Saturday, December 3, 2016

AP — Huntsman among secretary of State possibilities

Former ambassador to China. Speaks Mandarin. Not a flaming hawk.

Jesse — A Very Concise Explanation Of Why The Democrats Lost (And Will Keep Losing)

Sums it up eloquently.

Zero Hedge
A Very Concise Explanation Of Why The Democrats Lost (And Will Keep Losing)
Via Jesse's Cafe Americain blog

David Henderson — Reflections on my Latest RT Appearance

As I noted in yesterday's post, there's always an issue of the bias of the news network on which one appears, and one is right to be skeptical. The fact that RT is funded by the Russian government ought to make one, all else equal, even more skeptical.... 
Reflections on my Latest RT Appearance
David Henderson | co-editor at EconLon, Associate Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a Research Fellow with the Hoover Institution, as well as former Senior Economist for Health Policy and Energy Policy with President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers

Washington's Blog — American Experts: PropOrNot Is Propaganda

We asked a former top NSA official and computer expert – Thomas Drake – to look at the diagram.
Drake is a decorated Air Force and Navy veteran, who has been awarded numerous medals including:
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Air Medal
  • Air Force Commendation Medal
Drake was a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service.
With a strong technical background in surveillance and computers, Drake was one of the top NSA executives, and was Senior Change Leader within the NSA.
Drake was also one America’s top government experts on Stasi Germany … so he knows a thing or two about propaganda....
Washington’s Blog asked Drake about PropOrNot and its diagram. Drake told us:
My take?
It’s a prop for a disinfo op in order to serve a manufactured narrative....
Now the question is, whose disinformation op? Cui bono?

Washington's Blog
American Experts: PropOrNot Is Propaganda

Europe Turns Towards Russia in Major Foreign Policy Change

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, believes that Europe does not need to dependent on US foreign policy regarding its relationship with Russia.
In his interview with Euronews, the EU Commission President said that he «would like to have an agreement with Russia that goes beyond the ordinary framework, bearing in mind that without Russia, there is no security architecture in Europe». Mr. Juncker noted that «Russia must be treated as one big entity, as a proud nation». The president emphasized that he «would like to have discussions on a level footing with Russia». He thinks that President Obama was wrong saying that Russia was only a regional power.

But the European far right would like to create much stronger ties with Moscow too.

This is also the time the so-called «pro-Russian» politicians gaining more clout in the Old Continent. Actually, they are not exactly pro-Moscow but rather pro-national, putting national interests at the top spots of their priority lists. For them, the interests of their countries are more important than the priorities of the US or the EU. They believe that normalizing the relations with Moscow is what meets the national interests to make it part of foreign policy plans.

Two weeks ago, such leaders came to power in Bulgaria and Moldova. The EU’s image has been damaged in both countries, where the public perceives economic progress as too slow and sees a failure to tackle corruption by nominally pro-EU leaders.

Fran├žois Fillon - a politician advocating rapprochement between Russia and the EU - won the center-right nomination for French presidency on November 27. His victory means that two «pro-Russia» candidates - Fran├žois Fillon and Marine Le Pen – will probably face each other off at the presidential election in April 2017.

A presidential election will take place in Austria on December 4. Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party has a good chance to win. According to what he has said during the election campaign, Mr. Hofer will consider pulling out of the EU and visit Moscow, if elected president. He promised «to show my strong commitment to the withdrawal of sanctions against Russia because I am firmly convinced that sanctions hinder communication.

If the Italian referendum on December 4 says «no» to the major government overhaul plans, then a snap election will become a possibility to benefit the Italy's Northern League party, which advocates the improvement of relations with Russia. Its leader, Matteo Salvini, has visited Moscow and Crimea a number of times and called for lifting the EU-imposed sanctions.

German Economist & Politician: ‘Stop Copying America’s Decline! Leave NATO!’

I was beginning to despair that only the far right would take Europe us out of NATO.

Sahra Wagenknecht, Vice President of the German parliament’s Leftist Party, said in Parliament on Wednesday November 23rd, that Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, could very possibly become replaced by a politician similar to U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump or even farther to the right (something dreaded by many in Germany and especially abroad), unless Germany quickly stops copying America and ultimately leaves NATO, which she says is far more of a danger to Germans than it’s any real protection of the German people. 

Dr. Wagenknecht is also a major economist, whose study of the economic conditions that lead consumers either to save or to go into debt has been published in both Germany and America

Robert Parry — Clinton’s ‘Russia Did It’ Cop-out

The Clinton machine – running on fumes after Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid – is pulling out all remaining stops to block Donald Trump’s inauguration, even sinking into a new McCarthyism.
In joining a recount effort with slim hopes of reversing the election results, Clinton campaign counsel Marc Elias cited a scurrilous Washington Post article that relied on a shadowy anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that issued a “black list” against 200 or so Internet sites, including some of the most respected sources of independent journalism, claiming they are part of some Russian propaganda network.
In classic McCarthyistic fashion, no evidence was supplied, simply an anonymous smear....
But the Democrats risk a bleak political future if they don’t break away from the corporatist model that Bill and Hillary Clinton have personified over the past quarter century. Or maybe the Democrats can just keep on blaming the Russians.
Consortium News
Clinton’s ‘Russia Did It’ Cop-out
Robert Parry

Peter Dorman — The Identity-Equals-Causation Fallacy, Yet Again

Informal fallacy of false cause.

The Identity-Equals-Causation Fallacy, Yet Again
Peter Dorman | Professor of Political Economy, The Evergreen State College

30% of food wasted

In reality 10 dogs, 13 bones. Its been that way since the flood: "I will never again curse the ground on account of man" Gen 8:21

But of course "we're out of money!!!"

John Pilger — The Coming War on China

The real fake news about China and the "threat" it poses to America— US global hegemony, that is.

Scary stuff.

The Coming War on China
John Pilger

Neil Wilson — Job Guarantee — Jobs For the People

10 dogs, 9 bones.

Modern Money Matters
Job Guarantee — Jobs For the People
Neil Wilson

Trump Will Be a 'Severe Disappointment To Millions' — Holger Stark interviews New Yorker Editor David Remnick

SPIEGEL speaks to the editor of the New Yorker about the dangers of fascism under Donald Trump, international leaders' reactions to the election and the role of the press in reporting on the next administration. 
Says more about the perspective of the mainstream media than about affairs.

Spiegel International
Trump Will Be a 'Severe Disappointment To Millions'
Holger Stark interviews David Remnick

Henry Kissinger — “Trump Turned The American System Around”

Henry Kissinger: “Trump Turned The American System Around”
Appeared in Bulgarian at A-specto, translated by Valentina Tzoneva exclusively for SouthFront
Posted by lkb22

Dave Lefcourt — Why did it have to be this way?

Deve Lefcourt reviews some of US history and concludes:
We have a free press in name only. It's become an unofficial complicit enabler of the government, accepting the government's version of events so the people get from the MSM only what the government provides as its version of events. 
Only the alternative press, mostly internet sites like this one-named as one of the 200 providing "fake news"- can people get a broader version of events, many times questioning the "official" government version. 
If somehow alternative news sites are banned or as been suggested that Google or Facebook act as censors determining what is "fake news" then the Constitution will have been stood on its head, completely subverted and we will have become the dystopian world George Orwell wrote about in his novel, 1984. 
The US will have descended into absolute tyranny.

As to the question why did it have to be this way? Well we weren't vigilant. We took our freedoms for granted. We let it happen. The next question may very well be can the damage be corrected?

I suggest re-reading the Declaration of Independence. 
Why did it have to be this way?
Dave Lefcourt

Steve Roth — Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think about Wealth (or Profits) Evonomics

What's wrong with economics? "It's a dumpster fire."

Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think about Wealth (or Profits)
Steve Roth

Patrick Cockburn — This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong

It is too dangerous for journalists to operate in rebel-held areas of Aleppo and Mosul. But there is a tremendous hunger for news from the Middle East, so the temptation is for the media give credence to information they get second hand.
Independent (UK)
This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong
Patrick Cockburn

'We've been lied to about Russia for decades' - frmr London mayor Livingstone

Putin says Russia does not want war, it wants friends and peaceful cooperation.

Published on 1 Dec 2016
President Putin has delivered the annual State Of The Nation address - highlighting the challenges facing Russia and the rest of the world.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Joe Lauria — A Bare-Knuckle Fight Over Recounts

Democrats are trying to stop Donald Trump’s inauguration by claiming Russian interference in the election, but the White House sees no evidence and Trump is now challenging the recounts, reports Joe Lauria.…
Since recounts that overturn the vote totals seem unlikely, it appears the Clinton campaign’s Plan B is to use any evidence of tampering that it can pin on Russia to lobby electors to change their votes to Clinton when the Electoral College meets in state capitals on Dec. 19.
Mook is the guy leading the charge.

At an event at Harvard University on Thursday, Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, repeatedly blamed Russia for hacking and tampering with the election. “Congress has got to investigate what happened with Russia here,” said Mook. “It is outrageous that a foreign aggressor got involved in our election.”
Robert Reich pitches in.
Robert Reich, labor secretary under President Bill Clinton and a Hillary supporter, argued that one reason the electors should flip to Clinton is to “stop foreign interference in an election.”
Quoting on article, he wrote on Facebook: “The Framers were extremely concerned about infiltration by rivals including Great Britain. In Federalist No. 68, Hamilton wrote that one major purpose of the Electoral College was to stop the ‘desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.’ He said that the college would, ‘Guard against all danger of this sort … with the most provident and judicious attention’ from the electors.”

Reich continued: “There’s incontrovertible evidence Russia interfered in the campaign by hacking the email accounts of top Democratic officials and cooperating with WikiLeaks’ parallel campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton campaign.”...
The Democrats are mounting a last ditch effort to overturn the election in the electoral college.
The lobbying effort to blame Russia and get the electors to flip their votes is being accompanied by an intense media campaign.
In the announcement that the Clinton campaign would join the recount, campaign counsel Elias aligned the campaign with an unverified Washington Post article based largely on a shadowy, anonymous group that blamed a list of 200 alternative media sites and political groups for spreading Russian propaganda to influence the election, without providing any evidence.
“The Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the ‘fake news’ propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election,” Elias wrote.
A Huffington Post article said one of the eight reasons the electors should overturn the election is because “Russian covert action influenced the election.”
The staunchly pro-Clinton Daily Kos wrote that “Even if they never touched a voting machine, there’s absolutely no doubt: Russia hacked the election.”
 President Obama is taking the other side.
The administration said it remained “confident in the overall integrity of electoral infrastructure, a confidence that was borne out,” adding: “As a result, we believe our elections were free and fair from a cyber-security perspective.”
All the brouhaha over fake news is now making complete sense. It is a desperate move on the part of the Establishment to wrest back power.

If it succeeds there, will be civil war. If it doesn't succeed, Trump will "get even." The stakes are no less than world domination.

Consortium News
A Bare-Knuckle Fight Over Recounts
Joe Lauria

Xinhua— China issues five-year plan for poverty alleviation

China's cabinet, the State Council, has released a poverty alleviation plan for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). 
Poverty alleviation is the most difficult task for China to realize the goal of building an all-round moderately prosperous society, of which rural poverty is the weakest link, said the document released Friday....
China plans to lift all of its poor out of poverty by 2020, especially those who live in the nation's 128,000 poor villages and 832 poor counties, where poverty has become a regional issue, according to the document.
Major tasks for the next five years include ensuring people have enough to eat and wear, and that they have adequate education, health services and housing, it said.
The plan is critical to achieving the country's ambitious goal of stamping out poverty by 2020....
A series of special programs will be launched to create more jobs for the poor, and improve education, health care and ecological environment in poverty-stricken areas, said the document.
Besides, the government will guarantee basic living standard for people unable to work, it added.

Curt Mills — Panetta: Putin Wants To Restore the Soviet Union

Thank heaven HRC was defeated. This is off the wall. Panetta has lost the plot. 

Panetta would have played a major role in a Clinton restoration. Fortunately, he will play no role in the Trump adminstration. 

Even if Putin want to restore the USSR, the possibility of that is zero. Putin has his hands full keeping the Russian Federation afloat, fending off NATO, and countering jihadism.

Leon Panetta served as SecDef, CIA director and WH Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton, where he learned the fine points of serving the military-industrial complex and broker power. 

People like him are serous liabilities for the future success of the Democratic Party. The Clintons and all associated with them need to be put out to pasture if the Democrats want to be competitive again.

US News
Panetta: Putin Wants To Restore the Soviet Union
Curt Mills

Dave Kranzler — The Fake News Witch Hunt: McCarthy’s Red Scare Redux

You’ll note that I specifically single out Jeff Bezos. Bezos was quietly appointed by the Secretary of Defense to the Defense Innovation Advisory Board in July. The Board was formed in March 2016 to “focus on new technologies and organizational behavior and culture.” The Board has been asked to “identify innovative private-sector practices and technological solutions that the DoD could employ in the future.”
Clearly this is straight of Orwell’s playbook. It has behavioral modification and thought control seeping from every pore. It is a Deep State operation and Jeff Bezos is now part of the Deep State fabric.
This is Orwell’s Thought Police. The new “advisory board” is headed up by Google’s Eric Schmidt.…
I predict this PropOrNot movement, sponsored by the likes of Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt, is going to succeed in shutting down the one ray of hope left for this country. Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post has taken the lead in this modern version of a McCarthyism “witch hunt” and the WashPo exemplifies the amount of political power and wealth being directed at suffocating the truth. It is Orwell’s playbook unfolding in front of us.
Sprott Money
The Fake News Witch Hunt: McCarthy’s Red Scare Redux
Dave Kranzler

Zero Hedge — Fake News: Newsweek Admits They Didn't Write Or Even Read "Madam President" Issue

The ultimate smackdown for MSM.
Newsweek's political editor, Matthew Cooper, looked as though he'd had a rough month when he appeared on the Tucker Carlson show last night to discuss the "Madam President" debacle. While the printing and distribution of the erroneous "commemorative edition" magazine was embarrassing enough, Cooper also revealed that no one at Newsweek wrote the Hillary article or even bothered to proofread it before it was shipped off to stores around the country.

Frankly, it's difficult to discern between fact and fiction with this story, but, given the quality of the writing, we suspect Cooper had little choice but to distance himself and his team completely from the magazine.…
So, as Zero Hedge and others come under attack from the mainstream media for reporting "fake news", we now have a concrete example of an establishment "news" source admitting that it printed and distributed fake news under it's corporate brand that it neither wrote nor even bothered to read, yet no one, other than Fox News, says a word?
Like I've been saying, anyone who believes anything in the US media without verifying it is a fool.

Zero Hedge
Fake News: Newsweek Admits They Didn't Write Or Even Read "Madam President" Issue
Tyler Durden

Trump Announces Era Of Peace

Donald Trump promised a “new era of peace” during the first stop of his “Thank You” tour in Cincinnati, Ohio, vowing that the US will stop trying to overthrow world governments and will cooperate with countries fighting terrorism.

Paul Craig Roberts — McCarthyism Is Breaking Out All Over

No one knows who is behind the newly created PropOrNot website that came up with the list of 200 “Russian agents,” but it is as likely as not the State Department funded National Endowment for Democracy, which has been peddling propaganda as fake news since its inception. Indeed, it was created for the purpose of destabilizing the Soviet Union. Of course the CIA could be involved, or Israel, or George Soros, or some neoconservative group, or some new government funded organization as a tool of the propaganda war that the Obama regime has vowed to fight.

By publicizing the fake list in the Washington Post, the presstitute newspaper has brought buckets of shame and condemnation upon its head, destroying in the process the thin shred of credibility that the Main Stream media still possessed....

Justin Salhani — Suspected Russian interference in elections around the world is spreading

Another liberal web site jumps the shark. There people just can't face up to the fact that voters in all countries are increasing voting against "liberal" governments that have not served them well and have convinced themselves it is because Putin. In psych it's called being in deep denial. 

As long as they don't face up to the reality of losing because they played a lousy game against a better team, they will never return to power unless the incumbent party screws up royally and voters conclude it is so time for change they will hold their noses and vote the libs back in. The they will screw up because they are economically innumerate.

Again, notice no evidence, no named officials.

VV2 — Concrete is Main US Weapon of Modern Wars – Report

According to a researcher of the US Military Academy, the most effective weapon on the modern battlefield is concrete barriers.
Concrete is Main US Weapon of Modern Wars – Report

Scott Baker — How to expose Fake News and still keep Alternative Media free

Combating fake news needs to be done, but how to do it without enabling propagandists and elite filtering? And how to preserve alternative media? Here is one answer....
The key to stopping this while preserving Alternative Media is to prevent the purveying of fake news from making money.
Scott Baker needs to get out more. One of the current proposals is to shut "fake news" off from ad revenue. The problem is, who gets to make the decisions. The MSM wants to be the gatekeeper and curate the Internet.


Zaid Jilani — Hillary Clinton’s “Corrupt Establishment” Is Now Advising Donald Trump

About face!
“The establishment,” Donald Trump famously said during his closing argument for the presidency, “has trillions of dollars at stake in this election.”
He described “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”
He asked the country to be “brave enough to vote out this corrupt establishment.”
Now, less than four weeks after riding that line to victory, he formally invited the establishment into his administration.
On Friday, Trump announced the creation of a “Strategic and Policy Forum” that will serve to advise him on domestic economic matters. The list of advisers is a who’s-who of corporate elites.
He’s not the only one making a major turnaround; many of them had previously and enthusiastically supported his Democratic opponent.
The chairman of the forum is Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of the Blackstone Group, a private equity and investment banking giant.…
Another member of the new advisory group is Larry Fink. Fink is the chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm....
Here is the full list:

Renee Parsons — Obama and Propornot

A few weeks prior to the November 8 Presidential vote, I began the draft of an essay expecting a future attack by the government on the First Amendment citing President Obama’s most recent mellifluous verbal assault on free speech as HRC’s campaign speeches indicated that protecting a diversity of opinion would not be a top priority in her Administration.
Now in retrospect, it appears that Obama and HRC were both, most likely in the loop and knew what was coming as they prepared the way with subtle (and not so subtle) references to taming that messy, wild. wild west otherwise known as the world wide web.…
During a visit to the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh on October 13th, the President, known for his smooth, glib reassurances so successful at placating the public, suggested that “we are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to” and that “democracy requires citizens to be able to sift through lies and distortions” and further that “those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.” The President continued that “there has to be some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests.”...
This is an important contribution to this debate. The best part about PropOrNot is at the end.

Obama and Propornot
Renee Parsons, member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter, and an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC

Joshua Frank — CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear

Of course, this leads one to speculate whether this blacklist campaign is a government operation or just an insignificant group of befuddled Democrats, angered that Trump knocked Hillary off her perch.
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
Joshua Frank, managing editor of CounterPunch