In the weeks since he proclaimed himself the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump has provided more and more evidence of his own mental instability, erratic judgment, and demagogic contempt for policy. Trump has said that US ships being buzzed by Russian aircraft in international waters have every right to open fire on the Russians and shoot down their planes. A Trump spokesman has floated the idea of dropping all resistance to killer cuts in Medicare, and joining Speaker Ryan’s austerity ghoul agenda. On one of his signature demands, Trump has stated that his alleged ban on Moslems was “just a suggestion,” with plenty of exceptions for his business associates and many other plutocrats. Trump has also stated that he would be open to default on US treasury bonds, something that might come in the form of a negotiated debt write-down if the US economy failed to respond to a spending binge financed by borrowing. Trump first suggested that he would raise taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers, but then turned away from this idea as well.
Whom the gods would destroy they first drive mad, and this seems to be the treatment that Trump is giving himself. Small wonder that traditional reactionaries in the Republican Party are searching desperately for any strategy that might be used to prevent the erratic fascist billionaire from seizing power.
One such method which has received some attention in recent weeks is the strategy of fielding an independent right-wing third-party candidate, who might then win some electoral votes and thus prevent Trump or Hillary Clinton from getting the necessary Electoral College majority of 270 electoral votes. In this case, the election could be thrown into the House of Representatives, where the top three vote getters in the Electoral College would be put before the 50 state delegations, with each state getting one vote. Since the GOP controls more states, the obvious implication is that this third-party candidate might get a winning hand of 26 votes. Names mentioned in this contest include generals like David Petraeus or Monster Mattis. The problem with all of these schemes is that, in order to be considered, the third party candidate cannot be a dark horse who comes out of nowhere, but must rather rank among the top three vote getters in the Electoral College.
There is also the problem of ballot access. Some deadlines, like that of Texas, are now out of reach. Some parties have established ballot access in a few states, and they might be bought or at least rented. The Libertarians and the Greens appear headed for the nomination of their traditional wheel-horses, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The Presidential Debate Commission, an outrageous mind control operation, says that only candidates polling above 15% can take part.
This process is governed by the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, with the relevant provisions, reading as follows:
Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.
‘ … and if no person have such majority [of the Electoral College], then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.’ 1
The state in question might plausibly be a Western state with strong reactionary traditions and great suspicion of the city-slicker con artist Trump – based on this year’s primaries, Utah comes to mind as a state where the fascist billionaire is extremely unpopular. But still, winning any state in the midst of a bitterly contested nationwide clash between Trump and Hillary will be a tall order.
The third-party effort which has attracted the most attention, including overseas, revolves around the retired Marine general James “Monster” Mattis, who has evidently attracted a coterie of wealthy reactionaries who would like to meddle in the election to the detriment of Trump. It must be pointed out once again that Trump poses absolutely no threat to Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, or any other part of the “WASP Establishment.” Trump is a decades-long Wall Street Insider who was considered deserving of a sweetheart bailout scheme back in 1991 and 1992. Recent events also show that Trump is so labile and erratic that he has been known to change political positions three times during a 30 minute interview, so it is folly to talk about his views on issues. The only certainty is that Trump wants to be the centerpiece of a personality cult and does everything to promote that cult. Here is an overview from the Daily Beast of efforts to promote a Mattis candidacy:
‘But this situation involves far bigger players: Close to a dozen influential donors—involving politically-involved billionaires with deep pockets and conservative leanings—are ready to put their resources behind Mattis. At their request, a small group of political operatives have taken the first steps in the strategic legwork needed for a bid: a package of six strategic memos outlining how Mattis could win the race, in hopes of coaxing him in. The strategy would not be for Mattis to win, at least at first—the operatives behind this potential bid would only be seeking to deny Trump and Clinton the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the general election outright. And there is also the incredible logistical challenge of getting Mattis on the ballot in a large number of states. “The process is actually quite simple, but it’s difficult,” one of the strategists concedes in a memo, and the chances of Mattis winning the White House outright as a third-party candidate are “very low.” But if the retired military officer could win several states won by President Obama in 2012, they might be able to block Clinton, thus forcing the incoming House of Representatives to make a decision on the next president of the United States.’2
Pro-regime insider journalist David Ignatius of the Washington Post includes Mattis on a short list of possible third party candidates, mainly ambitious and disgruntled generals and admirals like Petraeus, Mullen, and McChrystal, with FBI veteran and former GOP congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan thrown in:
‘Who should be on the roster of potential national-security draftees? Gen. James Mattis, a retired Marine who served as U.S. Central Command commander, has already been floated. The Daily Beast posted an item Saturday reporting that wealthy Republicans were urging Mattis to consider a late candidacy. Mattis is a blunt, plainspoken man who could rival Trump for impolitic comments. Four-star officers sometimes describe him as the “warrior monk” because of his intense, ascetic manner. But he’s a true military leader, beloved by his troops and an intellectual who kept a volume of mediations by the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, in Latin, by his bedside….[Others include:] Gen. Stanley McChrystal commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan and, before that, ran the deadly strike force known as the Joint Special Operations Command…Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the military into a new era of tolerance toward gay men and lesbians….Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Centcom, is probably the most decorated officer of his generation….A final name would be former representative Mike Rogers (Mich.), who retired in 2014 after heading the House Intelligence Committee. Rogers served three years in the Army, but he makes the list because of his service as an FBI agent from 1988 to 1994 fighting organized crime in Chicago. I tried to contact Mattis, McChrystal, Mullen, Petraeus and Rogers on Monday. But all of them either couldn’t be reached or declined comment. One virtue or liability of these names, depending on your perspective, is that except for Rogers, I’m not sure of their party affiliation.’3
Mattis has stated in public that he is not interested in this project. If there is a real candidate on this list, it is far more likely to be the neocon darling Petraeus, the top figure among the Bonapartists. Among elected officials, Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse has called for a third party challenge to Trump, but so far has no concrete plan.
Even if a suitably famous reactionary general could be recruited for this plan, and even if a group of billionaire Angels could be found to finance him, there remains the fact that the US two-party system has indeed been rigged by both parties over many decades to make the difficulties of a third-party virtually insuperable. The last serious effort of this type was that of Ross Perot in 1992. Gaining ballot access in 50 states is a task worthy of Hercules himself.
Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine has compiled some of the difficulties in any of these unlikely scenarios:
‘In slightly more detail, the plan [for Mattis et al.] would run like this: A right-wing third-party candidate would split the Electoral College, so no candidate reaches the 270-vote threshold. In that case, the House of Representatives would decide the winner, with each state’s delegation (regardless of population) casting two votes. Since Republicans control most state delegations, they would pick the winner, who would presumably be their right-winger, rather than Trump or (obviously) Hillary Clinton. What gives the scenario the veneer of plausibility is that the last part of the plan is completely true. If the Electoral College deadlocked, then the House would really decide, and it really would give the presidency to the right-winger. The actual problem with the scenario is that the first part, where the independent somehow prevents anybody from gaining 270 electoral votes, is completely nuts. Instead, that candidate would make it possible for Clinton to win a bunch of states without a majority. States where Clinton might otherwise fall a bit short of Trump would become blue states. Suppose in a two-candidate race that, say, Texas would give Trump 53 percent and Clinton 47 percent, giving Trump all 38 electoral votes from Texas. Then Ben Sasse jumps in the race and takes 10 percent of the vote, all of it coming from Trump. Now Texas is 47 percent Clinton, 43 percent Trump, and 10 percent Sasse.’4
Unfortunately for the wealthy reactionaries who want to get involved in stopping Trump, there are no easy answers. If these persons do not want to be subjected to the dictatorial reign of the fascist billionaire, their only path is to attack Trump directly. If they are serious, we urge them to get busy. Evil can always fight evil to produce good when it comes to opposing Trump.
- US Constitution, AMENDMENT XII, Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27….
Polls Show Trump Highly Competitive with or Leading Hillary in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Suggesting Bernie Has a Better Chance of Winning November Election and Should Be Democratic Nominee; “Donald Trump Is Not Going to Be President,” Says Bernie; How Hamilton’s 1791 Memo to President Washington on the Implied Powers, Saved the First Bank of the United States and the US Constitution from Jeffersonian Bungling
In Tuesday’s primaries, Bernie Sanders has dealt Hillary Clinton a convincing fifteen-point defeat in West Virginia. So much weakness so late in the primary season points up once again the terrible inherent weakness of Hillary as a general election candidate.
Along the same lines, a new Quinnipiac poll reveals that Hillary and Trump are closely matched in such they states as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. As Politico writes:
In Florida, Clinton leads Trump, 43 percent to 42 percent, while Sanders earned 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent. While Clinton holds a 13-point advantage among Florida women — 48 percent to 35 percent — Trump’s lead among men is equally large, at 49 percent to 36 percent. Independent Florida voters are split, 39 percent to 39 percent, while along racial lines, white voters said they would vote for the Republican candidate 52 percent to 33 percent. Among nonwhite voters, 63 percent to 20 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. Clinton’s favorability in Florida is a net negative 20 points (37 percent to 57 percent), though Trump earned the same numbers. For Sanders, 43 percent said they had a favorable opinion of him, 41 percent unfavorable and 14 percent said they did not know enough to have an opinion.
In Ohio, registered voters preferred Trump to Clinton, 43 percent to 39 percent, while Sanders edged Trump 43 percent to 41 percent. Trump leads among men in Ohio, 51 percent to 36 percent, while women prefer Clinton in the state 43 percent to 36 percent. While 49 percent to 32 percent of white voters go for the Republican candidate, a whopping 76 percent to 14 percent of nonwhite voters said they will go for the Democratic candidate. Among voters ages 18 to 34, Clinton leads 43 percent to 39 percent, while voters older than 65 preferred Trump 46 percent to 40 percent. Among independents, 40 percent said they would back Trump and 37 percent would go for Clinton.
In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads 43 percent to 42 percent, mirroring the gender and racial gaps in the other swing states. Among women, Clinton leads 51 percent to 32 percent, while Trump leads with men 54 percent to 33 percent. Clinton holds a 7-point lead among voters ages 18 to 34 (49 percent to 42 percent), while Trump commands the same level of support among voters 65 and older. White voters said they would support the Republican candidate 48 percent to 37 percent, while nonwhite voters said they would support the Democrat, 74 percent to 14 percent.
Polls from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and New Hampshire thus show Bernie fares better against Trump than does Hillary. The general election is almost six months away, but these data ought to convince the Democratic Party superdelegates to consider switching their voters to Bernie, giving him the nomination.
The missing element with Bernie has so far been his failure to attack and goad the mentally unstable Trump, who needs to be baited into bigger and better temper tantrums and actual psychotic episodes. If Bernie wants to be the leader of the Democratic Party, he must take responsibility for exposing how Trump is a fascist and Nazi. Hillary is useless in this category. So far, her approach has been to launch weak ploys like the assertion that Trump is a “loose cannon,” or – even worse – that she is not running against Trump at all, which flies in the face of reality.
On Tuesday night in Oregon, having gotten the news of his win in West Virginia, Bernie did somewhat better against Trump:
“While we have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one where we agree and that is we must defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders said. “And I am very happy to tell you we will defeat Donald Trump.”
Sanders pointed to polls that showed him besting Trump both nationally and on a by-state basis. He also said that his campaign was “generating the energy and the enthusiasm” that would bring a big turnout in November and secure a Democratic victory. He praised the younger voters who have propelled his campaign.
“Our vision is the future of America and the future of the Democratic primary,” Sanders said.
“Mr. Trump will not become president because the American people understand that our strength is in our diversity,” he added.
This is one of the rare occasions when Bernie has attacked Trump, who has been pretending in turn to be a soul-mate for Bernie. Now Bernie needs to learn that the only scientifically accurate and politically effective descriptors for Trump are “fascist” and “Nazi.” If Bernie wants to lead, he must take the responsibility for making Democratic rhetoric what it needs to be to take down Trump. If the Dems wait for Hillary, tragedy looms.
First Bank of the United States, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In December 1791, Hamilton submitted to Congress his Second Report on the Public Credit, better known as the Report on a National Bank. Here he outlined the structure and functions of what was to become the First Bank of the United States (BUS). Despite the opposition of Madison and the ravings of Andrew Jackson and other opponents, the BUS legislation passed Congress. But then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Attorney General Edmund Randolph tried to convince President Washington not to sign the bill, but to veto it. Hamilton replied to their negative opinions with a powerful defense of a broad construction of the Constitution, focusing especially on the implied powers and the inherent powers of the federal government. President Washington signed the BUS bill two days after receiving Hamilton’s opinion. Without the services of the First Bank of the United States, the new country could never have survived, but would have certainly succumbed to British financial, trade, and military warfare measures. The document excerpted here is therefore one which saved the country. As Hamilton rightly points out, the Jeffersonian “strict constructionism” or “enumerated powers” pseudo-interpretation of the Constitution would by itself have crippled and destroyed the United States government.
Fortunately, Hamilton’s view of the implied powers was validated by the great US Chief Justice John Marshall in the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of McCullough vs. Maryland in 1819. Here the Supreme Court, citing the “necessary and proper” or “elastic” clause (Article 1, Section 18, clause 18), held that the BUS was in fact constitutional.
As for Jefferson and Madison, they slunk off from the capital in Philadelphia to found the Democratic Republican Party, which was soon to produce the Jackson-Van Buren era, then followed by Jefferson Davis.
Continue reading Bernie Sanders Defeats Hillary Clinton by Fifteen Points in West Virginia, Underlining Her Inherent Weakness; Hamilton Story Continued »
This is the statue of Alexander Hamilton which stands behind the US Treasury. One day this statue will be moved to the front of the Treasury, replacing that of the traitor Gallatin which usurps that place today.
“The strongest passions, and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.”
Alexander Hamilton was one of the most profound and influential of the founding fathers. Yet he is often neglected by mainstream historians or has been outright slandered by both his contemporaries from Burr to Jefferson, and modern far right libertarians.
It is the contention of the Tax Wall Street Party that Alexander Hamilton must not only be considered one of the greatest founding fathers but also an economic genius who laid the groundwork for the American System of political economy. What follows is a short outline of Alexander Hamilton’s life and accomplishments. It serves as a refutation to those modern demagogues, Trump among them, who denounce immigrants, rave about national debts, hate modern production, promote austerity and want to reverse the benefits provided by the modern state.
Born poor in the British West Indies, Hamilton immigrated to New Jersey just a few years before the American Revolution broke out. There are many indications that Hamilton was a fervent supporter of revolution upon his arrival to America; he refuted Loyalist pamphlets, drilled in a volunteer militia and later raised an artillery company that he led as captain.
Hamilton led this attack on the British fortification called Redout Number 10, which marked the beginning of the end for Lord Cornwallis at the siege of Yorktown.
Eventually, Gen. George Washington recognized the young captain and made Hamilton his senior aide for the duration of the war. As his top aide, Hamilton traveled extensively during the war to instruct generals in Washington’s army and give advice to Washington himself. Hamilton also led three battalions at Yorktown, where the British were defeated and shortly thereafter surrendered. Hamilton stood out for heroism in leading the attack on the British Redoubt Number 10 on October 14, 1781.
Alexander Hamilton in the Uniform of the New York Artillery
by Alonzo Chappel (1828–1887). Readers should note that while Alexander Hamilton supported and fought in the Revolutionary War, Thomas Jefferson stowed away in the Virginia Governor’s mansion for the duration of the war.
After the war Hamilton joined the Congress under the Articles of Confederation, where he experienced first hand the unworkable system of a loose confederation of states under a weak federal government. To rectify the system and create a strong national government that could stand up to the hostile powers that surrounded the country, Hamilton wrote a majority of the Federalist papers and organized for a convention to form a new constitution. Of the newspaper articles in this famous series, Hamilton wrote 51 articles, James Madison wrote 28, and John Jay wrote 5.
Hamilton’s persistent writings and advocacy made him a leader of the Federalist Party and was later nominated to a top cabinet position of George Washington’s administration. Hamilton took a leading role on behalf of Washington in creating the executive departments of the US government and founding the president’s cabinet. His work was sabotaged by Thomas Jefferson, who had been politically captured by the slave power in Virginia, and wanted a federal government so weak it could not interfere with slavery. Washington supported Hamilton, and Jefferson resigned before the end of Washington’s first term.
As Secretary of Treasury for the United States, Hamilton wrote numerous financial reports to Congress that created such things as the United States Coast Guard, the United States Mint, and most importantly laid the groundwork for the American system of political economy. Hamilton’s vision for the United States was one diametrically opposed to Thomas Jefferson’s agrarian utopia. Hamilton’s realistic political outlook recognized that the United States must necessarily become a strong commercial and industrial power if it were to keep from becoming a banana republic of Great Britain, the imperial power of the time. Hamilton’s program for the United States economy included government support for infant industries, high tariffs on imported goods and a national bank that lent credit for the creation of public works and infrastructure.
The content and importance of Hamilton’s Reports must be re-emphasized today. First, consider the Report on the Subject of Manufacturers. Hamilton argued that industrialization and dirigism were the necessary path for American progress, rather than Jefferson’s utopic limited-government agrarian society. Industry and commerce allowed for a far more diverse and complex division of labor. The division of labor would bring more jobs at higher wages, harkening back to Benjamin Franklin’s idea of America being a high wage economy and the expansion of jobs would expand the tax base as well as encourage immigration.
Industrialization and commerce would also propel the less developed southern states into modernity while making certain the eventual destruction of slavery in the south by introducing labor-saving machines to take advantage of mineral wealth (Hamilton could not have predicted the adverse effect the cotton gin would have on the institution of slavery and scholar Michael Chan makes a compelling argument that Hamilton’s economic prescriptions included the understanding that they would help end slavery)
Hamilton’s advocacy of a large market of high-paid laborers was a direct result of his belief that the true value of a country’s economy was rooted in the productive power of its laborers and its focus on high-energy, high-technology and high-capital input industries. He proposed a nuanced system of subsidies (called “bounties” in the Report) for certain industries, rewards for technological research all protected by a strong tariff that would be buttressed by a national coast guard.
Hamilton’s First Report on the Public Credit would answer the question of how to solve the new nation’s monetary and credit problems that stood in the way of industrial manufacturing. Hamilton proposed the federal government buy up all the Revolutionary War debts, assume the debts of the states and then re-issue the debt in new federal government bonds that would be funded at face value using the income from the protective tariff.
The outcome of funding the country’s public debt led to America achieving a high credit rating and had the additional benefit of making government bonds so secure they could be used as currency in exchange for hard currency, collateral in trade deals, or general stores of wealth. However, to achieve his ends Hamilton had to go against the same slave power interests that had resisted his report on manufacturers. Led by James Madison in the Congress but steered by Thomas Jefferson and his slave-owning backers, a deal was brokered that placed the US capital on the banks of the Potomac between the States of Maryland and Virginia in exchange for the federal government assuming the debts of the states.
The Second Report on the Public Credit, or the Report on a National Bank would lead to the most characteristic aspects of the American System. The First Bank of the United States was nationally chartered with shares sold to the public. It was partly owned by the government and responsible to it, could circulate paper money, and judge the solvency of state-chartered banks. The bank would also be pivotal in providing credit to entrepreneurs in productive industries and loans to the government when required.
A direct refutation of the lunatic libertarian agitation against a Hamiltonian National Bank is provided in the aftermath of the First Bank of the United States. After the bank’s charter was allowed to expire, finance oligarchs like John Jacob Astor and Stephen Girard attempted to control the American public debt. This happened again after the demise of Henry Clay’s Second Bank of the United States, when John Jacob Astor would again attempt to control the debt. Libertarians, who are ostensibly in favor of freedom, neglect to remind their lemmings that one oligarch’s control of the country’s finances is far worse than a federally regulated bank steering the country towards useful manufacturing and monetary policy.
This three part policy of manufacturing protected by a tariff, a public bank, and government-financed infrastructure is the policy that Hamilton, Henry Clay, and Henry Carey called the “American System” and would be implemented and improved upon by many other reputable American leaders from John Quincy Adams to Abraham Lincoln. Under the name of the “Historical School” it was used by Friedrich List to help unify Germany. It was used in Meiji Japan to destroy the feudal shogunate and saw successes in Taiwan and South Korea many years after Hamilton’s death. It is the exact opposite of the “laissez faire” doctrine touted by the libertarians, Jeffersonians and Austrians and instead is the dirigist policy that Henry Clay, Lincoln, FDR, and JFK later advocated.
During Hamilton’s post-government life, he was a leader of the Federalist Party, but did not hesitate to criticize the party’s political deterioration. By the time of his presidency, John Adams — originally a champion of American liberty who drew upon the writings of Machiavelli for inspiration in constructing the three branches of government in the 1780 Massachusetts constitution– had come under the influence of the plutocratic wing of the Federalist Party. Many Federalist supporters at the time were horrified by the Jacobin atrocities like the Reign of Terror, while the Democrat-Republicans were influenced by plantation owners supporting Revolutionary France. In terms of a more reliable partner for trade and continuity of policy, Hamilton could see that England would be a better momentary choice than the unstable France of Robespierre. It was a “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know” situation for American politicians. Hamilton nevertheless argued against policies promoted by Adams and would have been appalled had he lived to see the Federalist party’s subversive opposition to the War of 1812.
He later advocated for Federalists to support his rival Thomas Jefferson over the treasonous Aaron Burr, who Hamilton called “”an embryo-Caesar.” Hamilton’s maneuvering to select the lesser of two evils, or having one evil combat another, harkens back to Machiavelli’s realistic outlook of politics in Renaissance Italy or a Leibnizian understanding of how to bring about the general good. In fact, it is known that Hamilton had a copy of Machiavelli’s Discourses in the library he inherited and took it with him when he immigrated to America.
Finally, Hamilton is one of the few founding fathers that can be easily recognized as anti-slavery, a trait not unnoticed by the “great emancipator” Abraham Lincoln. In his Address at Cooper Union in 1860, Lincoln founded his position on slavery as that one inspired by “the thirty-nine fathers who framed the constitution” and that the “noted antislavery men of those times [who included] Dr. Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris.” Hamilton was a founder, secretary and later president of the New York Society for the Promotion and Manumission of Slaves in 1785. Hamilton served in various committees and was a counselor-at-law until his death promoting programs for emancipation in states, suing on behalf of blacks illegally enslaved and working to enforce laws regarding the freedom of blacks. As previously mentioned, Alexander Hamilton’s vision for a country with an economic basis in production would also mean slavery’s eventual elimination.
Consider the life of the man described above and then compare it to the heroes paraded by the modern Republican Party, neoconservatives, neoliberals and Libertarians. Unlike Jefferson, Hamilton neither owned slaves nor was controlled by the slave oligarchy of the South. He refused the utopian notion of an agrarian society and championed a large federal government that would work towards an industrial society. Hamilton was a nationalist from the beginning who worked to steer the United States to modernity through commerce, development and industry while Aaron Burr sought the support of the British to split the country in two and become king of the Western Territories. Hamilton established a system of national banking, revenue generation and industrial development, which Jefferson’s controller and Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin opposed. In the Anglo-Swiss finance oligarch Gallatin, one can find the same demagogic use of the public debt issue that is seen in today’s dying Republican Party. Gallatin’s mad insistence to pay off the debt by cutting the U.S. Navy during his tenure as Treasury Secretary for (and effectively the puppet master of) Thomas Jefferson and James Madison nearly destroyed the U.S. during the War of 1812. Conversely, Hamilton established what would become the Coast Guard to secure American commerce and raised an army during the quasi-war with France.
Hamilton prevented the arch-traitor Aaron Burr, a creature of John Jacob Astor and the London banks, from becoming president in 1801. Burr was the mentor of the later catastrophic president Andrew Jackson. Hamilton also blocked Burr from becoming governor of New York, in which post Burr wanted to lead a secessionist move backed by London. In 1804, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel and killed him. In 1805 Burr fled into the west towards Louisiana, where he tried to organize yet another secessionist plot with the help of his tool Andrew Jackson. Burr escaped conviction for treason because of a lack of witnesses, and then was helped by Astor to flee to Britain. In London, Burr worked as a close collaborator of British intelligence chief Jeremy Bentham, another arch-enemy of the United States.
A statue of Alexander Hamilton overlooks the Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey, where Hamilton envisaged hydro-power generating a system of factories.
Ultimately, Hamilton inspired a series of national icons who would carry on the project of building a strong national government dedicated to promoting the life liberty and, most importantly, the general welfare of its constituents. Retaining his image on the $10 bill is a small recognition of his importance to this country and much more can be done to advocate on his behalf. The Tax Wall Street Party remains the only political party based on his economic program and vision for the United States. We urge you to join in our efforts to promote and implement the heritage of Alexander Hamilton.
GOP Bigwigs Reject Trump in Classic Case of Evil Fighting Evil; Republican Party Now in Death Spiral; Trump’s Libertarian Stooges Try Hard but Can’t Explain Away Bringing in Predator Mnuchin of Goldman Sachs, Soros, and IndyMac Foreclosures Against Working Families; Bernie Must Fight On, Dropping Regressive Carbon Tax and Stressing Wall Street Sales Tax; Hillary’s Sharp Right Turn Is On: She Talks to Jeb’s Moneybags, but Not to Democratic Left Wing; Nationalism Means Advancing All Groups in a Multi-Ethnic Nation and Its Work Force; Trump Anti-Nationalist by Any Measure
World Crisis Radio
May 7, 2016
Steve Mnuchin: Stop Taking Our Homes!
This October 2011 demonstration protested some of the 35,000 foreclosures carried out by Steve Mnuchin’s One West Mortgage company in which latinos living in Southern California were particularly hard hit. Now this shameless predator has been put in charge of Trump’s campaign finance operation. When will Donald’s duped supporters start waking up? Trump is not just using Wall Street insiders – he IS a top Wall Street insider on assignment to dupe voters, something Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, or any standard Republican hack politician would have a very hard time doing these days.
Trump’s Dupes Stunned As He Appoints Goldman Sachs and Soros Veteran Mnuchin As Campaign Finance Chairman; Ben Sasse and Other Doctrinaire Reactionaries Eye Anti-Trump Third Party; Trump’s Outlook in Electoral College Grim
Donald Trump’s supporters mocked Ted Cruz because his wife works at Goldman Sachs, but now the infamous New York investment bank is taking over the financial apparatus of the Trump campaign. Trump has been pretending to be an outsider, but in reality he qualifies as a Wall Street insider of the highest order. Trump’s rabid supporters have engaged in a neo-McCarthyite orgy of abuse against anyone asserting that Trump is part of the Establishment. Now these useful idiots are left to contemplate their own gullibility as Goldman Sachs, George Soros and the Washington D.C. Torturers’ Lobby take over.
The Tax Wall Street Party perspective of the destruction of the Republican Party and its extinction as a national political force, followed by the splitting of the Democrats into a Pro-Wall Street party and an anti-Wall Street, New Deal, Pro-labor party is rapidly advancing. The result of this process will be a significant leftward shift of the entire axis US politics, with tremendous benefits for the American people and the world. In this process, we are inciting evil political forces like the traditional Republicans to fight other evil forces, such as Trump. This is one of the principal ways in which the world situation can be improved under existing conditions. The politicians of the old order must be driven out, but this does not mean that Trumpian fascism is an adequate replacement. When evil fights evil, the good can benefit. Indeed, without this process, human civilization would probably not have gotten this far.
Surpassing the expectations of many who are looking forward eagerly to the breakup and final demise of the dysfunctional Republican Party, the Republican National Committee’s proclamation of Donald Trump as the party’s presumptive nominee has within less than 24 hours triggered giant steps down the path to the extinction of the GOP. The party’s two living former presidents, Bush 41 and Bush 43, have both announced that they will not support Trump. The highest ranking Republican, and number three personality in the entire US regime, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, has also publicly stated that it is impossible for him to support Trump at this time. (Trump impudently replied that he would not support Ryan either.) Senator Heller of Nevada has also refused to back Trump, evidently signaling a growing parade of congressmen and senators who will be choosing to save themselves rather than put their careers at the mercy of the next piece of insanity or obscenity to issue forth from of the Donald’s gaping yap. As Dick Cheney might say, these are the death throes of the Republican Party. They cannot come soon enough for the future survival of the United States.
Television commentators are now wasting their time offering helpful, constructive suggestions on how the Republicans might be saved. Such advice is mightily wrongheaded: the responsibility of patriotic citizens is now to hurry the GOP on the way to its inevitable and well-deserved doom before it can inflict more harm in the service of its crackpot ideologies. There will be time after that to consummate the obvious split of the Democratic Party between pro-Wall Street and anti-Wall Street parties , which is coming to the fore increasingly in the conflict between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
In addition, the dupes and useful idiots who have been drawn into the Trump orbit by such operatives as Roger Stone and his satellites have been stunned by this cynical nihilism of the fascist billionaire in naming Steven Mnuchin, the chairman and CEO of the private investment firm Dune Capital Management LP, and thus a full-fledged hedge fund hyena, as the national finance chairman of his presidential campaign.
Many of Trump’s fanatical supporters had taken satisfaction in taunting clerical fascist Ted Cruz for the fact that his wife is an employee of Goldman Sachs. But Mnuchin worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years, and became a partner in the firm. Mnuchin has also worked at Soros Fund Management, LLC, founded by the ultra left billionaire George Soros, whom the pro-Trump mob regards with justification as the devil incarnate. In the libertarian camp tonight, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Since he is currently surrounded by Nixon era retreads like Roger Stone, Trump should have taken the opportunity to learn a few Nixonian tactics, among them the idea of DECENT INTERVAL. In today’s terms, this would have translated into the good advice that if you are planning to betray your followers in a spectacular way, you should probably wait at least a week before you do it. As it is, the Stormtrumper Utopia of Wednesday has turned into shrieks of dismay by Thursday.
A significant minority of the Republican Party is currently protesting that it will never, never, never, support Trump. It is anybody’s guess how long this admirable resolve may last, but it is certainly edifying to see and film for use in the fall campaign. One of the anti-Trump diehards is the doctrinaire-reactionary columnist George Will of the Washington Post. Will advocates a scorched earth policy against Trump in hopes of saving the GOP. As he wrote in his recent column:
‘Were [Trump] to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states — consign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.’1
Other commentators stress that the demographic and ideological decline of the GOP was already creating a crisis for the party, a crisis which the coming of Trump has exacerbated, but not created. The basic problem is that the Democratic nominee, whoever that might be, is very likely to start out with an advantage in the Electoral College exceeding 2 to 1. As Salon.com writes:
As The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza noted yesterday, the numbers in Florida alone portend doom for the GOP. A recent poll was conducted by the Associated Industries of Florida, a prominent business group in the state, and they found that Hillary Clinton would defeat Trump by a 49% to 36% margin if the election were held today. Clinton tops Cruz by nearly 10 points in that same poll. The memo released by the group sums it up: “In this critical swing state, it is clear to us that Republicans continue to suffer substantial brand damage amongst all segments of the ascending electorate (younger voters, Hispanics, and No Major Party voters) and this presidential campaign has clearly exacerbated these attitudes.” If these numbers are even remotely accurate, the Republicans can’t win in November. Cillizza explains: “If Clinton wins Florida and carries the 19 states (plus D.C.) have voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in each of the last six elections, she will be the 45th president. It’s that simple…And here’s the underlying math. If Clinton wins the 19 states that every Democratic nominee has won from 1992 to 2012, she has 242 electoral votes. Add Florida’s 29 and you get 271. Game over.” Hillary Clinton is deeply unpopular, but there’s no good reason to suppose that Trump can win in traditionally blue states, not with such dismal support among women (with whom he has a 66% unfavorable rating) and minority voters. Sure, it’s possible, but not at all likely.’2
There is at the same time growing interest in the creation of a doctrinaire-reactionary third-party of neo-Buckleyites and supply siders. This would be first of all a way to make sure that Trump loses and departs from the scene without further ado. It would also be a device to give anti-Trump reactionaries a way to vote for a presidential candidate congenial to them, with the built-in hope that these reactionaries would also take the opportunity to vote for their familiar Republican Congressman, Senators, governors, state legislators, County executives, and the like. Democrats might interpret this third-party as a guarantee of victory for a candidate like Hillary Clinton, and might therefore stay home, further helping the cause of the down ballot Republicans. According to the Huffington Post:
‘… there are also political reasons to run an independent candidate. A traditional conservative on the ballot who could peel a few points away from Trump would virtually assure Hillary Clinton of victory — giving business-minded conservatives who prefer Clinton a way to support her without having to support her directly. As importantly, a third-party conservative candidate could potentially draw in Republican voters disaffected by having Trump on top of the ticket, thereby giving a much-needed boost to down-ballot candidates. “That would be good,” Tim Miller, Jeb Bush’s former communications director and a leading operative in the Never Trump movement, said of guaranteeing Trump’s loss by running someone else. “To the extent that there is a conservative third-party candidate that would give Republicans who can’t stomach voting for Donald Trump a person to vote for, and conceivably solve the depressed turnout problem, I think there is something to be said to that.” Sam Geduldig, a former senior aide to John Boehner, is now a lobbyist, and argues that a Clinton victory is not necessarily a worst-case scenario for Republicans. “An independent conservative running could actually help the House and Senate,” he said in an email. “It means Clinton definitely wins, so it could depress Democratic turnout in places like Illinois. So the Trump people help Mark Kirk, the [placeholder] people help Kirk, Democrats might not turn out because Clinton wins (Illinois) easily and we hold the Senate. Then in 2018 there’ll likely be a wave of anti-Hillary energy and we’ll run up huge majorities in her first midterm. Leading to a favorable in redistricting process in 2020.”
Senator Toomey of Pennsylvania, a creature of the rabidly pro-austerity Club for Growth, is often cited as an example of an endangered Republican Senator who thinks he can save himself if a reactionary third-party presidential candidate were to materialize:
‘… a sense of panic over the impact that Trump may have on the party, and the alarm over how he would act as a president, has kept the talk of running someone else firmly alive. A top fundraiser for the party pointed to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) as a candidate who would uniquely benefit from seeing another presidential candidate in the race: giving moderate conservatives in the suburbs a reason to go to the polls while not overly offending the Trump die-hards in the middle of the state.’ “I think in Pat’s case, he is very concerned,” the fundraiser said. “And I think he is concerned because he has to run across the state, including in so many areas where Trump won’t run as well.”3
Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska has issued a call for action outside of the traditional two-party framework, which we will follow closely in the coming days and weeks.
A more extreme gamble comes from a group of reactionary moneybags who want to run General James “Monster” Mattis for president. The backers of Mattis are aware that the general can hardly hope to win in the traditional way. Rather, their hope is that Mattis might help to create a situation in which no candidate would earn the necessary absolute majority of 270 votes in the Electoral College, thus throwing the contest into the House Of Representatives, where each state would be given one vote for this purpose. The expectation seems to be that, as a nonpartisan military officer, Mattis might have a better chance of getting the majority than a partisan Republican or Democrat:
“There is [currently] some chatter around General [James] Mattis,” emailed one donor who has raised tens of millions of dollars for the party. “But I don’t believe it comes together.” (Mattis has said he’s not interested.)4
Perhaps the most encouraging of all assessments of the current situation comes from the Mormon fanatic, Glenn Beck, who had been a leading supporter of Ted Cruz. Beck is convinced that the Republican Party has permanently forfeited its ability to put a candidate into the White House. Looking at such deplorable specimens as Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43, we can only fervently hope that Beck’s forecast is correct. Here is his lament:
‘“Donald Trump is the face of the GOP. Well, that makes us crony capitalists. It makes us wafflers. It makes us pretty racist,” Beck said. “It makes us big government guys. Just, you name it — it makes us that.” Beck went on to cite Trump’s high unfavorable ratings among Hispanics — 77% in a recent Gallup poll — as one demographic shift that would halt Trump and enable a victory by Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton this November. Beck continued: “Because Donald Trump is the GOP candidate, and I believe Hillary Clinton is going to win because of this, you will never elect another GOP person to high office every again. “Because what’s going to happen is you are now going to have Hillary Clinton legalize as many voters as you can, the GOP is going to be completely racist – whether it’s true or not – because of Donald Trump. You will never have another Republican president ever again.”’5
Because of the GOP’s mounting demographic disadvantages, plus the incendiary hate rhetoric of Trump, it may well be that the Republican Party will never again put one of its exponents into the Oval Office. This can only be described as a boon for mankind. David Frum and Jonah Goldberg, among reactionary commentators, have been churning out the line that it is more important to maintain a position in the legislative branch, and in the states that it is to expand precious resources on a doomed quest for the White House.
- “Plan C: Third-Party Run A Daunting Task For GOP Establishment,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/plan-c-republican-establishment-chattering-about-a-third-party-run_us_57295dcbe4b016f378941d68
By Daniela Walls, National Chair of the Tax Wall Street Party –
Washington DC, May 5, 2016
I would like to speak to you this morning about the political contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I hope to show you why you should turn away from Ms. Clinton and instead critically support Bernie Sanders – “hold your nose and vote for Bernie” as my party has expressed it.
I speak to you as a lifelong, committed feminist who has always striven to advance the position of women. In my view, feminism is humanism. It is the essence of humanism. Feminism is the leading edge of the struggle to uplift all of humanity, worldwide. Since women comprise more than half of humanity, whatever is done to women is done to our entire species. If women are excluded, discriminated against, underpaid, degraded, humiliated, mutilated, or killed, then this is a high crime against the totality of human progress. Every man has a mother, a sister, a daughter or a wife so whatever is done to them will damage him as well.
In my mind, feminism is not just another pressure group or identity politics constituency among others, but rather the cause of humanity we must all fight for. Feminism, properly understood, embraces and subsumes all the other issues, without exception. The status of women is the surest barometer of civilization.
In this briefing I have addressed issues like the scandal of websites offering arrangements with “sugar daddies,” in effect forcing American middle class girls into prostitution, often as their only way to afford a college degree or a place to live. In her complacency, Ms. Clinton has never to my knowledge engaged with this hideous economic reality, which reveals the utter bankruptcy of the current system in which she is so thoroughly at home.
Hillary Clinton has captured the attention of many women with her promise of becoming the first female president of the United States. I regard a woman president as an historical necessity, surely in our lifetime, and the sooner the better. The glass ceiling must be shattered. The United States needs the talents and the service of all of our people, bar none.
At the same time, I am convinced that Ms. Clinton cannot and must not be the vehicle getting this job done.
The objections to Ms. Clinton as president are fundamentally two. First, she is a creature and servant of the predatory and sociopathic Wall Street banks from whom she has taken speaking fees, campaign contributions, and payola for the Clinton Foundation, from which she benefits personally.
Hillary wants to share in the credit for the economic decisions made during her husband’s presidency 20 years ago. One of these was the free trade sellout of American workers’ interests known as NAFTA – The North American Free Trade Association. This has turned out to be the giant sucking sound as unscrupulous employers sent their factories and American jobs overseas. Millions of jobs were destroyed, tens of thousands of factories closed, and the living standards of working women disproportionately driven down. Women working on assembly lines. The wives of factory workers.
The Clinton administration also supported the repeal of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, a key part of Franklin D Roosevelt’s landmark Social Security Act of 1935. This was a surrender to the reactionary Newt Gingrich Republicans. It was a cruel and cynical gambit by Bill Clinton to get reelected in 1996. A top official at Health and Human Services resigned, and progressive opinion concluded that this was the worst thing that Clinton had ever done. It was also unnecessary, since Clinton was not seriously threatened by the elderly Bob Dole in 1996. Bill Clinton was preparing more bipartisan sellouts, including savage cuts in Social Security and Medicare when he was overtaken by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and could not seal his pact with the Republicans.
And who were the victims? They were largely women and children. AFDC often translated into aid to mothers with dependent children. These were black women, Latina women, poor white women, women in the inner-city, women in rural America, unemployed women, battered women. It was a case study in the sacrifice of women’s interests, and women’s lives to the lust for power shared by the Clintons.
The Bill Clinton administration also legalized interstate banking, abolished of the Glass-Steagall firewall between commercial banks and investment houses, and worst of all totally deregulated derivatives with a bill signed into law by Bill Clinton in 2000. These toxic derivatives are the main factor in the worldwide economic depression, which started in 2008, and which continues down to this day. We can rest assured that more than half of the victims of this depression – people who lost their jobs, their homes, their retirement savings, their hopes for a college education for their children – were, as usual, women and their families.
Ms. Clinton is a notorious warmonger and hawk in foreign policy, whose tenure as Secretary of State has caused a qualitative degeneration in the world situation, bringing the specter of general war much closer, while failing to advance any fundamental interest of the United States. As an aggressive neocon in foreign affairs, Ms. Clinton cares little for the female soldiers, as well as the wives, mothers, and daughters of the US military forces she will be eager to put at risk.
During these primary debates, Ms. Clinton formally and categorically refused to rule out sending US ground forces into a new catastrophic military adventure in the Middle East. I call on Democratic primary voters to remember the epic struggles about war and peace which were so prominent in the decade after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ms. Clinton would like us to forget that entire agonizing phase. We must not do so.
Ms. Clinton’s troubled and dangerous relation to the concepts of retaliation and the use of military force derives from her mistaken concept of feminism. She wants to be president, a job that requires the highest level of political judgment along with an outlook of prudence not distorted by personal compulsions or complexes. Ms. Clinton wants to be considered as a strong woman. It is good to be strong, but we must also ask, strong in the service of what? Strong in the cause of human progress is a good thing, but strong in the service of a discredited imperialism is unacceptable to the women will pay so much of the price.
Throughout her career, Hillary has feared nothing so much as the perception that she is a weak woman. To compensate for that all-consuming fear, she feels that she must be the most extreme hawk and the most aggressive warmonger. She blusters about the need to retaliate promptly in all instances. This can mean national suicide. Her demand must be rejected.
Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on May 12, 1996 told Leslie Stahl of the CBS program Sixty Minutes that the deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq caused by US sanctions on food and medicine were “worth it.” Secretary Albright reportedly owed her place in the cabinet to lobbying by the feminist Hillary. In any case, Ms. Clinton did not speak out against this monstrous idea. This episode tells us far more about Hillary’s moral compass than her job at the Children’s Defense Fund.
True to her syndrome, Hillary voted in favor of the 2002 resolution which she and everyone else in Congress knew at the time would be used by Bush and Cheney to launch aggressive war against Iraq. In 2008, despite the obvious catastrophic consequences, she was defeated by the less trigger-happy Obama. She says she has finally admitted her 2002 mistake. But she has learned nothing, as shown by her unconscionable boast that she played the role of high priestess of aggression in the attack on Libya in 2011, and her refusal to rule out a new adventure.
Hillary still has the gall to boast of her Arab spring destabilizations of five years ago as one of the supposed achievements in her catalog of experience. This is simply outrageous.
The so-called Arab spring, as observed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and in Syria, was not a popular grassroots uprising, but rather a typical CIA destabilization. In each of these countries, many economic, social, and religious rights of women were better secured under the pre-2011 order. Hillary helped to direct these destabilizations, often working closely with her close associate Huma Abedeen, who apparently served as her liaison with the Muslim Brotherhood, that Anglo-American intelligence asset at the heart of this entire operation. In Egypt, the result was a brutal dictatorship of the Moslem brotherhood.
In the case of Libya, Hillary – joining Susan Rice and Samantha Power – became the most strident advocate for a NATO bombing campaign, which eventually led to the destruction of the Libyan state, and the descent of the entire country into the chaos and anarchy of a failed state dominated by sectarian militias. In every part of Libya, the most backward, benighted, and barbarian jihadis and fanatics took over. Many were on the payroll of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies.
Ms. Clinton celebrated this tragedy with her statement: “We came, we saw, he died.” In reality, this was a violation of international law which Americans will be paying for far into the future. Calls for an invasion of Libya are already being heard.
Later, Ms. Clinton superintended the transfer of the armed jihadis and fanatics to Syria by way of Turkey, a policy which underlies the tragic events in Benghazi, Libya. Syria had been the most ethnically diverse and religiously tolerant country in the entire region – but it is now gripped by war.
The ultimate result of Ms. Clinton’s Middle East policy, including the destruction of Libya and Syria, and building on the Bush administration’s wrecking of Iraq, is quite simply ISIS. Call it ISIL, the Islamic State, Daesh, or the Caliphate, this is the inevitable result of her refusal to work with existing governments.
In this entire tragic narrative, women have been the victims. Arab women have been the victims. Many of them are modern, secular, westernized, women – very much like ourselves. Women dressed in clothes designed in Paris, Milan, or New York. Some were Christian women. They were delivered into the hands of dark ages fanatics by Ms. Clinton’s cynical policies. Such women were stripped at gunpoint of the civil rights, political rights, and social rights they had fought for over decades in undemocratic but at least secular Arab states. Women lost their jobs. Women were forced to stay at home. Women were coerced into covering their bodies in burqas – a custom which is rooted not in the Koran, but rather in the most backward traditions of patriarchy. Women were raped, mutilated and molested.
Do these actions deserve a vote of confidence in the primary? Surely not.
Finally, we come to the most dangerous case of all – Ms. Clinton’s interference in Ukraine. She had promised the world a reset in relations between the United States and Russia. But then – true to form – Hillary insisted on creating frictions and crises where no identifiable American interest was at stake. It was Ms. Clinton who appointed the neocon Victoria Nuland as Assistant Secretary Of State for European Affairs. Nuland and her neocon husband Robert Kagan were known as two of the most prominent hawks in Washington.
It was Nuland who announced that the United States had spent $5 billion on what amounts to a fascist movement, with strong anti-Russian pro-Nazi overtones, in Ukraine. This is the so-called Euromaidan, and the stage was set by Hillary. The result was a rapid deterioration in US-Russian relations. If ever a general war between a NATO and Russia starts in Ukraine, honest historians will inevitably assign much of the war guilt to Hillary Clinton. She has put the lives of all Americans at risk in the service of her own hollow ambition and psychological weakness. Enough is enough. Our number one policy requirement is good relations with Russia.
The Clintons call themselves New Democrats in order to stress their break with FDR, JFK, and LBJ. It is time to start bringing the Democratic Party back to its New Deal and pro-labor roots. My party stands ready to act as a catalyst, including in our role of pushing Bernie Sanders towards more radical and more coherent reform proposals and a more aggressive approach to Hillary.
I therefore call on primary voters to support Bernie Sanders in the remaining states. Decent Republicans should of course be horrified by the choices they are offered on the GOP ballot, and should therefore cross over to the Democratic side and also vote for Bernie. This does not imply that Bernie is qualified for the presidency or that he has the requisite requirements of political courage. We also have profound disagreements with his foreign policy. Hillary is anxious to end the contested primaries, to cut off debate, and to stifle democratic expression. The only alternative is to keep the primary process going, by denying Hillary the preemptive victory she wants. So Bernie is the only available vehicle to keep the primaries and the convention open, including allowing new candidates to enter the race should the first convention ballot prove not to be decisive.
Please stay in touch with the Tax Wall Street Party through our website twsp.us, social media, daily briefings and broadcasts so you can evaluate our ideas on how to get the best possible result out of this primary season.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech delivered last week has been widely exposed as a tissue of lies, but unfortunately normally sagacious foreign observers have made the blunder of believing some of the promises made by the fascist billionaire. In part, this is understandable, since it has been many decades since a liar of the caliber of Trump has played a central role on the international scene.
Trump is no threat to the US military industrial complex. Trump is not a threat to the WASP Establishment or any other establishment. Trump is not an outsider. Trump is a Wall Street insider who, already in 1991, was classified as Too Big to Fail and awarded a sweetheart bailout by the New York Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington. Trump has no systematic idea of US foreign policy whatsoever. He is not a realist; he is closer to being a neocon, especially concerning ISIS and the Middle East. Trump is not a friend of Russia. Trump is not a noninterventionist. Trump is a cynical liar, megalomaniac, and sadist. Trump has been on all sides of all issues over several decades. Anyone taking Trump’s promises seriously is a glutton for punishment.
Perhaps the best way of illustrating Trump’s lies is first to refer them back to our Daily Briefing of last week, and then to focus this evening on the lies told by the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler when he had just seized power in Germany, between 1933 and 1935.
There is no doubt that the methodology of the “Big Lie” used by Trump is precisely the one described by Hitler in his Mein Kampf, in which he aesthetically unveiled many elements of his technique. Concerning the art of lying, Hitler wrote:
‘All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.’1
This was then the method, which Hitler and the Nazis relentlessly practiced on the German people, and on foreign governments around the world. Few demagogues in recent history have been able to match the shameless cynicism of Hitler’s lies. So if we are to deal with Trump effectively, we must go back to the source and remind ourselves of the multifarious forms which lies can assume, especially in international affairs.
Hitler had condemned the Versailles Treaty of 1919, shortly after coming to power, but he did not openly and officially denounce the limitations imposed on Germany’s Army, Navy, and Air Force until the spring of 1935, more than two years after he had seized power.
On March 16, 1935, Hitler announced a new decree law which established universal military service to create a peacetime standing army of 12 corps and 36 divisions totaling about half a million soldiers. This was an open repudiation of the military restrictions placed on Germany in the Versailles Treaty of 1919. At this point, German military forces were minimal, and there was no way to defend the country against France, Britain, or Poland. Britain, France and Italy met several weeks later at Stresa in Switzerland. This Stresa front condemned Hitler’s proclamation of German rearmament and insisted on the independence of Austria and continued respect for the postwar Locarno Treaty.
‘It was time, [Hitler] decided to pull out the stops again on his love of peace and to see whether the new unity of the powers arrayed against him might not be undermined and breached after all. On the evening of May 21, 1935 he delivered another ‘peace’ speech to the Reichstag – perhaps the most eloquent and certainly one of the cleverest and most misleading of his Reichstag orations that this writer, who sat through most of them, had ever heard him make. Hitler was in a relaxed mood and excluded a spirit not only of confidence, but – to the surprise of his listeners – of tolerance and conciliation. There was no resentment or defiance toward the nations which had condemned his scrapping of the military closes at their side. Instead, they were assurances that all he wanted was peace and understanding based on justice for all. He rejected the very idea of war; it was senseless, it was useless, as well as a horror.’2
This moment may perhaps be compared to last week, when Trump decided to restrain his hooligan instincts for a few hours and read some banalities off the teleprompter for the edification of international leaders and experts.
On May 21, 1935, Hitler delivered what was perhaps his most famous “peace speech” to the German Reichstag. Notice the frequency with which the Nazi dictator pronounces the word “peace.” Compare his cynical promises to his later deeds. This is lying when it is developed into a consummate art. This is the idiom of Hitler then, and it is the idiom of Trump today.
‘None of our practical plans will be completed before ten or twenty years to come; none of our idealistic objects will come to fulfillment in fifty or perhaps a hundred years. We all shall only live to see the first beginnings of this vast revolutionary development. What could I wish but peace and quiet? If any one says this is only the wish of leadership, I can reply, “the people themselves have never wished for war.” Germany needs and wills peace? If [British Foreign Secretary] Eden says such assurances mean nothing and that a signature under collective treaties is the sole guarantee of sincerity, I beg him to reflect that in every case it is a matter of what is assurance. It is often far easier to put one’s signature under a treaty with mental reservations as to what action to take later than to champion a pacific policy before the whole nation, because that nation rejects war.
I could have signed ten treaties, but that would not have the weight of the declaration made to France at the time of the Saar plebiscite. If I, as Fuehrer, give my assurance that with the Saar problem settled we will make no further territorial demands on France, this assurance is a contribution to peace which is more important than many a signature under many a pact. I believe that with this solemn declaration a quarrel of long duration between two nations really ought to be ended….Peace was not to be one of the one-sided right, but a peace of general equality, thereby of general right. It was to be a peace of reconciliation, of disarmament of all and thereby of security for all. From it was to result, as its crowning glory, the idea of international collective, cooperative effort of all States and nations in the League of Nations. I must from this place once more state emphatically there was no people anywhere who more eagerly took up these ideas than the Germans.
Germany refuses to be regarded and treated for all time as a second-class or inferior nation. Our love of peace perhaps is greater than in the case of others, for we have suffered most from war. None of us wants to threaten anybody, but we all are determined to obtain the security and equality of our people….With equality, Germany will never refuse to do its share of every endeavor, which serves peace, progress and the general welfare. The German Reich, especially the present German Government, has no other wish except to live on terms of peace and friendship with all the neighboring States. Much as we ourselves love peace, it is not within our power to prevent the outbreak of conflicts between States, especially in the East.
The German Government is at all times ready to participate in collective cooperation for securing the peace of Europe, but it then considers it necessary to meet the law of eternal evolution by holding open the possibility of revision of treaties.
If people wish for peace it must be possible for governments to maintain it. We believe the restoration of the German defense force will contribute to this peace because of the simple fact that its existence removes a dangerous vacuum in Europe. We believe if the peoples of the world could agree to destroy all their gas and inflammable and explosive bombs this would be cheaper than using them to destroy one another. In saying this I am not speaking any longer as the representative of a defenseless State which could reap only advantages and no obligations from such action from others.
I cannot better conclude my speech to you, my fellow-figures and trustees of the nation, than by repeating our confession of faith in peace: Whoever lights the torch of war in Europe can wish for nothing but chaos. We, however, live in the firm conviction our times will see not the decline but the renaissance of the West. It is our proud hope and our unshakable belief Germany can make an imperishable contribution to this great work.’ 3
These siren promises were quickly followed by the unprecedented German rearmament, the reoccupation of the demilitarized Rhineland, the annexation of Austria, the Munich conference of September 1938, the complete absorption of what was left of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and the Nazi demands on Poland later that year.
Then as now, the establishment media of the English-speaking world were eager to parrot Hitler’s lies, and Trump’s lies now. Indeed, Trump is a creation of the ruling class media who have given him more than $2 billion of free exposure, most often without any commentary, rebuttal, fact check, or other counterweight.
As a member of the Berlin press corps, William L. Shirer observed as the media betrayed civilization in conformity with their governments’ policies of whitewashing and appeasing Hitler:
‘Besides the Reichstag, Hitler had another means of communicating his peace propaganda to the outside world: the foreign press, whose correspondence, editors and publishers were constantly seeking interviews with him. There was Ward price, the monocled Englishman, and his newspaper, the London Daily Mail, who were always ready at the drop of a hint to accommodate the German dictator. So in August 1934, in another one of this series of interviews which would continue up to the eve of the war, Hitler told price – and his readers – that quote “war will not come again,” that Germany had “a more profound impression than any other of the evil that war causes,” that quote “Germany’s problems cannot be settled by war.” In the fall Hitler repeated these glowing sentiments to Jean Goy, a French war veterans’ leader and a member of the French Chamber of Deputies, who passed them on in an article in the Paris daily Le Matin.’4
Nor was Hitler’s practice of strategic deception limited to words and speeches alone. From the First World War, Hitler had drawn the strategic lesson that Germany was not in a position to attack and defeat all of its neighbors simultaneously. Rather, Hitler wanted to knock them off one by one. Despite traditional hostility between Poles and Germans, Hitler upon seizing power immediately offered Poland a nonaggression pact, which was quickly accepted by the Polish dictator Pilsudski.
The first major international treaty entered into by Nazi Germany was, surprisingly enough, a friendship and nonaggression pact with Poland:
‘The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact (German: Deutsch-polnischer Nichtangriffspakt; Polish: Polsko-niemiecki pakt o nieagresji ) was an international treaty between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic signed on January 26, 1934. According to the Pact, both countries pledged to resolve their problems through bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years. It effectively normalized relations between Poland and Germany, which were previously strained by border disputes arising from the territorial settlement in the Treaty of Versailles. As a consequence of the treaty, Germany effectively recognized Poland’s borders and moved to end an economically damaging customs war which existed between the two countries during the previous decade….The 1934 Polish-German non-aggression pact, soon followed by a trade agreement with Germany, is said to have granted Germany a settled eastern border and allowed Hitler time for rearmament; five years later, he went on to successfully invade Poland.’5
German ambassador, Hans-Adolf von Moltke, Polish leader Józef Pilsudski, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbelsand Józef Beck, Polish Foreign minister meeting in Warsaw on June 15, 1934, five months after signing the Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact.
Pilsudski realized that he had become a prime target for aggression as soon as Hitler had seized power in January 1933. Pilsudski’s goal had been to gain time by seeking to ensure that he would not be the first of the Nazi targets. As it turned out, he was not the first, but rather the last before the outbreak of World War II just five years later in 1939.
The other peaceful overture accomplished during the early phase of Hitler’s power was the Anglo German Naval Agreement of June 1935, which established the pattern of appeasement or indirect support given to the Nazis by Britain and France. This agreement encouraged Germany to rearm well above the limits included in the Versailles Treaty:
‘The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18, 1935, was a naval agreement between Britain and Germany regulating the size of the Kriegsmarine in relation to the Royal Navy. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement fixed a ratio whereby the total tonnage of the Kriegsmarine was to be 35% of the total tonnage of the Royal Navy on a permanent basis. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on July 12, 1935. The agreement was renounced by Adolf Hitler on April 28, 1939.’ 6
Lord Halifax with Hermann Göring at Schorfheide, Germany, 20 November 1937
In retrospect, all these peace overtures, peace, speeches, and charm offensives were revealed to be nothing more than stepping stones towards the next world war. The politicians and statesmen who put any credence in Hitler’s fakery were later reviled as sellouts and appeasers, and with good reason.
After Munich, Hitler said: “I have no further territorial demands in Europe.” But of course he did – he wanted the rest of Bohemia and Moravia, and then he wanted parts of Poland.
If we look at Trump’s foreign policy speech of last week, we see a similar tissue of lies. Experienced international observers must now see the fact that fascism has returned in grand style to the world stage after a 70-year absence, and that political leaders must unite to oppose the threat of a new fascist era which not everyone is morally and intellectually capable of understanding with the necessary speed.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X
- William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1960), p. 285.
- Hitler, Speech to the Reichstag, May 21, 1935.
- Shirer, pp. 280-281.
United States Just “One Terrorist Attack Away from President Trump”; Polls Show Fascist Billionaire Otherwise Doomed to Defeat; Theme of Pre-Election Terrorist Attack to Benefit Trump Raised One Month Ago by GOP Pollster Frank Luntz; Lindsay Graham Says Trump Means New 9/11, Fails to See It Will Come Before November Vote; Mercenary Conspiracy Theorists Betray Their Followers by Running Cover for Pro-Trump Terror
Donald Trump may take the Republican presidential nomination, but public opinion polls show that his chances to win the White House in November’s general election are practically nonexistent in the existing status quo. US intelligence community factions favorable to Trump may therefore be preparing a large-scale terrorist provocation designed to stampede the American people into voting for the fascist billionaire. These intelligence factions are most likely working with Muslim Brotherhood forces loyal to Turkish President Erdogan, who is widely recognized as the actual commander of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Islamic State/Caliphate.
Erdogan has been widely reported in recent months as activating and mobilizing his terrorist assets in Europe and the United States in order to force the creation of a terrorist safe haven protected by a no-fly zone in northern Syria along the Turkish border. This demand has been opposed by President Obama.
In the wake of a large-scale terror attack, Trump would demand that all power be concentrated in his hands in a virtual state of siege – just like Hitler in late January 1933 – because he had been the only one to correctly forecast an imminent terrorist bloodbath. Trump could expect backing from those same media factions which have already given him more than $2 billion worth of free media for his primary campaign. The real estate demagogue might have a substantial chance of winning the Electoral College. As president, he could be expected to abuse the USA Patriot Act, the Espionage Act, and the full panoply of electronic eavesdropping. He has already promised to do much of this.
We are therefore looking at a classic October surprise, a terrorist event designed to interfere with the normal course of a presidential election. The original October surprise consisted of the machinations of the Reagan campaign to prevent the release of the Iranian hostages before the November, 1980 presidential election. Four years ago, in 2012, Republican forces attempted to humiliate the Obama administration and give Mitt Romney a ticket to the White House by using subversive CIA factions to carry out the Benghazi attack and prevent timely assistance from being rendered. In the modern era, due especially to early voting and absentee ballot voting, an effective October surprise needs to be front loaded to the first half of October at the latest.
On Sunday’s edition of Meet The Press, the American public witnessed the second high profile discussion of the terrorist scenario involved. The warning came from Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, who gave no specific source, but may well have become familiar with this new October surprise plan through his contacts in the rogue network of the ruling elite. Here is the exchange between Friedman and Chuck Todd of NBC News:
You know, I think one of the things that Obama has done right and a favor to Hillary Clinton on is saying in response to these acts of terrorism, we have to suck it up. It’s got to be like Israel, you know? “You blew up that bus. In three hours, the sidewalk is cleaned up, no one knows it happened.”
Because if we set this up the way we’re setting it up, if there is an act of terrorism in late October, early November, it’s going to rebound to Donald Trump’s favor in ways that are highly unpredictable. I saw that play in Israel. It elected Bibi Netanyahu over Shimon Peres after the Rabin assassination.
So you think we’re a terrorist attack away from President Trump?
Could be, Chuck.
Thomas Friedman of the New York Times predicts that an October Surprise of terrorism could put Trump into the White House.
In this NBC News tape of the May 1 edition of Meet the Press, the key exchange occurs at about the 5:40 mark.
Thomas Friedman was reiterating observations from GOP pollster Frank Luntz which appeared in the Washington Post of March 30, 2016. This article dwelt on Trump’s status as the most unpopular presidential candidate in the history of polling, but also pointed out that one outside event which could improve his prospects would be a large-scale terror attack, similar to those which had recently occurred in Paris and Brussels. Luntz commented:
‘Frank Luntz, an unaligned GOP pollster, said Trump could erase at least some of his deficit if he capitalizes on the fall debates and other events, noting that history is littered with examples of candidates doing just that. “The big moments cause people to change,” Luntz said. “And let’s face it, we may have a moment outside of conventions and debates that’s even bigger. If you have a Paris or a Brussels on American soil, that can completely change the dynamic.”’
ISIS had announced its intention of making 2016 into a banner year for terrorism in western countries five months ago. Turkish President Erdogan’s role as the principal terrorist controller in the Moslem Brotherhood and the immediate commander of ISIS has been widely discussed in the Turkish press, and also in the Arab nations. Out of many available articles illustrating this theme, we cite a Middle East expert quoted in the London Daily Express in early January of this year:
‘The Islamic terror group will activate hundreds of sleeper cells in “dozens of countries” in an unprecedented bid to destabilize Western governments and spark a huge military confrontation with the West and Arab nations in the Middle East…. Islamic State has carried out more than 50 attacks in 18 countries that have killed 1,100 people and injured 1,700 since it declared its caliphate in 2014. And  will see a huge increase in both the number and scale of major terror attacks, according to Dr. Theodore Karasik, a Gulf-based analyst of regional geopolitical affairs who has extensively studied ISIS’s behavior. He warned: “ISIS’s media operation is taunting its enemy to come to fight their Final Battle. “But first, it wants to show its global reach with zeal…from cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists – to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world.” Dr. Karasik added: “There are close to 40 ISIS affiliates globally with millions of adherents and believers around the world…. “ISIS is an airborne disease and still remains robust as the movement enters into a new combative and aggressive phase. “The level of ISIS’s destructiveness, to force confrontations across the world, indicates that 2016 is likely to be more chaotic than 2015.”’
There is therefore a convergence of interests between Trump’s need to stampede the US elections in his favor, and Erdogan’s desire to extort the strategic concessions he needs most on his way to a new Ottoman Empire.
In one of his recent statements, the veteran South Carolina Republican politician Lindsey Graham has suggested that the Trump for President campaign foreshadows a new edition of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks 15 years after the fact. Graham stated in a recent interview:
“There’s a civil war going on in the Republican Party, obviously,” Graham said. “John [Boehner] and I are very close friends, but he’s embracing Donald Trump, and I am not. Why? Because I believe Donald Trump’s foreign policy is isolationism. It will lead to another 9/11.”
Sen. Graham is certainly right that the Trump campaign and a new 9/11 nightmare go together. But the senator needs to realize that a new terrorist conflagration is much more likely to come before the election. More terrorism is practically the pre-condition for any success by Trump.
Trump is not anti-establishment. Rather, Trump is a Wall Street insider. The darkest elements of the CIA and the rest of the US intelligence community are supporting Trump.
An October surprise in favor of Trump would of course represent an illegal and unconstitutional coup d’état in the United States. The only thing which can stop such an event is a mass mobilization of the American people. The only adequate answer to an attempted putsch of this type is an unlimited general strike of all working people in favor of democratic institutions and constitutional government. Persons of good will should begin right now to spread the word that any and all terrorist events between now and the November election must automatically be considered the handiwork of US intelligence community factions seeking to put Trump in power.
The Tax Wall Street Party urges loyal members of the armed forces, of the intelligence agencies, of police departments, plus government officials at all levels, the mass media, and private citizens in all walks of life to exercise the greatest possible vigilance to discover, denounce, and expose preparations for terror attacks of the type described here.
If these terror attacks should occur, all Americans should make pro-Trump renegade intelligence community factions the prime suspects. Overseas, we must keep Erdogan’s machinations under special surveillance.
Trump and his terrorists shall not pass.
- “ISIS plotting ‘to slaughter THOUSANDS’ in 2016 in bid to spark huge FINAL BATTLE with West: ISIS is planning to massacre thousands of civilians in public places around the world in 2016 as it desperately seeks to draw the west into a titanic “final battle,” Daily Express, Jan. 3. 2016. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/630316/ISIS-secret-plot-world-master…
Implied Endorsement of Lindbergh’s Pro-Nazi America First Committee Widely Condemned; In Burlingame and Costa Mesa California, Tax Wall Street Party Leads Breakthrough Against Media Coverup of Trump Fascism; Washington Post Prints TWSP’s Trump=Nazi Slogan for Second Time in Four Days; Spread the Word about Billionaire’s Sweetheart Bailout by New York Fed, Greenspan, and Treasury in 1991; Donald Exposed As Wall Street Insider
World Crisis Radio
April 30, 2016
The activists from the TWSP Bay Area Local joined hundreds of other protesters in Burlingame, California to warn the American public of a Nazi takeover.
The Washington Post reported:
‘Several protesters waved Mexican flags and held signs that accused Trump of bigotry. “Get your hate out of my state,” said one sign. Another compared Trump to Adolf Hitler, with the caption, “Trump = Nazi.”
Trump supporters angrily chastised protesters on the line, who accused people of attending the GOP convention of racism [and fascism].’ 1
While the pro-Trump media cartel would like to have the public believe that the anti-Trump protesters are mostly paid agents of George Soros, the Sanders campaign and other left-wing funded foundations, today even mainstream news had to admit that no specific group represented any majority, and in fact, the large crowd seemed to be made up of mostly concerned individuals and numerous diverse political groups. These courageous individuals are acting in the true spirit of American anti-fascism.
The media strained to create the illusion that today was a violent protest, but given the large size of the crowd, there were no injuries and no incidents of any noteworthy violence.
The Washington Post reported:
“The protests remained largely peaceful, even as eggs were thrown at the heads of authorities. A steady drumbeat and chanting persisted throughout the hours-long demonstration.” 1
One incident CNN and Fox made into the big story was that of a man dressed as Donald Trump, who aggressively inserted himself into the crowd, pushing and elbowing protesters.
“Earlier in the day, Chris Conway, a 51-year-old Trump supporter who was wearing the GOP front-runner’s famous “Make America Great Again” cap, claimed he was kicked, punched and spit on by Trump protesters….Police, apparently concerned for his safety, eventually pulled him over hedges outside the hotel and away from the crowd.” 2
This incident was immediately exposed in this Fox News news clip by TWSP’s Peter Suter. Suter alerted the public that this man dressed as Trump “was going through the crowd, pushing and elbowing people. This man was a Trump provocateur.”
During the primary season these relatively small protests led by a courageous group of first responders to the threat of fascism will be mocked and targeted by the Trump propaganda machine. However, as we enter the general election the whole American people are likely to be horrified by the crimes and excesses of the Trump gang. The mass movement emerging this week from Washington to San Francisco and Costa Mesa will send a message to the world that America will never succumb to fascism.
San Francisco Bay Area TWSP Activists Warn Californians of Trump Fascist Danger
Burlingame CA, April 29 – This city just south of San Francisco, was witness today to a large and militant protest against the fascist GOP presidential frontrunner Donald J. Trump. The Tax Wall Street Party intervened with its classic TRUMP=NAZI poster, supplemented by leaflets and interviews to an assortment of media covering the protest.
Interviews were given to The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, and Sacramento Bee (The flagship newspaper of McClatchy Newsgroup).
TWSP members engaged protesters in a productive dialogue explaining the TWSP economic program.
TWSP members wore TRUMP=NAZI baseball caps that attracted additional press coverage, including Telesur English, CNN, Reuters, Washington Post, and NHK World of Japan. Members also carried the popular “Trump = Nazi” poster and posed for pictures with countless demonstrators. The poster also was shown on media including a 10 minute shot on CNN, MSNBC and the Fox Business Network.
The protestors shut down the entrance to the Hyatt Regency where Trump was to give a speech to the California GOP during their convention. To enter the convention, Trump was forced to exit his motorcade on the Bayshore Expressway, walk along a service road and along a concrete barrier, over a grassy median, and into the hotel. This will remain a classic scene in American political lore.
Once he reached the podium, Trump attempted a lame joke by adlibbing: “That was not the easiest entrance I ever made, we were walking over and under fences. I felt like I was crossing the border!” This wisecrack has generated heavy criticism on cable news because of its callous disregard for the plight of undocumented foreign workers, and also for the problems of California.
Jalal Sinjer of the TWSP San Diego Local exposes Trump at a Thursday evening rally in Costa Mesa, California.
All signs suggest Wall Street insider Donald Trump got a secret bailout from the US Treasury to ease his bankruptcy woes in 1991.
, who was Federal Reserve Chairman in 1990, when Trump’s main lender Citibank was silently seized by federal regulators. Did Greenspan have a hand in securing a 1991 sweetheart bankruptcy deal for Trump’s business interests, allowing The Donald to keep vast amounts of his ill-gotten property? Did Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady promote Wall Street insider Trump to Too Big To Fail status almost two decades before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy?
Around Thanksgiving 1990, federal regulators from the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve System seized control of Citibank, because it was insolvent and was threatening to trigger a nationwide and worldwide banking panic. Partly in order to avoid such a panic, the federal takeover of Citibank was done more or less in secret, with no public announcement of what was being done.
In the wake of the serious Wall Street stock market crash of October 1987, real estate values across much of the United States had begun to plummet. By January 1990, the Bank of New England was in serious trouble. During 1990, conditions continued to deteriorate, and by the end of November Citibank was silently put under de facto federal receivership.
The rapidly falling real estate prices which had triggered the banking crisis impacted almost all real estate speculators, and the Trump properties were of course no exceptions. Trump had stubbornly insisted on investing in the Taj Mahal casino operation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, just as real estate prices were declining.
Citibank was Trump’s best friend among all the Wall Street banking concerns. When Trump wanted to buy the former Eastern Airlines shuttle at LaGuardia Airport, he had convinced Citibank to lead the syndication that gave Trump the $365 million he needed for the transaction. Citibank then divided this debt burden among approximately 20 other banks. When, in January 1991, Trump’s business empire finally went bankrupt, control of the Trump Shuttle reverted to Citibank as the main lender.
It is certainly fair to say that the burden of Trump’s collapsing operations, starting in January 1991, but clearly foreshadowed several months earlier, in terms of stock prices and the like, contributed something important to the Citibank bankruptcy. As Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio writes:
“…in dollar terms, Donald Trump’s bonds represented a tiny fraction of the vast pool of junk-bond debt that frightened many investment experts, but he had made himself such a visible figure that reporters in variable through him into their stories about troubled companies…. Donald Trump saw a world inhabited by winners and losers, allies and enemies. When displeased, he would indulge in tirades spiced with expletives. Employees, rivals, critics, and Associates would become, in his words, “stupid,” “dumb,” “losers,” or “wimps.” (D’Antonio, Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success [New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 2015], p. 197)
Many Wall Street investors first became aware of the serious systemic problems in the Trump business empire in early June, 1990. D’Antonio documents that:
“On June 4, 1990, Neil Barsky of the Wall Street Journal published a stunning report on Trump’s debt problems, layoffs at the Taj Mahal and Trump shuttle, and his failed attempts to raise cash through the sale of properties or refinancing…. Barsky noted that much of the trouble stemmed from lenders’ having accepted Trump’s assertion that by adding his name to a casino, hotel, or airline he could raise its inherent value. This was not true for the shuttle, which had lost $85 million under the Trump name, and it wasn’t true of the Taj, which was also losing money.’ (D’Antonio, p. 198)
As Trump struggled to avoid bankruptcy, he also became the butt of ridicule and satire on the late evening shows: “Late Show host David Letterman made Trump the subject of his nightly, satirical Top 10 list, which was titled in “Top 10 Signs That Trump Is in Trouble.” (D’Antonio, p. 199) This was broadcast June 6, 1990:
Top 10 Signs that Trump Is in Trouble
10. Had the cable company disconnect Cinemax.
9. Trump Shuttle now used to haul lumber.
8. Attracting a lower class of bimbo.
7. Recently asked advisors how they thought a “Battling Billionaire” character would go over on the pro wrestling circuit.
6. Has been sucking up to [real estate rival] Merv [Griffin].
5. This morning, he had himself evicted.
4. Last week in 7-Eleven was heard saying, “I’m really thirsty” and yet suspiciously did not order a Big Gulp.
3. Now does tacky embarrassing things on a much smaller scale.
2. Just got a paper route.
1. He now takes my calls. 1
The most remarkable thing about Trump’s multifaceted bankruptcy was the very large amount of property which was somehow exempted from confiscation to satisfy the demands of the creditors. Trump was being given a sweetheart deal, which allowed him to retain a large number of his favorite playthings:
“The Taj Mahal went bankrupt in January 1991. Under an agreement with creditors Trump gave up a substantial portion of the casinos ownership, but he would be allowed to net a bit more than $1 million per year in exchange for leaving his name on the building. Soon he would give up control of the Trump shuttle to his lender, Citibank.” (D’Antonio, p. 200)
Trump celebrated these proceedings as a kind of personal victory, since he had escaped personal bankruptcy and come away with a large haul of his ill-gotten gains and loot. Trump especially relished the outcome as a public-relations triumph:
Others had used the peculiar dynamics of bankruptcy to similar effect, preserving substantial fortunes while escaping the stigma of personal bankruptcy, but few considered it a great accomplishment. Ever the showman, and an optimist, Trump saw in this outcome, a public-relations advantage. ‘If I had filed a personal bankruptcy, I don’t feel that my comeback story would have been nearly as good a story,” Trump said. It would have been always a tarnished story.” Spinning the tail like a gifted advertising man, Trump said that bankers “love me because I’m good and I’m honest….” (D’Antonio, p. 201)
D’Antonio is right in concluding that Trump was almost two decades ahead of his time, and had been a pioneer of the financial brinksmanship available only to wealthy insiders:
“In time, the phenomenon that spared Trump would be understood by the general public as ‘too big to fail.” However, many ordinary Americans would forever be puzzled when lenders gave troubled borrowers more money.” (D’Antonio, pp. 201-202)
But if Trump was given a sweetheart, insider bankruptcy for a too big to fail plutocrat, these decisions were unquestionably big enough and important enough to require approval from the US Treasury and the Fed. As Webster Tarpley wrote back in 1999:
The regulators cleared every major decision he [Citibank boss John Reed] made – which implicates them in the firings, in Citibank’s derivatives exposure, which was built up in those years, and in Citibank’s private banking and money laundering services that assisted the graft and embezzlement carried out by the family of then-Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
Most important for the business at hand, “the regulators” were implicated in every decision regarding the bankruptcy of businesses belonging to one Donald J. Trump. And these regulators were none other than Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan and US Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady.
It must therefore be the working hypothesis of opposition research that Trump, already in 1990, was enough of a prominent insider to rate special kid gloves treatment when his business empire blew up in his face. To put the matter in context, we supply the following excerpts from Webster G. Tarpley, Surviving the Cataclysm (Joshua Tree, CA: Progressive Press, 1999-2009).
Autumn 1990: Bank of New England, Citibank and Chase Bankrupt
During the Great Depression between the two world wars, the collapse of 1929 had been followed by a US banking disintegration that reached critical mass during the fall and winter of 1932-33. About 3 to 4 years had separated the collapse phase from the banking panic. By a remarkable coincidence, the stock market and dollar crashes of 1987 were followed 3 to 4 years later by the threatened disintegration of the US banking system.
Federal Reserve officials were aware that they were presiding over a possible re-run of the banking panic of 1932-33. The Fed was filled with “continual conversations about this period and the 1930s”, especially when “all the main money supply indicators suddenly collapsed in autumn 1930.” [S. Solomon, 465] Eliot Janeway and others were warning in the press of a deflationary crisis in full swing.
Greenspan acknowledged the peril of banking panic on September 13, 1990, noting that there were “all too many problems in the banking system, problems that have been growing of late as many banks, including many larger banks, have been experiencing a deterioration in the quality of their loan portfolios…. “ [Financial Times, September 14, 1990] A student of this period sums up: “Just how close the US banking system came to collapsing in 1990-91 was necessarily conjectural, since it depended much on developments in the economy. But there was little doubt that the wildfire spread of market fear of major bank collapses nearly became a self-fulfilling disaster….” [S. Solomon, 464]
It was noticeable that the banks had stopped making loans. The reason was simply that these banks feared panic runs and, like their predecessors of 1932-33, thought that had to conserve their own cash to cover demand deposits. Bank bonds were downgraded by Moody’s and the other agencies until many had reached BB, which was hardly reassuring. Many customers found that they themselves were more credit-worthy and could borrow more cheaply than the banks they were unsuccessfully trying to borrow from. As Greenspan later admitted, bank “fragility…in fact was the cause of the credit crunch.” [S. Solomon, 463]
The Bush administration railed against this new credit crunch and even indirectly blamed the Fed. The Bushmen claimed that “overzealous bank regulators” were responsible for the halt in lending, having become too strict now after their anything goes attitude of the 1980s bubble. Bush even used his triumphalistic post-Gulf war State of the Union speech of January 29, 1991 to call on the Fed to lower interest rates and on the banks to make “more sound loans now.” Greenspan responded with a critique of the 1980s, primly remarking that “it is now clear that a significant fraction of the credit extended during those years should not have been extended.” [S. Solomon, 458]
In the waning days of the Reagan Administration, the White House still claimed to have presided over the longest peacetime economic expansion since the 1960s, or even in all of US history. By the end of 1988, the foreign debt of the United States, now the greatest debtor on the planet, had attained $500 billion, equal to 10% of GDP. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the US went into recession in July 1990 – just before Iraq took possession of Kuwait. Economic activity had been weaker under Bush than under any American president since Herbert Hoover in 1929-1933. The Bush recession in the US was accompanied by a deep economic downturn in western Europe, which for most countries was the worst since World War II. Against this background, the US banking system started to blow, starting in January 1990 with the Bank of New England.
The Bank of New England had been among the ten largest bank holding companies in the United States, with $30 billion in assets. But BNE had also built up $36 billion if off-balance sheet activity, mainly in derivatives. Then came the collapse of the Boston real estate market. The Boston Federal Reserve pumped $18 billion in loans into BNE to keep it alive between January 1990 and January 1991, when it was finally seized and shut down. The huge covert bailout by the Fed was designed to allow BNE to unwind the vast majority of its derivatives positions, thus avoiding a likely short-term worldwide derivatives panic during 1990. William Seidman, the chairman of the FDIC, estimated that BNE would cost his agency $2.3 billion, the second most costly bank failure in US history after First RepublicBank Corp. of Dallas. It took the best part of a year to unwind BNE’s derivative exposure. In early 1991 the buyout artists of KKR, now converted to bottom-fishing, trained their sights on the insolvent BNE. KKR was joined in this venture by Fleet/Norstar. This acquisition was approved by federal regulators in April 1991.
The Forbearance of the Regulators
By Bush’s second year in office, most US money center banks were technically bankrupt, and were being kept going by what federal regulators call “forbearance” – leaving those tottering banks alone, while lending them money under the table. This is a form of mercy that banks do not ordinarily extend to homeowners fighting foreclosure, but it was emphatically Bush’s policy. On December 7, 1990, the Bush White House convened an emergency meeting, with Baker present, to figure out what to do about the US banks. Before them the Bushmen saw six big, insolvent banks: Citicorp, Chase Manhattan, Manufacturers Hanover, Security Pacific, Chemical Bank, and the Bank of New England.
Most dramatic was the case of Citibank. While Bush was attempting to whip up hysteria and focus it on Saddam Hussein, a “silent, slow-motion, global wholesale money market flight from America’s largest bank” was taking place day by day. [S. Solomon, 464] In April 1990, IBCA Banking Analysis of London declared that Citicorp was “undercapitalized and under-reserved.” Standard and Poor’s and then Moody’s downgraded Citibank. In July 1990, bank analyst Dan Brumbaugh stated on the ABC network program Nightline that not only Citicorp, but also Chase Manhattan, Chemical Bank, Manufacturers Hanover and Bankers Trust were all already insolvent. During September 1990, there was a near electronic panic run on Citibank, while Chase Manhattan and other New York money center banks were also under increasing pressure.
Thanksgiving 1990: Citibank Silently Seized By Federal Regulators
For Citibank, the biggest US bank with an alleged $213 billion in assets, survival entailed a period of two and one half years during which mighty Citicorp was silently seized and put into receivership by federal regulators who began operating the bank using its nominal officers, like the incompetent John Reed, as ventriloquists’ dummies. Citicorp was now a secret ward of the Fed and the Comptroller of the Currency. [EIR, November 1, 1991] In October 1990, an auction of Citicorp money-market commercial paper attracted no buyers; it was saved only by purchases arranged by Goldman Sachs, and by a 13% interest rate. On the day before Thanksgiving, 1990, Citicorp Chairman John Reed and President Richard Braddock were summoned to the New York Federal Reserve on Wall Street. Awaiting Reed and Braddock were E. Gerald Corrigan, the President of the New York Federal Reserve, and William Taylor, the director of bank supervision for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.
The Citibank crisis was a product of the collapse in US commercial real estate prices during 1989-1990. A shock wave of real estate collapse had wiped out 9 of the 10 largest banks in Texas over previous years, and that shock wave had now engulfed New York City. Reed, anxious to re-orient Citibank away from Walter Wriston’s Latin American loan racket, had loaded up with real estate loans in the northeast states. Citibank had thought that only 1% of these loans would turn out to be unsound. Corrigan and Taylor had now concluded that 20% or more of the $30 billion loan portfolio would not perform, and that Citibank had to brace itself for a minimum of $5 billion in losses. Corrigan and Taylor were worried that Citibank, which had one of the lowest capital-to-asset ratios among major banks, didn’t have sufficient capital to survive those losses.
Citibank had lent money to Campeau, Donald Trump, Olympia & York, John Portman, and Moutleigh and Randsworth Trust. When the New York department store Alexander’s failed, Citibank was the big loser. Citibank also had to liquidate its London subsidiary of Citicorp Scrimgeour Vickers. At the end of 1990, Citicorp announced an addition of $340 million to its loan loss provisions, but this was grossly inadequate window-dressing. During 1990, Citicorp’s non-performing real estate loans were up 120% to $2.6 billion, while the bank’s portfolio of foreclosed real estate was up 78% to $1.3 billion, and the market value of these properties had fallen by 55%.
The New York Fed was in effect seizing control of Citibank, and would retain that control for a reported two and one half years. A small army of 300 federal bank regulators occupied Citibank’s headquarters. Reed was obliged to cut Citicorp’s dividend and then suspend it entirely, More than 11,000 Citicorp employees were fired. From November 1990 on, Reed traveled every month to Washington to report to the Fed and to the Treasury’s Comptroller of the Currency… The regulators cleared every major decision he made – which implicates them in the firings, in Citibank’s derivatives exposure, which was built up in those years, and in Citibank’s private banking and money laundering services that assisted the graft and embezzlement carried out by the family of then-Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
The Threat of Funding Crisis
According to a recent journalistic account, “The stakes for the regulators in this case were enormous. ‘We were running fire drills in case they had a problem that required government attention,’ one top former official recalled. A run on Citibank would have required intervention by the Federal Reserve and help from the central banks of other nations, another key insider said.” “What regulators feared most … was a ‘funding crisis’ like the one that took down Continental Illinois National Bank a decade ago. Much of Citi’s funds are big corporate deposits, many from overseas, that are not protected by federal deposit insurance. If those depositors got nervous and decided to withdraw their funds, even a healthy bank could not survive.” In other words, the issue was a Systemic meltdown.
The Citibank crisis remained acute all during 1991. In December 1991, Citibank was officially placed on the government’s secret watch list of banks in critical condition. In August 1992 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency required Citibank to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, a public reprimand whose exact terms remain secret. But Citibank was the biggest beneficiary ever of regulatory forbearance, the bending of the law. Some respite came in February 1991, when Saudi Prince Waleed bin Talal, already a 4.5% stockholder in Citibank, agreed to plough an additional $590 million back into the foundering concern. $600 million more soon flowed in from Middle East and domestic sources. Fidelity Investments also put some money into Citibank.
In the third quarter of 1991, Citibank posted a quarterly loss of $885 million, with non-performing loans at $6 billion and non-performing real estate loans at $3 billion. For the first time since 1813, no dividend was paid to the stockholders.
Citibank Technically Insolvent and Struggling to Survive
In August 1991, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) observed that Citicorp was “technically insolvent” and “struggling to survive.” This comment triggered panic runs on Citicorp in Hong Kong and Australia, where the FDIC does not operate. During that same week, the New York Fed lent out $3.4 billion, with almost all of it reportedly going to Citicorp. Perhaps this was the money needed to make up for the loss of deposit base in the Far East. Certainly Citicorp had to fear panic runs in the US as well. During the summer of 1992, the former Wall Street broker turned austerity candidate for the presidency, Ross Perot, announced in delphic language that he was selling Citibank stock short, because he expected it to crash soon. In Perot’s opinion, Citibank was insolvent.
Bankrupt banks were reorganized through mergers, which promised bigger bankrupt banks in the future. Chemical Bank took over Manufacturers Hanover, while the Bank of America absorbed Security Pacific. Citibank and Chase remained more or less in their original form. During these months there were significant bank failures in Norway and in Sweden.
On April 11, 1991, First Executive Life had been seized by California regulators; its $49 billion in liabilities made it the largest insurance failure in US history. Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company of New Jersey was also bankrupt. 1991 also saw the demise of BCCI – the Banque de Credit et Commerce Internationale – allegedly because of a $1.2 billion fraud carried out by shipping tycoon Abbas Gokal. BCCI had been the owner of First American Bank, which employed former Defense Secretary and Truman controller Clark Clifford.
Greenspan’s Backdoor Bailout
The Fed funds rate peaked at 9 7/8% between February and June of 1989, when the Fed began lowering, reaching 8.25% by the end of 1989. Then there was an interlude of paralysis before rates started slowly down again, touching 7.75% on October 29, 1990. Making up for lost time, Greenspan brought the Fed funds rate and the discount rate to 4.5% by early December 1991. Afraid of a banking collapse, and attempting to help Bush get re-elected the following year, Greenspan lowered the discount rate from 4.5% to 3.5% on December 19, 1991. Greenspan then took the Fed funds rate to 3%, and kept it there during late 1992 and during all of 1993. The direction of these interest rate reductions would not be reversed until February 1994.
Greenspan was providing a massive public bailout to US commercial banks at taxpayers’ expense and without Congressional authority. It was a backdoor bailout. He helped the banks to steer away from short-term bankruptcy: by mid-1992 the Fed was keeping the overnight rate for federal funds in the neighborhood of 3%. At the same time, the thirty-year long bond was paying 7%. This meant that a Federal reserve member bank could borrow money at 3%, and use it to buy Treasury securities paying 7%, thus locking in a nearly four-point spread which represented pure risk-free profit to the bank. This was soon the biggest racket in town. Naturally, it would have been more convenient for US taxpayers if the Treasury had been able to borrow directly from the Fed at 3% rates, eliminating the banks as middlemen. That would have shrunk the debt-service burden imposed on the Federal budget much more effectively than the austerity nostrums proposed around this time by Perot and other demagogues. But Greenspan would have been horrified by such a proposal – for the Fed to have bought the Treasury issues at such low rates would have gone back to the bad old days before 1952 when the Fed was de facto forced to do the bidding of the elected government. It would have been a violation of the sacred laws of the free market!