Category: Hillary Clinton
Democratic Senator Rips James Comey For Stealing The Election For Trump

Democratic Senator Rips James Comey For Stealing The Election For Trump

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) hammered FBI Director James Comey for talking about the Clinton email investigation during the campaign, but never publicly mentioning the Trump/Russia investigation. It was clear that Leahy was pointing out that Comey’s biased behavior influenced the election for Trump.

Democratic Senator Rips James Comey For Stealing The Election For Trump

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) hammered FBI Director James Comey for talking about the Clinton email investigation during the campaign, but never publicly mentioning the Trump/Russia investigation. It was clear that Leahy was pointing out that Comey’s biased behavior influenced the election for Trump.

Sen. Leahy asked Comey, “Americans across the country have been confused and disappointed by your judgment in handling the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails. On a number of occasions, you chose to comment directly and extensively on that investigation. You even released internal FBI memos and interview notes. I may have missed this, but in my 42 years here, I’ve never seen anything like that, but you said absolutely nothing regarding the investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia’s illegal efforts to help elect Donald Trump. Was it appropriate for you to comment on one investigation repeatedly, and no say anything about the other.”

Comey answered, “I think I treated both investigations fairly under the same principles….In October in 2015, we confirmed it existed and then said not another word, not a peep about it until we were finished.”

Leahy set the record straight, “No. At the most critical time possible, A couple of weeks before the election, and I think there are other things involved in that election, I’ll grant that, but there is no question that that had a great effect.”

The FBI Director was trying to rewrite history to minimize the impact that his letter had on the outcome of the 2016 election.

 Nate Silver has concluded that Comey’s letter cost Clinton three points in the polls. Donald Trump is only president because he carried Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by 78,000 votes.

It is laughable that Comey would try to dismiss the impact of his letter. The FBI Director’s claim that he treated both investigations the same way is also not true. If Comey were giving the Trump/Russia investigation the same treatment that he was giving Clinton’s emails, he would have mentioned the Trump investigation a couple of weeks before voters went to the polls.

Sen. Leahy was asking the right questions, and Director Comey’s answers suggested that he is fully aware that he tipped the election to Donald Trump.

EMERGENCY! Act Now to Prevent a Trump Attack on Syria! Phone the White House and Congress Now!
US PEACE COUNCIL Member of the World Peace Council P. O. Box 3105, New Haven, Connecticut 06515 Telephone: 203-387-0370; Fax: 203-397-2539; Email: amistadmarder@gmail.com

April 6, 2017EMERGENCY! Act Now to Prevent a Trump Attack on Syria! Phone the White House and Congress Now!

Yesterday President Trump — who during the campaign expressed a desire for a new, more restrained approach to the war in Syria — publicly accepted the claim that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons against its own people, including children. He declared: “Lines have been crossed.” He threatened to take some sort of action. The photos are horrific. The media has for several days gone into full hysteria mode, repeating unproven allegations, attributing blame, and relying on biased sources. Is this another Gulf of Tonkin?   This is more than a dangerous moment. It is a full-blown war crisis. It is no secret that President Trump is an impulsive and often ill-informed individual. His Administration in its first months has been buffeted by missteps, defeats, and embarrassments. He may think he “needs a win.” We must make sure his Administration does not think an attack on Syria would be “a win.” We have hours, at most a few days to do so.   We have been down this road before. Sophisticated observers have already noted this alleged attack has all the earmarks of a false flag operation. The Syrian government has absolutely no motive for mounting such an attack. (see: Gerry Condon; Patrick Henningsen; and Phyllis Bennis)   As a leader of Veterans for Peace, Gerry Condon, has wisely observed, the sources for the gas attack reports are the rebel forces themselves, their own media, and the “White Helmets” and other Western-funded NGOs who are notorious for creating “regime change” propaganda against the Assad government. Famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has documented that the last large Sarin attack blamed on the Syrian government was carried out by terrorist groups with the support of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Hersh also documented that chemical weapons were transported from Libya to U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria by the CIA and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.    Yet the mainstream media do not mention any of this. They ask no tough questions. They entertain no doubts. They repeat previous lies that have already been debunked. They unashamedly interview sources which have long been cheerleaders for military intervention in Syria.   We can stop an attack. In 2013, an immense surge of phone calls to the White House and Congress stayed the hand of President Obama under similar pressure to “do something.” We successfully prevented Obama from attacking Syria in 2013.
We can do it again. Pick up that phone! 

  • Call the White House at 202-456-1414;
  • Call your Congress members House and Senate at 202- 224-3121

Yours in peace,
Alfred L. Marder, President U.S. Peace Council

Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship

Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship

The Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything besides its donors

http://observer.com/2017/03/bernie-sanders-democratic-party-sinking-ship/

gettyimages 633374738 1 Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In a New York Times Magazine article about the future of the Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked what he thinks the party stands for. “You’re asking a good question, and I can’t give you a definitive answer. Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats,” Sanders said.

Sanders is right that the Democratic Party is a sinking ship. It seems that the Democratic leadership would prefer to destroy the party in its entirety rather than concede political power to progressives in order to start recouping their losses. Since Hillary Clinton lost the presidency, every push for reform has been ignored by the Democratic establishment. Wall Street puppet Sen. Chuck Schumer was elected as Senate minority leader over more popular progressive options. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has presided over the Democrats losing over 60 seats in the house, was re-elected easily. The establishment selected their own DNC chair candidate, former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who sabotaged Sanders’ candidacy. The DCCC and DSCC leadership has been virtually unchanged. The DNC has doubled down on the establishment’s failed politics by hiring staffers from Clinton’s poorly run presidential campaign, and it has granted Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s Center for American Progress and Clinton propaganda hit man David Brock even more influence over the Democratic Party.

The focus of the Democratic Party’s resistance to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party has primarily revolved around Russian election interference allegations and sensationalizing any links between Trump officials and Russian diplomats. The narrative has served as a useful marketing and fundraising tool to rally its loyal supporter base without taking meaningful actions on policy.

The Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything, and—as long as fundraising from wealthy and corporate donors remains the party’s focus—this won’t ever change. Exit poll data reveals that, despite the American population becoming more diverse, Democrats have been losing voters in every voter demographic since 2008. Favorability polling data shows that the Democratic Party’s ratings and those of its leaders—including Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer—are even lower than Trump’s and the Republican Party’s ratings. Every opportunity that the Democratic Party has had to rebuild itself has been abandoned in favor of preserving the status quo.

Sanders’ criticisms of the Democratic Party have been few since being named the party’s outreach chair, but his opinions of the Democratic Party and its leadership have remained relatively unchanged since the Democratic primaries. Democrats ingratiating themselves with Sanders’ popularity will only carry the party so far, especially as establishment partisans maintain a bitter attitude toward Sanders and his supporters, who they perceive as “not real Democrats.” The Democratic leadership made the principles of the party clear when they rigged the Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic Party stands for its wealthy donors, their preferred candidates and centrist policies. It consistently fails to adopt bold, meaningful reforms to address the worsening issues facing individuals and communities across the country like lack of healthcare, poverty, increasing wealth inequality, stagnant wages, aging infrastructure and a disappearing middle class. This has been demonstrated by the Democratic Party’s refusal to take a stand against Wall Street, instead opting to court Wall Street bankers as donors and lobbyists. When issues have demanded action, the Democratic Party has refused to take a stand. For example, the party says it champions environmental issues, but it failed to fight construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Keystone XL, and other pipelines constructed across the U.S. The Democratic Party has resisted fully supporting a $15 minimum wage, providing universal healthcare through a single payer system, holding the big banks accountable, and taking a stance on the TPP while defending NAFTA. The Democratic Party sits on the sidelines of the fights led by grassroots movements to not upset the billionaires and millionaires that have taken over the Democratic Party and have turned it into a shell of its former self.

Election of Donald Trump: Its Effect on International Women’s Day 2017

International Women’s Day: News From the US

Election of Donald Trump: Its Effect on International Women’s Day 2017

This year marks the 104th anniversary of International Women’s Day started by communist Clara Zetkin. Though American women have made some gains since that time there are many more that still need to be fought for. To this day, women in the US are not entitled by Federal Law to maternity leave, sick days for themselves or for ailing children or parents, vacation time, daycare services, or welfare benefits that help women take care of their own children or their ailing parents. This shows a complete disregard for the position of women and of the family.

Under President Donald Trump women’s rights are continuing to erode. Donald Trump has threatened to appoint Supreme Court judges who would repeal Roe v Wade and to exempt Big Corporations from providing birth control to female employees.

Women represent the backbone of the family and society. They help raise the next generation of workers. Yet, women continue to live in a state of constant crisis, going from a paid job at work to an unpaid job at home without any time of their own due to low wages, high inflation, and constant cuts in social services.

Trump’s cabinet is stacked with multi-billionaires whose policies, such as housing, job creation, job safety, healthcare, environmental protections are against working people. Under the Trump Administration there will be further drastic cuts to social services, such as Foodstamps, headstart programs, and Medicaid and also privatization of social security and education. These cuts are not being made because there is a lack of money; but because the government’s priorities are for the profits of big corporations, not for the benefit of society. Over $1 trillion continues to be spent on wars that benefit military contractors; while over ½ trillion is spent on government subsidies to billionaire Big Corporations like Exxon and Wal-Mart. Yet while officially 57% of the US budget goes towards military spending, the Trump Administration is demanding cuts be made to the Foodstamp program that represents a mere 1% of the budget. A program that is literally a lifeline to 1 in 7 hungry Americans; 83% of which are: children, seniors, and the disabled.

Since Trump’s inauguration, there have been many women’s rights marches throughout the country; mainly organized by the Democratic Party whose motto is “Voting Democratic will ensure Women’s Rights”. However, Let’s not forget that it was Democrat President Jimmy Carter who voted against the Equal Rights Amendment and for the Hyde Act; Democrat Bill Clinton who destroyed Welfare; and Lastly Democrat Barack Obama who in 2011 during a high inflationary period that was combined with high unemployment slashed Foodstamps & also turned around and signed an act virtually eliminating it in 2021. Capitalism is based upon cheap labor and exploitation. The Democrats and Republicans represent the left and right wing of the same bird. Under such conditions, women with hungry children are the easiest to exploit and there is little economic incentive for either party to change the system.

Although Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party is using these marches for its own ends, other truly progressive women’s groups like Code Pink, and smaller groups like Women Warriors, PSL, and PC USA (Party of Communists USA) have been able to come forward to refocus the spotlight on the conditions of working women under capitalism and to try to mount an offensive; not only to maintain the rights women currently have, but to demand greater rights. If perhaps nothing more, Trump’s presidency has had the affect of mobilizing women on the streets and opening up the subject of Women’s Rights in a way not seen since the 1970’s; something that would not have happened if Hillary Clinton had been elected to office.

 

Jessica Coco

Correspondent for Labor Today

Women’s Commission, Party of Communists USA (PCUSA)

‘Outrageous’: Journalist Seymour Hersh blasts media over ‘Russian hacking’ stories

https://www.rt.com/usa/375212-hersh-russian-hacking-propaganda/

‘Outrageous’: Journalist Seymour Hersh blasts media over ‘Russian hacking’ stories
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh called the way US media have reported on the allegations that Russia somehow interfered in the 2016 US elections “outrageous.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said the “hectoring” press overlooked the real story.

“The way they behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh told The Intercept in an interview for Jeremy Scahill’s inaugural podcast. “They were hectoring. They didn’t do reporting.”

Hersh, 79, was commenting on the mainstream media coverage of the accusations that the Russian government was behind the WikiLeaks’ publication of emails and other documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. Clinton has blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin personally for her loss in the November 8 election to Donald Trump.

In early January, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a 25-page report into alleged Russian meddling. It offered no evidence, instead repeating previously made allegations and devoting an inordinate amount of space to RT, relying on materials from 2012.

“It’s high camp stuff,” Hersh said. “What does an assessment mean? It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force ‒ they all agreed on it? And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief. And they’ve done it many times.”

Had he been covering the story, Hersh said: “I would have made [CIA Director John] Brennan into a buffoon. A yapping buffoon in the last few days. Instead, everything is reported seriously.”

Hersh first gained fame by breaking the story about the 1968 massacre of Vietnamese civilians by US troops in the village of My Lai. He also exposed the torture of Iraqi prisoners by CIA and US contractors at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

While harshly critical of the way the media covered the “Russian hacking” allegations, Hersh defended the profession from what he described as the Trump administration’s attacks “straight out of national socialism.”

“The truth is, the First Amendment is an amazing thing and if you start trampling it the way they ‒ I hope they don’t do it that way ‒ this would be really counterproductive. He’ll be in trouble,” Hersh told The Intercept.

Tracking Trump

– from Zoltan Zigedy is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tracking Trump

The 2016 election taught many lessons, few of which have penetrated the talking heads of the mainstream media. Most of what we could learn has been lost in the frenzy of the most outrageous political maneuvering witnessed in decades.

One of the more notable lessons is the diminished role of campaign money in determining this Presidential election outcome. Trump spent a third less than Clinton in this election (Washington Post: $932 million versus $1.4 billion). Some have made much of this discrepancy, along with the fact that Trump largely ignored the advice of his hired consultants and advisors. Of course, Clinton’s money actually bought over 3 million more votes in the nationwide count. And the mass media enthusiastically provided Trump with uncountable dollars’ worth of free coverage (Remember CBS CEO Les Moonves’s comment on Trump’s loud mouth, Berlusconi-like antics during the primaries: “I’ve never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us… Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? …Who would have thought that this circus would have come to town?”)
Nonetheless, the Trump election undeniably showed that it is possible to mount an impactful campaign outside of the conventional rules of the game, especially when a substantial portion of the electorate has soured on the rules of the game.
It was this fact– the fact that there was a new mood emerging, especially among those most devastated by the continuing economic crisis — that was underestimated or missed by the punditry and is still largely ignored.
While the Trump election was a surprise, something new is clearly in the air. I wrote nearly a year ago:
The Sanders and Trump successes suggest that voters are not appeased by the thin gruel offered by the party elites this go-round. But something more profound is occurring—a refusal to settle for the usual charade. Moreover, party loyalty is unusually thin this time, challenging party leaders’ ability to count on a transfer from one candidate to another. What the pundits call “unpredictability” is actually the exercise of a new level of political maturity and independence. A recent Pew Research Center poll (December 8-13, 2015) bears out the mood of voter alienation: 62% of all respondents maintain that “the federal government does not do enough for middle-class people.” Thus, the notion that anti-government sentiment runs deep in the populace is a media-inspired illusion. Instead, people want better government. (A Moment Charged with Possibility 2-11-16)
We now know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the Democrats had no intention of allowing an insurgent like Sanders to address the “new mood” of the electorate. Instead, they chose to covertly ensure the nomination of the candidate of more-of-the-same– Hillary Clinton. In undermining Sanders, Democratic Party elites guaranteed that Trump would be perceived as the only authentic “outsider” candidate.
I wrote last year, in April, that the failures of the traditional support system for the “working class and poor people– unions, religious institutions, the Democratic Party, ethnic organizations, etc.– explains, in no small part, the desperate turn to Trump. Tepid, aloof liberalism breeds desperate options, like the outlandish Trump, when conditions deteriorate sharply and no radical options appear available.”
Thus, a careful assessment of the Trump victory should ascribe a role to working class disaffection with business-as-usual politics, but without a simplistic blanket condemnation of the working class, without a calloused dismissal of white workers as wholly racist, misogynist, or xenophobic.
But careful assessment is not popular after the recent election. Liberal pundit and darling of the “responsible” left, Paul Krugman, penned a harsh attack on the white working class:
…the fact is that Democrats have been pursuing policies that are much better for the white working class than anything the other party has to offer. Yet this has brought no political reward… The only way to make sense of what happened is to see the vote as an expression of, well, identity politics– some combination of white resentment at what voters see as favoritism toward non-whites (even though it isn’t) and anger on the part of the less educated at liberal elites whom they imagine look down on them. The Populist Perplex, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11-26-2016.
Krugman is hardly out of step with mainstream liberals with his barely concealed contempt for the motives of white workers. But compare this statement with what he said eight years earlier when he was shilling for Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama in the midst of their primary competition:
[Princeton colleague Frank] Bartels cited data showing that small-town, working class Americans are actually less likely than affluent metropolitan residents to vote on the basis of religion and social values… Does it matter that Mr. Obama has embraced an incorrect theory about what motivates working-class voters? His campaign certainly hasn’t been based on Mr. Frank’s book [What’s the Matter with Kansas?], which calls for a renewed focus on economic issues as a way to win back the working class. Indeed, the book concludes with a blistering attack on Democrats who cater to “affluent, white collar professionals who are liberal on social issues” while dropping the class language that once distinguished them sharply from Republicans.”… Anyway, the important point is that working-class Americans do vote on economic issues– and can be swayed by a politician who offers real answers to their problems. Clinging to a Stereotype, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4-19-2008.
Apart from the blatant hypocrisy exhibited by the marked reversal of Krugman’s views in only eight years, the earlier Krugman gets it right. Economic issues have been decisive in working class vote patterns, especially since the deindustrialization of the 1970s and 1980s and the economic catastrophe of 2007-8. And the earlier Krugman’s judgement that “working-class Americans… can be swayed by a politician who offers real answers to their problems” proved accurate with the campaign of Bernie Sanders. But with the Democratic Party actively burying that option, many workers misguidedly turned to the only other candidate promising to address their interests.
Contrary to the widespread impressions disseminated by media elites, the working-class vote was not overwhelmingly for Trump, nor was the working class vote the backbone of his success. The Electoral College totals swung his way thanks to narrow victories in a few key rust-belt states. Many factors contributed to the Trump victory, but two stand out, especially for a left analysis.
First, there was a discernable shift among many voters in working class strongholds previously giving majorities to Obama to turn in the direction of Trump in 2016. As Krugman noted in his 2008 alert and warning to the Democrats, addressing relevant economic issues is decisive in winning the working class vote. With the Sanders economic program strangled in the cradle, desperate voters saw nowhere to turn but to the false, demagogic hope of putting the industrial toothpaste back into the tube, of creating jobs out of Trump’s magic.
Democratic Party operatives and their media lapdogs have done their most to evade blame for the Party’s abandonment of working people’s interests. Instead, they have painted workers as pathologically bigoted and ignorant, a handy theme reinforced by elite media since the era of TV stereotype, Archie Bunker. Today’s archetypes for the socially dysfunctional (white) worker is found in the best-selling tell-all from a working class “escapee” (Hillbilly Elegy, J. D. Vance). By diverting the spotlight to working class dysfunction, the third-way, New Democrats who dominate the party can escape blame for their willful neglect of the multiracial working class’s increasingly desperate plight.
Second, Trump was a magnet for every backward, reactionary, racist element in the US. They, too, saw the arrogant, abrasive, loud-mouth as someone in whom they could place their hopes. Trump’s aggressive break with the typical politician’s syrupy civility was taken as a sign of contempt for the alien, the different, those perceived as threatening (Ironically, these same hates and fears were, in the past, invested in soft-spoken religious leaders and smooth-tongued conservative gentlemen). Trump engages in the Old South tactic of drawing attention by surpassing all others in race baiting and fear mongering, but it’s important to note that this simplistic tactic only works where an atmosphere of racial friction and fear already exists. It’s just that Trump opportunistically says it the loudest.
The contradiction between Trump’s appeal to workers and his courtship of the extreme right is unresolvable. Nevertheless, it is a common feature of right-wing populism, a political phenomenon emerging strongly in Europe and the US. It takes root where both objective and subjective conditions are ripe for radical change, but a weak or discredited left offers little hope. The extreme right reaches to fill the void with vague populism.
While it is not yet possible to entirely discern how Trump will attempt to resolve this contradiction, it is becoming increasingly clear that he is surrounded by advisors, confidents, and attendants fully committed to a pro-corporate, pro-capitalist domestic agenda, an agenda that, apart from theatrical moments, will leave little for workers.
Trump’s foreign policy is, however, a different kettle of fish. Domestic policy is crafted by many hands. Congress, which is 100% bipartisan for the interests of capitalism over any other interest, will have a big say over where Trump takes it. Moreover, there is space for debating divergent interpretations of the best interests of capital.
But foreign policy is largely crafted through the executive (even war powers have been commandeered by the executive branch). And there is little tolerance for dissidence from the policies of the foreign policy establishment. The tight reign over policy fixed by generations of rabid Cold Warriors continues to be a feature of governing. Many of Trump’s comments on prospective foreign relations challenge both the current consensus and those who police that consensus.
Trump’s deviance from that consensus on relations with Russia, NATO, and other matters explains the brazen intervention of US security services in post-election politics. A massive media campaign was mounted to distract the people from the Democratic Party fiasco and construct a reliable straw man, Russia, to take the blame for the embarrassing loss. The mainstream media shamelessly and nearly uniformly spread the speculative story that Russia had intervened profoundly in the US election. With skepticism rising, the joint US security agencies released an amateurish report, allegedly confirming Russian intervention. Many private security experts remained skeptical. Trump challenged the report.
Within days, government insiders released a second document– an addendum– reputedly based on a UK private investigation, alleging outrageous misconduct on Trump’s part and an extensive Russian disinformation campaign. The security agencies admitted sharing the report with Obama and Trump, denied leaking it, and refused to attest to its accuracy. In a recent interview, CIA Director Brennan was said “to give it no particular credence.” He said, instead: “I would have no interest in trying to give that dossier any additional airtime.” That, he says, “…would make no sense at all.”
So, if the report had no credence, if it made “no sense” to give it “more airtime,” why was it shared with the President and President-elect and leaked to the press in the first place?
The answer should be obvious to all but the gullible and kept corporate press: The memorandum was meant, on the part of the security agencies, as a threat to Donald Trump, a reminder that wandering off the establishment reservation is not tolerated.
The media’s failure to challenge this “memorandum,” its veracity, its timing, its source, and its leak is a new low in groveling before power. To think that the head of the CIA, the most formidable intelligence apparatus in the world, had a hand in confronting Trump with a document that Brennan claimed “he had no way to assess the allegations contained in the dossier of political opposition research…” (Wall Street Journal, 1-19-17) is outrageous (Brennan even claimed that he hadn’t read it). That the CIA held no interest or lacked the ability to confirm a dossier written by a former member of the close-knit intelligence community is preposterous. That the security agencies promoted a dossier that bore “no credence” and that they released it for any other reason than to intimidate Trump is unbelievable.
Of course, this would not be the first time that security agencies scared the hell out of politicians challenging establishment shibboleths. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover famously kept extensive files on virtually all political players and would frequently leak embarrassing information to media friends whenever he felt it was necessary to bring dissenters back into the fold. Among many other political maneuvers, the CIA notoriously overstated Soviet capabilities in order to influence US Cold War policies, elections, and funding. And beyond any dispute, the intelligence and foreign policy communities constructed an argument of lies to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We are asked to trust them today? And the too-often uncritical, gullible media believes them today?
In the wake of contemporary revelations of torture protocols and comprehensive spying on everyone, apparently witting opinion makers have now found the intelligence community to be wholly reliable and trustworthy. They surrender their critical faculties to the professional liars and plotters. Even George Orwell would be aghast!
We assuredly have every reason to fear the policies of President Trump and his supporters.
But based on recent events, we equally have every reason to fear the brazen power and intrusion of clandestine security agencies and the unreliability of the fawning, supine corporate media.
Zoltan Zigedy
zoltanzigedy@gmail.com
USA / Donald Trump government: Priority in serving the general interests of the capital

Monday, January 16, 2017

USA / Donald Trump government: Priority in serving the general interests of the capital

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/01/usa-donald-trump-government-priority-in.html
Article published on ‘Rizospastis’ Sunday Edition, 15 January 2017 / Translation: In Defense of Communism.


The priorities of the government of the newly-elected U.S. President, Donald Trump, who takes office on January 20th, do not differ from those of the outgoing President Barack Obama because- despite the existing differences in their declarations- their common denominator is to safeguard the general interests of the bourgeoisie. That doesn’t negate a multilevel intra-bourgeois confrontation for the way through which this will be achieved more effectively, especially in a period when the inter-imperialist antagonism is exacerbated, with an estimated relative loss of U.S. leadership in the international capitalist economy and given the difficulties for a more impetuous capitalist recovery. More specifically Trump promotes a different mix of management with stronger elements of protectionism, an issue which however creates difficulties in international trade, which in turn displeases other parts of the (U.S) capital. 

Last Wednesday, Donald Trump gave his first press conference after his electoral victory, offering a foretaste of the new tactics and the fronts of a possible collision. In the background, of course, is the peak of the confrontation between the intelligence agencies (inside and outside the U.S), especially after the publication of a controversial 35 pages-long “report” written by the British former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, currently owner of the “stratetic advice company” named Orbis Business Intelligence. The report claimed that the Russian intelligence services keep the new President under control because of intelligence information regarding financial and sexual activities. These informations were denounced by Trump as “vile and fabricated lies”, giving him rise to criticize part of the bourgeois media, such as CNN.
 
In any case, the “war” between secret services isn’t expected to settle down soon, as it reflects intra-bourgeois contrasts. It is characteristic that on Thursday night, the Inspector General of the U.S. federal Justice Department announced an inquiry regarding the decision of the outgoing FBI Director James Comey to re-open, shortly before the election, the investigation about the e-mails of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. 
 
Review of inter-state agreements.
 
Trump also seemed taking a position regarding a possible conflict with competing forces, such as China, thus bringing back to the fore his campaign promises and intentions to renegotiate trade agreements. This is a fact which, of course, will influence international developments and which, obviously, creates concern to staffs and other imperialist centers, combined with the developments such as the bazaar for Britain’s disengagement from the EU (Brexit) and the Eurozone’s cohesion itself. Trump has already warned for the U.S. withdrawal from the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP), something which inevitably mean new big bazaars and sharpening of the confrontation between competing monopolies that will seek the biggest piece from the “pie” of the new opportunities. It is not clear which power will gain more from a new negotiation, nor it is certain that the U.S. will be that power. Some analysts believe that the possible withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP will leave an open door to Beijing, in order to push forward for China’s benefit the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP) which began in 2012. 
 
In his interview, Trump “shook his finger” to China which, as he said, “makes billions of dollars by taking advantage of U.S. weaknesses”. That happened while, a few days ago, he had announced, after his meeting with the 52 years-old Chinese business magnate (owner of the e-commerce firm “Alibaba”) Jack Ma, the latter’s plans to create “one million jobs in the U.S.”. 
 
Respectively, regarding the so-called “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement” (TTIP), Trump has said that he will seek hard renegotiation in defense of the U.S. companies. 
 
In relation to Russia, Trump seems to keep a more conciliatory stance, despite the wild war between intelligence services which has targeted him for this choice. It is characteristic that he described as a “plus” the fact that the Russian President Vladimir Putin “likes” him, because, as he explained, this could contribute to the restoration of the bilateral relations which, as he said, are “terrible” today. One must point out that Trump’s choice to compromise with the Russians is not a matter of preference but an issue of interest, as he may use a possible bridge with Moscow in order to exacerbate the pressure towards Beijing. Nonetheless, during their confirmation hearings at the Senate, the proposed Trump’s ministers, Rex Tillerson for the Department of State and James Mattis for the Department of Defense, marked Russia as a “threat”.

A significant part of the press conference was also dedicated to the need, as Trump pointed out, for the U.S better defense towards cyberattacks, which, for the first time he admitted, have been unleashed “from Russia, China and many other countries”. It is interesting that he appointed the former New York Governor Rudolph Giuliani in the new position of the cybersecurity adviser, responsible for private sector’s cybersecurity. That means a very positive action for the monopolies operating in the field of cybersecurity, such as Giuliani’s company “Giuliani Partners”.

Trump clarified once again that he will immediately proceed to the construction of the wall in the southern borders of the USA with Mexico, despite “the friendship and respect” for the people and the government of the neighboring country. He (Trump) tried to show consistency with his central electoral campaign promises, taking into account his objective to present himself as the “antisystemic president” who wants to “make America great again” and to create in the long term a “movement” which will resonate in the middle and lower social strata. 

Promises for better healthcare and employment.


As it has been seen, it is in the immediate priorities of Trump to withdraw and replace the reforms promoted by the outgoing President Barack Obama (Obamacare), in order to benefit specific monopolies of pharmaceutical groups and parts of the diagnostic medical centers’ “industry”. 

Trump claims that he will replace Obamacare with a “cheaper and better” system. Chances are that he will attempt to redistribute the “pie” in favor of the monopolies operating in the sectors of Health and Insurance.

Furthermore, Donald Trump repeated his promises for the “rescue” and the creation of new jobs, thus “throwing down the gauntlet” to those industries which didn’t correspond strongly to his efforts to prevent the transfer of factories abroad, such as in Mexico. He managed to highlight his recent agreements with industries, such as the automobile company “Ford” and the air-conditioning manufacturer “Carrier” that withdrew their plans for transfering their factories in Mexico and he threatened with very heavy imposts or “border taxes” those industries which will resist the pressures for keeping job positions in the US, such as the automotive “General Motors” corporation which doesn’t seem to “give in”.

It becomes obvious that the choice of Trump, like the one of Obama previously as the first black President, serves the specific needs of the capital in every given time. However, the billionaire businessman has managed more effectively to manipulate the popular strata which had no benefit from the slight capitalist recovery after the outbreak of the 2008 capitalist crisis. The fact of the absence of a strong Communist Party with a revolutionary strategy and a class-based orientation undoubtedly contriubutes to the overal entrapment of popular forces. 

Rizospastis, 15/1/2017, p.30.