Political Articles from 2018

Six Things We Can Learn About US Plutocracy By Looking At Jeff Bezos

[Social]
Six Things We Can Learn About US Plutocracy By Looking At Jeff Bezos
By Caitlin Johnstone
Posted April 26, 2018

Jeff Bezoz, symptom of a sociopathic systemPlutocrats necessarily rule such an oligarchic system as surely as kings rule a kingdom. But if everyone is king, then no one is king. If your entire empire is built on a system where money equals power, then you are necessarily incentivized to keep money out of the hands of the public while amassing as much as possible for yourself.

Power is relative and money is power, so the poorer you are, the more powerful the plutocrats become.

In a system where money rewards sociopathy and money equals power, that means we necessarily wind up in a system that is ruled by sociopaths. Those plutocrats form alliances with each other and with defense and intelligence agencies to ensure the continuation and expansion of their empires, and that alliance is currently king of America. More…

The 4 Biggest Banks Have Already Made $2.3 Billion Off Trump’s Tax Law

[Economic]
The 4 Biggest Banks Have Already Made $2.3 Billion Off Trump’s Tax Law
by Eric Levitz
Posted April 25, 2018

Trump tax bill is a windfall for big banksIn Donald Trump’s final campaign ad, the GOP nominee informed America that “those who control the levers of power in Washington” do not “have your good in mind,” as a sign reading Wall St. flickered across the screen. Moments later, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs appeared, cast as an embodiment of the global elite that has “robbed our working class.”

In the first quarter of 2018, President Trump’s signature legislative achievement made America’s four biggest banks $2.3 billion richer, according to a new analysis from The Wall Street Journal.

Last fall, Trump made an “explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected. They can call me all they want; I’m doing the right thing.” In February, House Speaker Paul Ryan boasted that his party’s tax law had given a “secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA” an extra “$1.50 a week” — a windfall that would “more than cover her Costco membership for the year.” More…

The Rise of the New McCarthyism

[Social]
The Rise of the New McCarthyism
by Robert Parry
Posted April 25,2018

we have enetered a new of McCarthyismMake no mistake about it: the United States has entered an era of a New McCarthyism that blames nearly every political problem on Russia and has begun targeting American citizens who don’t go along with this New Cold War propaganda.

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the “Red Scare” hearings of the 1950s.

A difference, however, from the McCarthyism of the 1950s is that this New McCarthyism has enlisted Democrats, liberals and even progressives in the cause because of their disgust with President Trump; the 1950s version was driven by Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end, maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as “un-American” and as Communism’s “fellow travelers.”

The real winners in this New McCarthyism appear to be the neoconservatives who have leveraged the Democratic/liberal hatred of Trump to draw much of the Left into the political hysteria that sees the controversy over alleged Russian political “meddling” as an opportunity to “get Trump.” More…

The Syrian Conflict Is A Distraction From A Secret War

[Politics]
The Syrian Conflict Is A Distraction From A Secret War
by Brandon Smith
Posted April 20, 2018

Syria war is a diversionThe insinuation of neocon warmonger John Bolton into the Trump cabinet suggests that the neocons are very much back in charge and that ongoing war is guaranteed. At this late stage in the game, it is unlikely that our government or any other government involved in the Syrian theater even cares to explain its actions. When establishment criminals no longer care if their criminality is transparent to the public, THEN it is time for a large scale societal collapse.

In January of this year, I warned that central banks were preparing to enter into an accelerating process to deflate the massive market bubbles they created to prop up our fiscal system over the past several years. That process is indeed continuing, and each successive rate hike and balance sheet cut will act in a cumulative fashion. Meaning, central bankers are treating the global economy like an oversized Jenga tower, pulling blocks here and there until the system topples completely from lack of stability. More…

7 Questions About the Syria Airstrikes That Aren’t Being Asked

[Media]
7 Questions About the Syria Airstrikes That Aren’t Being Asked
by Richard Eskow
Posted April 18, 2018

another failure of the corporate mediaThe national security establishment and the corporate media have been promoting a confrontational approach, but they’ve been unable to explain how that would lead to a better outcome for the US or the world

U.S. media, for the most part, reinforce the idea that intervention by our military is the preferred solution to global conflicts. Some of the same reporters who now mock Trump for saying “Mission Accomplished” cheered on Bush’s invasion of Iraq. They remember Bush’s errors, but not their own.

The media’s job, we are told, is to ask skeptical questions about the people in power. That didn’t happen much in the runup to the invasion of Iraq, and it’s not happening now. Here are the questions that should be asked – not just on the eve of a bombing attack, but every day we continue our disastrous and drifting military intervention in the Middle East. More…

As Cable News Obsesses Over a Porn Star, Senate Prepares to Put the Next Wall Street Crash in Motion

[Economic]
As Cable News Obsesses Over a Porn Star, Senate Prepares to Put the Next Wall Street Crash in Motion
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted April 18, 2018

Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat from OhioThe U.S. Senate is about to set in motion the next financial crash on Wall Street but you would never know it from watching cable news channels CNN or MSNBC last evening. Both news channels obsessed for endless hours over the Trump-Russia scandal and a hush money payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels, neglecting one of the most critical topics of the day: what was happening on the Senate floor this week.

Some of the most informed Democratic voices in the U.S. Senate are making impassioned and heartbreaking appeals to their colleagues this week on the floor of the U.S. Senate to vote down Senate bill S.2155, which carries the Orwellian title: “The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.” The bill is a Republican/Wall Street lobbyist masquerade to ostensibly help small community banks but will effectively gut enhanced oversight of banks with up to $250 billion in assets – mega banks by any measure – that want to dodge oversight of their derivative counterparty exposure to the largest Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. More…

Donald Trump Ordered Syria Strike Based on a Secret Legal Justification Even Congress Can’t See

[Justice]
Donald Trump Ordered Syria Strike Based on a Secret Legal Justification Even Congress Can’t See
by Jon Schwarz
Posted April 17, 2018

Trump and BoltonOn Friday night, President Trump ordered the U.S. military to conduct a bombing attack against the government of Syria without congressional authorization. How can this be constitutional, given the fact that Article I, Section 8 of America’s founding document declares that “The Congress shall have Power … To declare War”?

The deeply bizarre and alarming answer is that Trump almost certainly does have some purported legal justification provided to him by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — but no one else, including Congress, can read it.

The Office of Legal Counsel is often called the Supreme Court of the executive branch, providing opinions on how the president and government agencies should interpret the law. More…

The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 1

[Politics]
The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 1
By David Stockman
Posted April 16, 2018

deep state So last Friday, the Syrian military resumed its offensive and the purported gas attack occurred the next day, when it appears that it was all over except the shouting.

We will leave for others to explain the unexplainable. To wit, why in the world would Bashar Assad, who was on the verge of a complete victory over the last redoubt of rebel enemies that could threaten his regime, use chemical weapons on civilians and children when all except a few hard-core fighters had already agreed to get on buses and evacuate Douma entirely?

Yet here is the even more unexplainable part of this sorry episode that amounts to the Deep State waging the Donald. The remaining rebels capitulated on Sunday and the government re-upped the evacuation deal. That is, the remnants of Jaish al-Islam are now all dead or have boarded busses–along with their families—and are already in Idlib province. More…

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Quotable Sayings

the lies will soothe your conscience

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing tactics, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

Mark Twain

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