Aug 032019
 August 3, 2019  Posted by at 7:56 pm Finance, Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Edward Hopper The long leg 1935


Last weekend, I noticed that two of the main newsmakers were both named Cummings, one in the US, the other in the UK. At first glance they don’t look like family, but I’ll readily admit I can’t be sure of that. What I do know is that both are symbolic of what’s wrong with the political systems they figure in.

Also last weekend, I saw a comment somewhere, think it was Twitter, that said something in the vein of: let’s hope the British don’t make the same mistake with Boris Johnson that the Americans made -and make- with Donald Trump, that is, labeling every single thing he does as “Bad”, because then they would lose all of their credibility, fast.


Elijah Cummings and Dominic Cummings. Not related.


And I thought: that could have been my comment, that’s how I look upon the whole political circus too. The entire blind demonization of Trump has only made him stronger, and the loss of credibility of the ‘accusers’ is a major factor in that. Not everything that goes wrong in America is Trump’s fault, it can’t be. But for large segments of the press, and their affiliated politicians, that has been the message for three years now.

And then you wake up one morning after -another- hearing, this time that of Robert Mueller, which you lost again, and you find that nobody believes you anymore, or cares, except for those who’d believe anything you say whatever it is anyway, and all of the time. But that also means you don’t reach anyone new, anyone not already in your echo chamber.

Right before the Mueller hearings, Jerry Nadler once again stated that Mueller had ‘very substantial evidence’ Trump is ‘guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors'”. But not one iota of any such ‘substantial evidence’ was addressed by Mueller in the hearings. And that hurts Nadler’s credibility to no end.


After three years, there’s no more time and space for empty allegations. Just watch Rachel Maddow’s plunging ratings. She lost some 25% of her viewers in the first half of this year. The Democrats would do well to take that into consideration before they speak out again. The latest episode a week ago started with Trump calling out Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on his comments about the border and telling him to take care of Baltimore first.

When Trump said Baltimore was rat infested, a million Democrats called him a racist for it, as in: he wasn’t talking about rats, he was really talking about black people. And subsequently we find out that Baltimore indeed has a substantial problem with rats, various other rodents, garbage, you name it. And one thinks: stop doing it, stop calling him names, stop calling every single thing he does “Bad”. Elijah Cummings has been one of many people doing just that.

Y’all need to stop it because you’re losing. You have been losing for those entire three years. You helped Maddow and the WaPo and NY Times make a fortune with their 24/7 empty allegations, but in the process you’ve been murdering your own party. If you want to fight Trump, you’ll have to do it with facts and evidence, mere innuendo no longer works, those days are gone. You need to change strategy, urgently, you have less than a year to do so.

And talking about the MSM, you also need to stop only watching and reading those sources. Because they don’t provide a wide enough picture, they put blinders on you. It’s what’s been so profitable for them. But not for your party, though it may seem to be.

But yeah, you look at the line-up of ‘candidates’, most of whom appear completely lost in the ‘field’, and you must wonder what 2020 will bring for your party. There’s Kamala and Biden on the right, and then there’s Bernie and Warren on the left. And you just know the DNC is going to pull another Bernie 2016 move. They don’t want the left, they don’t want the Squad, and they’re conspiring against Tulsi Gabbard too. It’s not the empire that’s coming for Tulsi, it’s the DNC.


If I were you, I’d first make sure the DNC gets no say in the choice of your candidate. I’d say disband the whole thing. They are responsible to a large extent for the losing pro-Hillary tactics that have made Trump that much stronger and got him elected. They are behind the whole Russiagate disaster, and the party must urgently distance itself from that. How you can do that without major internal cleansing, I don’t see.

If I were you, I would get rid of Nadler and Adam Schiff and Cummings and a whole lot more faces. Make a fresh start. As things are, the only people who will vote for you are those who would anyway, the echo chamber inhabitants. But the Democrats need additional voters too, swing voters, the already converted are simply not enough.

I see voices promoting an everything-on-red gamble for Michelle Obama, but that reeks far too much of desperation. Then again, betting on Biden or Kamala doesn’t look to be a winner either. The best person might well be Bernie, but the party made clear in 2016 they don’t want him. Personally, I would like to see a Bernie/Warren ticket, because it would give Americans a choice between truly different ideas and options.

Then again, Bernie keeps you far too close to being the War Party with his Russia comments. Americans deserve better. Embrace Tulsi Gabbard’s voice, even if you don’t want her as your candidate. The people love her, even if the DNC does not. She can get you votes you wouldn’t otherwise get. But overall, I don’t see much hope for you next year. Unless you manage to crash the economy before Christmas. Or Easter at the latest. How about Halloween?


If only because then there’s the other Cummings who made the news this week, Boris Johnson’s special adviser Dominic Cummings. I referenced the movie The Uncivil War a while back, and one thing I think I learned from it is that this Mr. Cummings doesn’t play second fiddles. He only agreed to run the VoteLeave campaign that in the end won the Brexit vote when he was given free rein. I think the same thing might have happened now.

He’s agreed to run Boris Johnson’s “Brexit by Halloween” program on the condition that nobody, very much including Boris himself, gets in his way. In 2016, Cummings pushed Boris forward because his polling data told him Nigel Farage was too unpopular and would cost too many votes (yes, the same Farage who has since pretended he was the big winner). But Cummings had no high opinion of Boris either, and still doesn’t.

What that adds up to is that the real boss in no. 10 is not even the PM nobody elected, it’s a guy who got handed the power by that unelected PM in a backroom meeting. And once Dominic Cummings has delivered Brexit, he’ll vanish into the shadows again, where he feels best. Given his past criticisms of Brexit, as well as the entire political system, it could all be more about the win, the kill, then about the value of what it will achieve. He’s not a politician anyway because he’s not a puppet. Cummings is a puppeteer. Boris, well, you get the picture.


Mind you, Brexit may well be a great idea. Just not this way, certainly not this way. The EU has turned into a very questionable club, no doubt. But does anyone at all have the idea that the UK will be well-prepared when they leave that club at Halloween? The thing I find problematic is that all UK laws, regulations, treaties over the past 40 years were agreed to in team efforts with Brussels. London signed them all.

That is a lot of laws and treaties and pieces of paper. Everything modern, everything that didn’t exist 40 years ago, think communications, internet etc. etc., will be part of that. Are they going to leave but still use all those thousands of pages of legislation anyway to regulate their “new” country? I don’t know how they see that, and frankly I don’t think they know either. They seem to just have been bickering amongst themselves for 3 years, and left preparation on the backburner.

Are their businesses prepared for reams upon reams of new paperwork, digital or not? I can’t be sure, but I don’t see it. And then there’s the Irish border, and the backstop. Westminster largely acts as if that’s a minor nuisance, and Paddy will fall into line, but today it’s not just a matter of talking to Dublin, but of talking to Brussels as well.

And you can despise the EU all you want, but they have no choice but to stand with Ireland. They can’t say: let’s ditch the backstop, that is not an option, Brexit would make the Irish border the border of the EU. And if Cummings and Boris want to head for a no-deal Brexit regardless, Good Friday will be as good as dead. Does Dominic Cummings really want to be held responsible for that? Hard to believe. Boris perhaps, but Cummings?

Boris and his people insist there won’t be new border crossings, that technology can save the day, and do the work away from the border. Haven’t seen them explain it though, and certainly not in any detail. But I did see a video the other day of someone involved in the Good Friday negotiations explaining what would happen.

He said, paraphrased: “you put cameras on -or near- that border, there’ll be militants shooting them down. Then you need police to protect the cameras, and they’ll shoot at the police. So you must bring in the army to protect the police, and you’re right back to the Troubles”. The Irish border is still a highly fragile combustible situation. And if Boris insists on not having a backstop, it’s hard to see how new Troubles can be avoided. The Good Friday Agreement came into effect less than 20 years ago, in December 1999.

The dysfunctional political systems Elijah Cummings and Dominic Cummings are part of may appear to be dysfunctional for different reasons. But the role of the media in both cases is very similar. The media wants to be -and define- the message, because that’s where the money is, and the power.





Home Forums A Tale of Two Cummings

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    Edward Hopper The long leg 1935   Last weekend, I noticed that two of the main newsmakers were both named Cummings, one in the US, the other in t
    [See the full post at: A Tale of Two Cummings]

    V. Arnold

    Edward Hopper The long leg 1935

    Reminds me of Northport, Long Island, N.Y.; one of my childhood homes where I went sailing for the first time with my dad…


    V.Arnold what a lovely memory to for such a beautiful painting – the blue is gorgeous.

    V. Arnold

    V.Arnold what a lovely memory to for such a beautiful painting – the blue is gorgeous.

    The gaff rigged sloop really sets it off; the north shore of Long Island was a fantastic place to grow up.

    Dr. D

    Should think of e e cummings

    “tis of centuries come and go/and are no more. what of it?”

    Dr. D

    I don’t know where we’re going, but we’re certainly going there. No one’s steering the ship on these and a lot of other issues.

    But human nature doesn’t need anyone in charge. Like a beehive, a lot of times self-organization, that organic, ground-up development works better. It’s messy and slow, but seeing the utter lack of imagination (and cooperation, hurtful stonewalling in these two news points) maybe it’s better to let history – or rather humanity, each party’s voters – push them along naturally until they can finally see where the parade is going and get in front of it and pretend to be “in charge” of the crowd that was going there anyway. …That’s politics.

    These guys have been standing in front of the two parades, arms outstretched, saying “Stop! Stop!”, as if to a herd of Yellowstone Bison, and with similar results. They call us “cattle”, “stupid sheep” and so on, but you can only lead cattle in a way they want to go. You’re not free, and you’re not in charge, and you can’t lead them far too far, or in the opposite way that they wish. But hubris does not allow that. In Greek myth, Hubris is challenging the gods, the way, the natural order, the Tao perhaps. It is #AntiLogos.

    Well, that’s a Liberal view, but here we are, with all the tin-pot dictators in charge, Merkel, The Guardian, Westminster, the secret DNC heads, and they ARE telling everyone what to do every minute, that the people’s every thought and act is bad and aren’t-you-ashamed-now-you-naughty-thing, and the people ARE ignoring them, and the world is spinning, they get up, food is delivered just as badly as yesterday, and out in the Sound, ships are sailing as they’ve sailed 300 years. If you institutionalized the lot of them, and I don’t mean the Institution of Parliament, we’d still get up and make breakfast for each other, sell bagels, sail ships, and hardly notice their passing, because they’re in charge of nothing and in general we don’t need them. For good or bad, Britain is going to just keep using the 100,000 existing laws out of sheer habit until somebody tells them otherwise, that’s human nature.

    Ireland may be reunified over Brexit, and it’s hard to tell if that’s a good or a bad thing, but probably good in the 1,000 year view. And in 1,000 years will the drang and sturm look all that big? Not really, it will look like some ill-advised tin-pot, just like the tin-pots today, pushed colonists into Ireland, and later on over the years, some were re-located and some were absorbed until the natural order and boundaries were restored. The DNC will shatter, lose, split, perhaps change name, and reappear later under some other name and platforms, for they are the same people with the same priorities. History will mark them, but we won’t. And at 70, Donald will grow old and retire, leaving some different person in his place who will execute the public impulse he rode in on, but didn’t need him and would have anointed another, or two, or three, in his absence. So with Britain, it’s taking a few turns, but the national intent is established, the EU arc is pre-scribed, mapped, and set by time, and they will go their way. You see this in the time + trend people such as Martin Armstrong, or Strauss-Howe but the pivotal point is, they don’t need any leaders. History works despite them and their foibles. So, while entertaining, I wouldn’t worry all that much about it: ignore them and all their petty orders; they just don’t matter. …And saying so will drive them wonderfully mad.


    I agree with the main point you make, which is that blind criticism of Trump defeats the purpose. Many examples abound, from Adam Schiff’s inane attack on Trump for calling off the attack on Iran to the Democrats trotting out Mueller yet again, the same official who insisted in 2002 that Iraq had WMDs. The DNC has increased tensions with Russia and continued to an increased the risk of nuclear war, all to divert tension from cheating in the primaries, and a glaring conflict of interest when Hillary was running the DNC from Brooklyn while she herself was a candidate. This behavior, combined with the scapegoating of Julian Assange and continued support for the surveillance state, is as reprehensible as anything the Republican Party has done.

    That being said, Raul, I think you overreact to legitimate criticisms of Trump. The racism is real. I, more than most people, should be angry at false accusations of racism because the “r” word was thrown at me when I complained about drug dealing in my own apartment building–forcing me to move. Yet, since the Nixon administration, the racist “dog whistle” has been employed dozens of times by Republicans and many Democrats to justify policies that erode the quality of life for millions regardless of race. From Bush Sr.’s Willie Horton ads to mass incarceration from Biden’s crime bill, to the “shithole countries” that Trump references, politicians have used racial innuendo instead of actual racist statements as a political tool to stoke feelings of racism that people still have, while providing political cover for the politician claiming they are not racist.

    Trump himself has alternated between the dog whistle and the bullhorn–the bullhorn being explicit racist statements that, for example, say that Mexican immigrants are murderers, rapists, and drug smugglers. In doing so, he has encouraged acts of violence as evidenced by race-based physical attacks whose perpetrators cite Trump as an inspiration.

    The attack on Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore is a perfect example of dog-whistle racism. Cummings, as a Congressman, has little influence on the well being of Baltimore citizens. Life there is probably as ugly as Trump says, but whose fault is that? Baltimore is 63.7% Black, and one common tactic used against such cities is to blame its citizens for the conditions, when it very well may be poverty, lack of sustainable paying jobs, racism and other factors. You don’t know what causes it, and Trump’s not smart enough to know or care what causes it, but at the end of the, the unspoken message is that “these black people cannot govern themselves.” Essentially, Baltimore joins the list of “shithole countries.” Furthermore, the full statement was an effort to compare Baltimore to the conditions at the border, when he said “As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

    Raul, you’ve done an amazing job educating me about the EU’s treatment of refugees. I find it notable that I haven’t heard as much about it recently, and Italy’s role in it when they are governed by a coalition of the Northern League and the Five Star movement, the latter of which you’ve praised in the past (and admittedly, I don’t know to what extent Five Star has a role in Italy’s current refugee policy, if any). For you to be more silent about the refugees on the US border than you had been about the EU’s treatment simply doesn’t make sense. It’s true that Trump is essentially building on what Presidents Clinton and Obama started (with Obama earning the nickname “Deporter-in-Chief”), but it’s also true that under Trump, conditions have reached a new level of inhumanity that needs to be spoken against.

    I am a big fan of this blog and have learned a lot, but I have to wonder if your defenses of Trump are themselves an overreaction to the hypocrisy, corruption, and anti-democratic nature of the so-called Democratic Party. The DNC, MSNBC, and people who reflexively put down everything Trump says or does deserve to be called out, but there is, at the same time, good reason to be worried about the precedents that Trump is setting.

    Thank you for this blog and all the good work you continue to do.


    “The dysfunctional political systems Elijah Cummings and Dominic Cummings are part of may appear to be dysfunctional for different reasons. But the role of the media in both cases is very similar. The media wants to be -and define- the message, because that’s where the money is, and the power.”
    My mind immediately moved on to e e cummings and then Ezra Pound.
    “…Angered by the carnage of World War I, Pound lost faith in Great Britain and blamed the war on usury and international capitalism. He moved to Italy in 1924 and throughout the 1930s and 1940s embraced Benito Mussolini’s fascism, expressed support for Adolf Hitler, and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley. During World War II, he was paid by the Italian government to make hundreds of radio broadcasts criticizing the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jews, as a result of which he was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason. He spent months in detention in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including three weeks in a 6-by-6-foot (1.8 by 1.8 m) outdoor steel cage, which he said triggered a mental breakdown: “when the raft broke and the waters went over me”. The following year he was deemed unfit to stand trial, and incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years.”
    And then my mind drifted to James Forrestal and Julian Assange….

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