The Depressing State of US Politics

There’s a lot wrong, including the hypocrisy of the Republican Party and the members of Biden’s national security transition team. The sole hope involves the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

By John Kiriakou

November 13, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – The politics of the past month have been overwhelming.  I’ve had enough of the disaster that has been Donald Trump over the past four years.  I’ve had enough of the Democratic National Committee’s demonization of the progressive movement.  I’ve had it that nobody takes third parties seriously.  I’m sick of politics.  I’ve always been something of a political animal.  But this latest election has just been too much.  It has pushed me over the edge.

There’s a lot wrong. Foremost is the hypocrisy of the Republican Party.  For example, Trump’s margin of victory in battleground states in 2016 was far smaller than Joe Biden’s margin in those states in 2020.  Yet, Trump has pulled out all the stops to delegitimize Biden’s election, apparently with no memory of his or his underlings’ actions from 2016.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who right now is alleging pro-Democratic voter fraud at every opportunity, said in 2016:

“You have people trying to delegitimize the president-elect of the United States right now.  You have people out there that are calling for recounts that are unsubstantiated based on no evidence.”

That’s rich.  Rudy Giuliani, the president’s shameless lawyer, who at one time was actually a serious person, and who is currently leading the charge alleging voter fraud, called protestors against Trump’s election in 2016 “a bunch of spoiled crybabies.”  I get that politics is a tough game.  But this bald-faced hypocrisy is too much.

‘Twitter for Conservatives’

Another point of craziness — and I acknowledge this is just anecdotal — is what appears to be a mass move of conservatives away from Facebook and Twitter to Parler, which describe itself as “a microblogging and social networking service.”  Users call it “Twitter for conservatives.”

It promotes itself as a place online to “speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views. Engage with real people, not bots.”

Certainly there is a handful of respected conservative voices with large followings on Parler.  But they’re the exception.  Instead, Parler is known, according to Wikipedia,  as a bastion of anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny and Saudi nationalism. The site was virtually unheard of just a year ago, when it had some 100,000 users.

After Twitter began flagging some of Trump’s tweets as untruthful, there was an exodus of pro-Trumpers to Parler.  The site now has more than 6.8 million unique daily users.  Check it out.  They spend the day reinforcing their hatred and biases.  It’s ugly.  And it’s only going to get worse.

No Place for Progressives

The other downer is the realization that there won’t be many seats at the table for progressives in a Biden administration.  (Former Obama chief-of- staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2016 comment that “liberals are fucking retards” still rings in my ears.  Emanuel is now a Biden adviser.)

In These Times reported this week that Biden already is naming neoliberal war-lovers to his national security transition team.  Of the 23 people who comprise Biden’s Defense Department transition team, for example, eight are employees of think tanks that are funded by the country’s preeminent defense contractors, including Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing.

The think tanks from which Biden is pulling talent include the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the RAND Corporation, and CACI International.  These are the people and ideologies that we should be afraid of, not endorsing.

These are the same people and same organizations that helped to plan and support the ongoing wars in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and elsewhere.  How would a Biden foreign police be any different from an Obama foreign policy?  How would it be different from a George W. Bush foreign policy?  It won’t be.  Biden has the same advisers.

One Hope

There’s no way Trump will be president on Jan. 21, 2021.  The American people have spoken and they’ve chosen Biden.  Overall, that’s a good thing.  Sure, we’ll no longer have the day-to-day craziness of a Trump presidency.  But I am not at all sanguine that we will see any real improvement, at least in national security and foreign policy.

I do have one hope, though.  Trump made some noise early in his administration that he wanted to move the Office of the Pardon Attorney out of the Justice Department and into the White House, where it was originally intended to be.  Both Trump and Biden have said that the Pardon Attorney has worked harder over the years to deny people pardons than to recommend them.

That has to change. Trump never got around to it. Maybe Biden will.

In the meantime, there’s hope that Trump may use his lame-duck status to thumb his nose at the establishment and pardon journalist Julian Assange, and whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and me.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act — a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

Regime Change In Washington Paves Way To More Nefarious Policies

By Moon Of Alabama

November 07, 2020 “Information Clearing House” –  It seems that the powers that be are finally managing to get rid of U.S. President Donald Trump.

While Trump’s domestic policies have been as much to the favor of the very rich as those of his predecessors, his foreign policies were remarkably different. A Harris (Biden) regime will return to ‘business as usual’ and be more aggressive. That is the reason why I for one will miss Trump.

The unceremonial dethronement of Trump will also have domestic consequences. His voters will inevitably call it a fraud. A Harris (Biden) administration is unlikely to have the funds needed to fight the pandemic and its disastrous economic consequences. That together could give rise to a challenger who combines Trump’s rightwing populism with political competence. That is a prospect everyone should fear.

Ever since Donald Trump entered the political stage he was fought by the military-media-intelligence establishment with ruthless campaigns designed to regime change him:

The seeds of this scheme were planted several months prior to the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton authorized a smear campaign against Trump alleging that he’s secretly a “Russian agent”. It was hoped that this would discredit the race’s frontrunner and thus result in handing her the presidency that November. This eventually morph into the discredited “Steele dossier” and the subsequent Russiagate conspiracy theory. The purpose of these information warfare provocations was to delegitimize Trump’s election, insincerely present the Democrats as the guardians of America’s electoral integrity, and therefore powerfully shape public perceptions ahead of the 2020 election. During the interim, a related narrative was weaponized claiming that Trump is a corrupt lawbreaker and wannabe dictator who’ll cling to power at all costs.

Now, as it seems that Joe Biden may win the presidency, there is no longer a need to promote the fake ‘Russiagate’ stories.

Bryan MacDonald @27khv – 10:37 UTC · Nov 7, 2020

Amazing how quick the “Russian meddling” narrative died, in the US, once it became clear that the ‘correct’ candidate was going to win the election, wasn’t it?
After all, the folk who pushed it don’t want to delegitimise Joe Biden’s forthcoming presidency.

Just in time for the election three major pillars of ‘Russiagate’ were thoroughly debunked and quietly buried.

Michael Tracey @mtracey – 14:51 UTC · Nov 3, 2020

Amazing. Hours before Election Day comes news that Mueller aggressively tried to prosecute Assange and Roger Stone for a conspiracy related to the 2016 DNC/Podesta emails, but ran into “factual…hurdles” which could not establish any conspiracy. Perfect time to memory-hole this

Raw intelligence – Meduza spoke to all the likely sources behind the ‘Steele dossier.’ The report that forever transformed Donald Trump into a ‘Russian agent’ looks less and less convincing.

Self-styled whistleblower Christopher Wylie and The Guardian reporter Carole Cadwalladr earned film deals and flashy awards by blaming Brexit and Trump on a sweeping conspiracy between data firm Cambridge Analytica and Russia. A British government investigation shatters their claims to fame.

It is no wonder then that Trump’s followers now doubt all vote counts that disfavor him.

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms – 12:50 UTC · Nov 6, 2020

Mainstream media has played a huge role in eroding American confidence in our elections. They spent four years saying Trump’s 2016 win was just a gift from Putin. Now the media is incredulous that so many Americans don’t trust the electoral system they succeeded in discrediting.

Given the way Trump was fought throughout the last four and a half years it is hard to believe that the current part of the process, especially the counting of absentee / mail-in votes, is handled without similar shenanigans taking place.

Consider what a 2012 New York Times piece on mail-in ballots had to say:

Election administrators have a shorthand name for a central weakness of voting by mail. They call it granny farming.

“The problem,” said Murray A. Greenberg, a former county attorney in Miami, “is really with the collection of absentee ballots at the senior citizen centers.” In Florida, people affiliated with political campaigns “help people vote absentee,” he said. “And help is in quotation marks.”

Voters in nursing homes can be subjected to subtle pressure, outright intimidation or fraud. The secrecy of their voting is easily compromised. And their ballots can be intercepted both coming and going.

The problem is not limited to the elderly, of course. Absentee ballots also make it much easier to buy and sell votes. In recent years, courts have invalidated mayoral elections in Illinois and Indiana because of fraudulent absentee ballots.

And what about this? Why are private media companies allowed to selectively censor the president?

Michael Tracey @mtracey – 15:14 UTC · Nov 6, 2020

The majority of Trump’s recent tweets are currently censored. I don’t care how misleading or even false they are. That’s not for Twitter to arbitrate. People cheering this power-grab by unelected tech officials are authoritarian dupes

Claiming that ‘Trump is evil’ or that he lies as all politicians do does not justify this.

From an international perspective Trump is certainly not the worst president ever:

Without Trump, the world stage will be poorer. Trump was good for world peace. He didn’t start a war anywhere, which is not something that can be said for most of his predecessors. Trump was a master of skulduggery — a farcical coup attempt in Venezuela, a ghastly political assassination in Iraq — but indeed knew where to stop when Iran rained a hundred missiles on the American bases in Iraq.

Trump claimed to be ever ready to have a battle but never had one. He vowed to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea but ended up saying, “We fell in love”, after the [then] historic meeting in 2018 with Kim Jong Un. In reality, Trump unwittingly speeded up the processes favouring multipolarity.

We will of course not miss Mike Pompous, the most lying Secretary of State ever, or Matthew Pottinger who tried his best to antagonize China. Nor will we miss Marshall Bellingslea who intended to destroy all the arms control agreements that have kept this planet alive.

But those were side figures and much less effective than they would have been with the full backing of a competent president. They are mere rats who are now already leaving the ship.

Ragıp Soylu @ragipsoylu – 10:13 UTC · Nov 7, 2020

James Jeffrey, US Special Envoy for Syria, is leaving his post after an apparent Biden victory — Asharq Al-Awsat

What we must fear now is the ‘business as usual’ that is coming next:

Trump has not been defeated by a Bernie Sanders; he has been defeated by a corrupt political hack backed to the hilt by the large majority of the billionaire owned media, financed out of Wall street and with no intention of pursuing anything other than neo-liberal economic policies. It is also the firm re-establishment of the rule of the security state and the military-industrial complex. Trump’s instinctive isolationism made him an enemy of the security state interest which spent a great deal of time in trying to undermine its President.

With Biden we will return to business as usual, and that means war and invasions. Under Trump we have had no new wars started, even if he continued old ones with little control. Without Trump, I have not the tiniest doubt that Syria would have been bombed back to the Stone Age, exactly like Libya, and millions more people would have been killed. Irrespective of the undoubted damage Trump has caused inside the United States across many fronts, Hillary would have killed a lot more people. Just not Americans.

The Harris (Biden) foreign policy will be much more aggressive than Trump’s has ever been:

The Biden campaign has worked tirelessly over the past year to channel the image of Joe Biden as a “serious person,” particularly on foreign policy matters. Biden, according to this narrative, is an elder statesman who grasps the intricacies of international politics. Trump, by contrast, is presented as an inept bull in a china shop who only speaks the language of “fire and fury.” Only Biden, we are told, can bring back stability around the globe.

Don’t believe a word of it. This carefully curated image of Joe Biden’s strategic acumen and geopolitical foresight is at odds with the former vice president’s own stated views and policy track record. His statements about a variety of countries suggest that they are based less on a strategic view of world affairs than snap judgments.

The Harris (Biden) regime is likely to concentrate on foreign policy because it will, for lack of money, have trouble to be effective on domestic issues.

The Senate is likely to stay under Republican control. After trillions of deficits accumulated under Trump the Republicans will now, under a Democratic president, again find their inner deficit hawk:

Chris Cioffi @ReporterCioffi – 16:00 UTC · Nov 6, 2020

Senate committee talk from Graham: If we keep the Senate which I think we will and I become Budget chairman. I’d like to create a dialogue about how can we finally begin to address the debt.

While a runaway pandemic unleashes its devastating economic consequences the new Republican austerity position is likely to have catastrophic effects.

For the next four years Trump and his followers will inevitably claim that fraud must have played a role in his loss.

James Melville @JamesMelville 23:33 UTC · Nov 4, 2020

In the movie “Citizen Kane,” a tycoon runs for political office. In advance of the election result, his newspaper prepares two headlines after the election. One headline says: “Kane Elected” and the other says: “Fraud At Polls.”
This feels spookily prophetic today.

We have reasons to fear what is likely to evolve from this.

chinahand @chinahand – 15:12 UTC · Nov 4, 2020

Watching trumpers bringing the dolchstoss is nice support for my thesis “the dark energy of fascism will draw its power from trump’s defeat not his victory

The disputed election, the gigantic economic downturn and an aggressive foreign policy will pave the way for a more effective populist:

Make no mistake: The attempt to harness Trumpism—without Trump, but with calculated, refined, and smarter political talent—is coming. And it won’t be easy to make the next Trumpist a one-term president. He will not be so clumsy or vulnerable. He will get into office less by luck than by skill.

At the moment, the Democratic Party risks celebrating Trump’s loss and moving on—an acute danger, especially because many of its constituencies, the ones that drove Trump’s loss, are understandably tired. A political nap for a few years probably looks appealing to many who opposed Trump, but the real message of this election is not that Trump lost and Democrats triumphed. It’s that a weak and untalented politician lost, while the rest of his party has completely entrenched its power over every other branch of government: the perfect setup for a talented right-wing populist to sweep into office in 2024. And make no mistake: They’re all thinking about it.

While I would not have voted for Trump I rue what is following him.

55% of White Woman Added to the Enemy List

Team Sovereign Man  November 13, 2020  Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Inquisition Targets White Women for Their WrongThink

The magazine Teen Vogue (yes, I’m serious) recently published a nasty rebuke of people who voted for the current president. And they specifically called out white women:

“White women have to answer for backing the Republican nominee yet again.”

Bear in mind, Teen Vogue is a magazine that primarily caters to children. And what a fantastic lesson for young people! Let’s teach kids to hate other people who have ideological differences!

Teen Vogue, of course, is the same magazine that recently published an in-depth (no pun intended) anal sex guide for its teenage audience. And when parents complained, the publisher accused them of being ‘homophobes’.

Clearly Teen Vogue possesses both the journalistic professionalism and moral authority to preach ideological hate to young people.

Click here to read the full story.

Children’s Author Cancels Himself Over “Racially Insensitive” Illustration

A children’s author has asked people not to buy his first book, because of a racially insensitive illustration he was not aware of until the book went on sale.

The offensive image which the author said “made me sick,” was a Japanese girl dressed in a kimono, with her hair in a bun.

The Horror!!!!!

This illustration was a tiny part of a single page which showed the main character of the book, a little girl, imagining other cultures.

It’s like Where’s Waldo or I Spy for the woke mob– if you look really hard, try your best, and use your imagination, you can find something that will offend you.

Click here to read the full story.

Rhode Island drops “and Providence Plantations” from its official name

The official name of Rhode Island, from it’s settlement in 1636, through its founding as a state in 1790, and all the way up until last Tuesday, was “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

But the word plantation has connotations of slavery, and therefore must be edited out of history– just like the statues of any historical figures who don’t conform to today’s woke standards.

So in a ballot initiative last week, Rhode Island voters approved chopping “and Providence Plantations” from the state’s official name.

That is very woke of them. But when Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams, the term “plantation” was used as a synonym for “settlement.” It was a place where God planted his people.

And at the time, there was no slavery in Rhode Island. Williams was even friendly with the Native Americans, and objected to them being viewed as savages.

But let’s not allow history to get in the way of wokeness.

Click here to read the full story.

CBS Announces Racial Quotas for Reality TV Shows

CBS has announced that from now on, people of color will receive at least 50% of the slots on all of the channel’s reality TV shows, such as Survivor, Big Brother, and Love Island.

CBS can do whatever it wants, so good for them, that’s some great virtue signalling.

But will they also make sure to be representative of transgender Native Americans in wheelchairs?

What about Asian-American representation on the channel?

Or are Asians already considered people of color?

In fact, where exactly is the line for a person of color? Do Spaniards or Sicilians count?

Surely CBS will be consistent and unprejudiced in their determinations– maybe they’ll even administer racial purity tests before accepting applicants.

Click here to read the full story.

Is The Mandalorian problematically racist towards a fictional race of space people?

The Disney show The Mandalorian, is set in the fictional Star Wars universe.

One recent episode featured a classic Western plot, where the main character rides into an oppressed village, and helps the townspeople fight an existential threat.

But before they can defeat the giant sand dragon, the Mandalorian has to convince the townfolk to team up with their usual enemy, the Tusken sand people of Tatooine.

Clearly, according to one woke news article, the writers cast the Tuskens in the role Native Americans played in old Western films.

The Tuskens are portrayed as dangerous, barbarian outsiders. One of their deaths is even used as comic relief!

Therefore, Native Americans should be offended.

It took a little mental gymnastics, but we finally found something to be offended about. Now the woke mob can attack.

Click here to read the full story.

California Voters are Pro-Gig Economy

In January, a California law went into effect classifying most freelancers and independent contractors as employees who deserve all sorts of government mandated benefits.

The left-leaning media company Vox celebrated the win for workers, and then fired 200 of its California freelance writers so that they wouldn’t have to pay the benefits. Victory!

California realized it had gone overboard, and in September, the state exempted a bunch of gig-workers from the new law. However Uber and Lyft drivers, who the law was originally aimed at, were not given an exception.

But a ballot question in California asked voters if these and other delivery drivers should be allowed to work as contractors, free to set their own hours and schedule.

The answer was a landslide: “Yes”. So that’s a nice win for economic freedom.

Click here to read the full story.