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The Catch-22 that just stripped Native Americans of their voting rights in North Dakota

This is the result of a Supreme Court that hates voting rights.

IAN MILLHISER NOV 1, 2018, 4:43 PM

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) won her 2012 race by less than 3,000 votes in no small part due to support from Native Americans. Not long thereafter, North Dakota's Republican legislature passed a law that effectively strips many of these Native Americans of their voting rights.
Yet, according to an order handed down by a federal judge on Thursday, this voter suppression law cannot be challenged prior to next week's election. The practical impact is that numerous Native Americans will not cast a ballot and a Democratic senator may lose her seat as a result.
The voter suppression law requires voters to present an ID at the polls which lists their residential mailing address. It's a devious scheme because residents of many Native reservations live at homes without an official street address Slate's Mark Joseph Stern tells the story of one voter whose street is listed as "Unknown2" in a state database. So, for these voters, it may be impossible to obtain the ID they need to vote.
In April, a federal trial court blocked this law, noting that "at least 4,998 otherwise eligible Native Americans (and 64,618 non-Native voters) currently do not possess a qualifying voter ID under the new law." That trial court's decision was stayed in late September, however, by a panel of three appellate judges. Both of the judges who voted to reinstate the North Dakota law are Republicans. The sole judge in dissent is a Democrat.
The two Republicans argued that North Dakota's law must remain in effect because a 2008 Supreme Court decision siding with an Indiana voter ID law established that "a plaintiff seeking relief that would invalidate an election provision in all of its applications bears a heavy burden of persuasion.'" Thus, to challenge this particular law, lawyers seeking to block it had to identify specific plaintiffs who were especially likely to be disenfranchised by this law.
Bear in mind that the appeals court handed down that decision in late September, forcing voting rights lawyers to hunt for plaintiffs that would meet this narrow criteria. They eventually found them, and filed a suit on October 30 but that turns out to be too late.
In an order handed down Thursday, Judge Daniel Hovland concludes that "it is highly important to preserve the status quo when elections are fast approaching." To support this proposition, he cites the Supreme Court's decision in Purcell v. Gonzalez, which held that courts should be reluctant to hand down decisions impacting a state's election law as the election itself draws close.
If Purcell were applied fairly and neutrally to all parties, this could possibly be considered a fair outcome, but there's another twist. Recall that the original order halting North Dakota's law was handed down in April, and the appeals court waited until late September to reinstate the law.
That appeals court order was appealed to the Supreme Court, where Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that the April order halting the law should remain in effect. "I would grant the application to vacate the Eighth Circuit's stay because last-minute [c]ourt orders affecting elections, especially conflicting orders, can themselves result in voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls.'" Ginsburg also cited Purcell to support this claim.
It's difficult to escape the conclusion, in other words, that courts are applying Purcell selectively. When Republican judges make it harder to cast a ballot shortly before an election, Purcell did not stop them. But now that voting rights plaintiffs want to restore their voting rights, Purcell is suddenly an insurmountable barrier.

OCT 29, 2018[URL=""]
The Cult of Trump - Chris Hedges

[Image: Cult-850x692.jpg]Mr. Fish / Truthdig

Cult leaders arise from decayed communities and societies in which people have been shorn of political, social and economic power. The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them.
Donald Trump has transformed the decayed carcass of the Republican Party into a cult. All cults are personality cults. They are extensions of the cult leaders. The cult reflects the leader's prejudices, worldview, personal style and ideas. Trump did not create the yearning for a cult leader. Huge segments of the population, betrayed by the established elites, were conditioned for a cult leader. They were desperately looking for someone to rescue them and solve their problems. They found their cult leader in the New York real estate developer and reality television show star. Only when we recognize Trump as a cult leader, and many of those who support him as cult followers, will we understand where we are headed and how we must resist.
It was 40 years ago next month that a messianic preacher named Jim Jonesconvinced or forced more than 900 of his followers, including roughly 280 children, to die by ingesting a cyanide-laced drink. Trump's refusal to acknowledge and address the impending crisis of ecocide and the massive mismanagement of the economy by kleptocrats, his bellicosity, his threats against Iran and China and the withdrawal from nuclear arms treaties, along with his demonization of all who oppose him, ensure our cultural and, if left unchecked, physical extinction. Cult leaders are driven, at their core, by the death instinct, the instinct to annihilate and destroy rather than nurture and create. Trump shares many of the characteristics of Jones as well as other cult leaders including Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Nettles, the founders of the Heaven's Gate cult; the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who led the Unification Church; Credonia Mwerinde, who led the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Uganda; Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong; and David Koresh, who led the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. Cult leaders are narcissists. They demand obsequious fawning and total obedience. They prize loyalty above competence. They wield absolute control. They do not tolerate criticism. They are deeply insecure, a trait they attempt to cover up with bombastic grandiosity. They are amoral and emotionally and physically abusive. They see those around them as objects to be manipulated for their own empowerment, enjoyment and often sadistic entertainment. All those outside the cult are branded as forces of evil, prompting an epic battle whose natural expression is violence.
"A cult is a mirror of what is inside the cult leader," Margaret Thaler Singer wrote in "Cults in Our Midst." "He has no restraints on him. He can make his fantasies and desires come alive in the world he creates around him. He can lead people to do his bidding. He can make the surrounding world really hisworld. What most cult leaders achieve is akin to the fantasies of a child at play, creating a world with toys and utensils. In that play world, the child feels omnipotent and creates a realm of his own for a few minutes or a few hours. He moves the toy dolls about. They do his bidding. They speak his words back to him. He punishes them any way he wants. He is all-powerful and makes his fantasy come alive. When I see the sand tables and the collections of toys some child therapists have in their offices, I think that a cult leader must look about and place people in his created world much as a child creates on the sand table a world that reflects his or her desires and fantasies. The difference is that the cult leader has actual humans doing his bidding as he makes a world around him that springs from inside his own head."
George Orwell understood that cult leaders manipulate followers primarily through language, not force. This linguistic manipulation is a gradual process. It is rooted in continual mental chaos and verbal confusion. Lies, conspiracy theories, outlandish ideas and contradictory statements that defy reality and fact soon paralyze the opposition. The opposition, with every attempt to counter this absurdism with the rationalsuch as the decision by Barack Obama to make his birth certificate public or by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to release the results of her DNA test to prove she has Native American ancestryplays to the cult leader. The cult leader does not take his or her statements seriously and often denies ever making them, even when they are documented. Lies and truth do not matter. The language of the cult leader is designed exclusively to appeal to the emotional needs of those in the cult.
"Hitler kept his enemies in a state of constant confusion and diplomatic upheaval," Joost A.M. Meerloo wrote in "The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing." "They never knew what this unpredictable madman was going to do next. Hitler was never logical, because he knew that that was what he was expected to be. Logic can be met with logic, while illogic cannotit confuses those who think straight. The Big Lie and monotonously repeated nonsense have more emotional appeal in a cold war than logic and reason. While the enemy is still searching for a reasonable counter-argument to the first lie, the totalitarians can assault him with another."
The cult leader grooms followers to speak in the language of hate and violence. The cult leader constantly paints a picture of an existential threat, often invented, that puts the cult followers in danger. Trump is doing this by demonizing the caravan of some 4,000 immigrants, most from Honduras, moving through southern Mexico. Caravans of immigrants, are, in fact, nothing new. The beleaguered and impoverished asylum seekers, including many families with children, are 1,000 miles from the Texas border. But Trump, aided by nearly nonstop coverage by Fox News and Christian broadcasting, is using the caravan to terrify his followers, just as he, along with these media outlets, portrayed the protesters who flooded the U.S. capital to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as unruly mobs. Trump claims the Democrats want to open the border to these "criminals" and to "unknown Middle Easterners" who are, he suggests, radical jihadists. Christian broadcasting operations, such as Pat Robertson's The 700 Club, splice pictures of marching jihadists in black uniforms cradling automatic weapons into the video shots of the caravan.
The fear mongering and rhetoric of hate and violence, as I saw in the former Yugoslavia, eventually lead to widespread acts of violence against those the cult leader defines as the enemy. The 13 explosive devices sent last week to Trump critics and leaders of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, along with George Soros, James Clapper and CNN, allegedly by Cesar Sayoc, an ex-stripper and fanatic Trump supporter who was living out of his van, herald more violence. Trump, tossing gasoline on the flames, used this assault against much of the leadership of the Democratic Party to again attack the press, or, as he calls it, "the enemy of the people." "A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News," he tweeted. "It has gotten so bad and hateful that is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its acts, FAST!"
It should come as no surprise that on Saturday another enraged American white male, his fury and despair seemingly stoked by the diatribes and conspiracy theories of the far right, entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and massacred eight men and three women as he shouted anti-Semitic abuse. Shot by police and arrested at the scene was Robert Bowers, who believes that Jewish groups are aiding the caravan of immigrants in southern Mexico. He was armed with a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, plus three handguns. The proliferation of easily accessible high-caliber weapons, coupled with the division of the country into the blessed and the damned by Trump and his fellow cultists, threatens to turn the landscape of the United States into one that resembles Mexico, where at least 145 people in politics, including 48 candidates and pre-candidates, along with party leaders and campaign workers, have been assassinated over the last 12 months, according to Etellekt, a risk analysis firm in Mexico. There have been 627 incidents of violence against politicians, 206 threats and acts of intimidation, 57 firearm assaults and 52 attacks on family members that resulted in 50 fatalities. Trump's response to the mass shooting at the synagogue was to say places of worship should have armed guards, a call for further proliferation of firearms. Look south if you want a vision of our future.
Domestic terrorism and nihilistic violence are the natural outcomes of the economic, social and political stagnation, the total seizure of power by a corporate cabal and oligarchic elite, and the contamination of civil discourse by cult leaders. The weaponization of language is proliferating, as seen in the vile rhetoric that characterizes many political campaigns for the midterm elections, including the racist robocall sent out against Andrew Gillum, an African-American candidate for the governorship of Florida. "Well, hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I'll be askin' you to make me governor of this here state of Florida," a man speaking in a caricature of a black dialect accompanied by jungle noises said in the robocall. Cults externalize evil. Evil is embodied in the demonized other, whether desperate immigrants, black political candidates and voters, or the Democratic Party. The only way to purge this "evil" and restore America to "greatness" is to eradicate these human contaminants.
The cult leader, unlike a traditional politician, makes no effort to reach out to his opponents. The cult leader seeks to widen the divisions. The leader brands those outside the cult as irredeemable. The leader seeks the omnipotence to crush those who do not kneel in adoration. The followers, yearning to be protected and empowered by the cult leader, seek to give the cult leader omnipotence. Democratic norms, an impediment to the leader's omnipotence, are attacked and abolished. Those in the cult seek to be surrounded by the cult leader's magical aura. Reality is sacrificed for fantasy. Those who challenge the fantasy are not considered human. They are Satanic.
Meerloo wrote:
The dictator is not only a sick man, he is also a cruel opportunist. He sees no value in any other person and feels no gratitude for any help he may have received. He is suspicious and dishonest and believes that his personal ends justify any means he may use to achieve them. Peculiarly enough, every tyrant still searches for some self-justification. Without such a soothing device for his own conscience, he cannot live. His attitude toward other people is manipulative; to him, they are merely tools for the advancement of his own interests. He rejects the conception of doubt, of internal contradictions, or man's inborn ambivalence. He denies the psychological fact that man grows to maturity through groping, through trial and error, through the interplay of contrasting feelings. Because he will not permit himself to grope, to learn through trial and error, the dictator can never become a mature person. … It is because the dictator is afraid, albeit unconsciously, of his own internal contradictions, that he is afraid of the same internal contradictions of his fellow man. He must purge and purge, terrorize and terrorize in order to still his own raging inner drives. He must kill every doubter, destroy every person who makes a mistake, imprison everyone who cannot be proved to be utterly single-minded.
Behavior that ensures the destruction of a public figure's career does not affect a cult leader. It does not matter how many lies uttered by Trump are meticulously documented by The New York Times or The Washington Post. It does not matter that Trump's personal financial interests, as we see in his relationship with the Saudis, take precedence over the rule of law, diplomatic protocols and national security. It does not matter that he is credibly charged by numerous women with being a sexual predator, a common characteristic of cult leaders. It does not matter that he is inept, lazy and ignorant. The establishment, whose credibility has been destroyed because of its complicity in empowering the ruling oligarchy and the corporate state, might as well be blowing soap bubbles at Trump. Their vitriol, to his followers, only justifies the hatred radiating from the cult.
The cult leader responds to only one emotionfear. The cult leader, usually a coward, will react when he thinks he is in danger. The cult leader will bargain and compromise when afraid. The cult leader will give the appearance of being flexible and reasonable. But as soon as the cult leader is no longer afraid, the old patterns of behavior return, with a special venom directed at those who were able to momentarily impinge upon his power.
The removal of Trump from power would not remove the yearning of tens of millions of people, many conditioned by the Christian right, for a cult leader. Most of the leaders of the Christian right have built cult followings of their own. These Christian fascists embraced magical thinking, attacked their enemies as agents of Satan and denounced reality-based science and journalism long before Trump did. Cults are a product of social decay and despair, and our decay and despair are expanding, soon to explode in another financial crisis.
The efforts by the Democratic Party and much of the press, including CNN and The New York Times, to discredit Trump, as if our problems are embodied in him, are futile. The smug, self-righteousness of this crusade against Trump only contributes to the national reality television show that has replaced journalism and politics. This crusade attempts to reduce a social, economic and political crisis to the personality of Trump. It is accompanied by a refusal to confront and name the corporate forces responsible for our failed democracy. This collusion with the forces of corporate oppression neuters the press and Trump's mainstream critics.
Our only hope is to organize the overthrow of the corporate state that vomited up Trump. Our democratic institutions, including the legislative bodies, the courts and the media, are hostage to corporate power. They are no longer democratic. We must, like liberation movements of the past, engage in acts of sustained mass civil disobedience and non-cooperation. By turning our ire on the corporate state, we name the true sources of power and abuse. We expose the absurdity of blaming our demise on demonized groups such as undocumented workers, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, liberals, feminists, gays and others. We give people an alternative to a Democratic Party that refuses to confront the corporate forces of oppression and cannot be rehabilitated. We make possible the restoration of an open society. If we fail to embrace this militancy, which alone has the ability to destroy cult leaders, we will continue the march toward tyranny.

I don't think the mainstream media or Democratic leaders have figured out the following yet:

The National Security State is itself a third political party, taking its place alongside the Republicans and Democrats. It has its own unique agenda which has nothing to do with the agenda's of the Dems or Repubs.

They used Trump to defeat Hillary and their plan was then to get rid of Trump and replace him with an appointed President like Gerald Ford (maybe CIA-affiliated lyin' Ted Cruz). That's where Mueller stepped in.

Now that the country has lurched to the left in the mid-terms, the goal of the National Security State is to head off a candidacy by Bernie, Elizabeth Warren or some other "Social Democrat" rationalistic, wealth & income-focused candidate in 2020. They will now use Trump to foil Bernie and Pocahontas.


The air will be let out of the tires of the Mueller probe.

That's what my crystal ball is telling me as of today.

James Lateer
Totally shocking to me that so many Americans think it's perfectly normal to investigate people for "crimes" based on political prosecutions. With the recent appointment of Matthew Whitaker, Lawrence O'Donnell threatened (apparently speaking for the National Security State) that Whitaker AND HIS FAMILY would now be investigated.

CNN is now threatening to file a personal lawsuit for damages against the Presidential Press Secretary and Secret Service Personnel based on the theory that they have the right to disrupt Presidential press conferences if they wish.

Political trials were an everyday occurence under people like Joseph Stalin. In reading the memoirs of German ambassador to the US under JFK Wilmelm Grewe, the ambassador comments (citing the activities of Joseph McCarthy and Watergate) that people in the US are more than eager to see injustices done to many people for political expediency.

When did otherwise honest people begin the buy this behavior?

If you happen to be Christian, you might refer to the 10th Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor".

IMHO this is sociopathic behavior of the highest degree, yet otherwise honest Americans are buying it like apple pie and ice cream.


James Lateer
Republican senator claims the left' will start a civil war unless federal highway system abolished

We are ruled by monsters and fools.

IAN MILLHISER NOV 15, 2018, 4:23 PM
On Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered a speech to the conservative Federalist Society that would have been more at home on Alex Jones' radio show than at a gathering of many of the most powerful lawyers and judges in the country.
In it, Lee warned of a brewing civil war, and claimed that the only way to avert violence would be to eradicate a long list of federal programs including "the interstate highway system," funding for "K through 12 public education," "federal higher education accreditation," "early childhood education, the Department of Commerce," "housing policy, workforce regulation," and what Lee labeled the "huge glut of federally owned land."
Seriously, this is not hyperbole. A sitting United States senator actually said these things. You can watch the entire speech here.
Lee, who also believes that federal child labor laws, Social Security, and Medicare are unconstitutional, claimed in his speech that America faces a stark choice "federalism or violence."
According to Lee, when the federal government has the power to do pretty much anything, that thrusts the country into a "fundamentally un-American contest" to "determine which half of our nation will have the power, at least temporarily, to unilaterally impose its will and its values on the other half."
Lee, of course, blamed this state of affairs on "the left."
"Many on the left don't seem too concerned," about a system of government where a political party which wins an election gains the temporary power to govern. Lee claims that the "left" believes that "demographic and historic trends coupled with what many see as the inherent rightness of their leftist cause make their ultimate victory over red America inevitable."
And this whole democratic state of affairs, he says, will somehow lead to civil unrest.
Lee's vision for the country a vision where only states and not the federal government are allowed to do any meaningful degree of governing has been tried before. The United States used to give each state tremendous and largely exclusive authority over its own economic regulations, its own civil rights regime, and its own system of voting rights. That was the system that brought the United States no small amount of violence in the form of slavery and, later, Jim Crow.
Just as significantly harmful, the absence of nationwide regulation gave us a world where wealthy businesses and individuals could play the various states off of one another in order to dismantle even the most basic protections for workers.
In 1887, for example, Alabama passed a law limiting child laborers to an eight-hour work day and this was at a time when Southern cotton mills were filled with workers as young as six. The state repealed this law seven years later after a group of Massachusetts-based mill owners promised to open a factory in Alabama if the state would allow children to work in that mill for as long as the bosses wanted.
Lee's long list of activities the federal government must cease appears to be entirely arbitrary (though, in true Republican form, he does claim that the feds should be allowed to enforce immigration laws).
In the past, Lee has argued that pretty much every federal law that liberals support violates the Constitution. He argued that the federal ban on child labor is unconstitutional because the Constitution was "designed to be a little bit harsh," for example. But many of the items on Lee's list of forbidden federal actions cannot even plausibly be labeled unconstitutional.
Take the interstate highway system. The Constitution gives Congress the power to "lay and collect Taxes" to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" and to "regulate Commerce . . . among the several States." Highways are the very channels where commerce among the several states happens. They are the means we use to travel across state lines, and to ship many goods from one state to another.
There is no theory of the Constitution, or, at least, no theory that pays any heed to the Constitution's text, which forbids Congress from using tax dollars to build the channels of commerce.
It's worth noting, however, that there is a different constitution which does support Lee's attack on interstate highways. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America gave its congress a much more limited power to build the infrastructure for a robust national economy. Among other things, it explicitly forbade the Confederate government from spending "money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce; except for the purpose of furnishing lights, beacons, and buoys, and other aids to navigation upon the coasts, and the improvement of harbors and the removing of obstructions in river navigation."
It is perhaps not outside the realm of possibility that Lee was simply reading the wrong constitution when he wrote his Federalist Society speech.

Whitaker was an illegal appointment and is a spy and goon for Trump and his team to try to stop the Mueller investigation - or any other. Whitaker was part of a company that committed a scam on its customers, had to pay them back and is now being investigated by the FBI. Whitaker is not qualified to be in the current position, nor does he have the requisite Congressional approval. He was put in place to obstruct justice - even if you don't like the Mueller investigation - it needs to play out legally and not politically or by dirty tricks. I also find nothing strange with CNN taking to Court the loss of press credentials for their primary WH correspondent. Most Americans, except the Trump core and Fox News blinded are generally horrified at the un-civil, un-Presidential, angry, combative, evasive and dissembling behavior of Trump at press conferences. I don't think the CNN correspondent did anything unusual - it is Trump that is unusual in his behaviors. There is no meeting of minds in the USA today - just as I'm sure you and I could never agree on Trump or his policies or behaviors. A new civil war is coming. In fact, i think it has begun - by Trump lighting the fuse. I'm no fan of the Democratic Party as a Party [although some good persons are in it and support it], I have no use for the Republicans at all and Trump belongs in prison for so many reasons - not in the White House. On the emoluments clause violations and obstruction of justice alone he should be impeached IMO, one doesn't even need to go with anything related to Russia - part of which I think is real and parts are 'trumped up'. His racist, misogynist an hateful behaviors - his war against regulation and the environment - his tax breaks only for the rich. The man simply has NO good side and multifaceted bad sides.

James Lateer Wrote:Totally shocking to me that so many Americans think it's perfectly normal to investigate people for "crimes" based on political prosecutions. With the recent appointment of Matthew Whitaker, Lawrence O'Donnell threatened (apparently speaking for the National Security State) that Whitaker AND HIS FAMILY would now be investigated.

CNN is now threatening to file a personal lawsuit for damages against the Presidential Press Secretary and Secret Service Personnel based on the theory that they have the right to disrupt Presidential press conferences if they wish.

Political trials were an everyday occurence under people like Joseph Stalin. In reading the memoirs of German ambassador to the US under JFK Wilmelm Grewe, the ambassador comments (citing the activities of Joseph McCarthy and Watergate) that people in the US are more than eager to see injustices done to many people for political expediency.

When did otherwise honest people begin the buy this behavior?

If you happen to be Christian, you might refer to the 10th Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor".

IMHO this is sociopathic behavior of the highest degree, yet otherwise honest Americans are buying it like apple pie and ice cream.


James Lateer
The National Security State was set up by international bankers like Ferdinand Eberstadt along with ex-President Herbert Hoover as a means of disrupting the activities of whichever President was in office.

Apparently, this National Security State succeeded in murdering JFK, framing Nixon (and Agnew) for bogus crimes, sabotaging Jimmy Carter with the Iran Hostage fiasco, and bypassing Congress (working with the Nicaraguan Contras) to make a joke of US law and triggering the Iran-Contra investigations.

The National Security State only likes ringers like Gerald Ford and the Bush family. The Bush family (especially GWB) operated as criminals would be expected to operate after being put into office illegally by SCOTUS and the National Security State.

Then the National Security State set up the 9-11 "controlled demolition" of the World Trade Center killing 3000 which was deja vu all over again for Operation Northwoods (proposed by the killers of JFK to kill Americans in America). And then launched the trillion-dollar Iraq War which left the mid-East in permanent shambles with the resultant Syrian struggle.

What I don't understand is how many, many very informed people on this site (who presumably understand Deep Politics) can approve of such disorganized chaos?

Before the National Security State was set up in the late 40's, the US Government was functioning pretty well without it. What kind of people would knowingly endorse this chaotic situation over and above just letting the American people elect their leaders and let their elected leaders function as per the Constitution of 1787?

I truly believe in running my personal affairs that HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!!! The functioning of the National Security State is based on deception, illegality and total dishonesty.

Someone who is informed about the above issues is willingly endorsing a process which is basically the same thing as they have in Russia with the KGB installing their candidate to rule the country, (elections and elected officials be damned).

Why is a KGB installed Putin better than our traditional elected Presidents? You can't have elections and elected leaders if our citizens try to reverse the election results by recourse to MALICIOUS PROSECUTIONS and framing the elected leaders with phony investigations or murder as was done to JFK, Nixon, Carter and Clinton. And now Trump.

The prior posting rejects both the Democrat and Republican Parties. But how can anyone endorse the evil and bizarre activities of the National Security State as being preferable to the legitimate political parties? If one pursues that reasoning, then one is saying that the overt criminal acts of the Bush dynasty (where hundreds of thousands have died and many are still dying in Afghanistan) are preferable to the current situation in Washington.

As bad as Trump seems as an individual, he hasn't actually done anything which even approaches the false flag 9-11 or the Iraq War. If the Mueller chaos were to overthrow the Trump election, then we would be surrendering to the National Security State and that would only produce more Iraq's, Afghanistans, 9-11's, Iran Contra's or maybe even a nuclear war of some kind. The John Boltons and neo-cons would be back in the saddle.

(And none of the above even includes that added problems if Goldman-Sachs and Wells Fargo go off the reservation and the billionaires like Bezos, Soros, Zuckerberg etc. start running wild).

Trump might be a ridiculous buffoon, but the alternative is the Cheney-style disastrous criminality that is the special province of the National Security State run amok.

James Lateer
I should also add--many everyday Americans just plain swallow what the media and the National Security State puts out there. They can't be blamed because they are largely uneducated, especially about political and historical theory and the finer points of that.

But what is the mind-state of very smart people who are fans of the National Security State? Putin is likely a huge fan of the Russian model of government. But who else in Russia would be a fan of that? A few rich oligarchs maybe, but not even MOST oligarchs but rather, a lucky few! Does anybody in Russia sleep all that well at night? I have to doubt that.

So why are so many well-educated Americans disappearing down this KGB-like rat hole? Where do they think all this would lead? Do you come out of a rat-hole into the beautiful sunshine of a heaven-like America? Not likely.

Again quoting scripture: "He who sows the wind reaps hurricanes." I don't see how chaos in government ever leads to anything better that WORSE AND WORSE CHAOS. America is not IMHO immune to Stalinist-Hitlerite chaos. Why not emulate Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Australia rather than Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines and Indonesia? We have a choice, after all.

James Lateer
11.14.2018 51 Percent Losers

The midterms have given the Democratic Party a boost. But their professional-class politics are a cul de sac we desperately need a political revolution driven by the needs and aspirations of the multiracial working class.
[Image: GettyImages-936592386.jpg]
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi speak at a news conference at the US Capitol on March 22, 2018 in Washington DC.

The midterm elections produced a range of results as vast, gorgeous, and idiotic as America itself. A glance at the state ballot measures alone suggests the warring impulses at work in our confused society: Idaho expanded Medicaid, Louisiana repealed its Jim Crowera jury rules, and Missouri raised the minimum wage, but Washington rejected a carbon tax, Colorado declined to further regulate fracking, and California crushed a rent control law. Florida, meanwhile, voted to enfranchise ex-felons, but hobbled its already dysfunctional government by requiring a legislative supermajority to raise taxes.
The national political story was no different. Democrats won a narrow majority in the House and a handful of governorships, but Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate. An exciting new crop of left-wing legislators won office, but some of the country's most dynamic candidates were (probably) defeated by Trumpist lapdogs, industry tools, and neoliberal flunkies. Scott Walker lost, but Ted Cruz won: it was that kind of night.
The media reaction to this mixed fruit revealed the Janus face of contemporary liberalism. One cluster of pundits arraigned ordinary Americans for failing to "repudiate" Donald Trump with sufficient gusto. "If the midterms were a test of the country's character," pronounced Sarah Kendzior, "Americans failed." Democrats may have scraped back a few seats in Congress, but the nightmare of Trump remains, and with it the frenzy of shame, disgust, and hostility toward popular government that has saturated liberal commentary since November 2016.
At the same time, a parallel brigade of liberal analysts arrived to claim a triumphant victory for the electoral process. "Make no mistake," declared the New Yorker, "the midterm elections were a Democratic victory." By reclaiming some of the Midwestern states Hillary Clinton lost, while also making inroads into the New South, Democrats showed they could be trusted to build an effective resistance to Trump's "populist" demagoguery. Taking back the House, said Nancy Pelosi on election night, meant "restoring the Constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration."
Together, these reactions amount to a peculiar style of discourse you might call apocalyptic institutionalism. The chilling march of fascism, from this angle, may only be halted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the US counterintelligence apparatus, and, perhaps, a thunderous condemnation of nonvoters on social media. The Sunday before the election, on a handsome brownstone block in Brooklyn, I watched an adult man scurry up and down the street, urging New York City Marathon runners to rescue the republic by casting a ballot for Andrew Cuomo.
But when it comes to understanding the election, both faces of liberal punditry are wrong: in the language of this increasingly evangelical liberalism, the midterms were neither a confirmation of the apocalypse nor a sign of our coming Democratic salvation.
Elite hysteria about the depravity of the American people makes even less sense in 2018 than it did in 2016. This election was, absolutely, a mass repudiation of Trump and his foul agenda. Republicans lost the popular contest for Congress by millions of votes and over seven percentage points. The true power behind Trump's throne, we should know by now, is not an irresistible army of zombie racists in the heartland, but the historical structures and top-down tactics that sustain Republican minority rule.
Yet neither did last Tuesday's results mark the way toward anything like a constructive political realignment. In numerical terms, national Democratic gains were utterly, predictably normal: in midterm elections since the New Deal, the president's party loses on average about thirty seats in Congress, four seats in the Senate, and 350 seatsin statehouses. The Democrats, it turns out, are almost as average as it gets.
This was not a blue wave, but a deepening of the familiar twenty-first century partisan trench. The metaphors for today's Democratic Party should not be liquid or mobile, since its dominant impulse remains both concrete and conservative: protecting American institutions, restoring "balance" to government, and defending the Barack Obamaera status quo against the invading armies of the Right.
Freed from the burden of Hillary Clinton at the top of the ballot, and boosted by the midterm cycle, Democrats did make raw gains in nearly every part of the country. But the congressional districts where they concentrated their resources and won decisive victories from New Jersey to Minnesota to Texas were almost exclusively the same affluent, educated suburbs that Clinton sought to woo in 2016.
In this sense, the midterms represented a victorious Democratic effort to capture Fortress Fairfax County. This strategy, as its fans and critics alike have long understood, can produce a limited kind of electoral success. With unwonted generosity, we might even grant that it made tactical sense in the very specific circumstances of the 2018 midterms.
The defeat of Republican reaction, red in tooth and claw, is worth celebrating. Yet on its own terms, the Democrats' return to government offers little to cheer about. The only Americans who adore "checks and balances" more than liberal pundits are the owners of capital. The day after the election, the Dow Jones rose 550 points, the strongest post-midterm stock rally in thirty years. A divided Congress, declared JP Morgan's Marko Kolanvoic, speaking for the investor class as a whole, "is the best outcome for US and global equity markets."
On Wall Street, healthcare stocks led the way, with UnitedHealth and Anthem, Inc. both spiking to record highs last week. When Michigan governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer attracted criticism for putting a Blue Cross Blue Shield executive on her transition team, she only made literal what Wall Street already understood: a resurgent Democratic Party, in its current formation, only strengthens the stability of the for-profit health insurance system.
And in the long run, the Democrats' 51 percent solution, depending crucially on the votes of wealthy suburbanites, is a formula for disaster. It cannot repair our broken politics, much less transform our savagely unequal society. In fact, even in its short-term triumphs, it obscures (when it does not outright scorn) the one mode of struggle that can break the cycle: a political revolution driven by the needs and aspirations of the broader working class.