Category Archives: Governments

Greenwald: Empowering the “Deep State” to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy, by Nermeen Shaikh and Glenn Greenwald

This is the transcript of an interview between Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, and Glenn Greenwald, who has changed his tune quite a bit from his article SLL posted last Wednesday. From Shaikha and Greenwald from informationclearinghouse.info:

Transcript
NERMEEN SHAIKH: We’re looking at the growing scandal over the Trump administration’s alleged dealings with Russia before and after the November election. In early January, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show and suggested the intelligence community may try to get back at Donald Trump.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly, hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, in January.

Some supporters of Trump, including Breitbart News, are now accusing the intelligence agencies of attempting to wage a “deep state coup” against the president. Meanwhile, some critics of Trump are openly embracing such activity, like Bill Kristol, the prominent Republican analyst who founded The Weekly Standard. He wrote on Twitter, “Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

So, still with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, speaking to us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Glenn, explain what the deep state is, and respond.

GLENN GREENWALD: The deep state, although there’s no precise or scientific definition, generally refers to the agencies in Washington that are permanent power factions. They stay and exercise power even as presidents who are elected come and go. They typically exercise their power in secret, in the dark, and so they’re barely subject to democratic accountability, if they’re subject to it at all. It’s agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world’s worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads. This is who not just people like Bill Kristol, but lots of Democrats are placing their faith in, are trying to empower, are cheering for as they exert power separate and apart from—in fact, in opposition to—the political officials to whom they’re supposed to be subordinate.

To continue reading: Greenwald: Empowering the “Deep State” to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy

 

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Not Nearly Enough Growth To Keep Growing, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Growth has been in a long-run downtrend, and the Chinese credit spigot that has kept the global economy afloat is running into the law of diminishing returns. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

It’s amusing to see how views start to converge, at the same time that it’s tiresome to see how long that takes. It’s a good thing that more and more people ‘discover’ how and why austerity, especially in Europe, is such a losing and damaging strategy. It’s just a shame that this happens only after the horses have left the barn and the cows have come home, been fed, bathed, put on lipstick and gone back out to pasture again. Along the same lines, it’s beneficial that the recognition that for a long time economic growth has not been what ‘we’ think it should be, is spreading.

But we lost so much time that we could have used to adapt to the consequences. The stronger parties in all this, the governments, companies, richer individuals, may be wrong, but they have no reason to correct their wrongs: the system appears to work fine for them. They actually make good money because all corrections, all policies and all efforts to hide the negative effects of the gross ‘mistakes’, honest or not, made in economic and political circles are geared towards making them ‘whole’.

The faith in the absurd notion of trickle down ‘economics’ allows them to siphon off future resources from the lower rungs of society, towards themselves in the present. It will take a while for the lower rungs to figure this out. The St. Louis Fed laid it out so clearly this week that I wrote to Nicole saying ‘We’ve been vindicated by the Fed itself.’ That is, the Automatic Earth has said for many years that the peak of our wealth was sometime in the 1970’s or even late 1960’s.

To continue reading: Not Nearly Enough Growth To Keep Growing

 

He Said That? 2/16/17

Nigel Farage tells a bunch of pompous fools (the European Parliament) that they’re a bunch of pompous fools.

 

How to Evaluate a President, by Scott Adams

It’s way too early to write off the Trump presidency. From Scott Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. Richard Branson. What do they all have in common, aside from wealth?

They all succeeded without the right kind of prior experience. Apparently they knew how to figure out what they needed once they started. I’ll bet they are all systems-thinkers, not goal-thinkers.

If you see the world in terms of goals, you might think President Trump has failed at every important goal so far. He didn’t get what he wanted on immigration. He hasn’t gotten his Supreme Court nomination confirmed. He hasn’t replaced Obamacare. He hasn’t defeated ISIS. He hasn’t done a lot of things he said he would do. He even had to fire General Flynn. President Trump is a big ol’ failure when it comes to goals.

Maybe that’s because Trump just started on the job. Success generally comes after you start. If you think success comes before you start, the world probably looks confusing to you.

But in any case, as I often say, goals are for losers. Systems are better. As I describe in my book, a good system is something you do every day that leads you to better outcomes, not specific objectives. For example, going to college is a good system even if you don’t know what job you might later want. Any time you learn something valuable, that’s a system. Networking with important people is a system. And so on.

To continue reading: How to Evaluate a President

Will Trump Succeed in Restoring America, or Will His Enemies Drag Him – and Our Country – Down? by James George Jatras

If he didn’t before, Trump now knows what he’s up against. He’ll get nothing but continuing opposition from the Deep State, the rest of the permanent government bureaucracy, the media, Hollywood, and academia. His biggest asset is he retains the support of the millions who voted for him, and that’s not insignificant. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

After barely two weeks in office Donald Trump has stunned the world with his «shock and awe» campaign to keep promises made when he was a candidate. The mere fact of a politician doing what he said he would do seems to have unsettled the nerves of his opponents. What is called «Trump Derangement Syndrome» is already reaching critical proportions.

Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ordering a start on his Mexican border wall, ordering an investigation into voter fraud (if conducted properly, almost certain to uncover widespread unlawful voting by non-citizens both legally and illegally present in the U.S., since no proof of citizenship is required to register), insisting he wants to get along with «killer» Vladimir Putin, and cutting short a call with Australia’s prime minister over Barack Obama’s idiotic promise to take in Muslim refugees that our mates Down Under don’t want themselves – all of these have infuriated the usual suspects.

But the declaration of war was his order to impose restrictions on entry from seven majority-Muslim countries designated as trouble spots by Obama with nary a peep from the progressive watchdogs of «tolerance» and anti-«Islamophobia». As Srdja Trifkovic has noted, Trump’s order is the first step in instating an ideological test to bar jihad ideologues from the United States. (See «The Real ‘Muslim Ban’» and my «If He Doesn’t Like Trump’s Exclusion of All Muslims, Obama Must Exclude Advocates of Sharia and Caliphate»).

To continue reading (links are in original article): Will Trump Succeed in Restoring America, or Will His Enemies Drag Him – and Our Country – Down?

Is Russia Deliberately Trying To Start An Arms Race With Trump? by Duane Norman

Debt may be part of military strategy, especially US military strategy, and not in a good way. From Duane Norman at fmshooter.com:

Yesterday, it was revealed that the Russian military (secretly) deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile. Of course, the mainstream media attempted to spin this as a “major test” for President Trump:

Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.

The new Russian missile deployment also comes as the Trump administration is struggling to fill key policy positions at the State Department and the Pentagon — and to settle on a permanent replacement for Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned late Monday. Mr. Flynn stepped down after it was revealed that he had misled the vice president and other officials over conversations with Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

The NY Times made sure to lead with the Trump-bashing, and gave scant details and/or commentary on the specifics of the system, or its significance. Reuters filled in the key blank from the administration that the NY Times left out:

“We know that this is an old issue. The Russians have been building and testing these things in violation of the INF treaty going back to the Obama administration,” the official told Reuters, asking to remain anonymous to speak freely.

“The issue now is the things are deployed and it’s an even greater violation of the INF treaty,” the official added.

To continue reading: Is Russia Deliberately Trying To Start An Arms Race With Trump?

Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia, by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson

If Russia decideds to break away from China and Iran, and throw in its lot with the West, it will get very little in return. From Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson at paulcraigroberts.org:

An article by Robert Berke in oilprice.com, which describes itself as “The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News,” illustrates how interest groups control outcomes by how they shape policy choices.

Berke’s article reveals how the US intends to maintain and extend its hegemony by breaking up the alliance between Russia, Iran, and China, and by oil privatizations that result in countries losing control over their sovereignty to private oil companies that work closely with the US government. As Trump has neutered his presidency by gratuitously accepting Gen. Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor, this scheme is likely to be Trump’s approach to “better relations” with Russia.

Berke reports that Henry Kissinger has sold President Trump on a scheme to use the removal of Russian sanctions to pry President Putin away from the Russian alliance with Iran and China. Should Putin fall for such a scheme, it would be a fatal strategic blunder from which Russia could not recover. Yet, Putin will be pressured to make this blunder.

One pressure on Putin comes from the Atlanticist Integrationists who have a material stake in their connections to the West and who want Russia to be integrated into the Western world. Another pressure comes from the affront that sanctions represent to Russians. Removing this insult has become important to Russians even though the sanctions do Russia no material harm.

We agree with President Putin that the sanctions are in fact a benefit to Russia as they have moved Russia in self-sufficient directions and toward developing relationships with China and Asia. Moreover, the West with its hegemonic impulses uses economic relationships for control purposes. Trade with China and Asia does not pose the same threat to Russian independence.

Berke says that part of the deal being offered to Putin is “increased access to the huge European energy market, restored western financial credit, access to Western technology, and a seat at the global decision-making table, all of which Russia badly needs and wants.” Sweetening the honey trap is official recognition of “Crimea as part of Russia.”

Russia might want all of this, but it is nonsense that Russia needs any of it.

To continue reading: Western Interests Aim To Flummox Russia