The Democratic Debate That Wasn’t


W.J. Astore

Last night witnessed another scrum among the top twelve Democratic challengers.  It wasn’t really a debate since each candidate only had a minute or two to respond to questions.  I’ve seen headlines describing the debate as “the moderates versus the progressives,” with the usual scorecards about which candidates “won” and “lost,” but I don’t think any candidate “won.”  And it was the American people who clearly lost.

First, what was missing.  There was no serious discussion of U.S. foreign policy, of America’s military-industrial complex and colossal “defense” budgets, or of climate change.  The situation in Syria was discussed in the context of President Trump’s alleged betrayal of the Kurds, but that was all.  There was no discussion about nuclear weapons and their proliferation (and America’s decision to “modernize” our arsenal at a cost of at least a trillion dollars).  There was no discussion of America’s overseas empire of 800 military bases.  There was no serious discussion about ending the Afghan War, or the enormous cost of America’s wars since 9/11.

So, what was discussed?  Trump’s impeachment, of course.  Medicare for all versus “choice.”  A woman’s right to control her own body (obviously a very important subject).  How and whether to change the Supreme Court.  Taxes.  Guns.  Tech monopolies.  Opioid abuse and holding drug companies responsible for the same.  Even Ellen’s friendship with George W. Bush.

CNN and the New York Times sponsored the debate, hence they controlled the questions.  The initial goal seemed to be to get Elizabeth Warren to admit she’d have to raise taxes to pay for her Medicare plan.  She largely ducked the issue, insisting the rich and corporations would pay for it.  Another question raised the specter of Bernie Sanders’s health after his recent heart attack, and also of Joe Biden’s age, i.e. that if he’s elected, he’ll turn 80 while he’s in office.  It was that kind of “debate.”

Speaking of Joe Biden, he didn’t perform well in this debate.  He often misspoke and his answers drifted off course.  I can see why the smart money is gravitating toward Elizabeth Warren.

Another person who suffered from the debate format was Tulsi Gabbard.  Few questions were directed her way, and she was often ignored or cut off as she tried to speak.  Her attempt to challenge Elizabeth Warren on her qualifications to be commander-in-chief went unanswered as CNN cut to commercials.  Nice try, Tulsi, but CNN was having none of that.

With respect to Trump and Syria, only Tulsi Gabbard attempted to explain the long history of U.S. involvement in the area, which was, in essence, a regime-change war directed against Bashar al-Assad.  (Recall that President Obama in 2015 said that Assad had to go.)  But again CNN was having none of that, and Tulsi’s point was left hanging as other candidates babbled about not serving the agenda of Vladimir Putin.

And there you have it: yet another debate from which the American empire and the military-industrial complex emerged as the clear victors.

88 thoughts on “The Democratic Debate That Wasn’t

  1. I have to confess – I did not watch the debate. It would have been like watching the Baltimore Orioles playing the Detroit Tigers. Corporate Joe Biden at least from what I have read, displayed the usual Uncle Joe was confused without a teleprompter telling him what to say. As a long time Chicago Cubs fan I can see in Corporate Joe, the late season choke, Cubs fans like myself have become accustomed to.

    Read this: CNN anchor John King faced swift backlash Tuesday night for pondering on national television whether endorsements from progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are “too far-left,” “too urban,” and “too internet” to help Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

    Critics were quick to slam King’s “too urban” line as a racist dog whistle and his “too internet” line as a sign of how out of touch CNN analysts are with the American public.

    And this comment: 2016 pundits: Bernie can’t get support from people of color
    2019 pundits: Bernie’s support is skewed too people of color (urban) and too young (internet)

    Pete “Bouillabaisse” Buttigieg would seem to be the new Corporate News Media favorite as Corporate Joe Biden continues to sink. Buttigieg, when I have heard him interviewed is a complete lightweight, he is a lot of slick talking without substance. He does satisfy the Clintonian Triangulation Template.


    1. I read somewhere that Mayor Pete is an old person’s idea of how a young person should act. He’s an apple-polisher who is far too impressed with himself. Lots of pretty words devoid of meaning.


  2. Somebody should tell Elizabeth Warren US won’t need to raise taxes on (anyone!) to pay for her Medicare Plan: Simply cancel F35! We’ll have a Swiss/Scandinavian system in no time.
    On a more interesting fact, I see Hillary’s Hitler #19 visited Saudi Arabia, and didn’t do a “Sword Dance”. Russian tailors, after USSR’s fall, must have learned rapidly: hiding a ‘set’ like his! Yet he’s still a gentleman; gave the SA King a special Russian Falcon. Then it took a crap on a priceless carpet, instead of an easily moped up marble floor, inches away. Oyster may be right: the KGB/FSB is still up to their old tricks! We’ll see how Hitler #19 fares in UAE. He’s either out of there by cocktail time, or insists on a few Vodka’s. No new pet gifts this time. Desperate, after their murderous alliance with SA over Yemen, I think he’ll bring peace to the region. Not even discussed! On the “Debates”……


  3. Interesting timing, Bill, that you posted about the military credentials of Pete and Tulsi day before the latest “debate.” But your post-mortem of that affair is quite lacking comment on what was THE revelation for me: ‘Mayor Pete’ came out of the closet (shame on me!) as a full-blown WAR HAWK. Major Gabbard–hmmm, who outranks whom, a mayor or a major?–gave Pete a dozen opportunities to disavow the Neo-Con game of Endless Regime-Change Wars… and he flatly refused to do so! He wrapped himself in the flag and played the Fearless Warrior (no lectures on courage from you, Beto, thank you very much!). Previously I had considered this candidate keenly intelligent (not the “lightweight” I see him disparaged as here) and very well-spoken. From this point on, he’s a total zero in my book. Even if this warrior stance was “just” a campaign pose to try to win over the macho men who’d be inclined to turn their backs on an openly gay man running for POTUS, the fact is he put himself on the public record as favoring the continuation of Endless Unjustified Wars and that I will not forget or forgive. [DISCLAIMER: Since I haven’t posted a comment here in ages, let the reader be aware that I am not a member or supporter of the Democratic Party. Typically, in the past, I would have spared myself sitting thru affairs like these “debates,” leaving internal matters to the Dems, but I got caught up in the outlandish spectacle of more Dems jockeying for their party’s nomination than there were Republicans running initially in 2016. I am not “supporting” any candidate at this time, but have no choice but to hope the Dems don’t manage to shoot themselves in their collective foot so splendidly as to return GOP to the White House next year. Trump’s “Apocalypse Now!” approach to the presidency is “somehow” not working for this citizen!]


    1. Mayor Pete doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as Major Tulsi, Greg. He doesn’t want to be labeled a Putin stooge for criticizing the military-industrial complex. Far safer just to play along and make noises about how great America is, especially the military.


  4. In place of these so-called “debates,” that apparently discussed nothing of substance, the American public would have learned what they needed to know just from watching a short video by Rania Khalek‏. The lady nails it good:

    The US armed and funded extremists in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government and the media cheered. Those same extremists then attacked the Kurds on Turkey’s behalf to the horror of the same media. Now what?

    Meanwhile, instead of debate and education, the House Democrats and a majority of Republicans conclusively demonstrate their worthlessness to both the United States and the civilized world. See: House Dems Unanimously Vote to Condemn Withdrawal From Syria – Rep. Hoyer: Any terror attacks will be a direct result of withdrawing , by Jason Ditz, (October 16, 2019)

    Shit. I knew it. When the next meteor or asteroid strikes planet earth, President Trump’s withdrawal of a few pimped-out U.S. war-workers from Syria will surely go down in solar system history as the ultimate — and direct — cause of the catastrophe.


    1. I find your tedious drivel entirely in sync with the Kremlin line, so I just skim it. Life is too short to waste it reading such tiresome one-track propaganda. I know all those sites and “writers” you quote. They’re not even subtle. They just spew what their employer tells them to, and basically that’s just rehashed Soviet propaganda: Russia great! Putin fantastic! Iran innocent! China free!

      If anyone tries to object, they are either called ignorant Americans/Westerners, or Eastern Europeans with a grudge, or hasbara, or Hillary supporters, and chased away with ad hominem’s. If one tries to present a different opinion, they are “too stupid” to understand anything – only the Russian point of view is the right one. If other sites than the pro-Russian ones are quoted, they are “corrupt MSM”.
      That’s about all the discussion one sees on pro-Russian/Russian sites.

      Patronizing and holier-than-thou attitudes, deflection, swarming, and all the tricks of the trade.
      Whoever thinks that this is going to attract followers is severely deluded (and thank God for that).


  5. And from this anti-war veteran of the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72), I offer a musical background accompaniment to all the chickenshit war-agitating taking place on stage. You all know the tune. I’ll just supply the lyrics:

    The Shit-Splattered Bungle

    Hey there, man, can you tell
    From the sound of their song?
    What the brass wish to sell:
    One more chance to do wrong

    Since it’s all that they know:
    Fucking-up to advance
    Got some trillions to blow?
    Just give these dolts a chance

    Kissing-up, kicking-down,
    Up the greasy pole they
    Madly climb, noses brown:
    Grifters out to make hay

    In their pants dropping stools
    Screwing over some troops:
    Market-conqueror’s tools,
    CEO-statesman’s dupes

    Watch these corporate clerks
    Hawking stocks for the boss,
    Skimming off all the perks,
    Leaving workers the loss

    Just as Smedley once said,
    Of the general’s cluck:
    Uniform and shaved head?
    Racketeer for a buck

    So let taxpayers balk
    When the Joined Chefs of Stuff
    Demand “MORE!” for cheap talk,
    ‘Cause they’ve done quite enough.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2019


  6. Especially relevant to what passed for “debate” the other night — and the subsequent virulent attacks on Representative Tulsi Gabbard for her principled opposition to America’s regime-change wars — my favorite Australian rogue journalist, Caitlin Johnstone, has done it again. In her own inimitable fashion, she has taken a brain-dead, herd-think, sound-bite slogan and pursued it to its logical conclusion, in the process exposing its bovine vapidity to deserved ridicule. Don’t miss this one, fellow Crimestoppers. See: Truth Is A Kremlin Talking Point, by Caitlin Johnstone, (October 17, 2019)

    Andrew Yang came in for some abuse, as well, so he gets honorable mention as a target of the pathetic smear brigade, but the real hatred seemed reserved for Tulsi Gabbard. Anyway:

    [Begin Transcript — provided by Caitlin Johnstoned’s website]

    In response to a statement during the Democratic primary debates by presidential candidate Andrew Yang that both Russia and the United States have engaged in election interference, liberal pundit Molly McKew tweeted, “I now retract any vaguely nice thing I ever said about Yang knowing technology things because he answered the question on Putin with moral equivalency and a Kremlin talking point” [emphasis added].

    If you’re in the mood for some depressing amusement, just type the words “Kremlin talking point” without quotation marks into Twitter’s search engine and scroll through all the results which come up. Just keep on scrolling and observe how this label, “Kremlin talking point”, gets bleated by mainstream empire loyalists to dismiss subjects ranging from the rigging of Democratic primaries to criticism of US regime change wars to endless US warmongering to concerns about new cold war escalations to disliking John McCain to criticism of Nancy Pelosi. Any criticism of the status quo which cannot be labeled false or misleading gets labeled a “talking point” of Russia/Putin/the Kremlin by those who support and defend the status quo of US-centralized imperialist world hegemony.

    Yang’s statement about US intervention in foreign elections is indisputably true, of course. Both alternative and mainstream media outlets have thoroughly documented the fact that the US government’s own data shows them to have interfered in scores of foreign elections, far more than any other nation on earth. This includes an interference in Russia’s elections in the nineties that was so brazen they made a Hollywood movie about it. Former CIA Director James Woolsey openly admitted on Fox News last year that the US still interferes in foreign elections to this very day. [emphasis added]

    These are not conspiracy theories. These are not even secrets. These are facts. But because they are inconvenient facts, they get labeled “Kremlin talking points” by those whose job it is to defend the status quo.[emphasis added]

    Literally a Kremlin talking point to blame both parties for disastrous US foreign policy. lol
    — Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 16, 2019

    Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was also branded with the accusation of voicing “Kremlin talking points” for remarks she made during last night’s debate. In her case those “talking points” consisted of the indisputable fact that the bloodshed in Syria can be blamed on US politicians from both parties, and the indisputable fact that the US has armed extremist militias in that nation with the goal of effecting regime change [emphasis added].

    “Literally a Kremlin talking point, but whatever,” tweeted #Resistance pundit Leah McElrath in response to Gabbard’s debate comments.

    “It is a fact that the Russian talking point for years has been that the United States arms al-Qaeda in Syria. Tulsi Gabbard just said it on national television,” tweeted journalist Scott Stedman.

    “How odd to listen to Tulsi Gabbard mouthing Syrian and Russian talking points on the Democratic debate stage…sorry but no one thinks US troops withdrawn by Trump were there as part of a ‘regime change war’ by the US,” tweeted Susan Glasser of CNN and The New Yorker.

    This is from a video published by HTS (Al Qaeda in Syria) showing one of its fighters firing a US-supplied TOW missile in West Aleppo. The CIA-backed FSA was a weapons farm for Al Qaeda and ISIS. That’s not a “Russian talking point.” It’s a fact.
    — Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) October 16, 2019

    So the establishment narrative managers now have an official three-word debunk of any criticism of the establishment which employs them, which applies even when that criticism is fully based in facts and reality [emphasis added].

    [and now comes the part that I especially love and will cherish]

    Facts are a Kremlin talking point, and anyone who believes them is Russian. Facts are Russian. Truth is Russian. Skepticism is Russian. Asking questions is Russian. Dissent is Russian. Revolution is Russian.

    So let’s all get Russian then, baby. Let’s all fill our heads with objectively true Kremlin talking points and Cossack dance our way to a fact-based relationship with reality. Get as Russian as possible. Get aggressively Russian. Get offensively Russian. Get so Russian it hurts. Get so Russian it curls Louise Mensch’s hair. If they are going to start telling us that truth is Russian, then the only appropriate thing to say in response is dasvidaniya [emphasis added].

    [End Transcript]

    Right on. I’ve often thought that if the Russians — and especially their capable president, Vladimir Putin — have such awesome and irresistible powers (like Mr Spock’s Vulcan mind-meld and neck-pinch), then those bed-wetting, diaper-soiling Americans feeling all-helpless-and-stuff at the mere thought of his Evil Existence should just surrender now, while the Russians still feel magnanimous. For if the American government and corporate media keep spitting and hurling slanderous, gratuitous insults at “Russians” and some decorative buildings in a Moscow square, then these “Russians” might not feel inclined to offer such generous terms later. But there you have pure Orwellian doublethink, American style.


    1. About that trans-continental, globe-spanning, hypnotist and ventriloquist, Vladimir Putin, that evil genius capable of swaying U.S. elections with a few, inexpensive Facebook ads, something smacks of Oceania here:

      “The enemy of the moment [Assad, Hussein, Gaddafi, Maduro, Putin, Castro, et al ] always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.”

      “… the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. … and Goldstein [ Yang, Gabbard, Assange, Manning, Snowden, et al ], in spite of his isolation, his helplessness, and the doubt which hung about his very existence, seemed like some sinister enchanter, capable by the mere power of his [or her] voice of wrecking the structure of civilization.” — George Orwell, 1984

      How I wish now that my government had sent me to Defense Language School not to learn Vietnamese (Southern Dialect), but Russian. It would come in so much handier now that I might want to talk to an intelligent foreigner other than the Chinese in whose kindly midst I have lived for the past fifteen years. Empire’s sun definitely setting in the West now, even earlier than I had once imagined.


    2. Absolutely, unquestionably and indisputably, politicians and the media in USA are united in declaring Putin Public Enemy #1. China comes in at #2, ever more frequently winning the tag of “adversary”–a cute euphemism for ENEMY. China’s “crime,” of course, is accepting the invitation of US’s Boss Class to become manufacturer of choice of everything under the sun, courtesy of cheaper labor. It’s like, Textbook Capitalism, man!


      1. The Soviet Union no longer exists, Mollusk, and hasn’t since 1991. And consider this from Wikipedia:

        “After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Pravda was sold off by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to a Greek business family, and the paper came under the control of their private company Pravda International.

        So now you don’t want to hear news and opinion if you have to get it from Greeks? Also, you must have missed the fact that the Washington Post now goes by the more accurate description of “Pravda on the Potomac,” and the New York Times serves best as the liner for the bottoms of bird cages. I almost never read anything published by either rag.

        You really don’t have anything of value to contribute here, Mollusk. And I already know where to find the dirty basement window of the Asylum. So you don’t need to keep reminding me by banging on the reinforced glass, howling gibberish, and trying to get out.


        1. Sorry, Mr Murry, there is still free speech in America. Only on Russian propaganda sites dissenting opinions are not tolerated – and so far I’m not aware of Mr Astore’s being one.

          Your choosing to post entire walls of pro-Russian propaganda instead of comments, and trying to stifle any real debate and to drive away any opposition using the old ad hominem trick is what makes any site into the SOVIET Pravda.

          Veiled threats are not going to work either. That’s just letting the cat out of the bag.


          1. Nobody has claimed that you don’t have a right to spew whatever drivel you want, on this site or any other, Mollusk. Go right ahead. Knock yourself out. I really can’t see where anyone has not tolerated you. Quite the contrary. So your defensive victim-mongering won’t gain you much sympathy. If you have something worth reading, then others will read it, regardless of its length. On the other hand, it doesn’t take long to see where a piece of crappy writing leads, so educated readers can decide for themselves when and were to bail out of anything they consider pure bullshit. Personally, I trust the readers here to decide for themselves whether I post worthwhile comments or not. I’ll put my contributions up against yours any day.

            And FYI, you can just look at the list of comments for each discussion thread and click on whichever ones you want to read. You don’t have to read anything off my “wall” if you don’t wish to do so.

            I don’t agree with you on just about everything and have gone to some lengths to post supportive opinions and facts which agree with my positions and from which I have learned a great deal. You can’t handle that and think that by labelling expert opinion and reporting “Russian” or “Soviet” you can somehow discredit it. That won’t work because the Soviet Union does not exist and many actual living Russians have intelligent, reasonable views on a great many subjects. If a Russian prefers pure drinking water to raw sewage, and I do too, that doesn’t make either me or the Russian “propagandists.” It only means that this Russian person shows good sense and so do I. True on a great many subjects.

            It’s really hard to work that guilt by association gambit when you can’t demonstrate any guilt, either by myself, Dr. Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, or any Russians. What do you have against “Russians,” anyway? You’ve never made much of a case for that. Having someone like you spit “Russian” at someone else over and over again just makes that other person seem more credible to me. I would have thought that even you could have gotten that by now. If I really wanted to revisit the cold war, I’d tune in to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.


  7. – “no discussion about nuclear weapons and their proliferation (and America’s decision to “modernize” our arsenal at a cost of at least a trillion dollars” –

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union valued nuclear weapons for both their political and military attributes. While Moscow pledged that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict, many analysts and scholars believed the Soviet Union integrated nuclear weapons into its warfighting plans. After the Cold War, Russia did not retain the Soviet “no first use” policy, and it has revised its nuclear doctrine several times to respond to concerns about its security environment and the capabilities of its conventional forces. When combined with military exercises and Russian officials’ public statements, this evolving doctrine seems to indicate that Russia has potentially placed a greater reliance on nuclear weapons and may threaten to use them during regional conflicts.

    Nuclear deterrence ready: Putin presides over mega missile exercise involving submarines, bombers & ground launchers

    How the US’s nuclear weapons compare to Russia’s
    Russia’s RS-24 Yars Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), introduced in the mid 2000s, can strike anywhere in the US with what some report to be ten independently targetable nuclear warheads.

    These ten warheads would reenter the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, around 5 miles a second. China has developed a similar platform, and the US simply has no way to defend against a salvo of such devastating nukes.

    [The] Russian philosophy relies on sneakiness and achieving a threat without breaking the bank.


    1. So far, MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction, for any reading who may be too young to remember “the good old days”) has worked in the decades since the US was first and only nation to employ nuclear weapons in war. I wholeheartedly wish the world could be free of this scourge of weaponry, but in our present reality I welcome most anything that can check, even modestly, the aggressions of “the Exceptional Nation.” So I find Putin’s (purported) “hypersonic” missile a thing of beauty!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Wish harm on my own country?? My reference was to the potential DETERRENCE power of the (purported) new super-fast Russkie missiles.


    2. Oyster: Have some humanity! I’m a 74yo man! American too! The photos you posted deterred me from posting for 4 days! I’m scared to death! Sleepless nights, etc.
      Especially after 3rd World Yemen blew the shit out of Aramco’s refinery, protected with America’s Great Patriot anti defence mi$$ile $ystem.
      I’ve since calmed down: revere in old American car posts. I think a fleet of ’57 Chrysler convertible 300’s can crush the Yemeni’s missiles with back seat mounted missile launchers. Had a fight with my car buff friend: “You’re such a snob Bruce! A ’60 Plymouth Fury can also do the job!”


  8. More food for thought in regard to the tortured history of Syria [for those who actually want to know], up to and including the most recent diplomatic developments. See:

    PEPE ESCOBAR: The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won, by Pepe Escobar, Consortium News (October 18, 2019)

    [Begin Selected Quotes from article]

    “What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way: 

    “It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive. And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”

    “Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.”

    [And deservedly so.]

    … [long and detailed post-Ottoman history omitted] …

    The first major game-changer was the spectacular Russian entrance in the summer of 2015. Vladimir Putin had asked the U.S. to join in the fight against the Islamic State as the Soviet Union allied against Hitler, negating the American idea that this was Russia’s bid to restore its imperial glory. But the American plan instead, under Barack Obama, was single-minded: betting on a rag-tag Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a mix of Kurds and Sunni Arabs, supported by air power and U.S. Special Forces, north of the Euphrates, to smash ISIS/Daesh all the way to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.”

    “Raqqa, bombed to rubble by the Pentagon, may have been taken by the SDF, but Deir ez-Zor was taken by Damascus’s Syrian Arab Army. The ultimate American aim was to consistently keep the north of the Euphrates under U.S. power, via their proxies, the SDF and the Kurdish PYD/YPG. That American dream is now over, lamented by imperial Democrats and Republicans alike.” 

    The CIA will be after Trump’s scalp till Kingdom Come.” [emphasis added]

    “Talk about a cultural misunderstanding. As much as the Syrian Kurds believed U.S. protection amounted to an endorsement of their independence dreams, Americans never seemed to understand that throughout the “Greater Middle East” you cannot buy a tribe. At best, you can rent them. And they use you according to their interests. I’ve seen it from Afghanistan to Iraq’s Anbar province.” [emphasis added]

    The Kurdish dream of a contiguous, autonomous territory from Qamichli to Manbij is over. Sunni Arabs living in this perimeter will resist any Kurdish attempt at dominance.”[emphasis added]

    … [and finally ] …

    “The war may not have been totally won, of course. But against all odds, it’s clear a unified, sovereign Syrian nation is bound to prevail over every perverted strand of geopolitical molotov cocktails concocted in sinister NATO/GCC labs. History will eventually tell us that, as an example to the whole Global South, this will remain the ultimate game-changer.” [emphasis added]

    [End Selected Quotes]

    A truly wide-ranging, in-depth analysis of a genuine turning point in history. May we all live long enough to see this breakthrough result in a return to peace in Syria. Deserved Kudos to President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for their diligence and patience over the long haul. The CIA, Pentagram, and Apartheid Zionists occupying Palestine will seethe and gnash their blunted teeth in frustration, but getting the governments of Iran, Turkey, Syria, and even the U.S. to go along with reason and diplomacy has to count as a decidedly good thing.

    Anyone know where I can purchase my “I’m a Putin Puppet” T-shirt?


  9. So OK, I am reading the Guardian newspaper and who pops up like a bad penny – the person who lost the election to President Agent Orange none other Queen Shillary Clinton.
    Hillary Clinton has just done an interview with David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, and wow. She did not hold back.

    Clinton also said she thought Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, was a Russian asset: “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset – I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”

    Clinton did offer a suggestion of who the next “Russian asset” might be: Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.

    Clinton said in an apparent reference to the Hawaii congresswoman: “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

    So yeah, it’ the Russians, Russians, Russians, wow this has to be the biggest counter intelligence coup of all time. This should be dismissed as the ravings of sore loser, sadly though the slander is now out there.


    1. Oh, dear. Apparently Mrs. Clinton has gone as far off the rails as the current POTUS!! These statements are nothing less than hilarious!! (Hillarious? sorry!) I voted for “Comrade” Jill Stein last time around, for which I was vilified as a door-opener for The Donald. But since Clinton won my state’s Electoral College votes anyway, “that dog won’t hunt”–to borrow from ‘Big Dog’ himself (William Jefferson Clinton, a.k.a. The Groper)!


      1. Weiss said that Stein’s foreign policy statements are also in synch with Russian interests. “Some of Stein’s virulent pro-Russian rhetoric has barely gotten attention. Her talking points on hot button issues like the war in Ukraine look like she’s reading off of a Kremlin-supplied script.”

        Despite receiving only 1.07 percent of the national vote total, her showing in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan was greater than Clinton’s margin of defeat, and arguably denied Clinton an Electoral College victory.


          1. I find your tedious drivel “in synch with” You-Know-Her’s interests. That makes them “out of synch” with mine. It escapes me why anyone would give a shit about You-Know-Her’s delicate hurt feelings — after more than three years — but she ran an inept and dispiriting non-campaign which turned off so many working-class, anti-war Democrats, that they simply stayed home and didn’t vote at all — or voted for Donald Trump. You really don’t get any of this, do you?

            And those of us who voted for Dr Jill Stein can always feel great about voting “for” someone who advanced policies with which we agree, like cutting the bloated Pentagram budget by 50%, just for starters. Simply voting “against” Trump did not appeal to us in the least. But do feel free to keep wailing about what lost the Democrats the elections (President, House, and Senate) in 2016. And if the Democrats don’t have anything better to run on than more Nixon/McCarthy imitation red-baiting, then the United States can look forward to four more years of Orange Man Bad in the White House. What a bunch of diaper-soiling, bed-wetting crybabies. At least Trump knows how he got elected. You-Know-Her and her apoplectic apologists still don’t know why they lost. Probably a lesson in there for future U. S. presidential candidates.

            Personally, I hope many more people find Dr. Jill Stein interesting. The more the better. A little intelligence would do the United States a world of good.


        1. Ha ha!! Michael Moore “blamed” (I think he was mostly joking) Gore’s loss in 2000 on the votes obtained by Monica Moorehead of Workers World Party in Florida!! Nationally, Moorehead certainly had far fewer votes than Stein in 2016. Oyster, do you propose a ban on “third-party” candidates? I consider Trump’s win in 2016 to have been basically legit in terms of legality. Which is a great argument for ditching the stupid EC!! But let’s not let HRC’s lameness as a candidate off the hook, okay? Her lashing out at Stein and Gabbard today was way, way, way off the charts!


    2. Thanks for the morning inspiration, ML. How about:

      “Shakespeare,” in Russian

      So I’m a Putin Puppet
      A Kremlin Talking Point
      Or, “Truth,” denying Democrats
      The one they would anoint:
      The other half of Husband Bill,
      Her nose wrenched out of joint
      From losing to an orange Macbeth
      Who told the witch: aroint!

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2019

      I had to do some serious dictionary-grubbing for that last rhyme, but The Bard came through for me, big time.


      1. Whoa, Time Out!! ‘Twas Lady Macbeth that caused the chain of tragic events. So, you blamin’ Melania for Trump’s shenanigans?!?


    3. Thanks, also, for the following quote from You-Know-Her, ML:

      “They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate.”

      So says The-Other-Half-of-Bill whose husband got into the White House twice courtesy of third-party candidate, Ross Perot, who split the Republican ticket, earning 19% and 9% of the popular vote in 1992 and 1996, respectively, far more votes than the 2% Ralph Nader won in 2004 or the 1% that Jill Stein managed to acquire in 2016.

      One would think that, supposedly knowing how this ticket-splitting thing works, You-Know-Her and those “politically savvy” Democratic party consultants would have sponsored yet another right-wing Republican to run as a third party candidate, siphoning off Trump’s support. But the Democrats already had such a candidate in You-Know-Her who thought she could win Republican suburbanite votes (the Podesta/Schumer theory) by running even further to the right than Donald Trump. How cunning of Vladimir Putin to get them to “think” so stupidly; therefore causing them lose; therefore causing Donald Trump to win. Thus, we may conclude as a matter of simple deductive logic: If Vladimir Putin really had anything to do with Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election in 2016, then he did it by convincing You-Know-Her to run for the job. So why not give the Russian President proper credit?

      But slurring Tulsi Gabbard — a Iraq-war veteran and principled opponent of the regime change wars that You-Know-Her and Droolin’ Joe Biden cheerfully sponsored — truly earns Mrs Bill the undisputed title: Low Roader of the Century. As a special, added delight for the once-and-future Goldwater Girl, this award comes with with two free Halloween party masks: one of Tricky Dick Nixon and the other of Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. Redundant, of course, since the masks look indistinguishable from her snarling visage in any event. But perhaps she could take some consolation in wearing them to bed at night.


  10. “Nothing like having an itch you can’t scratch.”

    In the dim & misted past, our greatest fear about the Worker’s Paradise was that the paranoia and borderline xenophobia that lay behind Ivan’s every move would one day boil over and the next thing you’d know, the missiles would start flying and it would be adios, muchachos!
    We forgot about them for a few years, but now they’ve become the obsession of the Democratic party. They conveniently ignore everything else that’s going down the tubes in the country and are looking for Moscow’s Minions, even within their own party.
    (For those objecting to my continued use of Cold War nomenclature, here’s some late-breaking news: The Cold War never ended. Just because we said it had didn’t make it so. The Soviet Union broke up. They changed their flag. That’s all.)
    But here’s a thought: we’re so hot for regime change in The Third World and fighting what used to be called “colonial wars,” why don’t we go after the alleged source of all our troubles?
    Forget “Make America Great Again.” Here’s a sure-fire winning campaign slogan for 2020: “Take out Putin.”
    The threat alone might be enough. At least it would be doing something. But no, the Democrats will continue p*ssing into the wind and on each other, will offer no candidate worth voting for and, after the election, in a surprising display of bipartisan unity will continue to do their best to re-establish the old status quo. “All for one, one for all.”


    1. “Who are these evil adversaries who wait to spring upon the USA the moment we drop our guard or the moment we make real cuts in our gargantuan military budget? Why do they stalk us instead of, say, Denmark or Brazil? This scenario of a world of enemies was used by the rulers of the Roman Empire and by nineteenth-century British imperialists. Enemies always had to be confronted, requiring more interventions and more expansion. And if enemies were not to be found, they were invented.” — Michael Parenti, Against Empire (1995)

      Secretary of State and President John Quincy Adams once said that “America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” A worthy sentiment, but certainly not true in our time. Now the governing U.S. military junta invents vicarious monsters at home and then insists on going abroad for evidence of their existence — which our generals and admirals always claim to have found. Imagine that.

      No republic can long survive if directed by those who specialize in such mendacity and incompetence.


  11. “The Clintons are always there when they need you.” — received wisdom in U.S. political circles

    Tulsi Gabbard has fired back at the scheming, skulking shadow lurking just off-stage at the so-called Democratic party “debates”: the toxic, discredited hag that gave us President Donald Trump in the first place. See: ‘Queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption’: Tulsi Gabbard DRAGS Hillary Clinton after ‘Russian asset’ claim, (18 Oct, 2019)

    [Begin Transcript]

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has accused Hillary Clinton of being behind a ‘concerted campaign’ to destroy her reputation and challenged her to stop hiding and enter the 2020 presidential race.

    “Great! Thank you Hillary Clinton,” Gabbard tweeted on Friday afternoon. “You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.”

    “From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me.” Gabbard added.

    Clinton, who has blamed everyone from the FBI to Russia for her 2016 loss to Donald Trump, said in an interview on Thursday that “Russians” were “grooming” someone in the Democrat primary field to run as a third-party candidate. While not calling out Gabbard by name, her spokesperson later told CNN, “if the nesting doll fits,” leaving no room for doubt.

    Of all the candidates in the crowded Democrat primary field, Gabbard has been under the heaviest fire from journalists who previously boosted Clinton, accused of being an “Assad apologist” over a fact-finding trip she took to Syria years ago.

    “Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly,” Gabbard called out Clinton, who has dropped hints that she might run again in 2020 as a rematch for her 2016 humiliation.

    During the 2016 campaign, Gabbard resigned as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee after endorsing Bernie Sanders for the party’s presidential nomination. Clinton beat Sanders out for the nomination largely due to support from the unaccountable “superdelegates,” and it emerged later that her campaign had taken over the DNC entirely – which might help explain Gabbard’s line about “the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”

    [End Transcript]

    Outstanding response by Tulsi Gabbard to the cowardly creature crouching just outside of the cameras’ focus, too toxic to campaign openly for a job that the American people have already denied her twice, first in 2008 and then in 2016. Yet still You-Know-Her feels entitled to that political pony that Bogus Bill promised her for some reason or other that I could never quite understand. So, clearly, we can see whom the snake-haired Medusa fears most among the candidates now vying publicly for the job of U.S. President.

    And by the way, I consider Tulsi Gabbard an asset for the human race at large, not just for Americans.


    1. Unfortunately, the rot at the heart of the Democratic Party–precisely the corporate ass-kissers and Pentagon’s besties Gabbard criticized–that is to say, its establishment, will now bury Tulsi’s campaign in a deep, deep hole. The nerve of her, speaking loudly in self-defense! Not that they were ever enthused for her in the first place. This would leave her a “third-party” candidacy as her only option to continue to campaign for the presidency. No chance in hell for success. As for now thoroughly-unhinged Hillary, Trump got her right in the 2016 “debates”: “What a nasty woman!”


    2. An independent analysis of the Russian news media found that RT, the Kremlin-backed news agency, mentioned Ms. Gabbard frequently for a candidate polling in single digits, according to data collected by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a group that seeks to track and expose efforts by authoritarian regimes to undermine democratic elections.

      Why would the Russians promote Gabbard so much when they know she has no chance with the Americans ? They’re playing the same trick they played with Jill Stein (Putin’s invitee at the famous RT celebration dinner together with Gen Flynn): trying to modify the election results to get people away from the main Democrat candidate – so as to make Trump win. Like in 2016.


      1. Remember the days when the Democrats were considered “soft” on communism? Now, allegedly, it’s the Republicans under Trump who are Putin-stooges, and the Democrats (minus Tulsi) are the ones who will save us.

        I’m not buying it.

        Beware as well of guilt by association. Let’s assume RT/Russia is “promoting” Tulsi Gabbard, an American Congresswoman and serving military officer. Wouldn’t this be counterproductive? Wouldn’t open Russian promotion torpedo any chance Tulsi might have?

        Look not to Russia for its “promotion” of Tulsi. Look to Hillary and the DNC for its slanderous denigration of her.


  12. When I was an LT in the Air Force, circa 1986, I sat through a classified briefing about how dangerous and powerful the Soviet Union was, and how the USA had to keep spending vast sums on “defense” to stave off defeat at Soviet hands. Three years later, the USSR began collapsing. If anyone in the MIC or CIA etc. saw it coming, they sure as hell didn’t say anything.

    Red scares go back to 1918 in the USA, and threat inflation is perhaps as old as civilization. Shouldn’t we all be tired and disgusted by all the fear-mongering, all the lies, all the exaggerations, vis-a-vis alleged threats like Russia or China?

    Ike said it best: Only Americans can defeat America. Looks like we’re doing a good job of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I think we can say this much: The Trump presidency has “scotched” (wow, talk about archaic language!) whatever credibility the US still had on the world stage. But all this gnashing of teeth, on “both sides of the aisle,” about “betraying our allies, the Kurds” really sickens me. The Kurds are simply an ethnic group with the very bad luck to desire their own homeland in a geographical region up for grabs among competing powers. This is certainly not the first time the Kurds have been used and abused (abandoned) by outside forces. I strongly urge readers to seek a superb documentary from years back called “Good Kurds, Bad Kurds.” The title pretty well tells the story.


    2. Amen to that, WJA. Blind nationalists like Oyster would have us rail against BREATHING or EATING because those damn Russkies do the EXACT SAME THING, and we don’t want to be Putin stooges now, do we?? When the rest of the world views the US as the biggest threat to peace, you’d think that — along with episodes like “Iraq WMD’s” — would cause them to pause, but zealotry isn’t easy to extinguish…


  13. I’ve let a lot of contentious comments go by without comment. That’s because I don’t like censorship, nor do I want to waste my time blocking or deleting comments, or even blocking readers.

    So I urge everyone to be civil; to make useful comments based on facts; and to avoid insults and accusations of disloyalty, bad faith, etc.

    Why not try this approach? “I disagree with you, and here’s why.” Followed by factual citations from reputable sources.

    Please don’t make my site look like a bad Twitter feed. Thank you.

    (Also, this note is not aimed at anyone in particular. But if you truly think it’s aimed at you, it’s time for you to go elsewhere.)


  14. There is very brazen, in your face, interference by Russia through its propaganda agents. But her principal strategy is very simple:
    1. The best defense is a good offense (hence the usual aggressiveness of her propaganda and any response)
    2. “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” – Sun Tzu
    That again means the power of the propaganda, making the enemy’s citizens believe it.

    And the drawbacks of a democracy like the US (it may be a republic, like some people like to point out lately, but it’s still a democracy) are that all these checks and balances which were supposedly put in place by the Founders in order to deter autocracy, like power being split between different institutions, are also an impediment to protecting itself from such interference. Nobody has the final word and everything must be discussed between people who can’t agree among themselves, and organizations which can (and are) frequently infiltrated by foreign powers.

    Trump and the part of the military and intelligence services that support him are trying to change that; and Russia obviously knows that such a change is in her favour. The establishment of the three superstates like those of Orwell’s 1984 is well under way. Russian propaganda in the West is meant to help this.

    The real problem is that the other side has more or less the same agenda, which is obvious through the vast societal engineering that’s been taking place for the last decades. So basically it’s just a global power struggle between two evil entities, two huge conglomerates of transnational interests which oppose each other – and neither of them gives a rat’s ass for the common man who will be trampled underfoot no matter who wins.

    The only way we (the people) can stay alive – is if we weaken the power of both Gog and Magog.


    1. “Trump and the part of the military and intelligence services that support him …”

      On what planet?

      The “military and intelligence services” absolutely loathe President Trump and have launched all-out-jihad against him, beginning even before his inauguration. See “James Comey, “Steele Dossier, “Mueller Report,” etc. for just some of the lurid details.

      Just talking facts here.

      And you might want to come off the tedious anti-Russian racism. The Russians haven’t exploded atomic bombs over any foreign cities, unlike … well … you know … And then we have the matter of 800+ U. S. military bases scattered all over the world and 7+ ongoing “wars,” none of them authorized by Congress or the UN.

      Frankly, the more You-Know-Her and her apologists bad mouth anything and everything “Russian,” the more my respect for Russians grows. So do keep it up, by all means.


      1. Russians are not a race, so we can’t talk of racism here. And if they haven’t exploded atomic bombs over foreign cities, they’ve occupied foreign countries and deported foreign nations to Siberian camps.
        By the way, if your talking points are meant as reverse psychology – it’s working.

        I said the PART of the military and intelligence services that supports Trump. They are obviously split, but any attentive observer can read who supports whom in the current events. My guess is they are also split among themselves, inside their own organizations, and this is even worse because witch hunts can lead to serious civil wars – and the institution which has the best assets and the most disciplined members wins – and that is the military. Hence Trump’s courting it, no doubt on the advice of the people who brought him to power.

        There is a lot of support for Trump in the military, which is why McRaven penned his article in the NYT to appeal to those who don’t like the president. I posted many links of military sites supportive of Trump, I hope you don’t mean to say they are fake – because it’s been suggested that the Russians might have created many of them.

        Russia wants Europe, not the US. She wants to influence the entire land mass of the two continents from Dublin to Vladivostok, she’s been trying that since Peter the Great. (They will leave SE Asia to China as playground). Dugin’s Eurasian geopolitics doctrine is spearheading the conquest. What Russia wants from the US is not to interfere in her plans, and she is helping the president/candidate who most fits the bill: Trump.


        1. Also – Russia’s endgame in the ME is the neutralizing of Israel, and Trump is helping her. She’s also forced Turkey to participate in her power play. The ME is now completely controlled by the Russians, Iranians and Chinese. Putin and Trump have shown the Israelis that they are nothing without American military help. If Trump wins the reelection, I expect to see a reduction in the financial help as well, despite his occasional lip service and his family and business connections.


          1. “…occasional lip service” of showing support for Israel?!? As the standard bearer for GOP now–and that is the case no matter how many members of that party might feel a bit uncomfortable about it–there’s no way Trump will withdraw the US’s vow of full military support to Israel. This support has the strength of a theological doctrine. I had to laugh out loud at an opinion piece headline on CNN’s website suggesting Trump is “hanging Netanyahu out to dry”!!


          2. I hope you’re right Oyster: “reduction of financial help to Israel”. US is falling apart as they enjoy free medical care paid by US taxpayers. We all know the history of this fake “country”: 1 page long written by Imperialists of Britain. Hey! It was to control the OIL!
            We’re seeing an interesting twist in history today: Israel is getting VERY EXPENSIVE to the starving West. I am NOT! a “Holocaust Denier”! I think it was terrible- but I’m also against the “expansion of Israel”- which is what Syria’s destruction was all about. But the slaughters & murders numbers in ME & Holocaust are getting frightfully close.


  15. In my eighth grade social-studies class (Fall, 1960), our teacher, Mr Christensen, showed us a film (we used projectors back in those days) of the Army-McCarthy hearings where Senator Joseph “Tail Gunner” McCarthy went after “suspected Communists and security risks in the Army.” McCarthy got his ass handed to him by Army counsel, Joseph Welch, who said, simply:

    “Senator, may we not drop this? We know [a young lawyer under attack] belonged to the Lawyer’s Guild … Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator; you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

    Our teacher stopped the film at that point and said to the class, about McCarthy: “He doesn’t like it when someone does that to him.

    But the mindless and virulent red-baiting went on because the Republican party of the day — and probably still — believed that they could make political hay out of intimidating Democrats (like Presidents Kennedy and Johnson) by calling them “soft on communism.” The bullying eventually led to JFK endorsing the CIA’s Bay of Pigs fiasco, which developed into the Cuban Missile Crisis, which led to involvement of “special forces” in propping up the U.S. installed puppet Saigon “government,” and then — post 1964 elections — to escalating U.S. war-worker deployments up to half-a-million men by 1968. Caught up in the disastrous consequences of the hysterical Red-baiting at home, I wound up serving almost six years in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club, the last year-and-a-half of that in the now-defunct “Republic of Vietnam” — still “communist” from what I understand, but willing to exploit its own citizens for cheap labor, so no one in the U.S. government seems to mind any more.

    So I know from my own experience where all this “Red-is-for-Russia” baiting leads: namely, to some poor enlisted U.S. war-worker dying or getting his “junk” blown off by a cheap roadside bomb in some far away place that never concerned the true defense of his country. I’ve been there. I’ve seen that. So to see President “Orange Man Bad” Trump move even a handful of these abused men and women out of harm’s way, only to find himself savaged by supposed “Americans” calling themselves “Democrats” and “Republicans” fills me with a boundless contempt. I have ample reason for it. I cannot ever separate it from my own nature. So when I hear the “Russia” canard flung about with reckless abandon — especially by a loser war-witch like You-Know-Her — I know where it comes from. I know where it leads. I’ve seen and lived it all before. And I will have no more of it in what little remains of my life.

    So good for you, President Trump. Good for you, Tulsi Gabbard. Good for you Syrians, Russians and Iranians, all of you who have helped to restore sovereignty and peace to Syria. Screw the labels and the crude canards. And damn all war-mongering REMFs. Damn their eyes.


    1. Please say szervusz to your twin RWEmersonII on Disqus from me and tell him that I’ve contacted the Canadian Intelligence Services re his band of merry friends.
      Trying to kill a person to stop her/him from posting is a matter for the police and it will be investigated, even if the Russian trolls are connected to traitors in the DIA and DoD.


  16. On the subject of meaningless word-like noises emanating — as Orwell said — from the larynx (i.e., throat), bypassing the brain, Caitlin Johnstone has nailed it again. See: “Russian Asset” Is A Meaningless Noise War Pigs Make With Their Face Holes, by Caitlin Johnstone, (October 19, 2019)

    [Just a few of my favorite snippets]

    “Both Tulsi Gabbard and the Green Party of the United States have issued scorching rebukes of Hillary Clinton for baseless accusations the former Secretary of State made during a recent interview claiming that both Gabbard and former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein are aligned with the Russian government.”

    “Clinton provided no evidence for her outlandish claims, because she does not have any. Gabbard has repeatedly denied centrist conspiracy theories that she intends to run as a third-party candidate, a claim which establishment pundits have been making more and more often because they know there will never be any consequences when their claims are disproven. There is no evidence of any kind connecting either Jill Stein or Tulsi Gabbard to the Russian government.”

    “Yep, yeah, that makes perfect sense. One doesn’t have to actually have any formal relationship with the Kremlin to be a Kremlin asset. One doesn’t have to know they’re a Kremlin asset to be a Kremlin asset. The Kremlin doesn’t even need to know one is a Kremlin asset for them to be a Kremlin asset. Nothing has to have happened except the accusation of being a Kremlin asset. It’s just kind of a vague, shapeless nothing thing that doesn’t necessarily have any actual meaning to it at all besides the way it makes people feel inside. It’s more like a religious belief, really.”

    “The “Russian asset” smear has given the establishment narrative managers the ability to make incredibly inflammatory and scandalous accusations about anyone who opposes the US establishment foreign policy consensus, without ever having to back them up with facts. It’s no obstacle for me if I can’t prove that you have any connection to the Russian government, because I can still smear you as a Russian asset by saying your views align with Moscow’s interests, or by noting that Russian news media has done news reporting on you…”

    “In reality, “Russian asset” is nothing more than a completely meaningless noise that war pigs make with their face holes, no more coherent and communicative than the barking of a dog or the chattering of a squirrel. If we were to come up with a definition for that term which reflects the way it is actually being used in modern political discourse, that definition would be something like, “An incantation which magically makes political dissent look like something treasonous and Machiavellian.” [emphasis added]
    … [and finally] …
    “Establishment narrative managers are getting more and more aggressive with the psychological bullying tactics they are using against political dissidents. Applying a ridiculous, meaningless pejorative to anyone who disagrees with mainstream US foreign policy views is just one more ugly tool in their infernal toolbox. It is not normal, healthy or acceptable to accuse someone of being a Russian asset just because they disagree with the authorized commentators of the American political/media class, and when they make such accusations they should be publicly shamed for it.” [emphasis added]

    [End Selected Quotes]

    Let the public shaming of the “Russia” canard-mongers begin, continue, and grow. I promise to do my part.


    1. A quote from the comment thread on Caitlin Johnstone’s website:

      “Russian Asset / October 19, 2019

      In the opening bit, it appears that Ancient Hillary is logically inconsistent. She claims that both Tulsi Gabbard and Dr. Jill Stein are both Russian assets. Then she claims that Dr. Stein might not give up the highly coveted Green Party slot because she is a Russian asset. And yet, if they were really both Russian assets, the Dr. Stein would follow the orders from Moscow and give up the coveted Green Party slot to Rep. Gabbard. To say both that Dr. Stein is a Russian asset and that she won’t give up the coveted Green Party nomination is a logical inconsistency in Ancient Hillary’s clearly faltering logic.”

      For all her pretensions to having an expensive private education — Wellesley and Yale — the Goldwater Girl, You-Know-Her, sure doesn’t exhibit much in the way of logical thinking. Good to see someone pointing out the painfully obvious.


    1. Me, too.

      Tulsi wants to rebuild the Democratic party and return it to its working-class, anti-war roots. About time someone got started on that long-overdue project. The decades of right-wing drift led by the Clintons and Barack Obama require radical reversing. Now.


    2. Beautiful WJAstore. I think Tulsi would make a great President. I know a few have complained she has some strange religious views: If it’s true, I don’t care; if not, another lie by the Deep State. What gives me even more faith in Gabbard, is she knows how to handle them on the MSM! Remember, these interviews are all spontaneous, not an easy task. I’ve watched a few; she never screws up! Billary & her “deplorables” have met their Waterloo!


  17. It may be the oldest political tactic in the book, short of assassination: accuse your opponent (or whomever you feel threatened by) of something – however ludicrous or unsubstantiated – and force them to waste precious time & energy denying it. Because they will have to deny it. And deny it. And deny it.
    The media jump on it not because of any widespread conspiracy but because their priority is winning the ratings game for an ever-shortening news cycle. It’s throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks and what sticks becomes “a developing story.”
    The electorate – which has become so easy to manipulate – is fine with both of the above. Their lack of critical faculties is appalling. The level of what a friend once called “willful ignorance” is distressing.

    I can’t claim Final Wisdom or any insight as to what the “Founding Fathers” true intentions were (to be honest, I’ve always found the documents they left behind quite clear and free of any need for “interpretation”).
    But I suspect they had higher hopes for America, the fragile ideal they literally staked their lives on (to sign the Declaration of Independence was to sign your own death warrant).
    I know I certainly did.


    1. I agree with your assessment of the gullibility quotient of the American electorate. Nonetheless, Tulsi Gabbard clearly understands the use of smear-noises — I won’t dignify them by calling them “words” — and has a technique for stepping outside the attempts to “frame” her into denying what doesn’t exist. When some media sycophant demands that she “deny” the “Russia” thing, she substitutes the word “foreign,” as in “The cowardly [Mrs. Clinton] has accused me of being an asset of a foreign government.” This way she disputes the allegation without reinforcing it while letting the attack bounce back upon its source. Tulsi just doesn’t play. No point in it. I really like her composure and ability to stay focused on what she wishes to say. As former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel says: “She has gravitas,” a necessary quality in anyone aspiring to lead a nation. A cool customer.

      The corporate media wants to simply ignore Tulsi Gabbard like they did Bernie Sanders in 2016. But You-Know-Her stupidly just focused more attention on Tulsi. Good. Let the shrivelled hag stew in her own rancid juices while the future of the Democratic party — if it has one — shrugs and simply passes her by.


      1. As George Orwell advised in his classic essay, “Politics and the English Language”:

        “… one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

        (1) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
        (2) Never us a long word where a short one will do.
        (3) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
        (4) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
        (5) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
        Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.”

        In the present context of the “Russia” smear-noise gargled obscenely by You-Know-Her, rules (1), (4), and (5) clearly apply.

        (1) The Smear Noise in question occurs ubiquitously on TV and in print. Therefore, avoid its copy-cat use. One should pick words and phrases that one wishes to use in order to communicate one’s own message instead of reinforcing a manipulative, orthodox, herd-think canard.
        (4) Avoid using the passive voice, as in “I’ve been attacked …” in favor of the active voice with a named subject-actor: “The war-witch, Hillary Clinton, has attacked me from behind her protective media curtain …”
        (5) The Smear Noise in question has become, by design, nothing but an empty jargon word, so just don’t use it. Use “foreign government,” instead.

        It seems to me that Tulsi Gabbard knows her George Orwell and how to apply his analysis of political English. The concentrated corporate media can really do nothing but cut her out of their coverage. Every time they allow her to speak, she shreds the orthodox narrative and displays a resolute intelligence. Younger students of English would do well to follow her example and learn.


  18. The “Combined Task Force” of the Russo-Hungarian and American traitors who are doing the propaganda for Trump and Russia (and Hungary on the side, of course). They are all intelligence agents and contractors of the GRU, and Hungarian intelligence services, possibly also DIA, DoD, etc. They helped elect Trump with their huge psy op which fooled the American people into voting for him.

    Ringleader Joseph Martin (“white nationalist”) aka Lawrence Bond (the opposite), aka Papasan Pauly (retired American navy), aka Pete Ellis (works military sites), aka Willing-to-die-for-Jesus (picks up old ladies on religious sites) https:// disqus. com/ by/disqus_MPIpF74Bfr

    Hungarian Theodora Angelina, Theodora and Θεοδώρα “white nationalist”
    :// disqus. com/by/ theodoraavalon/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ hailnike/
    aka Pacifica Rose “white nationalist” https:// disqus. com/by/ pacificarose/
    aka Kikz2 “neo-Nazi” https:// disqus. com/by/ kikz2/

    Hungarian Daisy, famous “white nationalist” https:// disqus. com/by/ Edelweissreturns/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ EdelweissintheAlps/

    “White nationalist” Copyright 101, Copyright 102, Copyright 201
    https:// disqus. com/by/ disqus_nY0BNfkxEi/

    “white nationalist” and former “neo-Nazi” Fl Cracker, aka KEK, aka NoJewTricks
    https:// disqus. com/by/ disqus_nY0BNfkxEi/

    “White nationalist” Der Buzen Puken https:// disqus. com/by/ derbuzenpuken/

    “White nationalist” and admirer of Russia https:// disqus. com/by/ JSkoolafish/

    These are the “right wing”. There are hundreds of them, you can see them at “followers” and “following” most of them professionals with several aliases – some work both the left and the right. And a few dupes, like I was before they asked to betray my country.

    And here the “leftists”, a lot of Hungarians too. Putin and Trump promised Orban to support his revisionist designs on Romania next year at the anniversary of the Trianon Treaty, so the Magyar intelligence services were/are working their butts off.

    Hungarian Dee aka Dee Mic aka Kathleen Garvey
    https:// disqus. com/by/ disqus_Yd7xFEoCXV/favorites/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ deemic/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ kathleen_garvey/favorites/

    https:// disqus. com/ by/rwemersonii/
    https:// disqus. com/ by/disqus_qr7kE6hvoo/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ natocracy/
    https:// disqus. com/ by/jerzy_pawlowski/
    https:// disqus. com/ by/Maelstrom_19/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ doomsternz/
    https:// disqus. com/by/ BlackRoseML/

    Again hundreds of them, very professional and very aggressive.

    And all of them, whether leftists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, conservative, religious, atheists – ALL support Russia, Assad, China, Putin, Iran. And many of them threaten “civil war” if their views are disregarded, just like they did during Trump’s electoral campaign.
    An in-your-face operation of subverting democracy in the most powerful country on earth – and it’s not properly investigated by the 17 (seventeen) intelligence services.


    1. Oyster–None of this means a thing to me. I’ve vaguely heard of “disqus” but know nothing about it. I am not a social media troll or follower of any such creatures. Of this I am absolutely confident: It was RACISM and its bedfellow XENOPHOBIA that paved the way for the United States to be “blessed” with its current president. No assistance from Russian, Hungarian, US intel, etc. trolls was required. The principle of Occam’s Razor suggests that you are expending needless energy looking for all these bogeymen. Or, in the immortal words of cartoonist Walt Kelly: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”


  19. Jimmy Dore makes sound points here about the smearing of Tulsi Gabbard:

    Also, Mayor Pete actually makes sense here:

    Buttigieg: Clinton should have evidence for claim Tulsi Gabbard is ‘Russian asset’
    Candidate criticizes Clinton over remarks that suggested his competitor was being ‘groomed’ by Moscow to spoil 2020 race


  20. Incredibly, this is what passes for writing at The Atlantic:

    “Clinton is right that there is plenty to worry about with Gabbard. Indeed, debate moderators and other Democratic candidates should have never let her escape the first debates without direct questions about her unnatural fluency with both Syrian and Russian talking points. Gabbard even emulates the stiff, unnatural cadences of Russian rhetoric, as when she referred to Clinton on Twitter as the “queen of the warmongers”—the Russians used to refer to the close Clinton ally Madeleine Albright as “Madam War.” She repeatedly echoes pro–Bashar al-Assad propaganda in using the phrase regime-change war to describe the U.S. presence in Syria.”

    Tulsi is now allegedly emulating “the stiff, unnatural cadences of Russian rhetoric” — dammit, the Russkies have all kinds of unnatural superpowers!

    This is awful, awful, stuff. For shame.


    1. For another good discussion of this “tail gunner” smearing of Tulsi Gabbard by the McCarthy/Nixon/Clinton crowd, see: Max Blumenthal on why Hillary Clinton smeared Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein, Pushback with Aaron Maté (October 20, 2019).

      And speaking of “crowds,” the Atlantic article you reference, Bill, seems to me like either an algorithm or a crowd wrote it. For those unacquainted with crowd psychology, I put a reference note on my website that explains what I mean. See: Thought Control in Everyday life,

      Who in their right mind even cares what the bottom half of Bill Clinton has to say about matters affecting the United States in the world? Does she really want more Americans to vote for Donald Trump the second time around, just as John Kerry did for Deputy Dubya Bush in 2004? If so, merely showing her ferret face and croaking her calumnies will certainly accomplish that.


    2. WJAstore: I heard many years ago from very wise old sources, The Atlantic & Economist are very old British Empire propaganda rags, government subsidised. One was an old tycoon, who used to joke: “Of course I subscribe to The Economist. I always do the opposite in finances of what they promote!”


      1. Huh! So little am I familiar with The Atlantic I had no idea it was a British rag. Once upon a time (more than three decades ago), I subscribed to The Economist on recommendation of an American investment advisor I respected a lot. The magazine referred to itself as “a liberal.” I had to assume this was a reference to a stance on regulation of financial markets or some such matter. While pretending to provide reasonably objective reporting on global events, their conservative bias did show thru.


        1. Sorry GREGLAXER: I gave you (partial) “fake” news! I’m correct about ‘The Economist’, but the other British Empire subsidised magazine was ‘The Spectator’. Yet they have something to do with ‘The Atlantic’. The old guys who told me this were WW2 Veterans, and quite angry “intellectual” American magazines were jumping to Britain’s defence before 1941.


  21. This article at The Nation is not as hysterical against Tulsi, but I’m not buying it:

    “Gabbard’s hawkish nationalism, with a strong undercurrent of Islamophobia, has manifested itself in many forms. Like the reactionary right, she frames the problem of terrorism in religious terms and mocked Barack Obama for his refusal to say “radical Islamic terrorism.” Gabbard opposed the Iran nuclear deal. She’s worked to limit the number of Muslim refugees America takes in. She’s also celebrated authoritarian leaders who have cracked down on political Islam, ranging from Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    These are all positions that bring her in alignment with the Trumpian right, a congruence she has occasionally pursued by trying to work with reactionaries. In the early days of the Trump administration, she met with the president and there was talk of her being offered a position in his government. Erstwhile Trump adviser Steven Bannon talked up Gabbard, saying he ‘loves her’ and ‘she gets the foreign policy stuff, the Islamic terrorism stuff.'”

    Again, tarring Tulsi, this time because of fanboy Steve Bannon and her alleged “alignment” with Trump and his followers.

    I’m not saying Tulsi is perfect, but I respect her service and her principled stands against wasteful wars. Most of all, she’s willing to buck the DNC and Hillary, and she was doing so when Hillary was at her most powerful. That’s why Hillary can’t stand her.


    1. Rep. Gabbard said something that struck me as alarmingly rightwing very early in the last “debate” but I didn’t make a written note and was soon distracted by other irritating statements, like ‘Mayor Pete’s reveal of himself as Mr. War Hawk. Oh, well. Twelve people yammering away on one stage, what’s a poor old geezer in the viewing audience to do?!? 🙂


    2. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone (October 21, 2019) weighs in:

      Everyone Is a Russian Asset -America laughed at Hillary Clinton’s remarks about Tulsi Gabbard, but her ideas fit perfectly in the intellectual mainstream

      … [jump to the concluding paragraphs] …

      “This witch-hunting insanity isn’t just dangerous, it’s a massive breach from reality. Trump’s campaign was a clown show. He had almost no institutional backing. His “ground game” was nonexistent: his “campaign” was a TV program based almost wholly around unscripted media appearances. Trump raised just over half the $1.2 billion Hillary pulled in (making him the first presidential candidate dating back to 1976 to win with a funds deficit). He didn’t prepare a victory speech, for the perfectly logical reason that he never expected to win.”

      “Even if you posit the most elaborate theories of Russian interference (which I don’t, but of course I’m denialist scum), what happened in 2016 was still almost entirely a domestic story, with Trump benefiting from long-developing public rejection of the political establishment.”

      “Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration. House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”

      All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end?”

      “All Roads Lead to Putin” sounds like a good line around which to structure a bit of vitriolic verse. I’ll have to get to work on that. But first I’ll head to the local post office where I can mail my next little contribution to Tulsi Now. …


      1. I don’t follow Mr. Taibbi’s writing, but this sounds about right! I also don’t listen to Howard Stern, but I think he was on the money when he said Trump not only didn’t expect to win, he didn’t WANT to win. He got all the publicity in the world by running, but now–gasp!–he has to occasionally show up at the office and pretend he’s being POTUS! A hard, hard life.


        1. The ultimate irony reveals itself in the emails from John Podesta — thanks again Julian Assange and Wikileaks — wherein You-Know-Her’s campaign adviser suggests (1) making Donald Trump a “Pied Piper” candidate and (2) passing the world to DNC-associated media outlets to publicize Trump as much as possible. This Clinton “strategy” saved Donald Trump a ton of money and ultimately failed because it misunderstood the old childhood fable.

          You see: the Clinton DNC thought that Pied Piper Trump would play his magic flute and lead all the little Republican vermin down to the river to drown. But, of course, in the end, because the townsfolk (Democrats) wouldn’t pay the Pied Piper his fee for services rendered, he lead the little Democratic children away into the metaphorical mountains where they either stayed home, voted third party, or even voted for Donald Trump.

          How utterly brilliant of Vladimir Putin to do a Vulcan mind meld on Bubba Bill’s Bottom Half, hypnotizing her into hiring John Podesta as a “strategist” and then tricking her into thinking she would finally get that political pony that her husband and other snivelling courtiers told her she had coming as a seizure class entitlement. With all this political — not to mention literary — sophistication on display, no wonder most of this world regards Vladimir Putin as the premier statesmen of his age. I wonder what The Master has in store for America next?


          1. Compare a Putin press conference with a Trump “open” Cabinet meeting–today’s was a doozy!!–and you’ll see a very intelligent and savvy guy vs. an utter buffoon. Perhaps Putin’s Svengali-like skills are related to his sharing his given name with Vlad the Impaler, supposed historical model for Dracula!


        2. Yes, as I understand it, on election eve when it was announced that Trump had won, he had a shocked, stunned look and his wife was actually crying, and NOT with joy —- not the typical celebratory reactions for a winning candidate and spouse. As you and the above article by MT mention, this was undoubtedly all a big publicity stunt/brand-building exercise by Trump that went horribly wrong for him. Now not only was he going to have to do some work and make a few tough decisions, but he was going to be under the media microscope while doing it.


          1. Kudos to filmmaker Michael Moore for getting footage of the Trump Clan’s (Klan’s?) reaction on election night in his movie “Fahrenheit 11/9”! Not being a news junkie, I had not previously seen that material. It really is, well, eye-opening!


      2. The youngsters in this forum may not remember Lenny Bruce, a stand-up comedian of the late 1950’s-early 1960s, who notoriously blended social-satire with vulgarity. In one of his more famous routines, he stood on stage and simply uttered the verboten word “fuck.” He then proceeded to repeat the expletive, over and over again, with various intonations, until the audience, initially shocked, eventually lapsed into annoyed boredom. Precisely the point he wished to make about taboos. Jimmy Dore has done something similar, showing clips of Rachel Maddow uttering the word-like noise “Russian” over and over again, like a manic incantation, as she has for the past three years. Ridicule and overexposure make the best responses to rabid “Russia”-baiting. My preferred strategy: “Don’t Accept the Blame, Claim the Credit.”

        It seems to me that Tulsi Gabbard has wisely taken the Hysterical Hag’s bad imitation of “Tricky Dick” Nixon and “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy and turned it back upon its source, allowing Tulsi to broaden her appeal from anti-regime-change-war to cleaning up corruption in the Democratic party, a long-overdue de-Clinton-izing fumigation. You-Know-Her really needs to stop meddling in the Democratic party’s affairs. She has done quite enough damage and has long-since become not just a bad joke, but a colossal bore.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good point. I’ve noted Tulsi’s change in rhetoric. She’s now running against Hillary and the DNC. Good for her.


          1. I just got off the phone wishing my younger son in New York a happy birthday. Talking about this and that, he reminded me of former President G.W. Bush living the life of a recluse, taking up painting as a hobby, while keeping relatively quiet about political matters. My son then asked me to “imagine former President Donald Trump.” …

            Point taken.


            1. Having his name on everybody’s lips and his charming (?) face in the media is, of course, like oxygen to Trump. Let’s hope that if there is a Pence presidency, it will only be to finish out this term. I believe Pence is considerably more dangerous than The Donald, because he is organized and has clear goals: to bring about a “Republic of Gilead” on the soil of these “United” (ha!) States. Conspiracy theorizing? No, just staring reality unblinkingly in the eye.


  22. One of the most sobering analyses of the ongoing smear campaign against Tulsi Gabbard. See: The Putin-Nazis Are Coming (Again)!, by C.J. Hopkins, The Unz Review (October 21, 2019)

    I hope things don’t work out as badly as Mr Hopkins surmises, even though he has a good deal of sordid human history in support of his views. I’ll just excerpt two paragraphs that I agree with but somehow hope will work out better for Tulsi who has taken on the Lunatic Leviathan with the political equivalent of a fish hook.

    “Gabbard, to her credit, understands [the nature of the smear campaign against her], and is focusing attention on the motives and tactics of the neoliberal establishment and their smear machine. As I noted in an essay last year, “the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale) is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible.” This will not save her, but it is the best she can do, and I applaud her for having the guts to do it. I hope she continues to give them hell as they finish off her candidacy and drive her out of office.”

    “Oh, and if you’re contemplating sending me an email explaining how these smear campaigns don’t work (or you spent the weekend laughing about how Hillary Clinton lost her mind and made an utter jackass of herself), maybe check in with Julian Assange, who is about to be extradited to America, tried for exposing U.S. war crimes, and then imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life. If you can’t get through to Julian at Belmarsh, you could ring up Katharine Viner at The Guardian, which has ruthlessly smeared Assange for years, and published outright lies about him, and is apparently doing very well financially.”

    While Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning languish in prison, none of us can call ourselves “free.”


  23. Another good analysis. See: A Call for a Coup Plus a Week Like No Other for Tulsi Gabbard – Clinton, McRaven and Pelosi all are featured, by Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review (October 22, 2019)

    I’ll skip the part about retired Admiral McRaven’s call for a military coup against President Donald Trump and jump to the last two paragraphs concerning the orchestrated smearing of Tulsi Gabbard by the corrupt courtiers of the DNC and associated corporate media.

    “The Hillary Clinton attack on Gabbard and on the completely respectable Jill Stein is to a certain extent incomprehensible unless one lives in the gutter that she and Bill have wallowed in ever since they rose to prominence in Arkansas. Hillary, the creator of the private home server for classified information as well as author of the catastrophic war against Libya and the Benghazi debacle has a lot to answer for but will never be held accountable, any more than her husband Bill for his rapes and molestations. And when it comes to foreign interference, Gabbard is being pilloried because the Russian media regards her favorably while the Clinton Foundation has taken tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments and billionaires seeking quid pro quos, much of which has gone to line the pockets of Hillary, Bill and Chelsea.”

    “Finally, one comment about the Democratic Party obsession with the Russians. The media was enthusing last Friday over a photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi standing up across a table from President Trump and pointing at him before walking out of the room. The gushing regarding how a powerful, strong woman was defying the horrible chief executive was both predictable and ridiculous. By her own admission Pelosi’s last words before departing were “All roads lead to Putin.” I will leave it up to the reader to interpret what that was supposed to mean.”

    What a shit-show.


    1. Decent article here, Mike, in part:

      “Tulsi Gabbard is completely right about what Clinton represents. Clinton was the Democratic party at its absolute worst: pro-war, pro-Wall Street, self-enriching, inept, devoid of any transformative vision, and contemptuous of ordinary people. It’s very clear that Bernie Sanders would have been the smart choice in 2016, and Gabbard was one of the few Democratic officials to recognize that at the time and endorse him. Actually, that was courageous of her—most Democratic officials, even those whose politics should have aligned them more closely with Sanders than Clinton, were too timid to buck the establishment and risk their career by potentially getting on the wrong side of an incoming Clinton administration.”


      1. Of course, the language here is “off”: Ms. Gabbard is an elected Member of Congress, not a Democratic “official.” The real officials in the Dem. Party Establishment, spearheaded by Madam Clinton, are howling for her blood and are decidedly unfond (note the subtlety of my word choice!) of young Members of Congress like “The Squad.” I have no doubt said establishment will be working overtime to seek the ousting of these upstarts, and would probably prefer Republicans in those slots if they can’t find successful “moderate” replacements from within their own ranks.


  24. Yes — who is really harming democracy in America?

    With their Russiagate fantasies, the Democrats have done infinitely more to delegitimize US institutions of governance than any foreign power could dream to accomplish.

    “The Democrats have come up with a permanent excuse for failure and they’re going to use it again in 2020.”

    Just when it seemed like our stupid politics couldn’t get more so, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton published The Book of Gutsy Women, then Hillary called Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein Russian assets…


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