Nov 032016
 November 3, 2016  Posted by at 3:56 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

London 1877


Amidst the epic flood of political statements and media commentary that keeps on rolling in and on, there’s something that doesn’t seem to occur to most people, and it should. That is, the unfortunate but apparently inevitable discussion about all the unfortunate and/or illegal things that either candidate may or may not have done, must be seen in the light of the capacity in which -perceived- errors or even crimes are committed. It is essential to this issue.

What far too many people are far too eager to ignore is that everything Donald Trump may have done that may have been illegal or on the edge, he did as a private person, and most of what Hillary Clinton has done in that same category was as a representative of the American government and hence the American people. The demands and standards when it comes to behavior are much higher for people in representative government positions than they are for private citizens, and they are so for good reason.

One may try and argue that this is not fair, but that’s a moot argument. One may also argue that everyday news strongly suggests that Washington is the very place where moral standards seem to count least, but that is also moot. What others do today, or have done in the past, can never be an excuse for eroding the standards to which government officials should be held. If anything, it should be reason to hold all of them to higher standards going forward.

This is the only way The Office of the President of the United States, and the US political system as a whole, can be expected to retain, or regain, the respect it badly needs to command, both domestically and on the international front. It is for this very reason that on the political scene, actors need to “do the right thing”, or “draw the consequences”, when the situation so demands. Respect for the office must always come before personal gain, or the whole edifice will crumble.

This also means that a president and his secretaries have much less room to move on their public statements on issues than ‘civilians’ do. And in that regard President Obama, though he seemed to be doing well, is now moving onto dangerous ground. On Monday, Obama seemed to back FBI director Jim Comey, or at least he refused to join his party in attacking Comey.

Note that the president can’t do anything even remotely perceived as attacking the head of the FBI. Not in public. And that would be true even if Comey were not his own appointment. The NY Post wrote:

While top Democrats are attacking James Comey, President Obama’s spokesman on Monday described the FBI director as a man of “integrity” and “good character” and said he is not trying to tilt the election. “I’ll neither defend nor criticize Director Comey,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “The president doesn’t believe that Director Comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of an election. He doesn’t believe he’s secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party. He is in a tough spot.”

Still, some sort of caveat was inserted by Press Secretary Earnest:

Earnest rebuked those who were assailing Comey for saying last Friday the FBI was reopening the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe just days before the Nov. 8 election. “There are other people that have the luxury of being able to opine, writing op-eds or serving as anonymous sources for reporters to weigh in with their own view, but when I stand here representing the institution of the presidency, I don’t have that luxury,” he said.

But not long after, the president joined the Clinton campaign choir after all, in a move that smells not at all presidential. Mother Jones headlined: Obama Slams FBI Over New Hillary Clinton Emails . This is a risky move not worthy of a president, who represents not a party but an entire nation, and all Americans.

President Barack Obama harshly criticized the FBI’s actions informing Congress about the discovery of new Hillary Clinton emails, suggesting to NowThisNews on Wednesday that the much-criticized letter was outside of law enforcement protocol. “We don’t operate on innuendo,” Obama said in his first remarks since the FBI’s announcement last Friday. “We don’t operate on incomplete information and we don’t operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.”

Obama acted presidential on Monday; he did not on Wednesday. And that’s not all. On Monday, Obama had already made another questionable move. Not only did he seem to ‘support’ Comey, he also lavished praise on Donna Brazile, the -interim- head of the Clinton campaign.

He did so mere hours (!) after Brazile had been fired by CNN, a network that drools Clinton 24/7. So when even CNN had had enough, Obama found it appropriate to say “she is a person of high character”. That does not add up. Here’s from Adriana Cohen at the Boston Herald in one of the best pieces I’ve read on the whole issue:

To put how serious this is into context, if Brazile traded stocks off inside information, the SEC would toss her in jail faster than you can say Martha Stewart. Yet, despite all of the above, the White House yesterday praised her integrity. You read that right. When asked about the hacked emails White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “No, the president believes she has done a fine job stepping in during a very difficult situation to lead the Democratic Party … she is a person of high character. She is a true professional who is a tenacious and effective advocate for Democrats.”

Why was Brazile sacked? For feeding the Clintonians debate questions. As per The Hill:

In an email dated March 5, 2016 — the day before a CNN debate in Flint, Mich. — Brazile sent Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri an email with the subject line, “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.” “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint,” she wrote.

Think about this for a second. Donna Brazile gets fired by CNN for -very illegally- letting the Clinton campaign in on a question that will be asked in a debate (with Bernie Sanders). Now, I think we can all agree that CNN does not have excessively high moral standards. And perhaps they don’t have to. But the president of the United States does.

Ergo: while the network said they were ‘completely uncomfortable’ with Brazile’s ‘interactions with campaign’, the same Donna Brazile was not only praised by the president, who is supposed to stand above all parties and divisions by the very nature of the Office he holds, she is also still the head of the Democratic campaign.

In other words, the sender of the messages containing debate questions (there were more than one) gets fired by one end of the ‘transaction’, but the receiving end has no problems with that exact same action, and then even sees that decision sanctioned by the nation’s president.

As if it wasn’t not illegal for Hillary to have those questions before the debate. There’s a sender and a receiver, and both are equally to blame. And so is Hillary, because of course she knew the questions had to have been obtained illegally. But she keeps on Brazile, the sender, as head of her campaign, as well as Podesta and Palmieri, the receivers, despite all this.

What does that tell you? Regardless of legal implications, doesn’t that scream out something in the vein of: “When we go low, but do we go really low”? What does it tell you when the Clintonians, and Obama, are fine with something even CNN won’t stand for? It can only mean that a network like CNN, not exactly famous for its moral stances, has higher moral standards than the campaign for a candidate for the presidency of the United States, a position where moral standards are a high priority.

These are the things that drag down the entire American political system. Obama’s statements on the FBI and Donna Brazile drag down the office of the president. And if Hillary would be elected on November 8, that office would be dragged down that much more.

And not only can we now foresee, and must we prepare for, serious domestic unrest no matter what the election result will be (I liked the notion I read somewhere of ‘America between 9/11 and 11/9’), the damage will also reverberate globally. I’ve said it before, I don’t see how Hillary and her people can still backtrack on all the innuendo they spread on Russia, but to be presidential, she will not have a choice.

Or she would risk getting stuck somewhere in the middle of all the untruths and outright lies about Putin, Assange and now James Comey, and that would mean a behemoth blemish on the presidency, something neither she nor the American political system can afford. You need more than just insinuations, you need at least kernels of truth if you want to be president.

When even the NY Times reports that the FBI Finds No Clear Link Between Trump and Russia, the Democratic campaign will have no choice but to step back or double down:

For much of the summer, the FBI pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead – which they ultimately came to doubt – about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank. Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government.

[..] Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, responded angrily on Sunday with a letter accusing the FBI of not being forthcoming about Mr. Trump’s alleged ties with Moscow. “It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” Mr. Reid wrote. “The public has a right to know this information.”

And maybe that’s another reason for them to go after Comey, that the FBI would not support the claims that Russia is linked with Trump. Regardless, we now see the FBI biting back. On just about all fronts. What exactly Comey’s role is in that is not 100% clear, but what is, is that Hillary would probably face two separate -criminal- investigations even before she could be inaugurated, if she’s elected.

One for the Clinton Foundation (pay-for-play), and one for her email server issue. About which, incidentally, Bret Baier at Fox said yesterday:

.. we learned there is a confidence from these sources [with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations] that her server had been hacked. And that it was a 99% accuracy that it had been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that things had been taken from that…

It’s starting to feel like the nets are closing in on the Clintons. And they may hope that there’s just enough time to get the election and win it, but that may well turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory. US law has many provisions that shield the president from persecution, but even if she would get elected, Hillary wouldn’t be sworn in for another ten weeks or so.

If Hillary wins, it may feel like it’s open season on her, and there’s no one to blame but herself. She’s incurred the wrath of so many parties, it’s hard to keep track. Donald Trump may be the least of her worries.

One last word, and this on the Huma Abedin related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. I see a lot of suggestions that no FBI agent has seen any of the mails, but that makes no sense. Comey would have never sent his letter to Congress on Friday if that were true. It might have gotten him accused of partisanship.

In reality, one or more agents have seen one or more mails. And they had permission for that. Note also that they had had access to the laptop for weeks before Comey’s letter. How much of the 650,000 they’ve seen we don’t know, but they’ve seen some. They had permission to read the mails, but under a warrant that pertained to the Weiner investigation, not the Hillary one.

Under the ‘Weiner warrant’, they undoubtedly read enough of them to know they’re hot stuff, and at some point someone decided reading any further would -for one thing- put the option of using them against Hillary at -grave- risk. This may well be a contentious point right now: how the evidence was obtained.

Whether Comey himself read anything is less clear: if they really kept him out of the loop for weeks because they were pissed off at him -as has been suggested-, perhaps not. But others have. And as we are seeing more and more, they are an angry bunch. In their eyes -and many others- Comey made a mistake, alright, but he did not do that last Friday. His huge error came in July, when he decided not to file charges against Hillary.

The July decision was probably due to a large extent to an ‘inner quarrel’ between the DOJ and FBI, and now that’s out in the open, it’s the classic genie and the bottle tale. It’ll be interesting to see how much of that genie is going to come out before Tuesday.



Home Forums The Office of the President of the United States

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    London 1877   Amidst the epic flood of political statements and media commentary that keeps on rolling in and on, there’s something that doesn’t
    [See the full post at: The Office of the President of the United States]

    Stephen Maturin

    Sorry to see hatred of Hillary Clinton expressed with such energy on this site. She’s just not that bad. She is, however, a female about to win the highest post on the planet.


    I don’t see any specific reference to her femaleness and fail to see what it has to do with this article. She may not be ‘that bad’ but there seems to be enough questions to warrant investigations. Margaret Thatcher is a great example of females being completely ruthless arseholes and still getting positions of power, but she didn’t try and poke Assange in the eye did she – “Can’t we just drone this guy?” Clinton openly inquired


    Agreeing with Stephen. Anyone involved in a service organization, or other non-profit do-good group, knows that civic extortion is involved. You must buy tickets for this event, contribute to this or that, because it is part of the cost for demonstrating civic-mindedness. To get access and try to sell your notions or get positive do-gooder exposure, you give money – maybe money you’d not rather give, just for the access. The non-profit has to generate results in the world to keep that worthiness bar which gets money to do good things that people would not otherwise fund. Some are better at it than others. Compare the Trump Foundation to the Clinton Foundation. You have the data to do so. Economists can’t quantify such status economics or their benefits to society. Also, might the FBI have a problem with a woman president, one who says “Black lives matter.” The old white boy network is very unhappy. The military has been in the lead on providing equal opportunity since Truman’s days. For the FBI, Efrem Zibalest, Jr. is no doubt still their ideal. Yes there are many angry because of the economic policies followed since the Nixon administration. Who is to fault? The economists, politicians, Wall Street brokers? The Ann Pettifor piece today notes: “The concept of growth was subsequently adopted as the goal of all economy policy by the newly-founded OECD in 1961.” A 1948 boomer, I was a freshman in high school at this time. Now 70, I still live in a world created by a near dead generation of thinkers. Bill Clinton was the first boomer president, but the old guys foisted some short term crappy economics on him as they did with Obama. Which is better for change, a seasoned insider – like Pope Francis, or an angry outsider who doesn’t know the first thing about the game – like everything in politics is always, always, always a compromise – unless you are the dictator. The world will figure out it is flat broke. A Trump incited crash is not a way to get there as far as I’m concerned. If, as Ann suggests, economists could find a way to say they got it wrong, that growth can not continue forever, maybe the ratchet down will be a bit calmer than say dropping out of the sky. The pictures that accompany TAE should not be our future. In the new movie Trumpland by Michael Moore, he gives a good account of how Trump supporters feel, which has been shown here and there, but it is necessary to watch the full movie. Seems Moore was never deceived by Bill, but has always found Hillary to be genuine. He notes Pope Francis represented the Catholic Church in Argentina during a series of repressive regimes. As Pope, the Church might have expected a conservative, but he stayed true to his roots and has worked to make the Church a greater force for good. He thinks Hillary will stick to her roots. The Donald will too. Not much there.


    Hillary Clinton stands accused of politics. If proven guilty, she must be deemed qualified for the job of top politician in the USA.


    Excellent, Ilargi. The faster the Zioglobalists can be expelled from positions of power in the US, the better for Americans and the world.


    The email thing is silly.What matters is she is a war criminal who had an active hand in the destruction of Libya, Ukraine, Syria and let’s not forget Yemen and Sudan and the absurd brand spanking new country we invented, South Sudan. Now all those places may have been screwed anyway but in every case we chose to help make them worse. None of which is mentioned by anyone except the vague Trump statements about not buying into the Putin as HitlerStalinDevil.

    Emails. phttt. How pathetic.

    The problem is would Trump be better? A man who lives for domination and humiliation. I suggest no. As the decline of the political economy is certain, whoever is in, the wreckage is going to be picked up by the reactionary right almost for sure. I would just prefer that to happen with a higher quality sort than Trump. Someone that actually has a clue and it would be better if they were not handed the keys in the belief they have some sort of mandate. Better it happen with by an overt semi or pseudo coup.


    The neocons and neoliberals of the U.S, share responsibility for the broken countries and broken economies. While The Donald revealed the truth of this about the Republican-Democratic majority more effectively than Bernie did, he is in no position to change that as he has no appreciation of its policy roots. The Republican mode is for the V.P. to run things with the President as an entertainer. To de-neo the Congress and establishment is necessary, but it won’t be done by a cold shower.

    V. Arnold

    Yay Ilargi, posting ago go.

    Hillary is quite frankly, a proven war criminal; as were the last four U.S. presidents.
    Hillary “not that bad”; just illustrates how far we’ve fallen.
    The U.S. is self destructing and is on the way down. Dying empires are hugely dangerous.
    Hillary is a harpy war-hawk and will escalate an already tense situation with China and Russia.
    2017 will prove to be a critical year for the planet earth and I’m not optimistic…

    V. Arnold

    …and to be clear; Trump is a disgusting blow-hard, not qualified to be dog catcher.
    I’m not voting; I refuse to support the broken and corrupt political system of the U.S..


    The Other Shoes

    V. Arnold

    ^ Now, that’s funny…


    I really hope they will have a proper investigation of 9/11 – without the Zionists in charge.


    Very glad to see we have the comments working again. I understand the problem has something to do with something somewhere on the server mixing http and https.

    I would like to have a conversation about articles like this, but that’s not going to happen when it starts off with someone claiming ‘hatred’ of Hillary. Sorry for that. I don’t hate people who make such claims either, but I do find it very regrettable.

    The function of places like the Automatic Earth is to provide a balance, a counterweight for people constantly bombarded with whatever you call whatever it is that mainstream media seek to expose them to. That is true when it comes to finance and the economy as a whole, and it is also true for other issues, including the US election.


    I’ve been thinking along these lines for a while now, but with a different slant that should sit reasonably well on this site.

    I think one of the reasons Clinton is so hated is that, as “the most experienced candidate”, possibly ever, she has already been tainted by all that is necessary, absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the American empire.

    Most previous presidents have been state governors or, occasionally, congressmen who could be seen as relatively innocent at the moment of swearing in and before they were confronted with the, often vile, facts of what it takes to maintain an empire.

    Clinton has already been there, 8 years in the WH, Sec of State, Senator. She was in the operations room with Obama and the chiefs of staff the day they assassinated Bin Laden and no doubt she was there at other times as dreadful things were done to keep American hegemony alive. By now standing for POTUS she is essentially throwing in American faces the realities (including off-site mail servers) with which the upper echelons of the machine function.

    Just as Colin Powell would bring to a candidacy the fact that he stood in the UN with his photos and maps and charts and flat-out lied to the whole world assembled about what he knew or did not know about Iraq, so Clinton brings the same kind of baggage and many Americans really, really don’t want to see it.

    Yes, we should hold public office-holders to the highest standards, but, as Cheney said, the American way of life is not negotiable. Those two things are not compatible and in Clinton they are overtly joined and on display. By hating her they are, to a degree, trying to reject the truth about their way of life, it is to be regretted that the Republican party, rather than putting up a moderately plausible alternative produced a clown car of incompetents and a proto-demagogue as candidates. For reasons we may never know, they decided to go with the one person who exemplifies even more the contradictions of American life, a superficially successful entrepreneur who turns out to be massively corrupt, incompetent, sleazy and ignorant, another dose of cognitive dissonance representing the private sector.

    It has come to a choice in which Americans have to reject one side or another of their much-vaunted civilisation and that fact alone is probably enough to make all of them hate both candidates and the parties they stand for. No wonder the electorate is so pissed off.


    Somewhere I saw this quote: “Trump is everything wrong with America’s culture, and Hillary is everything wrong with our government”

    I’ll vote 3rd party this year.


    Good grief, the Shills 4 Hills are out in force today. She’s not that bad?!? Seriously dude, wtf?

    How supine, and ovine, must Americans be to still be allowing this candidate to be on the ballot after everything that has come to light?

    Raul; you are right, the damage this toxc campaign has wreaked on the office and the country is beyond repair.

    Blue Horse

    For me, I suppose it’s a matter of picking your POISON. Someone I once respected and see as at least competent, but is now covered in the mud of political power and the all too ubiquitous concomitant self serving corruption of ‘pay to play’ that seems to permeate, with rare exceptions, the reality of global politics and is, with some validated reason I suppose, defensive to the point of the blow back of bad judgment coming home to roost.

    Or, an unfettered self aggrandizing 3 A.M. twitter moron with narcissistic personality disorder, a mind set to serial sexual predation, who foments violence while on the stump, demeans anyone he sees as inferior (which is virtually everyone), vengeance as an ego prop, corrupt – but not politically – primarily because he has never held political office. The expectation that he won’t be a corrupt politician is farcical on its face, it’s every bit a given. He’s a con man conning those with true grievances for his own narcissistic ends. God help us if he ever has his finger on the button. Just my humble opinion.


    I’ll be voting for Jill Stein, but if I lived in a swing state, I’d hold my nose and vote for Hillary.
    Why? Because of the Supreme Court. That appointment will affect our grand children.

    Thank you for the link to Ann Pettifor’s article in Open Democracy. I was also noting the mention of 1961 as the start of the “concept of Growth” for the economy. It is a telling point that it’s all a post-ww2 concept when the US became the last one depleted after the war, with debt and loans a new sharper tool..

    It’s heartening to hear the word Sustainable so often these days, a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I keep thinking that the huge circus of the election is a distraction from what the other hand is doing which is trying to keep the economic plate in the air.


    Thank you, rlmrdl, for your clear elucidation of this political moment. The blood of empire is on all Americans’ hands and the oligarchy has grown up and taken hold under all our noses. As I look at the choice before us in this election, it’s clear neither empire nor oligarchy are on the ballot, so that choice is off the table. Moreover, a protest vote will not register meaningfully on the outcome (as it arguably might have in 2000). So: A technocrat, thoroughly steeped in our flawed system, beyond competent in conventional terms, long committed to broad liberal values, inclusion among them; focused, hard-working, tough-as-nails. Or: An unstable ‘vulgar talking yam’ (Charlie Pierce’s formulation), not demonstrably committed to anything except putting more money in his own pocket, with all the flaws rlmrdl cites and then some, whose motives I suspect to be setting up an open and unfettered kleptocracy. Which do I want in charge of the executive branch when the shit hits the fan?

    For me, it’s not even a decision. My vote’s already in the can for HRC.

    Finally, I’m very frightened by the violent ‘white resistance’ that’s coalesced around Trump, and the racist proto-fascists of his inner circle creep the hell out of me. When the crisis comes, as The Automatic Earth contends is imminent, I do not want a president who will seek to set white against brown, natural-born against immigrant, Christian against Jew against Muslim. Let’s not make this harder than it already will be!


    “long committed to broad liberal values, inclusion among them; focused, hard-working, tough-as-nails”

    Too funny these liberal platitudes. How desperate and transparent this last-gasp full court press to win over hearts and minds. Would love to know how long you Hillary cheerleaders have been registered and posting on here.

    Dr. Diablo

    Fitts had an interesting perspective on this. If the system is killing you, and Trump is the maltov cocktail you have at hand, do you throw it?

    This is one of the key differences right now: it happens that the Democratic voters will be eaten second; they are either on some subsidy, in a limping coastal city, or at a government/insider job that sustains them, while the Republican base in flyoverland, the workers and Main Street businesses are have already been completely cannibalized as, the Nation Review said, a “vicious, selfish culture” of “dysfunctional, downscale communities [who] deserve to die.”–Language we would never tolerate for an instant concerning any other group. We already know that the entire GOP defense and insider structure has endorsed Hillary, that means the GOP party from the dog catcher on up did NOT endorse Trump, (and they are not allowed to “choose” our candidates) but maybe 1/3 or more have openly agitated for or endorsed Hillary. (Note to self: beyond the leaks proving she did not fairly win the Party endorsement, does this mean that Hillary is not the Democratic candidate, but the Republican one? Or does it mean there are only two parties now: the Insiders and the Outsiders?)

    So the conflict here is, who gets eaten first? If you’re being eaten, you will throw the maltov at the shark. If it’s the other guy being eaten, you wait, saying, “what if the boat catches on fire and sinks us all?” Destroying the system, the government, energy-distribution, social-power-flow system is no small issue. Any nation that attacks or disables it is in a world of misery for quite some time. And if it can be reformed, maybe we should just choose the lesser evil and start the 12,037th useless protest?

    It depends on whether you’re being eaten by the shark — Right Now — or not. Demographically, 50% of the nation is being eaten. Geographically, 90% of the nation is being eaten. They throw it.

    When that’s true, there is no battle between Democrats and Republicans, Black and White, City or Country, North or South, just Insiders vs Outsiders. Only this: “It’s a Big Club, and you ain’t in it.”

    For legality, there’s no contest. The present actors, including Hillary, DO and HAVE DONE all the things that Trump only SAYS. It’s as if words have somehow become more real than reality, that maybe nothing is real unless we report and admit it. The sex scandals come to mind–accusations of bad behavior vs almost certain confirmation after decades of bad behavior, but there’s a better example. Trump SAYS he will stop Muslim immigration until he can get US immigration process under control and get some paperwork on applying immigrants. This is a thing–like most things–he HASN’T done, because he’s never been in an official position, ever. Meanwhile, statistically zero Christian refugees have been imported from Syria, despite the fact that they comprise a noticeable portion of the population and despite that as non-Muslims, they are under a lot more pressure. That is to say, Obama has an actual, measurable ban on Christian immigration in place for a year. …Yet no one reports it or cares, because hey, Trump SAID something again. Its’ Trump that’s the racist bigoted one, despite the EXACT SAME THING going on right now by Obama. I’m not certain of the origin of this psychosis that SAYING something is far worse than DOING it, but it drives simpletons like me, flyoverland, and apparently the FBI, bananas. We are not smart-thinking sophisticates like you find in S.F. and D.C. For us, the law is prosecuted on what people actually, and provably DO, and I very much hope that your law does too. …Some thoughts.


    Ok, let’s susend disbelief for a second: assuming the pro-HRC crowd is expressing an honest – rather than bought and paid for – opinion about the options available…even then, have you all lost your fucking minds?

    Are you so immersed in this miasma of endless propaganda that you cannot see what s staring you square n the face?

    Broadreach; you appeal for not making this any harder than it already will be…what exactly is gonna be worse than ww3? Please do elaborate. Because Trump aint selling moar war afaik. And by divisive you mean calling out the politically correct cultural marxist soros-funded special snowflake activist trisexual sjw astroturf sock puppetry for the utter bullshit that it is, then he’s doing you all a favour. Wake the fuck up.

    Please God…make this end soon.


    There is agreement that change is needed, but change to what? TAE posits shrinkage of the global economy to the true level of assets, which is significantly less than the outstanding debt. We will all be very unhappy with this result. The Ann Pettifor article was interesting in that it said the notion of unlimited growth is a recent invention of economics – or perhaps political-economy or whatever group wants to claim authorship. Financialization of economies, making money with money is the game that increases asset values with no change to the asset. This inflation that economists want Jim Rickards has said is necessary for government taxation to work. They can tax inflation, but not deflation.

    The use of war to steal growth from others somehow, even though both sides experience destruction, is another game we should be wise to, but haven’t quite figured out that part. With a limited earth and growing population, there are logically some sort of limits to the ability of having something to distribute in the first place. Should we spend scare resources on military weapons which destroy treasure of others and puts our own at risk? Wave the flag.

    Around the world we are reaching the limits of economic expansion. Debt brings consumption forward from the future. A lot of money can be created to build things in the present that really don’t add enough value to repay that debt. Infrastructure is one of those things. Every bridge doesn’t generate the economic value to pay for itself. We have a lot of surpluses around the world now, because people are busy paying off debt and there’s less and less effective demand.

    So, in this election we have the choice of The Donald, who has told some truth about the economic situation of the world, in direct opposition to the Republican Party where he got the nomination. The Party does not have the philosophy to implement the policies that would correct the problems: tariffs, control immigration and stop foreign entanglements. The latter could have the impact of improving the military and cutting defense spending. The Republican Party itself would not do this. He’d possibly find allies on the Democratic side. He’s a crowd pleaser, but not shown a coalition building side. Pence is likely to be doing the day to day governing, so The Donald alone won’t be effective.

    Hillary on the other hand, in getting the Democratic nomination, did have to deal with the same issues in the candidacy of Bernie and the potential from Elizabeth Warren. The Democratic platform did have to move toward their issues. In my view, the neoliberal and neocon elements of the establishment need to be neutered, but that will take lots of work.

    If Hillary is elected, but there are Republican majorities in the House and Senate, we can look forward to more deadlock. The only agreement might be on the neocon side for more wars of distraction. Within the Democratic party, there are Sanders and Warren to lead in damping down that, as well as more favors for Wall Street. I assume there are more Democrats on that wagon. No sure if there are any Republicans.

    In my career as a planner I’ve worked with elected officials at all levels over a long period of time. Political communication is an art and skill. Good leaders also are good followers. No one starts out at the top. They work their way up, building relationships all the way. After the election, constituents all have to be treated equally, as their votes will be needed in the future and performance is based on delivery on promises. Not an easy thing to do.

    The United States is intended to last in perpetuity. The Constitution has no expiration date. It is said that the Founders decided to use the ambition of the politically oriented as a check, making them compete. The ambition of staying in office that leads to gerrymandered safe seats has meant that within that safe party, competition appears in the primary. Too bad, that pushes toward the pole of that party, rather than a center ground if both parties were involved.

    As for flyover country, as the oceans rise, the smart people/money will be moving inland. The July 4, 2276 Quincentennial (500 years) celebration will be quite interesting.

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