost her mind and made an utter jackass of herself), maybe check in with Julian Assange, who is about to be extradited to America, tried for exposing U.S. war crimes, and then imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life. If you can’t get through to Julian at Belmarsh, you could ring up Katharine Viner at The Guardian, which has ruthlessly smeared Assange for years, and published outright lies about him, and is apparently doing very well financially.
And, if Katharine is on holiday in Antigua or somewhere, or having tea with Hillary in the rooftop bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel, you could try Luke Harding (who not only writes and publishes propaganda for The Guardian, but who wrote a whole New York Times best-seller based on nothing but lies and smears). Or try Marty Baron, Dean Baquet, Paul Krugman, or even Rachel Maddow, or any of the other editors and journalists who have been covering the Putin-Nazi “Attack on America,” and keeping us apprised of who is and isn’t a Hitler-loving “Russian asset.”
Ask them whether their smear machine is working … if you can get them off the phone with their brokers, or whoever is decorating their summer places in the Hamptons or out on Martha’s Vineyard.
Or ask the millions of well-off liberals who are still, even after Russiagate was exposed as an enormous hoax based on absolutely nothing, parroting this paranoid official narrative and calling people “Russian assets” on Twitter. Or never mind, just pay attention to what happens over the next twelve months. In terms of ridiculous official propaganda, spittle-flecked McCarthyite smears, and full-blown psychotic mass Putin-Nazi hysteria, it’s going to make the last three years look like the Propaganda Special Olympics.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Terminate with Extreme Prejudice


Renée Parsons:
Even before Rep. Tulsi Gabbard threatened to boycott the October 15th Dem debate as the DNC usurps the role of voters in the Democratic primacy 2020 election and with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on the table, the Swamp was stirred and its slimy muck may be about to come to the surface as never before.
If so, those revelations are long overdue.
It is no secret to the observant that since the 2016 election, the Democratic Party has been in a state of near-collapse, the victim of its own hubris, having lost their moral compass with unsubstantiated Russisgate allegations; those accusations continue as a futile exercise of domestic regime change.
Today’s Dems are less than a bona fide opposition party offering zero policy solutions, unrecognizable from past glories and not the same political party many of us signed up for many years ago. Instead, the American public is witnessing a frenzied, unscrupulous strategy.
Desperate in the denial of its demise, confronting its own shadow of corruption as the Dems have morphed into a branch of the CIA – not unlike origins of the East German Stasi government.
It should not be necessary to say but in today’s hyper volatile political climate it is: No American should be labelled as anything other than a loyal American to be deeply disturbed by the Democrat/CIA collusion that is currently operating an unprecedented Kangaroo Court in secret, behind closed doors; thus posing an ominous provocation to what remains of our Constitutional Republic.
As any politically savvy, independent thinking American might grasp, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their entire coterie of sycophants always knew that Russiagate was a crock of lies.
They lied to their willing Democratic rank n file, they lied to American public and they continue to lie about their bogus Impeachment campaign.
It may be that whistleblower Ed Snowden’s revelations about the NSA surveillance state was the first inkling for many Americans that there is a Big Problem with an out-of-control intelligence community until Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that Trump was being ‘really dumb” in daring to question Intel’s faulty conclusion that Russia hacked the 2016 election.
“Let me tell you. You take on the intelligence community = they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
Inescapably, Schumer was suggesting  that the Congress has no oversight, that there is no accountability and that the US has lost its democratic roots when a newly elected President does not have the authority to question or publicly disagree with any of the Intel agencies.
Since the 2016 election, there has been a steady drumbeat of the US Intel’s unabashed efforts to undermine and otherwise prevent a newly elected President from governing – which sounds like a clear case of insubordination or some might call it treasonous.
The Intel antipathy does not appear to be rooted in cuts to a favorite social services program but rather protecting a power, financial and influence agenda that goes far deeper and more profound than most Americans care to contemplate.
Among a plethora of egregious corporate media reactions, no doubt stirred by their Intel masters, was to a July, 2018 summit meeting between Russian President Putin and Trump in Helsinki emblematic of illegitimate censures from Intel veterans and its cronies: 
“Trump sides with Putin over US Intelligence” – CNN
“Did Trump Commit Treason at Putin Meeting?” – Newsweek, and
“Trump Slammed Over Disgrace, Disgusting Press Conference with Putin” – Newsweek.
Not one praised Trump for pursuing peace with Russia.
And yet, fellow Americans, it is curious to consider that there was no outrage after the 911 attacks in 2001 from any member of Congress, President Bush or the Corporate Media that the US intelligence community had utterly failed in its mission to keep the American public safe.
There was no reckoning, not one person in authority was held accountable, not one person who had the responsibility to ‘know’ was fired from any of the Intel agencies. Why is that?
As a result of  the corrupt foundation of the Russiagate allegations, Attorney General Bob Barr and Special Investigator John Durham appear hot on the trail with law enforcement in Italy as they have apparently scared the bejesus out of what little common sense remains among the Democratic hierarchy as if Barr/Durham might be headed for Obama’s Oval Office.
Barr’s earlier comment before the Senate that “spying did occur’ and that ‘it’s a big deal’ when an incumbent administration (ie the Obama Administration) authorizes a counter-Intelligence operation on an opposing candidate (ie Donald Trump) has the Dems in panic-stricken overdrive – and that is what is driving the current Impeachment Inquiry.
With the stark realization that none of the DNC’s favored top tier candidates has the mojo to go the distance, the Democrats have now focused on a July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which Trump allegedly ‘pressured’ Zelenskyy to investigate Joe Biden’s relationship with Burisma, the country’s largest natural gas provider.
At issue is any hanky panky involving Burisma payments to Rosemont Seneca Partners, an equity firm owned by Joe’s errant son, Hunter, who served on Burisma’s Board for a modest $50,000 a month.
Zelenskyy, who defeated the US-endorsed incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in a landslide victory, speaks Russian, was elected to clean up corruption and end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.  The war in the Donbass began as a result of the US State Department’s role in the overthrow of democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
Trump’s first priority on July 25th was Crowd Strike, a cybersecurity firm with links to the HRC campaign which was hired by the DNC to investigate Russian hacking of its server. 
The Dems have reason to be concerned since it is worth contemplating why the FBI did not legally mandate that the DNC turn its server over to them for an official Federal forensic inspection. 
One can only speculate…those chickens may be coming home to roost.
Days after an anonymous whistleblower (not to be confused with a real whistleblower like Edward Snowden) later identified as a CIA analyst with a professional history linked to Joe Biden, publicly released a Complaint against Trump. 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the initiation of an ambiguous Impeachment Inquiry campaign with little specificity about the process.  The Complaint is suspect since it reads more like a professionally prepared Affidavit and the Dems consider Pelosi’s statement as sufficient to initiate a formal process that fails to follow the time-honored path of a full House vote predicating a legitimate impeachment inquiry on to the Judiciary Committee.
Of special interest is how the process to date is playing out with the House Intelligence Committee in a key role conducting what amounts to clandestine meetings, taking depositions and witness statements behind closed doors with a still secret unidentified whistleblower’s identity and voice obscured from Republican members of the Intel Committee and a witness testifying without being formally sworn in – all too eerily similar to East Germany.
The pretense of shielding the thinly veiled CIA operative as a whistleblower from public exposure can only be seen as an overly-dramatic transparent performance as the Dems have never exhibited any concern about protecting real whistleblowers like Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Julian Assange, Jeffrey Sterling and others who were left to fend for themselves as the Obama Administration prosecuted more true, authentic whistleblowers than any other administration since the Espionage Act of 1917.
As the paradigm shift takes its toll on the prevailing framework of reality and our decayed political institutions, (the FBI and DOJ come to mind as the Inspector General’s report is due at  week’s end), how much longer does the Democratic Party, which no longer serves a useful public purpose, deserve to exist?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Late Summer


October 2nd, 1963 ~ on the cusp of the Unspeakable. World Series Game One: the L.A. Dodgers (BOO!) vs. the New York Yankees (BOO!!), Sandy Koufax vs. Whitey Ford, Ernie Harwell and Joe Garagiola, funny and sweet radio spots, lots of smoking and drinking and lots more good cheer.

They've been saying around here that Camelot was a myth. The heck it was.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Beauty and the Beast


They’ve got their eye on somebody who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. Gabbard’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her. That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she’s also a Russian asset. Yes, she’s a Russian asset, I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate.
I think it’s a lot harder now for Americans to know what they’re supposed to believe. In the 1970s, with only three major national newspapers, it was a much more controllable environment.
-- Bitter Old Narcissist
Great! Thank you Hillary Clinton! You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. 
It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.
-- Young Beautiful Congresswoman


Tucker.



Some bitter old narcissist by the name of Hillareee Clinton -- well known as the most laughable incompetent in U.S. political history ("don't ask don't tell," architect of the nitwit health-care plan leading to the 1994 Newt Gingrich/Contract on America Republican midterm rout, Whitewater/Vince Foster, Iraq, Waco, Haiti, Ron Brown, Yugoslavia, impeachment, Marc Rich, Iraq again, Uranium One, with all the money in the world losing to an unknown African-American junior Senator from Illinois, Honduras, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bengazi, Ukraine, with all the money in the world numerically losing to an elderly Jewish socialist from Vermont, the Podesta emails, and with all the money in the world LOSING TO DONALD TRUMP) -- everything this malignancy touches turns to shit and backfires. . . well, Hillareee has done it again.

She's taken the campaign of the only anti-war 2020 Presidential candidate -- a moribund campaign due to the lack of corporate funding, media attention(but for the smears), and the rigging of the debates and early primaries by the criminal organization known as the Democratic National Committee -- and resurrected it, giving it a power and credibility beyond the wildest dreams of the candidate, perhaps making it permanent through the whole of next year, even if in a Third Party capacity. (And let's see the Demos beat Trump with Tulsi Gabbard taking at least 10% of the progressive vote.)

You go, girl!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Not Quite Vetted


From the indispensable website MintPress News, Roger Harris and Alan Macleod explain what this impeachment is truly about.

And oh yes. :-)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Worst Crime. . .


. . .of the Clinton Crime Family.

Yugoslavia, 20 years ago.

Dr. Michael Parenti:

Sunday, October 13, 2019

High

Friday, October 11, 2019

Oscar

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Ode to Joy!


Clayton Kershaw -- Greatest Choker since Jack the Ripper.

31 years and counting -- eat it, Dogshit fans! (Enjoy those 106 wins in the off-season.)



(And fuck you, Magic Johnson. Your pussy Lakers are next.)

Word

“The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE ... IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were none!” -- Donald J. Trump, 10/9/19
Would we ever hear such words from the blood-soaked, corporate-cocksucking lips of Obama the Crooner and the Clinton Crime Family?

Never.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Impeach This Too


Matt Taibbi:
Start with the initial headline, in the story the Washington Post “broke” on September 18th:
TRUMP’S COMMUNICATIONS WITH FOREIGN LEADER ARE PART OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT SPURRED STANDOFF BETWEEN SPY CHIEF AND CONGRESS, FORMER OFFICIALS SAY
The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn’t sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn’t wipe its ass with a real whistleblower.
Drake, who was the first to expose the NSA’s secret surveillance program, seems to have fared better than most. He ended up working in an Apple Store, where he ran into Eric Holder, who was shopping for an iPhone.
I’ve met a lot of whistleblowers, in both the public and private sector. Many end up broke, living in hotels, defamed, (often) divorced, and lucky if they have any kind of job. One I knew got turned down for a waitressing job because her previous employer wouldn’t vouch for her. She had little kids.
The common thread in whistleblower stories is loneliness. Typically the employer has direct control over their ability to pursue another job in their profession. Many end up reviled as traitors, thieves, and liars. They often discover after going public that their loved ones have a limited appetite for sharing the ignominy. In virtually all cases, they end up having to start over, both personally and professionally.
With that in mind, let’s look at what we know about the first “whistleblower” in Ukrainegate:
He or she is a “CIA officer detailed to the White House”; The account is at best partially based upon the CIA officer’s own experience, made up substantially by information from “more than a half dozen U.S. officials” and the “private accounts” of “my colleagues”; “He or she” was instantly celebrated as a whistleblower by news networks and major newspapers. That last detail caught the eye of Kiriakou, a former CIA Counterterrorism official who blew the whistle on the agency’s torture program.
“It took me and my lawyers a full year to get [the media] to stop calling me ‘CIA Leaker John Kirakou,” he says. “That’s how long it took for me to be called a whistleblower.”
Kirakou’s crime was talking to ABC News and the New York Times about the CIA’s torture program. For talking to American journalists about the CIA, our federal government charged Kiriakou with espionage. That absurd count was ultimately dropped, but he still did 23 months at FCI Loretto in Western Pennsylvania.
When Kiriakou first saw the “whistleblower complaint,” his immediate reaction was to wonder what kind of “CIA officer” the person in question was. “If you spend a career in the CIA, you see all kinds of subterfuge and lies and crime,” he says. “This person went through a whole career and this is the thing he objects to?”
It’s fair to wonder if this is a one-person effort. Even former CIA official Robert Baer, no friend of Trump, said as much in an early confab on CNN with Brooke Baldwin:
BAER: That’s what I find remarkable, is that this whistleblower knew about that, this attempt to cover up. This is a couple of people. It isn’t just one.
BALDWIN: And on the people point, if the allegation is true, Bob, what does it say that White House officials, lawyers, wanted to cover it up?
BAER: You know, my guess, it’s a palace coup against Trump. And who knows what else they know at this point.
That sounds about right. Actual whistleblowers are alone. The Ukraine complaint seems to be the work of a group of people, supported by significant institutional power, not only in the intelligence community, but in the Democratic Party and the commercial press.
We had whistleblowers telling us about nearly all of these things. When they came forward, they desperately needed society’s help. They didn’t get it. Our government didn’t just tweet threats at them, but proceeded straight to punishment.
Bill Binney, who lost both his legs to diabetes, was dragged out of his shower by FBI agents. Jeffrey Sterling, like Kiriakou, was charged with espionage for talking to a reporter. After conviction, he asked to be imprisoned near his wife in St. Louis. They sent him to Colorado for two years. Others tried to talk to congress or their Inspectors General, only to find out their communications had been captured and cc’ed to the very agency chiefs they wanted to complain about (including former CIA chief and current MSNBC contributor John Brennan).
The current “scandal” is a caricature version of such episodes. Imagine the mania on the airwaves if Donald Trump were to have his Justice Department arrest the “whistleblower” and charge him with 35 years of offenses, as Thomas Drake faced. Trump incidentally still might try something like this. It’s what any autocrat of the Mobute Sese Seko/Enver Hoxha school would do, for starters, to mutinying intelligence officials within his own government.
Trump almost certainly is not going to do that, however, as the man is too dumb to realize he’s the titular commander of an executive branch that has been jailing people for talking too much for over a decade. On the off chance that he does try it, don’t hold your breath waiting for news networks to tell you he’s just following an established pattern.
I have a lot of qualms about impeachment/“Ukrainegate,” beginning with this headline premise of the lone, conscience-stricken defender of democracy arrayed against the mighty Trump. I don’t see it. Donald Trump is a jackass who got elected basically by accident, campaigning against a political establishment too blind to its own unpopularity to see what was coming.
In 2016 we saw a pair of electoral revolts, one on the right and one on the left, against the cratering popularity of our political elite. The rightist populist revolt succeeded, the Sanders movement did not. Ukrainegate to me looks like a continuation of Russiagate, which was a reaction of that defeated political elite to the rightists. I don’t feel solidarity with either group.
The argument that’s supposed to be galvanizing everyone right now is the idea that we need to “stand up and be counted,” because failing to rally to the cause is effectively advocacy for Trump. This line of thinking is based on the presumption that Trump is clearly worse than the people opposing him.
That might prove to be true, but if we’re talking about the treatment of whistleblowers, Trump has a long way to go before he approaches the brutal record of the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, as well as the cheerleading Washington political establishment. Forgetting this is likely just the first in what will prove to be many deceptions about a hardcore insider political battle whose subtext is a lot more shadowy and ambiguous than news audiences are being led to believe.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Impeach This


C.J. Hopkins:
So here we go. Like a 1960s straight-to-drive-in Hammer Film Production, the 2020 campaign season has begun. Dig into your bucket of popcorn, pop the flap on your box of Good & Plenty, turn off your mind, and enjoy the show. From the looks of the trailer, it’s going to be a doozy.
That’s right, folks, it’s the final installment of the popular Trumpenstein horror movie series, TRUMPENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED! It will be playing, more or less around the clock, on more or less every screen in existence, until November 3, 2020 … or until Trump takes that lonely walk across the White House lawn to the Marine One chopper and flies off to Mar-a-Lago in disgrace.
Here’s a quick recap of the series so far, for those who may be joining us late.
When we last saw Trumpenstein he was out on the balcony of the White House South Portico in his Brioni boxers, ripped to the gills on Diet Coke and bellowing like a bull elephant seal. Having narrowly survived the Resistance’s attempts to expose him as a Russian intelligence asset (and the reanimated corpse of Adolf Hitler), he was pounding his chest and hollering angry gibberish at the liberal media like the Humongous in the second Mad Max movie.
The liberal mob was standing around with their torches and pitchforks in a state of shock. Doctor Mueller, the “monster hunter,” had let Trumpenstein slip through his fingers. The supposedly ironclad case against him had turned out to be a bunch of lies made up by the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media.
Russiagate was officially dead. The President of the United States was not a Russian secret agent. No one was blackmailing anyone with a videotape of Romanian prostitutes peeing on a bed where Obama once slept. All that had happened was, millions of liberals had been subjected to the most elaborate psyop in the history of elaborate deep state psyops … which, ironically, had only further strengthened Trumpenstein, who was out there on the Portico balcony, shotgunning Diet Cokes with one hand and shaking his junk at the mob with the other.
It wasn’t looking so good for “democracy.”
Fortunately, even though Russiagate had blown up in the Resistance’s faces and Trumpenstein could no longer be painted as a traitorous Russian intelligence asset (or as Vladimir Putin’s homosexual lover), he was still the reanimated corpse of Hitler, so they went balls out on the fascism hysteria, which kept the Resistance alive through the summer.
Which was all they really needed to do. Because these last three years were basically just a warm-up for the main event, which was always scheduled to begin this autumn. Russiagate, Hitlergate, and all the rest of it … it was all just a prelude to these impeachment hearings, and to the mass hysteria surrounding same, which the global capitalist ruling classes, the Intelligence Community, and the corporate media will be barraging us with until November 2020. The details don’t really matter that much. They were always going to impeach him for something, and they were always going to do it now, and throughout the 2020 campaign season.
You do not honestly believe they are going to let him serve a second term, do you? He took them by surprise in 2016. That isn’t going to happen again. Seriously, take a moment and reflect on everything we’ve been subjected to since Hillary Clinton lost the election … the unmitigated insanity of it all. The Russiagate hysteria. The Russian hacker hysteria. The Russian Facebook mind-control hysteria. The Hitler hysteria. The mass fascism hysteria. The anti-Semitism hysteria. The concentration camp hysteria. The white supremacist terrorism hysteria. Russian spy whales. Perfume assassins. The endless stream of fabricated “news” stories pumped out by the corporate media. Best-selling books, based on nothing. Comedians singing hymns to former FBI directors on national television. Celebrities demanding CIA coups. Papers of record like The New York Times coordinating blatant propaganda campaigns. The list goes on, and on, and on.
All of this because one billionaire ass clown won an election without their permission?
No, this was never just about Donald Trump, repulsive and corrupt as the man may be. The stakes have always been much higher than that. What we’ve witnessed over the the last three years (and what is about to reach its apogee) is a global capitalist counter-insurgency, the goal of which is (a) to put down the ongoing populist rebellion throughout the West, and (b) to crush any hope of resistance to the hegemony of global capitalism … in other words, a War on Populism.
Not that Donald Trump is a populist hero. Far from it. Trump is a narcissistic clown. He has always been a narcissistic clown. All he really cares about is seeing his face on television and plastering his name on everything in sight, preferably in huge gold letters. He got himself elected president by being cunning enough to recognize and ride the tsunami of populist anger that was building up in 2016, and that has continued to build throughout his presidency. It is not going away, that anger. The Western masses are no more thrilled about the global capitalist future today than they were when voted for Brexit, and Trump, and various other “populist” and reactionary figures.
Which is precisely why Trumpenstein must be destroyed, and why Brexit must not be allowed to happen … or, if it does, why the people of the United Kingdom must be mercilessly punished. It is also why the Gilets Jaunes are being brutally repressed by the French police, and disappeared by the corporate media (while the Hong Kong protesters garner daily headlines), and why Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party must be smeared as a hive of anti-Semites, and Tulsi Gabbard as an Assad-apologist, and why Julian Assange must be smeared and destroyed, and why Bernie Sanders must also be destroyed, and why anyone of any ilk (left, right, it doesn’t matter) riding that wave of populist anger or challenging the hegemony of global capitalism and its psychotic, smiley-face ideology in any other way must be destroyed.
2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or … God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years?
They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster … not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism). They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war in order to prevent civil war. And, if that doesn’t work, and Trump gets reelected (or if it looks like he’s going to get reelected), they’ll probably have to just go ahead and kill him.
One way or another, this is it. This is the part where the global capitalist ruling classes teach us all a lesson. The lesson they intend to teach us is the same old lesson that masters have been teaching slaves since the dawn of slavery. The lesson is, “abandon hope.” The lesson is, “resistance is futile.” The lesson is, “shut up, eat your tofu, get back to work at your three gig jobs, service your school loans and your credit card debt, vote for who and what we tell you, and be grateful we don’t fucking kill you. Oh, yeah … and if you want to rebel against something, feel free to take up identity politics, or to march around town with posters of Saint Greta demanding that we stop destroying the planet. We’ll get right on that, don’t you worry.”
What? You thought this had a happy ending, that Trumpenstein and the Bride of Trumpenstein were going to ride off into the orange sunrise at Mar-a-Lago in a Trump-branded golf cart, having made America great again … or that Bernie was going to storm the castle, vanquish Trumpenstein, and set up something resembling basic social democracy?
I told you it was a horror film, didn’t I?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Mighty Like a Rose

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Blowing


Caitlin Johnstone:
The word “whistleblower” has been trending in news headlines lately, but not for the reasons that any sane person might hope for.
“Read the whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump’s communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky“, says The Washington Post. “Trump responds to hearing on whistleblower complaint“, says MSNBC. “Trump-Ukraine scandal: what did the whistleblower say and how serious is it?“, writes The Guardian. “Whistleblower complaint says White House tried to ‘lock down’ Ukraine call records” announces CBS. “Whistleblower’s complaint is a devastating report from a savvy official“, declares CNN.
So who is this “savvy official”? Who is this courageous whistleblower who boldly shone the light of truth upon the mechanisms of power in the interests of the common man? Who is this brave, selfless individual who set off an impeachment inquiry by taking a stand and revealing the fact that the US president made a phone call in July urging Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to help investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son?
Well believe it or not, according to The New York Times this brave, noble whistleblower who the mainstream media are currently championing is an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.
“The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity,” The New York Times reports. “The man has since returned to the CIA, the people said. Little else is known about him.”
So there you have it. A mysterious stranger from the lying, torturing, propagandizing, drug trafficking, assassinating, coup-staging, warmongering, psychopathic CIA was working in the White House, heroically provided the political/media class with politically powerful information out of the goodness of his heart, and then vanished off into the Langley sunset. Clearly there is nothing suspicious about this story at all.
In all seriousness, even to call this spook a “whistleblower” is ridiculous on its face. You don’t get to call someone from the US intelligence community a whistleblower unless they are actually whistleblowing on the US intelligence community. That’s not a thing. A CIA officer who exposes information about government officials is an operative performing an operation unless proven otherwise, because that’s what the CIA does; it liberally leaks information wherever it’s convenient for CIA agendas while withholding all other information behind a veil of government secrecy.
A CIA officer who exposes information about CIA wrongdoings without the CIA’s permission is a whistleblower. A CIA officer who exposes information about someone else is just a spook doing spook things. You can recognize the latter by the way the mass media supports, applauds and employs them. You can recognize the former by the way they have been persecuted, imprisoned, and/or died under mysterious circumstances.
But if you listen to the billionaire media, we should be calling this CIA officer a whistleblower, we should be enraged at The New York Times for exposing that CIA officer’s identity, and we should be raising a small fortune on GoFundMe for “legal aid” that this CIA officer will never need.
“The idea that the media needs to ‘protect’ a high-level CIA officer making explosive claims about the president, which have now been used as the basis for impeachment proceedings, is such an insane perversion of journalistic ethics,” journalist Michael Tracey tweeted today on this new development.
While all this political/media class cheerleading for whistleblower protections is going on, the most prominent whistleblower in America remains imprisoned for taking a principled stand against secret grand juries while being driven into crippling debt. Chelsea Manning is still racking up fines of $1,000 per day while locked in a Virginia federal detention center for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The mainstream press that is so keen to champion a “whistleblower” who works for the CIA and provided information which feeds into America’s fake partisan pro wrestling feud has been almost completely silent on the actual whistleblower who exposed actual US war crimes.
“The courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning has now been held in a federal detention center in Alexandria, Virginia for more than six months,” reads a recent article by World Socialist Website, one of the only news outlets to consistently report on Manning’s plight. “Manning has not been charged with or committed any crime. She was sent to jail on March 8, 2019 for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury that has indicted persecuted WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, who published the information she leaked exposing rampant US imperialist criminality.”
“The vindictive treatment of Chelsea Manning has included ‘administrative segregation’—a prison euphemism for solitary confinement—and being fined an unprecedented $1,000 per day for refusing to answer grand jury questions,” WSWS reports. “By the time she might be released in October 2020, she will be left owing the US government as much as $440,000. Convicted antiwar activist Jeremy Hammond, who provided intelligence documents to WikiLeaks, has been also brought to the same jail as Manning in order to coerce him into giving false testimony.”
“On a scale of ‘haha’ to ‘lol,’ how likely would you say it is that politicians’ sudden interest in whistleblowing will lead to the reform of the Espionage Act, which the government has routinely used to jail the sources behind some of the most important stories in US history?” tweeted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in response to an Onion article satirizing the latest hypocrisy.
Pointing out hypocrisy is such a common practice in politics that it often wears a bit thin these days, especially since it’s frequently done in a disingenuous way, but when implemented with intellectual honesty it serves a very useful purpose: it shows when people aren’t really being truthful about the position that they are taking.
The political/media class of the United States do not care about whistleblowers. They do not care about truth, and they do not care about justice. They do not care about holding power to account, because they exist only to serve power.
I don’t pretend to know what the CIA’s game is here; it probably isn’t to remove Trump from office because everyone knows that will not happen and failed impeachments historically boost a president’s popularity. But I do know that everyone cheerleading for this fake “whistleblower” while ignoring the real ones has exposed themselves.