Tag Archives: Washington

I Feel Sorry For President Trump, by Paul Craig Roberts

President Trump was a babe in the woods walking into the most corrupt city in history: Washington. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Yes, I know.  I am lining up on the wrong side.  You are supposed to hate him. The presstitutes hate Trump.  So does the Democratic Party, part of the Republican Party, the military/security complex, the entirety of the liberal/progressive/left, the universities, feminists, and Washington’s vassal states.  No one likes him but the “racist, white supremacist Trump deplorables.”

Nevertheless, I feel sorry for him.  I started feeling sorry for him when he announced he would run for President of the United States.  You see, I had inside information. I had held a presidential appointment from a President of the United States.  I ended up fighting battles for him against entrenched interests who opposed his policies to end stagflation and the cold war.  I helped to win the battles for him, as his accolades to me testify, but my success ended any career for me in government.  

I knew that, unlike Reagan who had prepared his run over the years and had a movement behind him, Trump had not.  Moreover, also unlike Reagan, Trump had no idea of what he was walking into and no idea of who to appoint to important offices who might be inclined to help him.  Generally speaking, the value of a presidential appointment, such as the one I had, lies NOT in helping the president, but in helping the ruling private establishment.  Any Assistant Secretary can be very helpful to private interests and end up a multi-millionaire.  Indeed, most of them do.

But I put the country’s interest ahead of mine and helped Reagan to cure stagflation and to end the cold war. Curing stagflation was perceived as a threat by the economics profession which had no cure and didn’t want to be shown up by dissident supply-side economists, and much of Wall Street misunderstood what the media called “Reaganomics” as more inflationary deficit spending that threatened their stock and bond portfolios.  Ending the Cold War threatened the budget of the military/security complex, a dangerous undertaking.

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Incoherent Thoughts from the Yankee Capital: Papua New Guinea Looks Better and Better II, by Fred Reed

A favorite Fred Reed theme: the disconnect between those who rule us, and us. From Reed at theburningplatform.com:

Having just returned from two weeks in the curious environs of Washington, DC, I offer a few observations on the national lunacy deposit:

The de-Christianization of the country, or at least this part of it,  is almost complete. I can think of hearing the word “Christmas” only twice in two weeks of trough-inciting retail advertising.

Culture shock: We stayed with friends who for various reasons, such as being in the business, always had a television on. At home in Mexico we got rid of the lobotomy box some fifteen years ago, seeing little advantage  in paying seventy dollars a month for 250 channels, none worth watching, adorned with twenty minutes an hour of stupid commercials. Coming back to this was like jumping into raw sewage. Perhaps the worst of it was the contempt for the public manifested in running the same ad twice in one commercial break, and in the loving close-ups of pizzas with dripping cheese. Buy, buy, buy.

An astonishing proportion of the hucksterism was for medicines. I assume all Americans are inured to such predatory swill (if swill can be predatory) but after a year off, it is awful:

“Ask your doctor about Caligulon. Clinical trials show that it will make you perfect in every way. Your eyeballs may explode, Peritonitis and asphyxiation sometimes occur. If you suffer heavy nasal bleeding stop taking Caligulon and consult your doctor. Gangrene of the genitals may occur….”

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Washington’s heavy-drinking ways in spotlight, by Reid Wilson

There’s no mystery why Washington drinks a lot: to blot out the realization that they’re rotten people doing rotten things to the American public. From Reid Wilson at thehill.com:

President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs withdrew his name from consideration this week after a number of serious allegations were raised about his stewardship as White House physician, including that he drank on the job.

The allegations against Ronny Jackson of excessive drinking shine a light on a problem that, while not unique to Washington, is particularly acute in the nation’s capital.

 Washington, D.C., has the highest rates of binge and problem drinking in America.

It’s a booze problem fueled by a uniquely stressful environment where many of the corporate structures of accountability and oversight don’t exist.

From the executive branch to Capitol Hill, K Street lobbying firms to high-pressure newsrooms, free alcohol is easily accessible.

The days of the three-martini lunch may be gone, but they have been replaced by hard-partying nights filled with fundraisers, receptions or long bar tabs.

“There is just a strong push and culture of intoxication in D.C. It’s been like that for a long time,” said Kevin Sabet, who served in the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy in three different administrations. “It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue. It really cuts across all ideologies.”

This weekend, Washington’s political class will hobnob during at least 10 events surrounding the White House correspondents’ dinner, where the drinks flow freely. The most common complaint at the dinner itself is that empty wine bottles are not replaced with sufficient speed.

During the holiday season, it is possible to spend weeks in a row drinking free while hopping from reception to reception sponsored by all manner of corporations and interest groups.

Half a dozen current and former aides and members of Congress, all of whom asked for anonymity to shed light on an unsavory side of the culture within government, said a combination of factors contribute to a heavy-drinking environment: Members are away from their families for long stretches of time. Lobbyists and supplicants are eager to please, whether via campaign contributions or a cocktail. And few formal rules governing workplace environments exist in the halls of Congress, or in the White House.

To continue reading: Washington’s heavy-drinking ways in spotlight

Coming Apart: The Imperial City At The Brink, by Alastair Cooke

The American empire and its elite now look like a lot of other empires and their elites that collapsed. From Alastair Cooke at theautomaticearth.com:

Alastair Crooke: David Stockman routinely refers to President Trump as the ‘Great Disrupter’. But this is not a bad quality, he insists. Rather, it is a necessary one: Stockman argues (my paraphrasing) that Trump represents the outside force, the externality, that tips a ‘world system’ over the brink: It has to tip over the brink, because systems become too ossified, too far out on their ‘branch’ to be able to reform themselves. It does not really matter so much, whether the agency of this tipping process (President Trump in this instance), fully comprehends his pivotal role, or plays it out in an intelligent and subtle way, or in a heavy-handed, and unsubtle manner. Either serve the purpose. And that purpose is to disrupt.

Why should disruption be somehow a ‘quality’? It is because, during a period when ‘a system’ is coming apart, (history tells us), one can reach a point at which there is no possibility of revival within the old, but still prevailing, system. An externality of some sort – maybe war, or some other calamity or a Trump – is necessary to tip the congealed system ‘over’: thus, the external intrusion can be the catalyst for (often traumatic) transformational change.

Stockman puts it starkly: “the single most important thing to know about the present risk environment [he is pointing here to both the political risk as well as financial risk environment], is that it is extreme, and unprecedented. In essence, the ruling elites and their mainstream media megaphones have arrogantly decided that the 2016 [US Presidential] election was a correctible error”.

But complacency simply is endemic: “The utter fragility of the latest and greatest Fed bubble could not be better proxied than in this astounding fact. To wit, during the last 5,000 trading days (20 years), the VIX (a measure of market volatility) has closed below 10 on just 11 occasions. And 7 of those have been during the last month! … That’s complacency begging to be monkey-hammered”, Stockman says.

Former Presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan concurs: “President Trump may be chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, but his administration is shot through with disloyalists plotting to bring him down.

To continue reading: Coming Apart: The Imperial City At The Brink

The Imperial City Unhinged—-J. Edgar Comey’s Big Fat Nothingburger, by David Stockman

Washington could involve itself, for better or worse, with many consequential problems. James Comey has nothing to do with any of them. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:

Comey’s ballyhooed testimony contains nothing not already known, nothing remotely about obstruction of justice, and, in fact, nothing that matters at all. It’s just a replay of the self-serving tommyrot Comey has been leaking all along.

Indeed, it’s the Nothingburger that proves Imperial Washington has become completely unhinged in its groundless RussiaGate hysteria; and is stumbling toward a lawless defenestration of a sitting president in the name of a hypocritical obeisance to a tortured version of “the law”.

It is a smoking gun in only one sense: It proves why the sanctimonious Comey should have been fired on day one and why the apparent Wall Street assumption that it can count on “Washington governance as usual” is so dangerously misguided.

As to the latter, our point is very simple. What we have is an entirely unstable, unsustainable hothouse economy and financial system that is completely dependent upon the ministrations of the state and its central banking branch. The giant bubble that was reflated after the 2008 crisis will soon violently implode and take the economy down with it—-unless it is again arrested and bailed-out by extraordinary Washington action.

But this time there is no one home on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue and no beltway bailout brigade at the ready. To the contrary, today’s Senate show trial proves that the Imperial City is descending irretrievably into unprecedented dysfunction and political fratricide. The very fact of today’s farce is reason itself to run, not walk, from the feckless insouciance of the casino.

But to get this all in context, let’s start with the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing itself and its sad sack chairman, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. When it comes to treacherous betrayal, we’d just as soon go with Aaron (Burr).

To continue reading: The Imperial City Unhinged—-J. Edgar Comey’s Big Fat Nothingburger

Travelogue: The Imperial Capital, the Zman

A tour through the mindset of our betters residing in Washington, D.C. From the Zman on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

I have been out of pocket, as they say in the South, for the last few days. A project in the Imperial Capital has required me to commute from my estates in the ghetto to the capital each morning. Early days and long nights, with the addition of a vicious commute, has made the past week feel like a stay in prison. I’m just now getting my bearings about what has happened in the world the last few days. I am happy to report that the counter-revolutionary traitors have been rooted out and the city is prepared for the ascension of our new ruler next month.

Those of you in the provinces can never fully appreciate the scale of the Empire until you spend some time driving around the capital. Government, at least the Federal government, is an abstraction. You bump up against it when you file taxes or go to the post office. Otherwise, the Empire is just the background noise of the universe. When you spend time in the capital, you see it face to face. It is not an abstraction or background noise. It is the dominating feature of life in these parts, warping all the normal functioning of society.

It’s why anyone talking about reducing the size of government is either lying, crazy or terribly uninformed. Reducing the size of the Federal government means reducing the size of the Imperial Capital. Fairfax County, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, has over a million souls. The District is roughly 600,000. Start adding up the populations attached to the capital and you get to five million. Expand out to include the entire Baltimore – Washington area – the two cities are slowly merging into a megalopolis – you get close to ten million people.

To continue reading: Travelogue: The Imperial Capital

He Said That? 7/2/15

From John Mason Brown, American drama critic and author (1900-1969):

The more I observed Washington, the more frequently I visited it, and the more people I interviewed there, the more I understood how prophetic L’Enfant was when he laid it out as a city that goes around in circles.