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    Thursday, November 17, 2016

    Steve Bannon Speaks

    Buzzfeed provides a transcript of a discussion where Steve Bannon laid out his global nationalist vision in unusually in-depth remarks delivered by Skype to a conference held inside the Vatican in the summer of 2014.

    Some highlights I pulled out, but you who are concerned over Bannon should read the whole thing to get some insight into his thinking.

    on Capitalism:

    But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

    One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.

    The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

    However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

    On Breitbart:

    The central thing that binds that all together is a center-right populist movement of really the middle class, the working men and women in the world who are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos. A group of kind of — we’re not conspiracy-theory guys, but there’s certainly — and I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run.

    I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don’t believe that. They believe they know what’s best for how they will comport their lives. They think they know best about how to raise their families and how to educate their families. So I think you’re seeing a global reaction to centralized government, whether that government is in Beijing or that government is in Washington, DC, or that government is in Brussels. So we are the platform for the voice of that.

    On Bankers and the 2008 collapse:

    The 2008 crisis, I think the financial crisis — which, by the way, I don’t think we’ve come through — is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks. My old firm, Goldman Sachs — traditionally the best banks are leveraged 8:1. When we had the financial crisis in 2008, the investment banks were leveraged 35:1. Those rules had specifically been changed by a guy named Hank Paulson. He was secretary of Treasury. As chairman of Goldman Sachs, he had gone to Washington years before and asked for those changes. That made the banks not really investment banks, but made them hedge funds — and highly susceptible to changes in liquidity.

    In addition, I think you really need to go back and make banks do what they do: Commercial banks lend money, and investment banks invest in entrepreneurs and to get away from this trading — you know, the hedge fund securitization, which they’ve all become basically trading operations and securitizations and not put capital back and really grow businesses and to grow the economy.

    When you have this kind of crony capitalism, you have a different set of rules for the people that make the rules. It’s this partnership of big government and corporatists. I think it starts to fuel, particularly as you start to see negative job creation. If you go back, in fact, and look at the United States’ GDP, you look at a bunch of Europe. If you take out government spending, you know, we’ve had negative growth on a real basis for over a decade.

    And that all trickles down to the man in the street. If you look at people’s lives, and particularly millennials, look at people under 30 — people under 30, there’s 50% really under employment of people in the United States, which is probably the most advanced economy in the West, and it gets worse in Europe.

    On Islamism

    But I strongly believe that whatever the causes of the current drive to the caliphate was — and we can debate them, and people can try to deconstruct them — we have to face a very unpleasant fact: And that unpleasant fact is that there is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global. It’s going global in scale, and today’s technology, today’s media, today’s access to weapons of mass destruction, it’s going to lead to a global conflict that I believe has to be confronted today.

    On Putin

    I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy. However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing. I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.

    You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand. However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016

    The Real Problem with White America - Smug Liberals

    There is a class of white people, they're in the top 5%. They've really no conception of what it's like to make a living with your hands. To farm, or to learn a trade, or to toil as a welder or a plumber.

    For them, they've been comfortable their entire life. They've attended college, the nation's finest in many cases. That's fine, that's the American dream, and the value of the work they do with their brains is fantastic. It's important and it's valuable.

    This isn't quite the top 1%, but it's the top 5%.

    95% of Americans live in a quite different world. They strive to be in the top 5%, or to get their kids in it. They work hard, with their hands, or with multiple jobs, and they've been left behind by this awesome economy that has favored the 5%. This is not an 8 year phenomena, it's been going on for 25 years. There's plenty of people who have forgotten them, across both parties.

    These people are not racists, sexists, homophobes. They voted for Obama - twice, and they have received few of the bounties of the last 8 years.

    They're angry, and they vote, too, and they voted for Trump this time.

    I am sick and tired of rich, white, suburbanites who have never known the indignity of an unemployment check whining about their racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia.

    Get out of your safe spaces and learn something about America.

    My Agenda For Trump

    Some things I am looking forward to with Trump and a GOP Congress:

    1. A return to regular order in the House and Senate
    2. Cancelling all of Obama's executive overreaches
    3. Supreme Court Judge Ted Cruz
    4. More Ships! Especially submarines
    5. Fracking expanded in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.
    6. Tearing up the Iran "deal"
    7. Release of drilling on government owned land
    8. Opting out of the Climate "Deals" with China, and the Paris agreement
    9. Shifting $500M of PPfA money to real womens health organizations or eliminating it altogether
    Longer Term:
    1. Ending Obamacare and actually getting affordable health care (like Trump, the 26 year olds on parents plans can stay, or maybe lower it to 24, and the pre-existing conditions clause needs to be worked out so that it's fair to people without driving costs through the roof - another debate, perhaps)
    2. Securing the border (with a physical wall, where appropriate), ending Visa Overstays, reforming the H1B scam program; then reforming the LEGAL immigration system, and return to a quota system, vice chain migration
    3. A defense build up that signals the Chinese, Russians, and Iranians that we're serious about ending their attempts at global/regional hegemony. Reaffirming our support for the one true western democracy in the Middle East and supporting reform efforts in egypt and Iraq and any other ME country that wants to secularize
    4. Mark Cuban going away
    5. Chelsea Clinton in the House (seriously, don't we always need a Clinton around to remind us of what real corruption looks like)

    Tuesday, November 8, 2016

    Dems to Their Angry Voters - Take This Establishment Hack and Like It

    It's election day.

    Voters are angry, and how angry they are will determine what happens today.

    I would like my liberal friends (and enemies) to consider how each party treated their angry element.

    The GOP listened (of a fashion) and allowed the angry partisans to coalesce behind the candidate who best diagnosed their problem, Donald Trump.

    He's imperfect, but he has voiced the concerns of many in the GOP's orbit.  The beast within the GOP is being fed.

    In contrast, the Dems had Bernie Sanders with a very energized based, voicing many of the same concerns as the GOP's disaffected voters.

    What did the Dems do?

    As we've seen from Wikileaks, the Clinton machine put their finger on the scales and rigged (yes, rigged) the Dem primaries to ensure a Bernie loss.  This time, Hillary would not be denied the nomination.

    Then, they told those Bernie voters to get in line, and take this Establishment Hag and like it.

    Basically, they gave them the finger.

    The angry GOP voters are going to go for Trump.

    Will they be enough.