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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:24 pm 
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The press is one of the principal pillars of Trump’s despotism. It chatters endlessly like 17th-century courtiers at the court of Versailles about the foibles of the monarch while the peasants lack bread. It drones on and on and on about empty topics such as Russian meddling and a payoff to a porn actress that have nothing to do with the daily hell that, for many, defines life in America. It refuses to critique or investigate the abuses by corporate power, which has destroyed our democracy and economy and orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history. The corporate press is a decayed relic that, in exchange for money and access, committed cultural suicide. And when Trump attacks it over “fake news,” he expresses, once again, the deep hatred of all those the press ignores. The press worships the idol of Mammon as slavishly as Trump does. It loves the reality-show presidency. The press, especially the cable news shows, keeps the lights on and the cameras rolling so viewers will be glued to a 21st-century version of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” It is good for ratings. It is good for profits. But it accelerates the decline.


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:34 pm 
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All this will soon be compounded by financial collapse. Wall Street banks have been handed $16 trillion in bailouts and other subsidies by the Federal Reserve and Congress at nearly zero percent interest since the 2008 financial collapse. They have used this money, as well as the money saved through the huge tax cuts imposed last year, to buy back their own stock, raising the compensation and bonuses of their managers and thrusting the society deeper into untenable debt peonage. Sheldon Adelson’s casino operations alone got a $670 million tax break under the 2017 legislation. The ratio of CEO to worker pay now averages 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. This circular use of money to make and hoard money is what Karl Marx called “fictitious capital.” The steady increase in public debt, corporate debt, credit card debt and student loan debt will ultimately lead, as Nomi Prins writes, to “a tipping point—when money coming in to furnish that debt, or available to borrow, simply won’t cover the interest payments. Then debt bubbles will pop, beginning with higher yielding bonds.”

An economy reliant on debt for its growth causes our interest rate to jump to 28 percent when we are late on a credit card payment. It is why our wages are stagnant or have declined in real terms—if we earned a sustainable income we would not have to borrow money to survive. It is why a university education, houses, medical bills and utilities cost so much. The system is designed so we can never free ourselves from debt.

However, the next financial crash, as Prins points out in her book “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” won’t be like the last one. This is because, as she says, “there is no Plan B.” Interest rates can’t go any lower. There has been no growth in the real economy. The next time, there will be no way out. Once the economy crashes and the rage across the country explodes into a firestorm, the political freaks will appear, ones that will make Trump look sagacious and benign.

And so, to quote Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?

We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town. The elites in a time of distress will retreat to their gated compounds and leave us to fend for ourselves. Basic services, from garbage collection to public transportation, food distribution and health care, will collapse. Massive unemployment and underemployment, triggering social unrest, will be dealt with not through government job creation but the brutality of militarized police and a complete suspension of civil liberties. Critics of the system, already pushed to the margins, will be silenced and attacked as enemies of the state. The last vestiges of labor unions will be targeted for abolition, a process that will soon be accelerated given the expected ruling in a case before the Supreme Court that will cripple the ability of public-sector unions to represent workers. The dollar will stop being the world’s reserve currency, causing a steep devaluation. Banks will close. Global warming will extract heavier and heavier costs, especially on the coastal populations, farming and the infrastructure, costs that the depleted state will be unable to address. The corporate press, like the ruling elites, will go from burlesque to absurdism, its rhetoric so patently fictitious it will, as in all totalitarian states, be unmoored from reality. The media outlets will all sound as fatuous as Trump. And, to quote W.H. Auden, “the little children will die in the streets.”

As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:35 pm 
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I've given up hope that this shit show is gonna end any time soon. Nothing this idiot says or does seems to have any lasting negative effect on him. My head exploded long ago. Someone wake me up when it's time to vote.

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:38 pm 
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meatwad wrote:
I've given up hope that this shit show is gonna end any time soon. Nothing this idiot says or does seems to have any lasting negative effect on him. My head exploded long ago. Someone wake me up when it's time to vote.

You should read the article I just posted. The key takeaway is that our country's problems run far deeper than the political divide as it's being painted by the press.


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:44 pm 
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tragabigzanda wrote:
meatwad wrote:
I've given up hope that this shit show is gonna end any time soon. Nothing this idiot says or does seems to have any lasting negative effect on him. My head exploded long ago. Someone wake me up when it's time to vote.

You should read the article I just posted. The key takeaway is that our country's problems run far deeper than the political divide as it's being painted by the press.


I read the excerpts you posted. Seems a little doom-and-gloomy to me...I think our institutions will survive DJT and his ilk. The economy is strong right now also, interest rates are rising again, unemployment is low. I don't think collapse is imminent and if it is it's far too late for me to do anything about it.

I really don't want to become what most conservatives were during Obama's eight years, insistent that the end was nigh and he was a harbinger of hell on earth. Trump may be a shitty president but I doubt we're observing the end of the republic.

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I mean nothing says libertarian more than talking a lot of shit and then getting your ass kicked in an actual one on one...

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Clutch rules you dummy.


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:03 pm 
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meatwad wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
meatwad wrote:
I've given up hope that this shit show is gonna end any time soon. Nothing this idiot says or does seems to have any lasting negative effect on him. My head exploded long ago. Someone wake me up when it's time to vote.

You should read the article I just posted. The key takeaway is that our country's problems run far deeper than the political divide as it's being painted by the press.


I read the excerpts you posted. Seems a little doom-and-gloomy to me...I think our institutions will survive DJT and his ilk. The economy is strong right now also, interest rates are rising again, unemployment is low. I don't think collapse is imminent and if it is it's far too late for me to do anything about it.

I really don't want to become what most conservatives were during Obama's eight years, insistent that the end was nigh and he was a harbinger of hell on earth. Trump may be a shitty president but I doubt we're observing the end of the republic.

Well, he's not suggesting that Trump is going to bring about the end, just that his presidency is a symptom of larger problems. He articulates fairly well the Dems' fault in all of this, and how the problems will persist under their leadership as well.

I agree it's a little doom-and-gloomy, but nowhere does it feel like empty alarmist thinking; it's all grounded in very real facts that were, in hindsight, harbingers of collapse of other government systems.


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Good thread on Iran.

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:20 pm 
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tragabigzanda wrote:
meatwad wrote:
tragabigzanda wrote:
meatwad wrote:
I've given up hope that this shit show is gonna end any time soon. Nothing this idiot says or does seems to have any lasting negative effect on him. My head exploded long ago. Someone wake me up when it's time to vote.

You should read the article I just posted. The key takeaway is that our country's problems run far deeper than the political divide as it's being painted by the press.


I read the excerpts you posted. Seems a little doom-and-gloomy to me...I think our institutions will survive DJT and his ilk. The economy is strong right now also, interest rates are rising again, unemployment is low. I don't think collapse is imminent and if it is it's far too late for me to do anything about it.

I really don't want to become what most conservatives were during Obama's eight years, insistent that the end was nigh and he was a harbinger of hell on earth. Trump may be a shitty president but I doubt we're observing the end of the republic.

Well, he's not suggesting that Trump is going to bring about the end, just that his presidency is a symptom of larger problems. He articulates fairly well the Dems' fault in all of this, and how the problems will persist under their leadership as well.

I agree it's a little doom-and-gloomy, but nowhere does it feel like empty alarmist thinking; it's all grounded in very real facts that were, in hindsight, harbingers of collapse of other government systems.

Why does he quote Lenin to ask the question of what must be done?

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:20 pm 
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I really hope we get this figured out soon


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:38 pm 
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something something emails



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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Trag, that looks like shit I used to post here during the W era.

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:50 pm 
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http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/20 ... im-up.html
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Politico reports that President Trump uses at least two mobile phones that lack the necessary security features to conceal his communications. The president “has rebuffed staff efforts to strengthen security around his phone use,” the article explains, and while President Obama swapped out his phone every month for security staffers to see whether it had been hacked, Trump has refused to do the same because it would be “too inconvenient.” In other words, the offense is identical to Clinton’s, except that the president is a far more inviting target for foreign hackers than the secretary of State, and Trump in particular is especially vulnerable to espionage and blackmail due to his concealed business interests and habitual adultery.

Notably, Politico’s solid report landed as a second-tier revelation, at best a distant second-place contender for most-damaging Trump news story of the day. Clinton’s sloppy info-sec story blossomed into a narrative that overwhelmed every other aspect of her campaign. In 2016, Gallup surveyed voters and found the email story crowding out every other thing they had heard about Clinton.

Clinton apologized her for email breach, and almost everybody agreed she had done something wrong. The email story coincidentally helped weaponize the Russian email hack. The stolen emails contained nothing damning, but they did produce more news chyrons juxtaposing “Clinton” and “emails,” which had become a shorthand for wrongdoing on her part, especially among low-information voters.

There is no chance that Trump’s parallel sloppiness could play remotely as large a role in shaping public perception. There would be no reason for it. Trump has done so many consequential things, both in terms of his policy agenda and in his degradation of governing norms, that a myopic focus on his unsecured phone would serve no public interest. It does not rank as one of the 100 worst things Trump has done so far.

That is to say, nobody wants to live in a world where Donald Trump is held to the same standard as Hillary Clinton. Nor can anybody imagine what such a world would look like. It already feels like we are numb from the sensory overload of endless sirens directing us to the latest unprecedented outrage. No human could generate the mental space to process Trump’s firehose stream of offenses calibrated at Clinton levels. The political system couldn’t function at such a standard. He would have been impeached his first week in office.

At some level, this double standard reflects a difficult and possibly irresolvable paradox of campaign coverage. The media assigns one set of reporters to cover the Democratic candidates and another to cover the Republicans. The Democrats’ shortcomings certainly qualify as legitimate news at some level, albeit not at the level they were assigned. You could change the way reporters cover Democrats but you could never resolve the problem, because reporters are still going to find angles for critical coverage. Their job is not to compare the candidate with the alternative. When it reports on a Clinton gaffe, the New York Times isn’t going to attach a caveat to every sentence informing readers that Trump said 50 crazier things before lunch.

Still, we need to think more critically about the structural disparities that produce this double standard. The conservative movement has the capacity to magnify small scandals and to concoct imagined ones out of thin air, which then generate pressure on other parts of the system. Why did James Comey announce he was reopening his investigation of Clinton in the waning days of the campaign? Because he wanted to retroactively secure the legitimacy of the election, which meant placating Republican claims that Clinton was a felon who should be denied security clearance, as Paul Ryan requested, or simply imprisoned. And why did the mainstream media report so obsessively about the emails? Because neutral actors like Comey were conscripted, via weaponized bad-faith partisanship, into elevating the second-tier email scandal into a federal case that was ipso facto newsworthy.

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:58 pm 
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The jokes are too easy its not even any fun:

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing- ... house-lawn

A sinkhole has developed on the White House’s North Lawn, reporters observed Tuesday.


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:58 pm 
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WaPo: Kim is ‘serious’ about nuclear talks, Trump says, but suggests summit could fall through

Isn't it funny how the guy who is serious about the discussion doesn't see much point in showing up?


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:50 pm 
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It’s almost like earning a rep as a self-protecting con artist who burns agreements on a whim makes it hard to get people to trust you

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:00 pm 
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Flippant remarks aside, every single thing about this administration’s foreign policy is an encouragement to North Korea to assume bad faith. Even Pompeo, with his Iran “strategy” (literally just ‘they give us everything we want, the end’) is a living, breathing declaration that negotiating with the United States is about posturing and enriching officials. Qatar, China...every action so far says that global consequences are unimportant to our decision-making, and financial contributions decide everything.

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:46 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
Flippant remarks aside, every single thing about this administration’s foreign policy is an encouragement to North Korea to assume bad faith. Even Pompeo, with his Iran “strategy” (literally just ‘they give us everything we want, the end’) is a living, breathing declaration that negotiating with the United States is about posturing and enriching officials. Qatar, China...every action so far says that global consequences are unimportant to our decision-making, and financial contributions decide everything.

You finally got it!!


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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:18 pm 
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The president is at war with our entire intelligence and justice apparatus

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:27 pm 
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I don’t know why it surprises me that Paul Ryan’s ultimate collapse might come from following House rules that his *own party members* are using to push for a DACA compromise that most of America supports. But it does.

The Freedom Caucus wants Republican money withheld from Republican candidates who support the Republican measure, many of whom are in tight races Republicans can’t afford to lose. Everyone’s gone crackers.

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 Post subject: Re: The 45th POTUS - Donald J. Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:33 pm 
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“Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country's anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.”

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