by William Skink
Over the weekend what many believed to be true was proven conclusively, thanks to Wikileaks: the DNC colluded with the Clinton campaign and select media to squash the Sanders insurgency. Coming out the weekend before the convention in Philadelphia, Democrats could appear more divided than Republicans after last week’s incoherent hodgepodge of mixed messages and fear mongering.
While Clinton has smeared critics of her reckless criminality and corruption as conspiracy theorists, the deflection strategy ahead of the convention is to insinuate a conspiracy that Russia was behind the DNC hack, and that Trump is literally a Manchurian candidate controlled by Putin.
What has the establishment so terrified is Trump’s twin assaults on free trade and imperialism. My favorite economist, Michael Hudson, puts it into context with this interview. Here’s a taste:
Until his speech, the whole Republican Convention, every speaker had avoided dealing with economic policy issues. No one referred to the party platform, which isn’t very good. And it was mostly an attack on Hillary. Chants of “lock her up.” And Trump children, aimed to try to humanize him and make him look like a loving man.
But finally came Trump’s speech, and this was for the first time, policy was there. And he’s making a left run around Hillary. He appealed twice to Bernie Sanders supporters, and the two major policies that he outlined in the speech broke radically from the Republican traditional right-wing stance. And that is called destroying the party by the right wing, and Trump said he’s not destroying the party, he’s building it up and appealing to labor, and appealing to the rational interest that otherwise had been backing Bernie Sanders.
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. And in the speech, he said, look, we don’t need foreign military bases and foreign spending to defend our allies. We can defend them from the United States, because in today’s world, the only kind of war we’re going to have is atomic war. Nobody’s going to invade another country. We’re not going to send American troops to invade Russia, if it were to attack. So nobody’s even talking about that. So let’s be realistic.
Well, being realistic has driven other people crazy. Not only did Krugman say that Trump would, quote, actually follow a pro-Putin foreign policy at the expense of America’s allies, and he’s referring to the Ukraine, basically, and it’s at–he’s become a lobbyist for the military-industrial complex. But also, at the Washington Post you had Anne Applebaum call him explicitly the Manchurian candidate, referring to the 1962 movie, and rejecting the neocon craziness. This has just driven them nutty because they’re worried of losing the Republican Party under Trump.
In economic policy, Trump also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TTIP trade and corporate power grab [inaud.] with Europe to block public regulation. And this was also a major plank of Bernie Sanders’ campaign against Hillary, which Trump knows. The corporatist wings of both the Republican and the Democratic Parties fear that Trump’s opposition to NAFTA and TPP will lead the Republicans not to push through in the lame duck session after November. The whole plan has been that once the election’s over, Obama will then get all the Republicans together and will pass the Republican platform that he’s been pushing for the last eight years. The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with Europe, and the other neoliberal policies.
On trade, Hillary Clinton doubled down with her VP pick, Tim Kaine, the Virginia Governor/Senator who voted to fast-track TPP and ignored abortion rights activists. The message from the Clinton campaign is pretty clear. Progressives: fuck off. Women: fuck off. You have no where else to go. What are you going to do, vote for the orange-haired Putin robot?
Tim Kaine is just the Clinton campaign being practical, the apologists will say. Virginia is a swing state. Tim Kaine is a safe choice. blah, blah, blah. And did you know Putin has implanted a chip in Trump’s brain and literally controls his every movement? It’s true, because Paul Krugmen said it in the New York Times.
Ok, he didn’t exactly put forth the microchip theory, but he did pen a column a few days ago calling Trump the “Siberian Candidate“. From the link:
If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question. After all, he must be a patriot — he even wears hats promising to make America great again.
But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate. And the Trump campaign’s recent behavior has quite a few foreign policy experts wondering just what kind of hold Mr. Putin has over the Republican nominee, and whether that influence will continue if he wins.
I’m not talking about merely admiring Mr. Putin’s performance — being impressed by the de facto dictator’s “strength,” and wanting to emulate his actions. I am, instead, talking about indications that Mr. Trump would, in office, actually follow a pro-Putin foreign policy, at the expense of America’s allies and her own self-interest.
I’m sure Democrats will eat this up. A hydra-headed Trumputian monster threatening everything the west holds dear. Be afraid, Democrats, be very afraid.
While our domestic charade continues piling on absurdities, across the pond Germany is gearing up to declare Russia its enemy. This information, like the confirmation of anti-democratic DNC corruption, is coming via a leak:
According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an enemy shows Merkel’s subservience to the Obama administration.’”
This may seem insane, but considering Germany, the engine of Europe, has a bank drowning in derivative debt amidst a European Union in slow motion collapse, reviving the Russian menace might be one of the only plays left for a desperate Merkel to play. And if you want to know how bad the situation with Deutsche Bank is, just read this:
On June 9th 2015, Deutsche Banks holdings were downrated to BBB+, even lower than Lehman immediately prior to their collapse.
And what makes all this so scary? Deutsche Bank’s derivatives holdings are the largest in the history of the planet. Even larger than JP Morgan’s by $5 trillion. We are talking $75 trillion, that is 20 times more than the entire GDP of Germany.
In other words, any major loss of confidence in the global stock market to which DB is exposed could result in an even larger recession than 2008. Given the fact that the % of GDp made up by this kind of financial speculation is even higher than pre-2008 in most western countries, it could result in global economic collapse.
Insolvent western banking behemoths like Deutsche Bank lurk in the background of this escalating path toward war. Merging the demonizing of Russia with the establishment’s demonizing of Trump makes a disturbing kind of sense when the scope of systemic insolvency is understood.
When it comes to money and supporting the Kremlin, what’s implied with Donald is actually explicit with Hillary. I’ve been trying to drive this point home with my Pops, who is adamant about voting for Hillary despite my delightful rants and chants of ‘blood on your hands’ when the spirit moves me. With regard to Billary doing the bidding of the Kremlin, here are two words I wish we were hearing right now: Uranium One. From the link:
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.
And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
I wonder if Paul Krugman remembers this piece, published by the same grey lady that provides his platform to push the conspiratorial insinuation that Trump is a Putin puppet. Is he angling for Secretary of Treasury?
The answer to that question is not important, just like most of what we will hear this week will be equally not important. And while Democrats do damage control as the convention kicks off, one has to wonder how a huckster like Trump, with virtually no ground game in swing states or substantive ad-buys, can be polling neck-in-neck with the anointed one.