Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:42 pm

February 19, 2019 , 10:01 a.m. .

In an event with the "Venezuelan Diaspora" assembled in an auditorium of the International University of Florida, President Donald Trump issued a speech that had been announced with high expectations.

A few days from February 23, date in which anti-Chavez and Washington seek to resume the offensive using the umbrella of "humanitarian aid" from Cúcuta and possibly other border points, the Trump pronouncement was expected to consolidate the bellicose rhetoric of the past days and oxygenate the mood of the opposition base.

The intervention of the US president lasted about 30 minutes, the event took place under the guise of an election campaign with the intention of keeping the increasingly influential Venezuelan electoral mass in the state of Florida happy.

The 2020 presidential election is just around the corner and Florida can once again be the turning point.

Trump began his speech by greeting Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, OAS Ambassador Carlos Trujillo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, in whom he has entrusted the course of US foreign policy towards Venezuela under a hard line approach.

In the course of his words, he dedicated a large part to criminalizing socialism by using it as a factor of polarization against the Democratic Party.

Although he cataloged the Latin American region as an area where socialism was in its "twilight", the real interest was in sending a message for US internal politics : to use the figure of Maduro, and the alleged failure of the socialist model in Venezuela, to terrorize the electorate before an eventual victory of the Democratic Party in 2020.

In the absurd logic of Trump, the Democratic Party is the simile of Nicolás Maduro on US soil, so the forced departure of the Venezuelan leader would be an extension of his internal political clashes. A direct message to the electorate of the Cuban-Venezuelan "diaspora", which according to his calculation will vote en masse for him so that what happens in Venezuela will not be repeated in Florida. This reasoning is only understood there.

In the same line of demonization of the leadership of President Maduro, raised the level of slogan that "the United States will never be a socialist country." Thus, placing in a binary scheme the pre-electoral confrontation in which he is submerged, he also took to the maximum his own contradictions, since to assume himself defender of the free market in front of the "socialist ideas" of the opposing side is radically opposed to his protectionist and war policies commercial.

With a speech that touched the religious, highly decontextualized, Trump predicted that "for the first time in history there will be a free hemisphere of socialism," referring directly to Latin America. The supposed resurgence of the continent after the application of the soft-coup method in recent years against the progressive bloc, contrasts with the return to a semi-slavery economy in Brazil, the growth of poverty in Argentina, the caravans of Central American migrants and the State terrorism that cries daily in Colombia.


All situations that are not the result precisely of socialist policies, but consequences of coups, judicial and military interventions and the extreme plundering of a capitalist system in crisis that exports its contradictions to the Latin American periphery.

Trump also used phrases and commonplaces designed specifically for the audience in front of him. Expressions such as "Maduro is a Cuban puppet" were used to raise the spirits of the fans in the audience, gain some more applause (and votes) and achieve the ovation they so badly needed to distract attention from their most recent failure to obtain funding. in Congress to expand the wall with Mexico.

An audience that has organic leaders as extremist spokespersons like Luis Almagro or María Corina Machado, welcomed these demagogic clichés. In the same line of contact, he also qualified the former CICPC Óscar Pérez as hero, who was discharged last year after forming a paramilitary-type cell that attacked Caracas' institutional buildings with shots and grenades, placing life at risk of workers and children of a preschool at the capital's headquarters of the Supreme Court of Justice.

His short career as "Rambo criollo" , camouflaged in an evangelical posture mixed with a self-help speech, had its last action with a terrorist attack on a military barracks in Los Teques, Miranda, where he subjected members of the Bolivarian National Guard and took over of various weapons.

The mention of Perez in the middle of Trump's speech, who also granted a brief right of speech to his mother, seems to have the copyright of John Bolton. A message that, while legitimizing terrorism and irregular war as valid resources to confront the Venezuelan government, also enhances the role of Florida as a logistical base for the failed assassination of August 4, the preparation of the coup of the former Colonel Oswaldo García Palomo and the financing of terrorist agendas.

From Florida just resources and support of all kinds have been managed so that the mercenary agenda is imposed as a breaking point of the Venezuelan conflict, for this reason the mention of Óscar Pérez in the auditorium was not only intended for a specific audience, receptive to this type of messages, but also to emphasize that the letter of professional and mercenary violence is active to be used.

The metamessage is the following: to stimulate the emergence of another figure as Óscar Pérez will have the support and legitimacy of the United States.

Recall that a couple of months ago, President Nicolás Maduro denounced that John Bolton was behind a plan to assassinate him and in the creation of a false positive with mercenaries hired to enable an intervention, after the simulation of a coup d'état.

As usual, Trump said that all "options are on the table", indirectly referring to the use of military intervention to force a change of government in Venezuela. He called on the military to withdraw his support to Maduro, allow the entry of "humanitarian aid", at the risk of "losing everything they have" if they do not accept the amnesty proposed by the artificial government of Juan Guaidó.

His summons to the military uprising was accompanied by a discourse of fear to the FANB, indicating that "they would have no escape" if they continue to support Maduro, as if it were a particular decision and not a mandate of the Venezuelan Constitution after the elections of May 20, where Nicolás Maduro was reelected as President and Commander of the FANB.

Trump was applauded by the "diaspora" voting in Florida (Photo: . com )

Paradoxically, after trying to intimidate the Venezuelan military high command, he recognized its importance to "restore democracy" and as a strategic factor for the change of the regime.

In summary, Trump assumed that the FANB maintains its current chain of command and that without its break, so promoted by its cabinet of war against Venezuela, Juan Guaidó has little chance of exercising a practical power that makes viable the extraconstitutional exit of Nicolás Maduro. power.

Thus, he acknowledged that the effectiveness of US support for the "parallel government" of Guaidó, the crude economic and financial sanctions against the country and the strategy of provoking a military confrontation using the "humanitarian aid" coverage, ultimately depend of a variable that escapes its control: the FANB.


Trump's speech was an adaptation of the National Security Strategy for Florida consumption. This document that governs US foreign policy stresses that, in a hypercompetitive world, where its hegemony by China and Russia is challenged, the United States is enabled to use all its political, economic, financial and military resources to maintain geopolitical supremacy and defend the American lifestyle.

In this strategy, presented in 2018, which breaks with the previous Bush and Obama for returning to a Cold War language with protectionist ideas, draws a world in which the United States has as a strategic objective to reduce the presence of China and Russia in areas of geostrategic interests to extend the lifetime of their hegemony. One of those areas is, logically, Venezuela, which in recent years has expanded its relations with the two Eurasian powers in areas ranging from the financial to the military.

For that same reason, and using the narrative of the "troika of tyranny" of John Bolton, Trump said that the overthrow of the constitutional government of Venezuela is also a shot for elevation to Cuba and Nicaragua, these three countries making up the center of gravity of the ALBA axis as a counterweight to the US hegemony in the region. The blow is three-way.


In Trump's National Security Strategy, Latin America is an area that is projected as exclusive , where the United States intends to promote state, judicial and economic reforms that block the presence of China and Russia and direct the flows of raw materials to boost the program "America First".

The strategy of soft coups to the Latin American political class, justified under the coverage of the "anti-corruption struggle" in recent years, forms the practical application of this strategy by achieving a realignment of the countries formerly governed by progressivism and the political center towards states. United. The result has been an undermining of the power of the nation-states of the continent, under which they try to hinder the rise of China and Russia as strategic partners.

However, the National Security Strategy as a paradigm is fed in turn by the doctrine of full spectrum domination and the Pentagon training circulars on unconventional warfare. It configures an aggressive foreign policy concept, of a military nature, where economic sanctions, the expansion of military bases, selective judicial persecution, the undermining of the economic power of the States and the use of mercenaries to "fight against organized crime", they are mechanisms to control the region geopolitically.

Although Trump omitted to make direct references to China and Russia, the speech was an exposition of the master lines of the National Security Strategy that justifies the exceptional and unipolar action of the United States in areas where there are strategic resources for its recomposition.

While Marco Rubio and other congressmen are in Cúcuta to manage the entry of "humanitarian aid" on February 23, Trump's speech seems not to have met the expectations announced from the beginning.

In his final words, beyond the explosion of emotion, there was a certain disenchantment with the United States' own capabilities to crystallize a change of government in Venezuela in the short term. Trump made reference to that "someday" the freedom will return to Venezuela, reducing the opposition mood on the imminent exit of Maduro.

A few days from February 23, Washington has failed to manufacture the two preconditions necessary to implement the regime change: the military fracture or a civil war scenario that triggers the "humanitarian intervention". For that reason, Trump's commonplaces were a compensation mechanism to try to disguise the complications in order to remove Chavez from power with the lowest possible political costs. The figure of Guaidó, however, as time goes by, reveals the inability to exercise real power in the Venezuelan territory and state.

Trump keeps the "military option" on the table without a clear and effective route that makes it viable.

In this sense, on February 23 an attempt is made to draw a turning point, where Trump's speech, Marco Rubio's electoral campaign in Cúcuta and the coordinated work between USAID and the Southern Command, constitute a provocative maneuver to encourage a military confrontation against Venezuela.

But precisely Trump's speech, filled with clichés and phrases, highlights the urgency to recover the offensive, the inability to convince Maduro to surrender, the little consensus with which military intervention and the rearticulation of Chavismo count. as a political bloc and a factor of order and peace within Venezuelan society. ... en-florida

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:43 pm

In Sunday's paper they had paired editorials for/against Trump's tariffs. 'For' was written by some no-name Texas 'journalist' sporting an eye-patch in his photo. 'Against' was written by a representative of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Just sayin'
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:49 pm

Trump Asks Germany, Japan To Pay For Being Occupied
It will fun to watch this developing:

Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting U.S. Troops

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
Current and former administration officials briefed on the idea, who asked not to be identified discussing the program, describe it as far more advanced than is publicly known. As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the U.S. demands overseas.
As evidence, they say officials at the Pentagon have been asked to calculate two formulas: One would determine how much money countries such as Germany ought to be asked to pay. The second would determine the discount those countries would get if their policies align closely with the U.S.

The extortion scheme Trump wants to use against 'allies' is a perfect own goal.

The German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel is already accused of being too deep inside the U.S. rear.


Her party supported the war on Iraq and now joined the illegal regime change attempt in Venezuela. The public is way less pro-American than German politicians. It will be quite difficult for Merkel and others to justify additional billions for U.S. troops in Germany. They are neither needed nor wanted. (The only sound reason to keep the 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany is to prevent them from moving to Poland from where they could threaten the country.)

The situation in Japan is similar. The government of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe supports hawkish U.S. policies but is also under attack over a new U.S. base on Okinawa. It will have problems to justify spending for the privilege of keeping the country under U.S. occupation.

Trump's extortion racket will make it more difficult for Merkel and Abe to ally with the U.S. on other issues.

That is a sound reason to welcome it.

Posted by b on March 8, 2019 at 11:26 AM | Permalink ... upied.html


Just an anecdote, but earlier this week the Koch boys announced a PR campaign in the SC Low Country, domain of Sen Tim Scott, for the purpose of convincing him to oppose Trump's tariffs. There have been various grumblings from state economic officials & BMW but they ain't got the grit to take on the MAGAs, yet.

I've been in conversations this week with people convinced that the RC has got things so wrapped up that there ain't no hope. Successful psy-op on the theme of 'resistance is futile'. Despite their 'Panoptigon' control of society Trump got elected. Given the course of events it is obvious Trump was not their choice or an 'op' but rather a failure of diligence of the sort which was effected in 2000. They do fuck up, resistance is anything but futile.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:34 pm

Couple days ago Trump announced that he want 'our allies' to pick up the full tab for their occupation plus a 50% surcharge, just 'because', I guess. Couple hours ago he grounded those Boeing death traps that the FAA said was fine(in an effort to support the stock of the US's #1 exporter).
Trump is clueless & off the chain.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:40 am

Trump steps on his meat:

Trump's Twitter Attack on GM and the UAW Strays From the Facts
By David Welch
March 18, 2019, 12:57 PM EDT

An image of a Chevrolet Cruze vehicle is displayed outside the GM Lordstown production plant complex in Lordstown, Ohio. Photographer: Allison

President Donald Trump is mixing faulty narrative and falsehoods with some fair criticism to attack General Motors Co. and the United Auto Workers union for the closing of an auto factory in Ohio, a state that will play a pivotal role in his re-election bid.

GM’s Chevrolet Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, built its last car on March 6 and has no new product to build. The automaker has been transferring many of the factory’s workers to other plants around the U.S., making its revival unlikely. Here’s what Trump has been saying, and what he’s gotten right and wrong.

Because the economy is so good, General Motors must get their Lordstown, Ohio, plant open, maybe in a different form or with a new owner, FAST! Toyota is investing 13.5 $Billion in U.S., others likewise. G.M. MUST ACT QUICKLY. Time is of the essence!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019
While the U.S. economy was strong in the middle of 2018, growth slowed toward the end of the year, and economists forecast that this downward trend will continue in early 2019.

The auto market has also been considerably less upbeat than Trump’s tweet suggests. The pace of U.S. car and light truck sales slowed in February to the lowest annualized rate in in 18 months, according to researcher Autodata Corp. Analysts at Morgan Stanley earlier this month warned that month-end dealer inventory swelled to a February record of more than 4 million vehicles, a 21-month high.

Read more on Toyota’s U.S. investment plans here

Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce. G.M. let our Country down, but other much better car companies are coming into the U.S. in droves. I want action on Lordstown fast. Stop complaining and get the job done! 3.8% Unemployment!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
Trump is correct about the jobless rate, but otherwise loses the plot. GM may have sold roughly half as many Chevrolet Cruze cars in 2018 as it did four years earlier, but demand for compact sedans has cratered for virtually all automakers competing in the U.S.

While auto manufacturers have been announcing investments in expanding American plants or building new ones, it’s largely been to boost sport utility vehicle and truck capacity, and GM already has plenty of factories making SUVs and pickups.

Picking on David Green, president of UAW Local 1112, which represents workers at the Lordstown plant, also was off the mark. If GM keeps open any of the four factories it has announced are at-risk of being shut, it will be a result of negotiations between GM management and UAW leadership in Detroit.

“Ultimately, our fate rests with the international union and the corporation,” Green said in a phone interview. He’s made considerable effort to sway GM into keeping the plant open, including by joining with a local economic development chamber to form a coalition called Drive It Home Ohio.

Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors about the Lordstown Ohio plant. I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING. I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
GM won’t say if Barra blamed the union in a conversation with Trump, which would have been out of character for the company’s affable chief executive officer. The automaker issued a statement saying the fate of all four of the U.S. plants it may close will be the result of contracts talks with the union. The company’s statement hinted Barra made that point to Trump, as opposed to directly condemning the union.

The trouble GM has with keeping any of the factories open is that, even in a relatively strong economy and healthy U.S. vehicle market, all four plants were running at about 50 percent of production capacity or less, according to researcher LMC Automotive. Several others also are underutilized.

General Motors and the UAW are going to start “talks” in September/October. Why wait, start them now! I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast! Car companies.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019
....are all coming back to the U.S. So is everyone else. We now have the best Economy in the World, the envy of all. Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now. Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019
Here, Trump appears to have conflated when GM the UAW’s existing contract expires -- and when negotiations toward a new pact will take place in earnest -- with when the company and the union will hold talks about the Lordstown factory. GM and the UAW have been discussing the fate of the plant since the automaker announced in November that Cruze production would end.

Why Trump’s advice to cease China carmaking would be bad for GM

Where Trump has a stronger point is about Mexico. Most of the almost 1 million vehicles GM imported from neighboring North American countries last year were built in Mexico. That was about one-third of its U.S. sales and more than any other carmaker, according to LMC. This year, GM is ramping up production of the revived Chevrolet Blazer SUV south of the border.

Mexico’s auto assembly workers only make roughly $5 an hour on average, according to the Center for Automotive Research, and their unions have far less bargaining power. While the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement that the Trump administration negotiated last year narrows the labor-cost gap, it wouldn’t close it.

Under the USMCA deal to replace Nafta -- which hasn’t been ratified -- at least 40 percent of a car will have made by workers whose pay averages more than $16 an hour. UAW workers make more than that already and are likely to seek raises in contract talks this year. ... -the-facts

The real story here is not that Trump is tweeting blatant falsehoods, that is a given, but that he is throwing this on the UAW, the leadership of which is a gang of scabs, time being, which has had it's head firmly implanted in Trump's ass. Well, that's gratitude for ya. But gratitude is but a fart in the wind relative to the needs of 'the Brand'. Cause with El Presidente it really is all personal. This uber rentier understands neither industrial capitalism nor imperialism. I think he is chipping away at his own base. Likewise, how do the attacks on the dead warmonger do him any good at all? Ingratiate him with the Bernie Bros mebbe?
As with liberal democracy, as with capitalism(at a greater remove), so Trump deteriorates under the weight of his contradictions.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:49 pm

Trump is exploiting the Venezuela crisis in order to win the 2020 presidential election
He’s using it as a way to label his Democratic challengers as socialists.
By Alex Feb 19, 2019, 1:30pm EST

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Florida International University on February 18, 2019, in Miami, Florida. President Trump spoke about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Donald Trump seems to care deeply about the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela — but it might not necessarily be for the reasons you’d think. His focus on Venezuela today is little more than a ploy to help his chances against Democratic challengers in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump used a Monday speech in Florida to trash Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for having run his country into the ground — and he has good reason to. Under the dictator’s rule, inflation and hunger rates have skyrocketed, and diseases once thought eradicated from Venezuela have sparked a new health crisis. Unsurprisingly, all of this and more have made Maduro an unpopular leader both at home and around the world.

But Trump’s aim was not only Maduro the man, but Maduro the socialist. In fact, the president spent ample time making the case that socialism is the real culprit for Venezuela’s ills.

“Socialism has so completely ravaged this great country that even the world’s largest reserves of oil are no longer enough to keep the lights on,” Trump said at Florida International University. “The socialists have done in Venezuela all of the same things that socialists, communists, totalitarians have done everywhere that they’ve had a chance to rule. The results have been catastrophic.”

Trump proceeded to say the word “socialist” nine times, “socialism” 20 times, and “Maduro” only 10 times during the entire address.
Donald J. Trump

We are here to proclaim that a new day is coming in Latin America. In Venezuela and across the Western Hemisphere, Socialism is DYING - and liberty, prosperity, and democracy are being REBORN... ... UZoWt?t=2s

6:26 PM - Feb 18, 2019
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The White House @WhiteHouse
LIVE NOW: President Trump Delivers Remarks to the Venezuelan-American Community
40.9K people are talking about this
So why is Trump suddenly railing against the evils of socialism so fervently? Three words: 2020 Democratic candidates.

There are a few reasons why, but at its core is Trump trying to scare Republican voters in Florida and elsewhere that the Democrats are a bunch of socialists that could soon turn American into a Venezuela-like hellscape.

Case in point, mere hours after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced Tuesday that he’s running for president in 2020, Trump’s campaign put out a statement attacking Sanders’s left-leaning ideology and comparing it to Maduro’s.

“Bernie Sanders has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism,” Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, said in an emailed statement. “But the American people will reject an agenda of sky-high tax rates, government-run health care, and coddling dictators like those in Venezuela.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a news conference to announce legislation to expand Social Security on February 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a news conference to announce legislation to expand Social Security on February 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
This isn’t a new play. Politicians have long connected domestic rivals to foreign problems in order to draw sharp ideological contrasts. In this instance, Trump’s tactic is to persuade voters that America will go the way of Venezuela if people like Sanders take charge. It’s a natural extension of the Republican Party’s decades-long effort to label Democrats as far left-wing nut jobs, using some of their sympathies for foreign socialists against them.

Venezuela’s troubles, then, provide a tantalizing and convenient illustration for the GOP to repeat that message over and over again, although very few Democrats have come out in support of Maduro’s governance.

“The ‘Venezuela’ the Trump administration is dealing with is not a real country so much as it’s an ideological construct designed to have maximum domestic impact,” says Paul Musgrave, a US foreign policy expert at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Which means the next time you hear Trump speak negatively about “Venezuela,” remember that he’s also using it as a proxy for “Democrats” he aims to defeat next year. ... sm-sanders

Well yeah, to some degree. But that ain't the whole rationale. For all of his geopolitical ignorance Trump does have an inkling about oil. I can see it as being a good plan: as soon as the Dem=Commie thing gets legs Dem Central gonna run so hard to the right as to cause whiplash. And they will crush or disown their socdem faction. If somehow Bernie gets the nomination it'll be McGovern all over again.(said same other day & Bernie Bro sez "we won't let them!" Pity the fool.)

Prez was all full of hisself after his 'vindication' and pulled that 'Close The Border' bullshit, being on a roll and all....the reversal came quick & hard. Unlike previous walkbacks this did not come by dribs & drabs with this or that spox edging backwards. I suspect the prez was visited by a Higher Power, perhaps a call from the US Chamber of Commerce, NAM or suchlike.

Funny how he walked out of the Korean talks. I'd have like to see his face when realization finally penetrated the deep delusion that Korea would lay themselves open to annihilation for some empty promises. The conclusion of trade talks with China next month gonna be real interesting. They ain't no patsy either don't have to give up what Trump is demanding. If he doubles down on tariffs it'll fuck up all kinds of shit, including his.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:31 pm

CIA Director Used Fake Skripal Incident Photos To Manipulate Trump

An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.

In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.

The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:

President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration’s plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.
The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies — part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.

“We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.”

The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.

The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.

The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:

The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration’s increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.
The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration’s stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia’s already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:

Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.
London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the “strong option” was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury. They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill. No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)

If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.

The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:

The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.
Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.

The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:

Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said. ... trump.html

We should noted the Trump's Russophilia is motivated entirely by personal aggrandizement. But he is a flighty critter & has been motivated by emotion before. The precipitous decline of ISIS was certainly aided by defunding which occurred after Trump viewed some video of a heinous ISIS atrocity, not to take anything away from the superb SAA and their allies.

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Fri May 03, 2019 2:58 pm

Venezuela - Coup Failure Necessitates A New Policy - Bolton The Stache Is Pushing For War
After the failed coup attempt in Venezuela at least some people recognize the reality that its government has significant support. The coups failure necessitates a new policy. Unfortunately John Bolton is the man in charge of it. He is likely to push for a war.

U.S. media, especially cable TV, is clearly working in favor of 'regime change' in Venezuela. They even avoid to call the intended coup a coup.

Many U.S. journalist who regularly write on South America are extremely biased and have no qualms to lie. Consider this by Anthony Faiola and Mariana Zuñiga in today's Washington Post:

A pro-government rally on Wednesday next to Miraflores, the presidential palace, drew about 500 people, far fewer than the multiple rallies of thousands of people supporting Guaidó.

Now watch this drone clip of the described rally.

One can also compare the WaPo take to the (similar biased) NYT account which at least gets some facts straight:

Across town in central Caracas, thousands of Mr. Maduro’s supporters dressed in red marched along the main highway toward the presidential palace. Most appeared to be retirees or public sector workers. Many were brought in from across the country by public buses that stretched for miles on the side of the highway.
It was one of the biggest pro-government demonstrations in Caracas in months, underlining the government’s desire to portray strength and tenacity after the failed uprising.

To get a good picture of the situation in Venezuela and the upcoming new policies one has to combine many sources. Some media and reporters are simply much better than others. A few point how embarrassingly Tuesday's coup attempt and the crazy White House plans failed.

Bloomberg writes:

It was a ploy that from its outset felt like a long shot. Before dawn Tuesday, Juan Guaido, flanked by his political mentor Leopoldo Lopez and a handful of soldiers who had broken ranks, issued a message to Venezuela and the world: The time to topple Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime was right now.
The whole episode was so bizarre -- with Guaido seemingly lacking the military might to have any chance at all -- that it was hard to understand the day’s events.
The Associated Press' Matt Lee and Ben Fox have a similar fair take:

For the third time this year, the big moment in Venezuela has turned into a bust.
Trump administration officials had expected that Wednesday might turn out to be the beginning of the end for President Nicolas Maduro with senior government figures withdrawing support and the opposition launching a mass uprising with military backing.

Or at least that’s what the administration had been led to believe.

But the promised defections didn’t happen, the military uprising never materialized and Maduro still appeared to be firmly in command of the South American nation. Trump officials were back to complaining about the support Venezuela receives from Cuba and Russia while issuing vague warnings of military action.


The Trump administration and its Venezuelan puppets clearly got snookered by the Maduro government. Senior Venezuelan officials pretended they were ready to hand over power to Guaidó to push him towards some embarrassing action. The Trump gang fell for it (Spanish, machine translation) and the Venezuelan officials surely had a good laugh:

Chavez senior officials negotiating with the opposition the departure of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, have "turned off their cell phones" and do not respond, revealed in an interview with Efe the US envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.
"I've found that many of them have turned off their cell phones," Abrams acknowledged.

The larger Latin America strategy behind the 'regime change' attempt in Venezuela necessitates an escalation:

The removal of Maduro was supposed to be the precursor of a domino effect that would later tumble the dictatorships in Cuba and Nicaragua.
Current and former officials acknowledge that a failed uprising would cripple the opposition and undermine the administration’s top priority in the hemisphere.

“It’s now or never,” a senior administration official said. “Everyone realizes it both on the U.S. side and the Venezuela side. How ugly this gets remains to be seen. But everyone sees this as the final frontier to bring down Maduro.”

The plan to use economic pressure, loud bluster and a hapless crony to unseat the Venezuelan government can no longer be valid:

“The entire episode should lead to a round of reflection within the opposition and their supporters in the U.S. government regarding how to address this crisis,” [David Smilde, a Tulane University professor and expert on Venezuela,] said. “It is clear the pressure-collapse scenario they have been working with has run its course.”
With the situation on the ground still uncertain, Trump’s top national security aides, including Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who canceled a trip to Europe to work on Venezuela, huddled at the White House to discuss possible options.

The administration is somewhat split about which direction to take. The neoconservative hawks - Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams and Rubio - are looking for war, while their boss and the Pentagon are against launching one. Trump wants the votes of the millions of Cuba hawks in Florida, but he has no interest in launching a long war. The Pentagon knows that an invasion of Venezuela would lead to another decades long struggle:

Trump has shown little willingness to plunge into Venezuela, according to current and former aides, ...
The president has occasionally mused to others that Bolton wants to get him into wars. Two advisers who have discussed Venezuela with him said Trump often brings up Florida politics, and his golf club in Doral, when talking about the subject. Both said Trump was unlikely to authorize any sort of long-term military action there.

At the same time, however, aides said he has given Bolton wide purview over Venezuela.

Giving Bolton purview over anything is a mistake. He is a vicious and ruthless bureaucrat who knows how to get his way. Bolton is pressing the Pentagon for military options:

As he has pushed for a more aggressive policy, Bolton has angered some within and outside the White House. Even before Tuesday’s events, his staff clashed with Gen. Paul Selva, Dunford’s vice chairman, during a meeting to address the ongoing Venezuelan crisis, according to several officials with knowledge of the exchange.
The soft-spoken Air Force general was giving an update last week on the Pentagon’s view and making the case against a risky escalation by the United States when Bolton aides, including Mauricio Claver-Carone, Western Hemisphere director at the National Security Council, repeatedly interrupted and asked for military options, according to the officials.
A senior administration official said Bolton’s staff was dissatisfied with Selva, who they felt had not presented sufficient military options for Venezuela as expected. Selva, according to people familiar with the interaction, believed the confrontational style of Bolton’s staff was out of line.

Claver-Carone is part of the anti-Cuban gang within the Trump administration.

It is not the first time that Bolton and the Pentagon clash. A recent New Yorker portrait of Bolton, sympathetic to him and falling for some of his spin, reports of a similar situation in April 2018 after the fake 'chemical attack' in Syria :

[W]hen Bolton asked the Pentagon for options, Mattis gave only one, a limited strike with cruise missiles. Bolton was furious, a person familiar with his thinking told me: “Mattis is an obstructionist. He seemed to forget that it was the President who was elected.” After some modifications, Trump authorized the attack. But Bolton wanted more; he believed that the U.S. needed a more enduring military presence in Syria.

The portrait includes other takes that are relevant here. Bolton has a history of disregarding or exaggerating intelligence when the reality contradicts his spin:

In May, 2002, he spoke at the Heritage Foundation, where he accused the Cuban government of developing an ambitious biological-weapons program and of collaborating with such pariah states as Libya and Iran. As he prepared to give similar testimony to Congress, Christian Westermann, an analyst at the State Department’s internal intelligence bureau, told him that the bureau’s information did not support such a view. (Westermann declined to comment for this story.) Bolton, according to several officials, threatened to fire him. “He got very red in the face and shaking his finger at me, and explained to me that I was acting way beyond my position for someone who worked for him,” Westermann later testified. “I told him I didn’t work for him.” Bolton began excluding Westermann’s supervisor from daily briefings and, after an unsuccessful attempt to fire him, tried to transfer him to another office.
In 2003, as he prepared testimony for an appearance before Congress, he described Syria’s efforts to produce nuclear and biological weapons as an urgent threat—an assessment that intelligence agencies thought was exaggerated. A bitter internal debate ensued; the accusations endangered the Syrian government’s cooperation in hunting suspected terrorists. “We were getting some of our best, if not our best, intelligence on Al Qaeda from Damascus,” Lawrence Wilkerson told me. Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State, took Bolton aside and “told him to shut up,” Wilkerson said.
Tony Blinken, who [in 2005] was the staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told me that the members began to reconsider as they examined Bolton’s work in the State Department. “We saw a pattern of Mr. Bolton trying to manipulate intelligence to justify his views,” Blinken told me. “If it had happened once, maybe. But it came up multiple times, and always it was the same underlying issue: he would stake out a position, and then, if the intelligence didn’t support it, he would try to exaggerate the intelligence and marginalize the officials who had produced it.”

Now Bolton is again selling kool aid:

[H]e argued that Venezuela was dangerous, because it was allowing Russia to gain a foothold in the region. He said that there were twenty thousand Cubans in Venezuela who served as “surrogates for the Russians.” There were also at least a hundred Russian soldiers and mercenaries on the ground, helping Maduro stay in power. “To get the Russians out, you have to change the regime,” he said.
What Bolton says about the Cubans contradicts the intelligence he receives:

One area where the White House has been at odds with the C.I.A. is the agency’s assessment of Cuban participation and support for the Maduro government.
Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo have consistently criticized Cuba for its support for the Venezuelan government. But the C.I.A. has concluded that Cuba is far less involved and its support has been far less important than senior officials in the administration believe, according to a former official.

Unfortunately Bolton is now in a position where he has much control over Trump:

Aides have found that detailed briefings provoke [Trump's] impatience; graphics and bullet points work better, and relatable photographs better still. “Bolton gets to the point very fast,” a senior Administration official told me. “He’s very brief, and the President appreciates that.” Groombridge, the former aide, said, “John is thinking, To the extent I can modify or mollify the President’s actions, I will. He is truly a patriot. But I wonder how he goes into work every day, because deep in his heart he believes the President is a moron.”
With Trump’s national-security team depleted—no permanent Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Ambassador to the United Nations—Bolton would have extraordinary latitude in a crisis. “John understands that you have to get the elected leader the approval of the audience that matters,” Hundt said. “As long as Trump’s base is still applauding, then Bolton can do whatever he wants.”
For Bolton, it is ultimately a question of sovereignty. “The Monroe Doctrine is alive and well,” he said. “It’s our hemisphere.” The doctrine, he noted, was a prohibition against outside powers interceding in Latin America. “That doesn’t mean armed force,” he said. “That’s the Roosevelt Corollary. I haven’t invoked that—yet.” But, he argued, as he has innumerable times in the past thirty years, “all options are on the table.”

The long abandoned Theodore Roosevelt Corollary was an addition to the equally abandoned Monroe Doctrine:

Roosevelt stated that in keeping with the Monroe Doctrine, the United States was justified in exercising "international police power" to put an end to chronic unrest or wrongdoing in the Western Hemisphere. While the Monroe Doctrine had sought to prevent European intervention, the Roosevelt Corollary was used to justify US intervention throughout the hemisphere.
It seems clear that John Bolton, the Stache as Pat Lang christened him, will wage war on Venezuela if he sees no other way to get the Chavistas out of the way and its oil under U.S. control.

Trump already recognizes that Bolton is pushing him into that direction. Tuesday's failed coup episode hopefully taught him that the plans, promises and claims Bolton makes, are prone to fail and to lead to embarrassment.

The American people do not want another war. All Latin-American countries are against launching one. There will be resistance in both parties against waging war. Unlike Joe Biden some Democrats are - at least for now - against an intervention:

Those options should not include the U.S. military, said Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was briefed by Pompeo and Bolton on the situation.
Engel, who recently visited Venezuelan refugees on the Colombia border and believes Maduro should go, said Congress has too often gone along with military adventures abroad. “I think the days when the United States can intervene and send in the Marines are over and should be over,” he said.

Engel is not alone:

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the senior Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged caution and said events Tuesday suggested the desired outcome might not be achievable in the short term. He warned military intervention could be counterproductive, an opinion shared by regional allies.
“It would be a huge mistake for the Trump administration to miscalculate and undermine this burgeoning democratic movement with a military intervention involving U.S. troops.”

Trump's best option is to simply put the issue aside. There are enough other issues he can bluster about. But he must also order his aides, and the CIA, to leave Venezuela alone. He might otherwise wake up and be told that Venezuela sunk the Maine or that Maduro attacked U.S. war ships in the Caribbean Sea. Bolton will have no qualms about creating such a stunt.

He is a dangerous man and should be fired. ... -war-.html

"control over Trump" I think exaggeration or ephemeral at best(worst). The crowd of fired or exited Trump officials is large and smelly & I don't think Bolton is exempt from that group. 'b' is right about one thing, it's all about the Trump brand and a continuity running from politics to Trump Inc. Crude & vulgar thinking by the lights of bourgeois democracy, but here we are. The breaking of long established forms ain't no 'one-off', as any materialist knows. The real power politics can be as vicious as ever, but not on the face of things, the forms provide continuity and authenticity, boundaries of behavior, anarchy in high places is the alternative. There was this other place & time where non-stop war, 'super profits' & unfulfilled social obligations(such as they were, then) led to such anarchy:


but you knew that
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:20 pm

Man, I'm loving this shit....
Chamber of Commerce hits Trump on ‘weaponization of tariffs’ — and then Trump calls CNBC to fight back
Matthew J. Belvedere

President Trump’s tariff strategy “creates uncertainty with our trading partners,” says a top official at the world’s largest business lobbying group.

Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, argues that tariffs are the wrong approach with China and Mexico.

Reacting to Brillant’s interview, Trump calls in to CNBC to argue his case for why tariffs are effective. He also blasts the Chamber of Commerce.

VIDEO at link

Tariffs are going to hurt our country, says U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president
President Donald Trump is right to pressure China to change its protectionist trade and business practices, but he should not be using tariffs do it, a top official at the world’s largest business lobbying group said Monday.

Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Trump should never have used the threat of tariffs to try to force Mexico to crack down on illegal immigration, especially with ratification of the new USMCA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, pending in Congress.

“The weaponization of tariffs — the increase of threats on our economy on our farmers, our manufacturers, our consumers — is going to hurt our country. It also creates uncertainty with our trading partners,” said Brilliant, suggesting the Mexico situation might send the wrong message to China that the U.S., even if it makes a trade deal as in the case of the USMCA, may still come back later and hold tariffs over their heads. “The world is watching,” he added.

Shortly after Brillant’s interview, Trump called into “Squawk Box” to argue his case for why tariffs are effective. The president also blasted the Chamber of Commerce.

Trump told CNBC on Monday that the business group protects Corporate America not the American people. The president also said tariffs allow the U.S. to level the playing field, claiming he believes that China will make a deal with the U.S. “because they’re going to have to” due to tariff pressures.

“If we didn’t have tariffs we wouldn’t have made a deal with Mexico,” Trump also said, touting the agreement he announced late Friday on the ways Mexico promised to help stop migrants from entering the U.S. illegally across the border that the two countries share in exchange for tariffs not going into effect. ... merce.html
Supposedly this 'deal' ain't no great shakes, some previously agreed to things bundled together so as to look like 'something'.

As to Mexico sending 6000 troops to their southern border, it looks like a face-losing concession but I believe there is ulterior motive. ALMO, darling of the progressives, campaigned on bringing 'development to Chiapas, his home state, coincidentally the southernmost state of Mexico with a very long border with Guatemala. Also, no doubt coincidence, the scene of the Zapatista Uprising, which gained the indigenous people a degree of autonomy and some long overdue support from the central government. The Zapatistas hold the Lacodon Forest in the center of the state as their redoubt and have the respect and gratitude of the people. Turns out the 'development' is all for the deep pockets and is widely opposed by the Maya & other folks. And so the troops may well have another sinister purpose besides the one stated.

But back to the Chumpster, do we need anymore evidence that he doesn't have a clue? And he thinks he can treat China in the same manner as he's treated Mexico.......

Carry on, Chumpster, best train wreck ever.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:08 pm

In his own words...
A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies. We will not let them get away with it much longer. The Fake News Media will also be there, but for a limited period..

Donald J. Trump
....The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media. They have lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016, that I came down the escalator with the person who was to become your future First Lady. When I ultimately leave office in six......

Donald J. Trump
....years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding), they will quickly go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval, from the public. That’s why they will all be Endorsing me at some point, one way or the other. Could you imagine having Sleepy Joe Biden, or

Donald J. Trump
...or a very nervous and skinny version of Pocahontas (1000/24th), as your President, rather than what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius! Sorry to say that even Social Media would be driven out of business along with, and finally, the Fake News Media!
7:30 AM · Jul 11, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone
You really can't make this shit up. His little joke will set the hair on fire of all the radlibs who are sure he is Hitler incarnate but he's pushing buttons.

This scum hole country deserves Trump & likely 4 more years too.

With the press now fixating on Acosta it occurs to me that a whole lot of presidential appointees are scumbags but just didn't get the scrutiny, thus confirming the paranoid's paranoia.

Trump is really playing 'Executive Privilege' to the hilt. It was always there but used sparingly so as to not ruffle feathers but the last few regimes have increasingly resorted to it as a means of breaking impasse. Trump is taking it to his logical conclusion, which is something like dictatorship. Which is I think what those Founding Fuckheads had in mind, only the intent being that this presidential dictator ensure that the ruling class consensus is followed and and uppityness of the masses suppressed. Little did they expect a solipsistic pea brain of their own ranks to be putting sand in the vasoline.(That's the Enlightenment for ya).

The law is for the ruling class and that's why they have not resorted to extra-judicial means to rein-in this guy. Can't be setting no bad precedent, ya know.I wonder if this Epstein thing is an oblique attack attack on Trump, time will tell. One thing that all his opponents gotta know is ya can't move against him until his poll numbers take a hit to below 30%, even that shithead Nancy knows that. His fan base gotta be demoralized, not angry.
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