By ann summers
We will continue to be distracted by ethno-nationalist strife over the coming months, but the narratives have been there in a number of cinematic treatments where national policies and private capital co-mingle in ways detrimental to democracy. Blood will be shed for others, mainly the 1% who will use law and economy against the greater good … and no amount of anti-globalist posturing can hide the contradictions that will only be revealed by concerted bipartisan prosecution of Biglygate.
It’s all about crony capitalism and kleptocracy. For example, by having a rogue portfolio, Bannon can achieve an objective of joining the billionaires club. Short of getting stupid about being married again, he wants the flexibility to build some things that will make bigly money whenever he leaves government, which simply makes him as much a spoils-looter as Lord Dampnut.
The kinds of things that will go into place will be probably media network infrastructure with possibly international reach for the “ethno-nationalist” cleansing that intra-national conflict will cause and from which nascent capitalism will profit. Because terrorism, especially by the Other. But the more benign benefit will be global information control for nationalist agendas, all framed as anti-globalist. darn that pesky UN, NATO, ASEAN…
There could be domestic security profits as well, private security for private education or what could be see as identical, enrichment of the PIC (prison-industrial complex). This is the making money from old post-Soviet breakup and post-PRC Cultural Revolution. They will only be discovered if there’s leakage by the bagmen.
Bagmania … There’s a new center of influence that’s quietly being built in the White House—and answers to two of President Donald J. Trump’s most influential, most controversial advisers. Counselor to the president Steve Bannon, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner—arguably the top two aides to Trump—have set up a brand-new body called the Strategic Initiatives Group, an internal White House think tank that answers to them, as well as to Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, a senior administration official tells The Daily Beast.
The hypocrisy here is outrageous. For years, Republicans howled about the way the Obama team ran the NSC, but now they don’t seem to mind that under Trump the NSC could be run into the ground. They asserted the fact that unqualified civilians on Obama’s NSC “micro-managed” the U.S. military — a charge that was always wildly overblown — but have been silent when Bannon got a permanent place on the Principals Committee while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff became an “as-needed” member. They complained about the size of the NSC staff and its lack of accountability through congressional oversight, but are somehow OK with the president’s political counselor setting up a kind of shadow NSC that promises to be even more secretive and unaccountable. And they disparaged the “kids” who became close Obama NSC advisers, but seem perfectly fine with Kushner, 36, playing an even larger role.
For those that normally don’t track the inner workings of the National Security Council in any great detail, these changes might seem nothing more than trivial inside baseball. All presidents, after all, make personnel changes when they enter office. Yet the changes we have seen in the first few days of the administration foreshadow a number of disturbing trends that run counter to the way in which past presidents have handled national security issues. Even worse, they will likely blow up into a crisis.
The senior administration official would not confirm that number, but said that 75-80 percent of the SIG’s manpower will be devoted to domestic issues like infrastructure, manufacturing, and cyber, and only a portion to foreign policy and national security.There are roughly 20 politically appointed positions in the NSC, working alongside the newly re-established Homeland Security Council. (The NSC and HSC had been merged under Obama. The total staff of the two bodies has been capped at 150, with most staffers on temporary assignment from other agencies.)…“To put it bluntly, this is truly crazy… Being a racist and misogynistic political adviser is one thing, but when that person controls domestic and national-security policy, it’s time to break glass because of emergency,” this former senior administration official said of Bannon. “I shudder to think what is next, once Bannon’s operation is fully staffed up.”
The term White Elephant derives from the sacred white elephants kept by Southeast Asian monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. To possess a white elephant was regarded (and is still regarded in Thailand and Burma) as a sign that the monarch reigned with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity. The opulence expected of anyone that owned a beast of such stature was great. Monarchs often exemplified their possession of white elephants in their formal titles (e.g., Hsinbyushin, lit. “Lord of the White Elephant” and the third monarch of the Konbaung dynasty).
The term “boondoggle” may also be used to refer to protracted government or corporate projects involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure, where at some point, the key operators, having realized that the project will never work, are still reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors.
Generally there is an aspect of “going through the motions”—for example, continuing research and development—as long as funds are available to keep paying the researchers’ and executives’ salaries.
The situation can be allowed to continue for what seems like unreasonably long periods, as senior management are often reluctant to admit that they allowed a failed project to go on for so long.
In many cases, the actual device itself may eventually work, but not well enough to ever recoup its development costs.
Donald Trump wants to build a border wall now, but the number of people crossing illegally from Mexico peaked long ago
“Donald Trump wants to build a border wall now, but the number of people crossing illegally from Mexico peaked long ago” www.economist.com/…
DONALD TRUMP launched his presidential campaign with a promise to build a wall along the United States-Mexico border in order to stem the tide of undocumented immigration. In fact, those flows were already in steep decline long before he introduced the proposal.
The number of apprehensions of people attempting to cross illegally peaked in 2000, when America′s Border Patrol made more than 1.6m arrests, over 98% of which were of Mexicans.
Over the course of George W. Bush′s administration, this number dropped to around 1m annually. During Barack Obama′s presidency, the rate fell even more precipitously, averaging just 400,000 a year. Moreover, in 2016, only 47% of the apprehensions involved Mexicans.
more contradictions of Biglygate
Executives from Magal’s U.S.-based Senstar unit will show off its FiberPatrol product at a Jan. 31 conference on border security. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other agencies will talk to the gathering of defense contractors in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Magal Chief Executive Officer Saar Koursh. The system, which embeds fiber-optic sensors in long stretches of fences and walls, is already used for perimeter security at airports and seaports around the world, he said. “We have the right product and we have the experience in Israel that helps in showcasing our product,” Koursh said in a telephone interview Jan. 26
More kleptocracy …
In September 2007, Chertoff told a House committee that the DHS would not tolerate interference by sanctuary cities that would block the “Basic Pilot Program,” which requires some types of employers to validate the legal status of their workers. He said that the DHS is exploring its legal options and intends to take action to prevent any interference with the law.
Michael Chertoff has been an advocate of enhanced technologies, such as full body scanners. His lobbying firm Chertoff Group (founded 2009) represents manufacturers of the scanners.In 2008 it became public that the housekeeping company Chertoff had hired to clean his house employed illegal immigrants.
At the Global Creative Leadership Summit in 2009, Chertoff described globalization as a double-edged sword. Although globalization may help raise the standard of living for people around the world, Chertoff claims that it can also enable terrorists and transnational criminals.
Michael Chertoff co-signed the preface to the report “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change” published in 2014 where he stated that “projected climate change is a complex multi-decade challenge. Without action to build resilience, it will increase security risks over much of the planet. It will not only increase threats to developing nations in resource-challenged parts of the world, but it will also test the security of nations with robust capability, including significant elements of our National Power here at home.”
For the 2016 presidential election, Chertoff endorsed Hillary Clinton.
one line of analytic inquiry needs to be revived in the analysis of Biglygate kelptocracy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_institutional_economicsis an economic perspective that attempts to extend economics by focusing on the social and legalnorms and rules (which are institutions) that underlie economic activity and with analysis beyond earlier institutional economics and neoclassical economics. It can be seen as a broadening step to include aspects excluded in neoclassical economics. It rediscovers aspects of classical political economy…
Although no single, universally accepted set of definitions has been developed, most scholars doing research under the methodological principles and criteria follow Douglass North‘s demarcation between institutions and organizations. Institutions are the “rules of the game,” both the formal legal rules and the informal social norms that govern individual behavior and structure social interactions (institutional frameworks).
Organizations, by contrast, are those groups of people and the governance arrangements that they create to co-ordinate their team action against other teams performing also as organizations. To enhance their chance of survival, actions taken by organizations attempt to acquire skill sets that offer the highest return on objective goals, such as profit maximization or voter turnout.
Brecht wrote against the dangers of inertia in 1935 as Hitler was changing Germany beyond recognition : Even in fabled Atlantis, the night that the ocean engulfed it, The drowning still cried out for their slaves.
As their old world is engulfed now, the sluggish reflexes and limited minds of too many conservatives compel them to cry out against liberal hypocrisy, as if it were all that mattered. There is more than enough hypocrisy to go round. I must confess to wondering about the sincerity of those who protest against the collective punishment of Trump’s ban on visitors from Muslim countries but remain silent when Arab countries deny all Israeli Jews admission. I too would like to know why there was so little protest when Obama gave Iran funds to spend on the devastation of Syria.
Plumbing contracting, fabricating 50 nationwide whip shades of the base this weekend. There will be an attempt to lead the investigation away from the levers of DC power, and the so-called WH press conference is yet another stunt in that genre … can we all stand such short-attention span theater for four years when there will be serious events with global rather than globalist consequence soon. If the “deep state” is everywhere then it’s no longer a state, and tweeted resistance only legitimates Herr Twittler.
Bannonism tries to reinvigorate the haters and demonize the MSM, adding that little bit of tension with RW bloggers onto the press corps, making the WHCD into a beer hall.
WASHINGTON — It was tough to get any national security official to crack a smile this week. Unless, you asked them about the proverbial national security boogeyman, “the deep state.”
“The deep what?” one US Intelligence official said, then, “Where does she come up with this stuff?”
Since Flynn’s ouster earlier this week, far left and right corners have suggested his takedown was an act of the “deep state” — a behind-the-scenes military, intelligence and national security cohort that secretly determines the direction of the country. There is no evidence, either officially or from inside sources, that anything like that exists in the US. But that hasn’t stopped some media corners, and President Donald Trump, from blaming Flynn’s ouster on coordinated, nefarious leak campaigns from the dark corners of the government.
Several other officials just laughed when the term was brought up.
The origins of the “deep state” construct are pulled from authoritarian constructs — in more recent history, countries like Turkey and Egypt, or places where the security apparatuses are seen to be in control. In overly simplified terms, the “deep state” is the crux of the national security apparatus that operates just under the surface of democracy, and rears up to control things when something’s going off the rails. Take, for example, Egypt’s 2013 military coup as a modern example, or Pakistan’s sweeping intelligence agency, the ISI.
The notion that the “deep state” exists somewhere in the US — or at least in the same concerted way that it does in more authoritarian countries — is a fringe concept often relegated to conspiracy forums. But, we are in Donald Trump’s America, and one of his top-tier national security advisors was just felled by anonymous leaks. So, the legend of the deep state lives.
the thing … it isn’t a “deep state” when it’s everywhere because capitalism
TRUMP: The failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was very much discredited, as you know. It was — it’s a joke. And the people mentioned in the story, I notice they were on television today saying they never even spoke to Russia. They weren’t even a part, really — I mean, they were such a minor part. They — I hadn’t spoken to them
I think the one person — I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to him. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. And he actually said he was a very low-level member of I think a committee for a short period of time. I don’t think I ever met him. Now, it’s possible that I walked into a room and he was sitting there, but I don’t think I ever met him. I didn’t talk to him ever. And he thought it was a joke.
The other person said he never spoke to Russia; never received a call. Look at his phone records, et cetera, et cetera. And the other person, people knew that he represented various countries, but I don’t think he represented Russia, but knew that he represented various countries. That’s what he does. I mean, people know that.
That’s Mr. Manafort, who’s — by the way, who’s by the way a respected man. He’s a respected man. But I think he represented the Ukraine or Ukraine government or somebody, but everybody — people knew that. Everybody knew that.
So, these people — and he said that he has absolutely nothing to do and never has with Russia. And he said that very forcefully. I saw his statement. He said it very forcefully. Most of the papers don’t print it because that’s not good for their stories.
So the three people that they talked about all totally deny it. And I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia. President Putin called me up very nicely to congratulate me on the win of the election.
He then, called me up extremely nicely to congratulate me on the inauguration, which was terrific. But so did many other leaders, almost all other leaders from almost all of the country. So that’s the extent.
Russia is fake news. Russia — this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.
As you know, Mike Pompeo has — has now taken control of the CIA, James Comey at FBI, Dan Coats is waiting to be approved, I mean he is a senator and a highly respected one and he’s still waiting to be approved. But our new people are going in.
And just while you’re at it, because you mentioned this, Wall Street Journal did a story today that was almost as disgraceful as the failing New York Time’s story, yesterday. And it talked about — these are (ph) front page.
So director of national intelligence just put out, acting a statement, any suggestion that the United States intelligence community, this was just given to us, is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the president and his national security team is not true.
So they took this front page story out of The Wall Street Journal top and they just wrote the story that its not true. And I’ll tell you something, I’ll be honest, because I sort of enjoy this back and forth that I guess I have all my life but I’ve never seen more dishonest media than frankly, the political media. I thought the financial media was much better, much more honest.
But I will say that, I never get phone calls from the media. How did they write a story like that in The Wall Street Journal without asking me or how did they write a story in The New York Times, put it on front page?
That was like the story they wrote about the women and me, front page, big massive story. And it was nasty and then they called, they said we never said that, we like Mr. Trump. They called up my office, we like Mr. Trump, we never said that.
And it was totally — they totally misrepresented those very wonderful women, I have to tell you, totally misrepresented. I said give us the retraction. They never gave us a retraction and frankly, I then went on to other things.