By Michael Rectenwald
An appallingly biased new article on Trumpism in Foreign Affairs shows that if the American establishment was an individual, it would be diagnosed as clinically insane, likely suffering from delusions of persecution and paranoia.
Yet this same establishment calls half the population of the US conspiratorial, delusional, and terroristic, even as it parades a lunatic’s version of events during a second unfounded, evidence-free impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump, and as it continues lamentations over the supposed malignancy of his presidency, weeks after it has ended.
At this point, it would be a misdiagnosis to call this illness Trump Derangement Syndrome. The idée fixe persists unabated, even in the absence of its favorite bogey, and extends well beyond any reasonable obsession with Trump himself. This syndrome, whatever it is, appears to be resistant to treatment. The ministrations of political outsiders have only left the patient with a firmer ideational conviction. Electoral engineering and repeated political exorcisms have apparently been to no avail.
This illness has affected every element of the broad political left, the political and corporate establishment, and the mainstream media. Unsurprisingly, the nation’s foreign policy “experts” remain in its thrall. Like Jonathan Kirshner, political science and international professor at Boston College, they display its symptomology without remission.
In an article titled Gone But Not Forgotten: Trump’s Long Shadow and the End of American Credibility, Kirshner exhibits the signs of the recalcitrant derangement with a fact-free, hyperbolic prognosis of US foreign policy in the wake of the Trump presidency. Like others bewitched by him, Kirshner repeats the tired shibboleths associated with hallucinatory Trump repudiation: he cozied up with dictators, scorned long-term allies, and represents “a deeply regrettable, and in many ways embarrassing, interlude” in American international relations.
The patient refers to Trump’s management of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and alludes to Trump’s most unreasonable demand that NATO partners pay their fair share of dues to the European peace-keeping organization that’s waning in importance. Yet evidence of the widespread “anarchy” caused by Trump is never given–no doubt because it doesn’t exist.
Kirshner exhibits the typical apriorism expected from the afflicted. Trump is guilty–of something, anything–in advance. The point of the exercise is to look for crimes committed by the presumed villain, even as the language for conviction must remain forever nebulous and abstract, as it does in this piece of feigned objectivity.
Somewhat off-topic for a commentator on foreign policy, Kirshner immediately excoriates Trump’s handling of “a pandemic that killed well more than a quarter of a million of the people under his charge.” Kirshner’s guilty verdict is meted out without evidence, and despite the fact that the death rate in the US is broadly on par with that of Europe and elsewhere.
It’s not as if Italy has fared any better, or that Sweden, which eschewed draconian lockdown laws, did any worse than Italy or France. But carrying on about Trump’s supposedly disastrous pandemic response measures is a requisite symptom of the establishment’s disorder, and Kirshner must display it like all the others. Never mind that, soon after taking office, Biden stated that there was nothing he could do to stem the spread of the virus.
As Kirshner sees it, one of Trump’s most egregious transgressions was the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the first week of his presidency. No mention is made of the fact that no one really knew what was in the deal. Never mind that, like NAFTA, it would likely cost more Americans their jobs, jobs probably shipped to China, where wage slaves work under penal colony conditions. And never mind that it would likely gut environmental regulations to please China.
Kirshner levies the usual charges against Trump’s foreign policy: “isolationism,” “nationalism,” and “knuckle-dragging Americafirstism.”
“America first” has been the most maligned and misrepresented element of the Trump doctrine, and Kirshner’s declamation is no exception. Like other detractors, he refuses to acknowledge what Trump meant by the phrase: the interests of the majority of Americans should come before all else when making any political decision, not that America should become a selfish, dominating player on the world stage. From the standpoint of the economic and political oligarchy, who stood to lose the most by it, “America first” was unconscionable, and remains impossible to excise from national and international consciousness.
Kirshner barely acknowledges the fact that the Trump doctrine follows from a particular brand of populist American nationalism, including a foreign policy stemming from 19th-century Republican politics. Those who have subscribed to this political position have been traditionally non-interventionist, while demanding that a premium be laid on national self-determination, the protection of national sovereignty via strong borders, and the promotion of national self-interest over international or “globalist” entanglements. Instead, Kirshner misrepresents “America first” by surreptitiously associating it with fascism and Nazism.
No mention is made of the fact that, of the past five presidents, Trump was the only one not to begin a new war, and the only one not to extend the American military presence throughout the world. Instead, Kirshner gives away his hand by mourning that the US may “soon simply be out of the great-power game altogether.” This admission signals Kirshner’s allegiance to the neocon military establishment, and practically disqualifies him as an interlocutor supposedly concerned with international order and stability. It’s as if George W. Bush’s unprovoked and disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have been entirely forgotten and forgiven, while Trump’s partially flouted attempts to withdraw troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan are the real international crimes.
Yet the biggest specter haunting Kirshner’s storyline is “the significant possibility of a large role for Trumpism” in the future, regardless of whether or not Trump himself continues to play a role in national politics. This is the crux of the matter, and the real problem Kirshner sees. How can the US be a reliable international partner while Trumpism persists? Kirshner’s real concern is that Trump’s policies were actually popular, and that Trumpism thus cannot instantly be extirpated from the national identity.
This fear of Trumpism haunts the entire political establishment. It explains the second impeachment trial, the calls for re-education, and the characterization of Trump supporters as “terrorists” and “the enemy within.” It is this new leftist McCarthyism, and not Trumpism, that really afflicts the country. And it is this which makes the US an unreliable player on the international stage. For how can the US act as a single nation when the entire establishment suffers from schizophrenia?
By Lee Smith
On Saturday, Peoples’ Republic of China planes flew into Taiwan’s airspace. Incursions are a normal occurrence but the most recent one represented an escalation. Typically one or two planes will probe Taiwan’s air defenses but in this case it was reportedly eight bombers and four fighter jets. It appears Beijing is eager to test Joe Biden early. It’s likely China won’t be the only one. The more than 20,000 National Guard troops in Washington to last week protect the new president’s nearly unattended inauguration is evidence that the United States is broken.
Observers widely misunderstood the National Guard deployment as a show of force asserting the Biden team’s legitimacy as the elected government of the United States. But the most salient fact of the troop presence is that some who were found to have supported Donald Trump were sent home. And thus the reason for the deployment, which may now continue into March, is that the Biden White House is keen to use the sporadically violent but mostly peaceful Jan. 6 march on the Capitol building as a political pretext to further target Trump supporters.
From the perspective of the administration and its media surrogates, Trump supporters were already deplorable, but now that they have attempted an insurrection, the gloves will come off. The nearly 75 million people who voted for Biden’s opponent deserve whatever is coming to them next—further impoverishment, further collective punishment in the guise of public health (i.e., coronavirus) measures, designation as domestic terrorists, imprisonment, and even death.
Let’s try to imagine how foreigners see our circumstances: Neither traditional U.S. allies nor adversaries can share the new administration’s assessment that the United States government faced an insurrection Jan. 6. In comparison to their own domestic challenges, those protests were plainly mild.
In France, for instance, the Yellow Vests movement has been engaged in protests for more than two years that have frequently devolved into street violence, leaving 11 dead and more than 4000 wounded. From the perspective of the nation that produced the French Revolution, Jan. 6 was nothing like an insurrection. Same for Israel, which has been fighting terrorist attacks plotted by some of the state’s Arab citizens since the country’s founding.
Consider how authoritarian states must see it. Does the Islamic Republic of Iran, periodically engaged in low-level violent conflict with its growing opposition movement, believe that Jan. 6 was an attack on America’s domestic peace? What about Russia, where over the weekend authorities arrested more than 2000 who marched nationwide to demand the release of Vladimir Putin critic Alexander Navalny? Does the Chinese Communist Party, which uses mass detentions and forced sterilizations to eradicate the Muslim minority Uyghur population, believe that American families and seniors marching in the winter cold amounted to an existential threat to the American regime? No, they all see through it—the American political, corporate, cultural, and media elite is waging war on the Americans it despises.
What can foreign powers be thinking when journalists, think-tank experts, and current and former law enforcement officials recommend that the Biden administration deploy the same counterterrorism tactics against Americans that U.S. forces have used to kill Islamic extremists around the globe since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Or how can they interpret the heavily guarded inauguration attended by faded pop-stars celebrating a man in a black mask who prophesied a “dark winter,” who for months had been hidden underground by his handlers, and who is unlikely to finish his four-year term under his own power except as a drum circle of celebrity necromancers? If our allies and adversaries see us at all clearly, they are thinking America’s leaders have lost their minds.
It can hardly surprise anyone to see the country gone mad since Biden’s inauguration represented the culmination of the U.S. elite’s four-year-long insurrection against reality.
It began in December 2016 when Barack Obama instructed his director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan to delegitimize his successor by assessing he was helped to the presidency by a foreign power, Russia. Subsequently, with the robust support of prestige media organizations and the rest of the elite’s ideological apparatus—the academy, think tanks, Hollywood, and so on—half the country invested its political convictions and mental health in a conspiracy theory.
It does not require much imagination to see America the way outsiders have for the last several years. The U.S. agency singly responsible for discovering and stopping the efforts of foreign agents to sabotage the American political system, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was focused instead on sabotaging the American president. Because top officials were not held accountable for their illegal political operation, others were emboldened to join the effort. An official from the Pentagon and another from the CIA led a government-wide campaign that included senior American diplomats to impeach Trump.
With the arrival of COVID-19, the U.S. elite’s increasing use of the phrase “the new normal” to rationalize unconstitutional edicts targeting the businesses, homes, and liberties of Trump supporters was evidence that the country was split not between political parties but between those who saw the light slipping away and those who had willfully migrated to a dark dreamworld.
We will be fortunate if adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party choose to simply stand aside and watch while America’s leadership class consumes itself in madness. But we shouldn’t count on it.
By Derek Knauss
What we found was that all of the 1500 samples were mostly Influenza A and some were influenza B, but not a single case of Covid, and we did not use the B.S. PCR test. We then sent the remainder of the samples to Stanford, Cornell, and a few of the University of California labs and they found the same results as we did, NO COVID. They found influenza A and B. All of us then spoke to the CDC and asked for viable samples of COVID, which CDC said they could not provide as they did not have any samples. We have now come to the firm conclusion through all our research and lab work, that the COVID 19 was imaginary and fictitious.
The flu was called Covid and most of the 225,000 dead were dead through co-morbidities such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, emphysema etc. and they then got the flu which further weakened their immune system and they died. I have yet to find a single viable sample of Covid 19 to work with. We at the 7 universities that did the lab tests on these 1500 samples are now suing the CDC for Covid 19 fraud. the CDC has yet to send us a single viable, isolated and purifed sample of Covid 19. If they can’t or won’t send us a viable sample, I say there is no Covid 19, it is fictitious. The four research papers that do describe the genomic extracts of the Covid 19 virus never were successful in isolating and purifying the samples. All the four papers written on Covid 19 only describe small bits of RNA which were only 37 to 40 base pairs long which is NOT A VIRUS. A viral genome is typically 30,000 to 40,000 base pairs.
With as bad as Covid is supposed to be all over the place, how come no one in any lab world wide has ever isolated and purified this virus in its entirety? That’s because they’ve never really found the virus, all they’ve ever found was small pieces of RNA which were never identified as the virus anyway.
So what we’re dealing with is just another flu strain like every year, COVID 19 does not exist and is fictitious. I believe China and the globalists orchestrated this COVID hoax (the flu disguised as a novel virus) to bring in global tyranny and a worldwide police totalitarian surveillance state, and this plot included massive election fraud to overthrow Trump.
Source: The True Defender
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
On a cold, windy day with a small group of spectators watching from behind barbed wire,
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. swore another in a long series of false oaths before his motorcade passed between a long row of soldiers with their backs to him looking outward for threats.
No inauguration has been this empty in a century of American history. And at no inauguration have the spectators been outnumbered by a raw display of armed force. American presidents have been inaugurated in wartime and during actual national emergencies with a better turnout.
Through world wars and wars on terror, Washington D.C. has remained a national capital where the hundreds of millions of taxpayers who labor to pay for its grand edifices, free museums, and lavish lifestyles could briefly come to enjoy a little of the life lived by the ruling class in the Imperial City. Now the ruling class has made it clear that it doesn’t want peasants entering D.C.
Even as Biden’s team prepped the executive orders that would end the national emergency at the border and shut down construction of the wall, new walls topped by razor wire were rising across the imperial city. The new Fortress of Government sealed off two miles of the National Mall and parts of downtown D.C. and filled it with more soldiers than are deployed in Iraq.
The Secret Service designated green and red zones. Some 25,000 National Guard members were dispatched from Vermont, Maine, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Colorado to prepare for a fake invasion that never came. But the armored vehicles and heavy weaponry did come. President Trump had wanted a military parade that would show America’s strength to the world. Biden held his own military parade to intimidate his fellow Americans.
Democrats had deployed more soldiers in D.C. than they had in Iraq and Afghanistan while authorizing them to use lethal force and investigating their politics before the deployment. The radical leftists who had resisted using the military to fight terrorism or secure the border from invasion were eager to deploy the military against the people of the United States of America.
The handfuls of ordinary people who arrived, as Americans always do, to attend the inauguration of a new president were confronted with heavy weapons and barbed wire.
D.C. had become a Baghdad and Berlin of checkpoints, choking off access to much of the city, closing roads, bridges, and metro stations. Soldiers could be seen on every corner, and the 25,000 troops were bolstered by 4,000 Marshalls, and a motley crew of local forces, including 200 members of the NYPD, 40 members of the Chicago police, New Jersey and Maryland state troopers, Miami-Dade cops, and other law enforcement officers who were needed back home.
24 people were shot in Chicago this weekend and murders are already up 125% this year in New York City. Those officers could have done more good at home, but Democrats don’t care about murder victims in urban areas, instead redeploying officers to D.C. in a show of force.
Biden took office in a city under military occupation whose businesses were closed and boarded up. The D.C. government had tried to force hotels to shut down. The hotels didn’t close, but there were hardly any people. Instead the hotels were filled with soldiers tramping through their lobbies. Any tourists that did come found nothing to see except barricades and barbed wire.
Sometimes what you don’t see is more important than what you do see.
Filling D.C. with soldiers meant that no one was going to measure Biden’s crowds. The only crowds were heavily armed and had been ordered to come. The complete lack of enthusiasm for the new one-party state that was getting its Mussolini on was the dog that didn’t bark.
Questioning Biden’s election has been deemed to be incitement. It’s enough to get you censored, deplatformed, and fired by the companies standing behind him. The election challenges have been used as the pretext for a military occupation of Washington D.C. But the cloud of a disputed election, like the winter clouds overhead, still hung over the inauguration.
There were no crowds, just soldiers. After the military and police contingent, the second largest group there for the inauguration weren’t Biden’s civilian supporters, but his propagandists. With few people, the media had to work twice as hard to manufacture the illusion that this was a popular leader taking office instead of a usurper imposed by Amazon, Google, Facebook, and the rest of the political, cultural, and economic oligarchy which owns the media on America.
CNN, a subsidiary of AT&T, had already gushed about, “Joe Biden’s arms embracing America”. MSNBC, a subsidiary of Comcast, compared Biden to God. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” The only wounds being bound up were those of the ruling class which had temporarily lost electoral power to an army of flyover country workers and peasants, only to reclaim it with sedition, wiretapping, abuse of power, billions of dollars, and soldiers in the street.
Popular leaders, elected or unelected, might have troops in their cities, but they also have adoring crowds to cheer them on. Biden’s only cheers were coming from employees of huge corporations whose jobs depend on praising him as the greatest thing since SuperPACs.
Biden couldn’t manage the cheering crowds that greeted even the most mediocre presidents on their arrival. The band might as well have struck up a rousing chorus of, “Hail to the Thief.”
Jokes like that are all but illegal these days even though they were ubiquitous during the Bush and Trump administrations. But jokes only need to be banned when they’re too close to the truth. The hysterical fascist theater with troops in the streets and fawning praise on the lips of the press are all efforts to overcompensate for the hollow man taking a false oath on a bible.
This isn’t the pageantry of Stalin or Hitler. It’s the weary theater of Brezhnev, a senescent leader of a decaying regime being propped up by desperate threats of force by the nomenklatura. Even though the media has told us more about Biden’s dogs than it has about any of the Americans killed by Islamic terrorists enabled by the open borders that Biden just reinstated, no one cares.
Biden isn’t a charismatic leader. He isn’t moving the cause forward. He’s a placeholder for a ruling class that wants homes in Dupont Circle that it buys by selling out America to China, by ruining our economy with environmental consulting gigs and racial contract quotas, and for all the manifold ways which the swamp is coming back as Biden’s wetlands restoration project.
“Hail to the Thief” is as much their anthem as it is Biden’s. They fought to keep hold of D.C., the center of their power base not because they care about its history or that of this country, but because it’s where they network, collaborate, and do their dirty little deals at our expense.
The troops in the street are their warning to the rest of the country about who is really in charge.
And it isn’t Joe Jr, who, along with his criminal family, will be allowed to dip their beaks in cash and cocaine until they’re sopping wet, along with every aide, staffer, and associate. Biden will be fawned over, his idiot wife will be dubbed a doctor, and the investigations involving his son and brother will be swiftly dropped. And when the time is right, Kamala Harris will step into his place.
When the Soviet Union was entering its last days, one leader quickly made way for another. The parade of old Communist hacks in their dotage became a procession of political funerals. Generations after the revolution and the purges, the only thing anyone in Moscow believed in was the power and decadence of the ruling class. That and the threat America posed to them.
These are still the only three things that Washington D.C.’s ruling class believes in anymore.
Democrats and their media claim that this charade is a “victory for democracy”.
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Amanda Gorman, the Harvard youth poetess, sonorously recited her tin-eared Maoist verses at the inauguration.
But where is this democracy? Where are the adoring crowds, the joyous mobs celebrating and the people cheering the tremendous victory of the democracy of Google, Facebook, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast and their D.C. lobbyists and associates over the Rust Belt and the flyovers?
Biden and the Democrats celebrated their democratic victory with barbed wire, troops in the streets, political terror, and the threat of even more political repression to come.
“There is a broader societal issue that is going to take years to detox the disinformation,” Ben Rhodes, the Obama adviser who had boasted of creating a media echo chamber, ranted on Comcast’s MSNBC. On that same state TV news network, John Brennan warned that “because of this growth of polarization in the United States” members of the Biden team would be “moving in laser-like fashion” to “root out an insidious threat to our democracy”.
Democracy is in a state of permanent emergency that requires locking down D.C., filling it with soldiers, walls, and barbed wire, and investigating political crimes. And D.C. will do everything it can to end the threat that Americans pose to democracy even if its ruling class has to live in its green zone surrounded by troops and barbed wire until democracy is saved from Americans.
Biden, we are told by the political interests and corporations advocating this, is incredibly popular. But the crowds of his devotees can’t be allowed to come to Washington D.C. Anyone who doubts that Biden is incredibly popular is inciting violence and will have to be rooted out as an insidious threat to our democracy. The more people doubt Biden’s popularity, the longer D.C. will have to be under military occupation until finally no one doubts his legitimacy in office.
Source: Front Page Magazine
The COVID-driven centralization of economic power and information control in the hands of a few corporate monopolies poses enduring threats to political freedom.
By Glen Greenwald, Founder of The Intercept
Asserting that Donald Trump is a fascist-like dictator threatening the previously sturdy foundations of U.S. democracy has been a virtual requirement over the last four years to obtain entrance to cable news Green Rooms, sinecures as mainstream newspaper columnists, and popularity in faculty lounges. Yet it has proven to be a preposterous farce.
In 2020 alone, Trump had two perfectly crafted opportunities to seize authoritarian power — a global health pandemic and sprawling protests and sustained riots throughout American cities — and yet did virtually nothing to exploit those opportunities. Actual would-be despots such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán quickly seized on the virus to declare martial law, while even prior U.S. presidents, to say nothing of foreign tyrants, have used the pretext of much less civil unrest than what we saw this summer to deploy the military in the streets to pacify their own citizenry.
But early in the pandemic, Trump was criticized, especially by Democrats, for failing to assert the draconian powers he had, such as commandeering the means of industrial production under the Defense Production Act of 1950, invoked by Truman to force industry to produce materials needed for the Korean War. In March, The Washington Post reported that “Governors, Democrats in Congress and some Senate Republicans have been urging Trump for at least a week to invoke the act, and his potential 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, came out in favor of it, too,” yet “Trump [gave] a variety of reasons for not doing so.” Rejecting demands to exploit a public health pandemic to assert extraordinary powers is not exactly what one expects from a striving dictator.
A similar dynamic prevailed during the sustained protests and riots that erupted after the killing of George Floyd. While conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), in his controversial New York Times op-ed, urged the mass deployment of the military to quell the protesters, and while Trump threatened to deploy them if governors failed to pacify the riots, Trump failed to order anything more than a few isolated, symbolic gestures such as having troops use tear gas to clear out protesters from Lafayette Park for his now-notorious walk to a church, provoking harsh criticism from the right, including Fox News, for failing to use more aggressive force to restore order.
Virtually every prediction expressed by those who pushed this doomsday narrative of Trump as a rising dictator — usually with great profit for themselves — never materialized. While Trump radically escalated bombing campaigns he inherited from Bush and Obama, he started no new wars. When his policies were declared by courts to be unconstitutional, he either revised them to comport with judicial requirements(as in the case of his “Muslim ban”) or withdrew them (as in the case of diverting Pentagon funds to build his wall). No journalists were jailed for criticizing or reporting negatively on Trump, let alone killed, as was endlessly predicted and sometimes even implied. Bashing Trump was far more likely to yield best-selling books, social media stardom and new contracts as cable news “analysts” than interment in gulags or state reprisals. There were no Proud Boy insurrections or right-wing militias waging civil war in U.S. cities. Boastful and bizarre tweets aside, Trump’s administration was far more a continuation of the U.S. political tradition than a radical departure from it.
The hysterical Trump-as-despot script was all melodrama, a ploy for profits and ratings, and, most of all, a potent instrument to distract from the neoliberal ideology that gave rise to Trump in the first place by causing so much wreckage. Positing Trump as a grand aberration from U.S. politics and as the prime author of America’s woes — rather than what he was: a perfectly predictable extension of U.S politics and a symptom of preexisting pathologies — enabled those who have so much blood and economic destruction on their hands not only to evade responsibility for what they did, but to rehabilitate themselves as the guardians of freedom and prosperity and, ultimately, catapult themselves back into power. As of January 20, that is exactly where they will reside.
The Trump administration was by no means free of authoritarianism: his Justice Department prosecuted journalists’ sources; his White House often refused basic transparency; War on Terror and immigration detentions continued without due process. But that is largely because, as I wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in late 2016, the U.S. Government itself is authoritarian after decades of bipartisan expansion of executive powers justified by a posture of endless war. With rare exception, the lawless and power-abusing acts over the last four years were ones that inhere in the U.S. Government and long preceded Trump, not ones invented by him. To the extent Trump was an authoritarian, he was one in the way that all U.S. presidents have been since the War on Terror began and, more accurately, since the start of the Cold War and advent of the permanent national security state.
The single most revealing episode exposing this narrative fraud was when journalists and political careerists, including former Obama aides, erupted in outrage on social media upon seeing a photo of immigrant children in cages at the border — only to discover that the photo was not from a Trump concentration camp but an Obama-era detention facility (they were unaccompanied children, not ones separated from their families, but “kids in cages” are “kids in cages” from a moral perspective). And tellingly, the single most actually authoritarian Trump-era event is one that has been largely ignored by the U.S. media: namely, the decision to prosecute Julian Assange under espionage laws (but that, too, is an extension of the unprecedented war on journalism unleashed by the Obama DOJ).
The last gasp for those clinging to the Trump-as-dictator fantasy (which was really hope masquerading as concern, since putting yourself on the front lines, bravely fighting domestic fascism, is more exciting and self-glorifying, not to mention more profitable, than the dreary, mediocre work of railing against an ordinary and largely weak one-term president) was the hysterical warning that Trump was mounting a coup in order to stay in office. Trump’s terrifying “coup” consisted of a series of failed court challenges based on claims of widespread voter fraud — virtually inevitable with new COVID-based voting rules never previously used — and lame attempts to persuade state officials to overturn certified vote totals. There was never a moment when it appeared even remotely plausible that it would succeed, let alone that he could secure the backing of the institutions he would need to do so, particularly senior military leaders.
Whether Trump secretly harbored despotic ambitions is both unknowable and irrelevant. If he did, he never exhibited the slightest ability to carry them out or orchestrate a sustained commitment to executing a democracy-subverting plot. And the most powerful U.S. institutions — the intelligence community and military brass, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the corporate media — opposed and subverted him from the start. In sum, U.S. democracy, in whatever form it existed when Trump ascended to the presidency, will endure more or less unchanged once he leaves office on January 20, 2021.
Whether the U.S. was a democracy in any meaningful sense prior to Trump had been the subject of substantial scholarly debate. A much-discussed 2014 study concluded that economic power has become so concentrated in the hands of such a small number of U.S. corporate giants and mega-billionaires, and that this concentration in economic power has ushered in virtually unchallengeable political power in their hands and virtually none in anyone else’s, that the U.S. more resembles oligarchy than anything else:
The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.
The U.S. Founders most certainly did not envision or desire absolute economic egalitarianism, but many, probably most, feared — long before lobbyists and candidate dependence on corporate SuperPACs — that economic inequality could become so severe, wealth concentrated in the hands of so few, that it would contaminate the political realm, where those vast wealth disparities would be replicated, rendering political rights and legal equality illusory.
But the premises of pre-Trump debates over how grave a problem this is have been rendered utterly obsolete by the new realities of the COVID era. A combination of sustained lockdowns, massive state-mandated transfers of wealth to corporate elites in the name of legislative “COVID relief,” and a radically increased dependence on online activities has rendered corporate behemoths close to unchallengeable in terms of both economic and political power.
The lockdowns from the pandemic have ushered in a collapse of small businesses across the U.S. that has only further fortified the power of corporate giants. “Billionaires increased their wealth by more than a quarter (27.5%) at the height of the crisis from April to July, just as millions of people around the world lost their jobs or were struggling to get by on government schemes,” reported The Guardian in September. A study from July told part of the story:
The combined wealth of the world’s super-rich reached a new peak during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study published by the consulting firm PwC and the Swiss bank UBC on Wednesday. The more than 2,000 billionaires around the world managed to amass fortunes totalling around $10.2 trillion (€8.69 trillion) by July, surpassing the previous record of $8.9 trillion reached in 2017.
Meanwhile, though exact numbers are unknown, “roughly one in five small businesses have closed,” AP notes, adding: “restaurants, bars, beauty shops and other retailers that involve face-to-face contact have been hardest hit at a time when Americans are trying to keep distance from one another.”
Source: Glen Greenwald Blog
Attorney L. Lin Wood sits down for an exclusive interview with Joshua Philipp on the 2020 US presidential elections, the possibility of martial law, the Georgia Senate runoff, China’s infiltration of America, and why he fights for the truth.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Thursday that data collected by various intelligence agencies indicate there was a lot foreign interference in our election this year, but not everyone within the intelligence community wants Americans to know that.
What a pathetic reason to withhold information from the American people who pay them.
“Well DNI Ratcliffe leads the 17 intelligence agencies and he has access to the most highly classified information that is held by the US government. And he told CBS News that there was foreign interference by China, Iran, and Russia in November of this year and he is anticipating a public report on those findings in January,” CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge said.
Ratcliffe’s statement, if accurate, contradicts a former Homeland Security cyber official President Trump fired last month after he claimed that no such interference occurred.
Christopher Krebs, the recently-fired top cybersecurity official during the presidential election, testified before the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
“While elections are sometimes messy, this was a secure election,” Krebs said.
On a Nov. 27 “60 minutes” interview, Krebs was asked what he thought of the Trump legal team’s allegations that votes were tabulated in foreign countries and were manipulated.
“So, all votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America,” Krebs said. “I don’t understand this claim. All votes in the United States of America are counted in the United States of America. Period.”
“So, again, there’s no evidence that any machine that I’m aware of, has been manipulated by a foreign power. Period,” he added.
Somebody’s not being honest, and we tend to think maybe it’s Krebs.
Why? Consider some other information.
— The intelligence community was supposed to report to the president, via a 2018 executive order, no later than 45 days after the election (that’s Friday) whether there was any foreign interference. Office of DNI spokeswoman Amanda Schoch says that the 17 agencies under Ratcliffe’s control won’t have their reports completed by then, which is complete BS given that tracking of foreign electronic incursions into the U.S. are ongoing so the agencies knew Nov. 3 whether interference had occurred.
— As Breitbart News reports: “There is allegedly ‘ample’ raw intelligence about China’s intentions and actions related to the election, with more intelligence reporting coming in everyday [sic]. Some of the influence operations include social media campaigns seeking to amplify messages such as that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist. … Ratcliffe is concerned that proper tradecraft — which would require that the disagreement be reflected in the report with both views represented — will not be followed simply in order to deprive President Trump of a potential political talking point.”
Got that? The deep state morons who think they, and not the president, should be in charge have decided to skip his mandated deadline and politicize the final intelligence product to deprive Trump of a “talking point.”
Our institutions are broken, period. They no longer function on behalf of the American people, but rather as instruments to perpetuate the concentration of power in an unseen elite.