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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 15,405

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Economist Michael Hudson on Neocon Neoliberalism Vs Trump's Righteous Populism

PERIES: So let's take a look at this article by Paul Krugman. Where is he going with this analysis about the Siberian candidate?

HUDSON: Well, Krugman has joined the ranks of the neocons, as well as the neoliberals, and they're terrified that they're losing control of the Republican Party. For the last half-century the Republican Party has been pro-Cold War, corporatist. And Trump has actually, is reversing that. Reversing the whole traditional platform. And that really worries the neocons....

... So in terms of national security, he wanted to roll back NATO spending. And he made it clear, roll back military spending. We can spend it on infrastructure, we can spend it on employing American labor... In economic policy, Trump also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TTIP trade and corporate power grab with Europe to block public regulation... And when he wrote this, quote, Trump is decimating the things Republicans stood for: NATO, entitlement reform, in other words winding back Social Security, and support of the corporatist Trans-Pacific Partnership. So it's almost hilarious to see what happens. And Trump also has reversed the traditional Republican fiscal responsibility austerity policy, that not a word about balanced budgets anymore. And he said he was going to run at policy to employ American labor and put it back to work on infrastructure. Again, he's made a left runaround Hillary. He says he wants to reinstate Glass-Steagall, whereas the Clintons were the people that got rid of it.

And this may be for show, simply to brand Hillary as Wall Street's candidate. But it also seems to actually be an attack on Wall Street. And Trump's genius was to turn around all the attacks on him as being a shady businessman. He said, look, nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it...

... So this is really the class war. And it's the class war of Wall Street and the corporate sector of the Democratic side against Trump on the populist side...


I'm posting this in the interest of reflection and discussion at DU on how best to counter this Trumpian strategy.

Humans are deeply irrational; Trump is a master in the powers of persuasion

with the type of personality that loves not only the challenge of game strategy, but also the thrill of overwhelming the competition. It is the sport of meticulously plotted domination.

To win against this, what strategies and tactics will become necessary?


Does anyone know if Trump plays chess, go, or similar?

For the answer to your question, start here:

... Clean energy, important as it is, won’t save us from this nightmare. But rethinking our economic system might. GDP growth has been sold to us as the only way to create a better world. But we now have robust evidence that it doesn’t make us any happier, it doesn’t reduce poverty, and its “externalities” produce all sorts of social ills: debt, overwork, inequality, and climate change. We need to abandon GDP growth as our primary measure of progress, and we need to do this immediately – as part and parcel of the climate agreement that will be ratified in Morocco later this year...


Clinton needs to roll out a radical ten-year plan

to make America great again through sustainable infrastructure development jobs.

Sustainable in the context of climate change and the consequences of all the other resource-use inefficiencies and dangerous contamination everywhere.

Some of that will ring bells in the referenced demographics, I think.

May says won't trigger EU divorce until UK-wide approach agreed

EDINBURGH, July 15 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that Britain would not trigger formal divorce talks with the European Union until a "UK approach" had been agreed, bidding to appease Scots who strongly oppose Brexit.

May made the comment after meeting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, head of the pro-independence Scottish government which says pro-EU Scots should not be dragged out against their will and has been looking at ways to keep Scotland in the bloc...


Ok. So does this mean that, without SNP approval, UK will not trigger the article & leave EU???

Obama extends visit to US military base on 1st visit to Spain

... Obama will no longer be making a stop in the Andalusian city of Seville, which was scheduled for Sunday. He will instead spend the day in Madrid, before traveling to the US military base in Rota. From there he will travel back to Washington on Sunday night...

... The US military base at Rota is home to 2,846 US military personnel and 2,610 relatives. No US president has ever stopped there, even though the base has been operating for the last 63 years.

Obama’s agenda is still likely to include meetings with King Felipe VI, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and several members of the opposition...


Britain is changed utterly. Unless this summer is just a bad dream (Ian McEwan)

... We may assume that powerful Conservative figures wanted Boris Johnson gone, for historical as well as proximal reasons. Someone lofty may have spoken smoothly into the ear of his lieutenant, Michael Gove, to persuade him he was prime minister material and that he should desert. When he did and Johnson stepped aside, a so-called grandee, Michael Heseltine, was on hand to disembowel the corpse. Then, for his 15 minutes, Gove was before us, cross-gartered like foolish Malvolio, until another grandee, Kenneth Clarke, in concert with the Daily Mail, was ready to knife his guts. Two down in the summer of contempt.

Or it happened another way. We Kremlinologists can only guess at what’s being turned over in the clubs of St James or the farmhouses of Oxfordshire. But we do know that what all sides are calling the greatest political crisis of our generation is a creature imagined into being by the Conservative party alone. It, not Ukip, offered the referendum; it fought it, it won as well as lost it. For such services, for the mayhem and poison that followed and are clouding the leadership contest, we should now be watching it shredded by an effective, eloquent opposition. But by their silence Corbyn and his troubled, paranoid court have delivered us, in effect, and for the time being, into a one-party state, and not the Leninist version certain courtiers dream of.

Now you watch on helplessly as your prime minister is chosen. It is, of course, constitutionally correct that you have no say in the matter. But it’s hard to shake off that below-stairs feeling. We can do no more than gossip round the kitchen table. The butler has a theory, and so does the second chambermaid. Even “boots” knows all about tactical voting. Our first-naming paradoxically measures our distance from events. Is Boris biding his time, or is he truly finished? What does it tell us about the party, post 2008, that Andrea, an ex-banker hostile to the minimum wage, could soon be prime minister? Was Theresa’s reticence during the referendum campaign astute and tactical? Or merely an expression of her character? Or is she the remainers’ mole? Can we believe that the chancellor isn’t plotting? We hear footsteps above our head – more comings and goings. But who?

You might cling to the butler’s mole theory even as you worry that your hopes are loosening your grip on reality: the powerful faction that wanted to remain, and whispered flattery and enticements in Gove’s ear, has cleared the field of Johnson, the other side’s most powerful contender, and eased one of its own into place as PM. The exit negotiations begin and are inevitably protracted in a game with such stacked odds. Our European friends, watching their own backs, will not be offering kindly terms. Only a fool would want to invoke the dread article too soon...


EU’s 27 leaders minus Cameron to look for reset in September

(Slightly edited).

European Union leaders will gather in Bratislava, the city straddling the Danube River, in September, after a summer of “political reflection,” to hammer out a way forward for the bloc in the shock of the post-Brexit world.

Soon to be shorn of the bloc’s second (now third)-largest economy and buffeted by a rising tide of anti-EU sentiment from Paris to Warsaw, the 27 national leaders will meet knowing that Britain’s vote to leave forces them to weigh change to win back citizens’ support. They just can’t agree on what that should look like...

... “The dividing lines have been between different actors on different issues -- north and south on financial and economic issues, east and west on asylum and migration,” Sandro Gozi, undersecretary for European affairs in Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government, said in a phone interview. “The last thing we need is new dividing lines.”

Is Italy Europe's Next Big Problem?

From German insistence on fiscal rigidity and the legacy of austerity, to economic sanctions on Russia, relations with Turkey and the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, Europe’s political fault lines run deep and tension has been building for years. Rival camps and further flashpoints on the horizon mean the struggle to reset the European Union could get messy...


After the EU vote, it's time for some clear thinking on trade (Joseph Stiglitz)

...The benefits of trade and economic integration between the UK and EU are mutual, and if the EU took seriously its belief that closer economic integration is better, its leaders would seek to ensure the closest ties possible under the circumstances. But Jean-Claude Juncker, the architect of Luxembourg’s massive corporate tax avoidance schemes and now president of the European commission, is taking a hard line: “Out means out.”

That kneejerk reaction is perhaps understandable, given that Juncker may be remembered as the person who presided over the EU’s initial stage of dissolution. He argues that, to deter other countries from leaving, the EU must be uncompromising, offering the UK little more than what it is guaranteed under World Trade Organization agreements.

In other words, Europe is not to be held together by its benefits, which far exceed the costs. Economic prosperity, the sense of solidarity, and the pride of being a European are not enough, according to Juncker. No, Europe is to be held together by threats, intimidation, and fear.

That position ignores a lesson seen in both the Brexit vote and America’s Republican party primary: large portions of the population have not been doing well. The neoliberal agenda of the last four decades may have been good for the top 1%, but not for the rest. I had long predicted that this stagnation would eventually have political consequences. That day is now upon us...


Well, duh. Blair illegally invaded Iraq because... Special Relationship

... Once more, this answer asks us to accept that a leader can change utterly, a metamorphosis that psychiatrists would struggle to explain(*). Here was a pragmatic leader who had always navigated a third way around challenges, who had built up a broad base of support and consistently reminded his party that nothing could be done without winning elections. Was he willing to blow everything on the basis of a suddenly acquired passion for Iraq and the Middle East? This also makes no sense.

The answer to the mystery is rooted in a political context, one ignored by previous investigations and one that will almost certainly be underplayed by Chilcot. The first part of the answer is to ask the right question. It is not the one that misleadingly opens this column. Blair never had to answer the question: should the UK invade Iraq? He had to answer a different one: should I support President Bush who has decided he wants to remove Saddam Hussein?

Given Blair’s political past and character there was always only going to be one answer to that question. Blair had been brought up politically in the 1980s when Labour lost elections partly because it was seen as “soft” on defence and anti-US. When Blair came to power in 1997 his words outside No 10 were as much about a rejection of his party’s 1980s past as they were about the future. “We were elected as New Labour. We will govern as New Labour,” he declared revealingly and defensively.

US presidents did not approve of 1980s Labour. New Labour would be close to US presidents. At the start of his second term in 2001, before the attacks on September 11, Blair told visitors to No 10 that one of his second-term objectives was to prove that a Labour prime minister could work with a Republican president of the US. Brought up on defeat he was neurotically worried that the Conservatives were forming close ties with Republicans in Washington. In his conviction that New Labour must be different he moved towards his doom...


(*) I can explain it: if not already psychopathic, power tends to corrupt the holder and/or drive them mad.
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