Bannon Is Gone – Or Is He?

On January 19th of this year, two days after the inauguration, among a small group of friends, I was talking about what was going on the in US. One of these friends was an immigrant who had fled to to America to escape a regime of terror that took the lives of her family members.

When I asked how she’d dealt with what was going on, she replied that she chose to not have a TV. We discussed American TV news, and I decided to refrain from watching news stations, including CSPAN for the week.

However, as a sports fan, I wasn’t about to give up watching games. Or for that matter travel shows or movies on TV.

So there I was on Direct TV late at night flipping through the channel guide in the under-100’s among our local stations to see what might be on.

There on PBS channel 32, KMPA, was a listing for “Classic Movies, Short Films”. I pushed the button to check what was playing—and found myself saying, “What the heck?”

The show opened with a small bunch of protesters trying to force their way into a small room full of people. A second later here were three guys in a room sitting around a table.

One tall thin older white guy on the left of the screen was clearly the moderator of the discussion. He seemed to be a Democrat.

The other two on the right were a youg short white guy and a young fat white guy, both in white shirts. One young guy was a libertarian; the other a conservative Republican.

They were discussing the topic that concerned me most this year—the repeal of Obamacare without an equivalent or better replacement. So I broke my vow not to watch news.

And then I noticed the banner across the bottom of the screen

“RT Left Wing Members of the Tea Party”

Mouth agape, I watched the same kind of media discussion that we’ve all watched on MSNBC, FOX and CNN, etc. But I was now looking at the Russian-government-financed TV station called RT (Russian Television).

KMPA, San Francisco PBS station 32, was the very same RT that had been lambasted in our US Intelligence report on Russian interference in the US Presidential Elections back in 2016.

I couldn’t believe it. I was paying AT&T to watch Russian propaganda? What “leftist Tea Party” I wondered. Is there such a thing? What’s the “alt-right”.

I instantly hit the info button. Yes, it confirmed. I was watching the station with “Classic Movies, Short Films”. Hardly! I recorded more RT shows that night with titles like “World Events,’ Classic Arts Showcase, etc. and watched them later on.

The production was hokey, but fast-paced enough to capture the attention of those much younger than me. And RT featured a lot of borrowed clips of world news which our US-based media was not covering. I found those clips quite informative.

But here’s what I didn’t get back then – there were a lot of grainy old news reels showing World War II battles and Nazis. Why were they there? Didn’t Nazis invade Russian in the 1940s? Surely Russians wouldn’t like Nazis?

I didn’t get the significance of those old news reels until this weekend in Charlottesville when I spotted the Nazi swastikas along with confederate flags and KKK torches among those rallying for white supremacy.

Back in January, I contacted a Republican friend familiar with the right-wing Tea Party and asked her if she’d heard of a leftist “Tea Party”. She said, “no”.

Not until Donald Trump’s defense of the Nazi’s, the KKK, and other white supremacists in Charlottesville, did I hear a mention of the “alt-left” a.k.a the “leftist Tea Party”. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Clearly RT was and is still is on the air, trying to divide Americans and sabotage our democracy.

Bannon’s alt-right nationalist economic agenda

Today our President launched a trade war against China, a war that the US tech industry and Wall Street support—with some justification.

But Trump’s triggering of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 against China without any consultation with the World Trade Organization is most certainly the first shot across the bow on behalf of Steve Bannon’s crusade against “globalism” in favor of putting “America First”.

The aggressive manner in which Trump is proceeding will likely raise prices on Chinese imports for millions of Americans, forcing low-income people to pay more or simply go without.

Higher prices on Chinese goods are going to be great for raising profits for tech company shareholders — but not so great for job seekers or low-income Americans.

Bannon was banished from the White House on Friday, but his costly isolationist economic policies still remain Donald Trump’s plan for our future, a future Russia would like to destroy.