The Feuding Kleptocrats

by Chris Hedges from Common Dreams

The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit.

They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education are eating away the foundations of democratic institutions like gigantic termites. And there is no force inside government that can stop them…

The kleptocrats, whatever their differences, are united by one overriding fear. They fear large numbers of people will become wise to their kleptocracy and revolt. They fear the mob. They fear revolution, the only mechanism left that can rid us of these parasites…

[read more here]


9 Responses

  1. Didn’t Hedges embed himself with the Contras and anti-Milosevic separatists? No one has to be a saint, but those facts gravely damage his credibility. He is again politicizing climate change to pander to the base that frequents “progressive lite” publications, possibly flattering those who want to profit from carbon taxes and similar measures. Common Dreams gives itself away with foundation spooks such as David “No Economic Growth” Korten (who worked in Suharto’s Indonesia, doing God knows what).

    • oh yeah, he was an embedded journo for years reporting on the official stories from all sorts of places including Yugoslavia. He’s controlled op and only goes so far these days, but this article is good and it touched on something Roy mentioned earlier so I thought I would post a link to it.

    • Scott once called Hedges a “sell-out p.o.s” for echoing CIA lies, and for shilling for Obama. Also, Hedges long echoed the nonsense about al-Qaeda being “blowback.”

      My own opinion of Hedges is mixed. Hedges echoes the “six million” narrative, which for me is inexcusable. I understand if someone doesn’t want to challenge it, but why promote it? Better to sidestep it.

      Regarding Hedges’ use of terms like “blowback” or “ISIS,” once we accept the Empire’s labels, premises, and vocabulary, we accept the Empire’s lies. For example, if we believe the Empire’s nonsense that a few Arabs with box cutters perpetrated 9-11, then we support the War Of Terror, no matter how much we claim to oppose it.

    • Regarding David Korten’s assertion that we need to economy to stop growing, Korten means we should question the dogma that we must grow the GDP at all costs. I myself say let’s grow our economic activities, but let’s guard which activities. The current way to grow economies is neoliberal. It focuses on boosting markets, boosting inequality, boosting corporate profits, and boosting mass indebtedness. This is killing us, and it is destroying the planet.

      The neoliberal way to stimulate economies is only one way, and it only benefits the rich. There are many other ways to stimulate economies, which do not promote inequality or destruction.

      • Of course the environment should be taken care of, but if no pies are metaphorically baked (a quote from Mahathir Mohammad), there’s even more of a gap between the richest and the poorest. David likely made a five or six-figure salary while at best giving pretentious speeches to the Indonesian government, clerics, NGOs and corporations. At worst, he gave a “moral, loving” cover to Suharto’s neoliberal programs (which also devastated the nation’s tropical jungles).
        Just like with the GDR, thousands of Cubans leave for cushier jobs in North America or Europe.


    If you believe the lie that the U.S. government needs revenue, or borrows its spending money, then you are a fake leftist, no matter how well intentioned you fancy yourself. For example, “progressive” commentator Dave Lindorff writes, “While the actual military budget outlay is sometimes mentioned, the amount of the interest on the debt that is for prior military spending that was financed through borrowing is not included.”


    There is no interest on “debt for military spending,” since there is no debt involved. Money for the military is not borrowed from anyone. The U.S. government creates its spending money out of thin air. The so-called “national debt” is simply money that investors have deposited in Fed savings accounts so it can “earn” interest. Those deposits have nothing to do with the U.S. government’s ability to create and spend money.

    I know it’s fun to echo the lie, but it allows politicians to falsely claim that there is “no money” for things like Single Payer, or Social Security.

    • Unfortunately this “helicopter money” isn’t flying our way. It’s headed for the Terrorists R US factory and Satan’s little helpers who make it all work in neonowhere. Government is being run like a business and none of ours.

      • It isn’t flying our way because the peasants refuse to let go of their delusions. Here’s an example from a reader at the Common Dreams blog…

        “I just don’t get Medicare for all. It’s a scheme that everyone is forced to buy, yet covers only a fraction of the people that pay into it. Medicare, Social Security and interest on government debt consume almost 3/4 of the entire federal budget.”


        No one “buys” Medicare, since FICA taxes do not pay for Medicare or SS. Moreover the U.S. government does not have a “budget” in the normal sense, since the government creates its spending money out of thin air. Hence the U.S. government has no need to balance its income with its expenditures. There is no federal budget to “consume.” And the U.S. government “debt” is also an asset.

        Until the masses understand these facts, they will remain impoverished slaves.

        • I will be no one’s slave, but haven’t found my way around the impoverished thing. Medicare is automatically taken from my munchkin SS check….but here’s the catch. Again, like many of us, I can’t afford to see a specialist. And when your older that’s all you really need, and a lot of them. The co-pays just doubled and specialists want to see you regularly ($50 a pop). Even my GP, who used to be free is now a co-pay ($35). So I’ve got Medicare and can’t afford to use it.

          Young people understand, as I did not long ago, that even if they have decent (mandated) coverage (many don’t), if they have an injury or illness and can’t make the premiums while waiting Workmen’s Comp or TDI to kick in insurance companies say “bye-bye. And where I live trying to even establish communication with these agencies you need a ouiji board and a lawyer.

          So, I get it. It’s not like people are dumb sofa taters, it’s just that we are up against a system that socializes poverty but privatizes wealth. I will go to my grave (not too soon please) believing that we can get together and stop these Corporate Supremacists’ wet dream. But it’s going to take action not reaction. I believe Sun Tzu said “No war was won acting in defense.” It’s not like we don’t understand.

          What was it John McCain said the other day, “The New World Order is under enormous strain” and in “the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism” YUP. We are the radicals….those who want to stop people like him choking in his miserability, who will die soon and wants to take everyone with him, especially the young. We all understand….but have to find a way off that titanic. I think that the recent and big time news media meltdown has broken the spell for many Americans….that’s hopeful.

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