nazi USA

Right Calls Biden A Xi Puppet As He Packs His Cabinet With China Hawks
Caitlin Johnstone, Nov 24 2020

This is your brain:

This is your brain on media echo chambers:

Prior to the US election I wrote a couple of articles saying that if Biden wins he will be attacked by the right as a Xi Jinping puppet even as he escalates dangerous cold war aggressions with China, in exactly the same way Trump was attacked by Democrats as a Putin puppet even as he escalated dangerous cold war aggressions with Russia. This extremely obvious prediction is of course already coming true. I’m still getting dopey wingnuts in my social media notifications telling me that Biden is a Xi Jinping puppet who is going to be soft on China, even as Biden packs his cabinet with virulent anti-China hawks: Biden’s expected Defense Secretary Michele Flournoy opined this past June that the US military needs a new arms race to obtain “the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours.” Biden’s choice for Sec State Tony Blinken plans on undermining Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, reportedly wants to “tame” and “try to coalesce skeptical international partners into a new competition with” China, and said that the Biden administration will “fully enforce” the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, “including sanctions on officials, financial institutions, companies and individuals.” Earlier this month The Economist reported that Republican China hawks would be happy with a Sec State nomination for Blinken. Biden’s choice for National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was described by Forbes this past June as a “Peter Navarro-like China hawk” who believes that Beijing is “gearing up to contest America’s global leadership” and that those signs are “unmistakable, and they are ubiquitous.”

It’s not hard to see where people of a certain ideological bent are getting the impression that Biden is going to be a sycophantic Beijing lackey, though, with influential rightist voices pounding that message into their skulls all day every day despite all evidence to the contrary. Just today within hours of this writing you’ve got Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeting that “Biden‘s plan is to let radicals destroy our economy, with little if any benefit for the environment, and huge benefits for China,” right-wing pundit Paul Joseph Watson labeling the murderous war whore Blinken a “compromised SIMP for China,” and bloodthirsty psychopath Tom Cotton proclaiming on no basis whatsoever that Biden is “surrounding himself with panda huggers who will only reinforce his instincts to go soft on China.” “Panda huggers.” This is a sitting member of the US Senate.

This complete schism from reality, where you’ve got an incoming administration stacked with Beltway insiders who want to attack Chinese interests running alongside an alternate imaginary universe in which Biden is a subservient CCP lackey, is only made possible with the existence of media echo chambers. It’s the same exact dynamic that made it possible for liberals to spend four years shrieking conspiracy theories about the executive branch of the US government being run by a literal Russian agent even as Trump advanced mountains of world-threatening cold war escalations against Moscow in the real world. You see this dynamic at work in conventional media, where plutocrat-controlledoutlets like Breitbart are still frantically pushing the Russiagate sequel narrative that Hunter Biden’s activities in China mean that his father is a CCP asset. You also see it in social media, where, as explained by journalist Jonathan Cook in an article about the documentary The Social Dilemma:

As we get herded into our echo chambers of self-reinforcing information, we lose more and more sense of the real world and of each other. We live in different information universes, chosen for us by algorithms whose only criterion is how to maximise our attention for advertisers’ products to generate greater profits for the internet giants.

Because people are a lot more likely to click, read and share information which validates their pre-existing opinions and follow people who do the same, social media is notorious for the way it creates tightly insulated echo chambers which masturbate our confirmation bias and hide any information which might cause us cognitive dissonance by contradicting it. Whole media careers were built on this phenomenon during the years of Russiagate hysteria, and we see it play out in spheres from imperialism to Covid-19 commentary to economic policy.

Someone benefits from this dynamic, and it isn’t you. As we’ve discussed previously, we know from WikiLeaks documents that powerful people actively seek to build ideological echo chambers for the purpose of propaganda and indoctrination, and there is surely a lot more study going into the subject than we’ve seen been shown. Splitting the public up into two oppositional factions who barely interact and can’t even communicate with each other because they don’t share a common reality keeps the populace impotent, ignorant, and powerless to stop the unfolding of the agendas of the powerful.You should not be afraid of your government being too nice to China. What you should worry about is the US-centralized power alliance advancing a multifront new cold war conducted simultaneously against two nuclear-armed nations for the first time ever in human history. There are far, far too many small moving parts in such a cold war for things to happen in a safely predictable manner, which means there are far, far too many chances for something to go very, very wrong. Whenever someone tells you that a US president is going to be “soft” on a nation the US government has marked as an enemy, you are being played. Always, always, always, always. It’s just people manipulating you away from your natural, healthy inclination toward peace. Get out of your echo chamber, look at the raw information instead of the narratives, and stop letting the sociopaths manipulate you.

Biden’s getting the Obama band back together again for an encore performance celebrating nostalgia for a never-was golden age
Helen Buyniski,, Nov 24 2020

The incoming Biden administration’s cabinet carries a strong whiff of deja vu, and that’s no accident. The uninspiring president-elect is staking everything on evoking a lost utopia that never existed under Obama. The Biden campaign’s rule of thumb for his cabinet appointments seems to be to channel the Obama administration, with an extra helping of wokeness where possible. This has seen him float Pentagon veteran and dyed-in-the-wool megahawk Michele Flournoy as the first-ever female Sec Def and former DACA czar Alejandro Mayorkas as the first Latino-Jewish head of the DHS. There’s also the rumor he’s planning to pick Obama’s former Fed chair Janet Yellen as the first-ever female Treasury Sec, but even if she’s not the lucky lady, fellow former Clinton adviser Lael Brainard could get the nod, or one of two black candidates, one of whom happens to be gay. Whoever he picks, they’ll be a “first,” and, given their institutional history as reliable servants of the ruling class under Obama, a dependable source of more-of-the-same fiscal policies.

Lest all this wokeness turn off the Republicans who defected to Biden out of distaste for Trump’s determination to upset the military-industrial applecart, the presumed president has also brought back ex-Sec State ‘Jackass’ Kerry, who’ll be returning to Washington to serve as a ‘climate czar’ on the NSC. While Kerry would be the first person to hold such a position, which will allow him to skip a Senate confirmation that could be unfriendly given the chamber’s Republican control, Kerry’s time at the head of the State Dept saw the Obama administration continue digging the US deeper into its portfolio of ill-advised wars. And Kerry was the man who signed the Paris Climate Accords on behalf of Washington in 2016, a treaty Trump wasted no time removing the US from. He should go down plenty smooth indeed. Most of the Biden picks were second-stringers during the Obama years and thus haven’t quite become household names yet. This is likely to be a point in their favor. If the history of would-be Sec State Antony Blinken is any indication, Biden has good reason for picking relative unknowns.

A report from the American Prospect revealed Blinken had spent the post-Obama years getting rich quick at consulting firm WestExec, which coincidentally (or not) was co-founded by would-be Pentagon chief Flournoy after her most recent stint at the Pentagon. The firm focuses on “helping new companies navigate the complex bureaucracy of winning Pentagon contracts,” suggesting a Biden presidency won’t just deliver a fatter Pentagon budget, but new wars to go with it. It’s no surprise, then, that Washington-watchers are sinking into deja vu. Biden was elected as the “anti-Trump,” a return to some vague fantasy of “normalcy.” Except the nostalgia for the Obama era that helped shoehorn Biden into office earlier this month was based on a wholly synthetic reimagining of the eight years in which the career politician served as vice president. Obama may have inherited Bush 43’s financial crisis in 2008, born of rapacious investment banks that mistook people’s life savings for free chips from a casino, but the “recovery” he claimed as his own never bothered to lift up most working, and middle-class Americans. Many of these lost their homes, and if they didn’t, their children “failed to launch,” in no position to strike out on their own. The younger generation were either mired in student debt or merely unable to afford even the cheapest ‘starter homes’ due to an absence of living-wage jobs open to young adults entering the workplace.

Biden made it clear repeatedly in the run-up to this month’s election that he had no interest in feeling these people’s pain. “I have no empathy for it. Give me a break,” he said, complaining that millennials had been given everything by his own generation, the Baby Boomers. In reality, those “whiners” so loathed by the president-to-be made 20% less than Biden’s generation at the same age at best, assuming they were lucky enough to have a job at all. Back when it was still considered acceptable to trash Biden, most establishment outlets raked him over the coals for such tone-deaf comments. But such negativity was memory-holed when the Democrats crowned Biden their pick to run against Trump, speaking ill of the anointed one got progressives labeled Trump supporters or Nazis or worse.

Those whose rose-colored glasses let them see Biden as the second coming of Obama forget that “Bush in a black-man suit” turned two wars into seven, allowed Citibank, one of the worst offenders of the 2008 financial crisis, to shape his cabinet, and passed a mockery of “universal health-care” that forced the lower-middle-class to purchase health insurance they couldn’t afford or shoulder a tax penalty they also couldn’t afford. Biden has promised to reignite the war in Syria, veto the actual universal health-care policy that is Medicare for All, and ensure nothing will fundamentally change for his fat-cat Wall Street donors, and those donors seem to be picking his cabinet just like they did his boss’ in 2008. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

WaPo Quickly Renames Story on DC’s Political ‘Aristocracy’
Morgan Artyukhina,, Nov 24 2020

In a year that’s featured guillotines at protests and ever-increasing consciousness of social wealth disparities, perhaps deliberately invoking a term that means “rule by the best” wasn’t the most politically savvy move. In a stunning moment of honesty, the WaPo’s editors dropped a story about the attitudes of the US “aristocracy” toward a potential new Joe Biden administration. With Trump losing one state ballot count legal challenge after another, it seems increasingly likely that when the Electoral College’s electors from each state meet next month to cast their official votes for US president, it’s Biden who will come out on top. That has the country’s sociopolitical crème de la crème preparing for a White House whose doors will once again be open to their influences, and being a bit too honest about their enthusiasm. The original headline of a Monday story by Roxanne Roberts in the DC paper’s Style section read:

Washington’s aristocracy hopes a Biden presidency will make schmoozing great again.

However, not long after the story went up, someone clearly realized the horrible optics of the headline and quickly changed it to say “Washington’s establishment” instead. ​After all, it was only a few months ago that protesters demonstrating against Amazon CEO and WaPo owner Jeff Bezos’ record profit-making amid skyrocketing poverty under the COVID-19 pandemic brought to his DC abode a facsimile of a guillotine, the French Revolution-era head-chopping device on which many an 18th-century marquis met their gruesome end. ​Despite the headline shift, the text of the article continues to refer to “the aristocracy of this city,” noting the elite policy influencers in a city that voted 93% for Democrat candidate Biden earlier this month are delighted at the idea of being able to flex those lobbyist muscles once more. The story reports an influential Republican hostess, who notably spoke anonymously, as saying:

The Bidens know how to get around Washington, how to be a part of the establishment, how to make it work for them in their everyday lives. People who have always enjoyed the Washington scene are yearning to get back to that, have some semblance of what they enjoyed so much before. There are a lot of Republicans who sat out the Trump years and bit their tongues for four years who are thrilled to have Biden.

However, it’s not the would-be Jacobins that these patricians seem to fear: according to the story, it’s another four years with a chief executive who spurns their parlors’ rarified air. The Post opines:

For the last four years, the tone from the White House was contemptuous of Washington, dismissing the permanent establishment, the long-time politicians and former administration officials who call it home, as the ‘swamp’ or ‘deep state.’ The social arbiters, traditionally respectful of a new administration, quickly found themselves between a Trump and a hard place: To invite or not to invite?’ … Washington never forgets, sometimes forgives, and carries on.

However, the WaPo isn’t the only paper worried about the opinions of US elites in a post-President Trump world. Earlier this month, a CNN story speculated about the future social life of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, noting:

Jared and Ivanka are poised to return to a Manhattan social scene that no longer welcomes them.

Then on Friday, the NYT ran a story elaborating on the likelihood of Ivanka getting kicked out of galas and being forced to buy clothes at retail in New York, “where the performative distaste for the couple is unsurpassed,” after she and her husband went to work as unofficial advisers for her father in the White House.

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