Hillary Clinton: The Goldwater Girl Reveals Herself in an Atlantic Interview

As much as I was dutifully chugging along on a normal-NC-fare type of post, the fisticuffs that broke out in comments yesterday over America’s hypocritical and destructive foreign policies (340 comments, an unheard-of level for Links, particularly on a summer weekend), indicates that US war-mongering is the top concern of many readers.

It thus seemed more fitting to highlight a truly disconcerting interview of Hillary Clinton by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Altlantic, in which he came off as more temperate that Hillary. Here is why that alone is striking. From his Project S.H.A.M.E. profile (hat tip Lambert):

For the past decade, Jeffrey Goldberg has peddled blatantly false war propaganda with disastrous consequences, fronted for the military-industrial machine, played a key PR role pushing America into war with Iraq, and advanced the agenda of the Israeli military-intel establishment—but he has never had to account for his failures and his lies. Put another way: If Judith Miller was a dweeby Ivy League graduate who worked as a detention camp guard holding Palestinian prisoners, and she never had to answer for her journalistic fraud after being exposed, she would be Jeffrey Goldberg.

Ouch. And to match the Hillary Clinton/ Jeffrey Goldberg pairing, the New York Times gave us an Obama interview with Tom Friedman on the same topics: “Iraq, Putin, and Israel.” Some readers no doubt have a tougher constitution than I do; the Clinton pow-wow alone was tough to take.

What was striking about Hillary Clinton’s remarks, which to its credit, the Atlantic reproduced in full, was how often she depicted the US policy of aggression as morally desirable as well as necessary to protect Christians in the US from jihadis. Funny how the officialdom airbrushes out of the picture the fact that Osama Bin Laden explained the reason for his campaign against the US, and his overarching reason was “Because you attack us and continue to attack us.” I’m no supporter of Arab extremists, but the US has long meddled this region, with perilous little finesse or concern for the long-term ramifications. But it’s simpler for politicians like Hillary Clinton to narrow the frame so as to make those who oppose the US look like cartoon bad guys. Consider this section from her interview:

One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States. Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’être is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.

The troubling part is this does not seem to be Clinton simply going macho to overcompensate for the stereotype that women and Democrats are soft on foreign policy; she really seems to believe it. The part of the interview that has been widely commented on is how she paints Obama as being too soft for failing to give more support early on to the rebels in Syria:

I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.

Pray tell, why should we have expected to be more successful in Syria, in a fluid situation working through multiple interests, when we couldn’t build an effective army in Iraq when we had vastly more time, were dealing with comparatively stable organizations, and had much easier access (which meant among other things, it was much easier to deliver materiel and provide trainers of various sorts)? To put it bluntly, we lost the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan due to our inability to build a credible cadre of nationals who could manage the country. If we are incapable of doing that when we have soldiers on the ground and control key cities and resupply routes, how the hell could we possibly do that successfully in Syria?

And then we have the way-past-their-sell-by claims that the US is a force for good in the world. For the good of US corporations, maybe. For the American public and ordinary citizens elsewhere, our recent casualness about creating failed states is hardly the posture of a responsible imperialist. Here are some examples:

JG: Are we so egocentric, so Washington-centric, that we think that our decisions are dispositive? As secretary, did you learn more about the possibilities of American power or the limitations of American power?

HRC: Both, but it’s not just about American power. It’s American values that also happen to be universal values. If you have no political—small “p”—experience, it is really hard to go from a dictatorship to anything resembling what you and I would call democracy. That’s the lesson of Egypt. We didn’t invade Egypt. They did it themselves, and once they did it they looked around and didn’t know what they were supposed to do next.

I think we’ve learned about the limits of our power to spread freedom and democracy. That’s one of the big lessons out of Iraq. But we’ve also learned about the importance of our power, our influence, and our values appropriately deployed and explained.

Hillary tries to depict the antipathy in the American public for foreign misadventures as an overreaction. She paints her desire for more muscular US intervention as a middle ground between a alleged Bush overreach and an unseemly desire of Americans to tend to our own affairs first. But how does she deal with the fact that the US military is already overextended? Oh, she intends to use “smart power.” For instance:

What I’m arguing for is to take a hard look at what tools we have. Are they sufficient for the complex situations we’re going to face, or not? And what can we do to have better tools?

This reads like an effort to pretend that the emperor is not naked.

Hillary runs almost verbatim the standard defenses of Israel, but adds a new chestnut: that Hamas is better at PR. In other words, to the extent that the rest of the world isn’t buying what the US and Israel are selling, it’s because they’ve been snookered by better propagandists: “One issue is that we don’t even tell our own story very well these days.” Gee, as if the revelation that Israel knew it was making up the claim that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers went unnoticed abroad, or that the Israeli v. Palestinian death counts over time don’

And Hillary tries to pass off a ten month suspension of settlements as proof that Israel was serious about dealing in good faith with the Palestinians. Help me.

Hillary also presents Putin as an aggressor:

There are more demonstrations against Israel by an exponential amount than there are against Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner.

Huh? While Russia technically did annex Crimea, it came after a referendum showed that its citizens wanted to join Russia. This was not a military occupation, which is what “seizure implies,” this was exploiting an opportunity that the West stupidly handed to him on a silver platter. And as Lambert would put it, Hillary is way out over her skis in stating that Russia shot down MH17. Is she really that sloppy, or does she assume her audience isn’t paying much attention to the debate over what happened?

We get more Putin demonization:

Now the big mistake was thinking that, okay, the end of history has come upon us, after the fall of the Soviet Union. That was never true, history never stops and nationalisms were going to assert themselves, and then other variations on ideologies were going to claim their space. Obviously, jihadi Islam is the prime example, but not the only example—the effort by Putin to restore his vision of Russian greatness is another.

It’s quite a trick to present Putin reacting to the US attempting to park NATO on its borders as Russia embarking on a program of expansionism.

So the old Hillary Clinton who was drawn to Barry Goldwater has finally shown her colors. Although Goldwater would likely have lost to Johnson, the public then was mindful of what was at stake, and the famed Daisy ad is attributed with increasing Johnson’s margin of victory:

Now that the fear of nuclear war has faded, the stakes apparently aren’t perceived to be as high. Yet the US desire to remake the strategic gameboard in the Middle East has succeeded instead in creating failed states and breeding more and more effective stateless opponents. Rather than recognize our errors, Hillary Clinton looks to be hell bent to double down on this foundering strategy and increase the intensity of its application with Russia. This sort of thinking apparently plays well in the Beltway and with ideologically aligned interlocutors. I can only hope the American public is smart enough to recognize how high the stakes are and remains skeptical of these appeals to break countries for the fun and profit of the military-surveillance complex.

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211 comments

  1. The Dork of Cork

    A hypotical President Johnson today…….#
    “These are the stakes – to make a world in which American & Americanized children can consume or go into the darkness of antimaterialism.
    We must either screw over one another for scarce money or we must die.”

    The object of the game is becoming more clear.
    To completely wreck the gaff (Cork colloquialism) east of a certain point of the Europe / Asian landmass. – one never knows if Germany is east or west of this line,…………
    As even we have now come to realize – the entire world cannot live like Americans.

    For the moment at least tourists will be channelled into Spain , France and Ireland as we must make the world a unsafe place so that the above countries (and perhaps a few others ) can continue their scarcity / growth experiment and thus continue our dream / your nightmare.

    Thank you for watching this advertisement.

    1. FederalismForever

      At the moment, I’m rooting for Elizabeth Warren v. Rand Paul. Neither candidate has anywhere near enough experience or demonstrated intelligence to compare favorably with great U.S. Presidents of the past, but each in his/her own way represents a small but significant step in the right direction – Warren for her willingness to confront the financial industry oligarchs and TBTF banks, and Paul for his willingness to question the failed War on Dr&gs and our failed foreign policy. A national debate between these two over the course of a Presidential campaign would be an improvement over the dreary and depressing Presidential campaigns of recent vintage, IMHO.

        1. The Dork of Cork

          What good is a better fake ?
          it will merely fool more people more of the time.

          Me – I hark back to Junior and his child like honesty on occasion.
          The chinese doors Incident will never be forgotten
          Thanks for the memories George.
          He more then any other did most for the cause of freedom as he was such a bad propaganda tool.
          One just can’t beat a honest fool for that job.
          CNN preforms this role today
          Thank God but…………..
          One can’t help thinking – you just can’t get that bad without planning – its as if the powers that be want a US failure.
          There seems no structure to the propaganda………its very very strange.
          That kid spokewoman for the state department.
          This failure and that.
          You must work on that level of failure…..its a very conscious decision.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew0h3xnwyR4

      1. craazyboy

        But if Hillary runs, we get the chance to make Neo-Liberal a household world. Then watch everyone try and figure out what it means. Ultimately, after 6 months of campaigning, we’ll be able to watch guests on the Jerry Springer Show give their opinions on Neo-Liberalism.

        Do you really want to pass on that?????

      2. plasmaborne

        We would do well to have POTUS Elizabeth Warren & VP Bernie Sanders. Perhaps Wendy Davis and certainly Alan Grayson. We have candidates who are real Liberals unlike neo-Liberal Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton.

    2. ewmayer

      “I think we’ve learned about the limits of our power to spread freedom and democracy.”

      Dear Hillary: You might consider making a sincere effort to aid the spread of freedom and democracy amongst the nonmembers of the kleptocratic oligarchy in your home country, and SingTFU about “the benighted savages” elsewhere in the world.

      Paying more than lip service to “the rule of law” might make a good place to start in that regard – note that there’s no requirement for you to wait for your swearing the Presidential Oath of Office to get started on the whole “uphold the Constitution” thing. All you have to do is set aside a chunk of your “poverty wage” speaking fees and then use that nest egg to try to repurchase your soul from Satan.

      1. fff

        There is no dissonance with her freedom rhetoric: ‘Freedom’ is the ability to use your money any way you see fit, including buying democracy. Money=democracy…

  2. pretzelattack

    and once again we will get a choice between some pro war democrat and some equally (at least) pro war republican in 2016. correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe elizabeth warren is largely supportive of our foreign policy. is there anybody antiwar outside of a geriatric ron paul?
    i

    1. Ignim Brites

      Well Rand Paul is pretty cagegy about his foreign policy views. But if we are serious about ending the militaristic foreign policy, the military alliances have got to go, beginning with NATO.

      1. timbers

        Pretzelattack, I voted for Liz Warren her in Massachusetts, and yes she appears to be on the hawkish side on foreign policy, so am not optimistic on that front. Am very happy with her economic thrust on issues but agree there are instances where she could push the envelope further and be more direct.

        It is gratifying to see what she choose to talk about: economic issues that matter to people, while Hillary chooses to talk up escalating conflicts. The issues each choose to invest their energies says a lot about who they are IMO.

        So, am hoping foreign policy is an area Liz is doing the default beltway line, that once she is forced to look more deeply at the facts on an issue, she will approach it with the same clear thinking she has on economic issues.

        1. mellon

          Seeing how warren behaves with bankers, I think she would be mindful of the economic costs of war too much to be a hawk.

          Thats why many people are trying to say she would be. Armies of people are being paid to go around influencing other bloggers on every issue just about, these days.

          But I think she would win, unlike Hillary, who now is far too tainted with Washington’s putrid stench.

          Many are trying to portray her as an insider but they are ignoring the fact that she’s going after the bankers, the real rulers of all the nations now, which would automatically exclude her from the insider club.

          1. Kim Kaufman

            Elizabeth Warren, I believe, started out as a Republican and also came from Kansas, one of the most conservative states in the country. When she first emerged as a candidate I remember reading that she was not pro de-criminalizing drugs. If you’re not on board with that position, you don’t understand the confluence between the economy in general and specifically the prison industrial complex v. education plus the non-tax collecting black market of the drug economy plus that the banks are probably largely solvent, if they are, because of drug money. I personally think she’s much better placed staying in the senate. That doesn’t solve the Hillary problem though.

  3. Christopher Dale Rogers

    Yves,

    I must confess the battle lines were drawn and conflict ensued on yesterday’s board’s in relation to the Ukraine and US incessant meddling in other states and regions, to the detriment of those in said states and regions, and benefit to your ruling elite – whoever these may be in DC and the beltway.

    Of particular concern to many is the US ambivalence to the threat of nuclear war, a terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant, a “dirty bomb” or some other nefarious activity/outrage concerning biological and chemical weapons – US actions since 9/11 have actually increased the possibility of nuclear or biological terrorism, which perhaps we should actually call by its real name, which is “blowback” from those treated by the US as disposable to the neoconservative/neoliberal pipe dream.

    I think all readers of this blog really do need to acquaint themselves with the war moves currently being undertaken in the US Senate, specifically The Russian Aggression Prevention Act: See Counterpunch link provided by me and branch out from there:http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/04/senate-bill-preps-for-war-with-russia/

    I won’t drop names, but those accusing use concerned lefties of having it in for the USA really should read and appreciate what’s going on in DC and the Beltway in relation to warmongering and basically making a grab for whatever hydrocarbons remain globally. Effectively the NeoConservatives have won the day, and that supposed bastion of liberalism and progressive politics, one Hilary Clinton, epitomises this fact.

    Again, and as I am want to ask, why the EU’s leadership desire to go along with this game plan is beyond my comprehension, suffice to say the hypocrisy emanating out of the MSM is beyond belief, even the UK’s bloody Guardian is in on the act.

    I’ll leave it there, but will ask politely that all US citizens should be highly concerned at whats happening, both in the USA and internationally, supposedly in their name. Many people, among them me, are not anti-American, quite the reverse, we are highly worried at the trajectory the USA has taken in recent years since the 9/11 outrages – it really is time to stop acting like a bull in a china shop and start focusing on the real issues and concerns of us all. And raping and pillaging the planet is not my idea of an effective domestic or overseas policy for the world’s preeminent power.

    1. YankeeFrank

      As an American your comments couldn’t me more in line with my thinking. I’m horrified at what’s going on and frightened at what they are planning. If they think Russia will roll over they are very wrong, and putting Putin’s back to the wall could rather quickly lead to that nuclear nightmare the prior US leadership actually avoided for decades. Oh the irony that only now would our chickenhawk leaders, who personally know nothing of war, bring us to such a fate.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Let’s review: Putin arranged for Crimea, full of ethnic Russians, to vote and become part of Russia again. Not one single shot fired or life lost. Now we have majority ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, who were first told using the Russian language would be against the law, wanting to join Russia too. US wants to somehow oppose China, and one way is to block their ally Russia from European ties and influence and especially natural gas revenues. The Europeans go along because they know otherwise the US will withdraw their backdoor propping up of their banks, at US taxpayer expense. After trying his damndest to gin up new wars in Libya and Niger and Syria (to replace Iraq which was supposedly winding down and Afghanistan), Obomba now is relishing the chance to kill and torture some more on the fields of Ukraine. The entire world is playing a very dangerous game: let’s have a few good hot little wars so we can all send lots of taxpayer money to our militaries (since replacing income with debt may be waning as a core economic strategy)…but those hot little wars risk becoming hot big wars. I guess they’d be happy with that outcome, too. Hilary will not lift one single finger to change ANY of this. One of her biggest endorsements is from Rupert Murdoch…and that tells you everything you need to know about her.

    2. FederalismForever

      @Christopher Dale Rogers. I agree completely with what you write here. All US citizens should be greatly concerned with what their government is doing, and the potential for nuclear conflict should be foremost in our minds. That being so, we return again to the question of why this USGovt would go out of its way to provoke Putin and Russia. Surely no conflict is more fraught with risk and peril than a conflict between the two largest nuclear powers.

      To answer this question, it might be helpful to view the US as (effectively) a client state of Isr@el. Many actions taken, or attempted, by USGovt in recent years make more sense (as in “not completely stupid and harebrained”) when we adopt this perspective. Consider the 1996 paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” This paper was prepared by a study group led by uber-neocon Richard Perle, and was presented to Netanyahu. This paper plainly states that Isr&el should seek to remove Saddam, challenge Syria, destabilize the region, etc. – it is almost a playbook for what has transpired. We now see a more plausible motive for USGovt’s provoking Putin: It was Putin who challenged US “intelligence” on Syria, which challenge led Britain to refrain from supporting any US-led attack on Syria. Thus, Putin represents a large obstacle in the way of achieving the stated goal of removing Assad and challenging Syria. This 1996 paper also gives us a better understanding of what transpired in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yves Smith writes above of the US’s “inability to build a credible cadre of nationals who could manage the country” – maybe that was the plan all along?

  4. Martin Gottlieb

    Yves –

    It’s worth saying something about The Atlantic magazine itself. They used to be thought of as middle of the road or even a bit liberal. Here they are with a quite rabid right wing interviewer/author on staff, lobbing soft ball questions at a right wing politician.

    Another mainstream media actor down the right wing rabbit hole.

    1. mellon

      Maybe Cheney’s still in charge, as former NSA whistle blower Russell Tice seemed to imply?

      Stranger things have happened.

      1. bob

        There was a knock on the door of the man-sized safe.

        “no one is home”

        “who’s home is this?” Questioned the first female president.

        “this is an undisclosed location, you have been warned” responded a computer generated voice.

        “but I’m the leader of the most powerful nation in the free world. How can my office be occupied by an undisclosed location?”

        “we’ve always been here. Suck it up, work around the safe and take its advice in anything. Failure to follow the orders of the man-sized safe could result in political scandal. We know where the cigar is.”

      2. sgt_doom

        Well, in the US State Department he very well might be.

        After all, Hillary Clinton Cratchit appointed Bush inner circle dood, and family relative, Marc Grossman, as well as Victoria Nuland, whose husband (Robert Kagan) was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC, Dick’s fave outfit).

      3. jrs

        This does tend to point in the direction of Obama is NOT in charge:
        http://news.firedoglake.com/2014/08/11/obama-admits-arming-moderate-syrian-rebels-has-always-been-a-fantasy/

        Obama doesn’t nor has he ever believed in his own policies (and it’s not even a change of mind, he’s never believed in his own policies) OKAY. Who is REALLY running this show?

        Now, I don’t know for sure one way or other of course, but if the deep state was to tip it’s hand in a way that was still subtle, wouldn’t it look kind of like this?

        1. Synopticist

          I give Obama a modicum of credit for not getting shoved by the Washington consensus into a massive commitment in Syria. He did as little as he could get away with to my mind. He made a big mistake in appointing the R2P lunatics like Rice and Power, who I reckon he mistook for pacifists, rather than perfect allies for the neo-cons.

  5. dearieme

    “American values that also happen to be universal values”: can she be so unreflective and stupid as to believe that?

    Or is she simply lying? As would seem to be second nature to her.

    Even the Law Squaw would be better than Hellary. Republicans should sign up en masse to stop her in the Dem primaries. Even if that eventually cost their own party the Presidential election, it is their duty to do all they can to reduce the chances of this ogre becoming President. As for Dems, if they have to they should vote for Mitt for President to stop this horror.

      1. sgt_doom

        And remember all of Hillary Clinton’s votes in support of war financing bills and legislation.

        And in support of jobs offshoring and rising foreign visa worker limits (one of her major donors was the Indian offshoring guys, the Tata Consultancy).

    1. Carolinian

      Of course she believes it. They all believe it (our ruling class). It’s why outlets like the NYTimes or tv newsers have so much trouble processing contradictory information on Ukraine or the Middle East. When you are on top of the heap you naturally tend to believe that heap is “the best of all possible worlds.” After all, you’re on top of it. Self reflection is for losers.

      Segueing to yesterday’s Nixon discussion, the self righteousness of the sixties generation–which led to many good things–also accounts for their disgust with Nixon and his grubbier, more cynical approach to politics. Hillary, if memory serves, had a low level position on the impeachment committee staff. Nixon and his professor realpolitik Kissinger didn’t worry too much about moral justifications. Worth noting that Kissinger has said the US should just accept the annexation of Crimea, make peace with Putin.

      Of course self-righteousness can be a very bad thing when you are no longer righteous. Power corrupts the idealistic as well as the cynical. The main diff is that the former have a classier grade of patter.

    2. jrs

      American values … like what ghandi said about western civilization … it would be a good idea. But until then …

    3. hunkerdown

      Doesn’t really matter what she believes, because there’s zero guarantee she’ll believe much the same over the course of four years and almost no chance policy will reflect them except by coincidence.

      Hmm, interesting idea: I think it was said recently that the elites are casting about for anything to blame the imminent fall of the empire on that wasn’t their own class. The evangelical right has had their Queen of Babylon story ready to roll since Mondale-Ferraro, so they’re well-served for 2017.

    4. optimader

      “an she be so unreflective and stupid as to believe that?”

      Yes, I believe so. She is a sanctimonious idiot, It is self evident. Why does anyone assume she is anything else?

    5. BE

      I’m a lurker and this is my first comment, so perhaps no one will take it seriously. Nonetheless I feel compelled to speak up.

      The word you used for a Native American woman is considered offensive and hurtful by many Native people. It, along with other similar slurs, is linked to a history of violence and dehumanization.

      I am not Native myself, but this is what I read from those who are.

      Therefore, regardless of your opinion of Senator Warren, I respectfully request that you refrain from using that word.

      Thank you.

      *relurk*

  6. MikeNY

    Among the arrant hypocrisies of our political elites is this notion that ‘democracies’ are inherently better, more peaceable world citizens, because they don’t make wars. Meanwhile, we are the world’s premier war-monger and purveyor of violence.

    Of course, one might argue that the US isn’t a democracy but an oligarchy. But I didn’t hear HRC give voice to that subtlety.

    1. Brindle

      The system is setup so that we can only choose between Bombthrower A or Bombthrower B. Our democracy is essentially a farce—Bill Gates knows it, so do the Koch Bros, so does Robert Rubin.

        1. sgt_doom

          And not surprisingly, B.G. Jayne, the very first US Treasury agent in American history, would end up working for Boss Tweed.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Indeed, democracies are better, more peaceable world citizens. But what does that have to do with the United States?

    3. John

      I was reminded of Resident Bush’s statement many years ago, that free nations do not build weapons of mass destruction.

      The claim that democracies don’t attack other nations has to be taken with a certain reflection. (Ie. either it’s blatantly false, or the US isn’t a democracy. I think the latter.)

      Then there’s the claim that democracies don’t have famines. Right now, I’m wondering about that one.

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    “is there anybody antiwar outside of a geriatric ron paul?”

    You mean other than the “war-weary” American people?

      1. pretzelattack

        yeah there’s nobody to actually vote for that has a chance of winning. i voted for jill stein last time, and will probably vote for somebody similar this time if i vote at all–but i very much feel like the train wreck of empire will continue to grind itself out no matter what we do.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Ah, yes, “voting.” The hallmark of a “democracy,” right?

          Remember Iraq where the “purple fingers” signified the long-awaited, America-delivered “democracy.” And the previous, much-derided Iraqi elections where Saddam Hussein got 99% of the “vote” amid US hysteria that it was “rigged.” And now Maliki, who was “voted” in, “must go.” We need another “vote.”

          And now the US, where “voting” is a patriotic duty. For what? To perpetuate the illusion that this country really IS a “democracy?” To provide Hillary with some sort of legitimacy?

          No one in this country should vote. For anyone. It merely legitimizes the claim that “voting” matters. That the citizens still believe that casting a “vote” matters. And all the money in the world can’t buy votes that don’t exist.

          Hillary is going to be the next president, I have no doubt. But if she “wins” with, say, only 3 million “votes” cast, a statement will have been made. It’s concrete action we can take right now.

          And it’s a statement that desperately NEEDS to be made. You may be “president,” Hillary, but not because “we the people” “elected” you.

          The system must be exposed for the sham that it is. And “uncomfortable” as it may be, refusing to “vote” is the way to begin.

          1. Whine Country

            I completely agree with your thesis that there is no legitimate choice to vote for so why do so. I do, however, disagree that just not voting will do any good. I have suggested in the past that we all make a special effort to vote for….Nobody. If you can write in a candidate certainly you can write in Nobody. Nobody doesn’t have to win to make a statement, it is very explicit and self-explanatory and, just because it was first proposed by a comedian (Pat Paulson) doesn’t mean it can’t be taken seriously.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              I’d be the first in line to vote for “None of the Above.” As long as, if “None of the Above” won, it was actually applied, and no one “above” could “win.”

            2. GuyFawkesLives

              When faced with a candidate choice where you think, “Which is worse?” I opt to write-in “Satan.” Basically, saying that I would rather have the worst demon from hell than either one of these candidates win this election. I’m not sure it’s good political strategy, but it sure makes me feel good personally.

              Maybe we could sponsor a write-in campaign where “Satan” actually wins! That would certainly say something.

              1. Ulysses

                None of the above, Mickey Mouse, Honey Boo Boo it would in fact be a great statement if joke write-ins received more votes than any of the corporate approved candidates!

                Too many well-meaning people want to cling to the illusion that we can somehow vote for people who are proven corporate sellouts, and that they will miraculously transform into selfless servants of the people upon winning office.

                The dilemma we face is that the status quo has no democratic legitimacy, but no reasonable alternative has enough popular support yet for us to get behind.

                What then is to be done? I feel that pushing hard at the local and state level, where big money has less of an advantage, may be the fastest way to change the political landscape to the point where we have a better chance of toppling the kleptocrats from power. ALEC has already been engaged in that battle for a long time, so we on the other side have a lot of catching up to do!!

          2. Jefferson's Guardian

            Better yet, vote for yourself, or an unsung hero with a peaceful message, or any messenger or whistle-blower who comes to mind — but don’t not vote.

            Staying home portrays a message of apathy to the powers-that-be, which they desire. Voting for a peaceful messenger tells them we’re on to them.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Oh, please. “TPTB” care about “voters” being “apathetic” about as much as they care about “voters” having two left feet.

              What they want is LEGITIMACY. They want to point to a large “voter turnout” and claim that “the people have ‘spoken’.”

              Voting for a “peaceful messenger” or yourself says nothing about “being on to them,” it says that you’re still dumb enough to play along.

              1. Alfred

                If TPTB wanted everyone to vote then voting would be easier and even required. But that isn’t what’s happening, the differing power brokers are making every effort to enlist their voters and some power brokers are making every effort to disenfranchise voters that won’t vote for them.

                Vote early, vote often.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  Just for appearances. If some one is trying to deny some one else the “vote,” well then, the “vote” MUST be important.

              2. jrs

                But U.S. voter turnout is already so low … lower than almost anywhere in the world except where elections are obviously faked (yes I too suspect they are here but staying on topic). So what’s the threshold for illegitimacy? I really don’t think they care about “legitimacy” either. Besides what if one is already at the polls to vote on splitting California into 6 states or some such absurdity, then one may as well vote right?

                1. hunkerdown

                  20 percent or lower seems to bring legitimacy into question. It was the ANC’s vote boycott in ZA that brought the turnout down to some single-digit percentage which challenged the media narrative of Apartheid as the due act of a “democratically elected government”. *sad trombone*

                  Now there’s an idea… vote on the propositions and referenda, skip the American Idol section of the ballot entirely. I ran some numbers recently and initiative states have significantly more people turning out in off-year general elections than non-initiative states (1-5% more turnout, 3-10% higher than non-init)

                  Unfortunately, that still looks like turnout (or spoliation).

              3. Jefferson's Guardian

                Not voting, at all, confirms for the TPTB, as it has for decades, that “bread and circuses” is, and has been, effective. It’s a referendum for the continuation of the modus operandi, and an affirmation that the American people can be counted upon to follow as usual. How exactly is the tactic you’re advocating any different from what has already been happening for years? I’ll tell you…it’s not.

                Voting for non-Republican and non-Democratic candidates, or even non-candidates if that’s what you choose, sends an entirely different message — not the same, worn-out one that you’re so hostilely defending.

          3. Uahsenaa

            I would say at the local level, voting still matters–arguably matters more–with fairly clear choices between candidates genuinely opposed to each other on narrowly constrained issues (e.g. school board candidate A wants to close this elementary school, while candidate B does not). At the macro level, you’re right, of course. There is a complete disconnect between candidates and voters, because there’s a complete disconnect between what they are concerned with and what we are. Therefore, on the issues that matter to us, we get a choice between “probably doesn’t give a crap about our concerns” and “likely doesn’t give a crap about our concerns.”

            1. participant-observer-observed

              “Therefore, on the issues that matter to us, we get a choice between “probably doesn’t give a crap about our concerns” and “likely doesn’t give a crap about our concerns.””

              I wish it were as benign as that. American Legislative Exchange Council, Scalia, et. al., and their puppets in office are actively working against my interests (and fundamental right to self-sovereign personhood most of the time.

          4. Skorn

            Arthur Silber offered the most persuasive arguments to abstain from our sham elections I’ve read so far: http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/11/against-voting-as-long-as-we-live-we.html

            “To return to what may now seem comparatively mundane, the question of voting for national office, even if only for a third-party candidate: It is not simply that one grants legitimacy to the overall system by doing so, although that is true and horrifyingly bad in itself. Perhaps more important is this: all advocates of third-party voting acknowledge its futility. Their candidate is not going to win. They know that.

            But let’s identify the further meaning of such a vote. They also know that either Obama or Romney will win. That is: a man who enthusiastically embraces the State’s murder program — a program that systematically, regularly, routinely murders innocent human beings, anywhere in the world, for any reason the State chooses — and who similarly embraces the surveillance and police State, together with endless death campaigns abroad as well as a growing system of oppression and brutalization at home — will win the presidency. By participating in the election at all, you grant legitimacy to the process that will make one of these two men president. You thereby grant legitimacy to the system itself, to the State, and to all those actions you know with absolute certainty the State will take in the future.

            That is what your vote means, even if you vote for a third-party candidate. Perhaps you can do that, and still continue to live together with yourself.

            I cannot — and I will not.”

          5. sgt_doom

            You are absolutely right!
            And in Afghanistan, where they just had a too close election to be called, there is an Accenture office, involved with their voting.
            And in those elections in Italy, where Berlusconi surprisingly won, he used Accenture.

            And in Sarkozy’s first election which he won, he used Accenture.

            Wherever there’s a suspiciously close or stolen election, research into how Accenture was involved.

            1. hidflect

              You are right about Accidenture. I work with them on a daily basis and they are deadly. Constantly making changes to a live environment, they fiddle and blow sh1t up every day. But to get any documentation out of them is impossible. They operate like a sub-continent Mafia.

          6. fresno dan

            The quote I read that caused me to lose all faith in “democracy”

            Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
            Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
            Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
            http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hermann_G%C3%B6ring
            =============================================
            And just as communism was a monolith, that seemed liked an ever expanding force that we must always confront, now the same broad brush is being applied to Arab terror groups. The Mid East terror or civil war groups, call them what you will, pose more of a danger to people in the middle east than to us.
            So does Hillary REALLY believe that the boogey men will get us? Or is it just political expediency?
            But we seem to have a need to have enemies:
            http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/61911/john-mueller/is-there-still-a-terrorist-threat-the-myth-of-the-omnipresent-en

            1. hunkerdown

              “We” may need to have enemies, but frankly we can make them just fine for our individual selves. That, of course, is a problem for the elites.

              Would that civilized societies react to people of stature calling for war absent a clear and present danger by summarily Ceaucescuing them without a second thought. Honey badger don’t care about your granfalloons.

  8. Patrick Walker

    Someone said that if you have the truth, pound the truth. If you have the law, pound the law. If you have neither, pound the table.

    That describes just about every administration for the last half century. They “just make sh*t up” constantly but only recently have their lies been challenged.

    And they don’t seem to like it one bit but continue on as if nothing has changed.

  9. paulmeli

    “is there anybody antiwar outside of a geriatric ron paul?”

    There was a post over at Crooks and Liars yesterday that framed Paul’s comments about restraint in believing the U.S. claims about evil Russia as full-blown conspiracy theory.

    The comments section read just as crazy as any right-wing blog I have seen.

    The so-called Democratic left has been completely co-opted by the establishment.

  10. humancat

    Hillary Clinton, John McCain. What’s the difference? They’re the same. Instead of counting sheep to fall asleep at night, they probably count 500 lbs bombs falling out of the sky.

    Can’t we have someone who is not a war mongering sociopath run for president for a change?

    1. Carla

      Jill Stein ran last time. I voted for her. Did you?

      My Democrat so-called friends insisted that a vote for Stein was a vote for Romney and reviled me. Uhm, no. A vote for Stein was a vote for Stein. Fear of the Great Evil Romney Satan drove Democrat sheep into the Obama column. What a sick joke. Now the same people want Warren. I don’t even laugh about it anymore.

      1. DJG

        Exactly. Listening to the liberal-ish going on about voting for the lesser of two evils and then doing all of that elections-as-horserace stuff is a listening to self-defeat. But they can’t be persuaded.

      2. RUKidding

        I voted for Jill Stein the last time and often voted for mis-leadingly named “third” parties, including Ralph Nader.

        I told several of my D-voter friends that I REFUSE to vote for HRC. They were appalled and simply couldn’t believe it. But, but but… Clinton! A woman!

        Then I got the “you’re wasting your vote” b.s. when I started to talk about what’s disingenuously called “third” parties.

        I’ve given up. USians, if they are devotees of either branch of the UniParty (aka, Team Sports), are good little authoritarians who manage to believe that their TEAM is better than the other one, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

        1. hunkerdown

          If friends actually smacked friends around for being full of shite, I suspect the situation would change rapidly. Throw a shoe at your favorite Hillarybot until they start talking about policy, but I suspect one might run out of shoes first.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          We had a real chance with Ron Paul. Before your knee-jerk reaction, let’s list his top three policy priorities:
          1. Stop foreign interventionist wars. And I mean STOP them. Asked when he would bring all the troops home, he replied “as soon as the boats can get there”;
          2. Prosecute financial crime. Not “wrist-slap fines for banking entities”, we’re talking about perp walks for the execs;
          3. Stop warrantless wiretap domestic spying.

          Dems must be willing to put Dem/Rep prejudices aside and vote for the policies they want, not the headline or commercial. If that’s a very imperfect Rand Paul, so be it.
          (Written by a Ron Paul voter who also voted for McGovern, Dukakis, Carter, Mondale, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and sadly, Obomba).

          1. hunkerdown

            Each mainstream party has an opinion on every human endeavor or impulse. How does one vote AGAINST totalitarianism, and FOR a party that says “That’s not the proper business of government” when something other than countering the depredations of the oligarchy is on the table?

            Livelihoods, not lifestyles — and both parties are, like Condé Nast, selling nothing but vacuous, wasteful, consumptive ideals.

    2. sgt_doom

      What’s the difference?
      Well…McCain’s sister married into the Morgan family (JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, etc.) while the Clintons are still crooked bottom feeders, who have religiously profited from offshoring as many jobs as possible (Billy: NAFTA, GATT, WTO, then a lobbyist for a number of “free trade agreements” once he vacated the White House; Hillary and her dealings with the Tata Consultancy, and promoting them to open an office in Buffalo, NY; Chelsea with the work she did at Avenue Capital and McKinsey).

    3. optimader

      “Hillary Clinton, John McCain. What’s the difference?”

      John McCain looks better in a pantsuit?

  11. Synopticist

    “Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’être is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.”

    She says that, and I personally agree with her. Buy she also claims we should have aided the Syrian rebels, who are, and have long been, for the most part, hardcore jihadis. So the woman is talking BS, basically. Or rather she’s just dishing out the ritual aggressive neo-imperialist talking points, while lacking the understanding of the consequences of her actions.
    It’s the absolute epitome of dumb US foreign policy decision making.

    1. Leviathan

      Dozens of high ranking army officers defected early on, or don’t you remember that part? Potentially half of the well-trained army could have been won over with little bloodshed. Now that army is it tatters. Selective memory is dangerous here. Our inaction has been enormously costly to Syria and ourselves

      1. Christopher Dale Rogers

        @Leviathan,

        I’m a regular reader of this site, and sometimes post if I’m qualified to do so, which on US foreign policy I am by way of education aptly equipped to respond to your propagandist and inaccurate statement that 50% of the Syrian standing army would have defected away from President Assad had matters played out differently in Syria.

        Are we discussing the same country that exists in the Middle East presently engaged in a civil war between secularist forces loyal to Assad and raving lunatics who are creating havoc across the border in Iraq, namely ISIS, which was a creature of your own country, and no doubt one Mrs Clinton.

        Do you think for a moment as a shrill for the neoliberal Democratic Party that the Syrian Army leadership are incapable of analysing what happens to any country in the Middle East once it gets into the cross hair of your berserk military, DC chicken hawks and greedy corporations only interested in hydrocarbons. I can assure you that having been privy to matters unfurling in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan they are most likely to feel better with the devil they know, rather than the devil that is the USA.

        Further is it not strange that Assad and his wife were lauded in the West until they fell on the wrong-side of your neoconservatives, please and read MSM press coverage of the wonderful Middle East couple before they were added to a US hit list. What changed may I enquire between the year 2000 and the year 2012 – no doubt Assad grew horns.

        If you desire to promote the Clinton’s and neoliberal faux progressive Democrat Party, please be my guest. But, please be aware persons like myself who detest hypocrites are likely to call you out for what you are, namely a paid propagandist, for if you are not paid to place statements like you have posted on this thread, you really are in want of medical attention, which I’m sure FederalistForever and Abe, NYC will willing apply to you all courtesy of the Affordable Care Act – which is some slight of hand even for the folks in DC to pull off.

        When we want to ward off vampires one usually uses garlic and a cross or holy water, on this occasion I’ll invoke the word JILL Stein, who let’s be honest is a more capable and honest politician than the reptiles that inhabit DC and its wonderful Beltway.

        1. participant-observer-observed

          “Come to the Fonda N.Y., Peace Conference and Cruise, August 15 – 16
          Date:
          August 15, 2014 – 10:00am to August 16, 2014 – 4:00pm
          Location:
          Fonda New York 12068
          United States

          People all over the world are rising up and resisting. The imperatives are great and the well being of the world hangs in the balance. Wars in Africa and the Middle East, “train bombs” in the port of Albany and oh brother, what a fracking mess. We know what the problems are, and the Kateri Interfaith Peace Conference are two days devoted to the alternatives.

          Speakers from the Green Shadow Cabinet include:

          DR. JILL STEIN, Green Shadow Cabinet President;
          DAVID SWANSON, Green Shadow Cabinet Secretary of Peace, author, journalist, radio host, organizer, blogger, World Beyond War director;
          HOWIE HAWKINS, Vice-Chair, Green Shadow Cabinet Full Employment Council, Green Party candidate for Governor of New York;”

          http://www.greenshadowcabinet.us/

      2. ran

        What the hell gives the US the right to overthrow or assist in overthrowing governments they don’t like?

      3. Synopticist

        A few dozen generals don’t make an army. Nor do a few thousand officers. It was precisely the lack of mass desertions that kept the regime going.
        Anyone following the Syrian war in detail, (which means following aa range of non-MSM sources) knows that the islamists have been the majority since the beginnig, and harcore jihadis the most potent element. The secular side was always wildly exaggerated.

        1. fresno dan

          Synopticist
          August 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

          I agree with you. The comments that Syria was “lost” reek of the same kind of agenda driven analysis of how China was lost, or Vietnam. Or even more astounding, after the absurd lack of good thinking about getting involved in Iraq, we’re to trust these people that they have a clear and accurate view of Syria!!?!
          There is nothing more difficult for a human than admitting that they were wrong.

          1. Lambert Strether

            You can’t lose what you never had…

            Still, it’s going to be lovely to see “Who lost Syria?” (or Iraq) as the centerpiece of the 2016 campaign. No doubt the blame will be placed squarely on a Fifth Column of insufficiently gung ho traitors on the left; that’s what Abe and his BFF’s were working toward yesterday with that “anti-America” crapola. Heck, if it worked for Nixon and McCarthy… Or Wilson, for that matter, with the Red Scare and the Palmer Raids.

            1. optimader

              “No doubt the blame will be placed squarely on a Fifth Column of insufficiently gung ho traitors ”
              rewind tape: rightwing VN war forensics

          2. Synopticist

            Yes, admitting they were wrong is near impossible for these people. The trouble is, the whole foreign policy elite of the entire west went all in, balls to the wall behind the “Assad must go” narrative, and he didn’t go.

            So they either have to take a massive hit to their own credibility, or change course. They chose to double down, and the result of encouraging jihadis is massive blowback in Iraq. Now ISIS is threatening the Exxon Mobil and Shell oil fields in Kurdistan, and the “responsibility to protect” messianics at the State department are staring at genocide in their very own time. And still HC can’t admit they royally f*cked up, and she should be considered the mouthpiece for the entire FP establishment.
            The “we should have intervened earlier” line is one they’re gonna stick to, even though it fools almost no-one.

  12. Jim Haygood

    ‘We’ve also learned about the importance of our power, our influence, and our values appropriately deployed and explained.’

    Hillary’s rhetorical flourish is best understood by substituting ‘Bill and I’ for ‘we,’ to reveal its true intent.

    Meanwhile, I am just all shook up over her bright blue muumuu [Daily Mail link]. RRRRrrrrRRRrrrr, tigress!

    http://tinyurl.com/mt3aoc6

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Cankles.”

      That is soooo cold, glass houses and all, I know, but for all the evil she’s done, and undoubtedly WILL DO, she deserves it. And so does Bill. I had to put on sunglasses to look at that picture.

      Now I want to see a picture of Madeline Albright in “beach” attire. Lordy!!! Some one would need to take this keyboard away from me.

      1. fresno dan

        Is that real pictures? Cause I’m thinking Hillary would have had the Secret Service shoot the photographers dead….er, I mean confiscate the pictures for “national security” (if the terrorists know the color of the Clintons bathing gear, they could infiltrate the beach or something….)

        By the way, a shallow, mean spirited person would have brought up blue whales – but I think that would degrade the political discourse, so I won’t do that.

  13. Cocomaan

    I love this blog, and I love commenters here.

    But what are we actually going to do come 2016?

    We’re on a terribly destructive path. This article reads as though Hillary is a raging lunatic talking out of both sides of her mouth. There’s no shades of gray, it’s all jihadi/putin fearmongering. Hell, if she could find a way to link them, she would.

    So what are we going to do?

      1. nycTerrierist

        Agreed the “election” is galling. IMHO voting third party sends a better message than boycotting.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          This strikes me as being about as effective as protesting WalMart’s low-wage policy by continuing to shop at the store, but using the “self-checkout” lane.

          WalMart thanks you.

          1. nycTerrierist

            Um, I do understand your point. But are you saying it
            is pointless for someone like Jill Stein to run?

            Writing in ‘nobody’, as someone suggested upthread, seems
            less likely to be misinterpreted than not showing up at all.

    1. Tyler

      Cocomaan, I don’t think Hillary can win. She has so much corruption in her past. She and Bill committed many crimes in Arkansas, and post-Arkansas. It’s not 1992 anymore. Their past will be revealed and deeply scrutinized by the media.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That’s not what I’m hearing. I saw an old Wall Street buddy yesterday. He said that he was hearing from some of his Republican contacts that they thought their likely candidates for President were for the most part bad and unelectable, and they were willing to vote for Hillary. They like her “toughness.” Plus unstated but clearly understood is that she is friendly to Big Finance.

        However, I think she loses because she looks dreadfully unhealthy to me. McCain with all of his bouts with cancer looked more robust. I think odds are high she breaks down physically during the campaign in a way that can’t be hidden and discredits her as a candidate.

        1. Jim Haygood

          “I don’t believe it is my picture.”

          “Can’t you see your ideal in it?” said Dorian bitterly.

          “My ideal, as you call it. . .”

          “As you called it.”

          “There was nothing evil in it, nothing shameful. You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again. This is the face of a satyr.”

          “It is the face of my soul.”

          “Christ! what a thing I must have worshipped! It has the eyes of a devil.”

          “Each of us has heaven and hell in him, Basil,” cried Dorian with a wild gesture of despair.

          http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/owilde/bl-owilde-pic-13.htm

        2. Tyler

          Yves, I know you don’t like suckuppery but… Yes! A response from Yves!

          Sorry, couldn’t resist. Political junkie. :)

        3. Katniss Everdeen

          Agree with the “dreadfully” unhealthy, Yves.

          See Haygood’s post above.

          Could she pick Bill as VP?

          1. craazyboy

            No need to – pillowtalk and all. But maybe Jeb Bush as VP and the R’s can look to getting the presidency back in 2024.

            But seriously, I can’t help thinking maybe the voters have tired of these brand names, and maybe it’s not so easy to force feed them to us, no matter how hard the Templars try.

        4. Synopticist

          She’s eminently beatable as a candidate, there’s a lot of popular negativity around her. And she’s 8 years older than last time. I suspect she won’t run.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            She doesn’t need to run, she’s already being annointed. America will sleepwalk to the conclusion, her best friend Rupert will fix the press around her, Permanent War by the world’s apex bully will not be allowed to pause for a moment. Suggest buying the stocks of manufacturers of killer drones, top-end spy gear, and riot control SWAT equipment.

            1. Ulysses

              I’m sure that if her candidacy would prove too embarrassing for her Wall St. backers they could find someone with far less baggage equally willing to do their bidding. At which point she can throw the support of her machine behind whoever her friends in Big Finance want to see inviting them for drinks at the White House.

        5. Crazy Horse

          Come on people— pay attention to your spelling. That’s HELLary, not Hilary— the same witch seen cackling as she watches Gaddafi being gutted and killed. Her comment: “We came, we saw, he died.” So it is possible to have an even more bloodthirsty president than Obomber, Death squad financier Romney, Mr. Ed, the talking horse, or “Mission Accomplished” Bush. Although I doubt we will ever see as accomplished a Machiavellian as “NORAD supreme commander on 911” Dick Cheney.

          But really, isn’t it more than a little naive to waste your time feeling good about voting for Jill Stein or thinking that a nice lady like Elizabeth Warren will overthrow the most heavily armed empire with the most sophisticated propaganda and thought control apparatus in the history of the world?

          “The Revolution will not be Televised”
          “The Revolution will be LIve” Gil Scott Heron
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwSRqaZGsPw

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            She probably had a mini stroke when she passed out in the Middle East. A recent photo showed the palm of her hand. It was shockingly wrinkled, a real tell of her biological age. She’s not in good health. You can tell by looking at her.

        6. optimader

          “she is friendly to Big Finance. ”
          Bingo, WS hearts the clintons
          “However, I think she loses because she looks dreadfully unhealthy to me.”
          Bingo, an entire professional life on the expense account BLD circuit (breakfast/lunch/dinner). Hillary is looking rough, atherosclerotic.

          “McCain with all of his bouts with cancer looked more robust”
          mmmmm,,maybe not so much, McCain looks like a reanimated corpse even w/ the mortician makeup.

      2. mellon

        Hillary is also associated with NAFTA, GATS and the three other pending secret free trade agreements which many people now realize kill jobs and are an anti-democratic power grab by the 1% to subvert democracy. (They are also the reason health care generally and US health care specifically “Obamacare” is SO bad.)

        We can’t win by electing any insider or any “anointed” candidates.

        The whole system is being gamed against the nation. For all we know, there might be just one party that is just pretending to be two and divided in a good cop v. bad cop style in order to keep the country in a state of dysfunction forever credibly.

        1. Ulysses

          “For all we know, there might be just one party that is just pretending to be two and divided in a good cop v. bad cop style in order to keep the country in a state of dysfunction forever credibly.”

          We actually do know this, the team D and team R wrangling is nearly all pure kayfabe, with the possible exception of a few cultural issues like gay marriage.

      1. scraping_by

        That’s baked into the system. Our current president was elected and reelected through the GOP’s nomination of Scary Clowns. The Geriatric Warhog and The Plastic Looter were comical prospects for national power. In contrast, The Pretty Liar seemed almost a good choice.

        While one can go off on a stupid vs. evil debate about this, note that it’s mostly a public show. Barry’s continued almost without interruption Shrub’s policies. HRC, as a star of the Neoliberal Project, is perforce agreed with the Neoconservative imperial campaign. The need for Goliath is never questioned, only the means used.

        1. timbers

          “Our current president was elected and reelected through the GOP’s nomination of Scary Clowns.”

          So true. Even simple, basic empirical measures – like GDP, jobs, income growth – Obama comes out on the bottom half and is not a good President compared to others. Yet Democrats shill for him, constantly defending his weak areas as being awesome like job growth even as terrible as it is.

    2. Jagger

      We need a shadow election from a controlling website. Using the best of the internet and old fashioned voting by mail, demonstrate alternative platforms and ideas to contrast to the formal elections. Candidates present their platform in writing on a structured list of subjects and let the people vote. The list of subjects should include but go beyond the typical political issues and perhaps discuss the purpose of society and other higher issues. The candidates would never serve a day but if enough people participated, people could compare and contrast platforms from the election winners vs the 2 party platforms. Spread the ideas.

      Combining the internet and old fashioned mail can be very powerful if you can get people involved. Just a very rough thought.

  14. Leviathan

    I’m going to defend Hilary on this one. The thing that we all have to wrap our heads around on the Middle East today is that we must defend the whole concept of the nation state or support for the Califate will grow so quickly and so widely as to destabilize the international community as we know it.

    Assad lost his mandate to rule Syria and a geniune popular uprising was underway last year. We failed to back it and ISIS really did step into the breach. Where is HC wrong on this? Now we are between a rock (do nothing and let Assad and Syria fall) and a hard place (defend Assad’s regime as better than chaos).

    Be glad that HC is breaking ranks, even if it is largely self-interest driving her. Feinstein too. Stop looking for isolationists to back. There are times when it is foolish to fight and there are times when it is foolish not to. Today it is foolish to think a fight can be averted.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      O. M. G. “Defend the ‘concept’ of ‘nation state’ ” “Califate”[sic] is GROWING. Like a CANCER. ISIS. If we don’t tell our mommies–Hillary and Feinstein–it will be the end of the world as we know it. What else can we DO???????

      Quoted by Mish in today’s Links:

      Here is a clip of the interview in Goering’s cell in prison, after the war.

      Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

      Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

      Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

      Get a grip, Leviathan. The “caliphate” has no designs on your charmed existence. It’s Hillary who wants to own your sorry a*s.

      1. The Dork of Cork

        @Katniss Everdeen
        That may be the case for the farmers oldest son but not the poor younger sod who must work within the satanic mill.
        For him the battlefield was/is a blessed release and worth the gamble.

        Mish is a one-dimensional little prick of a Austrian who takes every little bit of information out of context and has no understanding of flows………

      2. FederalismForever

        @Katniss Everdeen. You wrote “The “caliphate” has no designs on your charmed existence.” And what makes you so sure of this? Groups like ISIS have made it very clear that their ultimate aim is to restore a Caliphate which would extend into Asia and would include parts of Europe such as Spain and Portugal.

        You describe how politicians in democracies will whip up war hysteria among the citizenry by creating manufactured crises and phony dangers. But then, in support of this proposition, you cite to a quote from Goering?? Out of all the politicians you could have quoted, you quote a member of the Nazi Party?? Do you not see the tragic irony in citing a member of the Third Reich – a regime whose brutal expansionism and lust for war was not at all exaggerated or imagined? Are you implying that the US should not have gone to war against the Nazis? Do your views re proper American foreign policy enable you to distinguish imagined threats manufactured by political elites from real and genuine threats that require military action?

        (For the record, I think groups like ISIS will succumb to in-fighting and lack of resources long before they come anywhere close to accomplishing their goal. Hence, I see no need for US military involvement today. Again, I presently am NOT on the side of the neocons like Hillary.)

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Always with the Nazis. They never came here, to the US. No one has EVER come here. Except our best friends, the Saudis, if you believe the 9/11 story. Aided and abetted by their best friends, israel. Oh, and the hapless “redcoats.”

          You are tremendously deluded, my friend, if you believe that left and right oceans, Canada and Mexico, not to mention a military/homeland security apparatus on which more money is spent than the rest of the planet combined, does not afford us all the protection this country could ever need. There is no need to fear trash talk.

          Yes, I can “distinguish imagined threats manufactured by political elites from real and genuine threats that require military action.” They are ALL manufactured. And conveniently located thousands of miles away from the amber waves of grain. Stoked and fortified by a subservient media to which the only existential threat is the truth that no person in this country is in any danger from outside.

          The military/security industry and its partner in crime the banking industry is the greatest wealth generation machine the world has ever known. They thrive on and profit from the credence which fools such as yourself give the lies and “threats” they spin.

          Won’t you gather your wits about you and stop your cowering, whimpering nonsense? THEY are not coming HERE. Unless we let them in. Or pretend it was “them.”

          1. FederalismForever

            @Katniss Everdeen. This is a very helpful response, as it brilliantly clarifies the difference between us, which stems from the fact that you seem to be a complete isolationist. You seem to yearn for the return of Senator Robert Taft and look back with nostalgia to the Neutrality Acts of the 1930s, and have resolved to remain detached and unmoved by any and all massacres and atrocities that occur abroad, as there is little to no chance (in your mind) that we ourselves might be attacked or massacred.

            But, in truth, by focusing solely on the U.S.’s privileged geographic position, you have failed to adjust your views to the digital age, wherein destabilizing attacks on our food and water supplies, energy infrastructure, and wireless networks can be carried out by skilled hackers from anywhere throughout the globe. With all due respect, you are the delusional one if you think our geographic remove protects us from attacks in today’s Internet Era.

            In any event, your vision of complete US isolation and neutrality will never come to pass, as the US population now consists of many different ethnic groups with extended families in war-torn or threatened regions throughout the globe. These groups will no doubt continually lobby USgovt to intervene in foreign affairs, as the Armenian-Americans did (unsuccessfully) in WWI, as pro-Isr&eli Jews have done since 1948, etc. Moreover, many Americans have far more compassion than you (apparently) do for those who are threatened by ongoing atrocities and massacres committed abroad, and are happy to support US interventions based on humanitarian principles (e.g., Somalia). I am therefore stunned at how easily you dismiss my reference to the Nazis. I realize that not every threat conjured by our corrupt political class is remotely comparable to the Nazis, but your answer makes it clear that you don’t even think the Nazis were a threat, or that it was even worth trying to defeat their takeover of Europe.

            I, for one, will continue to monitor groups like ISIS. To me, their ideology and stated expansionist aims are very much comparable to those of the Nazis, except they score even worse in their treatment of women and for banning all forms of music. If groups like ISIS continue to r&pe, pillage and murder across an ever larger geographic area, I could very well come to support a US military campaign to (at a minimum) contain their further advancement.

            One last thing: You don’t think Imperial Japan attacked us?

            1. Lambert Strether

              Seems a little excessive to whack hundreds or thousands of brown people because Internet. Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more effective to invest the money and the technical skills defending against the actual attack, instead of — to pick an example at random — bombing our own weaponry, as we’ve just done in Iraq? (Pause to note, admiringly, the reductio ad absurdum of Keynsian militarism.)

              “Isolationist” is one of those vague terms of abuse used to induce jerks in the knees of the uncritical. May I suggest Washingtonian as a more balanced and historically grounded alternative?

              Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

              It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

              Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

              Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

              There’s a lot of wisdom in Washington’s words, which deeply compromised and sadly mediocre political class of today would be wise to heed.

              NOTE I note, with hilarity, that after the war party yesterday tried to smear critical thinkers are anti-American, in the great tradition of Nixon and McCarthy, you note today that “[D]ifferent ethic groups .. will no doubt continually lobby USgovt to intervene in foreign affairs.” Which of course the US should do, in the unlikely event (see above) that US national interests require it. Are you saying, therefore, that ethnic groups are putting their former countries first in their lobbying, ahead of the United States? If not, what are you saying?a

              1. FederalismForever

                @Lambert Strether. First off, your parenthetical put-down of Keynesian military spending at the end of your first paragraph is exquisite.

                And a sincere THANK YOU for your generous excerpt of Washington’s wise and far-sighted summary of what US foreign policy should aim for. The brilliance of this prose, and the clarity of its expression (probably drafted by Hamilton) remind us once again that the defeat of the Federalist Party at the hands of the evil and hypocritical Jefferson was one of the truly tragic events in American history. If only the Federalists could be revived to form a viable Third Party today! Their commitment to republican principles, realistic view of human nature, and skepticism re popular democracy were combined into a political philosophy that would benefit us today.

                But even a leader as far-sighted as Washington could not have foreseen the age of “total war” and the development of atomic and nuclear weaponry. Thus, when confronted with the rise of a potential nuclear power, with an expansionist ideology, which is committed to ethnic cleansing and even (perhaps) genocide, I think even Washington would sanction US military involvement abroad, especially if one such power (e.g., Imperial Japan) has attacked us. But he would no doubt set the bar for involvement much higher than has been set by USGovt for most of the last 50 years or so.

                To clarify some other points you raise. In no way did I claim that the mere existence of the Internet justifies wars abroad. Rather, the digital domain, and its ability to facilitate attacks on our infrastructure without invasion of our physical domain, entails that Katniss Everdeen’s claim that “all” purported threats are manufactured threats is false, given that her claim relies solely on our geographical isolation.

                Finally, in cases where an ethnic minority group’s relatives abroad are being massacred and slaughtered, yes, I do think they might well put their ethnicity’s interests first. But how can one blame them? Consider the intense lobbying by Armenian Americans and Christian groups during WWI, while their relatives abroad were being slaughtered by the Turks. It’s completely understandable why they would agitate in favor of US military involvement.

              2. craazyboy

                At this point in history in America, I’d say taking a couple steps towards “isolationism” is about the same as taking a few steps back from fascism, and frankly, the thought of doing both doesn’t scare the bejebus out of me.

                But the Caliphate may have djin technology, so I may underestimate the true threat to the modern world. Moreover, djin tech is NOT manufactured in factories, which clearly has no Keynesian value whatsoever!

            2. Jagger

              —- for one, will continue to monitor groups like ISIS. To me, their ideology and stated expansionist aims are very much comparable to those of the Nazis—-

              But they don’t have the manufacturing or technology base to expand anywhere except within the muslim third world unlike Nazi Germany.

              Look we have completely alienated the muslim world by our enthusiastic support of Israel and our multiple invasions with the usual horrors in their homes. More of the same just makes things worse.

              Watch them all day but they aren’t coming here. It may be too late but if we support the muslim people instead of corrupt elite dictatorships, maybe we can reach a live and let live relationship with the muslim world just as we did we Germany, Russia, China, Vietnam and Japan. Although I am not convinced our political leadership is incapable of accepting anything less than complete dominance.

          2. fresno dan

            I would just add, starting with at least the Spanish American war, most conflicts the US have entered have been based on falsifications.
            probably WWI
            gulf of Tonkin – Vietnam
            Babies being thrown out of incubators IRAQ 1
            Weapons of mass destruction IRAQ 2
            Was Grenada backstory true? Or more importantly, was going to Grenada necessary?

            And with regard to Federalism Forever:
            “Do you not see the tragic irony in citing a member of the Third Reich – a regime whose brutal expansionism and lust for war was not at all exaggerated or imagined?”

            And I would say the same thing to you – do you not see the tragic irony of warmongers like Bush, Hillary, and expanders of the security state like Obama? The point of the quote is that the population is easily manipulated, even in a “democracy”

            1. FederalismForever

              @fresno dan. Yes, it seems the populace is easily manipulated. But that does not entail that all wars have been started based on “threats” that were false. The Nazi “threat” was not a false threat (IMHO).

          3. FederalismForever

            @Katniss Everdeen. You wrote: “Yes, I can ‘distinguish imagined threats manufactured by political elites from real and genuine threats that require military action.’ They are ALL manufactured.”

            That means you CAN’T distinguish imagined threats from genuine threats. Don’t you see? Your very words give you away!

            1. Paul Niemi

              It is my recollection, that you have argued that the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed in 1913 and providing for direct election of U.S. Senators, should be repealed. There is no chance that will happen. When you advocate in favor of the impossible or the absurd, it calls into question where you are coming from as a writer. Generally, you can wiggle out of that, if you are young.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Assad lost his mandate to rule Syria and a geniune popular uprising was underway last year. We failed to back it.’

      So now it’s our civic duty not only to vote D or R here at home, but also to pick winners in Syrian politics. But we failed.

      Most Americans don’t speak one word of Arabic. What qualifies them to meddle in Syrian politics?

      This is just mid-20th century domino theory, updated with ‘caliphate’ substituted for ‘communist.’ Hasbara needs some better scriptwriters, and maybe a dose of humor too. Try Hollywood!

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Immediately after the “downing” of MH17, the narrative became, “Europe has no choice now but to join the US is sanctioning Russia.” Which the US seemed to be unable to compel. It seems to have worked. Kinda.

        Syria has become the subject of the newest war narrative. ISIS would never have been able to expand as quickly as it has if “we” had addressed Syria when Assad “gassed some of his own folks.” Etc. AND they are committing GENOCIDE on CHRISTIANS. Women are being takes as SLAVES. (Who took all those pics on that rocky mountainside, by the way, without tossing out a few sandwiches and bottles of water?)

        On to Syria. Or, more accurately, BACK to Syria.

        Saudi Arabia wants that pipeline BAD, and is not about to give up because the American people were not swayed by ragheads gassing ragheads. Bring on the CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE. (Israeli genocide in Gaza being ignored and excused notwithstanding.)

        It appears to be working. Consult Leviathan in comments, this thread.

    3. Carolinian

      “Assad lost his mandate to rule Syria”

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda

      It’s unclear whether credible sources have ever shown that a majority of Syrians want Assad to go even though the reason for their support may simply be a desire to avoid chaos in this multi ethnic country. Just because some groups are passionately opposed and Assad is an autocrat doesn’t mean that we are entitled to intervene for the purpose of “regime change.”

      Indeed there seems too be much evdence that the discontent in Syria may have been as much due to economic factors and a govt turn toward neoliberalism as any other cause.

      http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4383/sowing-the-seeds-of-dissent_economic-grievances-an

      And nobody loves neoliberalism more than our Hillary.

    4. Doug Terpstra

      We did in fact back the uncivil war against Assad, and ISIS is the result. The ISIS crisis has “Made in USA/Israel/Saudi Arabia” stamped all over it. Do you really believe it is an immaculate conception from Allah? That they got all those US weapons while the CIA had its back turned? That the chemical weapons tripwire attack in Damascus was really Assad telling Odious-O to “bring it on”? That they simply appeared without notice in Iraq, where our oil grab had been foiled by a noncompliant puppet?

      Like the USSR before it, then the Mujahedeen, then al-Qaeda, then Putin, the empire of chaos has spawned a new terrifying bogeyman to justify its death profiteering. This M.E. (and Ukr) fustercluck has disaster capitalism and perpetual Orwellian war written all over it.

      1. Bart Fargo

        Lately I’ve been amazed me how the mainstream media and figures like HRC get away with claiming the US has kept its hands off the Syrian civil war, when in fact the US has been supplying, arming and training rebel factions since practically the start of the conflict, not to mention the steady diplomatic and public relations support. The truth of our involvement hasn’t exactly made headlines, but it has been covered by major outlets like Reuters and CNN. So there must be some ulterior motive behind the lies, whether they are just meant to prompt direct military intervention on behalf of the rebels (in addition to the $500 million in support Obama publicly requested a couple weeks back), or are also meant to conceal the US role in extending and worsening the Syrian civil war thereby creating a climate for groups like ISIS to flourish. I guess it’s all just another ominous example of how facts and reason are ignored once our leaders and their media shills start beating the war drums.

        1. Synopticist

          The govt control of the media output has been pretty shocking. The difference between the frequently openly hostile reportage of Iraq2 and Syria and Libya is as vast as between Iraq2 and Vietnam.
          I’ve seen British ministers claim we’re backing the Syrian Kurds and the FSA are fighting Jabat al Nusra (“official”al qeada), both of which are untrue, and the BBC interviewers didn’t bat an eyelid. Ten years ago the media would have torn them to shreds.

    5. Synopticist

      There was no “genuine popular uprising” last year in Syria. Maybe in summer of 2011, but not 2013. There was a sectarian sunni insurgency. And we did back it, and it’s backfired like it was always going to backfire, because jihadis don’t respect national boundaries and make lousy proxies.

    6. optimader

      “we must defend the whole concept of the nation state or support for the Califate”
      No
      ” will grow so quickly and so widely as to destabilize the international community as we know it”
      What will they be eating? How will hey finance the Caliphate?. Where will they get all their digital watches and 4G cellphones?

  15. tgs

    I truly dread the upcoming election campaign and having to endure the shilling for Hillary by erstwhile ‘anti-war’ democrats – Digby and the like. A victory for Hillary Clinton will be hailed as a ‘great victory for women’ despite the fact that, as the interview makes clear, Clinton is 100% committed to policy positions that are guaranteed to bring misery, suffering and death to women and children all over the planet. Of course, the women on the receiving end are not the kind of women who attend netroots nation.

    1. RUKidding

      Yeah: a great “victory” for women… NOT.

      It’s in the same ballpark as First Lady Pill Popper Laura Bush trilling about how thrilling it was that USA! F*ck Yeah! was invading Afghanistan in part to provide “freedom” to Afghani women from the horrid Taliban. Well, life for Afghani women definitely did suck under the Taliban. But duly noted that since USA! USA! USA! put our boots on the ground (and the CIA into reviving the poppy fields & heroin trade), the Taliban NOW has authority over a much larger portion of the Afghanistan than before we waged war on them.

      Yeah, Team USA! was just fecking GREAT for Afghani women. And so will HRC be for women everywhere … in the same way.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Please, PLEASE read the book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. Read “The Kite Runner,” while you’re at it, if you haven’t already.

    2. bruno marr

      @tgs:

      That is spot-on comment. The women that support HRC for president are being selfish. HRC is a disaster for ALL women of the world. The women in Africa are not concerned about the “glass ceiling”, they are concerned that they won’t have a glass of water for their children; the women in Afghanistan are concerned with glass shrapnel.

      Many ME cultures have very different concepts about “their” women. War isn’t going to change that.

  16. Brindle

    …..”But what are we actually going to do come 2016? ”

    It’s an individual decision. I voted for Jill Stein Green Party in 20 12 and it does free up my conscience in knowing I voted for someone who seemed to share my views, mostly. If Mitt had been elected I don’t see much that would be different right now. The only real justification for voting for a Hillary type in 16″ would be SCOTUS appointment.

  17. Dikaios Logos

    Hillary is simply following the track that the U.S. has followed in MENA for decades: use the U.S. governments massive assets to protect the interests of the powerful in the U.S.. The dim readings of U.S. foreign policy all rely on the notion that the government should be serving the people. And while I agree it should in a just world, the U.S. public has such limited knowledge of the situation and imagination of what is possible that elite interests are pursued relentlessly, with almost no challenge, by people like Hillary. Just ask your selves: has the weapons industry been harmed by U.S. MENA policy? Has the financial services industry been harmed by U.S. Mena policy? Have energy sensitive industries been harmed (this one is close to a tipping point, but it would be hard to say that kick the can hasn’t been the official policy for decades)? Have the petroleum services companies been harmed?

    All of this is to say that Hillary loves coddling power. Whatever outsider status she had in the early nineties, she has clearly lost. She has been campaigning for President for decades now and so has become the textbook case of Plato’s warning: “Those who seek power are not worthy of power.”

  18. DJG

    This is all of a piece with her interview telling Snowden to man up (the official Democratic term) and come home to get the Manning treatment. How could he be in exile? How could our foreign policy be a continuing failure for the last, oh, 50 years? How can her economic policies (which none of us are allowed to know in detail) be ineffective? How can dynastic politics of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton be a sign of national decline? And we all know that the difference is that the Democratic Party is the party of genial incompetence.

  19. blurtman

    Don’t play the game. Vote for whom you think would be best. I voted for William K. Back last time and feel great.

  20. ltr

    Thank you so much for this post. I am mildly surprised and appalled at the comments of Hillary Clinton, the interview assures my voting for any other candidate to stop her from becoming President. I realize now how disastrous a Secretary of State she was.. Appalling ideas, appalling person.

    1. jrs

      Yes some of us always knew that and while I voted 3rd party I did think Obama would be better than Hillary. Obama has been a disaster of course. But Hillary has always been the “devil we know”.

  21. sd

    Shorter version: Washington is filled with little male and female Napoleons. Out of this l’etat c’est moi, Americans are supposed to vote in 2016 for one of them to act all Presidentially. Ideally, without blowing people up for fun and profit which, alas, is what all of the corporate sponsors demand.
    I will continue to vote 3rd party just so I can sleep at night.

  22. Steve H.

    Relevant post from a quality blog:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/08/attack-blob-professional-democrats-professional-republicans-ran-america-ground.html

    Voting still counts at the local level. Plenty of corruption to pay attention to, and more likely to affect you directly.

    “Having been created by INDOT, the locational advantage was already there. It was just up to Crider, with its elite knowledge of the road’s plans, to take advantage of it. That they did by going on a shopping spree, ultimately purchasing nearly 500 acres of the land surrounding the road corridor.

    And they got one more thing.

    Not only did they put themselves in the catbird seat through their excellent application of structural speculation, but they put a cherry on the top by getting INDOT to award them with the contract to build the road itself! ”

    http://www.bloomingtonalternative.com/articles/2004/06/27/7557

  23. REDPILLED

    If Hillary runs against Jeb in 2016, that’s a win-win for the corporate militarist/security state, and a dangerous threat to the rest of us on this planet.

    Unfortunately, our dysfunctional, anti-democratic political system will allow only such an awful campaign.

    1. craazyboy

      Why do you think Jeb and not Paul Ryan? Paul Ryan will bend over and spread ’em for any puppeteer’s arm that will have him.

  24. RUKidding

    Good commentary and good to see that others are as clear sighted about all this. I don’t have many friends and acquaintances in “reality” who seem to. I voted for Bubba Clinton once whilst holding my nose & almost instantly regretted it. I REFUSE to vote for another Clinton, esp super-duper War Hawk HRC. NO thanks!

    I like the idea of boycotting the vote process, but it would only work if a large enough contingency of our brain-dead populace would do it. Otherwise, NOT voting does nothing, really. Actually, while I might agree with someone sentiments for refusing to vote, it just plays into the hands of the PTB. The Oligarchs don’t give a sh*t if the rabble votes or not.

    Hence I’ve often voted what is misleadingly called “third” party, and I encourage others to do the same. Saying that this is “wasting” your vote – based on the nonsensical notions that either the person can never win or if they won they would “know what to do” – is a bogus argument encouraged by the 1% to scare people into submission. Ross Perot was an odd-ball, but many of the ideas he espoused turned out to be true. Perot got a significant enough percentage of votes that the UniParty forevermore locked out so-called “third” parties from the “system” of what passes for our egregious & ridiculously wasteful general election Kabuki Show.

    I say: PUSH HARD to include mis-named “third” parties in the election process. Why? Because it brings OTHER viewpoints into the arena, where they might have a chance to get through to beaten down propagandized citizens and maybe, just maybe, get them to awaken and start fighting their way out of the matrix.

    I can dream, anyway, but encourage everyone to vote “third” party. I don’t care if propagandized citizens wish to claim that it’s “my fault” that Gore lost Florida because I voted for Nader. That’s patently absurd, and I’ve never ever regretted that vote. Gore, sadly, is a big old sell-out, along with the rest of the crowd.

    1. Jagger

      We need a shadow election from a central independent website. Using the best of the internet and old fashioned voting by mail, demonstrate alternative platforms and ideas to contrast to the formal elections. Candidates present their platform in writing on a structured list of subjects and let the people vote. The list of subjects should include, but go beyond, the typical political issues and discuss the purpose of society and issues focused on the well being of the people rather than the elites. The candidates would never serve a day but if enough people participated, people could compare and contrast platforms from the election winners vs the 2 party platforms. Spread the ideas.

      Combining the internet and old fashioned mail can be very powerful if you can get people involved. Just a very rough idea off the top of my head.

  25. Now watch me boil this rabbit

    She’s not campaigning for votes here, she’s competing in the Clandestine Service beauty contest. She’s trying to prove she can rationalize aggression for them. Not that she has to sell war, the wars will go on no matter what the subject population thinks, she just has to prove she can pretend it’s her own idea, and thereby insulate the planners she works for. To that end, the loonier she sounds, the better. They need a guy like Nixon, who’ll speak into the flower and say, “Anything that moves.”

  26. Paul Niemi

    HRC needs the President’s walking list (his list of supporters) to win, so why would she attack his foreign policy with outright condescension? Why would she say: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle?” And her condescension was deliberate, because she alerted the White House before hand. This is not being let on a long leash. She’s not getting his walking list, and she knows it. Further, what is America’s organizing principle? No, ma’am, it isn’t defending Christianity, nor is it being the “Indispensable Nation.” Our organizing principle is having a strong middle class. Why? Because nations with a strong middle class “Don’t do stupid stuff,” nearly as often, neither domestically nor in foreign policy, are stable, and have higher standards of living than nations without a strong middle class. It isn’t about the specific rhetoric, either. “Don’t start dumb wars” actually is a valid foreign policy, especially when compared to the antecedents. Most of us want foreign interventions scaled back, and I for one am willing to watch other countries succeed or fail by their own lights, without crying like Chicken Little. This is what it means to treat other nations as equals. I think the exception as delineated, that the occurrence of genocide may precipitate a decision to intervene, is also reasonable.

  27. Katniss Everdeen

    OK, OK. You guys are a tough crowd. Since many here seem to be resistant to boycotting “voting,” how about boycotting the “debates” unless “third party” candidates are included?

    Ever since Ross Perot’s “giant sucking sound” and visual aids garnered him significant support and forced a CIA precipitated “withdrawal from the race,” “third party” candidates have been refused inclusion. They are no longer good for anything more than a trumped-up, “may-I-call-you-Joe” emphasis of the fact that there REALLY ARE only TWO choices, “quality” be damned. Not to mention other “debate” rules engineered to keep the discourse “civil” and under tight “control.”

    It has been said that while debates may not change an “election” outcome, they can change the discussion. Third party candidates can force the “top tier” to address issues they’d rather avoid. On the record. “Third party” candidates can “disrupt” the carefully scripted talking points into which these “debates” inevitably devolve.

    So, what do you say? Could you consider demanding that all candidates that qualify for inclusion on the ballot qualify for the nationally televised debates??????? Proud Jill Stein “voters?” Can you?

    1. Paul Niemi

      Boycotting and girlcotting are fine, and yes the two political parties are in a deplorable state: they are run by the last people standing after all the routine backstabbing and the hired guns. You can also have local parties and favorite daughter/favorite son candidacies as a response as well.

    2. RUKidding

      I’d love to see something like this happen. Boycotting the Primary Debates is an excellent idea. I believe that there was some push, previously, from libertarians about making sure that Ron Paul got a place in the R Debates. Can’t remember if it was in 2008 or 2012. I’m not a huge Paul supporter, Pere et Fils, but I always wanted Ron Paul in the debates bc at least he spoke about anti-War issues, etc. It’s about getting other viewpoints out there.

      The Q is how does one boycott the debates? I’m open to doing something, and I think it’s time to do it now.

    3. fresno dan

      I just tell people that voting for a republican or a democrat is “wasting” your vote.
      Voting for ANY third party candidate is better.

    4. Garrett Pace

      How do you see and understand the character of a candidate? Certainly not in debates, or campaign ads, or promises made. All of those have nothing to do with the person, but are cynically designed for the public the messages are intended to win over. There is absolutely no reason to watch a debate.

      Our society is essentially anonymous now; we have no coherent understanding of any person in our community, outside of our own families. I fear we generally have lost the ability to discern another person’s character.

    5. savedbyirony

      i’m a proud Jill Stein supporter…well, i’m a proud Green party supporter and Stein was their candidate and decent enough so i supporter her.Just curious about what exactly you mean by “boycotting” and “demanding” -the specifics of direct, disruptive actions because unless people are willing to get aggressive and be willing to go to jail to achieve such ends, it all comes to nothing. For the record, during the last Pres. “election” Stein was arrested for trying to do just that, not that the msm covered her actions much.

  28. Adam Eran

    Worth a look: Jeffrey Race’s “War Comes to Long An”

    Race learned Vietnamese on his way to the Vietnam war, and interviewed the natives for the book, which is apparently required reading at our military academies. He describes how the (Communist) Party capitalized on the population’s distaste for the remnants of French colonialism and persisted with far fewer resources than were provided by the U.S. in support of reviving the colonial regime, in effect.

    I bring this up because in the roughly four decades since Vietnam, the U.S. continues to prop up plutocrats without believing native populations’ “asymmetric” persistence will continue to be victorious. This agenda is clearly Hillary’s where ever she has been influential. Her support for the military coup in Honduras comes to mind. As a Senator, she also voted to exclude student debt from bankruptcy, so those particular debt peons can thank her for their suffering too.

    Anyway, even if she loses, I say: vote for Jill Stein, Greens. Stein’s threat to Hillary is probably the only thing that might move the D’s to be something other than Republican lite.

  29. Matt

    Thinking what if the US had imperialistically dominated Iraq by sending thousands of managers fresh from debt collection and service fraud providers to run the Iraqi economy.

  30. participant-observer-observed

    I like Nader’s promotion of left-right grassroots alliance coalition building to unify around issues on which we in the greater populous agree, much like that Neolib-Neocon oligarchy nexus has succeeded in doing for the past decades.

    But that would mean we would have to overcome laziness and actually do some work in attempting to create our own governance.

    http://nader.org/books/unstoppable/
    http://blog.nader.org/2014/08/08/what-the-democratic-party-does-well-doing-itself-in/

  31. Ping

    If elected, I have no doubt HRC will be among the most warring presidents in history. I won’t vote for her ever. She’s obviously indoctrinated by those One World elite groups who intend for the US Military to function as the global enforcer.

    Her interview with Christiane Amanpour was chilling. Couched in sly focus group language, she slipped in how she thinks the military should be expanded ‘we could offer more opportunities for all classes, not just the upper class’.

    We are talking the DRAFT and the rest of our hollowed out economy sacrificed for war.

    Given the stakes, the giddy elation of some to elect a woman as president is disgusting.

    1. jrs

      Yea the draft is bad, very bad. And yet you’ll get the lunatics who will argue the draft will bring peace as it will spark popular opposition to wars (as if the populus wasn’t at this point growing opposed to endless war anyway). One word for them: Isreal. It has universal conscription (even women). How is that working out for peace? Oh it’s leading to mass slaughter is it?

  32. lakewoebegoner

    Hillary Clinton is mad drunk on power. Mad drunk on power + living in a chauffeured-Beltway cocoon for 23 years is an uttery awful combination.

    Please Democratic primary voters, have that message sink into your heads!

  33. XRayD

    One of her “Hard choices” which are her explanations of her failures and lack of understanding in hindsight – the title of her book’s content in 10 words. She and her husband excel at this. Just look at her records realistically. From the “reset” to Russia to “pivot” to Asia. Of course, she will claim she was pursuing Obama’s agenda (as if his lawyer-like ‘be prosecutor and defense at the same time’ approach to life is a policy tool). What has Hillary accomplished other than making “speeches” (a sin of Obama’s in her own words) before NGOs extolling others how to improve and change the world to make it a better place because of her office?

    Sid Hillary think for one minute what ISIS would be today if we had sent arms to Syria? And what has happened to the arms in Iraq? This is not the person who needs the 3.00 am call, to solve some world crisis.

    She and her husband (who were “broke” when they left the White house, are worth more than a $100 million dollars, and presumably preparing for another Clinton to be president some day!

    American politics today is about non-sense and chaos, with no leadership, visions, or competence in sight. Even the bread and circus is no longer real – it is all digital “social media” tit for tat. Exceptional!

    We get the government we deserve, and the government gets the population it can manage with 1984 language and methods, so that those in power, or with influence (money), can get what they want instead of serving “we the people” and ignore why they are elected.

    I am investing if fiddles, because they are being played by politicians everywhere. Thank you for the tip, Nero!

    1. Lambert Strether

      Hillary’s a policy wonk, but only within the framework of the conventional wisdom (the Overton Window). Both she and Bill are; that’s at least one reason why they went into the Clinton Global Initiative, as opposed to taking up painting, as did George W. Bush.

      So what you are seeing, in that interview, is what the Beltway policy wonk’s answer on Middle East policy and global strategy is. That is what we have. It’s probably going to be better than whatever crazy pants policies the Republicans come up with. But IMNSHO we are rather beyond “better” at this point.

      1. optimader

        “Hillary’s a policy wonk”
        yes but she’s still an idiot. She can regurgitate rhetoric but not synthesize productive policy.

  34. Chaim Z

    It would suffice to link Peter Beinart’s opinion in Ha’aretz English Edition to refute
    Hillary’s “inaccuracies” regarding Israel. And this is from a self declared Zionist although,
    G-D forbid, a liberal one.

  35. Kenneth

    It’s both sad and amusing to read here how American’s have this attachment to voting for and hoping in their politicians. As if it made any difference whatsoever in terms of fundamentals. I believe that nobody excels the Americans in their capacity to fool themselves, in their capacity for outright denial. I think that Solzhenitsyn was right in noting years ago a failure of nerve and spiritual strength and substance in America, parallel to the worship of physical perfection and well-being.
    Americans seem simply unable to face the full consequences of the fact that their government is purely a stage setting. The country is run by a few extremely powerful and global interests. The aim is destabilization and preparation of the ground for a new world gov’t and world philosophy or religion. The US is now virtually a third world country, and will be a fully third world country within a very short time. It is de facto a police state. The Americans had their chance to reverse the situation and clean their gov’t, but they were absolutely clueless and too busy making money and entertaining themselves. The moral and intellectual decay of the population is only too evident. Only the smallest minority is truly conscious of what is occurring. Voting for Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum is perfectly irrelevant now. The corruption goes to the heart of things.

  36. Rosario

    “Both, but it’s not just about American power. It’s American values that also happen to be universal values. If you have no political—small “p”—experience, it is really hard to go from a dictatorship to anything resembling what you and I would call democracy. That’s the lesson of Egypt. We didn’t invade Egypt. They did it themselves, and once they did it they looked around and didn’t know what they were supposed to do next.”

    How wonderfully patronizing of her. Too bad people can never find out for themselves what democracy is like because their values never quite fit that universal mold she is talking about. I’ll bet the farm that “democratic” values come quite naturally to societies and their individuals so long as they aren’t controlled and bullied by the powerful.

  37. ToivoS

    If foreign policy becomes an issue in the Dem primaries in a serious way then Hillary’s actions as SoS need to be focused upon. Her ravings on Syria will of course be an issue. We also need to raise the issue of her role in pushing intervention in Libya. That has turned into an unmitigated disaster. She was the one who pushed strongly for the Nato bombing role and she actively encouraged that the west arm the Islamist militants that provided the ground forces that overthrew Qadaffi. Today it is those same militias that are involved in the civil war trying to dismantle the puppet government we set up.

  38. Abe, NYC

    Their raison d’être is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.

    This is breathtaking. Her remarks on Israel are almost forgivable, you could theoretically come up with a charitable explanation it’s about the third rail and all that, she has to say it to get elected (although then she’d be trying too hard when she talked of Israel’s PR problem).

    But what is the political price for saying, “Our drones’ main effect is to breed terrorists, so I’m going to stop that” (or, “limit their use to the minimum,” which gives the same freedom of action)? What’s the price to pay for saying something like “We will protect the flow of oil to the markets but will not engage in any more wars of choice”?

    Seriously, if she’d said that, would that in any way jeopardize her chances of being elected? Looks like she’s even more committed ideologically that McCain.

  39. OIFVet

    Let Hillary go fight her damned wars, with Chelsea as a front line war correpsondent: “Kropp on the other hand is a thinker. He proposes that a declaration of war should be a kind of popular festival with entrance-tickets and bands, like a bull fight. Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out among themselves. Whoever survives, his country wins. That would be much simpler and more just than this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting.” Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

  40. Abe, NYC

    @Yves

    I cannot agree with your remarks on Russia.

    While Russia technically did annex Crimea, it came after a referendum showed that its citizens wanted to join Russia. This was not a military occupation, which is what “seizure implies,” this was exploiting an opportunity that the West stupidly handed to him on a silver platter.

    1. Haven’t you often said, approvingly, that the US has a rules-based system, not principles-based system? (Here, most recently). So why shouldn’t rules apply at the international level? Otherwise you can easily justify almost any crime – such as robosigning and chain of title, which you have documented so well. Just because the US has flouted the rules doesn’t give Russia any right to engage in the same despicable behavior.

    2. The referendum is actually one of the most powerful indictments of Putin’s criminal annexation of Crimea. Why did it have to be organized in less than two weeks, why was it held under the barrel of a gun, why did a large slice of the population boycott it? (Leaving aside such minor democratic procedures as equal access to media for advocating opposing points of view). This referendum is about as legitimate as Turkmenbashi’s election, which came with a similar proportion of support. This is even less legitimate, if that is at all possible, than the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which came with a fig leaf of (fraudulent) claims of Saddam’s non-compliance with a UN resolution.

    So while Hilary’s comments on Russia are revoltingly hypocritical, coming on the heels of her previous remarks about Israel and the US role in the Middle East, a Russian aggression by any other name stinks just the same.

    It’s quite a trick to present Putin reacting to the US attempting to park NATO on its borders as Russia embarking on a program of expansionism.

    If the annexation of Crimea was Putin’s reaction to an expansion of NATO, this was an act of incredible stupidity. It has already ensured a NATO military build-up, particularly in all adjacent states, and if he doesn’t use withdrawal from Donetsk as a bargaining chip, Ukraine will be in NATO before the end of next year. So one can claim that Putin is a smart politician (who used a golden opportunity to grab Crimea), or that he was defending against NATO expansion, but I cannot see how you can claim both.

  41. Adam Levitin

    Yves, it’s a passing point in this post, but you really shouldn’t treat the NYMag story (which is the source of the Daily Kos piece to which you linked) as definitive proof that Hamas had nothing to do with the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers. That’s not a fair reading of the NYMag story. The most that can be read into that NYMag piece is that according to one source the kidnappers were not acting on orders from Hamas leadership. There’s no one disputing that the kidnappers were a Hamas cell. The only question is whether they took initiative on their own or were acting on orders. In either case, it’s fair to say that Hamas was behind the kidnapping, especially as there was no indication that the Hamas cell was disobeying orders–Hamas certainly didn’t condemn the kidnapping or indicate that it was some sort of rogue cell. Contrast this with Hamas leadership’s claim that the ceasefire violation of Hadar Goldin’s abduction was carried out by a cell with which the leadership had lost touch (and perhaps did not know about the ceasefire).

    In any case, Operation Strong Cliff (the Gaza conflict) was in response to rocket attacks from Gaza that were at the direction of Hamas leadership. Even if Hamas had nothing to do with the kidnapping of the three teenagers, it was responsible for setting off the latest round of open conflict. Indeed, unless one believes that Israel takes some perverse pleasure in fighting in Gaza (which takes a pretty uninformed view of Israeli society), there was nothing for Israel to gain by stirring up another round of open conflict with Hamas. In contrast, Hamas had nothing to lose and everything to gain by another round of open conflict.

    I don’t think it’s productive for me to debate Israel with you (in general or particular), but because I make common cause with you on financial regulatory issues, I would plead for you to apply the same type of reasonable, measured, evidence-based analysis you do on financial regulation to other topics on which you blog, lest it undercut your credibility on the financial regulatory issues where your voice is much needed.

    1. Christopher Dale Rogers

      Adam Sir,

      I find it strange that you expect Susan Webber to not comment on facts outside of finance, which is the implication of your post, and then at the same time try and close down any dialogue by claiming it would be counterproductive. Counterproductive for whom may I enquire?

      For many years I’ve been vocal in my support for the Palestinians and vocal as a critic of “zionism”, which I deem a threat to peace and harmony in the Middle East. As a Socialist and British citizen one usually supports the underdog if their goal is just, and as such believe its “just” for the Palestinian’s to reverse decades of injustice by Western imperialist forces.

      In my mind, and using historical analysis and comparative analysis I’m afraid I see little difference between the concentration of Palestinian’s in the Gaza and the concentration of Polish Jews and then European Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto – with devastating effect even before the Third Reich embarked on its “Final Solution”.

      Many parallels exist between the Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza, particularly the control of daily essentials entering the Gaza and other controls that Israel imposes on the disputed territory. Suffice to say, and having read extensively on the holocaust and modern Germany one is not impressed.

      Now, and despite minimum “blowback” from Gaza, it has after all not invaded Israeli sovereign territory, nor poses an “existential” threat to Israel, why are we expected to support Israeli actions in the Gaza, which as similar in nature to NAZIS incursions into the Warsaw Ghetto with huge bloodshed at the drop of a hat shall we say.

      If we cheer and pay homage to the Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto, who despite all the futility of it all, actually preferred to fight, than be starved or gassed to death, why should we not support the Palestinian’s in Gaza who also face insurmountable odds militarily. This is not to say in any way I support terrorism or the killing of any non-combatant by either side of this deplorable struggle, but one thing is for sure, if the Israeli leadership and zionist supporters think they can gain favourable adulation for their brutal suppression, please think again.

      I’ll go a step further, brutal is it was, the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland pale into insignificance with what’s happening in Gaza and its border area with Israel. And despite numerous bombing outrages committed by both Loyalists and Republican’s the UK government never acted in a manner that the Israeli government has embarked upon. Indeed, as many have stated, the only time that the British Army lost it was on “Bloody Sunday” and this did much to fan the flames of hatred. At the end of the day both sides had to agree on an uneasy settlement, regrettably such a course of action seems impossible with those presently running the show in Israel, hence my solidarity with the Palestinian people and all those, be they Jews, Muslims or Christians, who wish for common sense to prevail together with peace and justice, peace for Israel and justice for the Palestinians.

      1. vlade

        Adam doesn’t ask Yves to stop writing about non-financial issues. He asks for the same reasoned, evidence based etc. analysis applied to issues that Yves looks at (although ironically enough, half of his post is exactly wrong on that point, and the other points are disputable at least)

        But disregarding the Israels specific points he makes, I agree with him.

        I pretty much stopped reading anything that is not financial or not internal US matters on NC, as I find it more like reading Zero Hedge than NC that I remember and love, which had no problem even telling some parts of Occupy why they are wrong and in fact making the case worse (despite clearly supporting Occupy otherwise), and was perfectly ok to shot down any side of the argument that relied on dubious assumptions and wild guesses based on third-hand information.

        Of course, it’s Yves’ house, Yves’ rules, but nevertheless it’s disappointing for me as NC, for me, for a very very long time, was the golden standard of blogging.

        1. archer

          This is no longer 2007, or even 2009.

          When Yves writes wonky finance posts. like on private equity, she gets almost no comments. Many financial bloggers, like Felix Salmon, have moved on. Barry Ritholtz is at Bloomberg but he dials in a lot of his posts. Finance is not where it is happening now, thanks to the Fed papering everything over with pumped up asset prices. How often can you write about that without sounding repetitive?

          Your demand is like criticizing a war photographer for not being good any more because there is no war on. Yves can’t make up underlying conditions, she can only react to them.

          1. vlade

            I disagree. The point is not about finance posts, it’s about the approach Yves brought to the finance posts at that time. I don’t know enought about US internal politics, but it seems to me that Yves contacts mean that she writes very well reasoned posts around that too. The whole Obamacare debacle is a great example.
            Even in European (as in EU) posts, where she gets less info that US (I assume) it’s generaly very good. Sometimes details are wrong, but not on massive scale.

            But some NC posts are IMO massively out with this line, and as I wrote look to me more fit for ZeroHedge conspiracy theorists than what I loved (and still often do) on other NC posts.

            1. archer

              You are actually proving my point with your comment on OWS. Where is OWS? Pretty much deal. The normal grist on Yves’ old beat, including finance shill bloggers who need to be roughed up, just isn’t there the way it used to be.

              I have no idea what you are talking about when you say “conspiracy theorist” relative to posts. For instance, Lambert put up posts on Ebola and MH17 which were the antithesis of what you are talking about, in which he very patiently went through what was known and not known and told readers not to get ahead of themselves on these topics. These posts were tutorials in reading the MSM and learning to be rigorous about what is and isn’t evidence. If this is what you object to, I disagree with you vehemently.

              Or are you really objecting to climate change coverage and don’t want to admit to that? The cross posts she’s had on climate change, particularly the ones on how Obama’s policies omit methane so as to promote fracking, weren’t CT but were evidence based. The screechiest writer she occasionally features is George Washington, who despite his tone, delivers the goods in the links he puts in his posts. He substantiates what initially sound like extreme claims, a not-trivial feat.

        2. Christopher Dale Rogers

          Vlade,

          I see by your comment this blog, which as you quite rightly profess, focused quite exclusively on finance and regulation has extended its remit and become more heterodox in its coverage – which far from being a step back, is actually a step forward, because if the site only focused on purely financial and economic matters it would miss the drivers that actually inform finance and economics, which are most fundamentally political in nature.

          Let me emphasise it this way, a well known University in London is usually referred too as the LSE (London School of Economics). However, if you ever visit the University you’ll quite clearly see stated on the main entrance of the University the name “London School of Economics and Political Science”, in effective I’m afraid to say you cannot take the politics out of economics, for when you remove all reality you are left with much of the crud that emanates out of economics departments today, which is clearly wrong, demonstrably wrong and yet still lauded over as fact.

          Further, my reading of Adam Levitin’s post may have been off a little, an accusation others have made of me, and one I’ll accept if I’m in the wrong. But please forgive me, but in his juxtaposition he clearly stated he did not wish to discuss Yves’s contention, despite actually doing the opposite, his killer line being: “I don’t think it’s productive for me to debate Israel with you (in general or particular).”

          Now forgive me, but as Yves has pointed out, not just the BBC, but a number of authoritative news outlets have clearly stated that the Israeli police in charge of the investigation of the kidnap and murder of three students that it had nothing to do with Hamas – this is the police we are talking about! However, it was this incident that sparked a propaganda offensive that has resulted in the murder of 100s of innocent men, women and children in the Gaza territories. I’ll go one further, perhaps you or Adam, given your want of actual facts and analysis, could detail how many deaths on Israeli soil have resulted from rocket attacks originating from the Gaza border, and then compare that with the wanton destruction and killing inflicting by the IDF under the instruction of the Israeli government.

          It’s not much to ask is it?

          1. vlade

            Christopher,

            I said a long ago that economics is politics by other means (or vice versa) – they are linked at the very deepest and I would never dispute that.
            But Adam is very explicit “I would plead for you to apply the same type of reasonable, measured, evidence-based analysis you do on financial regulation to other topics …”. As I wrote, I find it ironic he asked that as a follow up on something that his points are wrong on (based on evidence we can see), but I do believe that there are posts on NC where this does apply – and more so now than in the past.

            There are political posts (Obamacare as I mentioned in another reply) that NC excels at doing what Yves was doing with the financial posts. Taking hard evidence and shoveling the political sh*t aside to show how things really are.
            Then there are other posts, where the standard is much much lower.

            1. Christopher Dale Rogers

              vlade,

              I believe Yves is quite honest and open in her area of expertise, and further, not being an American or living in America, I obviously acquiesce to her superior knowledge than mine, unless its of an historical nature I’m well versed in, when I’ll hold my ground. That said, please understand that the USA pumps billions of US$ aid to Israel each year and that the US Jewish lobby is extremely powerful in Washington and in New York, its also prone to exaggerate and impact US overseas policy directly, as such, Yves is correct in commentating and actually did provide the facts as Adam requested, a fact I expanded upon.

              Further, I myself used a comparative approach to underscore my analysis, which is quite usual for me as I studied comparative history and politics to a Post Grad level, with a heavy focus on Germany and international relations, and as part of our IR year of study, we had to get acquainted with the Israel/Palestine problem, now that was way back in 1990 and much has changed, regrettably the Israel/Palastine issue has not changed, indeed its intensified – but, the fact remains this, the post by Adam was in relation to a small blog post to another post, and not to one of Yves’s well thought out expositions, her facts were correct, and if people don’t like yves’s or my own analysis of the situation, well thats fine, but, and this is the point I made, its no good asking to close down the dialogue, when the poster himself, namely Adam, actually opened up the dialogue – does not make sense to me.

              However, dialogue and exchanges can become heated, so, lets bury the hatchet on this one and just say we are all entitled to each others point of view and should respect each others point of view. And if everyone followed this simple code, we’d avoid a lot of bloodshed in real life.

      2. Ping

        As a presidential contender, I too am horrified at HRC comments on Israel and feel that as a population we are being sociopathically groomed even further to consider the deliberate depravation of a captive population acceptable.

        We are told repeatedly the majority American public supports Israel’s behavior. I find this preposterous as almost everyone I know categorized loosely as Independents are appalled.

        I wish some interviewer would have the courage to ask HRC in her unequivocal support for Israel’s right to defend itself…..do they also have the right to steal land, water rights, fishing territory, canton the territory ala South Africa apartheid style so as to eliminate viable economy? They are essentially running a concentration camp with intermittent indiscriminate bombings and assaults.

        All the while professing our ‘values’ to the rest of the world.

        And why does the American Taxpayer have to pay for this…..the same taxpayer who is propagandized that our safety nets and social insurance programs must be eliminated or ‘restructured’??

        Such positions of HRC further tell the world ‘we are a rogue’ …financially, militarily, politically.
        We do whatever we like, and hypocritically make the rules for everyone else to follow or else…

        For purposes of this blog, of course we cannot separate economics from politics.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I suggest you check later in the thread. The BBC also reported, based on conversations with police, that the cell operated independently of Hamas and was most assuredly not in the control of or authorized by the leadership.

  42. mrtmbrnmn

    I believe character can be revealed by actions. And Hillary is definitely a character. You may recall it was Hillary who banished Monica Lewinsky to the basement of the Pentagon and smack into the arms of Linda Tripp. Enuff said. Your Honor, I rest my case…

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