Democrats are fraidy cats who won't take their own side in an argument. Worse, they evince an air of fatuous goody-goodyness that serves only to distract attention away from the harms caused by the nefarious policies both parties favor. Nearly two-thirds of the electorate loathes Trump and the Republicans and their supporters who unaware they are being played. Trump and the party he nominally leads are playing with a weak hand. Israel meddles in our elections constantly. Congress and the MSM are in its thrall. Moreover, Netanyahu, is easily as apt a target for demonization as Putin. But, the 2016 election came down to a contest between goody-goodies and "deplorables." The way leading Democrats turned on Al Franken is a harbinger of where "the Schumer and Pelosi show" would like to take us. Schumer and Pelosi and the rest could learn a lot from Trump and the Republicans, about how to stick up for themselves and how, by doing so, to get their way. read more
President Donald Trump's decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has temporarily derailed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, two senior White House officials acknowledged after Trump's speech. That "derailment" was a cost the White House was prepared to accept to fulfill Trump's campaign promise. And two senior White House officials said they felt making the announcement now -- before Israelis and Palestinians have reached the negotiating table -- would help mitigate the damage to the peace process. I never paid enough attention to this moron to know that this was a campaign promise. It is ridiculous, disgraceful and immoral for Trump to be making this declaration, as if it's his decision to make. It might even be illegal under international law. The catch there being that the USA doesn't care about international law unless it can use it to beat up on opponents, read more
Saudi Arabia is a fanatical, retrograde theocracy, the world's worst. Why does Friedman put his reputation on the line for a miscreant like Salman? He knows the Saudis are funding extremist madrassas around the world. He knows they're arming and training jihadists to fight in Syria, and prosecuting a genocidal war of annihilation in Yemen. He also knows that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 came from Saudi Arabia, the home of all Salafist terrorism emerges. He knows all of this but still provides cover for the man by writing a Homage to a Saudi Dictator in the Times. Why?
The Trump administration, US military and intelligence apparatus have made the Saudi monarchy a lynchpin for their confrontation with Iran, threatening a region-wide war that will dwarf the devastation heaped on Iraq. Friedman is just the public relations make-over, like lipstick on a pig. He did the same thing before the invasion of Iraq. read more
The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, perhaps within the next several weeks, senior administration officials said on Thursday. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced. It was not immediately clear whether Trump has given final approval to the plan, but he has been said to have soured on Tillerson and in general is ready to make a change at the State Department. read more
What made the United States and Germany the leading industrial nations of the 20th century, and now China, has been public investment in infrastructure. This lowers the cost of living and doing business by providing basic services on a subsidized basis or freely. By contrast, U.S. privatizers have brought debt leverage to bear on Third World countries, post-Soviet economies and southern Europe to force selloffs.
The past century's global fracture between creditor and debtor economies has interrupted what should be Europe's democratic destiny to empower governments to override financial and other rentier interests. Instead, the EU is following U.S. diplomatic leadership back to the age when Kings and inherited wealth ruled governments. This conflict between creditors and democracy, between oligarchy and economic growth will remain the defining issue of our epoch over the next generation, and probably for the remainder of the 21st century. read more