About 99 percent of us have that sinking feeling

You know me and my wonky graphs.  You also know I blog a lot about rising income inequality and that I think it’s a huge problem.  So, this MOJO Power graph and the article it came with piqued my curiosity.  It’s from an article by Kevin Drum writing on a Timothy B Lee blogpost on the preemption of ‘genuine left wing voices’ by libertarians.   I’m not sure how libertarians could be confused for moderates, liberals or lefties but given that establishment conservatives have an orthodoxy so tight that few fit, I suppose everything else gets to wear the liberal label. But, maybe there’s more to it than that.

We talked about this a little on a thread yesterday.  Both Ariana Huffington and Kos used to be Republicans.  They left the party when the religious right took over and because, frankly, I don’t think they like the fact that so many blue collar Reagan Democrats had just up and joined their old country club.  There’s also the odd phenomenon of tea party populists that don’t seem to know where they are or where they belong either.  We’ve seen how a  lot of these folks have made their way into policy circles through their support or their horror of the current administration so I think it’s worth viewing three blog writers on that topic.  Why are so many people confused about their political identity any more?

Libertarian ‘insight’ used to the butt of jokes at academic cocktail parties where you discussed Utopian moonbattery and even worse fiction.  Now there seems to be an industry around producing what they call journals, institutions, and philosophy that is some how running loose in mainstream conversations demanding to be taken seriously.    It’s hard to do that because they don’t associate with data and they seem to thrive on passing memes that have no basis in reality.  (The ones on the FED just kill me.) They’re in the tea party, they’re all for Rand and Ron Paul, and yet, some of them have made their way to the liberal blogosphere.  What’s going on? Plus, what’s the deal with all these solid working class–in some cases UNION folks–heading to tea party rallies?  Haven’t they ever heard of Dick Armey?

Drum shows how the worst of the libertarian assumptions they hold up as facts just don’t hold up to the light of day.  He starts with a shared assumption from the right wing and libertarians as described by Will Wilkinson. This meme is the mild form libertarianism from the Hayek-Friedman sect.

It’s best to just maximize growth rates, pre-tax distribution be damned, and then fund wicked-good social insurance with huge revenues from an optimal tax scheme.

We’ve got scads of data that show this meme to be a completely false assumption.  We’d have a better economy right now if that were true.  In fact, the only time we had a decent economy in recent history was when that particular assumption was rolled back during the Clinton years.   But, don’t take it from me, read what Kevin Drum has to say.  Those assumptions are very wrong.

First, it contains an implicit conviction that libertarian notions of tax and regulatory structures will maximize growth rates. This is practically an article of faith on the right, but there’s virtually no empirical evidence to support it. As it happens, I’d argue that my preferred brand of the modern mixed economy is, on the whole, probably more efficient than a stripped down libertarian state, even one that includes lots of centrally-directed income redistribution. But not by much. Personally, I’d be pretty happy if both sides accepted the notion that within a fairly wide range of modern capitalist systems — from Sweden to the U.S., say — overall growth rates change very little. For the most part, we’re really arguing about other things.

Second, I suspect there’s no feasible path to Will’s state of the world. The problem is that a system that generates enormous income inequality also generates enormous power inequality — and if corporations and the rich are allowed to amass huge amounts of economic power, they’ll always use that power to keep their own tax rates low. It’s nearly impossible to create a high-tax/high-service state if your starting point is a near oligarchy where the rich control the levers of political power.

Third, look at the graph. We’ve had this trickle up to the one percent form of economic nonsense since the Reagan years and all it’s done is made things radically worse.   It’s led to this situation where the supply side of the curve completely craps all over the demand side of the curve in product markets.  The outright hostility to unions and the abuse and disempowerment of human beings–not human “capital”–have completely shifted  income levels and underlying market power to some place where you truly think you’d see some kind of general revolt, strike, or overthrow.

It should be patently obvious now that Wall Street has recovered, bonuses have recovered, and corporate profits have recovered while  any one not up at the top of that racket can hardly survive these days.  The unemployment rate, the numbers of foreclosures, and the numbers of bankruptcies are tips of the icebergs.  We’re not going to see growth rates of GDP that will clear that up too.  More frightening is that the powers that be don’t seem to even fake caring.

When you point all these things out to libertarians, they’ll shift the ground on you and say point me where it says in the constitution and mutter something about Wilson and the imperial presidency.  This is the place where they firmly intersect the right wing. Look, Wilson is dead.  The Bush legacy lives and the Obama legacy is still being written.  Still, some of them have crept over and become neoliberals and identified with the left.  Why?

Lee talks about classic Liberalism and then states Matt Yglesias has been labeled a leftie when in fact, he’s a libertarian that supports many of what used to be mainstream republican talking points. Lee also looks at the classical ideal of liberalism.

Matt lists 10 economic policy goals that he favors. What’s striking about the list is that about half of them are straight-up libertarianism (less occupational licensure, fewer subsidies for suburbanism) and there’s only one item on the list (“more redistribution of money from the top to the bottom”) that Milton Friedman would have strongly opposed. One way to interpret this is to say that Matt is a moderate libertarian with a redistributionist streak, but I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. Rather, what’s happened is that liberalism in general has internalized key libertarian critiques of earlier iterations of liberal thought, with the result that a guy with a largely Friedmanite policy agenda can plausibly call himself a liberal. And actually, this shouldn’t surprise us at all, because Friedman called himself a liberal too.

Liberalism in the 19th century focused on opposing concentrated power and entrenched privilege, whether it was monarchy, slaveholding, or protectionism. In the 20th century, the American left became infatuated with concentrating power in the hands of democratically-elected governments. The libertarian movement arose to counter this trend and defend the original, bottom-up conception of liberalism. Since the fall of communism, the left has largely (though not entirely) backed away from its 20th century infatuation with central planning. And the result is what critics call “neoliberalism”: a left-of-center ideology whose egalitarianism is balanced by a healthy skepticism of concentrated power.

Wilkison lists these things as libertarian talking points.

  • Democracy sucks.
  • Unions hurt more than they help.
  • Campaign spending is political speech.
  • Economic inequality does not undermine democracy or democracy’s role in establishing and protecting equal liberty.
  • Economic rights are as important as political and civil rights, and should be just as vigilantly protected, even if  that leads to huge inequalities, which do not, by the way, threaten democracy or the value of political and civil rights.
  • Taxation is coercive but imprisoning the guy who nicked your lawn gnome isn’t.

Lee suggests that the true mark of a liberal is to show “fealty to labor unions, big government, and the dictatorship of the proletariat”.  That is just plain weird too.  What is even weirder, is I think all of these people are arguing that they are ‘the mainstream.’  I don’t think any one knows what mainstream is any more.  Hell, Nixon was more liberal than most of the Republicans walking around these days.

So, speaking of things slightly past the Nixon years, I decided to take a trip back in time to the late 70s when I was minoring in Political Science and was handed The American Political Dictionary.  Their most basic definition for Liberalism is

A political view that seeks to change the political, economic, and social status quo to foster the development of the individual. Liberals regard man as a rational creature who can use his intelligence to overcome human and natural obstacles to a good life for all without restoring to violence against the established order.  Liberalism is more concerned with process, with the method of solving problems, than with a specific program

They also discuss the difference between 18th and 19th century liberals who emphasized the full development of the individual, free from the restrains of government, and 20th century liberals who look to government as a means of correcting the abuses and shortcomings of society.  Libertarians and Randians didn’t even make the book.  The closest definition I can find is that of Individualism which basically promotes the well being of the individual over those of a group, society or nation.  It’s considered an offspring of laissez-faire economics and was introduced by de Tocqueville. It stands in contrast to collectivism. Many rightists groups fall into this category although the rightists also believe in a strong executive power.

Leftists advocate expanded roles by democratic governments that empower the masses.  These are people that generally support the welfare state and collectivism.  Leftists advocate governmental action to correct injustices. They support modification of capitalism and political democracy.    This last discussion basically ignores the radicals in both the left and the right that advocate violence and support revolutions that usually wind up with dictatorships.  I’m still operating under the assumption that only a few kooks in the tea party want to really take up arms.  I’m also fairly sure there are few, if any, revolutionary Marxists in the US any more.

I took one more look in the political ideology section for Conservatives. This book relies on the classic definition given by Edmund Burke who thought that political stability could be maintained only if changes were made at a glacial pace.  The first line of the discussion is this:

Defense of the status quo against major changes in the political, economic, or social institutions of society.

A lot of water has gone under a lot of bridges since Burke uttered his sensibilities.  Conservatives today aren’t about gradual change at all and they hate the status quo.   I notice that in my old text book  they also said this about Conservatism.

Today, in American politics, the term “conservative'” has no precise meaning and is often used accusatorially against a rival party or candidate.

The world seems upside down in more ways than one as I’d insert the world liberal for the word conservative today. They did mention the main issues, however, which are still pretty consistent.  Those would be “opposed to government regulation of the economy and civil rights legislation, and in favor of state over federal action, fiscal responsibility, decreased government spending, and lower taxes.”  The deal is they may say these things, but as we know, they don’t do them.  Deficits only matter when they come from spending not tax cuts, for example.

So, is Lee’s critique close to finding the truth of this messing up of political ideologies?  I’d say not really.  First,  the left has never been a fan of  ‘central’ planning.  If anything, ‘central planning’ is a right wing concept.  It strikes me as being more in the fascist column with Mussolini.  There are two choices when you have a natural monopoly or a good or service that is mostly produced for the public interest.  You can hand it over to private sources that operate on a for profit basis and then decide how much you intend to regulate or watch them or you can hand it over to a public entity.   It’s a matter of who you trust to be least corrupted or corruptible.

Liberals have generally felt that the federal government is the least corruptible which is why they’ve relied on it to do things like desegregate schools or regulate acceptable levels of carbon emissions.  This imbalance of  power is what is central  in “Power, Baby, Power” written about by Drum.  He says that Unions used to check the private sector and they are what is missing in that equation.  The Federal Government used to check them too.  They’ve gone missing in the equation too.

Any particular institution that gets too much power in a situation is going to abuse it and that’s why our little libertarian friends just might be canaries in the coal mine.  They can’t decide if they want to join the lefties or the righties.  They’re confused.  The power equation isn’t what it used to be.  They want to rail against Wilson and FDR but deep down there’s something more disturbing in the force.  That’s also why many of us ‘disaffected’ democrats don’t know what to do either. We’ve generally looked to Democratic leaderships and administrations to fight for the greater good.  We now have one that seems hell bent on doing the opposite.  Hence, some are drawn to populist speak from the right.

With the Soviet system, the corrupt power was the political party itself.  With the current Russian system,  it’s some of that left over party apparatus plus a completely new group of capitalist criminals let lose in the private sector.  In the United States, corporate power is on the rise and it’s pretty much unchecked these days by anything.  It pervades everything.   There are no labor unions to check it in the labor market.  The political system has become so tied up in money donations that nearly all politicians have been co-opted.   The Judiciary has now been over run by judges who are blatantly empowering corporate institutions and state/federal executive power.   Just look at Justice Thomas who thinks he’s so above the law he can ditch on reporting his conflict of interests.  Don’t forget, just a few short years ago SCOTUS presumed to decide who would be president rather than count votes cast by voters.

This is a huge problem and maybe it’s why libertarians are so schizophrenic these days.  That’s why they’re half in the Republican camp and invading the Democratic camp in the form of  “neoliberals”.   That doesn’t make their notions any more relevant  because a lot them are still discuss things like rolling back institutions like the FED or getting rid of various illegitimately enacted constitutional amendments.  Oh, and they hate FDR and they hate Wilson, and they hate everything and everybody since some where around the Civil War.  They’re like Marxists waiting for the proletariat to rise up.

But this might be what’s sending them all over the place like those poor redwing black birds shocked by fireworks dropping out of the sky. Where’s the centralized power these days?  Where’s the folks to distrust? The centralization of power comes from the one percent up there and its every where and its unchecked now. There’s no powerful unions. There’s no one politician willing to stand firm for any of the New Deal policies. The decay is everywhere.

See that graph up there?   Since 1980, the majority of growth in wealth has gone to that  top one percent who have concentrated their power by buying laws, elections, politicians and judges.  It represents people like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch who have spent decades now consolidating their little plutocratic grasp.  The rest of the folks just care about removing the obstacles to the really big profits; including the human ones.  That’s where the mash up of philosophies has to come together if we’re going to maintain any semblance of a Republic or a Democracy.

That much wealth and that much power can’t be concentrated into such a small number of hands that have very little concern about the good of any one but them and theirs.  They are buying elections. They are buying the media outlets.  They’re consolidating things faster now than ever before and getting away with it. There’s no one minding the Sherman Anti Trust law anymore.  Watch the SOTU.  Watch the new president mouth their words.  Too much regulation.  Too many corporate taxes.  More competitiveness.  More “free” trade.

Kevin Drum says that given the choice between higher taxes and passage of  Employee Free Choice Act, they’d go for the taxes.  Strong unions would check them.  That’s somewhat the choice the plutocracy was given back in the FDR days when it was either a few deals like social security or the real chance that some real wobblies in real Marxist unions would lead a worker’s revolt.  Fat chance of any us pigeons would do that now.  We just live on the breadcrumbs and line up for the TSA body probes to be safe from ‘terrorism’.  Oh, and we’re distracted by bread and circuses … football and chips.

What exactly do we have left to us?  This is where I wish the libertarians would quit obsessing on Wilson, the FED, and FDR and the true right wing populists would realize that they are being taking for a ride by the Tea party funders.  None of us has any power under this situation. Even gun toting righties are easy pickings for drones. You know, nice little surgical strikes without the weirdness of Waco fires or policemen beating up striking workers?

Is that why Beck is suddenly out for the blood of a 78 year old retired academic?  Is it because they might actually fear a general strike?  Has some puppetmaster pulled one of his strings to shut up any one that looks like their about to organize something unorchestrated by the spokesmodels of the one percent?   I don’t know.  All I know is that what we have here is the makings of a real serious predicament and I don’t know how it’s all going to end.


21 Comments on “About 99 percent of us have that sinking feeling”

  1. This is the best post by anyone I’ve read in a while, and it addresses issues that have obsessing me of late. Actually, I’ve been bothered for some time by the unholy dance of liberalism and libertarianism, which has been going on for some time.

    For example, there was a shotgun wedding, of sorts, between the two factions in the earlier days of the Iraq war. Circa 2004, the hard core libertarians and what then passed for the “far” left were the only ones to oppose the neo-con plan.

    I said at the time that the relationship couldn’t last; the partners were, at root, not compatible.

    I argued throughout 2008 that the Obama cult was, in large measure, created by libertarian infiltrators into the Democratic party. Arianna Huffington is a good example; so is Kos (who has written for libertarian publications). It was as though the libertarians, having done as much damage as they could to the GOP, had nowhere else to go.

    Another point of intersection — and I know you don’t want to hear me yammer about this very much, but it’s worthy of note — concerns conspiracy theory. This is an approach that often works on the young, the naive and the paranoid. Young people who disliked Dubya (or Poppy before him) were easily entranced by someone offering an anti-Dubya conspiracy scenario. Sometimes the scenario was based on something real and sometimes it was based on bullshit. Usually, the people who concoct these scenarios think that the big problem facing the world is “socialism.” These guys are wackos, yes — but they are libertarian wackos. And we underestimate their popularity at our peril.

    One point you do not address is the intersection between libertarianism and the far, far, FAR — as in fascist — right wing. I’m not sure how this alliance came about. Before the war, fascists were not libertarian, although they WERE corporatist, a not-unallied concept. (“Fascism is corporatism,” said Benito.) But post-war fascists have been pretty furiously pro-libertarian. I mean, if you go to outright pro-fascist web sites, they are all for deregulation and unfettered corporations and an end to unions and all of that.

    My definition of post-war fascism is broad enough to include the Birchers, who were, originally, holdovers from ’40s era Bundists and their confreres. In the 1960s, their literature started to espouse a strongly libertarian economic outlook. These are the guys who came up with weird-ass theories involving Wilson and Colonel House.

    I think the linkage between the Randroids and the post-war fascists occurred when some of Ayn’s acolytes ventured the opinion that it would have been better if Hitler had defeated the Soviet Union.

    One can, of course, mention Milton Friedman’s great Chilean adventure…

    Well, it’s definitely a matter for further research. I think the main lesson to draw from this is that libertarianism is the enemy, Friedmanism has fucked up an entire world, and we can countenance no further shotgun weddings between liberals and libertarianism.

    By the way, DK — why the hell are folks like you and me talking about Yglesias, as though he matters? The guy is a fetus. Seriously. His big excuse for supporting the Iraq war is that he was 21 at the time. He’s not much older now. And that means he is not worthy of argument. Just spank him, as you would any other toddler.

    • dakinikat says:

      Actually, I appreciate the discussion. I started writing what I thought was going to be a short post questioning the compatibility and it took me to some bigger place. It was getting huge and I actually cropped a lot of it out. The clock had magically moved too many hours too. As I started writing this out, more of the pieces seemed to belong to a completely different puzzles. I tried to stay on the incompatibility of the philosophies and the wrongest of the assumptions and fit but the more I started writing and trying to work the arguments out, the more this started to baffle me. I woke up this morning wondering if it was even coherent because this entire arrangement just is bizarre and doesn’t seem logical.

      I’m actually of the opinion it would take a book now to try to do this justice.

      Another thing that confuses me is the mixing of right wing populism and libertarianism and the usual fascist shtick too. Look at how the astroturfers co-opted the grass roots pretty quickly. Palin’s a one percenter now and part of the Murdoch circle, just as Obama is now in the one percenters and even adopting their language frames. I think there’s a huge bunch of misguided people, a lot that are just in it for the money, but part of me says there’s some people that can sense something’s wrong and they don’t know where to turn because there’s no legitimate voices out there it’s all been merged into a corporate entity of some kind. I can figure out if there’s some broader manipulation or it’s just a gestalt thing or it’s just the continuing march of rabid consumerism.

    • dakinikat says:

      oh, and Ross Douthart at the NYT is another inexplicable phenomenon. Is it that the media has given into the bleating of the whacked that insists that every opinion is a viable thought–based on whatever nonsense and mistruth–and that in fairness to not being liberal, they have to air them all? Is it the purposeful infiltration of the right in places like PBS to get their fascist crap out there or is it just because it’s all so corporate now and it belongs to some of the more crazed one percenters?

      I mean where is the Sherman antitrust law that prevents vertical mergers? Comcast gets to buy NBC? How is this NOT a vertical merger? Why is there no prosecution of anti trust law any more?

  2. affinis says:

    That graph is pretty impressive (I’ve seen a number of analogous plots before – but each time I see one, it still has considerable visceral impact).

    Noticed the mention of Kos and Ariana. Kos’s history is, let’s say, rather interesting (even beyond the work for Henry Hyde). I assume most people have come across this blog (by Francis Holland) at some point in their internet travels. Holland really hates Kos (to a level that leaves me a bit uncomfortable) but he generally backs up his assertions about Kos with some level of linky evidence.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yep, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that Markos is CIA connected in some way. He claims he completed his CIA training and then decided not to join. I find it hard to believe that the CIA would pay to train someone and then just let him go. Something’s not right there.

      I’m not sure if Arianna has a basic ideology. She was married to a right winger who ran for office and lost. Then she switched to the left supposedly. I don’t trust her one bit.

    • Beata says:

      Very interesting about Markos’ CIA background. I have long believed that both of Obama’s parents were CIA ( they met in a university Russian language class, a popular place for CIA recruitment during the Cold War ). I think Obama’s own trip to Pakistan and India in 1981, when he visited with people in very high-level positions, was CIA-related. So much for the Obama family and their alleged “socialism”!

  3. janicen says:

    Great post, dak. The graph is also telling but to me, the most telling graph is not the top one percent, but the top 5% to 1%. That’s the line that keeps it all going; the group with greater numbers than the top one percent. Those people are allowed just enough to keep them happy and keep them voting for and contributing to candidates who will maintain the status quo; the hoi polloi be damned.

  4. dm says:

    Good morning,
    I love reading your posts, even though I don’t always feel like I understand it all very well. But I like to try and challenge myself a bit, which is why I found your blog after your departure from TC.

    I underwent some self analysis after our election debacle of 2008, and found that reading all the party platforms that there were indeed points to all I could agree with. I came away feeling very “undefined” and independent.

    Libertarians are interesting, and I can agree with much of what they say. The conclusion I have reached is that all the “parties” have something of value; I no longer believe Democrat “good”; Republican “bad”.

    A couple of your points that I would like to address…
    Unions – I think like any entity that these need to evolve a bit with the times. I understand the history of why they were important, why they were created and the value they brought to the common working “man”. I also see the downside to what many of them bring these days. I don’t understand why I am told there will be no raise this year and they aren’t. I don’t understand why my benefits costs change and theirs don’t. I don’t understand how the “protection” that unions offer workers often turn out to be against the very industry they work in, i.e. teachers. It is darn near impossible to get fired in some states if you are a teacher. I don’t understand the same societal rules being applied differently. I’m all for worker advocacy, but not to the point where it compromises everybody else.

    Election money is something else that completely offends me. The amount of money spent in 2008 was appalling. Money needs to come out of the equation so we can reap more integrity from our elected officials.

    Just some of my humble thoughts. BTW, thanks for trying to educate people like me in economics. The only economics I understand are personal household…something, unfortunately my husband does not.

    • dakinikat says:

      Unions provide protection from frivolous firings among other things but like many other organizations who become big and join together to form some gigantic influential thing, they can become co-opted and self serving. Just recently, my job completely disappeared when I suddenly questioned a policy being forced on every one by the Dean of the College. Within a matter of hours, my status went from just fine to out for the good of the college. In other places where I’ve worked, that never would have happened. I used to work for a college with a strong union and bargaining unit in Nebraska. We negotiated raises and salary packages that were in keeping with norms. Down here they divide and conquer every one. That same university originally offered me a position at one level and one salary and within about two weeks of the starting date, they completely changed my job and salary. If you’re a teacher, you have no choice but comply at that point because at that late date there’s no place to go. The Dean of this college is completely capricious and driven only by what he wants. Two weeks prior to each semester some outrageous thing suddenly became a requirement.

      I spoke up because I found his policies to be unnecessarily bad for both students and faculty finally. I wasn’t tenured so I was gone in a flash. It had nothing to do with my teaching ability or how I did my job and the department chair acknowledged as much. That happens all over the place and this isn’t one person’s company. This guy works for the taxpayers and uses public funds. Unions offset that completely. If you’ve ever worked in a union environment you don’t live in fear of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. It removes the politics and puts the work relationship based on how you do your job.

      • dm says:

        Sorry to hear that…universities can be very political at times – I work for one too.

        I understand the protections unions provide; I’m not suggesting with or without are better. However, there are times when the Union doesn’t seem to act in the best interest of anyone. If the economy is such that everyone is either getting no raise, reduced raises, or is flat out not working, I don’t believe they should feel they are the exception to the rule. Contracts are important, but sometimes it’s better to just have a job.

        Hope things turn around for you soon!

    • dakinikat says:

      oh, and thank you … this post was more than a little esoteric … actually I got more confused as I wrote it because I think there are pieces in this to several puzzles that I can’t find right now.

  5. dakinikat says:

    and if you don’t think they’re gaming us, try this one on for size:

    WHOA: Former HuffPo CEO Betsy Morgan Will Now Run Glenn Beck’s Site The Blaze

    • paper doll says:

      well it’s a job ain’t …lol! This does however momentarily pull back the curtain on the fact that what passes as left/ right media is a Punch and Judy show meant to entertain and distract as our pockets are picked.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Unbelieveable!

  6. “Beata” above has an unproven suspicion that President Obama’s mother and President Obama’s father may have been CIA agents, and that Obama himself has been associated with the CIA.

    Beata points out that Obama’s parents are said to have first met in a Russian language course, with Russian as a key language for the CIA during the Cold War.

    The San Francisco Gate notes that Obama’s mother worked for the Ford Foundation, traveling internationally.

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-03-14/news/17168113_1_obama-s-mother-barack-obama-story-half-sister

    People who study the connections between the Ford Foundation and the CIA are convinced that these institutions work in collaboration and concert. http://www.infowars.com/bombshell-barack-obama-conclusively-outed-as-cia-creation/

    It is not unusual to discover that people have connections to the CIA and Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga has never denied any such ties with respect to his pre-CIA training years >2001 or his post CIA training days 2003 to present. See transcript: http://kos-cia-transcript.blogspot.com/2010/05/markos-c-alberto-moulitsas-zunigas-cia.html

    • dakinikat says:

      I always thought that the Ford Foundation connections were strange as it was always alleged to be used a CIA front back in the day. Also, Obama’s stepfather had some weird ties too.

      Thanks for those links!!

      • paper doll says:

        People who study the connections between the Ford Foundation and the CIA are convinced that these institutions work in collaboration and concert.

        no if , and or buts about it imo.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yes, these are real eye opening links. It is almost like a version of the 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon game.

    • Beata says:

      Thank you for the links, Mr. Holland. This has been a theory of mine since 2008 when I first researched Obama’s strange 1981 trip to Pakistan and India. I know that I am not alone in my suspicions. And, indeed, during the Cold War it was not unusual for academics – especially in Russian and East European studies – to also be CIA. I know a few of them myself.

  7. […] About 99 percent of us have that sinking feeling […]

  8. janicen says:

    All of these CIA connections are very interesting. It also explains how Obama’s campaign was able to successfully seal all of his academic records. What other campaign has been able to do that? Smells like CIA to me.