pindo fools

Impeachment crisis: Trump & Demagogs exchange threats and warnings
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Oct 3 2019

Trump with Niinisto at the White House, Wednesday Oct 2 2019.
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

At dueling news conferences Wednesday, Trump and leading House Demagogs exchanged warnings that the impeachment inquiry begun in the House of Reps could quickly escalate into a constitutional confrontation. Pelosi and Schiff held a morning press briefing at which they denounced statements from Pompeo objecting to their plans to take testimony from five current and former State Dept boxtops about Trump’s effort to induce the Ukrainian government to revive a corruption probe that could implicate Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, and thus undermine his father’s campaign for the 2020 Demagog presidential nomination. Schiff said:

We are deeply concerned about Sec Pompeo’s effort now to potentially interfere with witnesses whose testimony is needed before our committee.

Many of these witnesses were named in the complaint filed by a CIA whistleblower with Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Schiff threatened that any delay in producing witnesses or documents in response to the demands of the Intelligence Committee, which has been given the lead responsibility on impeachment instead of the Judiciary Committee, would result in additional charges of “obstruction of Congress” being leveled against the president. Such delays would also be cited as evidence in favor of the underlying charge of abuse of power, he said. Pelosi’s comments at the press conference underscored the reactionary character of the Demagogs’ effort to impeach Trump not for his crimes against democratic rights, or his brazen efforts to incite fascist violence, but for offending the intelligence agencies and seeking foreign assistance against Biden, the leading Demagog presidential hopeful. The House speaker flatly ruled out raising any charges in the impeachment inquiry except those related to the efforts of Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other boxtops to bully Ukraine into cooperating with the anti-Biden operation. She declared:

Any other objections people may have have no place in this discussion in terms of: Is he too cowardly to protect children from gun violence? Is he too cruel to protect Dreamers? Is he too in denial to understand climate change? The list goes on. Save that for the election.

No reporter at the press conference asked about the overnight report in the NYT that Trump had urged his anti-immigrant henchmen to shoot border-crossers in the legs and dig moats that would be filled with snakes and alligators, among other inhuman measures to halt the influx of desperate asylum seekers. Pelosi added that any Demagog-led investigation would be “worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.” In other words, impeachment will be conducted entirely within the “natsec” framework laid down by the military intelligence apparatus, and will exclude Trump’s real crimes against the democratic rights of immigrants, Muslims and other minorities, and his brazen defiance of constitutional restrictions on arbitrary executive power. The House speaker began the press conference with a plea to Trump and congressional Thugs to collaborate with the Demagogts on issues such as the ratification of the Pindo-Mexico-Canada trade deal and a plan that would supposedly limit the spiraling rise of prescription drug prices. In response to an obviously incredulous question about how she could offer such cooperation to a president “as you are actively considering whether to remove him,” Pelosi blandly replied:

They have nothing to do with each other.

At his own press conference four hours later, conducted with the visiting president of Finland, Trump lashed out at his Demagog Party opponents with some of the harshest language of his presidency. This followed a three-day period in which he had warned that his impeachment could provoke “civil war,” threatened Schiff with arrest for treason and denounced four freshmen congresswomen of minority ethnic backgrounds as “savages,” and two Jewish chairmen of House committees investigating him, one of them Schiff. Asked if he would cooperate with subpoenas of documents and witnesses by the House Demagogs, Trump said that he would, but then attacked the impeachment inquiry as a hoax, declared his phone call with Zelensky to be “perfect,” and reiterated his claim that Schiff was guilty of “treason” for mocking Trump’s call to Zelensky as resembling that of a mafia boss. He confirmed that Pompeo and many other boxtops were on the line for the Jul 25 call to Zelensky, and claimed that the CIA whistleblower had given an inaccurate account of the call in his complaint to the inspector general. Trump went on to cite a NYT article which had just been posted on the newspaper’s website, reporting that the whistleblower had contacted the House Intelligence Committee before filing his complaint. Talking of Schiff, Trump went on to claim:

He helped to write it too!

The article does confirm the close coordination between the intelligence agencies and the House Democrats in the effort either to force Trump out of office or compel him to conform to the foreign policy dictates of the military-intelligence apparatus, particularly in relation to policy towards Russia, the Middle East and Afghanistan. It is significant that the impeachment drive was set in motion after a series of major foreign policy debacles, including the failed political coup in Venezuela, Trump’s pulling back from launching missile strikes on Iran, his unsuccessful nuclear negotiations with North Korea, his on-again off-again “peace” talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and his escalating trade war with China. Trump boasted about his ability to survive nonstop attacks by the Demagogs and the media, particularly around the Mueller investigation, while threatening that new investigations mounted by Attorney General William Barr at his direction would find out who instigated the Mueller investigation and how. He warned:

We will get to the bottom of it, and then there will be a total reversal.

When one reporter asked about his use of the word “treason,” Trump defended it and repeated his denunciations of Schiff for mockingly comparing him to a mafia boss, a characterization that obviously stung him. The reporter, Jeff Mason of Reuters, followed up by asking him what he had wanted Pres Zelensky of Ukraine to do in relation to Biden, but Trump evaded the question with a long-winded account of the supposed great accomplishments of his administration. When Mason persisted, Trump seemed even more infuriated. He roared:

Biden and his son are stone-cold crooked. His son walks out with millions of dollars. The kid knows nothing. You know it, and so do we.

This is accurate both as a description of Hunter Biden and of Trump’s own far wealthier offspring, one of whom, his daughter Ivanka, holds a top position in the Trump White House, along with her husband Jared Kushner. When Mason continued to press for an answer to the question of what Trump wanted to obtain from Zelensky in relation to Biden, Trump launched into an attack on the “fake news media.” This dovetails with Trump’s frequent Twitter rants against the press as “enemies of the people,” and his incitement of violence against reporters during campaign rallies and other appearances. The Demagogs are heading up, in the form of an impeachment inquiry, an operation mounted by the CIA and other intelligence agencies that have been at war with Trump over foreign policy questions since his 2016 election campaign. By limiting their inquiry entirely to the issue of Pindo “natsec,” a euphemism for Pindo imperialism’s global interests, the Demagogs are opposing Trump on the most reactionary basis possible. They are essentially asserting the authority of the CIA, NSA, FBI and other spy and police agencies over the government. They are deliberately seeking to separate their impeachment operation from Trump’s attacks on democratic rights and working-class living standards for fear of stirring up the broad opposition that exists to Trump and the growing working-class resistance to social inequality reflected in the current auto strike. Trump, on the other hand, by denouncing impeachment as a conspiracy by elements in the state in alliance with the Demagogs and large sections of the media, is making a calculated political appeal to his political base, including ultra-right and fascistic elements. The interests of working people have nothing in common with either of these factions of the ruling class, which are in fundamental agreement on a policy of escalating war abroad and intensified austerity at home.

Demagogs exclude Trump’s fascist anti-immigrant policies from impeachment inquiry
Eric London, WSWS, Oct 3 2019

Near the World Trade International Bridge, Laredo, Texas, Apr 11 2019.
(Photo: Sgt Andrew S Valles/Army)

According to a NYT report posted Tuesday night, Pres Trump in March called for a fascistic pogrom against immigrants crossing the Pindo-Mexico border. The NYT wrote:

Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. Later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.

On Wednesday, the NYT reported that the DHS will forcibly collect DNA samples from all detained immigrants for compilation in a national database, including children and asylum applicants. That such Hitlerian proposals are discussed in the Oval Office by the president and his chief advisers, down to the details of cost, testifies to the depraved character of the entire Pindo political establishment and shows that Trump’s immigration policies are calculated to abuse and terrorize immigrant workers. Trump is the malignant product of a political system poisoned by decades of war, financial speculation and attacks on democratic rights. A country whose Declaration of Independence attacked the king of England for “obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners” and “refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither” is now led by would-be despots whose proposals for torturing asylum seekers would shock the conscience of people living in the Dark Ages. Yet the Demagog Party has launched an impeachment inquiry not over Trump’s fascist policies, but over his subordination of the global interests of Pindo imperialism to his own personal and political needs. The Demagogs are basing their impeachment drive on a single phone call in which Trump, having withheld some $400m in military aid to the far-right government of Ukraine, an ally against Russia, sought to use the release of the funds as leverage to force the Ukrainian president to investigate the corruption of Demagog presidential contender Joe Biden and his son.

The Demagogs’ impeachment investigation is directed by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. These forces of extreme reaction have determined that Trump’s politics, no matter how criminal, must be excluded from the efforts to remove him from office. Accordingly, only hours after the NYT published the report on Trump’s proposal to shoot immigrants, the story had practically disappeared from the news cycle. Pelosi and Schiff, both of whom have long-standing intelligence connections, held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the impeachment inquiry, neither Demagog leader made any reference to the NYT report, nor did any reporter from the dozens of corporate media outlets ask a question related to it. In her statement to the press, Pelosi said that aside from the threat to “natsec” posed by Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, “any other objections other people have to the president have no place in this investigation.” She listed a number of excluded issues, one of them being Trump’s immigration policy. Invoking God and the military and wrapping herself in the flag, she declared:

Save that for the election. This is about the facts relating to the Constitution and that is how we proceed with dignity, with respect, prayerfully, worthy of the sacrifice of our founders, of our men and women in uniform who fight for our freedom.

As a legal matter, Trump’s proposal to drown, shoot and sic snakes and alligators on refugees escaping countries devastated by Pindo imperialist exploitation is the clearest violation of internationally guaranteed asylum rights and the proscription against “cruel and unusual punishment” laid down in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The Demagog Party and its press organs have supported Trump’s attack on immigrants, from the congressional Democrats’ vote last January to provide $4b to fund Trump’s crackdown on the border to Demagog Supreme Court justices’ vote last month allowing Trump to bar Central American immigrants from applying for asylum. Yesterday, the WaPo published a glowing article featuring Acting DHS Director Kevin McAleenan. The WaPo described the architect of Trump’s family separation policy as having “guided Pindostan out of a crisis at the southern border.” Last week, the NYT echoed Trump’s own declarations on executive power, claiming that “with regards to the environment, immigration, taxes, trade and other matters, he had the absolute right to pursue his chosen course.”

The decision by the Demagog Party, the corporate media and the intelligence agencies to exclude Trump’s politics from the impeachment investigation serves multiple purposes. The powerful faction of the ruling class backing impeachment fears that any investigation that addresses the democratic and social interests of the broad masses of working people could spiral out of control, provoking mass demonstrations like the ones that broke out spontaneously in Jan-Feb 2017 after Trump attempted to impose his anti-Muslim travel ban. The Demagogs are increasingly concerned with “the specter of civil disorder,” as Thomas Edsall wrote in a NYT column yesterday titled “Will Trump Ever Leave Office?” While the NYT frames the danger largely from the standpoint of Trump mobilizing his far-right base to take up arms, what Demagogs fear even more is that such a fascist appeal would trigger an explosive popular response on the left. If they succeed in removing Trump, the Demagogs and the intelligence agencies have no intention of reversing his attacks on immigrants, his cuts to social programs, his tax cuts for the wealthy or his gutting of environmental and workplace safety regulations. Pelosi made this clear in her press conference yesterday when she said that despite the impeachment inquiry, “we are trying to find common ground with the president” on economic policy and trade.

Any government that follows Trump on such a basis will carry forward Trump’s policies of social counter-revolution to feed Wall Street’s profit bonanza. Most importantly, the Demagogs aim to use impeachment as a mechanism to carry out a bellicose shift in Pindo foreign policy, aimed above all at countering Russia. It is for this reason that they have selected Ukraine as the battleground for their impeachment fight. Concerned over Trump’s erratic and personalist priorities and confronting debacle after debacle in Afghanistan and the MENA, the inquiry indicates that major factions within ruling circles and the state have concluded that impeachment is the only way to protect the long-term interests of Pindo imperialism. Regardless of the outcome of the inquiry, the product of the process will be to shift the Pindo political system even further to the right and pave the way for new and expanded imperialist wars. The working class must oppose Trump, but not on the basis of the needs of the corporations and the intelligence agencies. Working class opposition to Trump must be based on addressing the social needs of working people in Pindostan and internationally: ending the wars, redistributing the wealth, defending democratic rights and guaranteeing the right of immigrant workers to travel and live freely and without harassment. This requires the independent mobilization of the working class in a struggle against both big business parties and the capitalist system.

Markets plunge as Pindo enters manufacturing recession
Andre Damon, WSWS, Oct 3 2019

Aircraft being assembled [via Canva Pro]

The Pindo manufacturing sector has entered recession, the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday, falling to the lowest level since the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crash. The figure is only the latest in a series of negative economic indicators that contributed to a substantial selloff in the Pindo and global stock market Wednesday. The WTO said that growth in trade this year would be the lowest in a decade, amid the eruption of a trade war that it called a “destructive cycle of recrimination.” World trade will grow by only 1.2% this year, the WTO reported. Just six months ago, it expected trade to grow at 2.6% this year. Markets around the world plunged in response to the figures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 494.42 points, or 1.9%, after a 1.3% drop the day before. The S&P 500 had its worst two-day sell-off of the year. All three major Pindo stock indexes are below their values over the past 12 months. The UK stock market had its worst day in over three years, with the FTSE 100 closing 3.2% lower. But the global trade war is only intensifying. After the markets closed Wednesday, the White House announced the imposition of an additional $7.5b in tariffs on imports from the EU. The measures, targeting European aircraft, will be the most aggressive Pindo trade measures against the EU since Faschingstein imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum last year. The negative economic figures are putting increased pressure on the Fed to cut interest rates at its next meeting this month. The WSJ reported that the likelihood of another Federal Reserve rate cut this year rose to 89%, up from 73% a week earlier. Responding to the negative economic data Tuesday, Trump wrote on Twitter:

As I predicted, Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve have allowed the Dollar to get so strong, especially relative to ALL other currencies, that our manufacturers are being negatively affected. Fed Rate too high. They are their own worst enemies, they don’t have a clue. Pathetic!

Trump has repeatedly demanded that the Fede take a more accommodative monetary policy, and has sought to blame it for a slump in the stock market. Under pressure from Trump and substantial sections of Wall Street, the Fed has abruptly reversed course from its plans to “normalize” monetary policy after a decade of bailouts, “quantitative easing” and 0% interest rates. The Fed had originally intended to continue raising interest rates through this year, but it has become clear to a growing section of economic opinion-makers that it will never be possible to “normalize” monetary policy. Instead, a broad range of “fringe” monetary theories, many closely aligning with the sentiments expressed by Trump on Twitter, are gaining popularity among financiers and even economists. Bloomberg, in an article titled “A Long-Despised and Risky Economic Doctrine Is Now a Hot Idea,” reported:

An emerging consensus says the next downturn may need to be fought with direct and permanent injections of cash, often called ‘helicopter money,’ and that central banks can’t deliver it alone. One solution is to combine them (fiscal and monetary policy) for example, by letting central banks create money to finance government budget deficits.

Historically, this is known as debt monetization, and is universally condemned in economic textbooks as the action of tinpot dictatorships and desperate regimes. The article concluded with a quote from Joachim Fels, global economic adviser at Pacific Investment Management Co., who told Bloomberg:

Central bank independence increasingly looks like a brief historical episode that peaked around the turn of the century.

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio went further, proposing a “monetary policy 3” that goes beyond “quantitative easing” to the realm of debt monetization, explicitly naming the monetary policies followed by governments during WW2 as examples for the present. The rapidity with which the Fed has moved to prop up markets, and its inability to return to a “normal” monetary policy, has prompted warnings that the next phase of the economic cycle may not be just a financial crisis like in 2008. It may well be panic involving the government debt of major economies, and even major currencies themselves. Danny Yong and Nikhil Srinivasan wrote in the WSJ:

Ultimately, faith in the fiat currency system relies on the perception that central banks are acting responsibly. Should there be a loss of confidence in the dollar as a store of wealth, there could be significant capital flight, even a collapse in the currency. While this seems far off, continued Pindo monetary and fiscal profligacy will eventually test the faith in the fiat currency system. Given how alternative stores of wealth such as gold and crypto-currencies have outperformed all major currencies in 2019, we could well be at the cusp of a crisis of confidence in fiat currencies.

The ruling classes all over the world responded to the 2008 financial crash by putting the burden of the crisis solely on the working class, slashing social spending and expanding contingent and low-wage employment while providing unlimited cash to bail out the banks. The pinnacle of this response was the restructuring of GM, which slashed workers’ wages and ensured a decade of bumper products. With GM now demanding even further cuts to workers’ wages and health care, the ruling class is seeking to once again make the working class pay for the next phase of the global economic crisis.

2 Comments

  1. PB
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Snakes and crocodiles is all well and good, but there needs to be a place at the table for sharks…..and maybe lions. That’s a wall everyone could get behind.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I’m hoping for a hilarious denouement.

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