Is the Donald Down for the Count?

By David Stockman  |  November 20, 2019

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.

– George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel (1949)

Today’s impeachment testimony was certainly explosive, an Alexander Butterfield and a John Dean rolled into a Gordon Sondland full of “smoking guns.”

This was always going to be drama-filled. Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one, and, these days, that means you’d better entertain the electorate.

So, Sondland confirmed what everybody already knows – that “quid pro quo” is how the United States of America conducts its national security business.

It goes deeper than that, of course, as The Wall Street Journal recently reported.

As we discussed amid the din of last week’s opening of this public phase of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, this effort is all “about perpetuating the establishment’s reign inside Imperial Washington.”

Let’s recall how it is this establishment – a Duopoly project, featuring both neoconservative and neoliberal interventionists – rolls these days…

The Wall Street Journal highlighted an outfit called Blue Star Strategies. Blue Star Strategies was founded by Sally Painter, a senior adviser to the Commerce Department in the Clinton administration, and Karen Tramontano, a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House.

It ostensibly specialized in helping countries prepare for consideration for membership in NATO. But it paid the bills for the long term by leveraging international relationships developed during its founders’ time in government.

Hard-wired to the Clintons, Blue Star is also connected to Joe Biden. And it used those connections on behalf of the infamous Burisma Holding, notwithstanding the odor of oligarchical corruption that surrounded the Kiev-based petroleum exploration and production company.

And that, folks, is how Imperial Washington works.

People make policies that extend the empire while in office, as did these Clintonistas with the NATO expansion project we detailed last week.

And, then, they cash in afterward by peddling influence inside the Beltway on behalf of the establishment’s newly acquired vassals and supplicants. The longer-term, less unsavory aspect of this project is revealed in things like the Atlantic Council.

The Atlantic Council is NATO’s semi-official “think tank” inside Imperial Washington. It’s infested with Russophobes and Clinton/Biden operatives.

The latter, of course, make handsome livings peddling anti-Putin propaganda. Of course, everybody’s happy because it better greases the purse strings for ever-more military spending, weapons sales, foreign aid, surveillance measures, and security assistance to the “front line” states in the path of Kremlin aggression.

“Think tanks” like the Atlantic Council are thinly disguised lobbying arms for both the Empire’s foreign supplicants as well as the U.S. agencies that feed them.

In the racketeering wards of the Imperial City, weapons contractors and foreign purchasers make common cause. So do the dispensers and recipients of foreign aid and security assistance and the multitude of propaganda programs run through the State Department, the Endowment for Democracy, the Board for International Broadcasting, and countless more.

The network of one-hand-washing-the-other grifts is massive and pervasive. It’s a racket cloaked in a bipartisan consensus for intervention in the farthest parts of the planet.

Indeed, the entire Ukraine intervention project has been heavily choreographed by the Atlantic Council, which derives its ample funding from sources – foreign and domestic – nearly 100% dependent on the perpetuation of the American Empire.

Its U.S. government contributors include the Pentagon, the State Department, the Air Force, the Navy, the Air Force Academy, the Army War College, the National Endowment for Democracy, and NATO itself.

There’s a litany of foreign governments and quasi-official institutions, including the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the United Arab Emirates, and embassies, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds representing Denmark, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Romania, Netherlands, Hong Kong, and many more.

The roster of military/industrial/intelligence contractors and international energy and financial institutions runs on for pages. It includes Chevron, HSBC Holdings, BP America, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Textron, Statoil, Bank of America, ConocoPhillips, JPMorgan, and dozens more.

Amply represented are other foreign policy advocacy and funding institutions, including the Wallenberg Foundations, the Soros Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Arabia Foundation, Center for International Strategic Studies, the Starr Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation.

Finally, there’s everyone and their sibling who does business in Imperial Washington. That’s led by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation is the influence-peddling front of Ukraine’s leading billionaire, who essentially stole much of its iron and steel industry after the Soviet Union collapsed and has been a leading funder of the Clinton Foundation ($6 million) and various Russophobe think tanks in addition to the Atlantic Council.

Let’s not forget such odds and sots as Facebook, Google, Squire Patton Boggs, Starbucks, Twitter, McKinsey & Company, and CNN.

Of course Burisma put its money where its spotted reputation could be cycled through a refurbishment process at the Atlantic Council. Indeed, in an extensive expose, Max Blumenthal noted exactly how the Atlantic connection came about:

Even with Hunter Biden on his company’s board, Zlochevsky was still seeking influential allies in Washington. He found them at the Atlantic Council in 2017, literally hours after he was cleared of corruption charges in Ukraine.

On Jan. 19, 2017 – just two days after the investigation of Zlochevsky ended – Burisma announced a major “cooperative agreement” with the Atlantic Council.

The deal was inked by the director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia program, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine named John Herbst.

Since then, Burisma helped bankroll Atlantic Council programming, including an energy security conference held this May in Monaco, where Zlochevsky currently lives.

The story is actually even more convoluted than that.

Suffice to say the whole impeachment show is about rendering the Donald an aberration, propping up the foreign policy establishment, and refurbishing the Duopoly’s power base.

Set Yourself Free

This is the most politicized market in history, and the Tweeter-in-Chief is still in charge. So, the situation is changing almost by the minute.

It’s “Impeachment!” in Imperial Washington and all over the Mainstream Media. It’s “Easy Money!” on Wall Street and across Bubblevision.

And it seems as if the whole world has, indeed, gone mad.

Amid this chaos, prices will continue to rise and fall, trends will continue to develop and dissipate.

Well, The Stockman Letter is made for times like these. And we’ve updated our design to help us better navigate to not only the safest harbors but also the most promising opportunities.

The stakes are as high as they can be heading into 2020. Markets appear to be straining, catching up to an economy that’s been weak and getting weaker for years.

The Donald is tied up in the day-to-day movements of the major stock indexes like no president before him. The increasingly desperate incumbent will do anything he must to hold the White House.

It’s a major tipping point. And there’s no telling what the Donald’s great disruptions could do to your wealth.

Please click here to learn more about The Stockman Letter and what comes next…

To common sense.

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR