James Howard Kunstler -- World News Trust
March 10, 2017
Can you see those swans coming in for a landing on Pond USA? They’re not exactly black swans, because you knew they were out there circling, but they’re dark enough against the twilight’s last gleaming to give you the heebie jeebies.
Troubles and portents of more trouble are stacking up as we approach the Ides of March zone of financial turmoil. You must surely surmise that a debt ceiling impact, a Federal Reserve interest rate hike, and the election of a Dutch anti-EU leader all scheduled for that one day are a good start on the greater unravel to follow.
Glowering in the spotlight at center stage will be President Donald Trump, designated bag-holder of the Deep State and its myrmidons. And what’s in that bag he’s holding? Just a couple of shit sandwiches and a hair shirt for his journey down the lonely road to exile. But getting rid of Trump would only leave the Deep State with a bigger problem: itself. That is, an economy and a society that can’t be governed by any means.
I think many professional observers-of-the-scene are missing something in this unspooling story: the Deep State is actually becoming more impotent and ineffectual, not omnipotent. Case in point: RussiaGate — come on, let’s finally call it that — the popular idea that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election. It’s popular because it’s such a convenient excuse for the failure of a corrupt, exhausted, and brain-dead Democratic establishment. But all the exertions of the Deep State to put over this story since last summer were negated this week by two events.
First, there was former NSA Director James Clapper’s appearance on NBC’s Sunday Meet the Press show with Chuck Todd featuring the following interchange:
CHUCK TODD: Does intelligence exist that can definitively answer the following question, whether there were improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials?
JAMES CLAPPER: We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say, “our,” that’s N.S.A., F.B.I. and C.I.A., with my office, the Director of National Intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report.
CHUCK TODD: I understand that. But does it exist?
JAMES CLAPPER: Not to my knowledge.
And so what to make of the RussiaGate histrionics served up by CNN, The New York Times, WashPo, NPR, and sundry tools as Senator Chuck Schumer (D–NY)? What I make of it is a growing civil war in the government itself, and perhaps something arguably like sedition.
Second matter: this week’s release of Wikileaks’ Vault-7 trove of purloined government documents. These seem to suggest that U.S. Intel agencies have acquired the ability to spoof any activity on any sort of computer or program that makes it impossible to track the identity of any hacker and, what’s more, gives US Intel a tool to make any party appear culpable for any given case of hacking — meaning that if so called computer hacking “footprints” had been discovered linking Russia to the Hillary-DNC-Podesta emails, those footprints could have been engineered by U.S. Intel itself… meaning further that any so-called “evidence” of Russian election hacking could not be proven one way or the other.
Now, this might be too fine a point for the RussiaGate partisans, but I don’t see how it fails to moot the issue. The partisans are still finding other ways to propagandize. On Thursday evening, NPR ran a story about Russia breaking a missile agreement with this wrap-up from correspondent David Welna:
WELNA: Still unclear is how President Trump, an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, might respond to Moscow’s defiance. David Welna, NPR News, Washington.
That lapse of newsmanship is the kind of thing that makes me (a still-registered Democrat) want to support the defunding of NPR.
All this hugger-mugger may be further mooted by the financial disorders of Spring 2017. Don’t underestimate the Federal Reserve’s eagerness in sending Trump on the road to political perdition with his shit sandwiches and hair shirt. The Fed’s board of governors knows full well that their interest rate hike could sink even the carefully fabricated Potemkin appearance of a healthy economy. It would also create more dire debt-servicing problems for the U.S. Treasury when and if the debt ceiling problem ever gets resolved. They’re holding a hand grenade in the old USA bunker and they’re getting ready to pull the pin. Just watch.
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.