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Александр Гамильтон
19 января, 18:22

How To Rig An Election In Your Favor

New From Trump University Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com Donald Trump was right. The election was rigged. What Trump got wrong (and, boy, does he get things wrong) is that the rigging worked in his favor. The manipulations took three monumental forms: Russian cyber-sabotage; FBI meddling; and systematic Republican efforts, especially in swing states, to prevent minority citizens from casting votes. The cumulative effect was more than sufficient to shift the outcome in Trump’s favor and put the least qualified major-party candidate in the history of the republic into the White House. Trumpist internet trolls and Trump himself dismiss such concerns as sour grapes, but for anyone who takes seriously the importance of operating a democracy these assaults on the nation’s core political process constitute threats to the country’s very being. Let’s look at each of these areas of electoral interference in detail. Gone Phishing: The Drone of Info Warfare Suppose one morning you receive an email from your Internet service provider telling you a security breach has put your data at risk. You are instructed to reset your password immediately. In keeping with the urgency of the situation, the email that delivers the warning provides a link to the page where your new password can be entered. Anxiously you do as instructed, hoping you’ve acted soon enough to prevent a disaster. Congratulations: you have successfully reset your password. Unfortunately, you have also provided it to the hackers who sent the original, entirely bogus warning about a breach of security. This kind of ploy is called phishing. It’s exactly how the email account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, was penetrated. His assistants fell for the ruse. Alternatively, a phisher might send dozens of intriguing offers to employees of a certain organization over the course of weeks. Each message provides a link for more information, and as soon as someone in a moment of boredom or confusion clicks on it, presto change-o, the hacker is inside that person’s computer, free to worm through the network to which it’s connected. This is how hackers got into the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and downloaded not just emails but strategic planning documents and other confidential information. At this point no one aside from Trump die-hards and maybe Trump himself -- he has said so many contradictory things on the subject, it’s difficult to tell what he actually believes -- denies that the hackers were Russian and acted under some kind of official instruction, even possibly from the highest levels of Kremlin authority, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moreover, it’s clear that the harvest of stolen material was used to help Trump and hurt Clinton. This is the unambiguous conclusion of a National Intelligence Community report released on January 6th and representing the shared conclusions of the CIA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency, which stated: “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.” None of the meddling was as blatantly subversive as taking electronic control of voting machines and altering vote counts. Nor did the Russian hackers disable vote-tallying computers, as they did in Ukraine in 2014, but they achieved the next best thing. In our information-drenched world, the drumbeat of background noise can be as powerful as what one hears in the foreground. The Russians and their allies, in part through WikiLeaks, parceled out the juiciest tidbits from the stolen material over the course of the summer and fall, and the news media ate it up. The Democratic dirty laundry they aired showed that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC, favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. In the ensuing flap, Wasserman Schultz resigned and the public was left with the message that the DNC was both untrustworthy and in disarray -- and indeed, following the chair’s departure, the disarray couldn’t have been more real. When other emails were released in which Podesta and various colleagues second-guessed Mrs. Clinton’s decisions, the message that lingered in the public mind was that even her closest associates had doubts about her, never mind that candid, water-cooler criticism is normal in any undertaking. The Russians did more than merely steal computer information. They also planted false news stories, both with state sanction (according to the national intelligence report), and without it. One of the upshots of the faux-news business is that, amid intense click-bait competition for advertisers, only sites and articles pandering to the far right make money. Disseminating made-up stories favorable to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders returned nothing to the bottom line of the freelance hackers operating in what has become one of the Russian-speaking world’s newest cottage industries. Evidently a suspension of critical thinking -- or its complete absence -- is easier to exploit among those disposed to hate liberals and love Trump. That this kind of gullibility is more than just politically dangerous became clear in December when Edgar Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, stormed into Comet Ping Pong, a pizza joint on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., filled mainly with parents and children. Welch was carrying a handgun and an assault rifle, which he fired. He later explained that he intended to “self-investigate” reports that had been ricocheting around the Internet asserting that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta operated a child trafficking ring out of that restaurant. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The hoax that fooled the benighted Edgar Welch first appeared on the Internet in late October, shortly before the election. Via Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and other platforms, users subsequently clicked it onward several million times. Among the enthusiastic retweeters of this sort of claptrap (if not the specific Comet Ping Pong story) was retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, whom Trump has named his national security adviser, a position for a modicum of probity, if not honesty, used to be a requirement. (Flynn’s son did, however, promote the Comet story on social media.) In the echo chamber of the Internet, the drone of half-truths and lies blurs the edges of the real. Eventually, it imparts a kind of lazy, unevaluated validity to memes of all kinds: Hillary is a crook, immigrants are criminals, Muslims are terrorists. In such a world, Trump’s chronic mendacity becomes unremarkable. This is political branding, advertising, and product definition in the twenty-first century. It’s part of what the spinmeisters call "seizing the narrative," and the more you seize it for your side, the harder it becomes for your opponents to make their case. Truth is beside the point. Russian faux-news stories, purloined emails, and “exfiltrated” documents dogged the Democratic campaign. They were like gnats that packed a painful bite, buzzing continually wherever Clinton went. They distracted the media and the public from Trump’s much more substantial sins and reinforced the memes that he and his proxies chanted at every opportunity. They built toward a death by a thousand cuts. That was the background. Then, into the foreground stepped FBI Director James Comey. Out of Line On October 28th, only 11 days before Election Day, with early voting already underway in many states, Comey delivered a letter to Congressional leaders stating that, “in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. They were, devastatingly enough, on a computer that scandal-ridden former Congressman Anthony Weiner had shared with his wife and Clinton aide Huma Abedin. At the time, Comey did not have a warrant to inspect those emails or any idea what the emails specifically contained. He released his letter in violation of longstanding Justice Department procedures and contrary to direct advice from Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The most sympathetic thing that might be said about Comey’s rogue gambit was that he felt a muddle-headed sense of obligation to keep the public and, more particularly, Republican members of Congress informed about developments in an investigation that he had declared resolved nearly four months earlier. A darker interpretation is that he dropped his bomb intending to help the Trump campaign, which, if true, would constitute a violation of the Hatch Act and entitle him to an extended stay in a facility populated by people he used to prosecute. We may never know his motives in full, but it is rumored that he will offer some kind of statement after the inauguration. Motives aside, Comey’s letter detonated across the late-stage election landscape. Predictably the media went into overdrive, as did Trump. With his usual bombast he proclaimed that “this is bigger than Watergate,” and the spinning went on from there. Clinton’s polling numbers nosedived. On November 5th, Comey issued a follow-up letter in which he conceded that, um, well, the trove of emails added absolutely nothing new to the previously dormant investigation. This 11th hour admission did little to mend the damage already inflicted on Clinton and may, in fact, only have deepened the injury by keeping the item in the news and underscoring the suspicions many voters felt toward her. Nate Silver, at FiveThirtyEight, suggested that the flap may have cost Clinton a three-point swing among the electorate and calculated that, after the Comey bombshell hit, the probability of her winning the presidency plunged by 16%.  He also suggested that Comey’s letter may have influenced down-ballot races, especially in the all-important struggle for control of the Senate. Bloomberg reported even more dramatic numbers, finding that Clinton’s 12-point lead eroded to a single percentage point, making the race essentially a dead heat. Digging deeply into the “Comey Effect,” Sean McElwee and his colleagues at Vox found that it correlated with sharp downturns for Clinton in both national and state polling, probably accounting for a surge toward Trump that was particularly pronounced among “late-deciders” -- people who made up their minds only when they were at the brink of going to the polls. Moreover, the surge was likely shaped by an astonishing “peak” in the negative news coverage of Clinton, centering on her emails.  In the last week of the campaign, 37% of all coverage of Clinton was “scandal”-related, far higher than had been the case for months. These are powerful statistics. Three percentage points in an election in which nearly 129 million ballots were cast for the top two candidates amounted to 3.87 million votes. Add them to the 2.86 million by which Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote, and you have a victory margin more than a million and a half votes larger than that by which Obama beat Romney in 2012. You also have a big win in the Electoral College. People would have been talking about a landslide. As things turned out, Trump’s victory in the Electoral College was determined by fewer than a combined 100,000 votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. You can massage the numbers many different ways, but if Comey’s letter accounted for only 2% of Trump’s votes in those states, then without the letter Clinton would have won all three of them -- and the presidency. Elections are always contingent: weird stuff happens. In 1960, Richard Nixon hit his knee on a car door moments before the first-ever televised presidential debate. He’d just had surgery on the knee to combat a staph infection, and the pain from the swelling bump undermined his performance. It’s an old story: for want of a nail, a shoe is lost, for want of a shoe, a horse, and the rest is history. But the intervention of a high government official on a completely politicized hot-button issue at the apex of a presidential campaign is unprecedented in American history. It exceeds by orders of magnitude the contingencies of elections past. Voter Suppression In the last year or two did you receive a postcard from election authorities asking you to confirm your present address? I did. Those postcards originate from Operation Crosscheck, a brainchild of Kris Kobach, the Republican secretary of state in Kansas, in which 27 states collaborated to uncover the identities of citizens registered to vote in multiple states.  That’s a common enough occurrence since people rarely bother to cancel old registrations when they move from one state to another. Sounds benign, right? Not so. As Greg Palast detailed in Rolling Stone last August, this purge of voter rolls was methodologically inept and had the effect of disproportionately disenfranchising minority voters. The crosschecking frequently matched only first and last names, ignoring middle names and suffixes like junior or senior. As a result, common surnames -- Jones, Washington, Garcia, and the like -- generated huge numbers of matches. The intent of the program was to prevent double voting, a form of voter fraud that the right has frequently decried as widespread, but for which no one has found substantial evidence. (As the New York Times reported in the wake of election 2016, no significant evidence of voter fraud of any sort was found.)  This fake issue has, however, been used as a smokescreen for implementing voting restrictions that inhibit poor people, students, and minorities, who usually vote Democratic, from exercising their franchise. Poor people, as Palast points out, are “overrepresented in 85 of 100 of the most common last names. If your name is Washington, there's an 89% chance you're African-American. If your last name is Hernandez, there's a 94% chance you're Hispanic. If your name is Kim, there's a 95% chance you're Asian.” Crosscheck sent 7.2 million matches to the 28 originally participating states. (Oregon dropped out when its officials realized the extent of Crosscheck’s flaws.) Nearly all of them with Republican secretaries of state then handled matters as they saw fit, eliminating an estimated 1.1 million voters from their rolls. Virginia, for instance, dropped more than 41,000 registrations as “inactive” shortly before the election. In many cases, state authorities sent voters cryptic, small-print postcards like the one I received. Undoubtedly, many students and poor voters, who move frequently from apartment to apartment, never even got their postcards, and when they failed to respond, their voter registrations were canceled. In Michigan, which Donald Trump won by 10,704 votes, Crosscheck provided a purge list of 449,922 names. How many of these people were prevented from voting? How many voted but had their ballots disallowed? No one knows for sure, but the situation cries out for sustained and aggressive investigation. At least 14 states compounded the problems of Operation Crosscheck by creating new, additional obstacles for voters, including eliminating early voting on weekends, reducing polling place hours, and mandating the use of photo IDs. In Wisconsin, a new voter ID law was sold to the public with promises that the state’s motor vehicles department would issue appropriate IDs to non-drivers within six business days of application. In actual fact, the process often took six to eight weeks. Even an order from a federal court (that found as many as 300,000 voters may have been affected) failed to speed up the turgid Wisconsin bureaucracy. In the November election, voter turnout in Wisconsin, which Trump won by 22,748 votes, was the lowest in 20 years. It fell 13% in Milwaukee, where most of the state’s black voters live. Part of the problem was undoubtedly the unpopularity of the major candidates, but voter suppression seems to have played a significant role, too. As Ari Berman of the Nation points out, the active discouragement of poor and minority citizens from voting -- not just in Wisconsin, but in Virginia, North Carolina, and many other states -- was undoubtedly the most underreported story of 2016. Alas, Poor Hamilton The last kind of man whom Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, as architects of the new American republic, saw as a fit head of state was someone modeled on the character of a medieval prince: narcissistic, volatile, cruel, deceitful, and as vulnerable to manipulation by flattery as by insult. But Hamilton and Madison were hardly naïve. They fully understood that no democracy could be completely immune from such men. In fact, they expected that the House of Representatives, in particular, would ultimately open its doors to a fair share of lunatics, demagogues, and nincompoops. History has more than validated this view. Hamilton and Madison, however, believed that the presidency of the new United States had to be protected from unqualified men at all costs, and so they came up with a plan. They invented the Electoral College. Writing in the Federalist 68 in March 1788, Hamilton extolled their creation and explained, “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.” The inauguration of Donald J. Trump looms. If the old saying about “rolling over in one’s grave” has any substance, Hamilton and Madison should be spinning like turbines. In truth, our electoral process is broken. Key protections provided by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were gutted in 2013 by a Supreme Court more blatantly political than any in living memory. Right-wingers in North Carolina thereupon ginned up a suite of voting restrictions that, in the words of a federal judge, targeted black Democratic voters “with almost surgical precision.” The judge struck down the most egregious provisions of that law, but repressive efforts in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and other Crosscheck states will continue to be advanced, as opportunity permits. The vital task is to deny the opportunity. Meanwhile, James Comey has shown that a lone, rogue public official can interject himself into the most sensitive of national moments in a way that not even his roguish predecessor J. Edgar Hoover would have countenanced. And Vladimir Putin has evidently found the cheapest of methods, using electrons instead of sanctions or guns, to undermine the political institutions of his adversaries and befuddle their people. The extent to which Trump campaign functionaries maintained links, if any, with Russian operatives remains unknown.  On January 11th, a 35-page document consisting of memoranda on Trump’s Russian connections, compiled by a researcher hired by his opposition, became public.  That document contains allegations ranging from the salacious to the treasonous.  Although none of them has been verified, the leaked release of the memoranda has intensified public pressure on Trump to offer a full accounting of his relationship with Russian business interests and the Putin regime.  Irrespective of whether these lines of inquiry produce information of substance, the fact remains that a foreign, hostile power used subterfuge to interfere with the domestic electoral politics of the United States. On that last count, many an Iranian, Guatemalan, or citizen of any of scores of countries might justifiably say that turnabout is fair play, for the United States has a long and well-documented history of meddling in other countries’ elections. The consequences of a breakdown of democracy in the United States, however, are costly for the entire world. Missiles and nuclear codes are at stake. So, too, is the ever-narrowing window for meaningful global action on climate change, not to mention the clout of the world’s largest economy and most powerful military. All of these things, by hook and by crook, have now been entrusted to a man very like a medieval prince. William deBuys’s most recent book, The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures, was listed by the Christian Science Monitor among the 10 best nonfiction books of 2015.  He is a TomDispatch regular. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Feffer's dystopian novel Splinterlands, as well as Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 января, 01:29

Why There Will Be No Trump Impeachment Now -- Even Though There Should Be

It's now official: on the day Donald J. Trump takes the presidential oath of office, he will be the first American president in history to have committed an impeachable offense as of Day One by virtue of his announcement that he will not sell his businesses or place his assets in a blind trust while serving as president. That offense, as nearly all have concluded, including the Office of Government Ethics, is his plain violation of the Emoluments Clause found in Article I, section 9 of the Constitution. It states flatly that "no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust. . .shall, without the Consent of Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any. . .foreign State." Article II, section 1 raises additional flags noting that the president "shall not receive. . .any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them [meaning the states]." Yet Trump will not resign, and his new administration will begin in whatever manner Trump is able to effectuate. Yet how can this be? The answer is that the burden for action in a matter of impeachment lies with Congress. As clear and categorical as this violation is, Congress will do nothing -- at least not in the foreseeable future. No reflection is required to understand the reason: Republicans now hold majorities in both houses of Congress and the presidency, something that has happened rarely since the advent of the 1930s. It would be the height of political folly for them to throw this opportunity away in a nasty and divisive impeachment fight. But what about the Constitution and the law? Impeachment was included in the Constitution to remedy the very situation Trump has created. And make no mistake, like Richard Nixon and Watergate, this was a self-created mess, caused by Trump's core trait: that he does exactly what he wants to do, regardless of law, morality, propriety, or any other constraints. It is the chief and outstanding fact of both his public and private life. And it is also one reason that he was elected president. But to return to impeachment, shouldn't such a clear-cut case override mere partisan advantage? The answer here is Yes and No. A key lesson of impeachment is that it is not, in fact, just about law (even if it should be). It is also about politics. Alexander Hamilton understood this when he cautioned in the Federalist Papers of the "danger" that an impeachment proceeding "will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt." This lesson is illustrated by the only president in modern times to undergo an impeachment trial, Bill Clinton. When congressional leaders, led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, decided to push articles of impeachment against Clinton in 1998, they had the votes in the Republican-controlled House (a simple majority is all that is required to approve impeachment articles), and Senate, but far from the two-thirds in that chamber needed to convict. Their key problem was that they lacked a persuasive case for impeachment; as a result, they could muster no Democratic votes of support in either house, and a few Republicans voted against impeachment in both chambers. This contrasted with the move to impeach Richard Nixon in 1974, when the Democrats, then in control of Congress, were able to build bipartisan support in the House Judiciary Committee (although Nixon resigned before the full House voted). While the law says nothing about the need for bipartisan support for an impeachment effort, it is clear that it is a political prerequisite that helps resolve the problem Hamilton cited of using impeachment as a purely partisan tool. The other key political fact was that the public never supported Clinton's impeachment. Before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in early 1998, Clinton's public approval rating was 60 percent. At the end of the impeachment process in early 1999, Clinton's popularity was 68 percent -- astonishingly, higher than when the process began. In the case of Trump, he has not even assumed office yet, and like every president, the inauguration period is a moment when partisanship is set aside -- even though Trump's favorability rating of 37 percent is by far the lowest ever recorded for an incoming chief executive. Other possible remedies exist: Congress could vote to give its consent to Trump's existing financial arrangements (although that would also be a de facto admission of guilt); or it could invoke the presidential removal clause outlined in the 25th Amendment. But these options presume a willingness to act that Congress does not now have. We will see real action only when enough Republicans decide that enough is enough. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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18 января, 09:00

Why Hamilton is music to the ears of London touts | Tim Dowling

The first US treasury secretary, on whom the hit musical is based, would understand why tickets for the British shows are already reselling for £2,500Tickets for the musical Hamilton, which has garnered many awards and much praise stateside (“highly overrated” – D Trump), have gone on sale in Britain, with the first performance still almost a year away. I’m currently reading the show’s source material: Ron Chernow’s doorstop biography of Alexander Hamilton, the founding father known throughout America as “the guy on the 10 dollar bill”. It’s not in any way overrated, although it would never have occurred to me to make a musical out of it. Related: Hamilton West End tickets appear on resale sites despite anti-tout measures Continue reading...

16 января, 23:12

Текст: Будь люди ангелами, ни в каком правлении не было бы нужды. ( gorky.media )

«Федералист» — сборник из 85 статей в поддержку ратификации Конституции США, публиковавшихся в The Independent Journal и The New York Packet в 1787-1788 годах. Авторы — Александр Гамильтон (будущий первый министр финансов США), Джеймс Мэдисон (будущий четвертый президент США) и Джон Джей (будущий первый председатель Верховного суда США) — подписывали послания коллективным псевдонимом Публий в честь консула Публия Валерия Публиколы, полу-легендарного основателя Римской республики. «Федералист», в котором выражены амбиции и чаяния отцов-основателей страны, стал важнейшим образцом политической публицистики зарождающихся Соединенных Штатов. Незадолго до инаугурации 45-го президента США Дональда Трампа «Горький» публикует 51-...

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16 января, 20:01

Hamilton West End tickets appear on resale sites despite anti-tout measures

Less than two hours after tickets for musical’s London run went on early sale, Viagogo lists several at £999-£2,500 eachTickets for the London run of hip-hop musical Hamilton, the most anticipated theatre event of the year, have already appeared on secondary ticket websites for almost £3,000 despite measures to prevent them being touted.Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer prize-winning show, based on the life of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, will transfer from the US to the newly renovated Victoria Palace theatre in the West End in November. Continue reading...

16 января, 02:47

REASON: The Case Against Hamilton: The hit Broadway musical was all that was wrong with 2016, and …

REASON: The Case Against Hamilton: The hit Broadway musical was all that was wrong with 2016, and will likely be wrong with 2017, too. On first take, I thought it sounded a bit like a University of Iowa freshman—the kind who only listens to “real hip-hop”—attempting his first mixtape. One of my Twitter followers corrected […]

12 января, 08:29

'Hamilton' Cast Bids Farewell To Obama With 'One Last Time' Performance

Just in case you haven’t gone through enough Kleenex this week, “Hamilton” is here to tug at your heartstrings one last time. Nearly a year ago, the cast from the original Broadway production headed to the White House for a student workshop. Performances of songs including “Alexander Hamilton,” “My Shot” and “The Schuyler Sisters” have since been released, along with portions of President Barack Obama’s remarks about the whole experience. But the production seems to have withheld one full performance from the internet until now. In honor of Obama’s farewell address, the “Hamilton” production released a video of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Christopher Jackson performing “One Last Time,” the number about President George Washington stepping down and saying goodbye to the country he fought to create. We celebrate President @BarackObama w. @ChrisisSingin, @Lin_Manuel singing "One Last Time" @WhiteHouse. #ObamaLegacy https://t.co/UmPK3TbqAu— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) January 10, 2017 ”As we prepare for President Barack Obama’s final days in office, we celebrate the profound legacy he leaves behind,” a caption with the video posted to YouTube says. “Today, we look back on Christopher Jackson performing ‘One Last Time’ during our visit to The White House. Teach ’em how to say goodbye.” In addition to the actual performance, the video shows prolonged moments of Obama watching the cast sing lines that feel especially poignant at the moment, like: “The people will hear from me One last time And if we get this right We’re gonna teach ‘em how to say Goodbye.” Coincidentally, Obama quoted Washington’s farewell address Tuesday night. In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but “from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken ... to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth”; that we should preserve it with “jealous anxiety”; that we should reject “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties” that make us one. Let’s just say you may want to have some tissues handy before you watch.   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 января, 12:33

Как разбираются с государственными долгами

История, с одной стороны, конечно magistra vitae. С другой же стороны, история учит, что она людей, как правило, ничему не учит. Вот спрашивают меня студенты  – а как США будут расплачиваться с долгами? Отвечаю – а никак. А как это? – удивляются они. А вот так. Для сомневающихся – расскажу пару поучительных историй, произошедших не так уж и давно – каких-то триста лет тому назад. Война – дело дорогое, особенно если это, по факту, мировая война за господство на море. Именно такой и была для Великобритании Война за испанское наследство.

11 января, 10:10

Секреты Федерального Резерва США

Ночью 22 ноября 1910 года группа журналистов уныло стояла на железнодорожной станции в Хобокене, штат Нью-Джерси. Они только что наблюдали, как делегация ведущих финансистов страны покинула станцию и отправилась на тайную миссию. Только спустя много лет они узнают, что это была за миссия, и даже тогда они не поймут, что история Соединенных Штатов значительно изменилась после той ночи в Хобокене. Делегация отправилась в путь в опломбированном вагоне с опущенными жалюзи в неизвестном направлении. Возглавлял ее сенатор Нельсон Олдрич (Nelson Aldrich), руководитель Национальной комиссии по денежному обращению. Президент Теодор Рузвельт (Theodore Roosevelt) подписал указ об учреждении Национальной комиссии по денежному обращению в 1908 году, после трагической Паники 1907 года начали раздаваться призывы стабилизировать денежную систему страны. Олдрич свозил членов Комиссии в двухгодичное путешествие по Европе, потратив три тысячи государственных долларов. Он до сих пор не подготовил отчета по результатам этой поездки, а также не предложил никакого плана для банковской реформы.

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10 января, 14:15

Alexander Hamilton Letters and Memorabilia Head to Auction

On the block: Alexander Hamilton's letters and manuscript will be auctioned for a lot of Benjamins.

09 января, 23:54

Trump’s Protectionist Economic Plan Is Nothing New

The founding fathers advocated taxing imports to protect American manufacturers. Will it work in a modern economy?

09 января, 17:56

Politico: 5 русских слов, объясняющих действия Владимира Путина в 2017 году

Западные СМИ уделяют все больше внимания фигуре президента Российской Федерации Владимира Путина, видимо, понимая, насколько вырос его авторитет в глазах рядовых американцев.

04 января, 23:41

К столетию основания ФРС: «Зачата в пороке, рождена в грехе»

Индекс потребительских цен в США до и после создания Федеральной резервной системы. Так что же изменилось? Для тех, кто еще не знаком с происхождением Федерального Резерва, ниже мы приводим первую главу «Секретов Федеральной резервной системы» (Secrets of the Federal Reserve): «Вопрос единой учетной...

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03 января, 00:28

Hamilton at the White House

On March 14, 2016, the President and First Lady hosted local students and the cast of Broadway musical Hamilton for a daylong celebration of the arts in America. Watch the cast perform musical selections "Alexander Hamilton" and "Schuyler Sisters" in the East Room.

31 декабря 2016, 10:08

Бойтесь доллара, власть приносящего: история печатного станка

Более века назад в Соединённых Штатах был создан первый в истории централизованный финансовый регулятор, печатающий доллары. До декабря 1913 года Конгресс США несколько раз отвергал проекты центробанков, сохраняя монополию Казначейства в области эмиссии валюты. Первая попытка принадлежит министру финансов Александру Гамильтону, который в 1791 году предложил создать Первый банк США (First Bank of the United States) со штаб-квартирой в Филадельфии, проект которого был окончательно отвергнут парламентариями спустя двадцать лет.

31 декабря 2016, 06:15

Бойтесь доллара, власть приносящего: история печатного станка

Более века назад в Соединённых Штатах был создан первый в истории централизованный финансовый регулятор, печатающий доллары. До декабря 1913 года Конгресс США несколько раз отвергал проекты центробанков, сохраняя монополию Казначейства в области эмиссии валюты. Первая попытка принадлежит министру финансов Александру Гамильтону, который в 1791 году предложил создать Первый банк США (First Bank of the United States) со штаб-квартирой в Филадельфии, проект которого был окончательно отвергнут парламентариями спустя двадцать лет.

26 декабря 2016, 12:00

Утверждение Трампа и бессилие Хиллари

Итак, Трамп официально стал избранным президентом США. На этот раз голосование коллегии выборщиков никак нельзя назвать формальностью или штамповкой состоявшихся больше месяца назад выборов. Американские СМИ, добровольно или не слишком добровольно, решившие послужить победе Хиллари Клинтон над Джефферсоновской демократией, кричали о неизбежной победе своей любимицы до последней минуты голосования в Техасе, который стал последним республиканским […]

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23 декабря 2016, 16:35

Текст: Бойтесь доллара, власть приносящего: история печатного станка ( Саркис Цатурян )

Более века назад в Соединённых Штатах был создан первый в истории централизованный финансовый регулятор, печатающий доллары. До декабря 1913 года Конгресс США несколько раз отвергал проекты центробанков, сохраняя монополию Казначейства в области эмиссии валюты. Первая попытка принадлежит министру финансов Александру Гамильтону, который в 1791 году предложил создать Первый банк США (First Bank of the United States) со штаб-квартирой в Филадельфии, проект которого был окончательно отвергнут парламентариями спустя двадцать лет. В 1816 году Конгресс согласился на Второй банк США (Second Bank of the United States), но с избранием (в 1828...

22 декабря 2016, 18:07

Trump and the Wimps

Alexander Hamilton wrote that the US Electoral College was set up to prevent someone with "talents for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity" from becoming President. US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson argued (1952) that electors should "exercise an independent and non-partisan judgement" to ensure "the best qualified" person was elected. There can be little doubt that the Electoral College was designed specifically to stop someone as unqualified as Donald Trump, from becoming President. Yet he won the Electoral College vote with hardly any defections. Why? Because his opponents are wimps. Imagine the opposite scenario, with Hillary Clinton elected despite losing the popular vote and strong evidence of Russian interference. Her opponents would have been filing lawsuits, starting the day after the election, and used every means possible to overturn the result, as they did in 2000. When it became clear that Hillary could not win the Electoral College vote, she could have released her electors and asked them to vote for a qualified Republican, giving potential Republican defectors a realistic chance of stopping Trump. Yet she did not, continuing instead to blame everyone but herself for her defeat, although opinion polls showed that Bernie Sanders was more likely to defeat Trump. Clearly, her own candidacy was more important to her than preventing a Trump presidency. It is worth noting what the Trump win has already cost the USA and the world. US soft power as the "land of the better story" has been radically diminished. For decades the nuclear weapons states have claimed the right to keep these instruments of mass destruction because of their greater sense of responsibility: atomic bombs in US hands makes the world a safer place. The same bombs in Iranian hands makes the world unsafe and must be prevented at all costs. Of course, this argument was always perverse and arrogant. Nuclear weapons have made the world a much more dangerous place. But the Western political and media mainstream have been able to maintain majority support in many countries for this policy. But now? Do we really trust Donald Trump more than e.g. the President of Iran with the power to launch a nuclear war? Perhaps this reality will generate a new mass movement for nuclear disarmament. But that would require the wimps to get as well-organized, consistent, courageous and forceful as their opponents. Another Trump victim is democracy. As Winston Churchill famously said, it is the worst political system -- except all others. Many now doubt this. I was in Dubai during the election. The next day my Arab friends told me, "this could not happen here". They pointed out that their rulers had to prove themselves as the hereditary succession was not automatic. Indeed, there are several examples in the Gulf of an unsuitable ruler being replaced by another family member. A very limited meritocracy, certainly, but one many would now no doubt prefer to the risks of a Trump presidency... This will clearly be chaotic. His voters will very soon realize they have been cheated. Their President who campaigned against globalisation and Wall Street has - not surprisingly, considering his background - filled his administration with the wealthy profiteers of globalisation and Wall Street. Unfortunately, his opponent, who did not dare publish her Wall Street talks, was not in a good position to point this out... Donald Trump is no neo-liberal believer in markets. He wants to make America great again, which requires a strong government. Yet in the unlikely event that he tries to use state power to reduce inequalities - as his voters expect - his cabinet of oligarchs will revolt. The problem is that the recipes for revived economic growth have already all been tried and failed, causing even the Wall Street Journal to warn against "unrealistic expectations about our governments' ability to deliver...steady growth" as the "unusual circumstances" of the post-war boom will not return and "neo-liberal policies since the 70s proved no more successful at boosting productivity than the statist policies that preceded them. Some insist that the conservative revolution stimulated an economic renaissance but the facts say otherwise." (WSJ 17.1016) Trump's voters distrust globalisation and they are right. It has created no global community, only atomized individuals forced to take on more risks and costs, as solidarity is dismantled. The worldwide increase in eco-system distress is matched by human distress. The post-war GDP growth rates will not be repeated for reasons outlined by the Club of Rome over 40 years ago. But we can still grow as human beings. The second report to the Club of Rome after "Limits to Growth" was entitled "No Limits to Learning". The number of skills we can learn is not limited. In 1957 Ludwig Erhard, the "father" of West Germany's post-war economic "miracle" wrote that he expected German society in future to provide more free time for reflection, contemplation, recuperation and the enjoyment of life. He clearly did not expect his successors to be still fixated on maximizing GDP growth over 50 years later! Trump won because he told a better story. It is a story full of contradictions, which could only be convincingly told by someone not bothered by facts and contradictions. Very soon, however, the real world of growing conflicts, climate chaos, unstoppable refugee streams and other crises will intrude. How will a Trump presidency react? That depends on how powerful our story is. Can it fill the void when the current narrative implodes? Or will we watch from the side-lines as the alt-right story of growing authoritarianism, intolerance and hate takes over? What are the corner-stones of a more powerful human story? First, re-build community life. A recent study in the journal Cyberpsychology notes that the dominant values expressed by the US TV shows most popular with children in 1997 were community feeling and benevolence. Fame came 15th out of 16. By 2007 individual fame came first, with community feeling fallen to 11th place. (George Monbiot, "The Guardian " 21.12.16) Such trends can be reversed. To quote the British historian Tony Judt, "the materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears 'natural' today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation, the cult of privatisation and the private sector, the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all, the rhetoric which accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets, disdain for the public sector, the delusion of endless growth." (III Fares the Land", 2012) We again need to subordinate our economies to our societies. As Christian Felber, the Austrian pioneer of community ("Commonwealth") economics points out: "In our social interactions and friendships, we thrive when we live human values such as trust-building, honesty, appreciation, respect, listening, empathy, co-operation, mutual help and sharing. "Free" market economies are based on rules of competing and maximizing profits. These incentives encourage egoism, greed, avarice, jealousy, ruthlessness and irresponsibility." This contradiction splits us as individuals and societies. Globalisation has sharpened the conflict further by allowing negative market "externalities" to be dumped far-away. Reversing this requires new incentives and deep reforms in many areas - just the kind of drastic transformation which could make America great again. To give a few examples (more here): economies must be re-designed to promote circular production and the full internalisation of costs security policies need to prioritize global survival threats, e.g. food, water and environmental security the political system must be freed from private money control and provide representation for the interests of future generations financial and tax systems must fund the preservation and growth of human and natural capital. Central banks quickly created trillions to stabilize the banking sector. They must now create the funding required to kickstart stabilizing our societies and planet. "Printing" new money to finance new goods and services with unused productive resources is not inflationary, despite the claims of the financial orthodoxy. Such funding can enable projects e.g. to reverse soil erosion and desertification, and to promote reforestation and renewable energy production, generating many millions of jobs not just in the USA but also in Latin America and Africa, thus reducing the pressure to emigrate. Renewable energy is of course a sore point for Donald Trump, who doubts climate change science and opposes wind farms. But he has often shown that, in a conflict, his opinions adapt to his ego. And what could be more appealing than taking the global lead in the greatest challenge ever, saving life on earth? His wish for historical greatness is likely to cause him to do what works, not what his advisers tell him. Of course he will have to fire his current cabinet of fossil fuel relics. But then firing people is something Donald Trump enjoys. However, for this not to remain a fairytale, those who understand the threats we are facing now need to come together in new coalition and be ready to fight as hard as our opponents, who are ready to sacrifice the earth to preserve their privileges. As the US advertising guru Frank Mankiewicz told environmentalists, "(you) are going to have to be like the mob in the square in Romania" - who quickly overthrew the feared Ceaucescu dictatorship. General Twitter and Admiral Facebook may connect us but will not save us. For the sake of our and our children's future we now have to show Donald Trump and the world that we have the better story - and are not wimps. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 декабря 2016, 16:48

Без заголовка

**Must-Read: Martin Wolf**: _[Democrats, Demagogues and Despots][]_: "Fear and rage must not be used as an excuse to destroy America’s core institutions... [Democrats, Demagogues and Despots]: https://www.ft.com/content/9310dcea-c5d2-11e6-8f29-9445cac8966f?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fcomment_columnists_martin-wolf%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct >...Are the political upheavals of 2016 — Brexit and America’s election of Donald Trump — a triumph of democracy or a threat to...