In a rather stunning note, CyberBerkut, a Ukrainian group of hackers, claims to have hacked John McCain’s laptop while he was in the Ukraine, and as Techworm reports, what they have released from his June visit appears to be a fully staged production of an ISIS execution video...
Amid the 16 (yes sixteen!) candidates for Republican Presidential nominee, there is one, and only one, that stands above the rest in terms of sheer un-filtered, un-political, and some would say un-presidential outspoken-ness. In an oustanding aggregation of abuse, The Hill has documented Donald Trump's Top 30 insults (so far in the 2016 campaign alone).
If Trump took up a Third-Party, it might be the biggest shot we have at saving the country insofar as it would at least turn Capitol Hill into a new playing field. It really would not matter who the Third-Party candidate would be, Washington needs to be shaken and stirred vigorously to let these people know being a “representative” is supposed to be OF THE PEOPLE, not of yourself, the Party, and government.
The great lesson from history that each consecutive generations seems to forget is that the tools of tyranny used outward will inevitably be turned inward. That is to say, the laws and weapons governments devise for supposed enemies abroad will ALWAYS and eventually be used against the people they are mandated to protect. There is no centralized system so trustworthy, no political establishment so free of corruption that the blind faith of the citizenry is warranted. If free people do not remain vigilant they will be made slaves by their own leadership. This is the rule, not the exception, and it applies to America as much as any other society.
Richard Nixon made hay of the term “Silent majority” back in November 1969 to defend his Vietnam War policy. It has since been used by American politicians to legitimize and expand the nature of a non-descript huge following they claim as their own, quite often asserting the existence of magnified populism and an implied democracy. Nixon’s baton seems to have been now passed to Donald Trump, as he submits his candidacy for the highest political office in the land, and grabs the microphone to broadcast his unfiltered stand on immigration. A message that questionably-qualified experts in the media are quick to devour, then defecate, on a public more receptive to shallow issues dealing with celebrities than anything of social significance or depth.
Unfortunately, Trump’s antics will make it only more difficult to hold a sane debate about taking that time-out from immigration. So, one alternative is an insane debate about it, one based on sheer grievance and gall rather than the responsibilities of governance. We've feared for many years that we are all set up to welcome a red-white-and-blue, corn-pone Nazi political savior type. We don’t think Donald Trump is it. But he will be a stalking horse for a far more skillful demagogue when the time comes. There’s a fair chance that the wheels will come off the banking and monetary system well before the 2016 election. Who knows who or what will come out of the woodwork before then.
This is how democracy has died in America. The formula is simple: billionaires + their (and their many clergy’s) suckers = aristocracy. The result is, in any case, an aristocratic dictatorship, no sort of authentic democracy whatsoever. And, when even the Democratic candidate has gotten there by a string of lies and no substantive record on which voters can know that his assertions don’t match his real beliefs or commitments, the voters are trapped by the aristocracy: they’ve got nothing else to go on but the aristocracy’s lies, and the aristocratically owned ‘news’ media’s stenographic transmissions of their politicians’ lies to the public. The American Revolution (1765-83) overthrew Britain’s aristocracy here. But now, the American people need to overthrow America’s own aristocracy, or else simply accept fascism (rule by an aristocracy).
America’s grand strategy, its long-term blueprint for advancing national interests and countering major adversaries, is in total disarray. Top officials lurch from crisis to crisis, improvising strategies as they go, but rarely pursuing a consistent set of policies. Some blame this indecisiveness on a lack of resolve at the White House, but the real reason lies deeper. It lurks in a disagreement among foreign policy elites over whether Russia or China constitutes America’s principal great-power adversary.
The Export-Import Bank died last night when its charter expired. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing’s Bank is headed toward Washington’s trash bin. When Congress returns it could revive Ex-Im, which primarily subsidizes big business exports. But a proper burial for what Barack Obama once called “corporate welfare” would save Americans money, reduce economic injustice, and promote economic growth. Ex-Im’s closure is a very rare victory for the good guys in Washington. Crony capitalism is running rampant in America, undermining confidence in a market economy.
It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.
Somehow, in the stupor of false patriotic pride, Americans are unwilling to accept that their enemy is not scattered around the seven seas, as they are being told, but has pitched its bivouac tent right here at home; government and most endearing American institutions having been hijacked by a ruling elite that have placed Washington under their thumb. For self-preservation, America’s ruling elite might consider optimizing its position, not just domestically but internationally, by accepting conviviality as its foreign coup. A farfetched proposition...? Of course; but world peace can benefit us all.
It’s easy to see evil in dead people. Stalin... Hitler... Pol Pot... people who tortured and killed just to feel good. The jaws of Hell must open especially wide to let them in. But who should go to the devil today?
"U.S. President Barack Obama is weighing steps to bolster Iraq's battle against Islamic State," Reuters says, as senior military officials indicate an increase in the number of US "support personnel" may be necessary. Meanwhile, Congressional war hawks are beating the drum.
Sometimes we get the feeling the ruling elites are investing the laws they enact with a kind of impertinent, slap-in-your-face black humor. How else to explain the Orwellian names given to the liberty-crushing laws that have been put in place since the “war on terror” started?
The first step in any 12-step imperial-overstretch recovery program would involve accepting the fact that American power is limited and global rule an impossible fantasy. Accepted as well would have to be this obvious reality: like it or not, the U.S. shares the planet with a coterie of other major powers -- none as strong as we are, but none so weak as to be intimidated by the threat of U.S. military intervention. Having absorbed a more realistic assessment of American power, Washington would then have to focus on how exactly to cohabit with such powers -- Russia, China, and Iran among them -- and manage its differences with them without igniting yet more disastrous regional firestorms. But for any of this to happen, American policymakers would first have to abandon the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower -- and that may be too bitter a pill for the present American psyche (and for the political aspirations of certain Republican candidates) to swallow. From such denialism, it’s already clear, will only come further ill-conceived military adventures abroad and, sooner or later, under far grimmer circumstances, an American reckoning with reality.