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Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, Agent of the Pro-Russia Party of Regions, Charged With Conspiracy Against the United States

In digressing somewhat from the usual climate change related coverage I perform here to explore a matter of extraordinary importance to us all — I’m going to provide you with a closer look at the attempted corruption of U.S. Democracy by a foreign petro-state (Russia) and its agents. This expose is related, tangentially, to climate change in that it hints at the degree to which petro-state and related corporate actors are presently able to influence, circumvent, or corrupt the U.S. political, electoral and lawmaking system. The lengths to which such entities will go to peddle that influence. And, in the case of Manafort and Russia, an expansive effort both to hide such activities and to circumvent or undermine U.S. law and order.

Manafort, Lobbyist for Dictators, Insurgents, and Tyrants, Pushes Russian Interests in U.S. Congress

Paul Manafort has represented, consulted and lobbied for a long list of nefarious persons throughout his career. The names include Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, dictator of the former Democratic Republic of the Congo Mobutu Sese Seko, and Angolan guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi. His primary role was to peddle the influence of these various bad actors to U.S. based corporations and U.S. government. But as shady as his earlier career may appear, Manafort’s activities hit a new low during the 2000s and 2010s as Manafort worked with pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders and with agents in Moscow itself to advance Russian interests in the Ukraine and in Europe through secret attempts to shape U.S. policy.

The activities with which Manafort is now charged by the FBI in an investigation led by former FBI Director and highly decorated U.S. Veteran Robert Mueller, were specifically aimed at expanding the influence of Russia in the Ukraine and creating resistance within the top levels of American government to U.S. responses against pro-Russian activities and related aggression in that state. That Manafort is charged with secretly representing Russian interests in Ukraine through its proxy the Party of Regions, of receiving payment for those services by Ukrainian and Russian agents, by hiding those payments from the U.S. government through money laundering, and by lying and failing to report his activities as a foreign agent in the U.S.

Collusion and Conspiracy with Russia

These alleged activities, given assistance by co-conspirator Gates, occurred from 2006 to 2014 in direct support of pro-Russian political activities in Ukraine and lobbying in the U.S. to support or to block intervention against such action by Russia and its Russian sympathizers in Ukraine. False reporting to the FBI and contacts between Manafort and Russian agents extended into the period encompassing the Trump Campaign in 2016 and the Trump Presidency in 2017.

But what’s even more disturbing is there appears to have been an active attempt by Manafort to enable Russia to directly influence the Trump Campaign, to use the Trump Campaign as a funnel for Russia-sourced weaponized information against Hillary Clinton, and to otherwise enable an active campaign aimed at disrupting the U.S. election in a similar manner to Russia’s disruption of Ukrainian democracy during recent years.

From Michelle Goldberg at the New York Times:

So here’s where we are. Trump put Manafort, an accused money-launderer and unregistered foreign agent, in charge of his campaign. Under Manafort’s watch, the campaign made at least two attempts to get compromising information about Clinton from Russia. Russia, in turn, provided hacked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks.

Newly released court filings also found that while acting as Trump’s Presidential Campaign manager, Manafort asked his employee Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian dual citizen, to offer a Russian Billionaire with close associations to Vladimir Putin — Oleg Deripaska — “private briefings” about the Trump campaign. Exactly the kind of Russian collusion by top Trump Campaign people that Trump himself has repeatedly denied.

Manafort and Gates, according to charges, also acted secretly within Washington as lobbyists for Yanokovich and the Party of Regions prior to Manafort chairing the Trump Campaign. During this time, they attempted to promote pro-Ukrainian policy in Congress, lobbied in opposition to sanctions against the Yanokovich and Party of Regions Government, lobbied that the elections in which Yanokovich achieved power, which were reportedly highly irregular and were disrupted by pro-Russian agents, were valid, and lobbied in support of the imprisonment of Yanokovich’s political opponent Yulia Tymoshenko.

The charges against Manafort are therefore related to the Trump Campaign in that Manafort continued to deceive U.S. investigators, hide foreign agent income, contacts, provide information about the Trump Campaign to Russian agents, seek out Russia-sourced information about Hillary Clinton, and otherwise enable a broader information warfare campaign by Russia against the U.S. while operating as a key member of that Campaign. Contacts communication, information sharing, and other forms of collusion that were still ongoing at the time and that appear to have generated a coordinated effort by Trump campaign staff and the larger Russian information warfare effort against the U.S. election.

In addition, it was widely known at the time that Manafort had represented Russia’s interests in Ukraine, though the extent was not as clear as it is today. All as Trump’s own election-based communications amplified and were amplified by the activity of Russian linked bots, accounts, and media within the U.S. A pro-Trump fomentation of internal U.S. divisions information warfare campaign by Russia that continues within the U.S. to this day.

Trump Campaign Aide George Papadopoulos Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI About Attempts to Gain Russian Dirt on Hillary Clinton

The charges against Manafort and his assistant Gates come in conjunction with a guilty plea to charges of lying to the FBI by Trump Foreign Policy aide George Papadopoulos. From NYMag:

According to a newly unsealed affidavit, in late April 2016 George Papadopoulos met an unnamed professor in London, who told the Trump campaign adviser that he had “just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials” — and learned that “the Russians had emails of Clinton … thousands of emails…”

Weeks after Papadopoulos’s rendez-vous in London, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner took a meeting with Russian lobbyists on the understanding that the Kremlin wished to provide the Trump campaign with “documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” — as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor and oil consultant named by Trump as one of his key advisors during the campaign, has been accused of lying about his activities in seeking Russia-sourced information about Hillary Clinton’s emails from a Putin-linked professor during the Campaign. He has pleaded guilty to those charges and is reportedly working with the FBI on the case of Trump Campaign collusion with Russia. Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty to the numerous charges filed against them.

Many experts expect today’s announced indictments to be the first of many against members of the Trump Campaign for collusion with Russia. And the heaviest charges have now risen to the level of conspiracy against the United States.

Never Before Has a Campaign Manager of a Sitting President Faced Such Charges

This event is unprecedented in that a former campaign chair of a sitting U.S. President has never been charged with conspiring with a hostile power against the government of the U.S. A historic event that will add to the already dark infamy of the Republican Party. To be very clear, adding Manafort as campaign chair, at the very least, represents a massive failure of judgement on the part of Trump himself. But, it is more than possible, given Trump’s efforts to actively distract from, sabotage, and obstruct the Mueller Investigation and related Congressional investigations, that the Manafort apple here doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

(UPDATED)

RELATED STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION:

Hat tip to Wili

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102 Comments

  1. wili

     /  October 30, 2017

    Thanks for covering this. Historical indeed! But there is also a historical trend here, wrt Republicans. As Rob Decker tallied it at asif, in the 25 years that Dems have been in the Whitehouse since LBJ, there has been only “one executive branch official convicted of a crime in two and a half decades of Democrat leadership.”

    On the Republican side, in the 28 years they were in the Whitehouse in the same period:
    “89 convictions, and 34 prison sentences.”

    Perhaps the larger question is why do Americans keep voting in a party which has shown itself to repeatedly act illegally in the highest offices in the land?

    Reply
    • Democrats tend to favor more oversight (regulation) and tend to invite accountability. Republican administrations have tended to do the opposite. This is a rough rule of thumb. Of course, both parties have had their various bad actors. However, harms and corruption coming from republican rule have greatly outweighed those coming from democratic rule. This is true in the financial world, the environmental world, with respect to the national debt, and even foreign conflicts.

      Reply
      • Loni

         /  October 31, 2017

        In asking how this continues to happen, we must acknowledge that our media has been captured, and is basically a brain-washing tool. At that task, it’s doin’ a fine job, at the expense of us all.

        Reply
    • Raul M.

       /  October 31, 2017

      Nice to see that the FBI has applied to the Judicial Branch to show some rule of law. Even though it is of the very basics of Governmental ethics, our representatives should know of at least some of the rules of the law. Telling the truth seems a nice place to start. Thanks FBI for some enlightenment.

      Reply
      • It’s tough to spin the law. Trump and the right wing media is trying. Republicans in Congress appear to be at a loss ATM. Am wondering if the blow to the credibility of the right wing media is survivable. It’s coming. And they’re stepping in to it.

        Reply
  2. Perhaps the greatest terminal illness of capitalism is greed which always leads to exponentially expanding corruption as it accumulates power. Why do people vote primarily to support greedy individuals? It’s the nature of the beast. In the mind of every American, perhaps with some exceptions, lies the “fact” that it’s OK to lie, cheat and steal as long as one gains money, power from the money and thus assumed exemption from prosecution. Greed is what America was actually founded upon – the refusal by the colony’s elites to pay taxes. They went to war on that and continue to war on it. Greed is extolled openly, or hinted at heavily, in all economic writings that support capitalism. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that individuals would consider greed as a national virtue when every value is measured in dollars. So you are left with an endemic, systemic poison feeding a terminal sickness. The “bright light” at the end is realizing that at least America will not die alone: it has managed to infect the entire planet – with a little help from a very few friends.

    Reply
    • I think this more boils down to how powerful and/or greedy people became successful in the first place. In the case of Trump, there have been no major consequences for cheating the system and associates and for lying. Trump has been rewarded for doing all the wrong things because no one held him accountable or was able to hold him accountable. It takes effort to hold people accountable. Judgement. It’s not easy. Especially when you’re dealing with a bully. Bullies often rely on people not to stand up. And, so, by capitulation, you can tend to end up with them.

      The less a society enforces rules and norms and laws against bad actor harm, the more you’ll tend to get. The republican party is, largely, a rule removal party. So it’s true that they also enable this kind of stuff and, often, celebrate those who got ahead by cheating and gaming the system (as it were). Kind of a pirate/looter mentality.

      Reply
    • Witchee

       /  October 31, 2017

      I do not disagree with your characterization of capitalism, but I do take exception to the notion that “every American”, with only a few exceptions, thinks that it is ok to lie cheat and steal for advantage. I certainly don’t and none of the people I know do either. That there are people who do is obvious, and it is also obvious that it has paid off in their grasp on power. Greed is no more American than it is human. It is tempting to blame everything on America, but that is just narcissism of a different sort.

      Reply
    • Agree with Witchee here. The blanket characterization of Americans here not needed to make this argument. In fact, it detracts from it by attacking a group rather than looking at causes.

      Reply
    • Also worth noting that, in the case of Trump, he lost the popular vote. So people, I think, don’t primarily support greedy people. It’s more a case of those people figuring out which levers to pull to the greatest effect.

      Reply
  3. Describing Russia as a petro-state brings to mind another reason, besides trying to get sanctions lifted, that Russia favored Trump. Russia needs to keep pumping oil and thinks global warming may improve its climate, regardless of disasters elsewhere. Russia is the natural ally of anyone who claims man made global warming is a fraud. Hence another reason to try to get Trump, and Republicans in general, elected and Hillary defeated.

    Reply
    • Russia is a state whose foreign policy now mimics the disaster capitalism that many people are so concerned about. It’s kind of ironic when you consider it coming from a dictator who once worked for the KGB.

      Of course, Russia is incorrect. Climate change will hit its breadbaskets hard, flood the north, produce city-threatening fires, and result in mass migration from the south. The net effect of climate change on Russia is terrible.

      Reply
  4. wili

     /  October 31, 2017

    “Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high

    UN warns that drastic action is needed to meet climate targets set in the Paris agreement”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/30/global-atmospheric-co2-levels-hit-record-high

    “The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed last year to hit a level not seen for more than three million years, the UN has warned.

    The new report has raised alarm among scientists and prompted calls for nations to consider more drastic emissions reductions at the upcoming climate negotiations in Bonn.

    “Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event,” according to The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency’s annual flagship report.

    …The last time Earth experienced similar CO2 concentration rates was during the Pliocene era (three to five million years ago), when the sea level was up to 20m higher than now….”

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 31, 2017

      But according to MA Rodgers at RealClimate (unforced variations), Pliocene may not be far enough back for where we’re at:

      “The mid-Pliocene Warm Period (mPWP) 3 million years ago is certainly an interesting lesson for us. Yet I’m not sure we tackle it properly. One tiff such discussion can generate (and one that can raise passions) is how much CO2 was there during the mPWP? And a missing piece of discussion seems to be the mechanisms that raised CO2 levels causing the mPWP and why temperatures were then reduced ending the mPWP.

      On CO2 levels, we get the likes of Hayward et al (2016) saying “atmospheric CO2 concentration is estimated to have ranged between 350 and 450 p.p.m.v.” citing a list of rather old references. (This is pretty much repeating IPCC AR5 which timidly gives credence to each and every data point of every study shown in AR5 fig 5.2a) So what was it? 350ppm? 400? 450?
      Myself, I am more inclined towards the idea that CO2 was likely not above 400ppm, as set out in Zhang et al (2013) (not cited by Haywood et al) which shows only error bars topping 400ppm.We have to go all the way back to 14 million years ago to find a central point topping 400ppm. (The icea of a sub-400ppm mPWP has in the past led to very robust reactions from some who are entirely convinced by the idea of a 400+ppm mPWP.)

      And the impact of a 400ppm CO2 climate (plus or minus) cannot be bandied about without a proper understanding of the mechanisms involved. Thus we could/should be talking of the closing of the Panama sea link, the opening of Drakes Passage, the idea of a supercharged AMOC that led to increased rainfall freshening of the Arctic Ocean and this allowed the formation of pack ice. And somewhere in that, the mechanism that elevated CO2 levels. I have found Haug & Keigwin (2004) ‘How the Isthmus of Panama Put Ice in the Arctic’ an interesting starter-read. And the implications for the modern world of higher levels of CO2 relative to the mPWP (potentially significantly higher levels) even if only for a century or two; these do bear serious consideration…”

      #346: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/10/unforced-variations-oct-2017/comment-page-7/#comments

      Reply
    • Heading past to 410 ppm threshold by 2019 at MLO on average.

      Reply
  5. wili

     /  October 31, 2017

    One of the top lobbyists of Democrats for corporate powers that be, Tony Podesta, just resigned from the lobbying firm he created, caught in the web of connections revealed in the Manafort scandal.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/30/tony-podesta-democrats-trump-russia-mueller

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  October 31, 2017

      He advised the bastards who targeted his brother John.

      Reply
    • Well, his firm was hired by Manafort to lobby on behalf of Ukraine. I’d say it’s more than possible they were duped into believing it was legit. So the glaring thing for me in all this is how easy people were to manipulate. No evidence at this point that TP was aware of the full extent of Manafort’s activity vs U.S. interests. Of course, it’s possible he was also a bad apple. Present evidence does not show that. More like someone who got pulled into this mess without being broadly aware of the consequences. Exactly the kind of person the right likes to scape-goat in an attempt at blame-sharing.

      Reply
  6. Hilary

     /  October 31, 2017

    Thank you Robert, a very clear explanation of all this for someone living outside the USA. Hilary

    Reply
  7. I shared this story FIVE TIME in January. Now, as the first indictments are made public, please read this post to understand the trillions of dollars these “public servants” are trading our lives and the lives of our progeny so as to acquire for their immediate life pleasures.

    “People who are looking to understand what the Trump gang is up to would do well to consider his gang’s actions through the lens of the Carbon Bubble. Understand that the amounts of money at stake are vast, nearly inconceivable to most of us, and highly concentrated in the hands of the people in Trump’s cabinet and their close friends and business allies.

    Journalists are unused to thinking about climate change as being an economic and financial issue — much less the core political issue of our day — so for a lot of us this whole problem is invisible, despite the credibility of everyone pointing it out. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, frankly, because we are so cognitively unprepared to see the Bubble in front of us. That we are so blind to these risks is a tragedy.

    We need to focus: The most serious political fight on the planet — the need to end use of coal, oil and gas — is at the center of America’s current political crisis.”
    ►https://thenearlynow.com/trump-putin-and-the-pipelines-to-nowhere-742d745ce8fd

    Reply
  8. Greg

     /  October 31, 2017

    Thank you Robert for getting on this today. We learn from facebook that as many as 126 million Americans saw the Russian designed propaganda and didn’t know the source. You might add that the Russians are orchestrating this, and have been doing so for some time, to many countries and all your readers have likely been subjected to a campaign at some point or are at least vulnerable to it. I hazard to think how successful these campaigns have been and for how many rubles spent? If the somewhat bumbling Russian gov’t can do this for political reasons, how much do the climate denial actors spend and do they see this Russian campaign as their own and/or a successful model for them?

    Reply
    • I think I need to keep covering this. More revelations about Papadopoulos out today. Of course Trump is trying to distance himself. It will be tougher if/when charges fall to members of his family — which is a distinct possibility. Silence on the part of Trump/Republicans in Congress right now is pretty deafening. Right wing media is now calling Hillary ‘President Hillary.’ Supposedly accidental. But this may be a dog whistle to the base. The implication being that people who feared Hillary as president should stand in line on the whole Russia matter. If that’s the case, it’s sick. But wouldn’t put it past them.

      Reply
  9. One of the paradoxes of Russia the temporary petrostate is that nearly everyone in the country thinks, in large part due to propaganda, that climate change – specifically global warming – is the greatest thing for the motherland since sliced bread. In fact, trillions and trillions of loaves of sliced bread.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=co2sc/orthographic=-24.49,71.89,568/loc=-120.002,56.607

    Reply
    • Russian policy supposition that climate change will benefit them is incorrect in so many ways. I guess one of the tragedies of greed is that it all too often deludes those who are afflicted by it.

      Reply
  10. Greg

     /  October 31, 2017

    Alright, a little goodnight video on topic

    Reply
  11. Mblanc

     /  October 31, 2017

    Nice piece RS, it is quite a moment.

    This is OT, but I thought you might like this article.

    LONDON, 30 October, 2017 – The electric bus would have let Londoners enjoy clean air early in the twentieth century, saving millions of people from breathing problems and premature death, but for the dishonesty and double-dealing which promoted the internal combustion engine instead.

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/fraud-halts-electric-bus/

    hat tip to DT

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, MB. And so, so true. Some misinformation out there today.

      Went out on a boat trip into the Chesapeake Bay with my Grandpa as a kid in the late 1970s. When you got far enough away from land, a large gray cloud was visible hovering over everything. I wonder how much of that could have been prevented if people, cities, and states hadn’t fallen for the fossil fuel corp misinformation campaigns which removed so much of the earlier clean industries, technologies, and infrastructures.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  October 31, 2017

        Your comment reminds me of the rather fine BBC doc, Planet Oil: The treasure that made us, presented by the geologist Ian Stewart (a former student of Bill McGuire incidently). It sort of sketches out how we got to where we are now, and pulls surprisingly few punches.

        Although it is a couple of years ago, I clearly remember it being a bit of an eye opener.

        It is 3 episodes, and to give a feel for the angle taken, here is the spiel for them.

        Episode 1 – How Oil Made Us

        From the moment we first drilled for oil, we opened a Pandora’s box that changed the world forever. It transformed the way we lived our lives, spawned foreign wars and turned a simple natural resource into the most powerful political weapon the world has ever known. But when exactly did geology turn into such a high-stakes game? In this series, Professor Iain Stewart visits the places that gave birth to the earth’s oil riches, discovers the people who fought over its control and supply, and explores how our insatiable thirst for oil is changing the very planet on which we depend. It’s a journey that will help us answer a fundamental question – how did we become so addicted to oil in little more than one human lifetime?

        Episode 2 – The Carbon Wars

        By the early 1950s, a holy trinity of oil, plastics and fertilisers had transformed the planet. But as Professor Iain Stewart reveals, when the oil producing countries demanded a greater share in profits from the Western energy companies, the oil and gas fields of the Middle East became a focus for coup d’états and military conflict. In the North Sea, Prof Stewart recalls the race against time to find alternative supplies in the shallow, but turbulent waters both here and in America’s Gulf coast. The offshore discoveries in the 1970 proved to be a game changer. It marked an engineering revolution; the moment when ‘difficult’ oil and gas (previously unviable sources) could be commercially produced from the ocean depths. It was the moment when Western Europe and the US finally unshackled themselves from their 20th century energy security nightmare.

        Episode 3 – Climate Wars

        As we entered the 21st century, the world was guzzling oil, coal and gas like never before. Despite fears of ‘peak oil’, Professor Iain Stewart discovers that while huge technological advances are helping extend the life of existing oilfields, new unconventional oil and gas supplies like shale gas and tar sands are extending the hydrocarbon age well into the 21st century. Given there’s plenty of fossil fuels still in the ground, the spectre of climate change has forced many to ask can we really afford to burn what’s left? In this concluding episode, Iain Stewart argues we face a stark choice. Do we continue feed our addiction – suck Planet Oil dry – and risk catastrophic climate change, or do we go hell for leather for alternative energy sources; nuclear, renewables, to make the transition from our fossil fuel past to a low carbon future. In which case, how do we make that shift?

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4430354/

        Reply
    • Updated, edited, refined.

      Reply
  12. wili

     /  October 31, 2017

    Seems to me that this is based on trusting Chinese stats, along with some other forms of wishful thinking, but I am always eager to present happy shiny news whenever it seems to come along…’-)

    “New data gives hope for meeting the Paris climate targets”

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/new-data-hope-meeting-paris-targets.html

    Reply
    • Skeptical Science uses pretty solid data. China is definitely moving very rapidly on renewable energy and attempting to put that sooty coal genie back in the bottle as swiftly as possible.

      Reply
  13. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2017

    A lesson from History
    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/10/30/16568716/six-ways-climate-change-disease-toppled-roman-empire

    6 ways climate change and disease helped topple the Roman Empire

    Reply
  14. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2017

    Politics of the Gutter

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/30/16565580/what-if-trump-fires-mueller

    The question that matters now: what will Republicans do when Trump fires Mueller?

    As the man says (which fits fits Wili’s opening comment)
    All the Republicans acre about is their tax cuts for their wealthy mates, deregulation and destruction of the EPA as they redefine the meaning of the word “clean” in relation to air , water and land

    If it means backing Trump in destroying the rule of law and democracy, for them a small price to pay, and FOX will be behind them all the way. The born to rule and wealthy never really liked Democracy or Laws that don’t benefit or protect them anyway

    Reply
    • wili

       /  October 31, 2017

      Good points. When the monsters all but blew up the global economy, then were rewarded for their efforts with trillions from the public trough, it became pretty clear that we were no longer in any kind of well functioning democracy. The plutocracy will continue to demolish whatever is left of trappings of the rule of law as rapidly as they think they can get away with it.

      Just look to see who Trump says he admires most–monstrous dictators like Duterte, Putin, and their ilk. That is where we are heading, or at least where we are being corralled into…

      Reply
    • Someone needs to write an article along the lines of — Would Republicans Sacrifice Democracy to Russia for Just One More Tax Cut for the Rich?

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 1, 2017

        Amen. While at work and unconnected (yes, that is still possible for me in my relatively low tech world) a friend told me (mistakenly) that Trump had fired Mueller.

        So I spent part of the afternoon wondering how ready the Republicans in congress were to just totally shred what’s left of the functioning constitution and allow Trump to become completely above and beyond the law for the hope that they could deliver a tax cut to the very wealthiest who are their overlords. I concluded that they were probably more than ready. Glad it hasn’t quite come to that quite yet, as it turns out.

        Reply
        • wili

           /  November 1, 2017

          And now I see this:

          “Senate Republicans in no rush to shield Mueller from Trump”

          https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/31/mueller-congress-republicans-trump-244343

          “…GOP senators argue the president isn’t about to fire the special counsel, so bills to protect him aren’t needed just yet…”

          Soooo, never fix a potential problem till it’s catastrophically too late to do anything about it….

          What could possibly go wrong?? : [

        • Mixed signals and silence on the Republican side so far. I’ve seen both indications that they will and that they won’t protect the Mueller investigation. I wonder if this whole mess is causing the party to splinter further?

  15. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2017

    Some poetry to sooth the savage beast from
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/30/russia-scandal-phony-war-heavy-shelling
    The Russia scandal has gone from phony war to heavy shelling

    charlieblue
    12h ago

    As October becomes November, and autumn fades into winter, the days grow shorter and the weather colder. This year’s early winter forecast calls for dropping indictments and followed by increasingly violent Twitter storms. As golf courses close, expect explosive bloviation and bluster along the Eastern US coast, all the way from New York to Mar-a-lago, with periods of raging moronic gusts and intermittent name calling. This stormy patch will likely continue through the holidays, and into 2018, before we see a chance of impeachment and a calmer season ahead.

    Except for who will replace him

    Reply
  16. wili

     /  October 31, 2017

    CC is [already] Bad for your Health

    … “Climate change is happening, and it’s a health issue today for millions worldwide,” said Anthony Costello, a co-chairman of the commission that produced the report, called The Lancet Countdown.

    …climate change is already affecting human health in serious ways, with harms “far worse than previously understood.” The report argues that the health professions have a responsibility “to communicate the threats and opportunities” of a phenomenon that is “central to human well-being.”

    …human-caused global warming “threatens to undermine the past 50 years of gains in public health.” But the report also said that a comprehensive approach to slow the planet’s warming could be “the great health opportunity of the 21st century.”

    …outdoor labor capacity in rural areas fell, on average, by 5.3 percent over the past 16 years because of heat stress and other conditions making work more difficult. That is a stunning loss of productivity, and directly attributable to global warming during a period when nine of the 10 of the hottest years on record were recorded.

    Productivity fell 2 percent from 2015 to 2016 alone.

    In 2015, the Lancet report says, an additional 175 million people over the age of 65 were exposed to heat waves, when compared with broad trends of the past 20 years.

    … lower-income countries experience far greater economic loss as a proportion of their gross domestic product because of climate-related disasters when compared to higher-income countries.

    …From 1990 to 2016, uninsured losses in low-income countries were equivalent to over 1.5 percent of their G.D.P.

    …recent gains in combating the spread of these diseases [are] now being threatened by climate change.

    The report shows that transmission of dengue fever by just two types of mosquito has increased 3 percent and 5.9 percent, since 1990, the result of a broad range of factors including climate change…

    If the report contained just these findings, it would still be an alert to public health officials. But there are dozens of other examples that clearly show that climate change is no longer a distant, future threat.

    It is here, now.

    This is now a medical and public health fight, not just an environmental one.

    Reply
    • Shows a pretty clear trend of worsening past and present impacts from human caused climate change. Overall, some amazing research here. And this is just the early, easy stuff.

      Reply
  17. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2017

    ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And Eric Trump said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’

    – – https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/eric-trump-russia-investment-golf-course

    Gawd the feet must be looking like seive’s

    Reply
    • There’s a lot for a prosecutor to draw from. These first indictments are just ranging shots. More on the way.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 1, 2017

        Exactly, the Conspiracy gambit is an extremely powerful one, the tax, financial aspects carry 20 years (Al Capone). It is not limited by statutes or time/place/action or event. It is also open to adding other conspirators and seeking (warrants) for financial and tax records etc etc, so players such as Bannon and Mercer are also in the firing line even if just at the fringes, which is why Bannon is going ballistic over the expertise of Trumps lawyers and the RWNJ’s are demanding Mueller is sacked
        It also opens avenues so that the States can pursue charges even if Trump pardons the conspirators (A pardon requires a guilty admission so slam dunk for the States)

        However with a Republican Congress and Senate no impeachment until they have the regulations shredded and the tax cuts for the rich and the trashing of healthcare and social programs to pay for that. From my readings Congress any change color in the mid terms, Senate still Repub so still no impeachment.
        However the conspiracy charge leaves the Trump family and Empire open to investigation and charges, not to mention warrants for Trumps financials and tax records.

        Stock up on popcorn

        Reply
  18. Vic

     /  October 31, 2017

    Sanjeev Gupta is looking every inch a climate leader with yesterday’s announcement of a major investment in solar and storage that will not only power his newly aquired Australian steel business, but also take a shot across the bows of the nation’s energy industry incumbents. Around 200MW of solar backed up by 600MWh of pumped hydro plus a battery the size of Elon’s will power his steelworks in Whyalla, with excess electricity being sold into the market. The Whyalla proposal alone, if fully implemented would propel the magical state of South Australia from 50% renewables to 70+% by 2019.

    Similar refinements are planned for the company’s steel operations in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-31/sanjeev-gupta-joins-sa-power-race/9103020?WT.ac=statenews_sa

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/whyalla-steel-city-goes-green-with-1gw-of-solar-and-storage-92904/

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  October 31, 2017

      Whyalla is especially sweet…

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  October 31, 2017

      Actually as I am part managing my Super fund (Aussie direct invest) at 70 with not enough super and forced to retire this month trying to squeeze every superannuation dollar to last the next 20 years, I was following up on all that,(investment with integrity) he has bought 51% of Zen energy which provides power solutions to mines and remote areas using renewables where possible, but also coal, gas or Diesel, however the company report indicates they are focussing more on renewables (Solar/wind as much as possible) Among his other overseas companies is a major UK energy company which has just purchased a Major coal generator and is converting it to renewable plus storage with gas back up (spent an hour today following it all up)
      Worth noting Whyalla and the one steel steel mills (NSW) which will also be swinging to largely renewable plus battery haqve been major customers of the electricity grid and will be changing to becoming generators much of the time, a big flip in the commercial energy supply equation

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  October 31, 2017

        Sanjeev Gupta runs a spiders network of companies in the UK but he is focussed on recycling steel and the use of renewables to power electric arc furnaces, companies house in the UK lists his companies
        https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/UsjIJr5MpOo-X2T_NFfnFRHe-MM/appointments
        (hope that works)
        This is a brief overview of his operations in Wales.
        http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/steel-energy-businesses-wales-now-13283752

        Reply
        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  October 31, 2017

          http://www.connectedtoindia.com/gupta-family-invests-in-tidal-power-project-in-uk-2964.html
          https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/wales/tag/Liberty+Steel+Newport
          These two links give some idea of the breadth of his interests and the strategy he is pursuing, recycling metals in a vertically intergrated steels group with links to infrastructure projects and renewables including tidal generation.
          Interesting fella but how is all this funded?

        • Abel Adamski

           /  November 1, 2017

          Jeremy, he is a very smart man. He has made a very profitable enterprise out of buying run down badly managed assets and turning them around. In the process he works with unions and is apparently an excellent employer, as such he achieves high productivity and a loyal workforce (pretty much the obverse of the usual corporate mentality). Take Arrium in Australia , was bankrupt, the unions had cut deals reducing wages and conditions etc, but still poorly managed with ridiculous energy costs due to mismanagement of energy in Aust and the flogging off of Gas from our massive resources to Japan etc , those contracts at a fraction of the cost Australians pay have been filled by robbing domestic supply forcing up domestic prices and pushing energy cost sky high. The Steel industry is a energy glutton, that is why his approach and it will be hugely profitable and a game changer.
          So his organisations are largely self funded, profitable and lenders are falling over themselves to provide funds

    • Fantastic news here, Vic. It looks like the renewable renaissance is moving forward despite attempts to worsen policy.

      Reply
  19. wili

     /  October 31, 2017

    summary from a New York Times column by Michelle Goldberg (The Plot Against America) :

    “So here’s where we are. Trump put Manafort, an accused money-launderer and unregistered foreign agent, in charge of his campaign. Under Manafort’s watch, the campaign made at least two attempts to get compromising information about Clinton from Russia. Russia, in turn, provided hacked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks.

    Russia also ran a giant disinformation campaign against Clinton on social media and attempted to hack voting systems in at least 21 states. In response to Russia’s election meddling, Barack Obama’s administration imposed sanctions. Upon taking office, Trump reportedly made secret efforts to lift them. He fired the F.B.I. director James Comey to stop his investigation into “this Russia thing,” as he told Lester Holt. The day after the firing, he met with Russia’s foreign minister and its ambassador to America, and told them: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

    We’ve had a year of recriminations over the Clinton campaign’s failings, but Trump clawed out his minority victory only with the aid of a foreign intelligence service.

    On Monday we finally got indictments, but it’s been obvious for a year that this presidency is a crime.”

    Reply
  20. Abel Adamski

     /  October 31, 2017

    http://prospect.org/article/russiagate-keep-your-eye-pence

    In Russiagate, Keep Your Eye on Pence

    If Democrats are smart, they’ll explore the vice president’s role during the transition.

    Reply
    • Abel, that is a Big “IF” – they are still keeping the neoliberals in charge, denying controls to the faction who highlighted Climate Change with urgency.

      As for Pence, he chaired the transition team and was aware of Flynn’s activities – officially told of them by Congressional Democrats. (I recall segments by Rachel Maddow on his involvement – back while it was new.) Pence then lied about what he knew and when. “Robert Mueller’s decision to pursue the firing of Michael Flynn feels less like an attempt at heaping yet another ounce of dirt on Donald Trump’s head, and more like an attempt at dumping a gallon of dirt on Mike Pence’s head. If Mueller can expose the specific reason why Pence tried to cover for Flynn, he can nail Pence for obstruction or worse.”
      http://www.palmerreport.com/opinion/mueller-pence-nailing/5027/

      Since then, more lies by Pence are coming to light:
      https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/maddow-mike-pences-long-list-of-russia-lies-lands-him-in-muellers-crosshairs/

      The whole cabinet needs to go, en mass – new election. Will we get there? We wait and will see.

      Reply
      • I think it’s fair to say that the Dems are doing everything they can at the moment. They’re in the minority and their power is quite limited. The statement on neoliberals is a bit too academic to reflect accurately in the real world. Who are these ‘neoliberals’ you speak of? The party is made up mostly of progressives.

        Reply
        • Ah, spoken like my sisters who put Clinton (fan of TPP, KXL and Wall St.) as the standard bearer. Sorry Robert, on this we part. The Democrats needed for unity were purged from what power they had after Perez replaced anyone who had backed Ellison.
          Remember the options in January?
          https://newrepublic.com/article/140847/case-tom-perez-makes-no-sense

          There’s been a lot of opinion writing by Progressives and by Centrists since then – trying to find one to summarize the case – I’d suggest this as close enough.
          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/13/progressive-democratic-candidates-james-thompson-loss

          Do feelings run deep by progressives? I’d say yes, and that spells trouble. Bernie and those who stood with him as Progressives came the closest among candidates to recognizing the threat of Climate Change… and he had the smarts to know people needed more equality before there would be social room for addressing needed mitigation.

          I don’t know that many Progressives step back to see what fragility “rights” will have in societies going through supply constrictions. Step back a bit further – not mere political trouble, but existential trouble. We need to be looking at the structural issues of our global society, I=PAT and EROEI. Such was suggested in 1972 as the BAU scenario of “Limits to Growth” but corporations and those who serve them need profits that deny those limits.
          Numbers on paper can grow without problems, delivery requires physical extractions from a finite source.

          We each plug away at looking for options. Being “against Trump” didn’t win in 2016, and yet it is the majority of what the Dems are still about. the split is still there in the party of FDR, and saying otherwise isn’t sufficient.

        • Spoken like a true, small-minded partisan who completely ignores all the policies that were at stake in the matter…

          Of course Bernie was more progressive than Hillary. But Hillary won the primaries and the choice at that time was one between Hillary and Trump. Not Bernie and Trump. And it wasn’t just your sisters that made Hillary the standard bearer. It was a majority of democrats. You understand that reality, right?

          I voted for Bernie in the primaries due to the fact that I thought he was a stronger candidate v Trump than Hillary and due to the fact that I supported his stronger progressive platform. But I operated under no illusions that Hillary was anything other than a moderate democrat with progressive leanings and a few troubling conflicts of interest. As less than ideal as this may have been, I suffered no illusions that she was as bad as Trump or that any other candidate had much hope of doing anything other than helping to get Trump elected by funneling votes and enthusiasm away from Hillary.

          Bernie was no Barack Obama and was thus unable to garner the support needed to move the party away from Hillary. Post primaries he was positive in that he was able to move Hillary to the left and that he did not feed into divisive elements who feigned support of him in an effort to divide the party. Both of which were good, wise moves. Hillary, for her part, showed many sympathies for the left despite her moderate leanings and she backed off of her previous support of harmful policies like Keystone XL. Hillary did support some policies that could be labeled as neo-liberal. But she supported far more in the range of progressive policies.

          In any case, Hillary is not the democratic party. She’s among the more moderate democrats who definitely have more corporate leanings. But if you think the democractic party shouldn’t include such moderates, then I think that’s a pretty harmful view. If you’re going to actually achieve policy goals, you need a decent sized tent. Otherwise, you can’t generate a broad enough support.

          The overall thrust of the democratic party, despite various individuals and factions is quite progressive. Failing to understand this is to sacrifice the forest for a stand of trees. If you don’t believe that the Democratic Party is progressive, then I suggest you actually read the platform:

          https://www.democrats.org/party-platform

          PREAMBLE
          RAISE INCOMES AND RESTORE ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS
          Raising Workers’ Wages
          Protecting Workers’ Fundamental Rights
          Supporting Working Families
          Helping More Workers Share in Near-Record Corporate Profits
          Expanding Access to Affordable Housing and Homeownership
          Protecting and Expanding Social Security
          Ensuring a Secure and Dignified Retirement
          Revitalizing Our Nation’s Postal Service
          CREATE GOOD-PAYING JOBS
          Building 21st Century Infrastructure
          Fostering a Manufacturing Renaissance
          Creating Good-Paying Clean Energy Jobs
          Pursuing Our Innovation Agenda: Science, Research, Education, and Technology
          Supporting America’s Small Businesses
          Creating Jobs for America’s Young People
          FIGHT FOR ECONOMIC FAIRNESS AND AGAINST INEQUALITY
          Reining in Wall Street and Fixing our Financial System
          Promoting Competition by Stopping Corporate Concentration
          Making the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes
          Promoting Trade That is Fair and Benefits American Workers
          BRING AMERICANS TOGETHER AND REMOVE BARRIERS TO OPPORTUNITIES
          Ending Systemic Racism
          Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
          Reforming our Criminal Justice System
          Fixing our Broken Immigration System
          Guaranteeing Civil Rights
          Guaranteeing Women’s Rights
          Guaranteeing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights
          Guaranteeing Rights for People with Disabilities
          Respecting Faith and Service
          Investing in Rural America
          Ending Poverty and Investing in Communities Left Behind
          Building Strong Cities and Metro Areas
          Promoting Arts and Culture
          Honoring Indigenous Tribal Nations
          Fighting for the People of Puerto Rico
          Honoring the People of the Territories
          PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS, FIX OUR CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM, AND RESTORE OUR DEMOCRACY
          Protecting Voting Rights
          Fixing Our Broken Campaign Finance System
          Appointing Judges
          Securing Statehood for Washington, DC
          Strengthening Management of Federal Government
          COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE, BUILD A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY, AND SECURE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
          Building a Clean Energy Economy
          Securing Environmental and Climate Justice
          Protecting Our Public Lands and Waters
          PROVIDE QUALITY AND AFFORDABLE EDUCATION
          Making Debt-Free College a Reality
          Providing Relief from Crushing Student Debt
          Supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions
          Cracking Down on Predatory For-Profit Schools
          Guaranteeing Universal Preschool and Good Schools for Every Child
          ENSURE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ALL AMERICANS
          Securing Universal Health Care
          Supporting Community Health Centers
          Reducing Prescription Drug Costs
          Enabling Cutting-Edge Medical Research
          Combating Drug and Alcohol Addiction
          Treating Mental Health
          Supporting Those Living with Autism and their Families
          Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice
          Ensuring Long-Term Care, Services, and Supports
          Protecting and Promoting Public Health
          Ending Violence Against Women
          Preventing Gun Violence
          PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP
          SUPPORT OUR TROOPS AND KEEP FAITH WITH OUR VETERANS
          Defense Spending
          Veterans and Service Members
          Military Families
          A Strong Military
          CONFRONT GLOBAL THREATS
          Terrorism
          Syria
          Afghanistan
          Iran
          North Korea
          Russia
          Cybersecurity and Online Privacy
          Non-Proliferation of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons
          Global Climate Leadership
          PROTECT OUR VALUES
          Women and Girls
          Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People
          Trafficking and Modern Slavery
          Young People
          Religious Minorities
          Refugees
          Civil Society
          Anti-Corruption
          Torture
          Closing Guantánamo Bay
          Development Assistance
          Global Health
          HIV and AIDS
          International Labor
          A LEADER IN THE WORLD
          Asia-Pacific
          Middle East
          Europe
          Americas
          Africa
          Global Economy and Institutions

          The actual neo-liberal party in this country is the republican party. If you don’t realize that, then you need to educate yourself.

          Finally, much of the so-called intra democratic party conflict that you inflate has been mostly a ‘nothing burger.’ The party platform is the most progressive it has been in 20-30 years. No, we are not yet the party of FDR again. But we are moving in that direction and we will continue to do so unless extremists cause fractures that wouldn’t have otherwise happened by doing idiotic things like effectively labeling Clinton a Republican and painting the entire democratic party with the same brush.

        • In any case, I have to wonder what your motivation is in returning to the subject of Clinton, of re-litigating the election, and of falsely labeling Democrats ‘neo-liberal.’ Clinton lost. And, at this point, the Democratic Party is the primary champion of democracy in this country. Not supporting it now is tantamount to giving over to Trump authoritarianism. And no progressive in their right mind would do that.

          Regardless of your motivation in the matter, this messaging is harmful and divisive. So I have now placed you under moderation.

        • From the reference:

          Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism[1] refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism.[2]:7 Such ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade,[3] and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society.[11] These market-based ideas and the policies they inspired constitute a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus which lasted from 1945 to 1980.[12][13]

        • Yep. I see you pushing the ridiculous views of Wall Street Journal Columnist Thomas Frank. Of course he’s trying to spread blame here. This was a typical thrust by conservative thinkers both pre and post recession. It is ironic in that this kind of innacurate blaming of the victim basically advances purely ideological neo-liberal thought and structures. In other words, how can we resist rampant laissez faire thinking if we are all labeled as neo-liberal?

          Am done with this, David. It’s subversive and its vile.

          In any case, to be very clear, it is DEMOCRATS who are presently defending the regulatory reforms that were put in place post Great Recession and REPUBLICANS who are attempting to remove them which is a very ideologically-driven NEO-LIBERAL way of generating policy. Clearly they have learned none of the lessons of the past in this regard. For it is the REPUBLICANS who are pushing a very NEOLIBERAL tax cut for the rich and DEMOCRATS who are fighting to prevent it. The REPUBLICANS who are pushing a gutting of various oversight agencies like the EPA in a very NEOLIBERAL fashion and DEMOCRATS who are trying to protect these helpful institutions. REPUBLICANS who are pushing assaults on health care and other very helpful social programs in a very NEOLIBERAL/ laissez faire fashion and DEMOCRATS who are trying to defend social security, medicare, medicaid, and Obamacare.

          If you just prick the facts here, it’s obvious who is trying to remove key and helpful policy and protections and who is trying with every new policy to remove rule of law and rationality and basic kindness and to re-assert the anarchical laissez faire rule of the jungle. And it is not the Democrats…

          David = banned.

          Anyone else want to try to spread misinformation and division on my forum?? I’m waiting.

        • And further down:

          “David Harvey traces the rise of neoliberalism in the US to Lewis Powell’s 1971 confidential memorandum to the US Chamber of Commerce.[68]:43 A call to arms to the business community to counter criticism of the free enterprise system, it was a significant factor in the rise of conservative organizations and think-tanks which advocated for neoliberal policies, such as the Business Roundtable, The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academia and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. For Powell, universities were becoming an ideological battleground, and he recommended the establishment of an intellectual infrastructure to serve as a counterweight to the increasingly popular ideas of Ralph Nader and other opponents of big business.[73][74][75] On the left, neoliberal ideas were developed and widely popularized by John Kenneth Galbraith, while the Chicago School ideas were advanced and repackaged into a progressive, leftist perspective in Lester Thurow’s influential 1980 book “The Zero-Sum Society”.[76]

          Early roots of neoliberalism were laid in the 1970s, during the Jimmy Carter administration, with deregulation of the trucking, banking, and airline industries.[77][78][79]”

          Here wikipedia fails to mention that the origins of these deregulations primarily began under Nixon during 1971 and during the time when laizzer faire policy structures were advanced by the various right wing institutions mentioned above. Please see:

          “The first comprehensive proposal to deregulate a major industry in the United States, transportation, originated in the Richard Nixon Administration and was forwarded to Congress in late 1971.[11] This proposal was initiated and developed by an interagency group that included the Council of Economic Advisors (represented by Hendrik Houthakker and Thomas Gale Moore[12]), White House Office of Consumer Affairs (represented by Jack Pearce), Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, Department of Labor, and other agencies.[13]

          The proposal addressed both rail and truck transportation, but not air carriage. (92d Congress, Senate Bill 2842) The developers of this legislation in this Administration sought to cultivate support from commercial buyers of transportation services, consumer organizations, economists, and environmental organization leaders.[14] This ‘civil society’ coalition became a template for coalitions influential in efforts to deregulate trucking and air transport later in the decade.”

          In the case of Carter, he was doing his best to combat inflation in the U.S. through a more moderate set of policies than those late pushed by Reagan and Bush 2:

          From the Washington Post:

          “In the economic sphere, Carter recognized that the Democratic Party had to come to terms with the economic and social changes which had occurred at home and abroad since the New Deal.

          He was strongly committed to fiscal moderation and government efficiency. He pressed for tax reductions the nation could afford, and he directed tax relief to those most in need. He whittled the annual federal deficit down to a low of $27 billion. It never exceeded 2.5 percent of Gross National Product, compared with 6 percent during the Reagan administration. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that if Carter policies had been maintained the nation would have enjoyed a $138 billion surplus in 1985 rather than the $208 billion deficit we will have.”

          Though neo-liberal in nature, Carter’s actions were overall more moderate and in response to economic realities at the time rather than to an internal ideological drive. In other words, a rational degree of market liberalization made sense in the context of the late 1970s and early 1980s. That was not the case later in Reagan as we saw during the S&L crisis and under Bush 2 during the great recession. Economic policy, is, after all, a balancing act. And sometimes free market based policies are helpful if they aren’t taken to a harmful extreme.

          Wikipedia continues:

          “This trend continued into the 1980s, under the Reagan Administration, which included tax cuts, increased defense spending, financial deregulation and trade deficit expansion.[80] Likewise, concepts of supply-side economics, discussed by the Democrats in the 1970s, culminated in the 1980 Joint Economic Committee report, “Plugging in the Supply Side.” This was picked up and advanced by the Reagan administration, with Congress following Reagan’s basic proposal and cutting federal income taxes across the board by 25% in 1981.[81]”

          Wikipedia fails to mention that under Reagan, these neo-liberal policies became the dominant, not a contributing view, for economic policy-making. As a result, the U.S. was left open to the systemic financial collapse of the S&L crisis, fiscal irresponsibility in the form of spirally deficits, and the return of monopolization in various markets.

          Wikipedia continues:

          “During the 1990s, the Clinton Administration also embraced neoliberalism[70] by supporting the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, continuing the deregulation of the financial sector through passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act, and implementing cuts to the welfare state through passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act.[80][82][83] The neoliberalism of the Clinton Administration differs from that of Reagan, as the Clinton Administration purged neoliberalism of neoconservative positions on militarism, family values, opposition to multiculturalism and neglect of ecological issues.”

          Bill Clinton was relatively neo-liberal in his policies. Perhaps a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. He did not, however, as Bush later did, hobble financial regulatory bodies and put various foxes in charge of market hen houses. Clinton, like Carter, was more moderate in the application of various neo-liberal policies — applying checks to those policies to a degree that was not seen during Republican rule. That said, Clinton certainly did allow a number of harmful deregulations to pass through Congress. Acts that he later admitted to regretting.

          As for NAFTA. We should be clear that free trade policies have a number of economic benefits if managed well. This is a basic fact and involves taking into account that some neo-liberal views are valid. It’s just a case that the ideology of pure laissez faire thinking, as we have seen in recent Republican Administrations, often results in structural failures. However, I think it is fair to say that free trade policy absolutely needs to be balanced with other non-neo-liberal policies that work to support workers whose jobs have moved and to rationally redistribute some of the wealth that inevitably concentrates as the results of winners in free trade situations.

          In short, what we can say is that ideological neo-liberalism was a right-originating political economic view that was strongly supported in the Republican party and subverted some democratic party elements. Moreover, it appears that the democratic application of neo-liberal policy was far more moderate than that application during republican administrations. The governing philosophy was partly adopted during Carter due to outside political pressures and due to at the time present economic realities. Many of these policies originated under Nixon and were pushed by right wing think tanks like Heritage and CATO. And they didn’t come into full swing until Reagan. After Reagan, pretty much everyone had been brow beaten by the neo-liberal view. Bill Clinton, for his part, went along with the deregulation pushed by republicans. But these advances of neo-liberalism were contested by voices within the democratic party even as Clinton himself continued to manage non-neoliberal levers such as the financial regulatory structures to far greater reach and effect than Bush later did.

          Later, after the Great Recession, which was an obvious result of laissez faire policies driven to their conclusion by the Bush Administration, resurgence of anti-neoliberal thought occurred. The base of this resurgence was within the Democratic Party which advanced numerous market reforms and regulations which the Trump Administration is now trying to remove.

          The Wikpedia history is incomplete in these ways:

          1. It fails to clearly outline that the origin of neoliberalism was from the right.
          2. It fails to show how elements of the left were subverted over the course of decades even as many democratic leaders railed against the return to laissez faire economic thinking.
          3. It fails to show how even the Clinton Administration attempted to water down neo-liberal policy and how both the Clinton and Carter Administrations were more moderate in their application of neoliberal policy than during Reagan and Bush 2.
          4. It fails to talk about how neo-liberal policy was greatly amplified under both Bush 2 in and Reagan — during which the primary victories for this world-view occurred and during which deregulation led to serious collapses in the economic system (Great Recession, S&L crisis etc) as a result.

          And as for blaming the democrats — that’s kind of like blaming the victim. And yes, labeling them presently as ideologically neo-liberal is an inaccurate ad hominem attack of the most vile kind. These are the basic facts of the matter, David.

  21. Not entirely disconnected with themes of energy and environment. There is a lot more to come out. Manafort is probably not connnected – but – Michael Flynn IS – to a dark deal to sell nuclear materials to Middle East. The deal involved a secret group – Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia. The world awaits the full story .

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 1, 2017

      If you can get your hands on a book Major Jordans Diaries, he was in Alaska as the intermediary/liason in shipping war materials to Russia in WW2 and became aware that Nuclear materials and blueprints (Ultra top secret info) were being shipped in diplomatic “bags” or should we say containers to Russia, he was ordered to rubber stamp the shipments, thus enabling the Cold war and start of the Golden Era for the Military Industrial Complex and Alphabet Soup. Some people got very very rich

      Reply
  22. Jeremy in Wales

     /  October 31, 2017

    This all obviously has links with the Brexit referendum here in the UK, Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer, UKIP and Wikileaks.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/28/trump-assange-bannon-farage-bound-together-in-unholy-alliance
    Assange is still holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nigel Farage (UKIP) was spotted visiting last year, who also has links to Trump.
    It is the money trail that will link them especially if the tax havens can be busted open.

    Reply
  23. Jeremy in Wales

     /  October 31, 2017

    The British Antartic Survey base at Halley on the Brunt Ice Shelf will not be manned over winter in 2018 as the chasm and Halloween crack are still extending. Looks like at some point there will be one or more huge calving events from the Brunt Ice Shelf.
    https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/115024/
    also paper discussing formation of rift
    https://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/tc-2017-190/

    Reply
  24. Abel Adamski

     /  November 1, 2017

    Absolutely fantastic
    https://psmag.com/environment/the-grassroots-social-network-documenting-real-time-climate-change
    The Grassroots Social Network Documenting Real-Time Climate Change
    The LEO Network is bringing together scientists and citizens to monitor climate change and spot trends.

    Climate change is often only tangible to the wider public when its effects are at their most extreme. When the United States is subject to highly active hurricane seasons or extended periods of drought, people pay attention. But the slow march of climate change is still felt around the world in the day-to-day developments of people who are connected to nature as part of their jobs, lives, and survival. Indigenous groups in particular have had a front-row seat to climate shifts over the decades. Now, a group of scientists called the Local Environmental Observer network, is drawing from its roots in indigenous communities, and harnessing and mapping the observations of these people to get a real-time, holistic overview of climate change.

    In 2012, Brubaker and the ANTHC created an app and website to track these daily changes in the environment with help from the people closest to them—tribal elders, scientists, fishermen, and hunters, to name a few.

    That app became the LEO network, which now boasts over 2,000 members reporting from 488 communities, with almost 600 joining in 2017 alone. It features hundreds of observations from across North America, as well as throughout Australia, Africa, and Europe. Brubaker and the scientists behind LEO hope this kind of boots-on-the-ground, real-time monitoring can help them spot troubling trends in climate change before they become crises.

    Reply
  25. Abel Adamski

     /  November 1, 2017

    Dominoe’s
    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/358085-alaska-governor-signs-climate-change-order
    Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) has signed an order establishing a climate change strategy for the state and appointing a board to investigate ways to limit its effects.

    Walker’s order calls on a team of experts to recommend “statuary and regulatory changes” in the state to help it deal with climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The group is directed to focus on adapting for, and responding to, the effects of climate change within Alaska, including rising sea levels and its impact on communities there.

    But the order aims to support the Paris climate agreement as well, seeking ways to reduce Alaska’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    Reply
  26. Abel Adamski

     /  November 1, 2017

    It is going to be interesting
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-01/donald-trump-is-at-his-zenith/9105062

    Make no mistake, Donald Trump is at his zenith

    Donald Trump is the most unpopular president at this stage of his tenure than any president in modern American history. But that’s not the end of the story.

    He has not secured passage of one major piece of legislation through Congress, failing spectacularly in his efforts to repeal Obamacare. He has presided over a precipitous decline in America’s standing in the world, and has engaged in ugly exchanges with world leaders from the UK to Australia.

    He is under withering fire in media coverage and oped columns from coast to coast. The “I” word — impeachment — is uttered weekly in the halls of Congress.

    His former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted, and the Special Prosecutor clearly has other targets.
    He is attacked by fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill as unfit for office.

    Mr Trump has lost his chief of staff, chief strategist, press secretary, national security adviser, head of the FBI, and a cabinet officer within the first eight months in office, and has publicly and repeatedly humiliated two other members of cabinet.

    He regularly insults the Republican leaders in Congress. He has brought the United States to the edge of war with North Korea.

    But make no mistake: as we near the anniversary of Mr Trump’s election last November 8, and notwithstanding the legal clouds looming over the White House, Mr Trump is at his zenith astride Washington and his party.

    The mood in Washington right now is that even if Special Counsel Robert Mueller finds criminal activity at the highest levels of the Trump campaign, including possible obstruction of justice by trying to shut down the probe, the Republicans in the House will not vote to impeach Mr Trump.

    Mr Trump is not going anywhere. He is prosecuting his agenda with abandon. He has overpowered those in his party in Congress who resist his leadership.

    Democrats have not translated Mr Trump’s unpopularity into a potent political counterforce.

    For those who voted for Mr Trump, their man is on the hustings keeping full faith with his campaign policies and blaming all those standing in his way — Republicans and Democrats — for not getting with the program. The economy is growing at 3 per cent. The stock market is near all-time highs.

    One year on from his shock election over Hillary Clinton, this is Mr Trump at his zenith.

    Reply
    • The Washington Post and NY Times shared reports this summer about the unsettled question of criminal indictment of a sitting president. Both suggested it is possible.
      Then look back to this article while Bill Clinton was wanted by the Republicans.
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB889218754227546000

      #45 may be at his zenith, but what is ahead has room for a great deal of legal wrangling.

      Reply
      • “Possible, but unlikely” – is the general consensus across a number of articles and legal journals. Basically, the question has never before gone to the US Supreme Court. This time, if the House continues to ignore its duties, it might indeed escalate to a criminal indictment.

        “If they did seek an indictment against the president, the president would almost certainly appeal right away,” Brian Kalt, a law professor at Michigan State University and author of Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies, says. “Immunity arguments get reviewed right away, since the point of immunity is that you can’t be prosecuted — letting the trial go forward would moot the issue. It would go all the way up to the Supreme Court in short order, but that could delay things for a few months at least.”

        “While I personally think the president is immune while in office, I concede that there are arguments on both sides and that it is unsettled,” Kalt continues. Now, with Trump, there’s a small but real chance that the Supreme Court might finally settle the matter.”

        https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/17/15654158/trump-prosecuted-constitution-impeachment-prosecutor

        Reply
        • If the majority of Trump’s campaign staff is indicted, then it really doesn’t matter whether or not an indictment will stick to Trump. If Trump is indicted and appeals, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that a sitting President coming under such legal scrutiny through his associations and allies has no integrity. At a certain point, his party can no longer defend him and remain credible, even with the large megaphone of right wing media blaring away at distractions. Ultimately, the truth is what matters here.

    • John McCormick

       /  November 1, 2017

      And, he continues to savage and eliminate any and all regulations written to protect Americans, from public health to worker safety, black lung and the environment. Add deregulation of the finance industry and we see a federal government being stripped naked and returned to the 1920’s style of governing. If Dems win the House and Senate, it will take a generation to restore all that he has eliminated.

      Reply
  27. Leland Palmer

     /  November 1, 2017

    Considering Manafort’s background with The Party of Regions , he would have been a logical choice for Putin to make for Trump’s campaign manager, I think.

    Manafort was likely on Russia’s payroll:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/10/31/manafort-pro-russia-party-report/816242001/

    “Manafort was paid at least $28.5 million, far more than the $12.5 million reported last year, from “black money” funds run by the Party of the Regions, according to a source with knowledge about the investigation. The Party of the Regions served as the pro-Kremlin political base for Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in 2014.”

    So was Manafort Putin’s guy, working for Putin’s intelligence services directly? Or was it more indirect than that?

    Russia’s intelligence services kill people, apparently. Can Manafort talk safely? Who is he afraid of more – Mueller or Putin?

    Reply
    • Manafort appears to have been a no-scruples mercenary who was willing to work for the highest bidder no matter what. He appears to have been an effective tool of Putin due to his already corrupted and rudderless morality and total lack of loyalty to the United States.

      Reply
  28. A leading Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee says a confirmation hearing for one of President Donald Trump’s nominees should be delayed in light of new twists in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

    Trump has nominated former campaign adviser Sam Clovis to serve as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Clovis had communicated with George Papadopoulos, who admitted to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians intermediaries last year.

    Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says she has concerns about Clovis’ qualifications to coordinate agricultural research, and his contact with Papadopoulos raises a whole separate set of questions.http://newsok.com/the-latest-prosecutors-say-manafort-financial-reports-vary/article/feed/1488936

    Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2017

    Every Other Summer Will Shatter Heat Records Within a Decade

    Think of the stickiest, record-hot summer you’ve ever experienced, whether you’re 30 or 60 years old. In 10 years or less, that miserable summer will happen every second year across most of the US and Canada, the Mediterranean, and much of Asia, according to a study to be published in the open access journal Earth’s Future.

    By the 2030s, every second summer over almost all of the entire Northern hemisphere will be hotter than any record-setting hot summer of the past 40 years, the study found. By 2050, virtually every summer will be hotter than anything we’ve experienced to date.
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8x58e3/summer-heat-records-within-a-decade-shatter

    Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2017

    Dr. Jeff Masters –
    Volatile Earth: Killer Hurricanes airing Wednesday night on PBS NOVA
    If you need a break from tonight’s World Series Game 7, at 9 pm EDT PBS NOVA is airing “Volatile Earth: Killer Hurricanes.” The show will focus on the Great Hurricane of 1780, the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record (over 22,000 killed), and how climate change is making such violent high-end hurricanes more likely. I should have a few minutes of air time in the show, as they spent an entire day filming me last year for it. I recounted my near-fatal flight into Hurricane Hugo in 1989 for them, and discussed how a tornado-scale vortex embedded in the eyewall was likely responsible for our misfortune. There is also a separate NOVA hurricane show focusing on Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria coming out in February, for which I did another day of filming two weeks ago.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/november-atlantic-hurricane-outlook-season-not-over-yet

    Reply
  31. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2017

    Claims losses from California’s wildfires top $3 billion; state says some insurers may exit
    Residential insured losses from this month’s wine country wildfires in California totaled more than $3 billion, with the claims total expected to go up.
    As a result of the big insured losses, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said some insurers may stop writing policies in fire-risk areas.
    The wine country wildfires started Oct. 8 and damaged or destroyed more than 14,700 homes, 728 businesses and thousands of vehicles.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/31/insured-losses-from-californias-wildfire-disaster-top-3-billion.html

    Reply
  32. coloradobob

     /  November 1, 2017

    East Antarctica’s biggest glacier lost ice because of warm water and strong winds

    The largest glacier in East Antarctica contains so much ice it could raise sea levels by at least 11 feet if it all melted — and research now shows the ice has been retreating because of warmer than usual waters brought on by strong winds.

    Between 2001 and 2006, water just a couple of degrees warmer than usual caused ice in this region of Antarctica to flow toward the sea about 5 percent faster than usual, according to a study published today in Science Advances. That might not seem like much, but it actually means that ice was melting — in an area of Antarctica that’s largely been considered stable.

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/1/16586508/totten-glacier-east-antarctica-ice-melting-warm-waters-winds-sea-level-rise

    Reply
  1. Prepare for a world 3°C warmer in 80 years [breaking fake news] there were clues… – This is a site address blog or two places at the same time, while also being in space
  2. Russian Collusion: Kushner-Associated Corp Linked to Oil Giant Gazprom in Gaining Monetary Leverage Over Facebook and Twitter | RClimate

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