Monday, November 18, 2019

Bill Mitchell – Invoking neoliberal framing and language is a failing progressive strategy (British Labour

Over the years it’s been clear to me that we live in a fictional world when it comes to economic matters. The mainstream has created this world that bears little relationship to reality and which serves the interests of a few at the expense of the majority. But the way in which this fiction is inculcated in the framing and language of our public debates leads the majority to think that the conduct of economic policy is somehow in their best interests, even if, at times, governments claim we have to swallow a bitter pill in order to get well again. The bitter pill always punishes the lower to middle-income groups, rarely the top-end-of-town. The fiction is so deeply ingrained that even progressive political campaigns are framed within it. I have railed against that all my career because I cannot align a belief that democratic choice requires accurate information with the reality that we make these choices in a fog of fiction. I have always considered the role of the progressive forces in politics, as a matter of priority, should be to be the agents of education, so that these democratic choices reflect our realities. I have never supported so-called ‘progressive’ parties that choose, for ‘political’ purposes, to lie to the electorates by adopting neoliberal framing and language as a way of minimising any difficulties that might arise, initially, from the dissonance that accompanies exposure to the truth, after years of believing in lies. It seems that the British Labour Party continues to promote a false narrative to support and otherwise stellar plan for national renewal. But, as history tells us, a plan built on false financial foundations, falters when circumstances change and the false foundations become the issue rather than the plan....
Digging the grave you have been consigned to deeper. How dumb is that!

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Invoking neoliberal framing and language is a failing progressive strategy (British Labour)
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Holland Covers Hundreds of Bus Stops with Plants as Gift to Honeybees



The roofs of hundreds of bus stops have been covered in plants as a gift to honeybee, by a city in the Netherlands.  Mainly made up of sedum plants, a total of 316 have been covered in greenery in Utrecht.

The shelters not only support the city’s biodiversity, such as honey bees and bumblebees, but they also help capture fine dust and store rainwater. The roofs are looked after by workers who drive around in electric vehicles, and the bus stops have all been fitted with energy-efficient LED lights and bamboo benches.

The electricity used to power the buses will come directly from Dutch windmills. Utrecht also runs a scheme which allows residents to apply for funding to transform their own roofs into green roofs.

Physics-Astronomy 

Holland Covers Hundreds of Bus Stops with Plants as Gift to Honeybees

Pump!


More "pumping!"

China first one in a while:



US Fed $55B additional coming up next few weeks; in advance of Dec 15 quarterly tax payment day:


Eric Baldwin - Luxembourg Becomes First Country to Make All Public Transit Free



Luxembourg is set to become the world's first country to make all of its public transportation free. The newly re-elected prime minister Xavier Bettel and the coalition government have announced that they will lift all fares on trains, trams and buses next summer. Taking aim at long commutes and the country’s carbon footprint, the new move hopes to alleviate some of the worst traffic congestion in the world.

Arch Daily

Eric Baldwin - Luxembourg Becomes First Country to Make All Public Transit Free

Chris Hedges - CIA search for mind control with Stephen Kinzer

Unspeakable crimes committed by the US Deep State!


Greg Palast on Bolivia Coup Against Evo Morales: US is Unhappy With Democracy in Latin America!

Greg Palast sums up the coup nicely.



Sunday, November 17, 2019

Links — 17 Nov 2019

Moon of Alabama
OPCW Whistleblowers: Management Manipulated Reports - Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
The Hugely Important OPCW Scandal Keeps Unfolding. Here’s Why No One’s Talking About It.
Caitlin Johnstone

Defend Democracy Press
Bolivia: 9 Corpses in 24 hours Prove Dictatorship’s Violence

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Where are the indictments from Durham and Horowitz? Where?

The Unz Review
Peter Turchin and the Coming Crisis of the 2020s


Mainstream Inventory Theories — Brian Romanchuk

If we look at standard macro Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models, inventories do not appear. The modelling focus is on expectation formation – particularly in the household sector – and business sector behavior is stylised. Since the assumption is that products are bought and sold both spot and forward in an optimal fashion, production decisions are just set to give exactly the output needed in the spot market....
This assumes a "just-in-time" supply chain, which is an ideal that business shoot for, since carrying inventory involves charges. However, it is an unrealized ideal and given global supply chains it is probably unrealizable. The reality is planning, which is one of of the chief functions of organization  and management.
The differences between the mainstream approaches and the post-Keynesian perspective can be summarised as the difference between randomness and uncertainty. The mainstream approach is based on the assumption that firms are acting in an optimal fashion in the presence of (unknown) random outcomes – that are described by a known probability distribution. The post-Keynesian approach underlines the importance of fundamental uncertainty – we have no idea what the probability distribution is. As a result, decision-making operates in a fog of uncertainty. From a post-Keynesian perspective, holding inventories is no “mystery”: firms cannot be certain what will happen in the coming months, so stockpiling key inputs and/or produced goods reduces the risks associated with adverse outcomes. As a result, even though it is accepted that firms certainly make plans, they are not blindly following the output of some optimisation. The straightforward way to get a grip on inventory management is to survey managers in industries to see what criteria they use to set target inventories. However, one risks drowning in micro data, and so we probably end up backing out simple macro relationships that match observed data in some sense....
Bond Economics
Mainstream Inventory Theories
Brian Romanchuk

New Economic Perspectives — Wray Appearing Before Congress

L. Randall Wray will be providing testimony for Congress on November 20 at 10 am. The topic is the government debt and deficits. His full statement will be available at 10:30AM at the Levy Institute.
New Economic Perspectives
Wray Appearing Before Congress

Scott Fullwiler — Quick(?) MMT 101 lesson

From Twitter via AppThreadReader
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1133586537512341504.html

Note: material in brackets is added to the original by Tom Hickey for clarification.

Scott Fullwiler @stf18
1. Quick(?) MMT 101 lesson:

From the very beginning in the 1990s, MMT has NEVER argued that 'printing money' was necessary. Anyone saying MMT = "print money," even if they (correctly) incorporate an inflation constraint, is getting MMT dead wrong.

2. The argument from the earliest days--@wbmosler 's "Soft Currency Economics," Wray's "Understanding Modern Money," or @StephanieKelton 's "Can Taxes & Bonds Finance Govt Spending?"--the MMT argument is that ALL govt deficits are 'printing money' ALREADY (!).
[A currency issuer issues currency using its central bank as the government's fiscal agent acting on behalf of the Treasury to settle government appropriated spending into nongovernment in the payments system that the central bank administers. This is how state (chartal) money is created.—tjh]
3. These and other foundational, early MMT pieces argue that the choice to issue bonds or not is about monetary policy how to set the CB's interest rate target, not whether to 'finance' a deficit or 'print money.'

4. The argument across literally dozens of publications is consistent--whether or not govt issues bonds when it runs a deficit, the macroeconomic impact of 'bonds vs. money' is nil.
5. What matters for macro impact is the deficit itself, and how it is created (spending/taxing priorities), since the deficit is creating net financial wealth in the pvt sector (note I did NOT say 'real' wealth (!)).

6. The choice to issue bonds or not in the face of a deficit is simply about [one] risk-free govt asset (say, T-bills) vs. another risk-free govt asset of perhaps slightly longer maturity (but that's also a policy choice).

7. This is also partly why we predicted back in the 2001 that Japan's QE wouldn't be inflationary, and predicted the same for the US in 2008. QE & 'monetization' of govt debt is about an asset swap--it's the deficit itself that has the 'quantity' effect, not the financing.
 [This asset swap of one from of government liability to another does not alter the amount of net financial assets generated by deficits. It only alters the term and doesn't affect the quantity of nongovernment net financial assets.]

8. Similarly, in the real world, CB's are defending their national payments systems every minute of every day. This means they accommodate banks' demand for CB liabilities always at or near their current interest rate target.

9. From an MMT perspective, it's really weird that people believe a govt running a deficit via overdraft at the CB is inherently inflationary, but the current system, where govt runs a deficit while CB guarantees mkt liquidity for bond dealers to buy govt bonds, isn't.

10. So, from the beginning 20+ yrs ago, MMT said the 'choice' to issue bonds when running a deficit was about how to set CB's int rate target. W/ bond sales, CB accommodates banks at its tgt rate. W/o bond sales, CB sets rate at ZIRP or uses IOR=tgt rate to set tgt rate <> 0

11. This is just supply and demand from ECON 101. If you push out the supply curve beyond the entire demand curve, either the price falls to 0 or you have a price floor set at <> 0. Those are the only 2 possibilities when 'printing money' to run a deficit.

12. Neoclassicals actually agree w/ this, for different reasons. For them, if 'monetize' govt debt & CB rate = 0, 'monetization' isn't inflationary. Or, if CB sets rate <> 0 via IOR=target rate, still not inflationary.

13. In both cases, CB's reserves are considered effectively equivalent to holding, say, T-bills. So, 'monetization' or 'printing money' is effectively equivalent to 'printing' [issuing] T-bills. IOW, if you blend neoclassical model w/ actual CB ops, 'printing money' [issuing currency] isn't inflationary.

14. Putting this all together . . . MMT has NEVER argued that 'printing money' as conventionally interpreted is necessary to carry out MMT policy proposals. All deficits create net financial wealth for pvt sector, regardless of 'finance' method.

15. Choice to issue bonds or not when running a deficit is about how to set CB's target rate, not 'financing' a deficit. This means that interest on national debt is a policy variable, or at least can be (for monetary sovereign, of course).

16. So, choice to issue bonds or not is not about 'quantity' impact of a deficit, but about 'how' CB chooses to achieve its target rate. Hitting interest rate tgt by overdraft to govt & pay IOR=tgt rate=2% has no difference of macro significance from . . .

17. ... hitting interest rate target by govt instead issuing tbills while CB ensures mkt liquidity at tgt rate = 2% to banks & bond dealers.

18. Now, there are places where MMT scholars argued for no bond issuance, govt gets CB overdraft, & CB sets tgt rate= 0 (permanent ZIRP). Note, tho, that this is (a) not arguing in favor of 'printing money' even in neoclassical view (it's Krugman's liquidity trap, actually) ...

19. (b) and is therefore, simply a policy proposal for low interest rates on govt debt. It is also NOT arguing for ZIRP in a neoclassical world--Wray did his Ph.D. under Minsky. Minsky was against manipulating short term rates; instead favored credit regs/margins of safety.

20. That is, when MMT proposes ZIRP, it is proposing it for ONLY the govt debt, NOT for the economy overall as in a New Keynesian model. There are dozens of MMT publications on regulating credit, and more on the way. MMT was about macroprudential before that was a thing.

21. Minsky was adamant that manipulating short-term interest rates was actually destabilizing (he blamed the rise of money manager capitalism on Volcker's high rates). Raise margins of safety to slow credit rather than raising the overnight, risk-free rate.

22. A benefit of margins of safety is that raising interest rates to slow credit leads to higher hurdle rates that can only be met by riskier projects, while raising margins of safety slows credit by favoring the LESS risky loans.

23. Particularly given that the problem of a debt bubble is that credit QUALITY is bad, it's really weird from an MMT perspective that it's mostly MMT arguing in favor of macro policy that target credit quality ...

24. ... while neoclassicals go to lengths to NOT talk about credit quality--use a Taylor rule to manipulate short-term rates, increase liquidity requirements, increase capital, but little to nothing about underwriting. (Shocker--we now have a corp debt bubble.)

25. So, MMT is NOT arguing for 'printing money' and 'ZIRP' in the conventional, neoclassical world. MMT is arguing for stabilizing demand side of the economy w/ a mix of govt's budget position (at low rates, however 'financed') & credit quality/margins of safety.
The confusion arises to a great owing to overlooking 1) the distinction between the currency issuer and users of the currency that must obtain it from the issuer and 2) the nongovernment net financial assets that deficit spending generates as a nongovernment asset on the balance sheet balancing government liabilities created by public spending. Scott doesn't feature these points in the thread, so I added it for clarity. 

The point is that "printing money" is identical with  issuing currency through appropriated spending in excess of taxes, that is, deficit spending. Government spending is through the appropriation process and the appropriations are funded directly by currency issuance. A currency issuer is self-funding. 

Government spending increases nongovernment net financial assets in the government's payment system administered by the central bank, while taxes decrease nongovernment net financial assets in the payments system. The flip side of public (government) debt is private (nongovernment) saving. 

The only way that nongovernment can net save financial assets in aggregate over a period is through deficit spending, which is a flow that adds to the stock of government debt and nongovernment net financial assets as financial wealth. Warren Mosler points out that currency units that are not taxed back remain in the nongovernment as tax credits not yet assessed and collected. The ability of a government to levy and collect taxes "drives" demand for the currency as the only means of meeting this imposed obligation.

Those who obsess on debt, public and private, fail to understand that all money as an asset is someone's liability. State-created money is a liability of the state and an asset for the saver. Money created by financial institutions like commercial banks is a (loan) asset of the institution while the liability is that of the borrower.

The difference is that a state that is sovereign in its currency can always meet its obligations since it is the currency issuer, whereas currency users must obtain the currency to meet obligations. 

Thus, the real constraint on government issuance is availability of real resources for sale and the financial constraint is price stability.

What about the central bank being private? Many central banks are now owned by their governments, e.g, the Bank of England. The Fed is a public-private partnership whose profit after operating expenses and a 6% annual return on the capital of the member banks is deposited in the Treasury account and the stock cannot be traded.

In addition, there are three major functions of the Fed. The first is managing the payments system for final clearing. This is administered by the twelve federal reserve banks in accordance with the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 as amended. Most payment are now cleared by netting through clearing houses. The federal reserve banks are owned and operated by the member banks in the various regions in accordance with the current provisions of the Federal Reserve Act.

The second function is setting and administering monetary policy. This is the prerogative of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and is administered through the FOMC at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These are functions administered by officials that are politically independent but appointed by government for a fixed term.

The third function of the Fed is regulation of the financial system. This ultimately falls to the chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, a government appointment although "politically independent." For example, Alan Greenspan adopted a lax policy and after the global financial crisis admitted that it was too lax, owing to mistaken assumptions about incentives.

Gary Younge - The Tories can’t win without the press. This isn’t how democracy works

The power of the rightwing press has corroded public debate. But we can do more than just complain about it



Corbyn has been misrepresented, as well as being falsely accused of being antisemitic. The vile media campaign against Corbyn has been disgraceful - all dirty tricks and outright lies - and so now Johnson leads in the polls, who doesn't have the British people's interest at heart, only that of the elite.

Our media is not for for purpose.


In February 2016, a few months before the referendum, Donald Tusk published the European Council’s draft plans for renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU. David Cameron was prepared for the possibility that Tusk’s response would be less than he hoped for – it was a negotiation, after all. But what really shocked the then prime minister were the front pages the next day. “Cameron’s EU deal is a joke”, said the Daily Express; “The great delusion”, barked the Daily Mail; “Ministers defy PM on Europe”, claimed the Telegraph; while the Sun went with “Who do EU think EU are kidding, Mr Cameron?”, which compared the offer to a “steaming pile of manure”.

“The Tories [in the leadership of the remain camp] were about to run a referendum campaign based on a playbook … for winning elections in an environment where the print media was sympathetic,” writes Tim Shipman in his book All Out War. “But this time their natural allies were hostile.” Senior Tories were not used to having their arguments distorted, the facts so hideously disfigured in their opponent’s favour that they were unrecognisable, or blatant falsehoods by the opposition taken seriously. These were not only rules of engagement to which they were unaccustomed – they were rules under which they could not compete. “It pains me to say it,” a member of Cameron’s team told Shipman, “but if the Mail, Sun and the Telegraph had been for ‘In’ we would have romped home.”

The Guardian 

Will Hutton - How could it be that the Tories have turned their back on the best of British industry?

If Jeremy Corbyn’s party were not so averse to capitalism, this would be a great opportunity for Labour


40 leading economists recently put out a letter backing Labour. David Graeber says the best economists now advise Labour - which I doubt will get out wrong about markets.

Will Hutton says Labour is far too adverse to capitalism, and I have tended to distrust it too, but it has to be enbraced because it is effective and is about freedom. Will Huton is right about the mixed economy - we can have the best of both.


Given that capitalism’s universal supremacy is justified because it works, how can it be shaped better to deliver the common good? Part of the answer lies in better and more public goods, tougher progressive taxation to address inequality and stronger social provision, all of which Labour is committed to.


The Guardian


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Rick Sanchez - Hillary Clinton wants 'death sentence' for Tulsi Gabbard

Retired Army officer and West Point instructor Maj. Danny Sjursen joins Rick Sanchez to discuss his experiences in war and how they turned him into a vocal critic of endless war, which he calls a "Constitutional crisis." We also weighs in on the "neo-McCarthyism" that has defamed presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).


Winston Mok - China’s economic miracle has a secret ingredient hiding in plain sight: unbalanced growth

Winston Mok describes why the US can't catch up. 

Like the US, China’s economic dynamism rests on the imbalance between the runaway successes of its coastal provinces and the laggards along its northern rust belt. The crucial difference? Beijing redistributes the fruits of economic success

SCMP

Winston Mok - China’s economic miracle has a secret ingredient hiding in plain sight: unbalanced growth

Indian Express — Explained: Why India has said no to regional trade pact RCEP

India believes that the RCEP trade deal doesn't provide adequate protection against possible surges of imported goods. In particular, India is concerned about cheap Chinese goods flooding the domestic market. 
The Indian Express
Explained: Why India has said no to regional trade pact RCEP


Links — 16 Nov 2019 — Part 1

RealClearInvestigations
The Brennan Dossier: All About a Prime Mover of Russiagate
Aaron Maté

McKinsey
The Asian Century has arrived
Oliver Tonby, senior partner in McKinsey’s Singapore office, interviews Parag Khanna, founder and managing partner of FutureMap and author of the recent book The Future Is Asian, and James Crabtree, associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, as well as a senior fellow at the school’s Centre on Asia and Globalisation and author of the 2018 bestseller The Billionaire Raj

Leap Blog
Economic Policy, by Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah

Craig Murray Blog
“The Palace… Threatened Us a Million Different Ways”.
Craig Murray, formerly British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector of the University of Dundee

Sputnik International
'Hillary Partisans': Whistleblower's Ukrainegate & Steele's Russiagate Used Same Playbook – Analyst

TASS
Most crimes in Russia committed by the unemployed - Exterior Ministry

The Grayzone
Syria scandal: New whistleblower claims UN chemical weapons watchdog buried Douma evidence
Aaron Maté

Zero Hedge
Vladimir Putin Sums Up The New World Order In 5 Words
Tyler Durden

India Punchline
Russia-Ukraine relations take leap of faith
M. K. Bhadrakumar | retired diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service

Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors by JONATHAN STEELE

It was fixed.


Were the strikes justified? An inspector from the eight-member team sent to Douma has just come forward with disturbing allegations about the international watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was tasked with obtaining and examining evidence.

Involved in collecting samples as well as drafting the OPCW’s interim report, he claims his evidence was suppressed and a new report was written by senior managers with assertions that contradicted his findings.

Counterpunch 

JA Smith - How to Survive the Death of Neoliberalism

JA Smith, author of Other People's Politics, argues that the death of neoliberalism is already underway, and suggests that the social-democratic turn is the best way forward for the working class and for oppressed people everywhere.


Friday, November 15, 2019

Links — 15 Nov 2019 — Part 2

Moon of Alabama
Author Of "Keep The Oil" Mission Already Distances Himself From Its Foreseeable Failure

Internationalist 360º
CELAG: OAS Presents No Evidence of Electoral Fraud in Bolivia

Bolivian Army Massacres Peaceful Protesters in Cochabamba

Common Dreams

Massive Anti-Coup Protests Explode Across Bolivia 'Against the Many Violations to Democracy'
Eoin Higgins

Caitlin Johnstone — Rogue Journalist
Bolivia’s New Puppet Regime Wastes No Time Aligning With US Foreign Policy
Caitlin Johnstone

The International Forecaster
Your Guide to the Protests Flaring Up Around the Globe
James Corbett
Tal Axelrod



Capitalism(s), Alone — Branko Milanović

One economic system dominates the world. But there’s more than one kind of capitalism.
Excerpt from Branko Milanović forthcoming book.

Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

YouTube To Delete All Accounts That Aren't "Commercially Viable" Starting Dec. 10th — Ethan Huff

What this means is that YouTube content creators who’ve built their entire livelihoods around the platform are going to need a backup option in the event that they end up being terminated. One such option is Brighteon.com, which you can sign up for here. [free]
It also means that YouTube has created for itself yet another legal loophole to continue targeting channels that disseminate politically incorrect content, which YouTube has been trying to silence from its platform for at least the past several years....
ALL YOUTUBE HAS TO DO NOW TO SILENCE FREE SPEECH IS DEMONETIZE CHANNELS IT DOESN’T LIKE AND FORCE THEM INTO COMMERCIAL NON-VIABILITY
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what YouTube is planning to do once this policy change comes into full effect.
Zero Hedge
YouTube To Delete All Accounts That Aren't "Commercially Viable" Starting Dec. 10th
Ethan Huff via Natural News

Pew Research Center — Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information


Majorities think their personal data is less secure now, that data collection poses more risks than benefits, and believe it is not possible to go through daily life without being tracked.
Maybe the prevalent business model on the Internet is about to change? Into what though?

Pew Research Center
Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information

Links — 15 Nov 2019 — Part 1

Strategic Culture Foundation

Strategic Culture Foundation
Western Media Whitewash US-Backed Coup in Bolivia
Editorial

The Greanville Post
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Kathleen Wallace

The Vineyard of the Saker
Militarization of South America, Coup in Bolivia and Argentina’s rapprochement with the Eurasian powers

Zero Hedge
Bridgewater's Ray Dalio Warns Of US-China Capital War
Tyler Durden





The Ukrainian Influence Peddling Rings–A Microcosm of How Imperial Washington Rolls — David Stockman


Way more than just Hunter Biden and his dad.

Anti-War
The Ukrainian Influence Peddling Rings – A Microcosm of How Imperial Washington Rolls
David Stockman

Southfront — Russia Clarified Its Position Towards Crisis In Bolivia

This week Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia recognizes the acting president of Bolivia, Senator Janine Agnes as head of state, but only until an election is organized. This decision was made due to the fact that it was she who was to take the place of the interim head of the republic in accordance with the law after the resignation of the leadership. At the same time, the events preceding the change of power in the country, the Russian side regards as a coup.
During the November 14 press birefing, a spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova further clarified the position of Russia towards the crisis (source):
Russia may be taking a cautious approach in that it is building a nuclear power station in Bolivia and doesn't want to sour the deal.

Southfront

Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally” — Melvin A. Goodman

When the dust settles in a month or two, the House of Representatives will have impeached President Donald Trump with a one-sided partisan vote and then the Senate will have exonerated Donald Trump with a similarly one-sided partisan vote. But at the end of the day, the United States will have acquired a new strategic ally in Central Europe: Ukraine. The very first day of the impeachment hearings in November has been responsible for an important national security decision that had no input from Trump’s national security team or from the congressional foreign policy committees. The implications of this decision are onerous.
The key statements on the first day of the impeachment hearing concluded that Ukraine was an “important” or “strategic” partner of the United States. Chairman Adam Schiff opened the hearings with the view that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to “rebuild the Russian empire” by invading a “strategic U.S. ally.” The key witnesses, William Taylor and George Kent, both senior Foreign Service Officers and seasoned diplomats, echoed the chairman’s view. Taylor, our leading diplomat in Ukraine, referred to a “newly aggressive Russia” that invaded a “strategic partner of the United States.” He argued that it was essential for the United States to be a “reliable strategic partner” for Ukraine.…
Has Democratic Party gone even more insane?

Counterpunch
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Melvin A. Goodman | professor of government at Johns Hopkins University, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a former CIA analyst

The Foreign Policy Establishment Is Hijacking Impeachment — Jeet Heer

Trump should be impeached for using his office for corrupt purposes. Not for challenging the national security consensus.
In the US, the president sets foreign policy, not the Blob or the Borg (Deep State).

The Nation
The Foreign Policy Establishment Is Hijacking Impeachment
Jeet Heer

See also

John Solomon Reports
The 15 essential questions for Marie Yovanovitch, America’s former ambassador to Ukraine
John Roberts

The 2019 UN Vote Against the US Blockade of Cuba — Ike Nahem

On November 7, 2019, for the 28th year in a row, the entire United Nations General Assembly, gathered in one room, voted overwhelmingly against “the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Embargo Imposed on Cuba by the United States.” The final tally was 187 in favor, 3 opposed (Brazil, Israel, US), 2 abstentions (Colombia, Ukraine), 1 not voting (Moldova)....
Dissident Voice
The 2019 UN Vote Against the US Blockade of Cuba
Ike Nahem

Behind the Racist Coup in Bolivia— Danny Shaw


Backgrounder.

Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Behind the Racist Coup in Bolivia
Danny Shaw, lecturer of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender courses at the City University of New York

See also

More background.

Tricontinental
Bolivia Does Not Exist
Vijay Prashad, historian

See also

Clark T. Scott

Book Review: Branko Milanovic, Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System that Rules the World — Duncan Green

Did it live up to expectations? Yes and no. The starting point of the book is the ‘global victory of capitalism’ – ‘the entire globe now operates according to the same economic principles – production organized for profit using legally free wage labour and mostly privately owned capital, with decentralized coordination.’

No credible alternatives currently exist out there in the real world. So far, so Fukuyama. But then he goes on to explore two broad branches of contemporary capitalism and the strengths and vulnerabilities of each. The two are ‘Liberal Capitalism’, epitomised by the USA, and ‘Political Capitalism’, aka China....
Oxfam Blogs — From Poverty to Power
Book Review: Branko Milanovic, Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System that Rules the World
Duncan Green, strategic adviser for Oxfam GB