Friday, January 29, 2016

"Do we simply participate in the collapse of the American republic as it degenerates toward a totalitarian regime, or do we take a stand at this moment in history and reject the pathetic excuse for government that is being fobbed off on us?"

Circus Politics: Will Our Freedoms Survive Another Presidential Election?

By John W. Whitehead

“Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries.” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Adding yet another layer of farce to an already comical spectacle, the 2016 presidential election has been given its own reality show. Presented by Showtime, The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth will follow the various presidential candidates from now until Election Day.

As if we need any more proof that politics in America has been reduced to a three-ring circus complete with carnival barkers, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, lion tamers, animal trainers, tight rope walkers, freaks, strong men, magicians, snake charmers, fire eaters, sword swallowers, knife throwers, ringmasters and clowns.

Truly, who needs bread and circuses when you have the assortment of clowns and contortionists that are running for the White House?

No matter who wins the presidential election come November, it’s a sure bet that the losers will be the American people.

Despite what is taught in school and the propaganda that is peddled by the media, the 2016 presidential election is not a populist election for a representative. Rather, it’s a gathering of shareholders to select the next CEO, a fact reinforced by the nation’s archaic electoral college system.

Anyone who believes that this election will bring about any real change in how the American government does business is either incredibly naïve, woefully out-of-touch, or oblivious to the fact that as an in-depth Princeton University study shows, we now live in an oligarchy that is “of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.”

When a country spends close to $5 billion to select what is, for all intents and purposes, a glorified homecoming king or queen to occupy the White House, while 46 million of its people live in poverty, nearly 300,000 Americans are out of work, and more than 500,000 Americans are homeless, that’s a country whose priorities are out of step with the needs of its people.

As author Noam Chomsky rightly observed, “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.”

In other words, we’re being sold a carefully crafted product by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it’s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.

As political science professor Gene Sharp notes in starker terms, “Dictators are not in the business of allowing elections that could remove them from their thrones.”

To put it another way, the Establishment—the shadow government and its corporate partners that really run the show, pull the strings and dictate the policies, no matter who occupies the Oval Office—are not going to allow anyone to take office who will unravel their power structures. Those who have attempted to do so in the past have been effectively put out of commission.

So what is the solution to this blatant display of imperial elitism disguising itself as a populist exercise in representative government?

Stop playing the game. Stop supporting the system. Stop defending the insanity. Just stop.

Washington thrives on money, so stop giving them your money. Stop throwing your hard-earned dollars away on politicians and Super PACs who view you as nothing more than a means to an end. There are countless worthy grassroots organizations and nonprofits working in your community to address real needs like injustice, poverty, homelessness, etc. Support them and you’ll see change you really can believe in in your own backyard.

Politicians depend on votes, so stop giving them your vote unless they have a proven track record of listening to their constituents, abiding by their wishes and working hard to earn and keep their trust.

Stop buying into the lie that your vote matters. Your vote doesn’t elect a president. Despite the fact that there are 218 million eligible voters in this country (only half of whom actually vote), it is the electoral college, made up of 538 individuals handpicked by the candidates’ respective parties, that actually selects the next president.

The only thing you’re accomplishing by taking part in the “reassurance ritual” of voting is sustaining the illusion that we have a democratic republic. What we have is a dictatorship, or as political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page more accurately term it, we are suffering from an “economic élite domination.”

Of course, we’ve done it to ourselves.

The American people have a history of choosing bread-and-circus distractions over the tedious work involved in self-government.

As a result, we have created an environment in which the economic elite (lobbyists, corporations, monied special interest groups) could dominate, rather than insisting that the views and opinions of the masses—“we the people”—dictate national policy. As the Princeton University oligarchy study indicates, our elected officials, especially those in the nation’s capital, represent the interests of the rich and powerful rather than the average citizen. As such, the citizenry has little if any impact on the policies of government.

We allowed our so-called representatives to distance themselves from us, so much so that we are prohibited from approaching them in public, all the while they enjoy intimate relationships with those who can pay for access—primarily the Wall Street financiers. There are 131 lobbyists to every Senator, reinforcing concerns that the government represents the corporate elite rather than the citizenry.

We said nothing while our elections were turned into popularity contests populated by individuals better suited to be talk-show hosts rather than intelligent, reasoned debates on issues of domestic and foreign policy by individuals with solid experience, proven track records and tested integrity.

We turned our backs on things like wisdom, sound judgment, morality and truth, shrugging them off as old-fashioned, only to find ourselves saddled with lying politicians incapable of making fair and impartial decisions.

We let ourselves be persuaded that those yokels in Washington could do a better job of running this country than we could. It’s not a new problem. As former Senator Joseph S. Clark Jr. acknowledged in a 1955 article titled, “Wanted: Better Politicians”: “[W]e have too much mediocrity in the business of running the government of the country, and it troubles me that this should be so at a time of such complexity and crisis… Government by amateurs, semi-pros, and minor-leaguers will not meet the challenge of our times. We must realize that it takes great competence to run a country which, in spite of itself, has succeeded to world leadership in a time of deadly peril.”

We indulged our craving for entertainment news at the expense of our need for balanced reporting by a news media committed to asking the hard questions of government officials. The result, as former congressman Jim Leach points out, leaves us at a grave disadvantage: “At a time when in-depth analysis of the issues of the day has never been more important, quality journalism has been jeopardized by financial considerations and undercut by purveyors of ideology who facilely design news, like clothes, to appeal to a market segment.”

We bought into the fairytale that politicians are saviors, capable of fixing what’s wrong with our communities and our lives, when in fact, most politicians lead such sheltered lives that they have no clue about what their constituents must do to make ends meet. As political scientists Morris Fiorina and Samuel Abrams conclude, “In America today, there is a disconnect between an unrepresentative political class and the citizenry it purports to represent. The political process today not only is less representative than it was a generation ago and less supported by the citizenry, but the outcomes of that process are at a minimum no better.”

We let ourselves be saddled with a two-party system and fooled into believing that there’s a difference between the Republicans and Democrats, when in fact, the two parties are exactly the same. As one commentator noted, both parties support endless war, engage in out-of-control spending, ignore the citizenry’s basic rights, have no respect for the rule of law, are bought and paid for by Big Business, care most about their own power, and have a long record of expanding government and shrinking liberty.

Then, when faced with the prospect of voting for the lesser of two evils, many simply compromise their principles and overlook the fact that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Perhaps worst of all, we allowed the cynicism of our age and the cronyism and corruption of Beltway politics to discourage us from believing that there was any hope for the American experiment in liberty.

Granted, it’s easy to become discouraged about the state of our nation. We’re drowning under the weight of too much debt, too many wars, too much power in the hands of a centralized government, too many militarized police, too many laws, too many lobbyists, and generally too much bad news.

It’s harder to believe that change is possible, that the system can be reformed, that politicians can be principled, that courts can be just, that good can overcome evil, and that freedom will prevail.

So where does that leave us?

Benjamin Franklin provided the answer. As the delegates to the Constitutional Convention trudged out of Independence Hall on September 17, 1787, an anxious woman in the crowd waiting at the entrance inquired of Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” Franklin replied, “if you can keep it.”

What Franklin meant, of course, is that when all is said and done, we get the government we deserve.

A healthy, representative government is hard work. It takes a citizenry that is informed about the issues, educated about how the government operates, and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to stay involved, whether that means forgoing Monday night football in order to attend a city council meeting or risking arrest by picketing in front of a politician’s office.

Most of all, it takes a citizenry willing to do more than grouse and complain.

We must act—and act responsibly—keeping in mind that the duties of citizenship extend beyond the act of voting.

The powers-that-be want us to believe that our job as citizens begins and ends on Election Day. They want us to believe that we have no right to complain about the state of the nation unless we’ve cast our vote one way or the other. They want us to remain divided over politics, hostile to those with whom we disagree politically, and intolerant of anyone or anything whose solutions to what ails this country differ from our own.

What they don’t want us talking about is the fact that the government is corrupt, the system is rigged, the politicians don’t represent us, the electoral college is a joke, most of the candidates are frauds, and, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we as a nation are repeating the mistakes of history—namely, allowing a totalitarian state to reign over us.

Former concentration camp inmate Hannah Arendt warned against this when she wrote, “No matter what the specifically national tradition or the particular spiritual source of its ideology, totalitarian government always transformed classes into masses, supplanted the party system, not by one-party dictatorships, but by mass movement, shifted the center of power from the army to the police, and established a foreign policy openly directed toward world domination.”

Clearly, “we the people” have a decision to make.

Do we simply participate in the collapse of the American republic as it degenerates toward a totalitarian regime, or do we take a stand at this moment in history and reject the pathetic excuse for government that is being fobbed off on us?


Not good...

GOP wants to give Obama the power of a military dictator

by Sam Rolley

As Congress continues trying to find a way to beat back the Islamic State terror threat metastasizing throughout the world, there’s growing concern that lawmakers are going to resort to handing unprecedented war powers to the president.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation (S. J. Res. 29) that would grant authorization for use of military force to battle ISIS.

The bill—cosponsored by Sen. Daniel Coats, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen Orrin Hatch— was submitted in response to a request for war power authorization President Barack Obama sent lawmakers last year.

Despite the president’s “intentionally vague” and open-ended proposal leaving the door open for unending war against ISIS , establishment Republicans in Congress have repeatedly said the war authorization must be more extreme.

“If the president decides to put forward a serious plan for defeating ISIL, and seeks an AUMF that doesn’t tie the hands of this or any future commander-in-chief, this is the type of AUMF that would be effective and that the leader would support,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told POLITICO of the GOP’s decision to submit its own war proposal.

In addition to setting no timetable for the fight, the GOP bill also doesn’t limit where the U.S. could fight ISIS or state whether ground troops would be used. It simply authorizes Obama and whoever takes his job after the election to “use all necessary and appropriate force in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, its associated forces, organizations, and persons, and any successor organizations.”

Opponents of the new war authorization attempt say congressional war hawks are keen on removing the legislative branch’s responsibility to decide when war is inevitable and handing it to whomever is in the White House.

According to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the Republican establishment is basically attempting to declare a state of international martial law which will allow Obama and his predecessors to act as worldwide military dictator.

“This resolution is a total rewrite of the War Powers Clause in the U.S. Constitution. It is essentially a declaration of international martial law, a sweeping transfer of military power to the president that will allow him or her to send U.S. ground troops almost anywhere in the world, for almost any reason, with absolutely no limitations,” he warned.

Former Congressman Ron Paul has similarly warned that the Republicans are headed down a slippery slope, declaring that the proposal would make the “Iraq War authorization of 2002 look like a walk in the park.”

“Let’s be clear: If Senate Majority Leader McConnell succeeds in passing this open-ended war authorization, the … Constitution will be all but a dead letter,” Paul said.

In response to the pushback, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has gone on the record saying McConnell’s move to bring up the open-ended war bill was mostly done as a favor to Graham and has little likelihood of actually making it to a vote.

Even if that’s the case, Republicans in the Senate are sending a clear message that the president need only return with a proposal that more resembles their open-ended war authorization to assume total military power.

Fukushima radiation...

North America being bathed in radiation from Fukushima... alarming levels now 1,000 times above normal for alpha particles

by: Sarah Landers

Official data reported at the National Conference on Radiation Control shows that the U.S. has been experiencing a huge spike in radiation from Fukushima. Levels are considered to be far exceeding the federal regulatory limit, with nearly 1,000 times the normal amount of alpha particles recorded, including plutonium.(1)

Data analysis of Californian air samples, taken seven weeks after Fukushima began to release radiation in 2011, shows gross alpha activity of 200 femtocuries per cubic meter, which is 790 times the normal levels experienced in the state.

The radiation is not just limited to air pollution, and there are thought to be 110 sites off the American Pacific Coast that have been contaminated by leaks of radiation into water systems.

The dangers of alpha radiation

Alpha radiation is thought to be the least dangerous form of radiation when compared with beta and gamma rays – with even simple clothing stopping the alpha particles from reaching the body. However, alpha particles become extremely dangerous when ingested or inhaled. If you're fortunate and only consume small doses, you may not show any symptoms. However, many people who are exposed suffer radiation sickness including nausea, vomiting, headaches and fatigue.

If you ingest large quantities of alpha particles by either drinking contaminated water or breathing polluted air, you are at high risk of developing cancerous cells, with many lung cancer cases being directly related to radioactive air pollution.(2)

The Fukushima disaster

Following a major earthquake in March 2011, a 15-meter-high tsunami hit Japan, disabling the power supply of the Fukushima plant and damaging the reactors. This caused a nuclear catastrophe, with all three cores melting in the first three days after the tsunami.(3)

This accident rated 7 on the INES scale due to the extremely high levels of radioactive releases, and four reactors were totally written off due to the damage. The main concern at the time was stabilizing the remaining three reactors with water – which took approximately two weeks.

Apart from the cooling, the other very important ongoing task was to prevent the release of radioactive materials – particularly from contaminated water which leaked from the units. The plant went into an official "cold shutdown condition" in December 2011.

But just how far did the radiation travel and could the U.S. be in danger, despite being so far from the source?

How far can radiation travel?

The distance that radiation can travel depends entirely upon the type of the radiation and its ability to penetrate other materials. According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, alpha and beta particles aren't able to travel particularly far, whereas gamma rays, X-rays and neutrons travel a significant distance and are difficult to block.(4)

According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if you live within 50 miles of a normal, functioning nuclear power plant you, will receive an average radiation dose of approximately 0.01 millirem per year, although much of that actually comes in just a few massive doses throughout the year. However, the huge spikes seen in the U.S. caused by Fukushima show that nuclear waste spreads fast and far through the air and ocean currents.(5)

The spike reported at the National Conference for Radiation Control is very concerning, showing that time and distance do nothing to stop the spread of radiation from nuclear disasters. Scientists need to closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific, with the amount of radioactive material appearing on the Pacific Coast on the rise.(6)

It is likely that we will see a variety of health problems emerging over the coming years that can be related to this radiation spike from Fukushima.

Learn more:

‘Carpet Bomber’ Cruz: Libertarian or Neocon?

"If the antigun movement is able to harness the Office of the President to craft its own laws to further a personal agenda, in defiance of both Congressional legislation and U.S. Supreme Court decision, then the Constitution is belittled and the Republic is endangered."

The Ultimate Goal of the Antigun Movement

By Roger J. Katz

The ultimate goal of the anti-gun movement is this: the universal elimination of civilian firearms’ ownership and possession.

This is true and incontrovertible. Everything the anti-gun movement does is directed to the attainment of that goal. Nothing the anti-gun movement does diverges from the path to that goal. When asked to admit the truth of the assertion, the antigun movement, and its sounding board, the mainstream corporate media, will deny it, curtly and vehemently.

But, the anti-gun movement’s actions belie its blunt denial.

Realization of the movement’s goal amounts to de facto repeal of the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms – a right expressed clearly and cogently, succinctly and indelibly, in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Yet, if there exist any residual doubt as to the import of that right, the U.S. Supreme Court laid such doubt to rest in the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald decisions.

In Heller the Supreme Court held;

“the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” This right, the high Court maintains, operates as a constraint on the federal government. The question subsequently arose, in McDonald, whether the Heller holding applies to the States as well. The high Court held that it did, asserting, clearly, categorically, unequivocally, “the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller.”

Still, the anti-gun organizations, and many lower courts amenable to their views, resist Heller and McDonald, and continue to advance strategies altogether inconsistent with the High Court’s holdings. The arguments – actually rationalizations – for more and more restrictive gun measures may be distilled to the following: one, no one needs a gun because the police will protect you; two, curtailing civilian gun ownership precludes gun violence and gun accidents; three, civilized people don’t want guns and are repulsed by them; four, since no one can know who, among the population, will go off “half-cocked” – presenting a danger to self or others – it is best to curtail civilian gun ownership and possession; five, the Second Amendment is obsolete; no other Country has anything like it, and the U.S. shouldn’t either. These five arguments are a ragbag of elements gleaned from utilitarian ethics, psychology, sociology, politics, economics, and even aesthetics. But they all embrace one central tenet: governmental control of the American public.

The anti-gun movement does not recognize the sanctity and autonomy of the individual, which is the linchpin of the Bill of Rights. Rather, the anti-gun movement sees each individual American as a random bit of unharmonious energy, running hither and yon – an individual who is likely to harm self or others unless appropriately constrained for his or her own good and for the good of the greater society. A firearm in the hands of a civilian lessens government’s ability to control that individual. Ergo, the government must keep the two – firearm and individual – separated.

What NRA works to keep conjoined, anti-gun groups wish to sever and keep disjoined.

As the anti-gun movement works incessantly, inexorably toward its ultimate goal, the movement invariably butts up against the NRA, which the movement routinely and pejoratively refers to as the “gun lobby.” But, the anti-gun movement refrains from referring to itself as the “anti-gun lobby.” Now, lobbying activities are protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and NRA is open about its lobbying efforts on behalf of its millions of members. Yet the anti-gun movement cloak’s its own lobbying activities and blatantly panders to the U.S. President. President Obama, for his part, has not shied away from using the power of his Office to further the agenda of the anti-gun movement through issuance of executive actions, and he has formally announced, in January of 2016, his intention to do so.

Now, Congress, under Article 1 of the Constitution, has sole authority to make law. The question is whether Obama’s antigun measures operate within the framework of existing Congressional firearms laws, as he claims, or operate beyond the boundaries of existing law. That Congress might obtain some resolution of that question, U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., Chairman of the Subcommittee On Commerce, Justice and Science, requested Attorney General Loretta Lynch to appear at a hearing, held on January 20, 2016, to discuss the President’s recent executive actions.

Senator Shelby made abundantly clear that the President does not have the authority to tell Congress what it must do. But the President has done just that, using the mechanism of executive directives, crafted by the Attorney General, herself, to conduct an “end-run” around Congress. The President isn’t asking Congress and the American people for permission to do what he wants to do. He is telling Congress and the American people what he’s going to do and cajoling both Congress and the American people to get on board with his game plan. That is extreme hubris.

If the antigun movement is able to harness the Office of the President to craft its own laws to further a personal agenda, in defiance of both Congressional legislation and U.S. Supreme Court decision, then the Constitution is belittled and the Republic is endangered.


Two peas in a pod...

Remember Stalin as Well as Hitler

By Eric Margolis

“When I’ve finished occupying the Soviet Union,” quipped a relaxed Adolf Hitler at dinner one night in 1941, “I’ll put that man Stalin back in charge. He’s the only person who knows how to deal with Russians.”

Stalin was the biggest murderer of modern history – and maybe in of all mankind’s past. His number of victims was only rivaled by Genghis Khan and, in our era, Mao Zedong.

Which bring me to the current observations of the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz. Our media is full of stories about the persecution and mass killings of Europe’s Jews in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

And rightly so. This major historic crime must be vividly remembered and never allowed to slip into oblivion. But neither should it be used and reused to justify or excuse today’s repression of 5 million Palestinians.

While the world remembers the Jewish Holocaust, it has almost totally forgotten the other Holocausts. Amid all the references to Nazi death camps, like Auschwitz, Sobibor, and Treblinka, there was not a mention of Magadan, Vorkuta Norilsk, or Perm, all infamous ‘islands’ of the Soviet system of industrial murder, known as “the Gulag.”

Or of the Ukrainian Holodomor.

From 1918 to the late 1950’s (Stalin died in 1953), an estimated 20 million or more Soviet citizens were worked to death, shot or starved in the 500 camps that made up the Gulag. The most infamous and lethal were in the Arctic Circle and eastern Siberia.

The greatest number of deaths occurred in the 1930’s when Stalin’s reign of terror was at its apogee. By the end of the 1930’s, the Gulag held close to 2 million inmates, about half political prisoners convicted on false charges. Millions of other Soviet citizens were starved in local prisons, shot in execution grounds or forests, and worked to death buildings canals and rail lines or forced to mine with heir bare hands.

During 1932-33, Stalin sent chief henchman Lazar Kaganovitch to break resistance by Ukrainian independent small farmers to collectivization by starving them to death. In only a few years, some 6-7 million Ukrainians perished in what they call the Holodomor. No one was ever punished for this historic crime. Stalin told Churchill, “Kaganovitch is my Himmler.”

The Soviet Baltic states saw particularly ferocious repression. So did Poland which was divvied up by both Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Six million Poles died, half of them Jews. At least 2 million Muslims of the Soviet Union were murdered, either by shooting or, like the Chechen, packed into cattle cars and dumped on the ground in frigid Kazakhstan.

Stalin was given the sobriquet, “Destroyer of Nations.”

No one knows the exact figure of deaths in the Soviet Union. But it far exceeded in numbers and scope Hitler’s killings. Yet these epic Soviet crimes have all but vanished from our collective memories. No should have a monopoly on suffering.

Almost equally disturbing, the US, Canada and Britain have never squarely faced the ugly fact that their close wartime ally, Stalin, was a far worse mass murderer than enemy Adolf Hitler. Or that Stalin’s biggest crime occurred in the 1930’s while Hitler’s were not fully understood until after World War II. Stalin’s terrible crimes were well known to Washington, Ottawa and London well before they got into bed with “Uncle Joe” Stalin. We allied with a great devil to fight a lesser one. This fact is rarely understood because our sense of World War II history remains heavily clouded by the propaganda of he victors.

Ever since, Hitler has been relentlessly demonized while Stalin has faded from our understanding. Germans still recoil at the mention of Hitler while in Russia nostalgia grows for Stalin and his era. Much of the evidence of Stalin’s crimes has turned to dust; none of the perpetrators were ever punished. After briefly seeing the light of day during the Gorbachev era, the Stalin-era files have been resealed.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Inside Washington's Shadowy Power Elite...

See, the free market works...

Florida’s Economy Rebounds Thanks to Cuts in Taxes, Spending, Regulations
Written by Bob Adelmann

Almost immediately upon assuming Florida’s governorship in January, 2011, Rick Scott started cutting. He increased the state’s exemption level for corporate taxes from $25,000 to $50,000. He expanded the state sales tax exemption for manufacturing equipment. In 2013, he approved a three-year total exemption of that sales tax. In 2014, he pushed to raise the corporate tax exemption from $50,000 to $75,000. Last year he signed into law a $400 million cut in vehicle fees. In all, over the past five years he, with the help of a friendly legislature, has cut nearly 50 taxes.

Along the way he has cut business regulations by 15 percent, from 21,000 to 17,800, while also eliminating almost 11,000 government jobs (with another 1,000 cuts in the pipeline). In addition he reduced the number of weeks and the benefits payouts under the state’s unemployment insurance program.

The results were felt within a year. In 2013, and then again in 2014, Florida’s economy outpaced the national economy, with its growth putting it 11th in the country in 2014. The Tax Foundation ranked Florida 5th in the country in its State Business Tax Climate in 2012, 2013, and 2014; and then moved it up to 4th position in 2015.

The rebound is reflected in more than one million new jobs being added since Scott took office, passing Texas in job creation and New York in population. It’s reflected further by Bloomberg, which named 18 cities that are expected to see the most growth next year, nine of which are in Florida. It is also reflected in tax revenues to the state, which Scott projects will result in a $635 million surplus for 2016-2017.

All of which is predictable, according to Timothy Doescher, a research assistant at the Heritage Foundation: “What is the model set by Florida? It’s simple: Get government out of the way, and unleash prosperity.”

Governor Scott has a pro-business background, founding a private, for-profit healthcare company, Columbia Hospital Corporation, at age 34. Two years later his company merged with the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), to become Columbia/HCA. In less than 10 years, it became the largest privately owned healthcare company in the country.

He also managed to keep his honor intact when Columbia/HCA was charged with defrauding Medicare, and agreed to pay more than $600 million in fines in 1997. Scott was not implicated, and no charges were filed against him.

Upon leaving the company, Scott became a venture capitalist, investing in high-risk, potentially high-return companies. In 2009 Scott founded Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR) offering a free-market alternative to President Obama’s healthcare plan, supporting what he called “choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility.”

What’s remarkable is that when Scott became governor of Florida, unemployment was above 11 percent, 900,000 jobs had been lost during the recession, and the previous administration had added some $5 billion in debt. By allowing the free market to breathe, Scott’s administration put in place the recovery now being enjoyed by Floridians (whose number is increasing by 1,000 people every day arriving from other states).


Getting ready for the next false-flag attack...

Hundreds of DHS badges, guns, cell phones lost or stolen since 2012
By Adam Shaw

Hundreds of badges, credentials, cell phones and guns belonging to Department of Homeland Security employees have been lost or stolen in recent years -- raising serious security concerns about the potential damage these missing items could do in the wrong hands.

Inventory reports, obtained by the news site Complete Colorado and shared with, show that over 1,300 badges, 165 firearms and 589 cell phones were lost or stolen over the span of 31 months between 2012 and 2015.

The majority of the credentials belonged to employees of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), while others belonged to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees.

The lost or stolen guns also mostly belonged to CBP employees, though others were cited as belonging to TSA and ICE workers. The agencies all fall under DHS.

The missing badges and guns suggest a shocking lack of security from federal law enforcement officers and represent a significant security risk, experts say.

“It’s scary that you’d have that number of credentials out there that someone could manipulate,” Tim Miller, a retired Secret Service special agent, told

While Miller said the phones are likely to have enough protocols in place to prevent them from being used for nefarious purposes, the badges and credentials are an entirely different matter and could allow access to sensitive areas such as cargo.

“The thing that’s particularly concerning is that if you get real credentials, it’s very easy to manipulate them, and you’ve got someone else’s picture on what law enforcement would see as valid," Miller said. "Then you factor in terrorism, it’s a significant concern that people would run around with authentic credentials and be able to access areas they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.”

When reached for comment, DHS did not dispute the inventory report data -- which Complete Colorado, a Colorado-based online news site, had obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. The reporter who obtained the data also works with Denver-based free-market think tank the Independence Institute.

In a statement to, a DHS spokesman said they strive to be “good stewards of government resources” and have improved oversight and reduced the number of lost or stolen items over the past few years.

“If a credential holder loses or has their credentials stolen, the holder must report the incident to their supervisor and credential issuance office immediately,” spokesman Justin Greenberg said. “Once the incident has been reported, this information is entered into appropriate DHS and law enforcement databases, which disables use of the lost or stolen item.”

He also noted that DHS encrypts all mobile devices, laptops and tablets.

Miller said officials need to be doing more, considering the sheer number of guns and badges that have been lost or stolen.

Lawmakers also have expressed concern about the safety of DHS property in the past. In December, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved legislation that would tighten screening of TSA workers, review security protocols and increase fines and enforcement requirements related to missing credentials.

The legislation was put forward after members of the committee wrote to TSA officials in March expressing concern about reports of unaccounted TSA badges, and the reported use of badges to bypass security checkpoints.

“Officials entrusted with protecting the American public cannot consider the loss of sensitive items normal or routine," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the committee, told

"When the Commerce Committee looked at lost and missing airport security credentials, we discovered that existing rules weren’t being effectively enforced. Mistakes happen, but if we don’t work to eliminate them and insist on accountability, then we’re left with unacceptable risk,” Thune said.


Fed In A Box - No Tools Left...

"What remains of the rule of law in America? The FBI will soon tell us..."

Hillary Clinton’s Nightmare

By Andrew P. Napolitano

Hillary Clinton’s nightmare is not the sudden resurgence of Bernie Sanders. It is the fidelity to the rule of law of the FBI.

The recent revelations of the receipt by Clinton of a Special Access Program email, as well as cut and pasted summaries of state secrets on her server and on her BlackBerry nearly guarantee that the FBI will recommend that the Department of Justice convene a grand jury and seek her indictment for espionage. Here is the backstory.

It seems that every week, more information comes to light about Clinton’s grave legal woes. Her worries are in two broad categories: One is her well-documented failure to safeguard state secrets and the other is her probable use of her position as secretary of state to advance financially her husband’s charitable foundation. The FBI is currently and aggressively investigating both. What I will describe below is in the state secrets category. It is apparently not new to the FBI, but it is new to the public.

Among the data that the FBI either found on the Clinton server or acquired from the State Department via its responses to Freedom of Information Act requests is a top-secret email that has been denominated Special Access Program. Top secret is the highest category of state secrets (the other categories are confidential and secret), and of the sub-parts of top secret, SAP is the most sensitive.

SAP is clothed in such secrecy that it cannot be received or opened accidentally. Clinton — who ensured all of her governmental emails came to her through her husband’s server, a nonsecure nongovernmental venue — could only have received or viewed it from that server after inputting certain codes. Those codes change at unscheduled times, such that she would need to inquire of them before inputting them.

The presence of the SAP-denominated email on her husband’s server, whether opened or not, shows a criminal indifference to her lawful obligation to maintain safely all state secrets entrusted to her care. Yet, Clinton has suggested that she is hopelessly digitally inept and may not have known what she was doing. This constitutes an attempted plausible deniability to the charge of failing to safeguard state secrets.

But in this sensitive area of the law, plausible deniability is not an available defense; no judge would permit the assertion of it in legal filings or in a courtroom, and no lawyer would permit a client to make the assertion.

This is so for two reasons. First, failure to safeguard state secrets is a crime for which the government need not prove intent. The failure can be done negligently. Thus, plausible deniability is actually an admission of negligence and, hence in this case, an admission of guilt, not a denial.

Second, Clinton signed an oath under penalty of perjury on Jan. 22, 2009, her first full day as secretary of state. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had received a full FBI briefing on the lawfully required care and keeping of state secrets. Her briefing and her oath specified that the obligation to safeguard state secrets is absolute — it cannot be avoided or evaded by forgetfulness or any other form of negligence, and that negligence can bring prosecution.

What type of data is typically protected by the SAP denomination? The most sensitive under the sun — such as the names of moles (spies working for more than one government) and their American handlers, the existence of black ops (illegal programs that the U.S. government carries out, of which it will deny knowledge if exposed), codes needed to access state secrets and ongoing intelligence gathering projects.

The crime here occurs when SAPs are exposed by residing in a nonsecure venue; it does not matter for prosecution purposes whether they fell into the wrong hands.

Clinton’s persistent mocking of the seriousness of all this is the moral equivalent of taunting alligators before crossing a stream. SAPs are so sensitive that most of the FBI agents who are investigating Clinton lack the security clearances needed to view the SAP found among her emails. Most FBI agents have never seen a SAP.

Shortly after the presence of the SAP-denominated email was made known, the State Department released another email Clinton failed to erase wherein she instructed her subordinates to take state secrets from a secure venue, to cut and paste and summarize them, and send them to her on her nonsecure venue. Such an endeavor, if carried out, is a felony — masking and then not safeguarding state secrets. Such a command to subordinates can only come from a criminal mind.

Equally as telling is a little-known 2013 speech that recently surfaced given by one of Clinton’s former subordinates. The aide revealed that Clinton and her staff regularly engaged in digital conversations about state secrets on their BlackBerries. This is not criminal if the BlackBerries were government-issued and secured. Clinton’s was neither. It was purchased at her instructions off the shelf by one of her staff.

Can anyone doubt that Clinton has failed to safeguard state secrets? If her name were Hillary Rodham instead of Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’d have been indicted months ago.

What remains of the rule of law in America? The FBI will soon tell us.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Asian Freeze Adds to Doubt on Reality of Global Warming
Written by Charles Scaliger

While many Americans are regarding the record-breaking East Coast blizzard as yet another reason to be skeptical of global-warming propaganda, we should not neglect events on the other side of the world. Most of eastern Asia is in the grip of a record-breaking cold snap of its own, a meteorological event that has claimed more than 80 lives in Taiwan alone — mostly from hypothermia — and seen snow fall for the first time in decades on tropical islands such as Okinawa.

The great Asian freeze is crippling Pacific Rim nations, many of them ill-equipped to deal with cold winter weather. Normally balmy Hong Kong, for example, is experiencing its coldest weather in nearly 60 years, and has had to close down its schools since few buildings in Hong Kong have central heating. Heavy snow and sleet have caused more than 100,000 flights to be cancelled or delayed in South Korea and China, while across Japan, cities are being blanketed with snow, including areas where snow seldom if ever falls. The southerly island of Amami Oshima (Japan’s seventh largest island and part of the Ryukyu chain), with a humid subtropical climate, has had snowfall for the first time in more than a century. In mainland China, the cold wave has coincided with the onset of Chinese New Year travels, but with road closures and flight, ferry, and train cancellations in the many thousands, holiday travel has been severely disrupted.

The Asian freeze, in conjunction with the paralyzing East Coast blizzard and the heavier-than-usual snow in the western United States, would suggest that Old Man Winter has the northern hemisphere locked down, as is normally the case in January.

Yet the media, as well as the so-called climate scientists that fascinate them, have had little to say about this convergence of events. The climate news we are supposed to focus on was the unusual warmth last December — warmth directly traceable to a stronger than normal El Niño. Yet even El Niño has been overwhelmed by this winter’s cold, which brings up the question, yet again: If not even El Niño can prevent record-setting snow and cold on both sides of the Pacific, whatever became of the long-promised runaway global warming?


Neocon scum...

The Origins of Neo-conservatism . . .

Thomas DiLorenzo

. . . was a nest of young, self-“educated” Jewish communists at City College of New York in the 1930s according to the self-proclaimed “godfather” of neoconservatism, the late Irving Kristol. As outspoken communists they were of course welcomed with open arms in academe and many of them were given prestigious-sounding job titles at big universities, as Kristol boasts.

By contrast the great Ludwig von Mises, who arrived in New York City in 1940, could not find any university in America to hire him. At the time Mises was the preeminent critic of socialism in the world; the most severe and effective European critic of the Nazi regime; and he was the son of a Rabbi. As such, he was Enemy Number One with the Nazis as far as intellectuals were concerned, so he fled his apartment just hours before the SS broke into it. He taught for more than 30 years at New York University on a salary paid for by freedom-loving philanthropists. Kristol and his fellow Trotskyites (the “godfather” preferred “Trotskyists”) were intellectual pygmies (and cowards) compared to Mises.


Quote of the day...

Exposing a flawed study...

Mainstream media touts flawed study claiming that exercise increases body fat
by: Jonathan Benson

Serving as further evidence of how little the mainstream scientific community understands about nutrition and health, a new study recently published in a reputable health journal makes the outrageous claim that exercise can actually cause some people to gain weight in the form of added fat.

Researchers from the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Nutrition and Health Promotion somehow came to the conclusion that aerobic exercise in women "typically results in minimal fat loss," despite their initial hypothesis that the opposite was likely true, and that increases in body fat among some women could be the direct result of exercise training.

Arizona State University exercise study did not include nutrition adjustment

Completely ignoring the critical role that nutrition plays in determining body composition, the study's authors put 81 women on an identical exercise regimen that did not involve analyzing or in any way adjusting their dietary habits. The only requirement was that whatever the women were eating before the study they were to continue eating throughout it.

After 12 weeks of supervised treadmill use - all of the women exercised for 30 minutes three times per week at 70 percent of their VO2 maximum - each of the women was analyzed for body composition. Without comparing or contrasting their diets in any way, the researchers found that, despite some small variations, most of the women did not lose weight or body fat.

Their conclusion, then, was that exercise may not help people lose weight and could, in fact, lead to the wrong kinds of weight gain.

Study women were overweight at start, suggesting poor diets and sedentary lifestyles

Mind you, all of the women were considered to have higher-than-normal baseline body fat ratios, meaning they were sedentary and probably not eating correctly at the beginning of the study. Some of them were much more overweight than others as well, though all of them were still considered to be generally healthy.

The problem with this format is that it's unclear whether or not the women were eating junk food diets full of refined sugar and carbohydrates or whether they were eating more complete diets higher in healthy fats and protein. All we know from the study is that the women were heavier than normal and not very active, which suggests an unhealthy diet.

One would think that this major discrepancy would cause media outlets reporting on the study to step back and question its validity. Instead, the The New York Times (NYT), for example, openly affirmed it.

In a piece published on the news website's "Phys Ed" section, writer Gretchen Reynolds rehashes outdated and untrue claims about generic calorie intake, and how the women must have been taking in more calories than they were burning through exercise. Nowhere in the NYT piece is there any mention made of the types of calories consumed, and how this affects body composition.

More fats and less sugar, carbs burn fat while building muscle

The truth is that simply looking at calories and assuming them to all be identical is a modern myth that is leading people down the path of obesity and ill health. For all we know, the women in the study were following a typical low-fat diet in an attempt to lose weight, which up-to-date science reveals simply won't work.

"Low-carb, high-protein diets are effective for fat loss," explains the Poliquin Group, a leading source of cutting-edge health science. "A lot of people find that cutting carbs in favor of a higher protein, higher fat diet is the simplest way to get lean fast."

Learn more:

From the Boston Globe, no less. People are waking up...

Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon

By Jordan Michael Smith October 19, 2014

The voters who put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried.

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

Glennon cites the example of Obama and his team being shocked and angry to discover upon taking office that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan: The United States could add more troops, or the United States could add a lot more troops. Hemmed in, Obama added 30,000 more troops.

Glennon’s critique sounds like an outsider’s take, even a radical one. In fact, he is the quintessential insider: He was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to various congressional committees, as well as to the State Department. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. And he’s not a conspiracy theorist: Rather, he sees the problem as one of “smart, hard-working, public-spirited people acting in good faith who are responding to systemic incentives”—without any meaningful oversight to rein them in.

How exactly has double government taken hold? And what can be done about it? Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. This interview has been condensed and edited.

IDEAS: Where does the term “double government” come from?

GLENNON:It comes from Walter Bagehot’s famous theory, unveiled in the 1860s. Bagehot was the scholar who presided over the birth of the Economist magazine—they still have a column named after him. Bagehot tried to explain in his book “The English Constitution” how the British government worked. He suggested that there are two sets of institutions. There are the “dignified institutions,” the monarchy and the House of Lords, which people erroneously believed ran the government. But he suggested that there was in reality a second set of institutions, which he referred to as the “efficient institutions,” that actually set governmental policy. And those were the House of Commons, the prime minister, and the British cabinet.

IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government?

GLENNON:I was curious why a president such as Barack Obama would embrace the very same national security and counterterrorism policies that he campaigned eloquently against. Why would that president continue those same policies in case after case after case? I initially wrote it based on my own experience and personal knowledge and conversations with dozens of individuals in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies of our government, as well as, of course, officeholders on Capitol Hill and in the courts. And the documented evidence in the book is substantial—there are 800 footnotes in the book.

IDEAS: Why would policy makers hand over the national-security keys to unelected officials?

GLENNON: It hasn’t been a conscious decision....Members of Congress are generalists and need to defer to experts within the national security realm, as elsewhere. They are particularly concerned about being caught out on a limb having made a wrong judgment about national security and tend, therefore, to defer to experts, who tend to exaggerate threats. The courts similarly tend to defer to the expertise of the network that defines national security policy.

The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are “on autopilot.”

IDEAS: Isn’t this just another way of saying that big bureaucracies are difficult to change?

GLENNON: It’s much more serious than that. These particular bureaucracies don’t set truck widths or determine railroad freight rates. They make nerve-center security decisions that in a democracy can be irreversible, that can close down the marketplace of ideas, and can result in some very dire consequences.

IDEAS: Couldn’t Obama’s national-security decisions just result from the difference in vantage point between being a campaigner and being the commander-in-chief, responsible for 320 million lives?

GLENNON: There is an element of what you described. There is not only one explanation or one cause for the amazing continuity of American national security policy. But obviously there is something else going on when policy after policy after policy all continue virtually the same way that they were in the George W. Bush administration.

IDEAS: This isn’t how we’re taught to think of the American political system.

GLENNON: I think the American people are deluded, as Bagehot explained about the British population, that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy, as Bagehot predicted there would be. But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.

IDEAS: Do we have any hope of fixing the problem?

GLENNON: The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people. Not from government. Government is very much the problem here. The people have to take the bull by the horns. And that’s a very difficult thing to do, because the ignorance is in many ways rational. There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.


It's about time...

Senate to hold hearing on occupational licensing scams

by Personal Liberty News Desk

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing next week to determine just how many entrepreneurs and jobseekers are forced out of the economy by increasingly burdensome occupational licensing requirements.

The bipartisan investigation, led by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), will focus primarily on whether state licensing boards controlled by members of the professions they police actively work to stifle competition.

“The rapid growth of state licensing boards that are controlled by members of the profession they regulate has become a major threat to equal opportunity in this country,” Lee said in a statement.

Among small business owners, licensing boards have been cited as one of the biggest entrepreneurial headaches in recent years.

In fact, 2014 Kauffman Foundation/ Small Business Friendliness Survey found that a majority of the American small business owners polled for the survey cited professional licensing requirements as the most important regulatory issue in determining a region’s friendliness toward entrepreneurs.

“Licensing regulations were overwhelmingly the biggest headache for the small service businesses that we surveyed,” Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of, told Personal Liberty® at the time. “The time-cost and complexity involved with complying with multiple licenses in multiple jurisdictions were the single largest regulatory factor that affected perceptions of overall friendliness of a city or State.”

This is unsurprising, considering the 2012 report from the Institute for Justice which made this shocking observation about the arbitrary nature of some licensing regulations: “States consider an average of 33 days of training and two exams enough preparation for EMTs, but demand 10 times the training–372 days, on average–for cosmetologists.”


"Americans have become a small-minded divided people, ruled by petty hatreds, who are easily set against one another and against other peoples by their rulers."

Presidential Crimes Then And Now

By Paul Craig Roberts

Not much remains of the once vibrant American left-wing. Among the brainwashed remnants there is such a hatred of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that the commitment of these two presidents to ending dangerous military rivalries is unrecognized. Whenever I write about the illegal invasions of other countries launched by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, leftists point to Chile, Nicaragua and Grenada and say that nothing has changed. But a great deal has changed. In the 1970s and 1980s Nixon and Reagan focused on reducing Cold War tensions. Courageously, Nixon negotiated nuclear arms limitation agreements with the Soviet Union and opened to China, and Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev the end of the dangerous Cold War.

Beginning with the Clinton regime, the neoconservative doctrine of the US as the Uni-power exercising hegemony over the world has resurrected tensions between nuclear-armed powers. Clinton trashed the word of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and expanded NATO throughout Eastern Europe and brought the military alliance to Russia’s border. The George W. Bush regime withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, revised US war doctrine to permit pre-emptive nuclear attack, and negotiated with Washington’s East European vassals to put anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders in an effort to neutralize Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thus bringing major security problems to Russia. The Obama regime staged a coup against a government allied with Russia in Ukraine, traditionally a part of Russia, and imposed a Russophobia government as Washington’s vassal. Turning to China, Washington announced the “pivot to Asia” with the purpose of controlling shipping in the South China Sea. Additionally, the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes fomented wars across a wide swath of the planet from Yugoslavia and Serbia through the Middle East and Africa to South Ossetia and now in Ukraine.

The neoconservative ideology rose from the post-Reagan collapse of the Soviet Union. The doctrine met the need of the US military/security complex for a new enemy in order to avoid downsizing. Washington’s pursuit of empire is a principal danger to life itself for everyone on the planet.

Unlike Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, Nixon and Reagan went against the military/security complex. Nixon opened to China and made arms reduction agreements with the Soviets. Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev the end of the Cold War. The military/security complex was displeased with these presidential initiatives. Both left and right accused Nixon and Reagan of nefarious machinations. Right-wing Republicans said that Nixon and Kissinger were selling America out to the communists and that the scheming Soviets would take advantage of Reagan, the old movie actor. “Communists,” we were assured, “only understand force.”

Nixon and Reagan focused on eliminating dangerous rivalries, and the three stooges—Clinton, Bush, and Obama—have resurrected the rivalries. Those who cannot see the astonishing difference are blinded by prejudices and their brainwashing.

In this article, I describe unappreciated aspects of the Nixon and Reagan presidencies. What I provide is neither a justification nor a denunciation, but an explanation. Here is what Patrick Buchanan, who was in the White House with both presidents, wrote to me in response to my explanation:

“Craig, you are dead on in what you write about both Nixon and Reagan and what they sought in their presidencies. Reagan often talked of those ‘godawful weapons,’ meaning nukes. I was at Reykjavik with him, and was stunned at Hofde House to learn that Ronald Reagan pretty much wanted to trade them all away. And when, years later, Tom Wicker wrote favorably about the Nixon presidency, he accurately titled his book One of Us. All his life Nixon sought the approbation of the [pre-neocon] Establishment. Am deep into a new book, based on my experiences and my White House files, and all through it I am urging him [Nixon] to be and to become the kind of conservative president I wanted, but he never was. My thanks for bringing in The Greatest Comeback, which covered the period when I was closest to Nixon. All the best, Pat.”

Writing for Americans is not always an enjoyable experience. Many readers want to have their prejudices confirmed, not challenged. Emotions rule their reason, and they are capable of a determined resistance to facts and are not inhibited from displays of rudeness and ignorance. Indeed, some are so proud of their shortcomings that they can’t wait to show them to others. Some simply cannot read and confuse explanations with justifications as if the act of explaining something justifies the person or event explained. Thankfully, all readers are not handicapped in these ways or there would be no point in trying to inform the American people.

In a recent column I used some examples of Clinton-era scandals to make a point about the media, pointing out that the media and the American people were more interested in Clinton’s sexual escapades and in his choice of underwear than in the many anomalies associated with such serious events as the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, the mysterious death of a White House legal counsel, US sanctions on Iraq that took the lives of 500,000 children, and illegal war against Serbia.

Reaganphobes responded in an infantile way, demonstrating that the same standards should be applied to “your dear beloved Ray-Gun” as to Clinton. Those readers were unable to understand that the article was not about Clinton, but about how the media sensationalizes unimportant events in order to distract attention from serious ones. Examples from the Clinton era were used, because no question better epitomizes the level of the American public’s interest in political life than the young woman’s question to President Clinton: “boxers or briefs?”

It is doubtful that journalists and historians are capable of providing accurate understandings of any presidential term. Even those personally involved often do not know why some things happened. I have been in White House meetings from which every participant departed with a different understanding of what the president’s policy was. This was not the result of lack of clarity on the president’s part, but from the various interests present shaping the policy to their agendas.

Many Americans regard the White House as the lair of a powerful being who can snap his fingers and make things happen. The fact of the matter is that presidents have little idea of what is transpiring in the vast cabinet departments and federal agencies that constitute “their” administration. Many parts of government are empires unto themselves. The “Deep State,” about which Mike Lofgren, formerly a senior member of the Congressional staff has written, is unaccountable to anyone. But even the accountable part of the government isn’t. For example, the information flows from the cabinet departments, such as defense, state, and treasury, are reported to Assistant Secretaries, who control the flow of information to the Secretaries, who inform the President. The civil service professionals can massage the information one way, the Assistant Secretaries another, and the Secretaries yet another. If the Secretaries report the information to the White House Chief of Staff, the information can be massaged yet again. In my day before George W. Bush and Dick Cheney gave us the Gestapo-sounding Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service reported to an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, but the Assistant Secretary had no way of evaluating the reliability of the information. The Secret Service reported whatever it suited the Secret Service to report.

Those who think that “the President knows” can test their conviction by trying to keep up with the daily announcements from all departments and agencies of the government. It is a known fact that CEOs of large corporations, the relative size of which are tiny compared to the US government, cannot know all that is happening within their organizations.

Nixon: Villain or Centrist Reformer?

I am not particularly knowledgeable about the terms of our various presidents. Nevertheless, I suspect that the Nixon and Reagan terms are among the least understood. Both presidents had more ideological opponents among journalists and historians than they had defenders. Consequently, their stories are distorted by how their ideological opponents want them to be seen and remembered. For example, compare your view of Richard Nixon with the portrait Patrick Buchanan provides in his latest book, The Greatest Comeback. A person doesn’t have to agree with Buchanan’s view of the issues of those years, or with how Buchanan positioned, or tried to position, Nixon on various issues, to learn a great deal about Nixon. Buchanan can be wrong on issues, but he is not dishonest.

For a politician, Richard Nixon was a very knowledgeable person. He traveled widely, visiting foreign leaders. Nixon was the most knowledgeable president about foreign policy we have ever had. He knew more than Obama, Bush I and II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, and Johnson combined.

The liberal-left created an image of Nixon as paranoid and secretive with a long enemies list, but Buchanan shows that Nixon was inclusive, a “big tent” politician with a wide range of advisors. There is no doubt that Nixon had enemies. Many of them continue to operate against him long after his death.

Indeed, it was Nixon’s inclusiveness that made conservatives suspicious of him. To keep conservatives in his camp, Nixon used their rhetoric, and Nixon’s rhetoric fueled Nixon-hatred among the liberal-left. The inclination to focus on words rather than deeds is another indication of the insubstantiality of American political comprehension.

Probably the US has never had a more liberal president than Nixon. Nixon went against conservatives and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by executive order. He supported the Clean Air Act of 1970. Nixon federalized Medicaid for poor families with dependent children and proposed a mandate that private employers provide health insurance to employees. He desegregated public schools and implemented the first federal affirmative action program.

Declaring that “there is no place on this planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation,” Nixon engineered the opening to Communist China. He ended the Vietnam War and replaced the draft with the volunteer army. He established economic trade with the Soviet Union and negotiated with Soviet leader Brezhnev landmark arms control treaties—SALT I and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972, which lasted for 30 years until the neoconized George W. Bush regime violated and terminated the treaty in 2002.

These are astonishing achievements for any president, especially a Republican one. But if you ask Americans what they know about Nixon, the response is Watergate and President Nixon’s forced resignation.

In other words, here is more proof that all the American media does is to lie to us. The US media is no longer independent. It is a servile captive creature that turns lies into truths via endless repetitions.

I am convinced that Nixon’s opening to China and Nixon’s arms control treaties and de-escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union threatened the power and profit of the military/security complex. Watergate was an orchestration used to remove the threat that Nixon presented. If you read the Watergate reporting by Woodward and Bernstein in the Washington Post, there is no real information in it. In place of information, words are used to create an ominous presence and sinister atmosphere that is transferred to Nixon.

There was nothing in the Watergate scandal that justified Nixon’s impeachment, but his liberal policies had alienated conservative Republicans. Conservatives never forgave Nixon for agreeing with Zhou Enlai that Taiwan was part of China. When the Washington Post, John Dean, and a missing segment of a tape got Nixon in trouble, conservatives did not come to his defense. The liberal-left was overjoyed that Nixon got his comeuppance for supporting the exposure and prosecution of Soviet spy Alger Hiss two decades previously.

I do not contend that the left-wing has no legitimate reasons for hostility against Nixon. Nixon wanted out of Vietnam, but “with honor” so that conservatives would not abandon him. Nixon did not want to become known as the President who forced the US military to accept defeat. He wanted to end the war, but if not with victory then with a stalemate like Korea. He or Kissinger gave the US military carte blanche to produce a situation that the US could exit “with honor.” This resulted in the secret bombing in Laos and Cambodia. The shame of the bombings canceled any exit with real honor.

The Reagan era is also misunderstood. Just as President Jimmy Carter was regarded as an outsider by the Democratic Washington Establishment, Ronald Reagan was an outsider to the Republican Establishment whose candidate was George H. W. Bush. Just as Carter’s presidency was neutered by the Washington Establishment with the frame-up of Carter’s Budget Director and Chief of Staff, Reagan was partially neutered before he assumed office, and the Establishment removed in succession two national security advisors who were loyal to Reagan.

Reagan’s Priorities and the Establishment’s Agenda

When Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination, he was told that although he had defeated the Establishment in the primaries, the voters would not be able to come to his defense in Washington. He must not make Goldwater’s mistake and shun the Republican Establishment, but pick its presidential candidate for his vice president. Otherwise, the Republican Establishment would work to defeat him in the presidential election just as Rockefeller had undermined Goldwater.

As a former movie star, Nancy Reagan put great store on personal appearance. Reagan’s California crew was a motley one. Lynn Nofziger, for example, sported a beard and a loosely knotted tie if a tie at all. He moved around his office in sock feet without shoes. When Nancy saw Bush’s man, Jim Baker, she concluded that the properly attired Baker was the person that she wanted standing next to her husband when photos were made. Consequently, Reagan’s first term had Bush’s most capable operative as Chief of Staff of the White House.

To get Reagan’s program implemented with the Republican Establishment occupying the chief of staff position was a hard fight.

I don’t mean that Jim Baker was malevolent and wished to damage Reagan. For a member of the Republican Establishment, Jim Baker was very intelligent, and he is a hard person to dislike. The problem with Baker was two-fold. He was not part of the Reagan team and did not understand what we were about or why Reagan was elected. Americans wanted the stagflation that had destroyed Jimmy Carter’s presidency ended, and they were tired of the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union and its ever-present threat of nuclear Armageddon.

It is not that Baker (or VP Bush) were personally opposed to these goals. The problem was that the Establishment, whether Republican or Democratic, is responsive not to solving issues but to accommodating the special interest groups that comprise the Establishment. For the Establishment, preserving power is the primary issue. As The Saker makes clear, in both parties the Anglos of my time, of which George H. W. Bush was the last, have been replaced by the neocons. The neocons represent an ideology in addition to special interest groups, such as the Israel Lobby.

The Republican Establishment and the Federal Reserve did not understand Reagan’s Supply-Side economic policy. In the entire post-World War II period, reductions in tax rates were associated with the Keynesian demand management macroeconomic policy of increasing aggregate demand. The Reagan administration had inherited high inflation, and economists, Wall Street, and the Republican Establishment, along with Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, misunderstood Reagan’s supply-side policy as a stimulus to consumer demand that would cause inflation, already high, to explode. On top of this, conservatives in Congress were disturbed that Reagan’s policy would worsen the deficit—in their opinion the worst evil of all.

Reagan’s supply-side economic policy was designed not to increase aggregate demand, but to increase aggregate supply. Instead of prices rising, output and employment would rise. This was a radically new way of using fiscal policy to raise incentives to produce rather than to manage aggregate demand, but instead of helping people to understand the new policy, the media ridiculed and mischaracterized the policy as “voodoo economics,” “trickle- down economics,” and “tax cuts for the rich.” These mischaracterizations are still with us three decades later. Nevertheless, the supply-side policy was partially implemented. It was enough to end stagflation and the policy provided the basis for Clinton’s economic success. It also provided the economic basis that made credible Reagan’s strategy of forcing the Soviets to choose between a new arms race or negotiating the end of the Cold War.

Ending the Cold War and Bad CIA Advice

President Reagan’s goal of ending the Cold War was upsetting to both conservatives and the military/security complex. Conservatives warned that wily Soviets would deceive Reagan and gain from the negotiations. The military/security complex regarded Reagan’s goal of ending the Cold War as a threat comparable to Nixon’s opening to China and arms limitations treaties with the Soviet Union. President John F. Kennedy had threatened the same powerful interests when he realized from the Cuban Missile Crisis that the US must put an end to the risk of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union.

With the success of his economic policy in putting the US economy back on its feet, Reagan intended to force a negotiated end to the Cold War by threatening the Soviets with an arms race that their suffering economy could not endure. However, the CIA advised Reagan that if he renewed the arms race, he would lose it, because the Soviet economy, being centrally planned, was in the hands of Soviet leaders, who, unlike Reagan, could allocate as much of the economy as necessary to win the arms race. Reagan did not believe the CIA. He created a secret presidential committee with authority to investigate the CIA’s evidence for its claim, and he appointed me to the committee. The committee concluded that the CIA was wrong.

Reagan always told us that his purpose was to end, not win, the Cold War. He said that the only victory he wanted was to remove the threat of nuclear annihilation. He made it clear that he did not want a Soviet scalp. Like Nixon, to keep conservatives on board, he used their rhetoric.

Curing stagflation and ending the Cold War were the main interests of President Reagan. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I do not think he paid much attention to anything else.

Grenada and the Contras in Nicaragua were explained to Reagan as necessary interventions to make the Soviets aware that there would be no further Soviet advances and, thus, help to bring the Soviets to the negotiating table to end the nuclear threat. Unlike the George W. Bush and Obama regimes, the Reagan administration had no goal of a universal American Empire exercising hegemony over the world. Grenada and Nicaragua were not part of an empire-building policy. Reagan understood them as a message to the Soviets that “you are not going any further, so let’s negotiate.”

Conservatives regarded the reformist movements in Grenada and Nicaragua as communist subversion, and were concerned that these movements would ally with the Soviet Union, thus creating more Cuba-like situations. Even President Carter opposed the rise of a left-wing government in Nicaragua. Grenada and Nicaragua were reformist movements rather than communist-inspired, and the Reagan administration should have supported them, but could not because of the hysteria of American conservatives. Reagan knew that if his constituency saw him as “soft on communism,” he would lack the domestic support that he needed in order to negotiate with the Kremlin the end of the Cold War.

America Playing the Foreign Policy Game

Today Western governments support and participate in Washington’s invasions, but not then. The invasion of Grenada was criticized by both the British and Canadian governments. The US had to use its UN Security Council veto to save itself from being condemned for “a fragrant violation of international law.”

The Sandinistas in Nicaragua were reformers opposed to the corruption of the Somoza regime that catered to American corporate and financial interests. The Sandinistas aroused the same opposition from Washington as every reformist government in Latin America always has. Washington has traditionally regarded Latin American reformers as Marxist revolutionary movements and has consistently overthrown reformist governments in behalf of the United Fruit Company and other private interests that have large holdings in countries ruled by unrepresentative governments.

Washington’s policy was, and still is, short-sighted and hypocritical. The United States should have allied with representative governments, not against them. However, no American president, no matter how wise and well- intentioned, would have been a match for the combination of the interests of politically-connected US corporations and the fear of more Cubas. Remember Marine General Smedley Butler’s confession that he and his US Marines served to make Latin America safe for the United Fruit Company and “some lousy investment of the bankers.”

Information is Power

Americans, even well-informed ones, dramatically over-estimate the knowledge of presidents and the neutrality of the information that is fed to them by the various agencies and advisors. Information is power, and presidents get the information that Washington wants them to receive. In Washington private agendas abound, and no president is immune from these agendas. A cabinet secretary, budget director, or White House chief of staff who knows how Washington works and has media allies is capable, if so inclined, of shaping the agenda independently of the president’s preferences.

The Establishment prefers a nonentity as president, a person without experience and a cadre of knowledgeable supporters to serve him. Harry Truman was, and Obama is, putty in the hands of the Establishment. If you read Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the US, you will see that the Democratic Establishment, realizing that FDR would not survive his fourth term, forced his popular Vice President Henry Wallace off the ticket and put in his place the inconsequential Truman. With Truman in place, the military/security complex was able to create the Cold War.

From Bad to Worse

The transgressions of law that occurred during the Nixon and Reagan years are small when compared to the crimes of Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama, and the crimes were punished. Nixon was driven from office and numerous Reagan administration officials were prosecuted and convicted. Neither Nixon nor Reagan could have run roughshod over both Constitution and statutory law, setting aside habeas corpus and due process and detaining US citizens indefinitely without charges and convictions, authorizing and justifying torture, spying without warrants, and executing US citizens without due process of law.

Moreover, unlike the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes, the Reagan administration prosecuted those who broke the law. Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams was convicted, National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane was convicted, Chief of CIA Central American Task Force Alan Fiers was convicted, Clair George, Chief of the CIA’s Division of Covert Operations was convicted. Richard Secord was convicted. National Security Advisor John Poindexter was convicted. Oliver North was convicted. North’s conviction was later overturned, and President George H.W. Bush pardoned others. But the Reagan Administration held its operatives accountable to law. No American President since Reagan has held the government accountable.

Clair George was convicted of lying to congressional committees. Richard Secord was convicted of lying to Congress. John Poindexter was convicted of lying to Congress. Alan Fiers was convicted of withholding information from Congress. Compare these convictions then with James R. Clapper now. President Obama appointed Clapper Director of National Intelligence on June 5, 2010, declaring that Clapper “possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it’s not what we want to hear.” With this endorsement, Clapper proceeded to lie to Congress under oath, a felony. Clapper was not indicted and prosecuted. He was not even fired or forced to resign. For executive branch officials, perjury is now a dead letter law.

The destruction of the rule of law and accountable government has extended to state and local levels. Police officers no longer “serve and protect” the public. The most dangerous encounter most Americans will ever experience is with police, who brutalize citizens without cause and even shoot them down in their homes and on their streets. A police badge has become a license to kill, and police use it to the hilt. During the Iraq War, more Americans were murdered by police than the military lost troops in combat. And nothing is done about it. The country is again facing elections, and the abuse of US citizens by “their” police is not an issue. Neither are the many illegal interventions by Washington into the internal affairs of other sovereign countries or the unconstitutional spying that violates citizens’ privacy.

The fact that Washington is gearing up for yet another war in the Middle East is not an important issue in the election.

In the US the rule of law, and with it liberty, have been lost. With few exceptions, Americans are too ignorant and unconcerned to do anything about it. The longer the rule of law is set aside, the more difficult it is to reestablish it. Sooner or later the rule of law ceases even as a memory. No candidate in the upcoming election has made the rule of law an issue.

Americans have become a small-minded divided people, ruled by petty hatreds, who are easily set against one another and against other peoples by their rulers.


Got villians???

The Demand for Villains

By Thomas Sowell

The latest tempest in a teapot controversy is over a lack of black nominees for this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood.

The assumption seems to be that different groups would be proportionally represented if somebody were not doing somebody else wrong. That assumption carries great weight in far more important things than Academy Awards and in places more important than Hollywood, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

In an earlier era, the groupthink assumption was that groups that did not succeed as often, or as well, were genetically inferior. But is our current groupthink assumption based on any more hard evidence?

Having spent decades researching racial and ethnic groups around the world, I have never yet found a country in which all groups — or even most groups — are even roughly equally represented in most endeavors.

Nor have I been the only one with that experience. The great French historian Fernand Braudel said, “In no society have all regions and all parts of the population developed equally.” A study of military forces around the world failed to find a single one in which in which the ethnic makeup of the military was the same as that of the society.

My own favorite example of unrepresentativeness, however, is right at home. Having watched National Football League games for more than 50 years, I have seen hundreds of black players score touchdowns, but I have never seen one black player kick the extra point.

What are we to conclude from this? Do those who believe in genetics think that blacks are just genetically incapable of kicking a football?

Since there have long been black colleges with football teams, have they had to import white players to do the opening kickoff, so that the games could get underway? Or to kick the extra point after touchdowns? Apparently not.

How about racist discrimination? Are racists so inconsistent that they are somehow able to stifle their racism when it comes to letting black players score touchdowns, but absolutely draw the line when it comes to letting blacks kick the extra point?

With all the heated and bitter debates between those who believe in heredity and those who believe in environment as explanations of group differences in outcomes, both seem to ignore the possibility that some groups just do not want to do the same things as other groups.

I doubt whether any of the guys who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem ever went on to become ballet dancers.

Nor is it likely that this had anything to do with either genetics or racism. The very thought of becoming a ballet dancer never crossed my mind and it probably never occurred to the other guys either.

If people don’t want to do something, chances are they are not going to do it, even if they have all the innate potential in the world, and even if all the doors of opportunity are wide open.

People come from different cultures. They know different things and want different things.

When I arrived in Harlem from the South as a kid, I had no idea what a public library was. An older boy who tried to explain it to me barely succeeded in getting me to get a library card and borrow a couple of books. But it changed the course of my life. Not every kid from a similar background had someone to change the course of his life.

When Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived in New York in the 19th century, they were even poorer than blacks from the South who arrived in Harlem in the 20th century. But the Jews crowded into public libraries because books had been part of their culture for centuries. New York’s elite public high schools and outstanding free colleges were practically tailor-made for them.

Groups differ from other groups all over the world, for all sorts of reasons, ranging from geography to demography, history and culture. There is not much we can do about geography and nothing we can do about the past. But we can stop looking for villains every time we see differences.

That is not likely to happen, however, when grievances can be cashed in for goodies — and polarize a whole society in the process.


"...the real motive behind the neoconservative holy war against Trump is rooted in his foreign policy positions, which the neocons rightly view as a direct threat to their internationalist project..."

Nationalism and Its Discontents: The Meaning of Trump

The return of dreaded “isolationism” is cause for celebration

By Justin Raimondo

At the end of the cold war, a cadre of neoconservative intellectuals surveyed the debris of the fallen Soviet colossus and boldly proclaimed “the end of history.” The West, said Francis Fukuyama, writing in The National Interest, had won not only the cold war but also the war of ideas – for all time. We were inevitably embarked on a pathway to a “universal homogenous state,” and although the pageant of History (always capitalized!) would continue to “unfold” along a rather bumpy road, in the end it would prove to be a highway to US hegemony over the entire earth. In a symposium commenting on Fukuyama’s thesis, the ever-practical Charles Krauthammer nevertheless insisted that it would be necessary for the United States to hurry History along by force of arms. In a subsequent polemic in Foreign Affairs, he argued that we ought to take advantage of “the unipolar moment” to “integrate” the US, Japan, and Europe into a “super-sovereign” global empire united by a “new universalism” – which, he averred, “is not as outrageous as it sounds.”

Blinded by hubris, enthralled by the possibilities of unlimited power, the neocons – and their liberal internationalist doppelgangers on the other side of the political spectrum – didn’t see the nationalist backlash coming.

That rebuke was prefigured by a stinging rebuttal from the pen of Patrick J. Buchanan in the pages of The National Interest, who wrote that Krauthammer’s vision was “un-American,” pure and simple. In Buchanan’s view, this militarized universalism was nothing less than treason. Invoking the Founders, he wrote that this globalist fantasy failed “the fundamental test of any foreign policy: Americans will not die for it.” A nation’s purpose, he added, cannot be ascertained “by consulting ideologies, but by reviewing its history, by searching the hearts of its people.” So what, if not the “benevolent global hegemony” dreamt of by the neocons, would and should Americans fight for? Buchanan’s answer was to quote these stanzas from Lord Macaulay:

Buchanan’s answer to Krauthammer’s globalism was a foreign policy of “enlightened nationalism”: “total withdrawal of US troops from Europe,” and a rejection of the idea – nowhere authorized in the Constitution – that the President and/or Congress has the power to sacrifice its sons on the altar of some crazed crusade for “global democracy.” Prophesizing the declaration of President George W. Bush some fifteen years later that we would seek to “end evil” in the world, Buchanan raised the banner of non-interventionism in the pre-9/11 world: that is, in a country that was primed to hear his message.

He took that message to the Republican party, and the country, in three campaigns for the White House, all the while warning that the “unipolar world” dreamed of by Krauthammer and his fellow neocons was a dangerous fantasy, and that the rising tide of nationalism, from Beijing to Biloxi, would make short work of it. A multi-polar world was on the horizon, and the best we could hope for was to adapt to the new reality by tending to our own garden, which had – after a long global struggle with the (alleged) Soviet threat – by this time become choked with weeds and in need of emergency care.

The same nationalist tides that were sweeping the post-cold war world in Europe and Asia were roiling the waters in America, but they took on a different shape and coloration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Whereas Buchananism was inward-looking, anti-interventionist, and anti-globalist, the ultra-nationalism utilized by the neocons to mobilize the American people behind a crusade to transform the Middle East was and is aggressive, militaristic, and explicitly hegemonist – a bid to create the “unipolar world” of Krauthammer’s Napoleonic imagination.

This interrupted and in effect reversed the natural tendency to return to normalcy after the decades-long cold war struggle, and at a huge price in blood and treasure. And yet eventually the pendulum swung back again, as exhaustion – both emotional and financial – set in. America elected a President who vowed to end the wars, and deal with our festering home front crisis: that promise, however was not kept, and Barack Obama will leave office with the US once again in the middle of at least three wars, and with a hand in several others on their periphery. Yet the nationalist impulse – which is, in part, an “isolationist” impulse – is stronger than ever, laying just beneath the surface of the American political landscape, waiting for someone to pick up its banner.

That someone turned out to be Donald Trump.

I have many disagreements with Trump, but unlike his many enemies on the left and especially on the right I understand that his nationalism contains elements that are useful, instructive, and even admirable. Unlike Buchanan, he is certainly no intellectual, but then again the last intellectual to inhabit the White House – Woodrow Wilson – was an unambiguous disaster for the cause of peace and liberty, and so I don’t hold that against The Donald. There is surely a demagogic element to his astonishing rise, which his opponents – particularly those on the right – make much of. The recent jeremiad against him launched by the neocons over at National Review was filled with comparisons to Mussolini, Juan Peron, Hitler (of course!), and even Andrew Dice Clay, this latter barb a direct appeal to the smug snobbery that characterizes our urban elites. “He’s “vulgar,” he’s “rude,” etc. etc., and those were some of the gentler ways they characterized him personally.

Yet demagoguery didn’t bother them when it was deployed by George W. Bush as he marched us off to a disastrous war – a war Trump opposed, and continues to denounce today – and implied that his critics were in league with America’s enemies. “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists” – remember that one? Do you recall how Bush’s partisans over at National Review tried to tar conservative and libertarian opponents of the Iraq war – including this writer – as having “turned their backs on their country”? Demagoguery in the service of mass murder is fine with them: it’s only when their own methods are turned against them that the War Party starts to get religion.

Yes, Trump rose to prominence initially on the strength of his anti-immigration and protectionist stance – views he holds in common with his predecessor, Buchanan – but this doesn’t account for the hysterical opposition to his candidacy coming from the neoconservatives. National Review has been a veritable fount of anti-Muslim propaganda, with the writings of Andrew McCarthy, Mark Steyn, Kevin Williamson, and a host of others all polemicizing against the idea that terrorism is primarily due to US actions abroad and holding that the roots of Bin Ladenism lie in the nature of Islam per se. Given the logic of their longstanding position, how can they object to Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslim immigration? Yet there they were, breaking Godwin’s Law and claiming that we’d be facing an American Kristallnacht if Trump gets in the White House. What chutzpah!

No, the real motive behind the neoconservative holy war against Trump is rooted in his foreign policy positions, which the neocons rightly view as a direct threat to their internationalist project. Chris Matthews is on to their game: please watch his confrontation with a neocon journalist below.

Discussing the special we-hate-Trump issue of National Review, Matthews cornered poor NR writer Eliana Johnson, who was reduced to stuttering incoherence as he hammered her on what he rightly perceived as the overarching point of unity in “that crowd” on the Trump question: “that’s why they don’t like Trump, because he’s the only guy on the right wing who said [the Iraq war was] a stupid war.” When Johnson denied this, he demanded to know who among the long list of anti-Trump “intellectuals” wasn’t a war-hawk. “Can you answer me?” he persisted. “Who is not a hawk in that group?”

She couldn’t come up with one (although she might have stopped him by mentioning David Boaz, of the Cato Institute).

Boaz’s brief polemic, by the way, didn’t mention foreign policy: he confined his critique to references to Mussolini, George Wallace, and other comparisons seemingly ripped from the pages of Yet other contributors made no secret of the source of their animus. Neocon Mona Charen was appalled by Trump’s suggestion that “we let Russia fight ISIS.” Trump is “oblivious” to the “global jihad,” fumed Andrew McCarthy, angered by Trump’s vow to “stay out of the [Syrian] fray (leaving it in Vladimir Putin’s nefarious hands).” Bill Kristol was one of the signers, a man whose key role in ginning up the Iraq war is well-known to my readers.