Nov 212019
 November 21, 2019  Posted by at 1:49 pm Finance, Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925


Below is a private email I received a few days ago from an Automatic Earth reader and that I would like to share with you.

Watching (some of) the impeachment inquiry this week and last, I again get the same feeling I’ve had for some 4 years now, which is something we all know -metaphorically- from the Godfather.

The Democrats and the Republicans are like two -of the five- families, let’s say the Barzini family and the Tattaglia family (we’ll leave the Corleones be), which are both utterly corrupted and lethal predators, and I wouldn’t want to choose between them. But that’s not made easy.

In this metaphor, the Tattaglia family appears to have both the intelligence services and 95% of the media on their side, which keep telling their readers and viewers that the Barzini family are much worse than the Tattaglia family. That’s what I see when I look at the impeachment inquiry, and the comments in the press surrounding it: they all, the Democrats, the media and the FBI/CIA et al, are trying to convince everyone that Don Barzini is the anti-christ and the Tattaglia family are fine upstanding Americans.

What I have been doing over the past years is to try and restore some balance to that picture. But I still get -perhaps not surprisingly- accused of being a right-wing Trump supporter. Because you’re either with us or with them. And 95% of the press is apparently still not enough; they want me to join in as well.

And yes, maybe I’m stupid, maybe you shouldn’t try to go against such an overwhelming majority of the press. But at the same time, the picture they paint makes no sense to me. And besides, I want the press to give me news, facts, not try to make up my mind for me. I would like to do that myself.

But that’s where the biggest change has occurred. In the past, you could read articles in the New York Times, Guardian or WaPo, and watch CNN, and come away with the impression that you had been provided with news. Today, you no longer can, because all of it is seeped in propaganda.

Still, that’s how the press make their money these days. As I wrote quite some time ago, Trump Sells Better Than Sex. Writing and saying bad things about him is their meal ticket. For four years and change they’ve been insisting that the next story would be the bombshell (talk about a deflated word) that would sink Trump, that it would be The BIG ONE, as I wrote yesterday. And sure enough, all their comments on Gordon Sondland’s testimony yesterday say it again.

This has nothing to do with my opinion of Donald Trump (and perhaps not even theirs), it’s about the process, and how it has changed, likely to a large extent because of the pressure exerted on the old media by internet and social media. Trump is the best thing that ever happened to the old guard’s finances. They willingly gave up on half the American population, because the other half can’t get enough of Orange Man Bad narratives. Looks like a risky gamble, but they were truly desperate. One should wonder if they really want Trump gone, because what then?

As I said, I thought I’d share that mail. The author said it’s okay. I deleted anything that could identify him. And of course I’m curious to know what you think about his words (and mine).



Hello Ilargi,

I just read Moonraker’s comment about your “right wing talking points”.

This is, once again, tiresome and ridiculous. Just as when people call you a pro-Trump, or whatever similar. Derangement syndrome, or Maoist frenzy, or headless chickens, many descriptive phrases apply to these reactions to anything with a link to common sense.

What amazes me is how unhinged the mainstream view of the world has become. And I am grateful to find a healthy measure of sanity in TAE.

Since 2014 I have been watching a major onslaught of disinformation, starting around Maidan, and later moving into overdrive with Trump. I think the man is a piece of junk, but the mainstream reaction to him has a distinct Orwellian feel (when the progressive ‘Our Values’ crowd starts singing Thank God we have NATO, the CIA, the Deep State… you know your Boeing 737 MAX is flying upside down).

The Narrative about Trump, especially here [in Canada] through our PC media class, is perfect, smooth and shiny, just like a brand new Tesla or a tale you read to your child in bed at night.

Trump may be crazy, I don’t know – but for sure our reaction to him has been erasing our sanity. This [is] both painful and entertaining to watch.

Our collective delusion about anything that matters (Trump, Russia, finance, energy, the rape of our planet, etc.) is IMO the greatest show on Earth. And it is on great display on TAE, including the remarkable Comments section. I have come to love the smell of it in the morning.

So yes Ilargi, please, keep up the good work!



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Home Forums The Godfather in US Politics

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    Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925   Below is a private email I received a few days ago from an Automatic Earth reader and that I would like t
    [See the full post at: The Godfather in US Politics]

    Dr. D

    Nailed it. But again, where did we get the idea that we should dislike him, if not from the same crew we are right now saying can’t be trusted? Maybe we should go back a half-step? What do we know and when, and how, did we know it?

    The day after Trump declared Presidency and the DNC election machine started? It’s weird after going to their wedding he only became the anti-Christ the day after he declared. Check and double-check.


    I agree with his words and I am sorry for my pouring into the comments here last few days but this gnawing feeling about this issue has been with me for a while. I think for me at least and you seem to still get alot of flak from confused readers I have needed some.more clarity. I get it I think more and more but at the same time Dr. D is filling the vacuum speaking for you and boschovitz aswell, dont know if they agree with each other but both seem to think they know exactly where you stand. This strategy of leaving out things is interesting but I think you are opening yourself to qlot of projection. If people who think Trump is horrible feel repelled at TA and people who think he is great or the lesser evil feel you speak for them. How long before you loose cintrol of where you stand. I dont know this is how I see it anyway.


    Nobody speaks for me Kosmos. Jeez, you get your own site and that is still not obvious?😄

    As for your confusion, it is not possible for me to repeat every single day that I do not like or support Trump. That you appear to think it is needed I think attests to the 95% of the press I mentioned above. It’s like you have to explain ad nauseum that you’re not in either camp, and that’s just utterly stupid.


    Dr. D its not just from them. Come on. He is saying things, associating with people and ideas and loads of independent thinkers hate his guts completely regardless of the Democrats insanity based on statements and policy. There might be a grand conspiracy involving seemingly independent people but in spite of your complex, interesting thinking in general I think you simplify this question. And I really dont appreciate the strawman thing earler, I am not in the filter bubble you accuse me of. I read Raül daily, Kunstler, Orlov, you every time you post, no CNN, MSNBC. I agree with your basic values, I see merit in your views on Trump but I still dont trust him.what if he wrangles control over the spy agencies and media. Think he will give them up? I dont, thats where we differ.


    Also, as I’ve said 1000 times, the idea that I should ‘balance’ my articles better gets destroyed by the fact that the news is so unbalanced. I AM the balance. Has this cost us readers? No doubt, but what am I to do? Make up stuff so they feel better?


    Well Raül you have taken a concious desicion to just leave out what you dont like about Trump. I have’nt seen you spell it out once, and thats where the problem lies. If its even a problem. Anyone can project whatever they like on you just saying your not in his camp but without specifying why. I dont understand why the perplexes you? People will fill in the empty space. I think I know things you dont like about him but I dont know because you haven’t told us even once. It’s fine but dont be supriced by the effects. Do you get what I mean or am I crazy? It seems so obvious to me. Vacuum >projection.


    I don’t understand your point about Dr D, but remember he speaks for himself, not for me.

    And I don’t know where you see a strawman.


    In another thread he insinuated I think aimed at me everyone who dislikes Trump is duped by msm. That post was only aimed at him.


    Nobody here is in a position to change the world.
    We are all old babbling seniors.
    The enablers, (lawyers, accountants, bankers), don’t care about all of our words.
    Get over your frustration for not being recognized for your witt and, abilities.
    Enjoy your retirement.


    Cant avoid it, need to get this out of my system.

    My point is exactly, how to differentiate you from people who speak as though they know what you mean when you leave out all information on the issue and let us fill in the blanks of why exactly you are not in Trumps camp. I think I can fill them in, I’m pretty sure of it but I cant know because you leave it out. Last post from me for a while. Think it sums up my analysis of why you get so much anger directed at you.

    John Day

    Trump is sure weird, which looks like a big part of why he was elected, his anti-appeal.
    We are in weird times. This weirdo “turned pro”, to channel Hunter S Thompson/

    Google search results by candidate are not released this time.
    Tulsi Gabbard led each of the previous times.
    That’s not a preferred narrative.​ Bernie, either…
    Would MSNBC ever dare favor the Democratic Party establishment? Of course not!
    ​ ​Just kidding. But I at least thought that the de facto media arm of the Democratic National Committee might be a little bit more discreet. Wednesday night’s debate in Atlanta, moderated by MSNBC, was openly skewed toward Warren and tried to all but ignore outsiders such as Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang.
    ​ ​This was evident from the debate’s very first half hour. Warren got at least three questions before Yang or Gabbard were even acknowledged.

    ​Bernie Sanders gets routinely slandered by MSNBC, not merely ignored.

    Sanders took a principled stand on US Foreign (AKA “war”) Policy. This is a huge initiative.
    ​ ​“One of the big differences between the vice president and myself is he supported the terrible war in Iraq, and I helped lead the opposition against it,” declared Sanders. “And not only that, I voted against the very first Gulf War as well. And I think we need a foreign policy which understands who our enemies are that we don’t have to spend more money on the military than the next ten nations combined.”
    ​ ​Responding to a question about whether he would negotiate a deal with the Taliban in order to get the United States out of Afghanistan, Sanders argued that the time has come to “rethink the entire War on Terror.”
    ​ ​“I think it is time, after spending many trillions of dollars on these endless wars which have resulted in more dislocation and mass migrations and pain in that region, it is time to bring our troops home,” said Sanders.​..
    ​ Sanders seized every opportunity to outline foreign-policy alternatives in the fifth round of Democratic debating. Joining several of the candidates in calling out President’s Trump’s approach to Saudi Arabia, he declared that “Saudi Arabia is not a reliable ally.” Sanders argued that the United States must promote negotiations between the Saudis and the Iranians, telling both “we are sick and tired of us spending huge amounts of money and human resources because of your conflicts.”
    That in itself was a strong statement, but the senator did not stop there.
    ​ ​“The same thing goes with Israel and the Palestinians,” said Sanders. “It is no longer good enough for us to be pro-Israel, I am pro-Israel, but we must treat the Palestinians with the dignity they deserve.”


    zerosum: Im in my thities, trying the best I can. Slowly getting disillusioned and hopefully wiser.

    John Day

    Look​ there​, an ​I​mpeachment!
    ​ ​House Democrats have slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.​..​
    ​ ​A roll-call vote on the bill was split exactly along party lines, with all 230 Democrats standing up for unconstitutional mass surveillance – including progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who spoke out against it earlier. Two other Democrats opted not to vote, but not a single representative dared oppose party groupthink.

    ​My read on Trump diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula is that he is suddenly adding this $5 billion increased price for keeping American occupation forces in South Korea, to facilitate a step-down of those forces, which is what North and South Korean governments want. Koreans don’t want to be 2 countries at war with each other, just because they were occupied by competing outside powers after WW-2.​ Maybe I’m wrong, but I see a pattern.
    ​ ​Though South Korea had successfully negotiated cost sharing agreements for decades, the current timing to the crisis couldn’t be worse, given stalled US-DPRK talks and threats of new missile tests, not to mention the looming US presidential elections next year. CNN reports of the crisis:
    ​ ​The sudden end to the talks, which were in their third round, comes amid renewed tensions between the allies after President Donald Trump hiked the price tag for US forces roughly 400% for 2020, a move that frustrated Pentagon officials and deeply concerned Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

    John Day

    I just sent Bernie some money for what he said last night. I have not done that since 2016 primary season, supporting Tulsi Gabbard as the anti-war candidate, but Bernie just went “over the top” as they said in WW-1 trench-warfare.
    It wan’t a lot of money, but a lot more than the $2.70 he’s been bugging me for for months.

    John Day

    I have to wonder if Sanders think the financial crash will come before erection-day, even before the Democratic primary.
    Is he positioning himself on the potential timeline of elite disarray and desperation?
    Just speculating… He sure looks like he is really running.


    The snowball is rolling. More info about the enablers in the Ukraine.

    Vindman & Fiona Hill are represented by Boies, Schiller & Flexner. That law firm also did work for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that paid Hunter Biden millions of dollars. That firm also employed Hunter Biden & paid him more than he’s worth. Weird, huh?

    This same law firm also represents Stephan Halper from the Russian Collusion hoax.
    Another researcher M3thods on twitter has also discovered a connection to Schiff:


    Did you miss

    The Ukraine scandal timeline Democrats and their media allies don’t want America to see

    December 12, 2018:
    Ukrainian court rules that the efforts by Ukrainian parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko and NABU chief Artem Sytnyk to publicize the Manafort black ledger documents in 2016 were an improper foreign intervention in the American presidential election.

    Maxwell Quest

    I would have no trouble adding my signature to the letter Ilargi posted above. And as a faithful reader of TAE I believe the author is more concerned with getting at the truth than picking sides or, god forbid, worried about his popularity.

    For example, there are many things I like about Trump, and many more that I dislike. Like Kosmos, I see in Trump, because of his personality defects, the potential dictator that would enjoy the parades, banners, statues, and the “great-leader” worship that we so despise coming out of NK. After the smooth talking “Turns out I’m really good a killing people.” Obama, however, he’s a breath of fresh air.

    I would not want to start my day without TAE and its comment section. Whether I agree or not, most contributors make interesting points that shed new light on current events. And isn’t that really why we are here?


    As a dedicated TAE reader, I want to thank you Raul for the hysteria-free analysis. I would also echo/endorse Maxwell’s comments above as he pretty much captures my thoughts on the subject. Keep on, keepin’ on!


    RE: Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925
    Unbelievable Transparency Skills

    new light on current events. And isn’t that really why we are here?



    I’ve ventilated my opinion of Trump a hundred times here, and if you’ve missed all of them, there’s only so much I can do about that. And that is the issue here. I am acutely aware of it, but my hands are bound and tied. I cannot include a disclaimer with every article I write that says “But I don’t like Trump”.

    Nor can I write much if any negative things about the man, because the MSM have monopolized that schtick. You write an anti-Trump thing, you belong to the NYT crowd. And that’s not where I want to be. But yeah, it’s a dilemma. It’s not that I leave out information, but that I can’t endlessly repeat it.

    But, you know, this is not so much about me, but about that monopoly. The MSM don’t have the problem with that constant repetition that I have; they even live off of it. I apparently hold my readers in higher regard than they do. And I refuse to let them set the agenda, even if that means people like you getting confused. And it’s not like they don’t already write enough of it.

    So yeah, if I write negative things about Trump, I’m in New York Times territory, and that is most certainly not where I wanna be. I don’t write things because I know people will eat it up, which is what they do. I write what I think is true. And I may be wrong about certain things, but I still do.

    I can’t write more “balanced”, because that takes me into hoods I don’t feel good in. And I’ve already stated so many times how I feel about Trump anyway, so what’s the use? Trying to attract people who are MSM readers and viewers but feel a little queasy? Or should I use my time to just say what I think and feel is important, and hope they will catch up?

    You know, this should no longer be their territory, because they’ve sold out. Their credibility is shot and they won’t ever get it back. But sure, it’ll take while for people to realize that, and in the meantime they can make a few more bucks. Until Trump retires (he won’t be impeached, and there are no credible Dems competitors), and then they can all go broke.

    But the way things are going, I may well go broke first. True enough. But I will have stuck to what I think is true.


    I also greatly appreciated the words from North of my border.

    If your 737 Max is flying upside down I think you’d be headed for a power-on stall (if MCAS kicks in). In a similar manner, if one’s reading was NOT tempered by sites such as TAE, you’d also be getting positive feedback and getting farther away from stability.


    Sadly, when trying to discuss issues, whether Skripal or Assange or just about anything, I always seem to have to preface my comments with: “I’m not a Trump fan”. I get it, Raul, It gets really old.

    I just wrote a wide-ranging letter to family back in the Midwest and felt compelled to call them before it arrived and say, “I’m NOT a Trump fan. I’m just trying to look at the issues”.

    NPR is on in the background and the woman who testified today is heard saying: “It wasn’t Ukraine, it was Russia!” Really? Still haven’t seen evidence of election meddling… (8 programmers trolling on Facebook wouldn’t make a dent against K Street).

    And then there’s Giuliani throwing out HIS bogeyman: “It’s George Soros!”

    Keep it up, Raul (as long as you’re able and willing)


    I seem to be finding that there is more and more blogs digging and finding info on the Ukraine.
    I bring them to your attention because I think that you are interested.
    If these pieces of info are not interestingTO YOU then don’t read them. You can find alternative point of view on CNN.
    FOX use 5 people on outnumbered to discus their opinions. CNN is now up to 9 people sitting at the discussion table. I SUPOSE THAT 9 PEOPLE WILL BE MORE DEMOCRATIC AND TRUTHFULL.

    Business NewsNovember 20, 2019 / 12:42 PM / a day ago
    Ukraine widens probe against Burisma founder to embezzlement of state funds

    Ilya Zhegulev
    Written by
    Radix Verum
    November 21, 2019


    UPDATE — Head of Burisma Holdings Linked to Hunter Biden Is Indicted in Ukraine – THEN GOES MISSING

    by Jim Hoft November 20, 2019



    July 2019: Ukraine launched probe of military sale by fundraiser for Adam Schiff

    July 2019: Ukraine launched probe of military sale by fundraiser for Adam Schiff
    By J.E. Dyer September 30, 2019


    Fox News used to be laughable (and an outlier, as a major outlet) for its low quality of reporting. Irrespective of them being right-leaning, I couldn’t stand to watch. If they interviewed someone with a non-Fox view, they would throw out jabs about their appearance, irrelevant ad-hominem attacks, silly accusations (of the “when did you stop beating your wife?” variety) to throw them off balance. Just childish stuff. Couldn’t watch it. It was mentally exhausting to sit through, having to tease out a fact or two from the discussion and discard the rest. It was amusing but pretty harmless (or seemed so 20 years ago)

    Here’s the thing though – they’re ALL like that now! No one in the media seems concerned with objectivity. Even dear old NPR, formerly stalwart, introspective, neutral (well, left-leaning, but mostly fair) NPR. The news media, every major outlet that I can find, freely mixes opinion and fact and thinks nothing of it. The jabs are the same as they used to be on Fox – an unflattering picture, clear tones of contempt from the voice of the talking head, facts cherry-picked. Childish, juvenile reporting. I listened to an NPR newscast a few weeks ago, before the impeachment inquiry got up steam. They were talking about the cost of low-income housing, of all things, and they still managed to pepper it with anti-Trump jabs. Something as neutral a subject as housing had to be saturated with an agenda. That seems to be common editorial practice from every conventional media outlet. It’s been normalized, I think.

    Illargi, your article and the email nailed it. It used to be *reasonably* common practice in the media to clearly delineate between a news piece and an opinion piece, and between facts and analysis. They taught us that in HS. You can combine them into one piece if you want, insert opinion in among facts, but call it out for the reader: “I think” or “this reporter believes.” Most news outlets did that, even TV reporters a generation ago.

    V. Arnold

    Nobody here is in a position to change the world.
    We are all old babbling seniors.
    The enablers, (lawyers, accountants, bankers), don’t care about all of our words.
    Get over your frustration for not being recognized for your witt and, abilities.
    Enjoy your retirement.

    Spot on zero…

    Ilargi, that e-mail was likewise, spot on. I think there is some projection aimed at you going on here.
    It would be nice to see your readers taking responsibility for their own shit/biases.
    You’ve done a remarkable balancing act under the circumstances, which is why I’m here and not lost in the fantasy world of the CCMSM (corporate controlled).


    It seems that if one doesn’t adequately despise Trump above all other politicos, one has wed the devil.

    Maybe it would appease some peop-le if we had a 5-minute Daily Hate of all things Trump.

    I’ll start… oooh! golf! hair spray! dirty deals! erratic syntax! rambling soundbites! twitter tweets! oooh! We hates the Trumpe, we hates him!!!!

    Someone needs to fix this boy’s combover

    V. Arnold

    Maybe it would appease some peop-le if we had a 5-minute Daily Hate of all things Trump.

    That is a stunningly bad idea…even if in jest…

    V. Arnold

    I honest-to-god, do not believe the majority of Usians have a clue, just how close to Orwell’s nightmare they’ve come.
    They’re riding the razors edge of totalitarianism now; its but a mere click away…


    The core issue in Ukraine is the basic lie of “Russian Aggression”. The West supported the overthrow an elected government in Kiev in order to access their resources and destabilize Russia. The Nineteenth Century’s “Great Game” modernized for the nuclear age. Seizing Ukraine’s natural gas plus America’s military aid are utterly corrupt. Since 2014 Ukrainians are dying so corporations can make more money. Not any different from Boeing, PG&E, Juul Labs or Perdue Pharma. The paid media and political participants will strenuously avoid mentioning the corruption but instead scapegoat Russia. Even more dangerous than the first Cold War with the Soviet Union, a new war with the Russian Federation was ignited by the Obama/Biden Administration in Ukraine. Even worse, Donald Trump appears intent on adding China to the endless Eurasian Wars.


    Raül: Like I said I get it, I think I like it when it comes down to it. I dont agree that you clearly critique Trump at times, but I see it between the lines. Guess I’m not smart enough but I feel I am in good company in that case. I’m partly playing the devils advocate here because no one of the readers who seem to disagree with your stance seem to want disscuss it openly in the threads any more. Keep it Raül!


    “Outside an ancestral environment (or a small village), you cannot be both ethical and striving for people to like you.” -Nassim Nicholas Taleb


    Kosmos has a long way to go in his education. In addition to Kunstler and Orlov I suggest the badass Jimmy Dore. The world is not as binary as Kosmos would like to believe, and at least Jimmy could provide some laughs along the path of enlightenment.


    This has been one sorta-interesting comment string. But unfortunately, it has been one I have been living for the past three years.

    Disliking the Trumpster and disliking the Dem’s and the Media at the same time is not a popular position to take. There seems to be a need in this society for “closure”. Where we all get together and hammer out a consensus where all can agree that one side is good and the other is bad.

    But that just isn’t the case this time around. There aren’t any good actors out there. I think this simple fact is what has gotten us into a swivet.

    But truthfully, I think at the end of the day, all of this is centered around who will take the blame for the fall when it comes about. Both parties and the media have backed us into a corner where overpopulation, environmental degradation, and energy source losses will force a fairly serious degradation of lifestyle.

    What we are seeing is the run-up to the festival of consequences and the finger pointing blaming the other side when the bigger problems we are facing get some serious traction.

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