Monday, September 19, 2016

Does Trump have a chance of winning?

That Donald Trump believes windmills are ugly is enough to eliminate him from serious consideration in my mind. Especially considering the ugly structures he has put up. And that's just the beginning.  Even so, he has a decent chance of actually winning this election.  He is running against a woman who has carried a LOT of water for the neoliberal / neocon establishment and most people are FURIOUS at that crowd these days.  So even though he has never held any elected office, makes a political "gaffe" per hour, holds positions that are, at best, partially thought out, and is getting beat up by the cultural elites on a 24/7 basis, he still stands a reasonable chance of winning.

Not surprisingly, two of my favorite writers on political matters have weighed in on this paradox. Pepe Escobar actually believes that there is an establishment faction that doesn't believe that globalization has been good for the country.  And that this group is secretly greasing the skids for Trump.  Now I am sure that there are groups that are uncomfortable with the idea that China now makes parts for the defense industry, and other reasons for economic nationalism, but they have had precious few victories since 1973.  The neoliberals have been on a serious roll so if there is a secret wing of the establishment supporting Trump's economic nationalism, they have been deep underground for the better part of two generations. Losing.  But this essay is by Escobar so it is an interesting idea.

Raimondo concentrates on the reasons to believe the global elites are in a full-blown panic.  It is not just Trump, it's Brexit, Marie LePen, and AfD winning more votes than Angela Merkel in her home district in Germany.  I am not so sure the elites have all that much to worry about.  Yes the proles are angry enough to dust off the guillotine but their problem is that they have no alternative plans.  The fact that there are folks actually talking seriously about Marx again only proves there isn't much out there yet to summon the troops to arms (or whatever.)

The US Establishment's Secret Plan To Hand Trump the Presidency

"Underneath all this sound and fury, something else is (quietly) going on. Powerful business interests discreetly supporting Trump – and away from the media circus — are convinced he’s got the road map to victory."

Pepe Escobar, Aug 18, 2016

He's got the better arguments

Hillary Clinton, Queen of Chaos, Queen of War, Golden Goldman Girl, for all practical purposes is by now the official bipartisan candidate of US neocons and neoliberalcons alike.

Certified add-ons include Wall Street; selected hedge funds; TPP cheerleaders; CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) interventionists; media barons; multinational corporate hustlers; in fact virtually the whole exceptionalist US establishment, duly underwritten by the bipartisan, mega-wealthy 0.0001%.

That does leave Donald J. Trump in the astonishing position of egomaniac billionaire outsider who somehow dreams he can game the whole system on his own, moved by his inexhaustible chutzpah.

It’s under this dynamic that Trump has been demonized with medieval fervor by US corporate media. His non-stop motormouth – and motortweet – certainly does not help, conveying the impression he’s in the business of antagonizing multitudes non-stop. For the establishment, his billions mean nothing; he’s treated like a bum. He may be impervious to empathy; on the other hand that kind of treatment keeps earning him widespread sympathy among the angry, semi-destitute, non-college educated white masses.

A US industrial renaissance?

Underneath all this sound and fury, something else is (quietly) going on. Powerful business interests discreetly supporting Trump – and away from the media circus — are convinced he’s got the road map to victory. The question is whether he may be able to tame his erratic behavior to seal the deal.

His key message, according to these backers, must revolve around the destruction of US industries by rigged currencies, and the “destruction of the wages of American workers by importing illegal cheap labor from dollar-a-day wage nations.”

And that comes with an all-important military angle as a surefire selling point. As Trump’s backers outline it, “the Pacific Ocean cannot be used for transporting the vital and essential components of our military industrial complex, for in the event of war with Russia or China their advanced silent submarines equipped with advanced anti-ship weapons will block all of our ocean transport, collapsing our military industrial production in any war with catastrophic consequences. These component factories for Intel and others must be repatriated at once through currency adjustments or tariffs.”

So Trump should hammer the message that all new bank credit must be tied to rebuilding destroyed US industries, “either by ending currency rigging or applying tariffs.” Bank credit, Trump backers argue, “should not be used for currency manipulation, or for cash settlement market rigging. There should be no bank credit for speculation and absolutely none for hedge funds. Let's wipe these speculative vehicles out by huge taxes on short-term trading profits, ending tax concessions on borrowing, and ending all bank credit for speculation. Let these people go to do real work.”

That, in a nutshell, explains Wall Street’s visceral aversion to Trump – from the Bloombergs to the Lloyd Blankfeins. Anyone familiar with Wall Street knows every market, commodity and indexes are rigged by cash settlement manipulations. As a New York-based Trump backer puts it, “This alone is sufficient reason to support Donald J. Trump. We should make the Carl Icahans and George Soroses do real work by taxing away their speculative profits. We need Henry Fords in this nation who create and build industries, and not Wall Street looters, where they rig everything as in 2008 then used their political power over bought politicians for bailouts, after throwing tens of millions of American out of their homes.”

According to this road map, which is already on Trump’s desk – but no one knows whether he read it in full, or will implement it – fighting illegal immigration and rigged currencies side by side would create nothing less than an industrial renaissance in the US to rebuild the devastated Detroits. Essentially, the road map calls for replacing millions of illegal immigrants with millions of unemployed US citizens; Trump’s backers consider the real unemployment rate to be a whopping 23% today, based on the 1955 Bureau of Labor Statistical Methodology, “and not the rigged statistics of today.”

The bottom line is this road map calls for Trump, if elected, to create a cross-party, or trans-party coalition – as once happened in the House and Senate when Jesse Helms on one side and John Conyers and Chuck Schumer on the other side actually did real business.

This all implies Trump should become well versed in the national economy ideas of Friedrich List – whose tariff-protected Zollverein League was essentially the founding method of Prussia to build the German nation.

Some of the above has already filtered out in Trump’s announced economic agenda. Now comes the hard part for a man with an exceedingly short attention span who gets into the groove by tweets and sound bites; to coherently sell the plan without picking up unnecessary fights along the way.

But Vlad has already won it anyway

Polls at the moment seem to be pointing to a Hillary landslide. Trump’s backers tough “would not rely on the polls. Everything is rigged.”

And then there’s the all-enveloping “Russian aggression” hysteria. Hillary went as far as equating President Putin to Hitler. Trump insists he’s ready to do business with Moscow – starting with a joint operation to end ISIS/ISIL/Daesh for good.

Why bother? The Stupidity-o-Meter as applied to US mainstream media has gone on interstellar overdrive anyway – as the presidential election winner has already been christened: it’s – who else? – the omniscient Vladimir Putin.

A business source familiar with the designs of the real Masters of the Universe cuts seriously to the chase: “As far as Russia is concerned, the issue is decided from above, and that is where the battle has been. The decision is above Hillary and Donald, and Hillary will be ordered to create a rapprochement if she is elected, if that is what is decided. If Trump wins, it is easy; and if he doesn't, then the fact he brought it up will be used as a catalyst for policy changes toward Russia. The fight is behind the scenes now.”

As much as currency rigging “will be ended, as we already saw Jack Lew give out the orders to Germany and Japan”, a new geoeconomic map – possibly under Trump — would swing towards the end of the oil price war as well. As a Trump backer puts it, “this is a national objective of the United States, as a higher price will make the United States energy independent. This is part of the significance of the Trump revolution.”

According to a source close to the House of Saud, Saudis and Russians are already involved in tortuous pre-negotiations on the possibility of engineering an oil price around $100.00 a barrel; “There should be enough mutuality of interest between the Saudis betrayed by the US under the neocons, and to be destroyed by the neocons eventually, and the Russians who can prevent that.”

An end to the oil price war may be something the Pentagon won’t be able to argue about. As a Trump backer notes, “it is in the vital interest of the military-industrial complex to achieve complete energy independence, and repatriate all its military industries to the shores of the United States.”

Compared to the current, 24/7 mud-wrestling match, all this may seem straight from Alice in Wonderland. There’s no evidence such an ambitious – and contentious – agenda can be sold to movers and shakers from JP Morgan to the Koch brothers. Trump creating a cross-party, trans-party or even post-party movement will only succeed if substantial players in the Power Elite are behind it, and there are no signs of this happening.

What proceeds relentlessly is a massive disinformation campaign – a ghastly remix of those good ol’ Cold War anti-USSR avalanches. The Clinton Media Machine is even vilifying Michael Flynn, former head of the DIA, who supports Trump. Trump was conceptually right when he said Obama and Hillary were the founder and co-founder of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. That’s exactly what Flynn admitted in that notorious interview when he stressed that the expansion of the phony Caliphate was a “willful decision” taken in Washington.

The bottom line, as it stands, is that Trump is not raising enough cash to offset the formidable Clinton cash machine. Now comes the time when he must really take no prisoners to gain maximum exposure – while trying to sell the road map outlined above, one tweet at a time.

And of course there will be a surprise – October and otherwise. Nothing has been decided – yet. Disraeli’s Coningsby was never more appropriate; “So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” more

The Revolt Against Globalism

Why the elites are in a panic

by Justin Raimondo, July 04, 2016

There was William Galston at the European Council on Foreign Relations, listening to his fellow elitists and foreign policy honchos caviling about the rise of Donald Trump and bemoaning the fate of the European Union (EU) at the hand’s of Britain’s Euro-skeptics. As the assembled luminaries had a collective sad in their five-star hotel, wondering how the proles could’ve gotten so far out of hand, Galtson – longtime Democratic party hack, former domestic advisor to Bill Clinton, and a senior fellow at the “centrist” Brookings Institution – heard a call to arms. It was almost as if Cecil Rhodes, the British imperialist and original founder and financier of the Council on Foreign Relations, had spoken to him from on high – or, rather, from below – and commanded him to spread the Word far and wide:

“I realized that the stakes in the U.S. presidential election are even higher than I had thought. The fate of the entire postwar order hangs in the balance, and with it the prospects for democracy world-wide. Without vigorous American leadership, the prospects are not bright.”

Oh, yes, those shortsighted Little People are “turning inward,” and “this is understandable,” but, hey, “liberal internationalism is back on its heels” and the dreaded “ethno-nationalist populism” – i.e. resistance to the One World “global governance” schemes of Galston and his comrades – “is on the march.” What’s a globalist to do?

And it’s not just the English-speaking world that’s resisting the globalist agenda. Those Frenchies are getting restive, too, and the rest of Europe is balking at “the obvious candidate for continental leadership” for “historical reasons.” After all, everyone remembers the last time the Germans tried to impose “union” on the Europeans, so there’s that. See how prejudiced the Little People can be? They just don’t have the foresight to worry about the New Hitler – Vladimir Putin, if you even have to ask – who “senses a historic opportunity to exploit Europe’s divisions for his own purposes.” Why, he actually wants to trade with Europe, and that would undermine the war plans of the CFR types, who are fixated on restarting the cold war. Of course, they don’t actually say that in so many words, but the intent is clear enough. They put it like this:

“If Europe doesn’t hold together when facing a rearmed and resurgent Russia, the gains for democracy and free markets since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union may well be rolled back.”

You know, “democracy” – like in Ukraine, where EUinspired mobs overthrew the elected President and the coup leaders immediately launched a vicious war against their own people in east Ukraine, killing many thousands and unleashing neo-Nazi regiments like the Azov Battalion on those who dared to resist. That’s “democracy” for you! And alarm bells should go off whenever you hear a top advisor to Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Walter Mondale hail “free markets.” It’s a signal for the looting to begin.

As usual, everything depends on the United States – as inheritor of Rhodes’ beloved British empire – but, alas, the “ethno-nationalist” contagion has spread across the Atlantic, and it may be that the Yanks are not coming:

“Now is the worst possible time for the US to pull back and, as Donald Trump would have it, to reframe America’s relations with Europe as a transaction to be terminated if the sums don’t come up right. Franklin Roosevelt understood that a democratic Europe was a vital national interest of the US So did Ronald Reagan and every other postwar president. US diplomacy in 2017 and beyond must reflect this core reality.”

In the transaction preferred by Galston and his ilk, America always comes out the loser. That’s because we have a Mission, and it doesn’t matter how much it costs: we must bear the weight of Empire on our shoulders without complaint and without regard for the welfare of our own citizens. After all, anything less would be selfish: no, we mustn’t succumb to the requirements of common sense and fiscal sanity. It’s our sacred duty to police the world, so people like Galston can sit around in the Hague and determine the fate of entire peoples.

Forget Asia: we can’t “pivot” eastward while the Poles are pining for American aid and arms and the Romanians are unhappy with their lot. If we pay too much attention to where more than a third of the world’s population resides, as opposed to focusing on Estonia (population under two million) we’ll miss out on a real opportunity to start World War III with Russia. And let’s stop with the “complaints about insufficient European military and diplomatic burden-sharing” since these “have proved ineffectual in the past.” Just like that good-for-nothing uncle who keeps coming to you for “loans” that are never repaid, you just have to buck up and keep handing out the cash – because your own ineffectuality is your best friend.

As for those trade agreements which are mislabeled “free trade” but are really just protectionist trade blocs meant to “integrate” us into supranational entities – it’s really a shame the two presidential candidates have bowed to pressure from the Little People and come out against them. But it’s not too late to shore up the failing EU by signing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Galston and the globalists are frightened to death: their plans for a world-spanning Empire on which the sun never sets seem to be sinking beneath the same waves that have overwhelmed all the empires of the past. But they aren’t giving up their grand plans just yet: far from it. As Galston puts it:

“None of this can succeed unless the American people are persuaded that outward-facing military, diplomatic and economic arrangements are consistent with their own well-being. Increased defense spending, which enhances job-creation as well as national security, may well be needed. New measures to cushion vulnerable Americans against the wage and employment shocks created by trade are essential.”

All this “America first” nonsense has to be dispensed with, and fast: Americans must be weaned away from their selfish parochial concerns and made to see that we’re all citizens of the Global Village. And if all this “outward-facing” policy means pouring our wealth into renovating some ramshackle Ukrainian hamlet until it meets the standards of a typical American slum, well then let’s create jobs on the home front by arming to the teeth – after all, we’ll be needing a lot more bombs if we’re going to be fighting the Russians. Just keep those government printing presses rolling!

And here’s the punch line you’ve been waiting for, where the Galstonian agenda is revealed for all to see:

“Given current circumstances, robust internationalism is inconsistent with the fiscal austerity imposed by budget sequestration, let alone Paul Ryan-style proposals for retrenchment in the social programs that working Americans rely on for what is left of their security. Whatever its proponents may say, a smaller government at home means retreat abroad. This is the road to disaster, and we must not take it.”

Galston has understood what the National Review crowd and the Ted Cruz conservatives refuse to acknowledge. As that Old Right prophet and polemicist Garet Garrett put it:

“Between government in the republican meaning, that is, Constitutional, representative, limited government, on the one hand, and Empire on the other hand, there is mortal enmity. Either one must forbid the other or one will destroy the other. That we know. Yet never has the choice been put to a vote of the people.”

More than fifty years after those word were written, the people are rising up against the globalist agenda – against Galston and his fellow World Planners – and demanding that the issue be put to a vote of the people. The Republican party, long a fortress of internationalism, has been breached and taken by self-avowed America First nationalists, and our British cousins have thrown off the shackles of a supranational super-State -in-the-making, reasserting their sovereignty and inspiring rebels on the continent to follow their example.

The revolt against globalism is going global – and that’s a good thing for libertarians and for all opponents of Empire. Whatever the contradictions and ideological idiosyncrasies of the various anti-globalist forces now on the move, their victory is a precondition for the recovery of liberty in America. Because Galston is perfectly correct to say that “a smaller government at home means retreat abroad.” He understands what the leadership of the post-World War II conservative movement has spent decades evading – and, more importantly, now the rank-and-file are beginning to understand how they’ve been lied to all these years, and why the promises of their leaders have all come to naught.

This is a great step forward for libertarians: the consciousness of the masses is being raised to new heights. Our task now is to engage them, educate them, and recruit them as soldiers in the fight to take our country back from Señor Galston and the regnant elites he represents. more

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