From the Last Week or So


  • Rs vs Ds - R's always get a pass on national security issues. D's compensate by trying to be R's when in power.
  • Cults - i have to agree with No More Mister Nice.
"The Republican Party has been a rage cult for years. Now it's a rage personality cult."
"Confusing politics with corporate profits and the state of the economy is not the ideal way to invest. The noise created by the president has been a constant backdrop to the expansion of the U.S. economy that began before Trump was elected and has continued ever since. Until that changes, most of what Trump does will mean little to financial markets."
Maybe, but I lean to the "just wait'. If Trump keeps blowing up long held conventions, something has to give.
"Trump is an outlier, then, more in degree than in kind. He’s what happens when transactional philanthropy is taken to its logical conclusion, divorced entirely from any kind of genuine generosity. But the broader phenomenon is much bigger than Trump and has long infected almost every cranny of the philanthropic world."
Hopefully, the Trump administration is "Peak American Corrupitalism"
"There is no longer a way to claim America’s internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that’s the tally before anyone brings up the FBI’s use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI’s use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI’s use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier, and so on. 
The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. But even if one fully accepts the IG report’s conclusion that all this— and there’s a lot — was not intentional, at a minimum it makes clear to those watching ahead of 2020 what tools are available and the impact they can have. While we continue to look for the bad guy abroad, we have already met the enemy and he is us."
  • Things we've done. When I was a kid in the 60s I thought we were "The Good Guys", now I'm not so sure.


Manipulating the Masses

120 Nations Condemn Israel for Gaza Shootings, including Russia, China, France & 11 other European States

The Vote to condemn Israel for the Gaza Shootings

  • YES - 120 nations
  • NO - 8  -  US, Israel, Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Togo, Solomon Islands.
  • Abstain - 45 nations

"The resolution was backed by 12 European states, including France, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Portugal, and Greece. 16 European countries abstained, but none voted against the resolution."
US media basically ignored it.  As of 8:30am est....the day after the vote

  • Nothing on CNN.
  • Nothing on Fox.
  • Nothing in My Google News feed.
  • Nothing on MSNBC
  • Nothing on NBC
  • Nothing on ABC
  • Nothing on the CBS front page though they do have it on their World News

US taxpayers just don't know how much of an outlier we are in supporting Israeli violence and our media are damned sure it's going to stay that way.



Rs vs Ds

Health Insurance Coverage for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Is on the Line. The biggest difference between Rs and Ds is that R's just can't resist the urge to just fuck with people. The Trump-era Rs are just downright mean. 


US logistical support for the Saudi Arabia, UAE, attack on Yemen's port city of Hudaida

Not War

North Korea vs Iran. Again, the Trump and Kim Jong Un meeting was a first step but the follow through will be more important. Both of these guys talk big but often fail to deliver.

Trump and the Nobel Prize

I'd guess we'll see calls for a Trump Nobel prize from his supporters though if one is given for this meeting then both Trump and Kim Jong Un should share the prize. That seems a pretty risky move for the Nobel folks as either of these two strong-men could end up nuking someone, starting a major war, or destroying the worlds economy. Would they really want to take that chance? Obama's drone war and middle east shenanigans after receiving the award were bad enough but to give a Nobel to these two seems damned risky.


Fox must not be too happy about Trump-Kim Jong Un. Today all the major news sources have something about the historic meeting but at 8:15am there are only a couple small side-bar headlines on the Fox News front page.


The Onion nails it. Trump Touts Success Of Singapore Summit After Securing $10 Billion Trade Deal To Sell Nuclear Warheads To North Korea


US folks bitching about North Korean Human Rights when we're helping bomb the hell out of Palestine and Yemen.



Bullshit Works

How Fox is undermining the Mueller Investigation.

American Pie

Trump - North Korea

Regardless of what you think of Trump, meeting with North Korea was a good thing. Sure any deal may fall apart, it might have been all for show, or it might take twenty years to see any real gains but this was the first step and that should push the Doomsday Clock and the Rapture Index back a little bit.

on another note....

The Fox News whores should burn in hell for their hypocrisy.


Monday the 11th

Social Security
Social Security Payments Exceed Income: "Trust Fund" Will Be Wiped Out by 2034
Panic for no reason. It's an easy fix. Raise the SS income limit then just wait for the boomers to die off and the youngsters to enter their peak earning years. Someday they'll be talking about what to do with all the excess Social Security money. Also, Social Security in the early 80s. 

With Russia maybe, but more likely with the Saudis, Israelis, and the UAE. The Intercept on the Collusion story

Ian Welsh: The Destruction of Latin America’s Left And Lessons for Everyone
"This is a very dirty game, and left-wingers keep treating it as if it is not: as if there are rules, and both sides play by them. Increasingly in the US that is not the case, and it is clearly not the case many other places. If your enemies win, they will destroy you by any means. You should think long and hard about what you will do to them if you get into power, because they know what they will do to you."

Lots of news this morning, The Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting and trade wars are at the top of most news sites but Fox takes the opportunity to bash one of their cult member's favorite enemies, those American-Hating liberals of Hollywood.

MMT: economics for an economy focused on meeting the needs of most people 
Intangibles... its different this time.

Middle East
Israel vs Iran A Newsweek comparison.
Bible-Bangers drive US Middle East policy.


Israel, Gaza, Google, and Kneecapping

Does the Google News algorithm have the ability to translate Israel-Palestine headlines into NYT speak?

This morning, Google News had this as the headline

Which is a typical NYT slant to all Israel-Palestinian issues. It's "clashes" instead of "Israel killing protesters" and "Hamas" is headlined so 'Mericans relate it to those Islamic terrorists.

But when I got to the linked site, this was the headline?

Palestinians killed in protest near Israel-Gaza border

What's going on here? I thought the Google News feed was algorithm driven so shouldn't change a headline? Is the Google A.I. doing it? A person? Why? It seems pretty shady to change a headline from another source.

Also from the CBS article.
Among the dead Friday was 15-year-old Haitham al-Jamal. His family said he was taking part in a protest in Rafah, in southern Gaza, when he was shot. A total of 12 children under age 16 have been killed in the protests.
French news agency Agence France-Presse said one of its photographers, Mohammed Abed al-Baba, was wounded at a mass rally after Israeli forces opened fire. AFP said al-Baba was wearing a press vest and helmet about 200 meters (yards) from the border when hurt. 
It said he was wounded below the knee while trying to take a photo of a wounded protester after Israeli troops opened fire. The photographer's injury was not life-threatening, but he was to undergo surgery. 
Israel's military had no comment on the incident
More kids and journalists killed or injured. The photographer was shot just below the knee, which support reports that Israeli soldiers are kneecapping people. Kneecapping is shooting just below the knee, the leaving the victim crippled for life. Italy's Red Brigade terror organization used kneecapping to warn their enemies back in the 80's. It seems Israel is using it on the Palestinians today.

An Israeli lawmaker suggested a teen girl should have been kneecapped.

Israeli Lawmaker: Palestinian Teen Tamimi 'Should Have Gotten a Bullet, at Least in the Knee'

Haartez, a leading Israeli newspaper had this

Is the IDF Conducting a Kneecapping Campaign in the West Bank? The number of Palestinians being wounded by live fire is on the increase, with stone throwers saying they are being told that confronting soldiers is liable to leave them crippled for life.

Your US tax dollars are supporting this barbaric act.


Friday LInks

Rogue Nation
G7 Views Trump’s US as Rogue State, as France Threatens a “G6” Memo

Energy - Natural Gas
"Qatar did not experience any crack or crisis so far due to its enormous oil and gas resources, and successful rerouting of trade links with Iran, Turkey and Oman, in particular. It is the world’s largest exporter of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and has access to a nearly infinite gas reserve in the Persian Gulf, which it shares with Iran." 
Natural Gas keeps popping up in world politics. A lot of the talk is about who is going to serve the European markets. Russia has pipelines into Europe. The US and Israel want in on the action and seem to be working to push Qatar, Iran (who have gas) and Turkey (who is a pipeline crossroads) out of the action. You can see this alignment in news stories every day.
Energy - Oil
Tried to take over? Did they do it or not? Did they use military or lawyers?
 Venezuela’s Oil Meltdown Defies Belief  
"Clogged ports are the direct result of the seizure of operations on several Caribbean islands by ConocoPhillips last month. The American oil major sought to enforce an arbitration award, laying claim to a series of storage facilities on the islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba."
"Since ConocoPhillips tried to take over those facilities, PDVSA has tried to shift operations back to its ports in Venezuela." 
There will be no governments for the people, especially socialist governments in a US dominated world.
More here:  The Oil Major Accelerating Venezuela’s Decline

Fake News
The most prevalent fake-news in the US today is that the national Democratic Party is "Liberal". They are not. They look liberal compared to our crazy right-wingers but they are far from working for the greater good of the working class.
Here is the explainer though it starts out as a take-down of Trump it is really about the Clinton-Obama-Pelosi Democrats.  Rotten to the Heart: Authoritarian Chickens Roosting at Home 
A good example here:     Pelosi's 'Pay-Go' Rule Is Entirely Counter-Productive to Progressive Policy Goals
Good example #2:        The 2 words you can’t say in a Democratic ad
"Some Democrats argue that instead of focusing on the potentially divisive idea of single payer, the party should defend the Affordable Care Act"
What could be more divisive than defending the ACA? It was the most divisive god-damned thing in the last election and ultimately helped elect Trump!?

Police State
Homeland Security wants to monitor journalists. Time to sound the alarm. but they sure don't want to monitor gun owners.



Why the Anthem works for Trump - Good post. Still the anthem has worked for the ruling class forever. Trump is the just the current huckster.
          on that note.... John Prine, from 1971

Money can buy happiness
We surveyed a large sample of Swedish lottery players about their psychological well-being and analyzed the data following pre-registered procedures. Relative to matched controls, large-prize winners experience sustained increases in overall life satisfaction that persist for over a decade and show no evidence of dissipating with time. The estimated treatment effects on happiness and mental health are significantly smaller, suggesting that wealth has greater long-run effects on evaluative measures of well-being than on affective ones. Follow-up analyses of domain-specific aspects of life satisfaction clearly implicate financial life satisfaction as an important mediator for the long-run increase in overall life satisfaction.

American Middle East Policy

The US warns allies to halt business with Iran
"US Treasury official for terrorism and financial intelligence Sigal Mandelker issued a warning Tuesday to governments and private firms to avoid doing business with Iran in breach of the sanctions the US re-imposed after quitting the nuclear deal. They risk being caught in Tehran’s deceptive web and exploited to fund its nefarious actions in the region, she said. “We will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.”
This line cracks me up. 
They risk being caught in Tehran’s deceptive web and exploited to fund its nefarious actions in the region, she said.
It sounds like a line from the old Batman TV show.. "deceptive web"..  "Nefarious actions"
She is Sigal Mandelker, a former Bush official and Trump's current "Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence" who was born in Israel.


Fox on it again this morning.

Every other news outlet has a Volcano or election story as the headline. Fox runs with this at the top of page one.

It is great propaganda, a rage-bait headline suggesting Obama conspired with or was outmaneuvered by evil Muslims to give Iran access to the US financial system.

The truth is that it's an R led investigation, which tend to be true witch-hunts, and the actions were tied to the Iran deal and were only to allow Iran to convert some of it's foreign held money to dollars.

That's not really tapping the US financial system.

The article ends with basically the truth but Fox is about creating rage through headlines.
“This specific license cannot be described as ‘granting access to the U.S. financial system,’” the former official said. “This specific license was in fulfillment of JCPOA commitments to give Iran access to pools of its money held overseas. It was aimed solely to allow the movement of Iran’s own funds stranded at an Omani bank into euros at a European bank, where Iran could then make use of them."

Early Week Stuff

Israeli Snipers Shoot Palestinian Medic
No clashes occurred and Ms. al-Najjar was on Gaza soil wearing clothing marking her as a paramedic. Israeli snipers have very good scopes and her death, or the injuries to a hundred other civilians, was unlikely to have been an accident.

American Manufacturing Doesn’t Have to Die
Capitalism, which we’re told is supposed to benefit all Americans who work hard, mostly only touches our lives when it’s taking our money.
More on business mining Americans for their cash.

Art of the Deal
Matthew Chapman with a good description of Trump's economic views

Rs and Ds
D's set to re-nominate Bob Menendez.
They even unite behind an incumbent who is drowning in sleaze and corruption, who was just “severely admonished” by the Senate Ethics Committee, whose legal defense was funded by far-right figures, and who has used his senior leadership role to repeatedly join with the Bush-Cheney and right-wing GOP factions against his own party’s supposed positions. Not only do they unite behind him, but they ensure that no primary challenge can even happen — they deny their own voters the right to decide if they want Menendez — by making it impossible for any such challengers to raise money from funders who rely on the largesse of Democratic officeholders and who thus, do not want to run afoul of their decreed preferences.
Over the last 30 years, the R's have thrown out most of the normal, Reagan-type R's in favor of more radical TeaBagger type Rs. Its Time for D's to throw out the establishment Ds and move left.

Why They Hate Us
Yemen Edition: Ian Welsh: The Yemeni Holocaust

Some things can be shown in the US. “National security” cited as reason Al Jazeera nixed Israel lobby film

You can't believe anything
POTUS Comments about Employment Situation Report

Super Rich Ds
IN THREE CALIFORNIA HOUSE RACES, WEALTHY DEMOCRATS HAVE SPENT $16 MILLION OF THEIR OWN MONEY SO FAR  I don't see how super rich California Ds are going to help sway working class Trump voters in the poor rural areas of the midwest.

War and History
The Naksa: How Israel occupied the whole of Palestine in 1967


Early Saturday Morning

MAGA - Unforeseen Consequences
  • FT - The euro must be made more robust to rival the dollar. Trump's America-First economic, trade, and war tactics are making the world realize that they need an option to the US and its all-powerful dollar. I can't see how America won't be weaker on the world stage if Trump's policies are allowed to run full-course. 

  • Peak American Capitalism The whole economy is run for the benefit of business and the owners. Some people get a little of what trickles down, and it isn't much, but most people are just being mined for their wealth. 

Fox News
  • The big news stories around the world today are the new Spanish PM, Trump's North Korea summit being back on, the Mattis comments on China, and Israel killing a few more Palestinians including a nurse but Fox doesn't have any of those on the front-page. Instead they run with this......

Rogue Nation
I couldn't find this on the front page of any major US media site.

Rogue Nation 2



It's Friday

"Spain's parliament ousted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday in a no-confidence vote sparked by fury over his party's corruption woes, paving the way for a takeover by opposition leader Pedro Sanchez"
Global money eventually corrupts every government. Of course here in the US we blame the corruption on "The Government" and never see the root cause. 
  • Italy  You people can have any government you want as long as we approve of the people you elect.

Get Your War On
  • Energy Wars. -  Currencies, Oil, Natural gas, trade, Russian Pipelines and Iran all come together. The US seems close to becoming the hated-dictator in the world economy.
"The EU – at least rhetorically – now wants to pay for Iranian oil in euros. Add to it the Trump administration’s ultimatum to Chancellor Merkel: give up the Nord Stream II gas pipeline from Russia or we will slap you with extra tariffs on steel and aluminum – to gauge the incandescence of current US-EU relations."
"Oblivious to facts, Capitol Hill, through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), is getting ready to slap Russian defense and energy sectors with devastating secondary sanctions applied to nations doing business with Moscow."

Morally Bankrupt
"It is a grossly one-sided approach that is morally bankrupt and would only serve to undermine ongoing efforts toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians," 
No Nikki, I'd say this is a better definition of "morally bankrupt" and "undermining the peace process".
"Forty Palestinians have been killed and 5,511 were wounded in the mass protests along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel since March 30, the United Nations .. reported."
"Of the injured, 2,596 people were hospitalized in government hospitals, 773 in nongovernment hospitals and the rest were treated in the field. Of those in government hospitals, 1,499 were hit by live ammunition, 107 by sponge-tipped bullets, 408 suffered gas inhalation and 582 suffered other injuries; 2,142 were adults and 454 were minors."

Rs and Ds
"There is no politically significant left in the United States today; there are only remnants and individuals, vast numbers of them, yearning for left alternatives.  What is called a left is actually, to use Tariq Ali’s apt expression, an “extreme center.”

Police State


"Trump has declared the media the enemy of the people, and the media has responded with no fresh tactics. He is fighting a war that uses the media’s own rules against it, and he is winning in a landslide."
The R's and their wingnuts have been fighting the war by different rules for a long time, Trump's just mastered it. The D's and the media don't realize the rules have changed and have been getting pounded. It may get ugly when they finally fight back.


No Time For Tariffs

As of 12pm today (5/31/2018), all of these news outlets, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, CBS, Google News, have a major headline and article about the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs on our allies.

So what does Fox Propaganda run with? 

 Not a word about the tariffs on the front page. The Teabaggers don't have time for tariffs.