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[The Blog] Cummings slams politically charged Trump EPA program. Turns out to be Obama EPA program

How on Earth did that happen?

The post Cummings slams politically charged Trump EPA program. Turns out to be Obama EPA program appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/16/2018 7:22:31 AM
[Markets] Trump, Putin Arrive In Helsinki Ahead Of Historic Summit

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Helsinki late Sunday night for his long-awaited summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Financial Times. And though the two leaders have met before, Monday's summit will mark the first sit down meeting between the two leaders since Trump's inauguration. In an interview that aired yesterday, Trump cautioned that he has "low expectations" going into the summit, because no matter what he accomplishes, the media and Trump's political opponents will treat him like it wasn't enough.

Trump said Friday during his press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May that he expects to discuss Syria, Ukraine and terrorism with Putin. He said later that he would consider asking Putin about the possibility of extraditing the more than two dozen Russians who have now been indicted by the DOJ over allegations of interference in the 2016 election.

Trump

Just hours before meeting with Putin, Trump blamed former President Barack Obama for the so-called Russian interference during the election because Obama knew about the interference but chose to do nothing, and slammed his political opponents for allowing the US's relationship with Russia to deteriorate to a point where it "has never been worse."

Following Friday's latest round of indictments against a dozen Russian military intelligence officials, Democratic lawmakers slammed Trump for refusing to cancel the meeting.

And while Trump berated his political opponents for taking advantage of the indictments and their timing to try and foil the long-anticipated meeting between the two world leaders, National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that the president had been briefed in advance about the indictments of the Russian intelligence agents. According to Reuters, Trump appeared upbeat during a breakfast meeting with Finland’s president before the meeting with Putin in the Finnish capital, even tweeting his thanks to his hosts for their hospitality.

Shortly before the meeting was set to begin, Putin was filmed getting off his presidential aircraft in Helsinki.

The Kremlin has said it doesn't expect an easy meeting after pushing back against President Trump's criticisms of a planned Russian gas pipeline to Germany, while suggesting it could be difficult to find common ground on Syria thanks to tensions over Iran.

Published:7/16/2018 5:50:02 AM
[Markets] 5 Things To Watch For At The Trump-Putin Summit

Despite John McCain and the neocon's best efforts to disrupt it, his advisors (and the Democrats) warnings, and the rest of the Deep State's concerted plans with the liberal media to paint Trump into a lose-lose situation, the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki is due to start within the next hour or two.

As President Trump noted in a tweet earlier, "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough."

As The Hill notes, Trump has long wanted a closer relationship with Putin, something he believes can mend frayed ties between their two countries. But beyond his apparent affinity for Putin, many in Washington have questioned why the president is sitting down with his Russian counterpart and what he seeks to accomplish.

Here are five things to watch for when Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki:

Election interference

Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, already at the front of observers’ minds, has rocketed to the top of the agenda ahead of Monday’s summit. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Friday the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers who allegedly hacked into the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic groups. The announcement comes just days before the Helsinki summit, ramping up pressure on Trump to raise the issue with Putin. But the president has long wavered on the matter, despite the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election. Just last month, Trump tweeted that “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”

Trump has repeatedly highlighted that denial — which Putin made during their first face-to-face meeting at last year’s group of Group of 20 summit — as a way of downplaying the issue. “President Trump is now the outlier in his own administration, seemingly,” said a former Trump transition official. The president has promised multiple times to press Putin on election interference, saying Friday he would “absolutely firmly ask the question” when they meet. Trump has expressed a belief, however, there is not much he can do to deter their activity. “I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.’ There won’t be a Perry Mason here,” Trump said at a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

National security figures with ties to the White House hope Trump publicly warns Putin against interfering in the midterms and threatens the Russian leader with consequences.

But the worst-case scenario they fear is Trump remaining silent on the issue and raising the possibility of lifting sanctions on Moscow, something that would fuel criticism from political opponents who believe he is too close to Putin.

Democrats in Congress have called on Trump to cancel the summit entirely in response to the indictment, but there is no sign Trump is interested in doing so.

Syria

Trump has reportedly been eying a deal with Putin in Syria that is aimed at moving Iranian forces away from the border with Israel in exchange for withdrawing U.S. troops. But both U.S. and Russian officials have been reluctant to give ground on thorny issues such as troop levels or territory, and experts are not optimistic a deal will be made in Helsinki. “To me, this whole issue of expecting the Russians or hoping the Russians are going to deliver Iranian concessions in Syria is the triumph of blind hope over grim analysis,” said Robert Ford, former U.S. ambassador to Syria under former President Obama.

Under the terms of a possible deal, Russia would promise to limit Iranian presence near Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan and, in turn, the U.S. would allow Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces to take control of the area. U.S. forces have an outpost in southern Syria near the border with Jordan and Iraq known as al Tanf, which Pentagon officials have said is key to ensuring Iran does not complete the Tehran-to-Beirut land bridge it desires. But under the reported deal, U.S. forces would leave al Tanf — and eventually Syria — altogether. Experts have warned Trump not to repeat the mistakes of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, when he did not come away with an ironclad plan for denuclearization.

“If he buys a vague promise, then it looks like the Singapore summit where he gets some nice words without details from the other side of the summit table,” said Ford.

Crimea

Crimea has been at the heart of U.S.-Russia tensions since 2014. That’s when Russia annexed the peninsula off Ukraine, sparking a wave of international sanctions and other measures aimed at isolating Moscow. But Trump has repeatedly left the door open to recognizing Russia’s claim over Crimea during his meeting with Putin, even repeating Moscow’s talking point that it has a rightful claim to the territory because most residents speak Russian. The president stoked further concern this week when he again did not rule out the possibility during his press conference at the end of the tumultuous NATO summit.

“That’s an interesting question, because long before I got here President Obama allowed that to happen, that was under his watch, not my watch,” Trump said. “What will happen with Crimea from this point on? That, I can’t tell you.”

One of the post-Crimea punishments for Russia was getting booted from the then-Group of Eight world economic powers. But last month, on his way to the Group of Seven summit in Canada, Trump said that should be reversed. “Russia should be in this meeting,” he said at the time. "Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?"

The U.S. and its European allies stepped up their military posture and exercises in Eastern Europe after the Crimea annexation. But after Trump unilaterally agreed to cancel joint military exercises with South Korea during his summit with North Korea’s Kim, allies are fearful of him doing the same with Putin. Republicans in Congress are cautioning Trump against a repeat performance. “I think the president should listen to his security council and our secretary of Defense and our NATO allies on anything of substance dealing with the U.S. military posture. We’ve got to be careful, we’ve got to be strong,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who recently led a congressional delegation to Russia.

Arms control

Trump has said one of his top priorities for the summit is arms control, a topic that could produce a rare opportunity for the U.S. and Russia to find common ground. Arms control advocates say Trump can score an easy win with Putin by agreeing to extend the New START Treaty for another five years. The treaty, negotiated by the Obama administration, caps the U.S. and Russia’s deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 each and comes up for renewal in 2021. “[Renewal] would ensure that we do not return to a numerical arms race,” said Thomas Countryman, former assistant secretary of State on international security and nonproliferation.

But most experts do not believe a decision on New START will come at the summit. Trump has dismissed the treaty as one of Obama’s “bad deals,” and it could take some convincing to get him on board. Republicans have argued the treaty should not be extended while Russia is in violation of a separate arms control agreement known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. That agreement, which has been credited with helping end the Cold War, bans ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty by developing and deploying a banned missile, a charge Moscow denies.

The summit could provide an opportunity for Trump to address the INF violation directly with Putin, but experts say Russia has shown little appetite for reversing course.

Stagecraft

Even more than contentious policy issues, the visuals could be the most memorable part of the Trump-Putin summit. Trump and Putin will hold a joint press conference, which should be a spectacle in and of itself and give U.S. media a chance to rare opportunity to press the Russian leader on election meddling and other key issues. It could cause problems for Trump if he appears too friendly with Putin, especially given the timing of the meeting, just days after the hacking indictments.

But Trump’s desire to form a close bond with Putin could lead the president to give his Russian counterpart a warm reception, just like he did with Kim in Singapore. It could fuel criticism back home that Trump has a greater affinity for strongmen than he does for longtime U.S. allies.

Days before the summit, Trump was shown grimacing during a group photo with NATO partners in Brussels and rolled his eyes when he was asked during a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May about critical comments he made about the U.K. leader. Putin, a former KGB officer with a flair for the dramatic, could also have some tricks up his sleeve.

The Russian leader frequently shows up late for meetings with world leaders, even forcing Pope Francis to wait for 50 minutes before a 2015 sit-down in Vatican City. Putin even brought his pet Labrador to a 2007 meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a well-known fear of dogs. The Russian president later said he did not mean to scare Merkel and claimed he apologized after learning she is scared of dogs.

*  *  *
And in case it's not immediately obvious, as Jim Jatras recently noted, there are many reasons the bipartisan US establishment hates Trump. His heresies from neoliberal orthodoxies on immigration and trade are prominent. But top among them is his oft-stated intention to improve relations with Russia.

That’s fighting words for the Deep State and its mainstream media arm, for which demonizing Russia and its president Vladimir Putin is an obsession.

The fact that Donald Trump made his intention to get along with Moscow a priority during his 2016 campaign, both against his Republican primary rivals and Hillary Clinton (who has compared Putin to Hitler) was cause for alarm. This is because far more than even the frightening prospect that the 70-year state of war on the Korean Peninsula might end, US reconciliation with Russia would yank the rug out from under the phony justifications for spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually to counter a “threat” that ceased to exist over a quarter century ago. Absent hostility to Russia that money has no reason to keep sustaining the power, privilege, and prosperity of a horde of moochers and profiteers, both at home and abroad.

That’s why when it was reported soon after his January 2017 inauguration that Trump was seeking to open dialogue with the Kremlin and set an early summit with Putin there was a hysterical counteraction.

*  *  *

Finally, watch out for any 'hot mic' incidents, because it would very awkward if a president on the United States was caught offering himself up to a Russian leader...

Published:7/16/2018 4:24:14 AM
[Markets] A Brief History Of US Covert Action In Syria - Part 1

In part 1 of this corrective history of the Syrian proxy war which notable Middle East experts have lately urged is important and essential reading, William Van Wagenen thoroughly dismantles the dominant media myths that have persisted throughout seven years of conflict. 

Part I: The Myth of US 'Inaction' in Syria, by William Van Wagenen via The Libertarian Institute

When the Russian military intervened in the Syrian war in October 2015, many in the Western press complained bitterly, demanding that US planners intervene directly in Syria on behalf of the anti-government rebels in response. Reuters alleged that “The Middle East is angry and bewildered by US inaction in Syria,” arguing that “The question on everyone’s mind is: will the United States and its European and regional Sunni allies intervene to stop President Vladimir Putin from reversing the gains made by mainstream Syrian rebels after more than four years of war? Few are holding their breath.” 

The Washington Post similarly argued that Russian president Vladimir Putin was “exploiting America’s inaction,” while the Guardian lamented the “western inability to care enough about the plight of Syrians.” As Russian and Syrian forces battled rebels one year later in Aleppo, more dramatic accusations of US inaction emerged, with Foreign Policy describing US policy in Syria under Obama as “inaction in the face of genocide.”

The idea that the United States has not intervened in Syria and is guilty of “inaction,” is a myth however. The United States and its Western and Gulf Allies have intervened in the Syrian conflict from early on. US planners have been fighting what the New York Times described as a “$1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria” while providing weapons to rebels through a program considered “one of the costliest covert action programs in the history of the C.I.A.” Starting in the fall of 2012, the US and its Gulf partners, under the direction of then CIA director David Petraeus, were openly sending “a cataract of weaponry” into Syria. It is likely that such shipments began much earlier without public acknowledgment, via the “rat line” from Libya, as reported by journalist Seymour Hersh. 

US Special Envoy to Syria Michael Ratner, in a meeting with members of the Syrian opposition, explained that “The armed groups in Syria get a lot of support, not just from the United States but from other partners,” while Secretary of State John Kerry added in the same meeting, “I think we’ve been putting an extraordinary amount of arms in,” and “Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, a huge amount of weapons [are] coming in. A huge amount of money.”

Sectarian Mass Murder

Also a myth is the idea that any US intervention in Syria would seek to protect civilians. While allegations that Syrian and Russian forces were committing genocide in Aleppo proved baseless, US planners have themselves supported rebels intent on committing genocide and sectarian mass murder. This was clearly evident in the Syrian city of Latakia, which by the time of the Russian intervention in October 2015 was on the verge of falling to a coalition of Syrian rebel groups including al-Qaeda (known in Syria as the Nusra Front) and the US-armed and funded Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Robert Worth of the New York Times writes that “In Latakia, some people told me that their city might have been destroyed if not for the Russians. The city has long been one of Syria’s safe zones, well defended by the army and its militias; there are tent cities full of people who have fled other parts of the country, including thousands from Aleppo. But in the summer of 2015, the rebels were closing in on the Latakia city limits, and mortars were falling downtown. If the rebels had captured the area — where Alawites are the majority — a result would almost certainly have been sectarian mass murder. Many people in the region would have blamed the United States, which armed some of the rebels operating in the area. . . Andrew Exum, who worked in the Pentagon at the time, told me that the military drew up contingency plans for a rapid collapse of the regime. The planning sessions were talked about as ‘catastrophic success [emphasis mine].’”

Alawite civilians in Latakia faced the prospect of being massacred if rebels had been able to capture the city, due to the virulently anti-Alawite views of Nusra Front members. Nusra religious clerics draw on the writings of the fringe 14th century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya to argue that Alawites are “infidels” deserving of death. Syria analyst Sam Heller described Nusra clerics as promoting “toxic — even genocidal — sectarianism.” Rebels from the FSA, which have fought alongside and “in the ranks” of the Nusra Front throughout the conflict, also posed a threat to Alawite civilians in Latakia. 

Though typically considered moderate in the Western press, many FSA battalions have been armed and funded by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Thanks to the influence of Brotherhood ideologue Said Hawwa, the Syrian Brotherhood strongly promoted the anti-Alawite sectarian views of Ibn Taymiyya from the 1960’s until the 1980’s. This anti-Alawite sectarianism re-emerged in segments of the Syrian opposition, including in elements of the FSA, when peaceful protests and armed insurrection against the Syrian government simultaneously erupted in Syria in the spring of 2011.

While the Syrian and Russian militaries managed to protect Latakia and prevent a massacre of the city’s Alawite civilians, the broader effort to prevent the fall of the country to al-Qaeda and its FSA allies exacted a huge toll on Syria’s Alawites. The Telegraph noted that already by April 2015, “The scale of the sect’s losses is staggering” and that of some 250,000 Alawite men of fighting age “as many as one third are dead” and that “Alawite villages nestled in the hills of their ancestral Latakia province are all but devoid of young men. The women dress only in mourning black.”

Welcoming ISIS as a Bulwark against Assad

While arming rebels threatening the massacre of Alawite civilians in Latakia, US planners were at the same time welcoming the potential massacre of Syrian civilians in Damascus. The Syrian capital was on the verge of falling to the Islamic State (ISIS) in the summer of 2015 after ISIS, with the help of Nusra, captured all of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the southern Damascus suburbs. The New York Times acknowledged the ISIS threat to Damascus at this time, observing that “By seizing much of the camp” ISIS had “made its greatest inroads yet into Damascus,” while the Washington Post noted that “Their new push puts [ISIS] within five miles of the heart of the capital . . . even as they are on the retreat in Iraq.”

In a private meeting with members of the Syrian opposition, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that US planners had actually welcomed the ISIS advance on Damascus, in an effort to use it as leverage to force Assad to give up power. Kerry explained that, “the reason Russia came in is because ISIL [ISIS] was getting stronger. Daesh [ISIS] was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus. And that is why Russia came in. They didn’t want a Daesh [ISIS] government and they supported Assad. And we know this was growing. We were watching. We saw that Daesh [ISIS]was growing in strength. And we thought Assad was threatened. We thought we could manage that Assad might then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, he got Putin to support him [emphasis mine].”

Because the US was bombing ISIS in defense of its Kurdish allies in Northeastern Syria and its Iraqi government allies in Northwestern Iraq, the fact that US planners at the same time welcomed the ISIS push on Damascus against the Syrian government was largely obscured.

Had Damascus fallen to ISIS, it is clear that many civilians in the city, including Christians, Alawites, Shiites, members of the LGBTQ community, and pro-government Sunnis, would have been killed. While commenting on the Russian intervention, Michael Kofman of the Wilson Center acknowledged that “Assad may be irredeemable in the eyes of the United States, but it is equally clear that a high human price would be paid when the Islamic State [ISIS] or al-Nusra seizes the major population centers in Syria that he still controls.”

Suicide Bombers and US Anti-tank Missiles

It is also clear that US planners were deliberately supporting al-Qaeda (Nusra), despite its genocidal intentions towards Syria’s Alawites, by flooding Syria with weapons. Because FSA brigades that received funding and weapons from the US and its Gulf Allies were fighting side by side with militants from Nusra throughout the country, in practice much of the money and weapons sent to the FSA ultimately benefited al-Qaeda.

For example, US-made TOW anti-tank missiles sent by US planners to FSA groups in Idlib played a crucial role in helping Nusra conquer the entire province in the spring of 2015. Syria analyst Hassan Hassan observed in Foreign Policy during this period that “The Syrian rebels are on a roll” and that “The recent offensives in Idlib have been strikingly swift — thanks in large part to suicide bombers and American anti-tank TOW missiles,” which the FSA and Nusra deployed in tandem. Syria analyst Charles Lister, also writing in Foreign Policydescribed how US planners explicitly encouraged the FSA groups they were arming to fight alongside Nusra in Idlib. Rebel victories in Idlib, in particular the town of Jisr al-Shughour, allowed Nusra and the FSA to then threaten the massacre of Alawites in Latakia.

When Russia intervened militarily in Syria in October 2015, US planners responded by immediately increasing shipments of TOW anti-tank missiles to FSA groups, some of which then helped Nusra capture the strategic town of Murek in central Syria one month later in November 2015.

This prompted Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to observe that “it is impossible to argue that U.S. officials involved in the CIA’s program cannot discern that Nusra and other extremists have benefited” from CIA weapons shipments to Syrian rebels, “And despite this, the CIA decided to drastically increase lethal support to vetted rebel factions following the Russian intervention into Syria in late September.”

"Deal with the Devil"

Nusra did not only benefit from fighting alongside FSA rebels armed with US-supplied weapons, but acquired many of these weapons themselves. That Nusra regularly purchased weapons from the Western-backed military councils supplying the FSA was confirmed in October 2014, when the New York Times reported that Shafi al-Ajmi, a Nusra fundraiser, told a Saudi news channel that “When the military councils sell the weapons they receive, guess who buys them? It’s me.”

That al-Qaeda was purchasing US supplied weapons seemed of little concern to US planners. When journalist Sharmine Narwani asked why US-supplied weapons allegedly meant for FSA groups were showing up in Nusra hands, CENTCOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Kyle Raines responded: “We don’t ‘command and control’ these forces—we only ‘train and enable’ them. Who they say they’re allying with, that’s their business.”

Obama administration officials themselves acknowledged tacit US support for al-Qaedaadmitting in November 2016 to the Washington Post that they had struck “a deal with the devil,” years before, “whereby the United States largely held its fire against al-Nusra because the group was popular with Syrians in rebel-controlled areas and furthered the U.S. goal of putting military pressure on Assad,” thereby confirming long standing Russian accusations that the US had been “sheltering al-Nusra.”

Ben Rhodes' Bombshell Confirmation

More recently, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor under the Obama administration, acknowledged providing military support to Syrian rebels, even though it was clear that Nusra comprised a good portion of the Syrian opposition as a whole. Rhodes explained that “there was a slight absurdity in the fact that we were debating options to provide military support to the opposition at the same time that we were deciding to designate al-Nusra, a big chunk of that opposition, as a terrorist organization.”

Despite designating Nusra as a terror group already in 2012, US planners nevertheless provided weapons to the Syrian rebels, of which Nusra comprised a “big chunk,” for the next 7 years. As Sharmine Narwani observes, “U.S. arms have been seen in Nusra’s possession for many years now, including highly valued TOW missiles, which were game-changing weapons in the Syrian military theater. When American weapons end up in al-Qaeda hands during the first or second year of a conflict, one assumes simple errors in judgment. When the problem persists after seven years, however, it starts to look like there’s a policy in place to look the other way.”

US planners welcomed rebel gains in Syria, including by rebel groups advocating genocide against Syria’s Alawite population, such as ISIS and Nusra, because these gains bolstered the broader US goal of toppling the Syrian governmentin an effort to weaken its close allies, Iran and Hezbollah. US planners wished to see rebel gains in Syria, in spite of the obviously catastrophic consequences for Syrian civilians, including for Syria’s Sunnis, which rebel success would bring. US support for the rebels belies the myth of US “inaction” in Syria, and the myth that any US intervention would be for the sake of preventing massacres and even genocide, rather than in support of it.

* * *

In parts 2 and 3, we will review US support for rebel advances in the spring and summer of 2015 in Idlib, Latakia, Palmyra, Yarmouk, and Homs, and further describe how these rebel advances nearly led to the massacre of Syrian civilians in two of the country’s main population centers, Latakia and Damascus, if not for the Russian intervention which halted the rebel advance.

Published:7/15/2018 10:22:32 PM
[Markets] Dershowitz: SCOTUS Confirmation Process Has Gotten Out Of Hand

Authored by Alan Dershowitz via The Gatestone Institute,

The framers of our constitution would be turning over in their graves if they could see what happened to their words "with the advice and consent of the senate."

Now senators neither advise nor consent to Supreme Court nominations. They politicize, delay, demonize, obscure, fabricate and discredit what should be a non-partisan process of assuring that the most qualified lawyers serve on our highest court. Instead we have come to expect votes that are cast largely along party lines.

It was not always what it has now become. Even in the recent past, highly qualified but controversial nominees -- such as Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg -- were confirmed with hardly any dissents. No more.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Some Democrats showed their disdain for the process by opposing President Trump's pick even before it was made. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

There is enough blame to go around.

Republicans point to the Bork rejection (which resulted in the Kennedy nomination) and the Clarence Thomas "high-tech lynching."

Democrats point to the Republican refusal even to consider former President Barack Obama's nomination of the highly qualified and centrist Merrick Garland. They also point to the fact that President Trump has "outsourced the selection process to the Federalist Society."

Whoever is to blame, the real victims are the American people who have been denied the constitutional protection of a legitimate confirmation process.

Focusing on the current confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh, some Democrats showed their disdain for the process by carrying signs opposing President Trump's nominee even before the nomination was made. They left the name blank and filled it in only after the President nominated Judge Kavanaugh.Others have taken the view that they would never confirm any nominee whose name was on the list provided by the Federalist Society.

A story from the past is worth recalling. When the great Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes retired, President Herbert Hoover asked his Attorney General to supply him a list of ten names to fill the seat of this great justice. The list contained nine Republican names, but at the bottom was the name of one Democrat -- a great New York judge named Benjamin Cardozo. When Hoover saw the list, he reportedly said to his Attorney General, "It's a great list but you have it upside down. Cardozo's name should be on the top because he is the most distinguished sitting judge in the US." The Attorney General reportedly responded that Cardozo was a Democrat, a Jew (there was already one Jew on the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis) and a New Yorker and his appointment would not serve the political interest of the president or his party. But Hoover nominated Cardozo who served with distinction on the High Court.

Today such a nomination would be unthinkable. Generally, presidents still look for high quality nominees, but among the many who are so qualified, they demand a nominee who will toe their ideological line, be acceptable to their base and generally promote the interests of their party. That is not what the Framers contemplated.

The Supreme Court is supposed to be above politics. It is supposed to serve as a check and balance against the two political branches of government. It is supposed to be non-partisan. The votes of justices are not supposed to be based on ideological or partisan considerations. The Framers would be livid at the 5-4 party line vote in Bush v. Gore. They would have been equally livid if there were a 5-4 partisan vote in favor of a Democratic president. Partisan votes are supposed to take place in Congress, not in the chambers of our Highest Court.

It may be too late to restore the integrity of the confirmation process. We are in the age of tit-for-tat political reprisals. The Democrats say that the Republicans stole the Merrick Garland nomination, so the Democrats want to try to steal the Kavanaugh nomination. They will almost certainly fail, but not before they have further tarnished the confirmation process.

It will take a statesman rather than a politician in the Oval Office to change this dynamic. A great president will someday nominate the most distinguished lawyer in the country, without regard to party ideology or other political considerations. All presidents claim that they are doing this. Former President George H. W. Bush told the American public that Clarence Thomas was the most qualified person in American to serve on the High Court. No one, probably not even Clarence Thomas, believed that. But he, too, was confirmed, largely along party line votes.

Justice Kavanaugh is extraordinarily well qualified by his educational and academic background and judicial history. He should be given a hearing and asked probing questions about his judicial philosophy and his approach to constitutional construction and precedent. Senators should approach this process with an open mind. Before I finally make up my own mind, I will be listening carefully to his answers.

Published:7/15/2018 8:20:16 PM
[Trending Commentary] Maxine Waters says ‘Trump is Jealous of Obama’

By Brady Kenyon -

President Donald Trump often criticizes former President Barack Obama because “he’s jealous of Obama and his administration,” said Rep. Maxine Water (D-CA.) on Saturday. Appearing on MSNBC, Waters discussed Trump’s tweet stating that President Obama should have done more about Russian’s interfering in our elections. Waters replied by claiming the ...

Maxine Waters says ‘Trump is Jealous of Obama’ is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:7/15/2018 7:46:18 PM
[Markets] Bill Maher: Trump Is The Most "Aggressively Stupid" President In US History

Bill Maher, the host of HBO's Real Time, has released a new standup special - and, as one might expect, it features more than a few jokes at President Trump's expense. While the US has had presidents in the past who were "stupid", the country has never had a leader who is as "aggressively stupid" as Trump, Maher joked.

"We’ve had dumbass presidents, but we’ve never had one like this that is so aggressively stupid," Maher said. Trump "takes pride that you cannot get information into his head."

Maher joked that the president "takes pride that you cannot get information into his head."

"He will insist like, that the stealth bomber is literally invisible. Or there’s such a thing as clean coal. Or that global warming is a hoax because it snows in the winter," Maher said. "It’s like saying the sun isn’t real because last night it got dark," he said.

Watch the clip below:

Maher was criticized last month when he said on his HBO show that he's "hoping" for an economic disaster (exposing just how desperate some of Trump's political opponents are for a victory) so that the ensuing recession would help blunt President Trump's popularity (which has climbed since his inauguration) and result in him being voted out of office in 2020. Of course, Maher says nothing about Trump's many accomplishments since taking office (negotiating a possible peace deal with North Korea and boosting economic growth). Recently, even the New York Times admitted that Trump "got from NATO everything Obama ever asked for." Which begs the question: If Trump is an idiot, what does that make Obama?

Published:7/15/2018 4:45:55 PM
[World] President Trump Vladimir Putin Summit: Jim Hanson Compares Reaction to Barack Obama in 2012

Former U.S. Army Special Forces member Jim Hanson said that the criticism President Trump is facing for meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is hypocritical to what the Obama administration faced in 2012.

Published:7/15/2018 2:43:51 PM
[Politics] WSJ: Law and Order Bolstered by Approval of 65 US Attorneys The Trump administration's law-and-order push under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has seen the GOP-held Senate confirm 65 of President Donald Trump's U.S. attorney nominees, which is eight more than the Obama administration at the same point, The Wall Street Journal... Published:7/15/2018 1:49:57 PM
[Politics] Chris Wallace CHALLENGES Dem on whether Trump or Obama has been TOUGHER on Putin Chris Wallace challenged Senator Chris Coons on whether Trump had been tougher on Putin than Obama. It was a pretty good debate: Wallace goes through a list of the ways that Trump . . . Published:7/15/2018 11:14:49 AM
[Politics] Chris Wallace CHALLENGES Dem on whether Trump or Obama has been TOUGHER on Putin Chris Wallace challenged Senator Chris Coons on whether Trump had been tougher on Putin than Obama. It was a pretty good debate: Wallace goes through a list of the ways that Trump . . . Published:7/15/2018 11:14:49 AM
[Markets] Trump May Ask Putin To Extradite Intel Officials During "Low Expectations" Summit

Donald Trump said he had "low expectations" of his Monday summit with Vladimir Putin, just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted by the DOJ for hacking the Democrats ahead of the 2016 election, which in turn prompted Trump to blast "where is the DNC server", the missing link of evidence that has never been turned over to the FBI.

"I go in with low expectations", Trump told CBS News in an interview which will be released Sunday. “I’m not going with high expectations. I'll let you know after the meeting," he answered when asked about his goals. "I think it's a good thing to meet. I do believe in meetings. ... Nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out."

After the DOJ said that Trump had been briefed on the indictments last week during his European trip, the president said in the interview he hadn’t considered asking Putin to extradite the agents to the U.S.

Speaking to CBS, Trump also said he may ask Vladimir Putin to extradite the 12 Russian intel officials named in the indictment.

"Well, I might," Trump said after CBS News anchor Jeff Glor asked about it.

"I hadn’t thought of that. But I certainly, I’ll be asking about it. But again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration."

The indictment, which while revealing explicit details of the Kremlin’s election influence operation, including the names of the intelligence agents alleged to be involved, once again provided neither any tangible evidence not the names of any agents who were involved in the alleged bust - have overshadowed the summit.

Trump on Saturday blamed the Obama administration for the Russian election meddling.

“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” the president tweeted from Scotland. “Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?”

Trump continued this line of attack, and on Sunday he told CBS News that the Democratic Party was also to blame for not better securing its computer equipment.

“The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked. But I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too. But -- and this may be wrong -- but they had much stronger defenses.”

Members of Congress in both parties have called on Trump to either confront Putin over Moscow’s interference in the election or cancel the meeting altogether in protest. The president’s critics fear the summit could lead to him relaxing U.S. sanctions against Russia, recognizing Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, or other concessions. Some democrats, such as Sen. Mark Warner even said other Americans need to be in the room.

Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he would be "stunned" if Trump doesn't call out Putin's or Russia's "bad behavior" at Monday's meeting between the two leaders. But Warner said he fears Putin could take advantage of Trump in a one-on-one sit-down.

"Frankly, one of the things I'm most worried about is we need to have other Americans in the room," Warner told CNN's Jake Tapper. "Vladimir Putin is a trained KGB agent, he may come in with maps of Syria, maps of Ukraine. And frankly, I think he'll take advantage of this president whom we know doesn't do much prep work before these meetings."

"We need other individuals from his administration in the room so we know at least someone will press the Russians on making sure they don't interfere in future U.S. elections," he added.

Responding to Democrat demands, Trump told Glor that he hasn’t decided whether to meet alone with Putin to start their summit, as he said he would last week.

The two leaders will hold a news conference to conclude the summit, where they are all but certain to face multiple questions about the indictment from U.S. reporters.

Finally, in a statement that will likely outrage the EU (even more), Trump called the European Union a “foe” of the United States. The president also said Russia is a “foe in certain respects” and China"“is a foe economically."

Published:7/15/2018 9:53:08 AM
[Media] Weapons-grade OUCH! Lawrence O’Donnell’s Russian ‘gotcha’ accidentally hits Obama RIGHT in the nards

So Lawrence O’Donnell thinks Russia launched a war against the USA in 2016. And won. Huh. Who was president in 2016, eh Larry? Russia launched a war against the United States of America in 2016. And won. — Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) July 14, 2018 Can we call you Larry? And dude, Larry, wow. Damn, Putin […]

The post Weapons-grade OUCH! Lawrence O’Donnell’s Russian ‘gotcha’ accidentally hits Obama RIGHT in the nards appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/15/2018 9:15:15 AM
[Markets] Treasury Department Responsible For Trade Policy Rocked By Wave Of Departures

President Trump's war on the Washington swamp has had some unintended casualties at the Treasury Department's international affairs unit - which Bloomberg characterized as a "key office in the Trump administration's escalating trade battles with China and Europe" - as roughly 10% of the department's career staff have quit since September. And President Trump's federal hiring freeze has made it impossible to replace them, just as the administration's trade war with China has been ramping up.

According to Bloomberg, most of the departures have blamed President Trump's pick to run the department for inspiring them to leave. David Malpass, who has been a vocal proponent of Trump's protectionism, is probably best known for being Bear Stearns chief economist in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

Malpass
David Malpass

According to the department's malcontents, Malpass has been involved in some high profile bungles recently, like when he said back in March that Beijing had ended formal economic talks on the eve of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, before later saying that he "misspoke."

But even with full staffing, some people say that Malpass, who was confirmed by the Senate, is mismanaging the unit. They note that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has dressed down Malpass for striking too hard a tone in public statements about China -- an episode that harmed morale throughout the unit.

Malpass, 62, worked in the Treasury and State Departments during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and later became chief economist at the now-defunct Bear Stearns. Malpass was a senior economic adviser on Trump’s presidential campaign. At Treasury, he succeeded Nathan Sheets, who held the post under Obama.

In one incident, Malpass erroneously said on the eve of the March G-20 finance summit in Buenos Aires that the U.S. had ended formal economic talks with Beijing. Mnuchin privately reprimanded Malpass after the incident, according to three people familiar with the matter. Malpass had to correct the record, saying he “misspoke.”

Among the departing staff is Mark Sobel, a 40-year veteran of the department who was respected for having "the most institutional and cultural knowledge of international affairs at Treasury." Sobel has blamed the administration for, among other things, allowing too many officials to speak publicly about dollar policy (unlike previous presidents, Trump has been more than willing to complain at about the value of the dollar).

Sobel is seen as having the most institutional and cultural knowledge of international affairs at Treasury. He was known in the building and among foreign counterparts over the past four decades as a tireless and at times uncompromising negotiator who has been a key U.S. representative behind the scenes at dozens of G-20 and G-7 finance officials meetings.

Weeks after retiring, Sobel wrote a column called "America’s currency confusion" for a London-based think tank, chastising Mnuchin and the rest of Trump’s economic team for eroding U.S. credibility by having too many officials talking about the dollar policy.

Sobel moved forward his departure in part because of Malpass’s move to install his chief of staff, Mauricio Claver-Carone, at the International Monetary Fund as executive director while Trump’s nominee awaits Senate confirmation. Sobel, according to the three people, didn’t want to work for Claver-Carone, an attorney who previously led a group that promoted embargoes against Cuba.

Robert Dohner, an Asia specialist who played a key role in China's decision to allow the yuan to strengthen, has also left the department.

Several younger staffers -- seen as the next generation of non-political brain power -- have also left, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Other departures or earlier-than-planned retirements include Robert Dohner, an Asia specialist who led the push for China to allow the yuan to strengthen; Aimen Mir, deputy assistant secretary for investment security overseeing work on the CFIUS; John Weeks, head of the global economics office; and Ben Cushman, a Mandarin speaker.

All of those officials either declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries.

"For those who had spent their careers advocating the virtues of openness and integration and collaboration, the trajectory of policy under this administration probably made it more challenging for them," said Sheets, Malpass’s predecessor in the Obama administration.

One of the unit's most important functions is running CFIUS, the committee that reviews foreign acquisitions for any national security issues. The administration is bringing in a dozen new hires to fulfill Trump's promise to beef up CFIUS. But with the departures factored in, it's unclear if this increased headcount really represents a genuine expansion. Fortunately, Chinese investments in the US have already plunged this year.

China

 

Published:7/12/2018 6:45:49 PM
[Politics] Poll: Trump as Popular as Obama in Middle of First Term President Donald Trump is as popular as Barack Obama was during the middle of his first presidential term, the results of a Pew Research Center poll said. Nineteen percent said that Donald Trump has done the best or second best job as president during their lifetimes, while... Published:7/12/2018 11:36:14 AM
[Iran] From the Islamic Republic (Scott Johnson) Herewith a round-up of recent news items from President Obama’s friends in the Islamic Republic of Iran. If the authorities of the regime weren’t terror-loving murderers giving their all for Allah, they might be funny: • AFP and Times of Israel staff, “Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft.’” Excerpt: An Iranian general on Monday accused Israel of manipulating weather to prevent rain over the Islamic Republic, alleging Published:7/12/2018 9:37:58 AM
[The Blog] America speaks: The greatest president of our lifetimes was … Barack Obama?

Damn it.

The post America speaks: The greatest president of our lifetimes was … Barack Obama? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/11/2018 9:55:37 PM
[Markets] The Supreme Court Is Much Too Powerful

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

The current frenzy over the vacancy on the Supreme Court in the wake of Justice Kennedy's retirement highlights just how much power has been centralized in the hands of a small number of people in Washington, DC.

The left has grown positively hysterical over the thought of yet another Trump-appointed judge being installed, who could potentially serve on the court for decades. Right-wingers who claim the left is overreacting, however, are unconvincing. One can only imagine the right's reaction were Hillary Clinton president. She would have already had the opportunity to appoint Scalia's replacement, and we might now be talking about her nominee to replace Justice Ginsberg.

The right-wing media would be filled with article after article about how the new court would be a disaster for health-care freedom, private gun ownership, and, of course, the unborn.

But, as it is, we live in a country where five people on a court decide what the law is for 320 million people. And for some reason, many people think this is entirely normal. It's our own American version of the Soviet politburo, but few are even bothering to ask whether it's a good idea.

After all, if it makes sense for a small handful of people to decide law for the entire country, why even bother with a House of Representatives? Even the Senate — composed primarily of multimillionaires living full-time in Washington, DC, is is extravagantly "democratic."

The Myths Behind the Court

To combat the obvious absurdity of the Supreme Court's vast lawmaking powers, however, we have invented a number of myths designed to convince ourselves that the Court is not, in fact just another political institution. It is — we tell ourselves — something special. Something non-political.

But, as I wrote in “ The Mythology of the Supreme Court,” the idea of the court as a group of jurisprudential deep thinkers is a tale for little school children:

This view of the court is of course hopelessly fanciful, and the truly political nature of the court is well documented. Its politics can take many forms. For an example of its role in political patronage, we need look no further than Earl Warren, a one-time candidate for president and governor of California, who was appointed to the court by Dwight Eisenhower. It is widely accepted that Warren’s appointment was payback for Warren’s non-opposition to Eisenhower’s nomination at the 1952 Republican convention. The proposition that Warren somehow transformed from politician to Deep Thinker after his appointment is unconvincing at best. Or we might point to the famous “switch in time that saved nine” in which Justice Owen Roberts completely reversed his legal position on the New Deal in response to political threats from the Franklin Roosevelt administration. Indeed, Supreme Court justices are politicians, who behave in the manner Public Choice theory tells us they should. They seek to preserve and expand their own power.

In practice, the Supreme Court is just another federal legislature, although this one decides matters of public policy based on the opinions of a mere five people, most of whom spend their time utterly divorced from theeconomic realities of ordinary people while cavorting with oligarchs and other elites.

The court’s legislative power is matched by its political power since every vacancy on the court is a gift to the dominant political parties. Every time a justice dies or retires, the event provides political parties with yet another opportunity to issue hysterical fundraising letters to the more monied supporters and demand unqualified support from the rank and file while claiming the SCOTUS-appointment process makes the next election “the most important ever.”

It seems to bother few, however, that we live in a political system where the most important political and economic matters of the day — or so we are told — are to be decided by a tiny handful of people, whether they be the chairman of the Federal Reserve, five Supreme Court justices, or a president with his “ pen and phone.”

Just as it is supremely dysfunctional for a major economy to hang on every word of a central bank chairman, so too should it be considered abnormal and unhealthy for a country of 320 million people to wait with bated breath for the latest prognostications of nine friends of presidents in black robes from their palatial offices in Washington, DC.

The Court Is Just a Group of Nine Politicians in Fancy Robes

We’re told by pundits and politicians from across the spectrum how indispensable, awe-inspiring, and absolutely essential the Supreme Court is. In truth, we should be looking for ways to undermine, cripple, and to generally force the Court into irrelevance.

We ought to point out at every opportunity that the whole notion of judicial review, which is itself a total innovation and fabrication dreamed up by Chief Justice John Marshall. Absolutely nowhere does Article III of the Constitution (the part that deals with the court, and is half a page long) give the court the power to decide on what can be legal or not in every state, town, village, or business of the United States. Moreover, as Jeff Deist has noted, the Court’s powers we so blithely accept as fait accompli are mostly made up:

  • The concept of judicial review is a fabrication by the Court, with no basis in Article III.

  • Constitutional jurisprudence is not constitutional law.

  • The Supreme Court is supreme only over lower federal courts: it is not supreme over other branches of government.

  • Congress plainly has constitutional authority to define and restrict the jurisdiction of federal courts.

A Tool of Centralization of Power

But don’t look for many in Washington to admit this any time soon. The Supreme Court serves a very important function in centralizing federal power in DC and in the hands of a small number of senior federal personnel.

And how convenient it is for members of the ruling classes to influence and access these guardians of the federal government's intellectual respectability: the members of the court, presidents, and senators are all generally all members of the same socio-economic class, send their children to the same elite schools, and work and live together in the same small social circles. At the same time, this closed social and professional circle also helps to diminish the influence of those outside the Washington, DC bubble.

The Court in Its Present Form Could be Abolished Overnight

If it wished to, Congress could overhaul the Court this afternoon. Nothing more than simple legislation would be necessary to radically change or completely abolish the lower federal courts. Congress could decide what topics fall under the lower courts' jurisdiction, and thereby limit the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction as well. Congress could also decide that the Supreme court is made up of one justice or 100 justices.

Indeed, since the Supreme Court is nothing more than a legislature, why not make it one? Why not make SCOTUS a body of 50 “judges,” with the understanding that the Senate will not ratify any appointment which does not hold to the rule that each state gets a judge on the Court? Politics and ideology prevent this, but no Constitutional provision does.

“But the court would just declare all those reforms to be unconstitutional,” some might say. That is true, although to that, we need only paraphrase the (possibly apocryphal) words of Andrew Jackson: “the Court has made its decision. Now let them enforce it.”

The Court need not worry, though, since its can nearly always count on the support of the president and the Congress precisely because the Court serves an essential role in augmenting the power of the other branches of the federal government.

The Solution: Mock the Court and Seek to Undermine It

Far too often we’re told to revere the Court simply because it is enshrined in the Constitution. Slavery is enshrined in the Constitution too. Need we revere that?

Even if the Supreme Court’s current form were actually Constitutional (which, again, it is not) it would still be a obsolete relic of a distant age. The idea that the Supreme Court could somehow address all the legal issues arising in a vast confederation was absurd from the outset, but all the more so now. Recognizing this, the authors of the Constitution created the Court as a body designed to address only conflicts between states, or between individuals of different states. In other words, it was supposed to head off conflicts that could lead to crises between state governments; it was designed to prevent wars between states. Whether or not your local confectioner should bake a cake for gay couples wasn’t exactly at the top of the agenda.

Even in the late 18th century though, the Court's status as a tiny elite club required the creation of the myth that the court was somehow "apolitical" which was buttressed by the creation of lifelong tenure for judges, no matter how senile or out of touch. Otherwise, prevailing ideas of representation in government at the time would have never allowed for a political institution like the Court to gain acceptance. This can be illustrated by the fact that in 1790, Congress was far more "democratic" than it is now, in the sense that there were far more representatives per person than today. Elections in many state governments were annual affairs, and legislative districts very small by today's standards, ensuring that your elected officials lived in close proximity to you and were physically accessible.

In contrast to this, in 1790, there was one Supreme Court judge for every 600,000 Americans. Today, there is one Supreme Court judge for every 35 million Americans. Not even the Soviet politburo managed that level of non-representation.

On the other hand, there is no reason why a council of state governments could not be employed to address issues of conflicts between states, and the states (or even small portions thereof) — not nine political appointees — should perform the function of judicial review. This isn't the 18th century. Having delegates from a variety of diverse and geographically varied states remain in constant contact and regularly meet is by no means a logistical impossibility.

Even worse, many of the justices haven't had a real job in decades and have no idea how reality actually works. It's unlikely that the older members of the Court could even use Google to find a phone number on the internet, let alone understand the complexities of how modern people run their businesses, raise their families, or function in every day life. The Court is largely the domain of geriatrics who are paid generously to make complex judgments about a world they rarely engage and can scarcely understand.

If Americans want a government that's more likely to leave them in peace, they should ignore the pleas to elect another politician who will just appoint another donor or political ally to the court. Instead, state and local governments should seek at every turn to ignore, nullify, and generally disregard the rulings of the Court when they run counter to local law and local institutions where — quite unlike the Supreme Court — average citizens have some actual influence over the political institutions that affect their lives.

Published:7/11/2018 8:55:36 PM
[Politics] Pew Poll: Obama Greatest President in Our Lifetime Former President Barack Obama was ranked the greatest president of most adults' lifetimes, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Published:7/11/2018 3:26:42 PM
[Media] ‘Such a joke’: PolitiFact rules 100% accurate statement on Claire McCaskill and judges only as ‘Mostly True’

PolitFact fact-checked a recent statement from Republican Josh Hawley, who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri.” The claim that’s at issue? Hawley dared say that McCaskill “voted for 100 percent of President Obama’s judicial nominees. In a tweet accompanying the fact check, PolitiFact said a simple “yes”: NEW: Did @clairecmc vote for 100% […]

The post ‘Such a joke’: PolitiFact rules 100% accurate statement on Claire McCaskill and judges only as ‘Mostly True’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/11/2018 1:24:37 PM
[Markets] "Shocked" China Set To Hit Back At Trump "In Other Ways"

One of the key features of Trump's newly proposed $200BN in 10% tariffs on Chinese exports, is that Beijing simply has no way to retaliate proportionately: after all the US does not export that much to China. That does not mean that Beijing is limited in its reactions: as we discussed last night, Beijing may simply increase the rate on existing tariffs, or expand quantitative tariffs to "qualitative" as Barclays suggested on Monday, or of course pursue even more drastic measures such as devaluation or dumping US assets.

And, as the WSJ writes, China is now contemplating precisely such an approach, and is planning to hit back at Trump "in other ways", such as holding up licenses for U.S. firms, delaying approval of mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. companies and ramping up inspections of American products at borders.

While a Commerce Ministry statement on Wednesday described Beijing as “shocked” by the U.S. action and said China “has no choice but to take necessary countermeasures", behind the scenes officials have described the mood as more cautious.

Specifically, senior Chinese officials are weighing how far to press the retaliation without hurting other national interests. The retaliatory measures are the kind of nontariff barriers that U.S. and European businesses have long complained about, and Beijing is actively courting allies in Europe and elsewhere to fight what officials call U.S. “trade bullying.”

China also needs the U.S. for more than just trade. “The U.S. is not China’s enemy as both countries face many common challenges,” said one of the officials, listing climate change, terrorism and other problems. And the tariff battle threatens to sap an already weakening Chinese economy.

The WSJ also reports that in recent days China's Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, who oversees foreign investment, has instructed local governments to gauge how the biggest round of U.S. tariffs to date — 25% duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods imposed on Friday — is affecting American businesses operating in China.

In particular, authorities are looking for signs of U.S. companies potentially moving facilities out of China, the officials said. That would be a blow to Beijing’s effort to attract foreign capital and keep people employed at a time of gathering economic gloom.

Of course, the opposite is also true: China is now pushing to get more US production in China, as Elon Musk's impromptu trip to Shanghai where he allegedly secured commitment to build a Tesla factory in the next 2 years, has shown.

Meanwhile, Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic envoy, instructed a group of prominent Chinese economists to hold a roundtable discussion on the impact of a trade war with the U.S. on the Chinese economy.

Some of the economists, members of the China 50 Forum think tank that Mr. Liu founded, expressed concerns that the trade brawl could embolden state companies with a stake in the status quo to try to block market-opening reforms Beijing is planning, according to people briefed on the event.

It is worth noting that so far, authorities have avoided aggressively going after American businesses, or fanning overt nationalist sentiment to get the nation’s 1 billion-odd consumers to boycott American products (except the occasional Michelle Obama quote of course).

In the past, such tactics have been deployed against other countries embroiled in disputes, such as South Korea, and it is likely that unless there is a resolution soon, it will take place again, putting sales of iPhones in China in jeopardy.

“The Chinese government understands that a full-scale trade war does more economic harm to China and would work hard to avoid it,” said Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS Group AG.

Unless, of course, China suffers a market crash that unleashes a recession, and there is little more to lose.

For now there is hope: Both Washington and Beijing have left the door open for talks aimed at a resolution of the dispute, though no negotiations are actively under way. However, as Steven Englander explained yesterday, both nations are now incentivized to push the adversary further, to discover their breaking point. This means that trade war between China and the US will first get much worse, before it gets better.

The market was not happy with the WSJ report, and with futures attempting to stage a modest rally, the E-mini was promptly slammed lower.

 

 

Published:7/11/2018 8:21:01 AM
[Markets] Two Sides To Every Coin: When "Security Measures" Become Imprisonment

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via SHTFplan.com,

The most recent article I covered was a piece last week on the illegal alien situation and the president’s handling of it. This is a problem that has plagued the U.S. for decades, and as I wrote before, I agree completely with the way the president has been handling it. Let’s put the president “aside” in this article, however, because no matter how well-intentioned he is, there are forces at work in the U.S. that hold more power than he does.

Subtleties are present that are usually either overlooked or intentionally downplayed so as not to “jar” the consciousness of those who see them. Yes, we need increased border security on the Mexican border, and we need to stem the tide (the “tsunami” is more appropriate) flooding this country with illegal aliens.

Just as with cattle, however, the fence around their pasture keeps things out…and simultaneously keeps the cattle in: the fence works in both directions.

A piece just surfaced from The Hill entitled Thousands of Americans Stand to be Denied Passports Due to Unpaid Taxes,” written by John Bowden on 7/6/18.  While this may come as no surprise to most, it parallels other restrictions such as not permitting those with child support in arrears or bankruptcy proceedings to not be able to depart the country. The law the article refers to was made in 2015 requiring the IRS and State Department to deny U.S. citizens a passport if they owe more than $51,000 in tax debt. The article pointed out that approximately 362,000 Americans fall into that category.

It does not stop there. Our rights as enumerated under the U.S. Constitution are being eroded on a daily basis. The Jennings v. Rodriguez is a Supreme Court decision that affects illegal aliens as well as U.S. citizens. The decision upholds the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) provisions for indefinite detention both for American citizens and/or illegal aliens. The decision also leaves the president with the right to order such a detention... of anyone, for whatever reason... at his discretion.

Major metropolitan airports such as in Atlanta and Chicago are taking biometric information... requiring it of all airline passengers... to pass “under the yoke” of facial recognition software and stored for (yes, you guessed it) “security reasons.”

The government and their “partners” in the form of multinational corporations are not undertaking these actions for no reason.

The bad (and sadly ironic) part is that we the taxpayers are the source of funding for these unconstitutional measures: our taxes pay for the cages being constructed around us and before our very eyes. The masses are unaware and/or they do not care. A shift is being fostered: a “need” for more security [translation: more surveillance] and more accountability [translation: more control] are forced upon us.

The public is being shaped and manipulated: having lost conscience, its consciousness is now being molded and made to feel as if there is a need for security, safety, and being led. By appealing to the hierarchy of needs, the powers that be are fostering a climate of fear and creating a need for increased government intervention and control in the interests of security.

With 9-11, the opponents were “created” out of the Arab world and a policy of “we’re all in it together and under the gun…besieged America” was pursued with the following objectives:

  1. Re-prime the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) with fresh wars, new “threats” (Iraq, and bin Laden) and taxpayer-funded government contracts to build up the war machine,

  2. “Justification” for military expansion to further force projection and encroach in other spheres of influence,

  3. The “crafting” of a war-footing…continuous, with the “battlefield” redefined under the NDAA and the Patriot Act as being not only worldwide, but also within the United States, and

  4. The beginning of the creation of a complete surveillance state via TIA (Total Information Awareness) as revealed to the American public by Edward Snowden a few years ago.

Now the threat has not been “abandoned,” just changed in form and expanded.

The “foreign threats” of attack have not abated, but their focal points are changed from the Arab enemy to the Russians and Chinese. The largest changes have taken place domestically, that is to say within the continental United States.

The shootings at schools and public places, and the bombings (such as in Austin, TX) have been used to structure more police presence, more surveillance, and an increased “feeling” by citizens of being unsafe. The CCTV cameras keep sprouting up, the technology increases to monitor, record, photograph, eavesdrop, and control the lives and movements of the average citizen.

The branches of government craft laws (Congress) and selectively interpret the laws (Supreme Court) that abrogate our rights while exempting themselves from the provisions they inflict upon us. A president can go either direction, and whichever way is chosen, the tide of movement is not halted. The paradigm shift toward totalitarianism continues either incrementally, in leaps and bounds, or at full force/unrelenting (as in the Obama years).

The walled fortress in the name of security becomes the fully enclosed prison. Only the direction of the top tier of barbed wire…inward or outwardly pointing…reveals the nature. We the taxpayers pay for the cage, a prison that expands by the day. There will no longer be a need to keep everything outside of the pasture. The cattle will be kept in, and the wolves are already inside as well.

Published:7/10/2018 11:50:37 PM
[Markets] "They Go Low, We Go High": China Quotes Michelle Obama, Sees "Darkest Hour" For The World

China is now officially part of the anti-Trump resistance.

Readers will recall that on Saturday, among the various responses by Chinese officials to the launch of trade war by the US (and instant retaliation by China), we quoted Frank Ning, chairman of state-owned Sinochem Group, who said that "what Trump is doing is more than crazy" in reference to Trump’s tariffs. “The biggest victim from a trade war will be the one who initiates trade protectionism,” Ning said at the APEC China CEO Forum in Beijing.

But the punchline was Ning's closing remarks, in which he cited Michelle Obama’s 2016 line from the last U.S. presidential election campaign that "When they go low, we go high", a phrase which was subsequently adopted by Hillary Clinton (We also wondered if Ning was aware that the extensive use of that line as part of Hillary Clinton's campaign  in the 2016 elections ended badly for the Democrats).

Well, fast forward just a few days to today, when China has decided to double down on what ended up being a losing campaign slogan, and when assistant minister for China's Ministry of Commerce, Li Chenggang, commenting on the latest trade escalation at a forum in Beijing today, said that in trade "they go low, we go high." Which of course makes absolutely no sense, because just minutes later an official from China's Commerce Ministry reiterated that China will take countermeasures, which - for anyone confused - means that when "they go low, we will go just as low if not lower."

Chnggang wasn't done with the bizarrely nonsensical verbal diarrhea, and said that the latest round of proposed US tariffs on $200bn in Chinese goods "harms the WTO trade order" that the US is "escalating" the trade tension, that "tariffs disrupt globalization" and concluded that the global investment environment is seeing its "darkest hour."

And while nobody has expressly stated what they will be, both a Chinese Commerce Ministry Official and a PBOC adviser, i.e. the guys in charge of yuan devaluation and dumping Treasuries, said China is consider countermeasures.

And while we await the official MofCom response, due later today (as previewed earlier), according to Suan Teck Kin, head of research at United Oferseas Bank, China may retaliate by imposing higher tariffs on U.S. products - i.e., more than 10%, instead of targeting a greater amount of US exports as those simply don't exist - so it can match the proposed 10% tariffs on $200b of Chinese imports.  Suan also said that China may also limit U.S. service exports, worth more than $50b per year, in terms of tourism, education and banking services.

Ultimately, as we just said minutes ago, the uncertainty for the market is how China will retaliate: “Whichever way, the markets will take it negatively after the calm over the past few days." Suan concluded.

Published:7/10/2018 10:25:14 PM
[Markets] Ex-Sailor Pardoned By Trump, Sues Obama And Comey For Not Prosecuting Hillary

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The former Navy sailor pardoned by President Donald Trump after serving a year in federal prison for taking photos of classified sections of his submarine filed a lawsuit on Monday against Obama administration officials. The ex-sailor is alleging that he was subject to unequal protection of the law and cites Comey and Obama’s willingness to not prosecute Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama and former FBI director James Comey let Hillary off the hook before the election, while Kristian Saucier served hard time.  Saucier says that that action was “unfair” and “unequal” compared to the corruption and criminal activity of Hillary Clinton.  Saucier told Fox News he was scapegoated by Obama officials who found themselves under fire for not aggressively responding to Clinton’s handling of classified information through her private email servers.

According to Fox News, Saucier’s federal lawsuit alleges that the United States government was “overzealous” in prosecuting him for “mishandling classified information” while going easy on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for more serious violations of the same law. Saucier’s lawsuit names as defendants former President Barack Obama, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who led the inquiry into Clinton’s email account.

“I could have just taken the pardon by President Trump and gone on with my life,”Saucier said to Fox News, adding that he feels an obligation to get to the truth of what he sees as a double standard that let Clinton get off scot-free. “The U.S. Constitution clearly states that all citizens are born with inalienable rights to be free from persecution by the government,” Saucier said. “My conviction and subsequent sentence for a minor military infraction compared to the treatment of politically connected individuals is a glaring example of a violation of the rights of all Americans to have equal protection under the law.”

The former Navy sailor is acting as his own attorney after the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court New York barred his lawyer, Ronald Daigle, from practicing for one year. The court’s move came just as Daigle was helping Saucier prepare to file the lawsuit, prompting the navy sailor to accuse New York officials of trying to hinder his court fight against Obama, Comey, and others. –Fox News

Saucier said that he realizes he had erred in taking the photos of the submarine, which he said he wanted to show only to his family so that they could see where he worked. He has also lashed out at Obama officials, saying that his prosecution was politically motivated, prompted by sensitivity about classified information amid the scandal involving Clinton’s emails.

Published:7/10/2018 6:48:06 PM
[The Blog] More Dershowitz: Obama should have had Garland sworn in and dared Republicans to remove him

What?

The post More Dershowitz: Obama should have had Garland sworn in and dared Republicans to remove him appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/10/2018 4:48:29 PM
[Issues] Trump Pardons Oregon Cattle Ranchers, Citing ‘Overzealous Appeal’ by Obama Administration

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed full pardons for two Oregon ranchers serving federal prison time for setting fire to public land.

The post Trump Pardons Oregon Cattle Ranchers, Citing ‘Overzealous Appeal’ by Obama Administration appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:7/10/2018 12:17:59 PM
[House of Representatives] Vengeance is hers, for a $2 contribution (Scott Johnson) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a vainglorious message to supporters Monday in an email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee yesterday. Pelosi vowed to “avenge” President Obama’s failed appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court “if it’s the last thing I do” in the upcoming congressional battle over President Trump’s Supreme Court then unnamed nominee. The DCCC email under Pelosi’s name with the subject line “Trump nominee BACKFIRES.” Published:7/10/2018 9:46:11 AM
[Markets] Iran Sanctions Are Different This Time

Authored by Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com,

The Trump administration is trying to replicate the Obama-era strategy of shutting in Iranian oil exports as a way to pressure the regime into making a series of concessions. But there are several reasons why Trump may not succeed.

It isn’t that Trump’s sanctions won’t be as effective, despite the refusal of the rest of the international coalition to go along with Washington’s isolation campaign. In fact, even though the EU, in particular, is hoping to shield Iran from the wrath of the U.S. Treasury, international companies are packing up and leaving Iran and refiners around the globe are starting to cut their oil imports from Iran. So, yes, there is every reason to believe that the sanctions will have real bite.

The main problem that could frustrate the Trump administration is the oil market, which is in a very different place than it was in 2012-2015. The oil market is tighter than it has been in years, which could ultimately force the U.S. to go easier on Iran than it would like.

A cursory glance at oil prices for the period in which the Obama administration pushed sanctions on Iran shows elevated prices, which would lead one into thinking that the Obama administration also had to contend with a tight oil market. Brent crude routinely topped $100 per barrel during a time in which Iran saw around 1 million barrels per day of exports disrupted.

Brent is now significantly lower than that, so Trump should have no problem cutting Iranian supply off once again, right? Not so fast.

President Obama had the fortune of an exploding U.S. shale sector. It probably wasn’t obvious to the Obama administration what was unfolding in North Dakota and Texas when sanctions on Iran really started to hurt in 2012. U.S. oil production skyrocketed between 2012 and 2014, rising by over 3 mb/d, which more than compensated for the 1 mb/d of lost Iranian supply.

To be sure, the Trump administration is also presiding over a shale boom. U.S. production is up about 1.6 mb/d since Trump took office, and output in 2018 has increased by around 400,000 bpd year-to-date. However, the problem for Trump is that Permian bottlenecks  could mean that additional growth slows to a crawl, at least for the next year or so.

That means that as the U.S. begins to cut into Iranian supply, U.S. shale drillers will not be able to compensate for the losses.

(Click to enlarge)

It isn’t just about U.S. supply versus Iranian supply though. The broader market is trending in a much tighter direction than it was back then, despite the difference in prices. Outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola have tightened the market much faster than expected. More importantly, at least in the case of Venezuela, the losses are set to deepen.

Then, of course, there is the decline of inventories, which has picked up pace this year. OPEC+ has spent a year and a half trying to get inventories back to the five-year average, an objective that was achieved earlier this year. But now, because the current supply/demand balance reflects a deficit, inventories are set to continue to decline.

“The previous sanctions episode was only possible, in our view, because U.S. shale production was growing at a very fast clip and Libyan output came back to the market to replace some of the missing Iran barrels,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a research note.

“Plus, other OPEC members were still running with some spare capacity and global oil demand was rather sluggish. In contrast, we now project global oil supply and demand balances to remain in a structural deficit for most of the next six quarters.”

The upshot is that even though Obama slapped sanctions on Iran when oil prices were high, he had a series of tailwinds at his back that Trump will not enjoy. The oil market is tight and any effort to shut in Iranian supply will exacerbate the situation.

Moreover, the Obama administration took a careful and deliberate approach to sanctions, precisely because it wanted to avoid pushing up prices. U.S. politicians are always highly concerned about the political damage of high gasoline prices, which is a big reason why the Obama administration offered some pretty reasonable waivers to multiple countries that bought Iranian oil. The rule of thumb was that if a country cut imports from Iran by 20 percent, that was pretty good, and they received leniency from Washington on the rest.

The Trump administration instead has vowed some sort of “zero tolerance” policy, hoping to shut in as much Iranian supply as possible. The U.S. State Department said it would not be inclined to grant any waivers. Those comments alone sent oil prices shooting up in June.

But, the Trump administration might be forced into backing down if prices spike too high. Bank of America Merrill Lynch says that “a complete cutoff of Iran exports would be very hard to manage and likely result in an oil price spike above $120/bbl.”

John Kemp of Reuters summed it up earlier this month: “The White House can drive Iran’s oil exports to zero, or it can have moderate U.S. gasoline prices, but it probably cannot have both.”

Published:7/10/2018 8:46:22 AM
[Markets] Pop-Up Protests, Liberal Meltdown Erupts After Trump Picks Kavanaugh For SCOTUS

Following President Trump's Monday evening nomination of judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy's now-vacant seat, hundreds of protesters outside the Supreme Court broke open boxes of pre-printed "Stop Kavanaugh" signs - wasting a tremendous amount of paper as the other Supreme Court nominees' pre-printed protest banners went unused (photograph by Breitbart's Amanda House, who was there).

In other words, it didn't matter who Trump picked - this was always going to be the response.

Those opposed to the selection flipped to their anti-Kavanaugh talking points and filled in the blanks on their prepared statements - for the most part. 

As The Daily Caller reports, Rush Limbaugh producer Bo Snerdley, made his own prophetic prediction, and call to action, before Trump made his pick:

And sure enough, the 'resistance' really sprang into action from billionaire Tom Steyer to Bill de Blasio and Kamala Harris - with one voice decrying this terrible human being:

 

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) showed up to speak along with other prominent Democrats, only to be interrupted by a man with a bullhorn shouting "Abortion is murder." 

Also at the protest were Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

During her prepared speech, Warren politically appropriated a portion of Trump's July 5th speech at a Montana rally - echoing the President's battle cry of "We won't back down, we won't give in," down to the cadence of his voice. 

Afterwards, Warren called Kavanaugh a "political animal" on MSBC's The Last Word when asked about a legal opinion he wrote which concluded that Warren's brainchild - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), had been handed "enormous executive power" through the 2010 Dodd-Frank act. 

Created on July 21, 2011, the CFPB was accused by an anonymous consultant of funnelling over $5 billion in collected penalties to "community organizers aligned with Democrats" as part of a multi-billion dollar slush fund, the New York Post's Paul Sperry reported in December.

The fund was shut down in January by Trump's budget chief Mick Mulvaney.

Cause of Action Institute, for example, has drawn attention to a $14 million CFPB contract with GMMB Inc., a powerful media consulting shop that has produced political ads for Obama and 2016 runner-up Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Cause of Action counsel Eric R. Bolinder cheered Mulvaney’s move to review the spending, especially the millions in educational funds.

“Given CFPB’s history of stark, unabashed partisanship, as exhibited by Richard Cordray’s final bizarre gambit to try to seize control of the agency and put it in the hands of [deputy] Leandra English, it is great news that Acting Director Mulvaney is rooting out political bias, beginning with a comprehensive review of all spending,” he told the Washington Examiner. -Washington Examiner

The protest in front of the Supreme Court became so volatile that Fox News reporter Shannon Bream felt too threatened to go live from the scene, tweeting "Very few times I’ve felt threatened while out in the field. The mood here tonight is very volatile. Law enforcement appears to be closing down 1st Street in front of SCOTUS." 

Protesters outside Trump tower were arrested after the Supreme Court pick. Note that none of their signs say Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile the death threats are already starting to roll in. In response to Bernie Sanders' tweet stating "We must do everything we can to stop this nomination," Twitter user THE Gentleman, (@Abovethelaw187) whose profile which contains a #GSU18 hashtag suggesting he's a 2018 graduate of Georgia State University, tweeted "let's grab our rifles and assassinate him! #Whoswithme?!"

Those on the right, meanwhile, appeared to be having a pleasant Monday evening for the most part. 

We look forward to a few news cycles full of pundits on CNN and MSNBC frothing at the mouth over [insert name here] Judge Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court.

Published:7/10/2018 7:21:59 AM
[US News] BLUE ON BLUE: Hillary flunkie Brian Fallon LASHES OUT at Dems over SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Neal Katyal, who was acting solicitor general during the Obama administration, praised Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s “credentials, hardworking nature & much more” in a tweet last night: Given J.Kavanaugh’s credentials,hardworking nature&much more, it would be such a difft confirmation process if for a difft seat (like Justice Thomas’) or if he were nominated by a difft […]

The post BLUE ON BLUE: Hillary flunkie Brian Fallon LASHES OUT at Dems over SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/10/2018 6:50:20 AM
[Markets] Zuesse: America Bombs, Europe Gets The Refugees. That's Evil

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The US Government (with France and a few other US allies) bombs Libya, Syria, etc.; and the US regime refuses to accept any of the resulting refugees — the burdens from which are now breaking the EU, and the EU is sinking in economic competition against America’s international corporations. America’s corporations remain blithely unscathed by not only the refugees that are breaking up the EU, but also by the EU’s economic sanctions against Russia, Iran, and other allies of governments that the US regime is trying to overthrow in its constant invasions and coups.

The US Government makes proclamations such as “Assad must go!” — but by what right is the US Government involved, at all, in determining whom the leaders in Syria will be? Syria never invaded the US In fact, Syria never invaded anywhere (except, maybe, Israel, in order to respond against Israel’s invasions). Furthermore, all polling, even by Western pollsters, shows that Bashar al-Assad would easily win any free and fair election in Syria. The US Government claims to support democracy, but it does the exact opposite whenever they want to get rid of a Government that is determined to protect that nation’s sovereignty over its own national territory, instead of to yield it to the US regime, or to any other foreigners. The US regime has virtually destroyed the United Nations.

The US regime even refuses to provide restitution to Syria for its bombings, and for its arming and training of the jihadists — the fundamentalist Sunni mercenaries recruited from around the world — who are the US regime's "boots on the ground" trying to overthrow Syria’s Government. Al Qaeda has led the dozens of jihadist groups that have served as the US regime’s “boots on the ground” to overthrow Assad, but Al Qaeda is good enough to serve the purpose, in the US regime’s view of things. The US regime says that there will be no restitution to Syria unless Syria accepts being ruled by ‘rebels’ whose leadership is actually being chosen by the US regime’s chief ally, the fundamentalist-Sunni Saud family, who already own Saudi Arabia, and who (along with the CIA) have been unsuccessfully trying, ever since 1949, to take over the committedly secular, non-sectarian, nation of Syria. In fact, the CIA perpetrated two of the three Syrian coups that were carried out in 1949. 

The US regime, and its allies, have used the Muslim Brotherhood, in order to recruit into Syria the 100,000+ jihadists from around the world to fight to overthrow Syria’s secular Government. Even the BBC’s 13 December 2013 detailed report, “Guide to the Syrian rebels”, made clear that the “Syrian Rebels” were, in fact, overwhelmingly jihadist and largely recruited from abroad. These were hardly democrats. Even a Tony-Blair-founded anti-Assad NGO’s study concluded that “Sixty per cent of major Syrian rebel groups are Islamist extremists (not just “Islamists” but “Islamist extremists”) and yet the Blair outfit still supported the overthrow of the committed secularist Assad (just as Blair had earlier participated himself in the US regime’s destruction of Iraq). 

The fundamentalist-Sunni royal Thani family own Qatar and have been the top international funders of the Muslim Brotherhood, just as the fundamentalist-Sunni royal Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, have been the top funders of Al Qaeda. The main difference between the Sauds and the Thanis has been that whereas the Sauds hate Shia (and that means especially Iran), the Thanis don’t. Thus, for the Sauds, this is a war against the Shia center, Iran, and not only against Syria. This war against Syria was a coordinated US-Saud-Thani operation, in which the fundamentalist-Sunni group, Al Qaeda, provided the leadership but the (pan-Islamic) fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood provided the largest recruiting website. This entire hyper-aggressive operation was internationally coordinated. The Obama Administration started planning this operation, under Hillary Clinton, in 2010. As even the neoconservative (i.e., US-empire advocating) Washington Post reported, on 17 April 2011, from Wikileaks, "It is unclear whether the State Department is still funding Syrian opposition groups, but the cables indicate money was set aside [by the Obama Administration] at least through September 2010." That article mentioned only “former members of the Muslim Brotherhood,” not the Muslim Brotherhood itself; and no mention was made in it to Al Qaeda, in any form. 

Then, in 2013, the neoconservative Foreign Policy magazine headlined “How the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked Syria’s Revolution” and was oblivious regarding the neoconservative Obama Administration’s having planned that “hijacking,” starting in 2010 (but going back even as far as Obama’s inauguration; this operation was a key part of his secret anti-Russia agenda, which preceded even his coming into office). But if Obama wasn’t neocon-enough to suit that magazine’s editors, then Trump certainly should be, because Trump continues Obama’s foreign policies but with an even more hostile thrust against the Sauds’ chief target, which is Iran. Above all, the US alliance’s goal has been for the Saud family’s selected (rabidly anti-Shiite) people to take over and run the Syrian Government. As Global Security has phrased this matter, “The High Negotiations Committee [which is the group who are negotiating against Assad’s government at the US-sponsored ‘peace’ talks] is a Saudi-backed coalition of Syrian opposition groups. The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) was created in Saudi Arabia in December 2015.” 

So, this war in Syria has actually been the Sauds’ war to take over Syria. And it actually started in 1949, but the US-backed Muslim-Brotherhood-led “Arab Spring” in 2011 gave the US and its allies the opportunity to culminate it, finally. 

And Europe receives the fall-out from it. This fall-out has been hurting European corporations, in international competition against US corporations. It’s not only political.

The US regime has continued this thrust, under Obama’s successor. US President Donald Trump demands European corporations to end their business with Shiite Iran (which the Saud family is determined to take over), and to end their business with Russia, which America’s own billionaires themselves are determined to take over, just like the Sauds are determined to take over both Syria and Iran.

And Europe receives refugees not only from places where the US and some of its NATO allies have recently been bombing, but even from Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where NATO has bombed in the past, and even from Ukraine, where the US regime perpetrated a bloody coup in February 2014, followed there by an ethnic-cleansing campaign to kill the residents in areas which had voted the heaviest for the overthrown President.

America is no actual ally of Europe. The Marshall Plan is long-since finished, and America has been taken over by psychopaths who are Europe’s main enemies, not Europe’s friends, at all. (They’re friends of some European aristocracies, but not of any European public, not of even merely one public.)

Iran and Russia should be Europe’s allies — they didn’t cause any of Europe’s problems. America did. America’s intelligence agencies tapped (and probably still tap) the phones of Germany’s Chancellor and practically everybody else, and yet the US regime has the gall to blame Russia for interfering in the political affairs of European countries. If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle ‘black’, then what is? If anything, the EU’s sanctions should be against doing business with American firms — not against doing business with Russian firms, or with Iranian firms. European politicians who support the US support Europe’s top enemy.

Russia is, itself, a European country, which additionally traverses much of Asia, but America is no European country, at all, and yet now is so brazen as to demand that Europe must do America’s bidding — not only against Russia, but also against the Sauds’ main target, which is Iran (the same main target as Israel’s).

Why are Europeans not asking themselves: Who is Europe’s enemy in all of this — what causes this refugee-crisis? The refugees certainly didn’t.

It’s not Russia, and it’s not Iran, and it’s not China; it is America — which is the true enemy of them all, and of us all — including even of the American people ourselves, because the US Government no longer actually represents the American people. These invasions, and military occupations, and coups, do not serve America’s public; they serve America’s aristocracy. The US is no longer (if it ever was) a democracy. The US Government now is the US aristocracy — not the US public. It’s a dictatorship. And, it has the type of ‘news’media that any dictatorship has.

On June 30th, the US aristocracy’s New York Times headlined “Bavaria: Affluent, Picturesque — and Angry”, and reported “the new angry center of Europe, the latest battleground for populists eager to bring down both Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and the idea of a liberal Europe itself.” Their elitist (pro-US-aristocracy) ‘reporter’ (actually propagandist) interviewed ‘experts’ who condemn Europe’s politicians that are trying to assuage their own public’s anger against the EU’s open-door policy regarding this flood of refugees from what is actually, for the most part, the US regime’s (and its allies’) bombings — air-support of the boots-on-the-ground jihadist mercenaries. The combination of this air-support, and of the jihadists, has been the backbone of the US-Saudi-Israeli effort to overthrow and replace Syria’s Government.

Libya was a similar case, but was only friendly toward Russia, not allied with Russia, as both Syria and Iran are.

The US aristocracy funds an enormous international PR campaign for all this. These are ‘humanitarian’ bombings in order to replace a ‘barbaric’ Government — but replace it with what? With one that would be chosen by the Sauds. And this propaganda-campaign is also funded by the US-allied aristocracies. All of the major ‘news’media, in US and allies, receive their ‘expert’ ‘information’ from these privately-funded and government-funded propagandists, who are treated by 'journalists' as being objective and experts (which they're not).

The NYT article says — and I add here key explanatory links:

“This is not about economics,” said Gerald Knaus, the director of the European Stability Initiative, [and though unmentioned by the Times“The Open Society Institute was a major core funder” of the ESI, which is] a Berlin-based think tank. “It is about identity and a very successful populist P.R. machine that is rewriting recent history.”

So: the Times was secretly (and they didn’t include any links to help online readers know who was actually funding their ‘experts’, at all) pumping NATO propaganda, as if it were authentic and neutral news-reporting, instead of craven service to the US aristocracy that controls the US Government and its NATO military alliance. This is the New York Times, itself, that is “rewriting recent history.” That’s how they do it — constantly (as ‘news’).

And here is some of that “recent history” the Times is “rewriting” (by simply omitting to so much as even just suggest, but which is essential background in order to understand the real history behind this important matter):

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/RP01-50/RP01-50.pdf

House of Commons, Research Paper 01/50, 2 May 2001

“European Security and Defence Policy: Nice and Beyond"

pp. 47-48:

On 7 February 2001 the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, emphasised the ESDP’s [European Security and Defence Policy’s] tie to NATO during a press interview, following his meeting in Washington with US National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice. He said:

I have stressed that the European Security Initiative will strengthen the capacity of Europe to contribute to crisis management and therefore is welcome to a Washington that is interested in fairer burden sharing, and that Washington can be confident that Britain will insist that the European Security Initiative is firmly anchored on NATO. We are both determined to see that happen, we are both determined to make sure that the European Security Initiative carries out its promise to strengthen the North Atlantic Alliance.119

Though the Sauds, and also Israel’s aristocracy, are mainly anti-Iran, the US aristocracy are obsessed with their goal of conquering Russia. Since Iran, and Syria, are both allied with Russia, the US regime is trying to overthrow those Russia-allied Governments, before going in for the kill, against Russia itself. That’s what all of these economic sanctions, and the bombings and the backing of Al Qaeda for overthrowing Syria’s Government, are really all about. 

Is this what today’s Europeans want their Governments to be doing — and doing it for that reason, the US aristocracy’s reason? Despite the huge harms it is certainly causing to Europeans?

Here, then, is a debate between, on the one hand a retired CIA official who thinks "Our relationship with Israel causes us war with Muslims,” versus Representatives in the US Congress who are actually representatives of Israel’s Government and definitely notrepresentatives of the American people. Both sides in that debate are acceptable to the aristocrats who control the US Government, because neither side argues that the apartheid theocratic Government of Israel is an enemy of the American people (as is documented actually to be the case, here and here), nor that the entire problem of Islamic terrorism is fundamentalist-Sunni, and that only Israel gets hit by terrorism that’s from both Sunnis and Shiites — that Shiites (the US alliance's targets) are no terrorist threat, at all, to Europeans (nor to Americans) — the “Islamist” threat is actually only from fundamentalist Sunnis, which are the very same groups that are secretly allied with America’s aristocracy and the Sauds. Neither side of the ‘debate’ acknowledges that both the Sauds and Israel (and Israel’s lobbyists represent internationally also the Sauds’ interests) are enemies both of the American people, and of the peoples of Europe. 

As the world’s greatest blogger, the former UK Ambassador (but too honest to stay in that business) Craig Murray, recently said under the headline, "No Trump, No Clinton, No NATO”: “The destruction of Libya’s government and infrastructure directly caused the Mediterranean boat migrant crisis, which has poisoned the politics of much of the European Union.” But, of course, the US regime and its allies have also destroyed other countries than that — and thus caused refugees to Europe from many nations. And, finally, even the US Government (though as quietly as possible) acknowledges that it has destroyed Afghanistan. Ironically, that’s the very nation where America and the Sauds, in 1979, had started their war against all Governments that won’t buckle to them.

Furthermore, the US regime intends to keep it up. In case a reader might happen to think that, surely, the US regime and its allies are going to quit this rousing of hornets’ nests; Sharmine Narwani, who is one of the very few non-“embedded” journalists who reports in The West about — and (which the mainstream ones don’t) from — the war in Syria, headlined, on June 25th, “Are al-Qaeda Affiliates Fighting Alongside US Rebels in Syria’s South?” and she found that the answer to this question is a resounding yes:

Despite its US and UN designation as a terrorist organization, Nusra [Al Qaeda’s main name in Syria] has been openly fighting alongside the “Southern Front,” a group of 54 opposition militias funded and commanded by a US-led war room based in Amman, Jordan called the Military Operations Center (MOC). …

Sources inside Syria — both opposition fighters and Syrian military brass (past and present) — suggest the command center consists of the US, UK, France, Jordan, Israel, and some Persian Gulf states. … In practice, the US doesn’t appear to mind the Nusra affiliation — regardless of the fact that the group is a terror organization — as long as the job gets done.

These wars, which pour Middle Eastern (and also Ukrainian) refugees into the EU, are inter-aristocratic conflicts reflecting inter-aristocratic competitions; and the publics everywhere suffer enormously from them. The gainers from it are very few but very rich (and they hire very powerful agents in Europe and elsewhere). Those billionaire gainers, and their agents, should be Europe’s targets — not Russia and Iran. NATO must end now. Europe needs to be freed, at last, from America’s permanent-war-for permanent-‘peace’ grip. For Europeans, who are the indirect victims, to be blaming the refugees, who are the direct victims, won’t solve anything, but will simply please the victimizers, as is the public’s ancient habit (to please the powerful). A break must be made, away from that ugly past. European publics must lead the way, or no one will.

PS: Since this article asserts such a large number of things that contradict what the US Government and its agents assert, I have sought out and here linked to the highest-quality, least-contested and most highly authenticated, sources and also to sources that link to such sources; all of which, taken together, constitute a book-length proof of the title-case here, that “America Bombs, Europe Gets the Refugees. That’s Evil.” Furthermore, this online virtual “book” is tracking back to the most unimpeachable documents, all of them available merely by means of clicking, and thus without the reader’s needing to visit a huge scholarly library (which might be quite distant); so, the reader can here easily branch out to this entire, and otherwise largely hidden, world of reliable sources, which the US regime wants the public not to know, and certainly not to understand. It’s no longer necessary to be an intelligence-professional in order to come to understand what the regime wants the public not to understand.

Published:7/10/2018 1:18:34 AM
[Markets] Secret 2006 US Gov't Document Reveals Plan To Destabilize Syria Using Extremists, Muslim Brotherhood, Elections

Authored by Brandon Turbeville via ActivistPost.com,

As the Syrian government makes massive gains across the country, many are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Western destabilization and attempt to destroy the secular government of Syria by the United States and the West. However, it must be remembered that the goal to impose hegemony across the world by the Anglo-financier system is not some fly-by-night venture that cropped up in 2011 to be easily abandoned in 2018. Indeed, the plan to destroy Syria has spanned nearly four decades, only moving into high gear in 2011 under the Obama administration.

While the destabilization initiative did begin in earnest under Obama’s watch, the truth is that previous administration were also heavily involved in the planning of Syria’s destruction.

For instance, in 2006, TIME revealed a leaked two-page document circulating amongst key figures in the Bush administration that openly stated that the U.S. was “supporting regular meetings of internal and diaspora Syrian activists” in Europe. The document made no bones about expressing hope that “these meetings will facilitate a more coherent strategy and plan of actions for all anti-Assad activists.”

The document also stated, according to TIME, that Syria’s legislative elections which were going to take place in March of 2007, “provide a potentially galvanizing issue for... critics of the Assad regime.” The document expressed an open desire to take advantage of that opportunity by suggesting an “election monitoring” plan where “internet accessible materials will be available for printing and dissemination by activists inside the country [Syria] and neighboring countries.”

The document also advocates for providing money to at least one Syrian politician who was allegedly intending to run in the election against Bashar al-Assad. The document also called for the funding of and implementation of “voter education campaigns” and “public opinion polling,” the first being “tentatively scheduled in early 2007.”

As TIME reported in December 2006 in the articleSyria In Bush’s Cross Hairs,

American officials say the U.S. government has had extensive contacts with a range of anti-Assad groups in Washington, Europe and inside Syria. To give momentum to that opposition, the U.S. is giving serious consideration to the election-monitoring scheme proposed in the document, according to several officials. The proposal has not yet been approved, in part because of questions over whether the Syrian elections will be delayed or even cancelled. But one U.S. official familiar with the proposal said: “You are forced to wonder whether we are now trying to destabilize the Syrian government.”

Some critics in Congress and the Administration say that such a plan, meant to secretly influence a foreign government, should be legally deemed a “covert action,” which by law would then require that the White House inform the intelligence committees on Capitol Hill. Some in Congress would undoubtedly raise objections to this secret use of publicly appropriated funds to promote democracy.

The fact that “critics in Congress and the administration” believed that the plan should be labeled a “covert action” means clearly that the plan was kept from members of Congress legally obligated to be informed of the plan. That doesn’t mean that certain members of Congress or all members of the “intelligence committees” were not aware of the plan but that these individuals were simply never officially informed of the plan’s existence.

Nevertheless, TIME reports that the document advanced a proposal to fund the destabilization efforts through the National Salvation Front and, of course, the Muslim Brotherhood. TIME reported,

The proposal says part of the effort would be run through a foundation operated by Amar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based member of a Syrian umbrella opposition group known as the National Salvation Front (NSF). The Front includes the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that for decades supported the violent overthrow of the Syrian government, but now says it seeks peaceful, democratic reform. (In Syria, however, membership in the Brotherhood is still punishable by death.) Another member of the NSF is Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former high-ranking Syrian official and Assad family loyalist who recently went into exile after a political clash with the regime. Representatives of the National Salvation Front, including Abdulhamid, were accorded at least two meetings earlier this year at the White House, which described the sessions as exploratory. Since then, the National Salvation Front has said it intends to open an office in Washington in the near future.

“Democracy promotion” has been a focus of both Democratic and Republican administrations, but the Bush White House has been a particular booster since 9/11. Iran contra figure Elliott Abrams was put in charge of the effort at the National Security Council. Until recently, Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of the Vice President, oversaw such work at the State Department. In the past, the U.S. has used support for “democracy building” to topple unfriendly dictators, including Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Ukraine’s [Leonid] Kuchma.

The plan to make “election monitoring” work to America’s benefit, the document states clearly that the plan to do so would have to be kept secret. It says, according to TIME, that “Any information regarding funding for domestic [Syrian] politicians for elections monitoring would have to be protected from public dissemination.”

TIME adds,

But American experts on “democracy promotion” consulted by TIME say it would be unwise to give financial support to a specific candidate in the election, because of the perceived conflict of interest. More ominously, an official familiar with the document explained that secrecy is necessary in part because Syria’s government might retaliate against anyone inside the country who was seen as supporting the U.S.-backed election effort. The official added that because the Syrian government fields a broad network of internal spies, it would almost certainly find out about the U.S. effort, if it hasn’t already. That could lead to the imprisonment of still more opposition figures.

Any American-orchestrated attempt to conduct such an election-monitoring effort could make a dialogue between Washington and Damascus — as proposed by the Iraq Study Group and several U.S. allies — difficult or impossible. The entire proposal could also be a waste of effort; Edward P. Djerejian, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria who worked on the Iraq Study Group report, says that Syria’s opposition is so fractured and weak that there is little to be gained by such a venture. “To fund opposition parties on the margins is a distraction at best,” he told TIME. “It will only impede the better option of engaging Syria on much more important, fundamental issues like Iraq, peace with Israel, and the dangerous situation in Lebanon.”

Others detect another goal for the proposed policy. “Ever since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Syria opposed, the Bush Administration has been looking for ways to squeeze the government in Damascus,” notes Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who is co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Syria has appeared to be next on the Administration’s agenda to reform the greater Middle East.” Landis adds: “This is apparently an effort to gin up the Syrian opposition under the rubric of ‘democracy promotion’ and ‘election monitoring,’ but it’s really just an attempt to pressure the Syrian government” into doing what the U.S. wants. That would include blocking Syria’s border with Iraq so insurgents do not cross into Iraq to kill U.S. troops; ending funding of Hizballah and interference in Lebanese politics; and cooperating with the U.N. in the investigation of the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Senior Syrian government officials are considered prime suspects in Hariri case.

According to the document, money for the “election-monitoring” proposal would be channeled through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a State Department program. TIME wrote,

According to MEPI’s website, the program passes out funds ranging between $100,000 and $1 million to promote education and women’s empowerment, as well as economic and political reform, part of a total allocation of $5 million for Syria that Congress supported earlier this year.

MEPI helps funnel millions of dollars every year to groups around the Middle East intent on promoting reforms. In the vast majority of cases, beneficiaries are publicly identified, as financial support is distributed through channels including the National Democratic Institute, a non-profit affiliated with the Democratic Party, and the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is linked to the G.O.P. In the Syrian case, the election-monitoring proposal identifies IRI as a “partner” — although the IRI website, replete with information about its democracy promotion elsewhere in the world, does not mention Syria. A spokesperson for IRI had no comment on what the organization might have planned or under way in Syria, describing the subject as “sensitive.”

U.S. foreign policy experts familiar with the proposal say it was developed by a “democracy and public diplomacy” working group that meets weekly at the State department to discuss Iran and Syria. Along with related working groups, it prepares proposals for the higher-level Iran Syria Operations Group, or ISOG, an inter-agency body that, several officials said, has had input from Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns, deputy National Security Council advisor Elliott Abrams and representatives from the Pentagon, Treasury and U.S. intelligence. The State Department’s deputy spokesman, Thomas Casey, said the election-monitoring proposal had already been through several classified drafts, but that “the basic concept is very much still valid.”

A plan to destabilize Syria by means of funding political “opposition” as well as physical “opposition” in the form of Sunni Wahhabists and the Muslim Brotherhood is incredibly familiar. And it should be.

As journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his article, “The Redirection,” in 2007,

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

“Extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” who are “hostile to America and sympathetic to al-Qaeda” are the definition of the so-called “rebels” turned loose on Syria in 2011. Likewise, the fact that both Iran and Hezbollah, who are natural enemies of al-Qaeda and such radical Sunni groups, are involved in the battle against ISIS and other related terrorist organizations in Syria proves the accuracy of the article on another level.

Hersh also wrote,

The new American policy, in its broad outlines, has been discussed publicly. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that there is “a new strategic alignment in the Middle East,” separating “reformers” and “extremists”; she pointed to the Sunni states as centers of moderation, and said that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah were “on the other side of that divide.” (Syria’s Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect.) Iran and Syria, she said, “have made their choice and their choice is to destabilize.”

Some of the core tactics of the redirection are not public, however. The clandestine operations have been kept secret, in some cases, by leaving the execution or the funding to the Saudis, or by finding other ways to work around the normal congressional appropriations process, current and former officials close to the Administration said...

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”...

Fourth, the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations. Syria is a major conduit of arms to Hezbollah...

In January, after an outburst of street violence in Beirut involving supporters of both the Siniora government and Hezbollah, Prince Bandar flew to Tehran to discuss the political impasse in Lebanon and to meet with Ali Larijani, the Iranians’ negotiator on nuclear issues. According to a Middle Eastern ambassador, Bandar’s mission—which the ambassador said was endorsed by the White House—also aimed “to create problems between the Iranians and Syria.” There had been tensions between the two countries about Syrian talks with Israel, and the Saudis’ goal was to encourage a breach. However, the ambassador said, “It did not work. Syria and Iran are not going to betray each other. Bandar’s approach is very unlikely to succeed.”...

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad, Bashir’s father. In 1982, the Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama; Assad bombarded the city for a week, killing between six thousand and twenty thousand people. Membership in the Brotherhood is punishable by death in Syria. The Brotherhood is also an avowed enemy of the U.S. and of Israel. Nevertheless, Jumblatt said, “We told Cheney that the basic link between Iran and Lebanon is Syria—and to weaken Iran you need to open the door to effective Syrian opposition.”...

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.

Hersh also spoke with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Shi’ite Lebanese militia, Hezbollah. In relation to the Western strategy against Syria, he reported,

Nasrallah said he believed that America also wanted to bring about the partition of Lebanon and of Syria. In Syria, he said, the result would be to push the country “into chaos and internal battles like in Iraq.” In Lebanon, “There will be a Sunni state, an Alawi state, a Christian state, and a Druze state.” But, he said, “I do not know if there will be a Shiite state.” Nasrallah told me that he suspected that one aim of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon last summer was “the destruction of Shiite areas and the displacement of Shiites from Lebanon. The idea was to have the Shiites of Lebanon and Syria flee to southern Iraq,” which is dominated by Shiites. “I am not sure, but I smell this,” he told me.

Partition would leave Israel surrounded by “small tranquil states,” he said. “I can assure you that the Saudi kingdom will also be divided, and the issue will reach to North African states. There will be small ethnic and confessional states,” he said. “In other words, Israel will be the most important and the strongest state in a region that has been partitioned into ethnic and confessional states that are in agreement with each other. This is the new Middle East.”

The trail of documentation and the manner in which the overarching agenda of world hegemony on the behalf of corporate-financier interests have continued apace regardless of party and seamlessly through Republican and Democrat administrations serves to prove that changing parties and personalities do nothing to stop the onslaught of imperialism, war, and destruction being waged across the world today and in earnest ever since 2001. Indeed, such changes only make adjustments to the appearance and presentation of a much larger Communo-Fascist system that is entrenching itself by the day, particularly in the Western world.

Published:7/9/2018 11:16:34 PM
[Markets] Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh For The Supreme Court

Update: The White House managed to keep President Trump's pick a secret until roughly 8 minutes before the President's planned announcement, when NBC News reported that Trump will nominate circuit court judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. And seconds before Trump started speaking, the Associated Press confirmed it.


By choosing Kavanaugh, President Trump has satisfied online bookmakers and Washington insiders alike by selecting Brett Kavanaugh, long rumored to be the front-runner, as his pick to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy. While he reportedly faced opposition from some social conservatives over his ties to former President George W Bush, Kavanaugh benefited from a lengthy history of conservative rulings (he’s served in his current role as circuit judge for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 2006) and the support of White House counsel Don McGahn III, who was tasked with leading the search.

Trump’s nomination has set in motion what could be a weekslong confirmation process as Republicans struggle with an precariously flimsy majority of one (thanks to Sen. John McCain’s expected absence due to illness). As the Wall Street Journal points out, both pro- and anti-choice groups are planning millions of dollars in ad buys targeting the states of potential swing voters on both sides of the aisle.

* * *

President Trump is set to announce his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at 9 pm ET Monday. After successfully nominating Justice Neil Gorsuch last April, the nominee will be Trump's second SCOTUS pick during his roughly 18 months in office.

Watch the announcement live below:

According to CBS, Politico and several other US media outlets, Trump has narrowed his pick to four candidates, all of whom are federal judges. The frontrunner is Brett Kavanaugh, a judge on the US Court of Appeals for Washington DC. But Kavanaugh's ties to George W Bush have angered some social conservatives, who have mounted a last-minute campaign to persuade Trump to go with another candidate. The other candidates are Amy Coney Barrett, a circuit judge with the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Raymond Kethledge, a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and reputed dark horse Thomas Hardiman, the US circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Hardiman, who lost out to Gorsuch last year, was rumored to have fallen out of the running. But on Sunday rumors surfaced that he was back in the running.

Following an NBC report that Barrett was spotted at her home in Indiana, the "smart money" has effectively put her out of the running. The odds now heavily favor Kavanaugh, who has been consistently ranked as the frontrunner:

Some bettors are still placing long-shot bets on former Obama nominee Merrick Garland. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly pressed Trump to choose Garland during a phone call last week.

Two

Read more about the candidates below:

Kavanaugh (Independent):

Mr Kavanaugh, 53, is a Yale Law School graduate who previously served as a law clerk to Mr Kennedy. He currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where he has authored more than 280 opinions – most of which have a distinctly conservative bent. Last year, Mr Kavanugh ruled to prevent a teenager in immigrant detention from getting an abortion. When the ruling was later overturned by the full court, he claimed the decision would give immigrant minors to a right to "immediate abortion on demand". The judge has also frequently ruled against Obama-era environmental regulations, and said he would like to strike down Washington DC’s ban on certain semi-automatic long guns. Despite his record of conservative opinions, some at the White House are wary of Mr Kavanaugh's ties to former President George W Bush, with whom Mr Trump maintains a contentious relationship. Mr Kavanagh was involved in the Florida vote recount that won Mr Bush the 2000 election, and later served as his counsel and staff secretary. Mr Kavanaugh also has a history with another past US president: Bill Clinton. In 1998, the future judge co-wrote an impeachment report on Mr Clinton with special counsel Kenneth Starr. In the report, he argues for a broad definition of obstruction of justice – a crime for which special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating Mr Trump.

Barrett (Independent):

Ms Barrett, 46, is the only woman among Mr Trump’s top picks, and the only contender not to have clerked for Mr Kennedy. Instead, the Notre Dame law school graduate clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia before serving as an associate at an international law firm. Ms Barrett has spent most of her career as a law professor at Notre Dame, where she worked for 15 years before Mr Trump appointed her to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Detractors are reportedly concerned about Ms Barrett's lack of experience on the bench, but conservative supporters are backing her as the only truly conservative pick. Ms Barrett, a devout Catholic, has previously expressed her personal belief that life begins at conception, and was a member of pro-life groups while teaching at Notre Dame. She has also suggested that the Court should be more “flexible” in overturning past decisions – something opponents fear means she is open to overturning Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal across the country.

Kethledge (Independent):

Mr Kethledge, 51, also has ties to former President George W Bush: The president nominated him to his current role on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006. From there, Mr Kethledge handed down a series of decisions that earned him the ire of many pro-choice and social justice groups. In 2014, the University of Michigan Law School law school graduate argued that employers should be allowed to run credit card checks on job applicants – something the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission argued was racial discrimination. In a 2017 discrimination case against the US Border Patrol, Mr Kethledge accepted agents’ claims that they used slurs like "wets" and "tonks" to refer specifically to undocumented immigrants, not to Hispanics in general. In a 2011 rape case, he argued that the victim's sexual history with the defendant should have been allowed in court.

Hardiman (courtesy of Politico):

Judge Thomas Hardiman, 53, is one of President Donald Trump’s finalists to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. A judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Hardiman emerged late as a contender for the seat, joining judges Brett Kavanugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge. Hardiman was appointed to the 3rd Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2007, after serving nearly four years on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Hardiman — who was the runner-up to Justice Neil Gorsuch during Trump's first Supreme Court search — has served alongside Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, on the 3rd Circuit. A native of Massachusetts, Hardiman worked as taxi driver as a student and was the first in his family to graduate from college – giving him a type of up-by-the-bootstraps tale that appeals to the anti-establishment Trump. Hardiman graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University Law Center. He worked in private practice in Washington and Pittsburgh from his graduation from law school in 1990 until joining the bench in 2003.

* * *

Whatever Trump decides, the White House announced Monday that former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl has agreed to serve as the sherpa for the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Kyl, who left the Senate in 2013 and was previously the No. 2 Republican, was previously a member of the Judiciary Committee, where he participated in four of the last five confirmation battles.

While lawmakers are bracing for a bruising nomination battle, the battle of the interest groups has already begun, with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasting President Trump for consulting with conservative groups like the Federalist Society and its leader, Leonard Leo, and ignoring Democrats in Congress.

"Mr. Leonard Leo is the man who assembled Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees and no one, no one, has been more dedicated to overturning Roe v. Wade than Leonard Leo," Schumer said.

[...]

"Now normally in the Senate, we have a process of advising consent on the Supreme Court," Schumer said,

"In the old days, the president would consult with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on a qualified judge and then after careful deliberation nominate a jurist to get bipartisan support.

What we have here is the exact opposite...the president has gone to two hard right groups, the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, and asked them, not the Senate, to advise and consent on a Supreme Court nomination."

And liberal pro-choice groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America have already launched a campaign to pressure red-state Democrats and moderate Republicans to oppose Trump's pick. Four red-state Democratic senators - West Virginia's Joe Manchin, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana's Joe Donnelly and Alabama's Doug Jones - were invited to the White House for Trump's announcement, but all four declined the invitation.

Published:7/9/2018 8:12:48 PM
[Media] Desperate much? Now Vox is explaining the Democrats’ ‘nuclear option’ to fix SCOTUS

As far as we recall, Vox founder Ezra Klein didn’t have much to say about “fixing” the Supreme Court during the Obama administration, but once Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, Klein was full of suggestions. A couple of weeks ago he thought replacing lifetime appointments with 18-year, non-renewable terms would “fix” the Supreme Court, […]

The post Desperate much? Now Vox is explaining the Democrats’ ‘nuclear option’ to fix SCOTUS appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/9/2018 6:12:54 PM
[2018 News] Pelosi vows to ‘avenge President Obama’ in Supreme Court fight Pelosi vows to ‘avenge President Obama’ in Supreme Court fight. Botox Nancy doesn’t even know who Trump has selected, but she’s going to fight it.  “Avenge President Obama” is code for we need money, the DNC is about broke. Published:7/9/2018 4:42:20 PM
[Markets] Michael Cohen's New Clinton-Linked Lawyer Issues Mysterious Threat To Trump

Michael Cohen's lawyer, longtime Clinton friend and Bill Clinton's special counsel, Lanny Davis, fired off a curious tweet Monday morning that appears to be an insult wrapped in a veiled threat.

In response to Rudy Giuliani suggesting that Cohen, Trump's former longtime personal attorney, should "cooperate with the government," and that "We have no reason to believe he did anything wrong" - Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis responded at 7:18 a.m. Monday:

"Did @rudygiuliani really say on Sunday shows that @michaelcohen212 should cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth? Seriously? Is that Trump and Giuliani definition of “truth”? Trump/Giuliani next to the word “truth” = oxymoron. Stay tuned.  #thetruthmatters"

Davis, co-founder of Davis Goldberg & Galper PLLC and contributor to The Hill and other outlets, was special counsel and spokesman for Bill Clinton between 1996-1998 and met Hillary Clinton in 1970 while attending Yale Law

Mr. Davis has known the Clintons since he befriended Hillary Rodham at Yale Law School. (''I was the married guy who a lot of the women confided in about their male problems -- I was safe.'') -NYT

When Clinton left the state department, Davis wrote of her in a farewell letter: 

The fact that she may be the most popular Secretary of State in U.S. history is no surprise.

...

As Secretary of State, she traveled to 112 countries and transformed the way America conducts diplomacy and development — with historic focus on linking women's rights around the world to U.S. national security interests. She took full responsibility for the failures in the State Department that led to the tragic death of the U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans.

Before Davis published his tribute to Clinton, he emailed it to her for review, saying in a personal note: 

I hope you enjoy the memories - especially mom remembering your sparkling yellow pants suit!

I sent you my best wishes thru cdm when I heard about your fall. Happened to me once - faint and hard knock on marble
floor. Scary.

Take care of yourself - and look forward to a long rest as I wrote at the end. -Lanny Davis

Davis supported Hillary Clinton's 2008 run for President until she lost to Barack Obama in the primaries, at which point he backed Obama. 

He was also revealed to have been deeply involved with Hillary Clinton's server "matter" by WikiLeaks.

John Podesta sent the message to Cheryl Mills the evening of March 2, 2015, hours after the New York Times reported that Clinton might have violated federal records requirements by using the server, according to the latest batch of Podesta’s hacked emails.

“Not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later,” Podesta told Mills.

Mills responded: “Think you just got your new nick name.”

The “Lanny” mention is an apparent reference to lawyer Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to then-President Bill Clinton. -NY Post

When Davis called for transparency in the Clinton email case, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote Podesta on March 8, 2015 "We gotta zap Lanny out of our universe. Can't believe he committed her to a private review of her hard drive on TV."

So are Michael Cohen and Lanny Davis the missing link that will finally help Mueller put Trump away for good? We hope to find out soon.

Published:7/9/2018 4:10:02 PM
[Politics] 39% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending July 5.

This is down two points from the previous week and the lowest finding since the end of May. This finding has been running in the 40s for most weeks this year after being in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama's last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from July 1-2 and 5, 2018. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:7/9/2018 12:43:33 PM
[Markets] Mueller's "Pit Bull" Attorney Arranged Secret "Black Ledger" Meeting With AP Reporters

Documents released Friday by the Department of Justice confirm that a DOJ attorney known as Robert Mueller's "pit bull" arranged an April 11, 2017 meeting with journalists to discuss their investigation into Paul Manafort in which information may have been leaked back and forth concerning the case.

At question is the FBI's relationship with AP - and whether or not the FBI leaked information about the Manafort case to them or vice-versa.

According to memos written by FBI agents, Special Counsel attorney Andrew Weissmann, Mueller's #2 (who donated $6,600 to the DNC, Obama and Clinton campaigns and reportedly attended a Clinton election night party in NYC), arranged a meeting between DOJ/FBI officials and four reporters from the Associated Press - who told the FBI about a storage locker owned by Manafort and then gave the FBI a passcode to access it

The memos also show that one of the AP journalists gave the FBI an unusual detail about a storage unit in Alexandria, Virginia that Manafort used to keep records of his worldwide business dealings. Both memos say the AP revealed a code number to access the unit, although one memo says the reporters declined to share the unit number of the locker or its street address. -Politico

Manafort's attorneys received the documents on June 29 and revealed them in a Virginia federal court filing as part of a push for a hearing into possible leaks of sealed grand jury information, false reports and potentially classified materials. 

The meeting raises serious concerns about whether a violation of grand jury secrecy occurred,” wrote Manafort attorney Kevin Downing in a motion requesting the hearing. “Based on the FBI’s own notes of the meeting, it is beyond question that a hearing is warranted.”

One of the memos written by FBI Supervisory Special Agent Karen Greenaway reveals "The meeting was arranged by Andrew Weissmann," who goes on to note that Weissmann provided guidance to the reporters

According to Greenaway, Weissmann suggested that the reporters ask the Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority, a Cypriot government agency, if it had provided the Department of Treasury with all of the documents they were legally authorized to provide regarding Manafort. -Daily Caller

AP director of media relations Lauren Easton defended the FBI briefing in a statement toi the Daily Caller News Foundation

"Associated Press journalists met with representatives from the Department of Justice in an effort to get information on stories they were reporting, as reporters do. During the course of the meeting, they asked DOJ representatives about a storage locker belonging to Paul Manafort, without sharing its name or location."

Originally reported by journalist Sara Carter in January, the meeting between AP and DOJ officials was confirmed for the first time on June 29 in a pre-trial hearing at which FBI special agent Jeffrey Pfeiffer admitted that the FBI may have conducted a May 2017 raid on a storage locker rented by Manafort. 

The AP journalists, Chad Day, Ted Bridis, Jack Gillum and Eric Tucker, were conducting an extensive investigation of Manafort, including payments he received through various shell companies set up in Cyprus.

Day and Gillum published an article a day after the meeting laying out some of the allegations against Manafort, including that he was listed in a “black ledger” that documented illicit payments from a Ukrainian political party allied with the Russian government. -Daily Caller

Manafort will go on trial July 25 for a litany of bank fraud and money laundering charges connected to a 2012-2014 lobbying effort for a pro-Ukraine think tank tied to former president Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych fled from Ukraine to Russia after he was unseated in a 2014 coup. 

Manafort’s firm earned $17 million consulting for Yanukovych’s centrist, pro-Russia ‘Party of Regions.’ During the same period, he oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia “Centre for a Modern Ukraine,” (ECMU) a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.

Of note, the now defunct Podesta group, operating under Manafort, earned over $1.2 million as part of that effort.

While the Podesta group and Paul Manafort both failed to file paperwork related to the Pro-Russia Centre for a Modern Ukraine, retroactive disclosures filed by the Podesta group on August 17 revealed dozens of previously unreported communications with high level democrat officials related to the lobbying campaign – including Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the office of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Read the motion by Manafort's attorneys here: 

Published:7/9/2018 11:43:36 AM
[Politics] Most Oppose Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Americans have mixed feelings about affirmative action programs in general, but most agree with the Trump administration’s decision to reverse Obama era policies that made race a deciding factor in college admissions.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 53% of American Adults believe it is better for higher education in the United States if colleges and universities accept only the most qualified students for admissions. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree and say it’s better instead if colleges and universities make sure there is enough racial diversity in the students they accept. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily email update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on July 5 and 8, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:7/9/2018 9:38:36 AM
[Markets] Beijing Orders State Media "Not To Use Aggressive Language" For Trump

With a China-US trade war now under way, China's natural impulse was to lash out against Trump, not only in the state-controlled media, but also in statements by top ranking officials, such as an angry diatribe by the Sinochem chairman, who quoted Michelle Obama, saying "when they go low, we go high." However, in what appears to be an attempt to tone down the rhetoric, the SCMP reports that Beijing has directed state media to watch how they report on US President Donald Trump, mainland media sources said.

“It’s been said that we should not use aggressive language for Trump,” said a SCMP source, who added that the edict called on media outlets not to make vulgar attacks on Trump to avoid "making this a war of insults", similar to angry back and forth between Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un last summer.

In an oddly demure move for China, even though local officials and state media have attacked the trade policies of the Trump administration, so far they have not laid blame on the US president or his officials, "a move seen as an attempt to avoid antagonising Trump and further complicating negotiations."

While the Beijing directive may not have been issued across the board – two other state media sources said they were not instructed how to write about Trump with regards to trade – it mirrored one of the guidelines on an official propaganda instruction widely circulated on social media.

The decree echoes a similar move last month, when the South China Morning Post reported that state media agencies were instructed to play down mentions of Made in China 2025, China's strategic industrial policy aimed at transforming China into a high-tech powerhouse and one which Trump's trade advisor Peter Navarro has explicitly targeted,  in their reports.

Reporting at state-controlled outlets in China is strictly overseen by government censors, who often issue instructions to ensure the coverage toes the party line.  Meanwhile, Trump has so far also avoided flinging insults directly at President Xi Jinping, instead reiterating in person and via Twitter that the two “will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade”.

In a tweet in April, Trump even said he was “very thankful for President Xi of China’s kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers” and exclaimed that the two leaders “will make great progress together!”

Commenting on the decree, Sow Keat Tok, a University of Melbourne lecturer on China’s foreign relations, said that since Trump’s rhetoric has focused on the trade war instead of Xi, the Chinese leader has in turn refrained from making statements about Trump.

“[Xi] allowed the Ministry of Commerce to send out messages instead, again framing the trade as a state-to-state interaction,” he said.

“Restraining the state media is important, lest some enthusiastic reporters mention Trump in their pieces. The message is not to antagonise Trump personally, but [to] keep the affair in the realm of state policy.”

The civil approach is a marked contrast from the name-calling in which Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un engaged during frostier times in the relationship between Washington and Pyongyang, which culminated with Kim calling Trump a “dotard” while the US president referred to the North Korean leader as “little rocket man”.

“Xi would not allow that to happen to himself,” Tok said. “It’s not just about face, but also preempting possible responses from the Chinese society, in case such personal animosity gets out of hand.”

Published:7/9/2018 9:10:14 AM
[Markets] Headless Robespierre's Cautionary Tale For The 'Alt Left' Unleashed On America

Submitted by John Griffing,

America is on the cusp of something it has never truly experienced: mob rule.

To “feed” a mob, witch-hunts are essential. New enemies must be in constant supply to keep the mob moving. Problematically, witch-hunts never end well for the witch-hunters.

Just ask Maximilien Robespierre, one of the chief architects of the French Revolution and the infamous “Reign of Terror.”

It was 1794. Heads were rolling, literally, and “Madame la Guillotine” was more popular than ever. At first, the mob was content with the heads of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. The king bankrupted France by helping America win its independence with mountains of debt, all while a horrible famine ravaged the nation simultaneously. Many died of starvation. It was during the famine that the queen told her subjects, “Let them eat cake.”

With the king and queen gone, the mob's appetite grew. They now required the heads of the aristocracy.

After the aristocracy was gone, Robespierre’s Committee on Public Safety (a massive misnomer) began sending anyone and everyone to the Guillotine -- even other members of the committee itself -- in order to satisfy the appetite of the mob. Georges Danton, the other influential thinker behind the French revolution, was executed by the committee.

Royals lurked under every rock and behind every tree, and unsupported suspicion was the only thing needed to deprive a person of their head.

In the ultimate twist of irony, the mob eventually required Robespierre’s head.

The lesson? For mobs, it’s never enough. And communities that passively surrender to mob rule in the face of civil unrest are like those who feed a crocodile, hoping to be eaten last.

Replace the revolutionary French with the “alt left,” and a disturbing pattern emerges. With the violence perpetrated by the “alt left” reaching barbaric levels, it is time to stop tolerating lies about their motives.

The“alt left” is not against racism or white nationalism. They are for anarchy -- and that’s a big difference. In short, the “alt left” is a mindless mob.

And just like Robespierre’s “Reign of Terror,” the “alt left” mob may eventually accomplish its presumed objectiveforcibly removing President Donald Trump from office, one way or another. But that will likely not be enough to satisfy the moving target of "alt-left" bloodlust, because the stated objective is never the real objective.

For the mob, breaking stuff and hurting people (often for pay) is the real objective. And for Antifas, the ever-evolving “cause” is a facade to justify animal behavior unfit for a free and open society.

Sure, not all Democrats are Antifas, but all Antifas are undoubtedly Democrats. Consider that top Democrats -- many of them seasoned public servants -- now regularly incite violent riots and actively promote the president’s assassination.

Here's a list of 133 savage acts of documented violence (or incitement) by far-left Democrats against Trump supporters, Republicans and White House officials, including actor Peter Fonda's call to throw Trump's 11-year-old son Barron in a cage with pedophiles, and the latest example of outright assault against a person wearing a MAGA hat -- this time a young teenager.

The violence advocated by the far left makes them complicit in the breakdown of society and the subsequent rise of mob rule. And the advocates of mob violence are not just fringe radicals or a few nut-jobs. Their ranks also boast senior Democratic Party officials and members of former President Barack Obama's administration.

Only a week ago, California Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters openly called for the “harassment” and physical intimidation of Trump officials. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer condemned Waters, but it must be remembered that last year he told New York state to pull police protection from First Lady Melania Trump and Barron. Democratic 2016 vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine called for riots in streets after Trump's victoryand was joined by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who also called for riots.

Former CIA Director John “Benghazi” Brennan -- a man who once voted for a Communist presidential candidate and may have converted to Islam -- twice called for a coup against Trump. Obama’s Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Rosa Brooks went as far as putting a plan for a military coup in writing around the same time CNN was running hypothetical "what if Trump was brutally murdered before the inauguration?" segments.

Democratic-aligned mainstream media and left-leaning entertainment icons are also guilty of perpetuating the rise of mob rule. Former MSNBC heavyweight Keith Olbermann begged foreign intelligence agencies to overthrow the U.S. government, and did not see the irony. More recently, the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin asked mobs to harass Trump and White House officials for "life."

And what about entertainers? Well, they are getting a lot less entertaining, and a lot more felonious. Bill Maher joked that Ronald Reagan shooter John Hinckley, Jr. should be released, so that he can kill Trump, and only a few months ago, comedienne Kathy Griffin photographed herself holding a life-like wax model of Trump’s severed head in the style of ISIS. Last week, far-left filmmaker Michael Moore said he would lead a citizen army of "one million people" to "surround" Washington, D.C. in order to prevent lawful Supreme Court nominations by Trump. Famous musicians are also promoting violence. Madonna said she is "thinking" of bombing the White House to kill Trump, Snoop Dog released a music video depicting Trump’s murder and singer John Legend applauded Rep. Maxine Waters for advocating violence, while subsequently making similar appeals himself.

By any measure, Democrats now support mob ruleEvery single time a Democrat advocates violence in place of discussion, they are supporting mob rule, not democracy, and they should be treated as potentially hostile.

When someone - anyone - starts a conversation with an assumption that the other person is evil, there can be no further conversation. Moreover, logical debate is not possible with violent mobs in ninja costumes viciously attacking those with whom they politically disagree.

History repeats itself, especially when mobs burn the pages on which it is written, and destroy monuments to the events history records. Tragically, Democrats only pay attention to history when it involves Nazis, and mostly fictional Nazis.

Robespierre speaks from the grave: mobs are never good, especially for the mobs.

Published:7/8/2018 10:41:19 PM
[Markets] Bookstore Owners Calls Cops On Woman Who Confronted Bannon

The owner of a Richmond, VA bookstore says he called the cops on Saturday after a woman confronted and berated former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon - calling him a "piece of trash," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which noted that Bannon grew up in Richmond. 

Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books called police around 3:15 p.m. to report "someone yelling at a political figure in the bookstore." Richmond police confirmed the call to the Dispatch

“Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business. I asked her to leave, and she wouldn’t. And I said, ‘I’m going to call the police if you don’t,’ and I went to call the police and she left,” Cooke said. “And that’s the end of the story.”

Cooke told the Dispatch: "We are a bookshop. Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions and not about verbally assaulting somebody, which is what was happening."

One wonders if Cooke can next look forward to angry protests outside his bookstore after defending Bannon.

The Saturday confrontation marks the latest in a spate of incidents in which pro-Trump individuals have been harassed by angry liberals, which has accelerated since Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) openly called for liberals to harass Trump supporters. 

In June, demonstrators confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., and the owner of the Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, declined to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

This past Monday, a woman with her 2-year-old son confronted Trump’s now former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt in a D.C. restaurant and urged him to resign. Trump said Thursday that he had accepted his scandal-plagued EPA chief’s resignation. -Richmond Times-Dispatch

Protesters with the Democratic Socialists of America - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's party also showed up at Nielsen's Alexandria townhouse.

Meanwhile, White House adviser Stephen Miller - largely credited with pushing President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy of arresting and processing those entering the U.S. illegally - was heckled at a Mexican restaurant two days before Nielsen was harassed. 

In Early June, photos of "caged children" in ICE detention centers which happened under Obama went viral - but by the time anyone pointed that out, the outrage machine was already in full swing. 

Largely ignored was the fact that Trump is merely enforcing laws created under Bill Clinton and strengthened under Bush II - while Obama separated migrant families all the time and is being sued for keeping children in brutal conditions. Making matters worse was a fake news picture of a crying "separated migrant child" who was never actually separated from her parents. 

Meawhile back in Richmond, Cook would not speak to whether he has a personal relationship with Bannon - only describing the former White House adviser as "a private person in my bookshop." Meanwhile, some in social media wasted no time in trotting out the "N" word. 

Published:7/8/2018 6:05:02 PM
[America] Trumponomics – The BLS June Report

The June Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a strengthening economy, particularly good for minorities.  The DNC calls it “reckless.” After eight years of a moribund economy under Obama, an eight year stretch that was particularly hard on minorities, it is indeed good to see an increasing number of people returning to the […]

The post Trumponomics – The BLS June Report appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:7/8/2018 11:10:07 AM
[Markets] Trump Freezes Billions In Obamacare Payments, Outraging Insurers

The Trump administration halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that administers programs under Obamacare, announced on Saturday it was freezing payments to insurers that cover sicker patients, saying a federal court ruling ties its hands. The move brought a sharp response from health insurers warning of market disruptions and even higher costs.

The payments are intended to help stabilize health insurance markets by compensating insurers that had sicker, more expensive enrollees in 2017. The government collects the money from health insurers with relatively healthy enrollees, who cost less to insure.

In a Saturday announcement, the CMS said the move was necessary because of a February ruling by a federal court in New Mexico, which found that the federal government was using an inaccurate formula for allocating the payments; it added that the trial court in New Mexico "prevents CMS from making further collections or payments under the risk adjustment program, including amounts for the 2017 benefit year, until the litigation is resolved."

The CMS, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, added that the court’s ruling bars the agency from collecting or making payments under the current methodology, which uses a statewide average premium, Bloomberg reported.

We were disappointed by the court’s recent ruling. As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold." CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in the agency’s statement.

“CMS has asked the court to reconsider its ruling, and hopes for a prompt resolution that allows CMS to prevent more adverse impacts on Americans who receive their insurance in the individual and small group markets,” Verma said.

The risk adjustment program of the Affordable Care Act redistributes funds from plans with lower-risk enrollees to plans with higher-risk enrollees, helping to ensure that sicker individuals can receive coverage by sharing the cost of covering them. The immediate impact of the decision will be to boost healthcare costs for millions of Americans even higher, unleashing even higher inflation for staples, at a time when the Fed is keeping a close eye on rising costs.

Predictably, advocates of the risk adjustment program, and Obamacare in general, were outraged.

Risk adjustment “has been long supported and embraced by both Republicans and Democrats,” said Scott Serota, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

“This action will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small business owners and could result  in far fewer health plan choices,” Serota said in a statement. “It will undermine Americans’ access to affordable coverage, particularly those who need medical care the most.”

The trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans said in an emailed statement that “We are very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments.” It added that the move comes at a critical time when insurance providers are developing premiums for 2019 and states are reviewing rates.

“This decision will have serious consequences for millions of consumers who get their coverage through small businesses or buy coverage on their own. It will create more market uncertainty and increase premiums for many health plans -- putting a heavier burden on small businesses and consumers, and reducing coverage options,” AHIP said.

AHIP urged “a quick resolution is needed to avoid greater harm to the individual and small group markets,” while Serota said CMS “has the legal justification needed to move forward with the payments regardless of the New Mexico ruling, and  should do so.”

In addition to raising costs, the announcement may also adversely impact the stock prices of select insurers: according to Bloomberg, the CMS decision will affect publicly traded insurers that have stuck with Obamacare, such as St. Louis-based Centene Corp.

CMS provided a timeline, noting that after the Feb. 28 decision by the New Mexico federal court, it filed a motion for  reconsideration, and on June 21 the court held a hearing on it. CMS is waiting for the court’s ruling.

Timeline of Key Events

March 23, 2010 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is signed into law by President Obama.

March 11, 2013 - CMS finalizes a risk adjustment methodology for States where HHS operates the program that includes the use of the statewide average premium in order to maintain a budget neutral program.

July 29, 2016 - New Mexico Health Connections files a complaint in U.S. District Court in New Mexico arguing, among other points, that CMS’s use of the statewide average premium was arbitrary and capricious. Minuteman Health, Inc. files a similar complaint in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts the same day.

January 30, 2018 – The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts rules for CMS, finding that CMS acted within its authority in promulgating the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology based on the statewide average premium.

February 28, 2018 - The US District Court for the District of New Mexico issues a decision invalidating CMS’s use of the statewide average premium in the risk adjustment transfer formula for the 2014-2018 benefit years, pending further explanation of CMS’s reasons for operating the risk adjustment program in a budget neutral manner in those years.  Following this decision, CMS files a motion for reconsideration.

June 21, 2018 - A hearing is held on CMS’s motion for reconsideration.  

The CMS statement said the agency will “provide additional guidance shortly on how it will handle other issues relating to
risk adjustment payments."

Trump’s administration has used its regulatory powers to undermine Obamacare after Congress last year failed to repeal and replace the law. About 20 million Americans have received health insurance coverage through the program.

Published:7/8/2018 9:03:20 AM
[Markets] Political Smear Job? Law Firm Investigating Accusations Against Jim Jordan Steeped In Partisanship

Authored by Jon Hall via Free Market Shooter blog,

Over the July 4th holiday, NBC News posted an article detailing alleged sexual abuse at Ohio State University. At the center of the story, NBC News implicated one of the most well-known members of the Republican party, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Former wrestlers that Jordan coached over two decades ago at OSU accuse him of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting students.

It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that Jim Jordan is on the rise. Already a member of the Freedom Caucus, his name has been thrown around by many for the next Speaker of the House. Jordan has also led the charge against the corruption at the FBI and DOJ – known for many heated debates in hearings.

To note, the University opened an investigation into the accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss – who died in 2005 – abused students when he was the doctor for the wrestling team during his tenure from the mid-70’s to late 90’s back in April. The timing of Jordan’s name being thrown into the mess is not the only suspect element regarding this scandal…

Enter Perkins Coie, the firm heavily involved in the investigation into whether or not Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential election. When DNC servers were hacked, Perkins Coie did not go to authorities with proof of the hack but instead hired Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm with ties to Hillary Clinton, to investigate the breach.

As FMShooter reported back in 2017:

On top of all of this, Crowdstrike was the only one to come to a conclusion on the “Russia” conspiracy. The FBI never even inspected the hacked DNC servers and simply went off of Crowdstrike’s conclusion that Russian hackers did infiltrate DNC servers when there is absolutely no proof behind their claim.

Perkins Coie also sits at the center of the FISA abuse scandal. The Steele dossierwas the first piece of evidence used in FISA warrants to surveil former Trump team member, Carter Page. Both the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee helped fund research into the Steele dossier through Perkins Coie – the very same law firm that is now looking into the accusations against Strauss and Jim Jordan.

For proof, OpenSecrets has Perkins Coie’s major contributions laid bare.

Of course, the DNC tops the list with Hillary For America, Obama for America, and Priorities USA Action – David Brock’s former PAC – also making appearances; along with many other high-profile Democratic fundraising efforts. 

Notably, Perkins Coie was hired by OSU to investigate the accusations less than a month after the University shut down their office that helped sexual-assault victimsIn a statement, OSU said:

To date, Perkins Coie has interviewed more than 150 former students and witnesses and is engaged in further investigative efforts. Ohio State has shared all additional information that has come to the attention of the university with the independent investigators whose work is ongoing.

This isn’t even mentioning the shaky history of Jordan’s accusers, raising questions about their authenticity.

One of the accusers, Mike DiSabato is being accused by the widow of a marine for intimidating and bullying her over a memorial fund set up in her husband’s name. Another accuser served time in prison for a $1.8 million fraud scheme.

While OSU did notify local police and prosecutors, it’s strange that they immediately selected a law firm (and stranger that it was Perkins Coie) instead of letting police handle the investigation. Perkins Coie has no power to convene a grand jury or bring charges of perjury; nor do they have police powers or are able to compel someone to testify.

Certainly, an investigation into these accusations is warranted. However, giving the case to a law firm with proven bias isn’t how to go about getting to the truth. Perkins Coie are already involved in numerous scandals and being involved in this investigation further complicates the process. Perkins Coie has proven that politics is more important than the truth – therefore, can any conclusion they reach in this case really be trusted?

* * *

Editor’s note: After this article was posted, a member of the FMShooter team uncovered more about Perkins Coie:

The quoted text is as follows:

In recent years, a group of attorneys have been fighting to keep their recruited immigrant clients eligible for naturalization as delays have mounted. Some have been successful, including nearly 50 recruits who were granted a type of temporary status while their background investigations are being completed.

“Some of our clients have finally emerged through the system and at least are doing basic training,” said Donald Friedman, a Washington attorney with Perkins Coie.

The firm has certainly engaged in far more legal actions supporting liberal causes than the few listed against Rep. Jordan. 

Published:7/7/2018 9:31:40 PM
[Politics] Religious liberty becomes a main focus for conservatives in Supreme Court nomination Final contenders on Trump’s shortlist all favor deference to religion that could roll back Obama-era policies on gay rights and contraception. Published:7/7/2018 3:58:06 PM
[Media] Obama 2.0: New Republic asks if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can ‘save the planet’

Looks like the Obama cultists have settled on a new savior.

The post Obama 2.0: New Republic asks if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can ‘save the planet’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/7/2018 1:57:29 PM
[Markets] "Get The F*ck Out": Watch Trump Supporters Kick White Supremacists Out Of "Occupy ICE" Counterprotest

A group of KKK members led by a Jefferson County "Imperial Wizard" known only as Derek were ejected from a Saturday "Occupy ICE" counterprotest by members of conservative groups the "Three Percenters" and "Proud Boys," who had organized the response.

"Get your ass out of here... go, go... get the fu*k out. You're racist." 

Occupy ICE has been physically blocking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) buildings across the country to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of enforcing existing laws. The group has been camped out in front of the local Louisville ICE building at 7th and Broadway since early this week, calling for the agency to be abolished.

In advance of the event, Louisville police Chief Steve Conrad warned residents of the potential for violence. 

"I believe a number of people coming to this event will be armed," Conrad said at a press conference on Friday.

Gary Foreman, a spokesman for the Kentucky chapter of the Three Percenters, said on Friday the group would be coming to "ensure everyone expresses their thoughts in a peaceful environment." He said about 100 people are expected to attend, including members of state chapters in Tennessee and Indiana.

Conrad said people have the right to carry firearms in Kentucky, but the police department won't accept violence or property damage in any form. He said mixing firearms with the intensity of the immigration debate was the reason he canceled planned days off for police officers in order to have more resources on Saturday.  -Courier Journal

"The fact (that) emotions are so high on this issue and people's opinions are so varied, I think it’s important that we provide a place where people can share their opinions and hopefully we can keep them safe in the process," Conrad said. 

The Proud Boys and Three Percenters regularly attend rallies and other events in support, or counterprotest, of public policy or liberal activism. In 2017, the Three Percenters were involved in the "Unite the Right" demonstration against the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, VA organized by white nationalist provocateur Jason Kessler - who was an active Obama supporter just eight months prior to the event. Kessler's motives were called into question when he was discovered to have written and performed African revenge-porn poetry about "white devils" raping Africa, while his Jewish ex-girlfriend said he showed "no signs of being anti-Semitic" following the "Unite the Right" rally. From Kessler's "running thoughts" blog in December, 2015:

The Three Percenters distanced themselves from the neo-Nazi element at Charlottesville after dozens of people were wounded and a woman, Heather Heyer, died after a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of protesters. 

“While we support and defend everyone’s right to free speech, we will not align ourselves with any type of racist group.” -Three Percenters 

Meanwhile, violence between left and right has been escalating. Last weekend at a conservative rally in Portland, a large skirmish broke out which led to a viral video of a Proud Boy known as "Rufio" knocking out an Antifa member. (Knockout at 7:35)

And on the 4th of July, 16-year-old Trump supporter Hunter Richard was assaulted at 2:35 a.m. at a San Antonio Whataburger restaurant while dining with two friends, when 30-year-old Kino Jimenez threw soda on the trio and stole Richards's red MAGA hat. Jimenez was arrested on Friday.

The recent confrontations over Trump's immigration policy come on the heels of several members of the Trump administration suffering harassment in public and at their homes - most notably Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was ejected from the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA after the owner's gay employees became uncomfortable in Sanders's presence. 

In response to the spate of public harassment last month, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) called for Democrats to form into mobs and physically confront members of the Trump administration if they see them out in public. 

"If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere," said Waters. 

Published:7/7/2018 12:58:06 PM
[Issues] Leandra English Finally Leaving CFPB

Leandra English, the Obama administration political appointee who tried to seize leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is leaving the agency and dropping her lawsuit against the White House.

The post Leandra English Finally Leaving CFPB appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:7/6/2018 5:24:46 PM
[The Blog] Statue of Liberty climber quotes Michelle Obama, pleads not guilty

..."when they go low, we go high, and I went as high as I could."

The post Statue of Liberty climber quotes Michelle Obama, pleads not guilty appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/6/2018 5:24:46 PM
[Economy] Trump White House Has Smaller Staff, Spends Less on Salaries Than Obama White House

Over $20 million in taxpayer funds could be saved at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office due to his leaner White... Read More

The post Trump White House Has Smaller Staff, Spends Less on Salaries Than Obama White House appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:7/6/2018 4:57:05 PM
[Issues] Mother of ‘Brothers to The Rescue’ Victim Assails Ben Rhodes

The mother of one of four young American men killed by the Castro regime in 1996 is decrying new details of the secret shuttle diplomacy that preceded the Obama administration's rapprochement with Cuba, which a top Obama official revealed this week.

The post Mother of ‘Brothers to The Rescue’ Victim Assails Ben Rhodes appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:7/6/2018 3:51:16 PM
[Media] ‘LOSER’! Spluttering Jon Favreau forgets to check himself before he WRECKS himself — and Obama — AGAIN

"Weird this keeps happening ..."

The post ‘LOSER’! Spluttering Jon Favreau forgets to check himself before he WRECKS himself — and Obama — AGAIN appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/6/2018 11:20:45 AM
[Politics] Consumer Spending Update: Economic Confidence Still Among Record Highs

Spending may have grounded for summer, but sentiments on the economy are still flying high.

The Rasmussen Reports Economic Index rose nearly three points from June to 140.5, the second highest index in four years of surveying. Enthusiasm about the economy started to grow immediately following Donald Trump's election as president in November 2016 and spiked at 145.9 in February of this year. By comparison, in President Obama’s final years in office, this index reached a high of 121.5 in January 2015 and was at 108.1 his last month in the White House.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.  

The survey of 1,500 American Adults was conducted on July 1-2, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:7/6/2018 7:54:49 AM
[eb3d264b-a58a-45a8-ad1f-f2fd667beb7d] Liz Peek: Democrats are furious about Trump and the Supreme Court – They have only Obama to blame Though they won’t admit it, Democrats are suffering continued fallout from the arrogance of the Obama White House. Published:7/6/2018 3:52:41 AM
[Markets] Putin Prepares To Make Major Concessions During Trump Summit

?A senior Kremlin official tells Bloomberg that Vladimir Putin is preparing to offer significant concessions to President Trump at their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland in the hopes of beginning to repair strained relations between Russia and the United States. Chief among them, according to the official, is a discussion on Iran's role in Syria - an issue that Moscow is simultaneously coordinating with Tehran.

Putin has agreed in principle to U.S. and Israeli demands that Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria be kept away from Israel’s border, replaced with troops loyal to the government in Damascus, two Kremlin advisers said.

After studying Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during which he announced a surprise halt to U.S. military exercises with South Korea, Putin decided he needs to negotiate with the billionaire personally, the senior official said, without elaborating. The two leaders may meet without aides, as Trump and Kim did in Singapore, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. -Bloomberg

In advance of the summit, U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, briefed President Trump during a one-on-one conference call Thursday - saying that Trump will go into the meeting with "eyes wide open." 

Trump, meanwhile, has broken with Obama's policy of demanding that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad be removed from power, a position reportedly formed before Russia and Iran turned the tide of the Syrian civil war in Assad's favor against U.S. backed rebels. This sentiment was backed by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton - who on Sunday told CBS News that Assad is no longer "the strategic issue" in Syria. Instead, Iran is now the focus. 

“We’ll see what happens when the two of them get together,” said Bolton, who never met a regime he didn't want to change. “There are possibilities for doing a larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria and back into Iran, which would be a significant step forward.”

Russia views the upcoming Trump-Putin summit as an opportunity to mend fences with the United States. Relations have soured dramatically since the days Bill Clinton was hanging out at Putin's Moscow estate - within hours of collecting $500,000 for a speech to a Kremlin investment bank - in the same month Russia assumed control over 20% of U.S. uranium under Hillary Clinton's State Department. But that was 2010. Since then, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and allegedly hacked the 2016 U.S. election - which the Kremlin has been heavily sanctioned for. 

Still, major questions remain over Putin's ability to actually enforce any agreement governing Iran's actions in Syria, even if he offers to stabilize the border with Israel by sending troops into the area. This has in turn caused some in Washington and among Western allies in Europe that Trump may prematurely tout the Helsinki meeting without actually achieving real concessions. 

Russia may have supplanted America as the indispensable arbiter in various Mideast conflicts but there’s only so far Putin is willing to go to appease Trump when it comes to Iran, according to Andrei Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a research group set up by the Kremlin. -Bloomberg

“Trump can’t force Putin to turn away from Iran,” Kortunov said. “Putin is not willing to push Iran too hard and he cannot rely on Trump.”

Published:7/5/2018 9:22:03 PM
[Politics] Scott Pruitt steps down as EPA head after ethics, management scandals He sought to aggressively roll back Obama-era regulations. But lavish spending, an unusual housing deal and allegations that he misused his office led to his ouster. Published:7/5/2018 8:56:27 PM
[Right Column] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns – Marc Morano Statement: ‘Pruitt will go down as the best EPA chief in history’

Climate Depot's Marc Morano statement on Pruitt's resignation:

"Scott Pruitt was the key man urging Trump to get out of the UN Paris climate pact and was very strong on reversing Obama's climate and energy mandates. Given past GOP presidents' EPA chiefs, this was the single greatest accomplishment of any EPA chief in history! Pruitt will go down as the best EPA chief in history.

Almost any cabinet member could be scrutinized in DC, why do they focus so much on Pruitt? Because his EPA reform agenda is their biggest threat. The Left hardly cared about Rex Tillerson or Rick Perry and never subjected them to the same scrutiny. Pruitt was the media target like no other because he has dared to actually reverse the green agenda in DC, (unlike either past Bush administration or a Dole, McCain or Romney administration would have potentially done.)

Let's celebrate Pruitt's accomplishments! Pruitt helped dismantle in just over a year, eight years of Obama's "climate" regulations.

The Good News: The number 2 at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, is poised to take over. I worked with Wheeler while when we both worked for Senator Inhofe at the Environment & Public Works Committee.  A more knowledgeable and capable replacement for Pruitt could not be more handy than Wheeler."

#

Published:7/5/2018 3:21:26 PM
[Media] MUST READ thread from NY Post columnist Karol Markowicz on the media vs. Trump/Obama

ICYMI, President Donald Trump gave an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo last week that is — SURPRISE — causing quite the outrage on the Left. First up, here’s the interview: .@realDonaldTrump President Trump speaks out on replacing Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court, the U.S. economy and trade deals in part 1 of his […]

The post MUST READ thread from NY Post columnist Karol Markowicz on the media vs. Trump/Obama appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/5/2018 2:23:33 PM
[Markets] Former US Ambassador Confirms Intel Report On Russian Interference "Politically Motivated"

Authored by Jack Matlock via JackMatlock.com,

Did the U.S. “intelligence community” judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election?

Most commentators seem to think so. Every news report I have read of the planned meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin in July refers to “Russian interference” as a fact and asks whether the matter will be discussed.

Reports that President Putin denied involvement in the election are scoffed at, usually with a claim that the U.S. “intelligence community” proved Russian interference. In fact, the U.S. “intelligence community” has not done so. The intelligence community as a whole has not been tasked to make a judgment and some key members of that community did not participate in the report that is routinely cited as “proof” of “Russian interference.”

I spent the 35 years of my government service with a “top secret” clearance. When I reached the rank of ambassador and also worked as Special Assistant to the President for National Security, I also had clearances for “codeword” material. At that time, intelligence reports to the president relating to Soviet and European affairs were routed through me for comment. I developed at that time a “feel” for the strengths and weaknesses of the various American intelligence agencies. It is with that background that I read the January 6, 2017 report of three intelligence agencies: the CIA, FBI, and NSA.

This report is labeled “Intelligence Community Assessment,” but in fact it is not that. A report of the intelligence community in my day would include the input of all the relevant intelligence agencies and would reveal whether all agreed with the conclusions. Individual agencies did not hesitate to “take a footnote” or explain their position if they disagreed with a particular assessment. A report would not claim to be that of the “intelligence community” if any relevant agency was omitted.

The report states that it represents the findings of three intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, and NSA, but even that is misleading in that it implies that there was a consensus of relevant analysts in these three agencies. In fact, the report was prepared by a group of analysts from the three agencies pre-selected by their directors, with the selection process generally overseen by James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Clapper told the Senate in testimony May 8, 2017, that it was prepared by “two dozen or so analysts—hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.” If you can hand-pick the analysts, you can hand-pick the conclusions. The analysts selected would have understood what Director Clapper wanted since he made no secret of his views. Why would they endanger their careers by not delivering?

What should have struck any congressperson or reporter was that the procedure Clapper followed was the same as that used in 2003 to produce the report falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had retained stocks of weapons of mass destruction. That should be worrisome enough to inspire questions, but that is not the only anomaly.

Clapper (far right): Picked who he wanted. (Office of Director of National Intelligence)

The DNI has under his aegis a National Intelligence Council whose officers can call any intelligence agency with relevant expertise to draft community assessments. It was created by Congress after 9/11 specifically to correct some of the flaws in intelligence collection revealed by 9/11. Director Clapper chose not to call on the NIC, which is curious since its duty is “to act as a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities.”

Unusual FBI Participation

During my time in government, a judgment regarding national security would include reports from, as a minimum, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) of the State Department. The FBI was rarely, if ever, included unless the principal question concerned law enforcement within the United States. NSA might have provided some of the intelligence used by the other agencies but normally did not express an opinion regarding the substance of reports.

What did I notice when I read the January report? There was no mention of INR or DIA! The exclusion of DIA might be understandable since its mandate deals primarily with military forces, except that the report attributes some of the Russian activity to the GRU, Russian military intelligence. DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, is the U.S. intelligence organ most expert on the GRU. Did it concur with this attribution? The report doesn’t say.

The omission of INR is more glaring since a report on foreign political activity could not have been that of the U.S. intelligence community without its participation. After all, when it comes to assessments of foreign intentions and foreign political activity, the State Department’s intelligence service is by far the most knowledgeable and competent. In my day, it reported accurately on Gorbachev’s reforms when the CIA leaders were advising that Gorbachev had the same aims as his predecessors.

This is where due diligence comes in.

The first question responsible journalists and politicians should have asked is “Why is INR not represented? Does it have a different opinion? If so, what is that opinion?" Most likely the official answer would have been that this is “classified information.” But why should it be classified? If some agency heads come to a conclusion and choose (or are directed) to announce it publicly, doesn’t the public deserve to know that one of the key agencies has a different opinion?

The second question should have been directed at the CIA, NSA, and FBI: did all their analysts agree with these conclusions or were they divided in their conclusions? What was the reason behind hand-picking analysts and departing from the customary practice of enlisting analysts already in place and already responsible for following the issues involved?

State Department Intel Silenced

As I was recently informed by a senior official, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence Research did, in fact, have a different opinion but was not allowed to express it. So the January report was not one of the “intelligence community,” but rather of three intelligence agencies, two of which have no responsibility or necessarily any competence to judge foreign intentions. The job of the FBI is to enforce federal law. The job of NSA is to intercept the communications of others and to protect ours. It is not staffed to assess the content of what is intercepted; that task is assumed by others, particularly the CIA, the DIA (if it is military) or the State Department’s INR (if it is political).

The second thing to remember is that reports of the intelligence agencies reflect the views of the heads of the agencies and are not necessarily a consensus of their analysts’ views. The heads of both the CIA and FBI are political appointments, while the NSA chief is a military officer; his agency is a collector of intelligence rather than an analyst of its import, except in the fields of cryptography and communications security.

One striking thing about the press coverage and Congressional discussion of the January report, and of subsequent statements by CIA, FBI, and NSA heads is that questions were never posed regarding the position of the State Department’s INR, or whether the analysts in the agencies cited were in total agreement with the conclusions.

Let’s put these questions aside for the moment and look at the report itself. On the first page of text, the following statement leapt to my attention:

“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.”

Now, how can one judge whether activity “interfered” with an election without assessing its impact? After all, if the activity had no impact on the outcome of the election, it could not be properly termed interference. This disclaimer, however, has not prevented journalists and politicians from citing the report as proof that “Russia interfered” in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

As for particulars, the report is full of assertion, innuendo, and description of “capabilities” but largely devoid of any evidence to substantiate its assertions. This is “explained” by claiming that much of the evidence is classified and cannot be disclosed without revealing sources and methods. The assertions are made with “high confidence” or occasionally, “moderate confidence.” Having read many intelligence reports I can tell you that if there is irrefutable evidence of something it will be stated as a fact. The use of the term “high confidence” is what most normal people would call “our best guess.” “Moderate confidence” means “some of our analysts think this might be true.”

Guccifer 2.0: A Fabrication

Among the assertions are that a persona calling itself “Guccifer 2.0” is an instrument of the GRU, and that it hacked the emails on the Democratic National Committee’s computer and conveyed them to Wikileaks. What the report does not explain is that it is easy for a hacker or foreign intelligence service to leave a false trail. In fact, a program developed by CIA with NSA assistance to do just that has been leaked and published.

Retired senior NSA technical experts have examined the “Guccifer 2.0” data on the web and have concluded that “Guccifer 2.0’s” data did not involve a hack across the web but was locally downloaded. Further, the data had been tampered with and manipulated, leading to the conclusion that “Guccifer 2.0” is a total fabrication.

The report’s assertions regarding the supply of the DNC emails to Wikileaks are dubious, but its final statement in this regard is important: Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.”  

In other words, what was disclosed was the truth! So, Russians are accused of “degrading our democracy” by revealing that the DNC was trying to fix the nomination of a particular candidate rather than allowing the primaries and state caucuses to run their course. I had always thought that transparency is consistent with democratic values. Apparently those who think that the truth can degrade democracy have a rather bizarre—to put it mildly–concept of democracy.

Most people, hearing that it is a “fact” that “Russia” interfered in our election must think that Russian government agents hacked into vote counting machines and switched votes to favor a particular candidate. This, indeed, would be scary, and would justify the most painful sanctions. But this is the one thing that the “intelligence” report of January 6, 2017, states did not happen. Here is what it said:

DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”

This is an important statement by an agency that is empowered to assess the impact of foreign activity on the United States. Why was it not consulted regarding other aspects of the study? Or—was it in fact consulted and refused to endorse the findings? Another obvious question any responsible journalist or competent politician should have asked.

Prominent American journalists and politicians seized upon this shabby, politically motivated, report as proof of “Russian interference” in the U.S. election without even the pretense of due diligence. They have objectively acted as co-conspirators in an effort to block any improvement in relations with Russia, even though cooperation with Russia to deal with common dangers is vital to both countries.

This is only part of the story of how, without good reason, U.S.-Russian relations have become dangerously confrontational. God-willing and the crick don’t rise, I’ll be musing about other aspects soon.

(Thanks to Ray McGovern and Bill Binney for their research assistance.)

*  *  *

Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, he has focused on understanding how the Cold War ended and how the lessons from that experience might be applied to public policy today.

Published:7/5/2018 2:45:23 AM
[Markets] Bill Bonner Asks "Would The Founding Fathers Recognize Modern America?"

Authored by Bill Bonner via Bonner & Partners,

The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of the most remarkable things in nature. The animal apparently digests itself, using enzymes triggered by hormones. Then, from the pupa, a whole new animal develops – one with wings.

Time and growth produce changes in institutions, too. Sometimes, they merely get bigger and older. Sometimes, they go through a metamorphosis and change into something very different.

We recently moved back to France for the summer. We lived here for nearly 20 years… and still have a house in the country, to which we retire every summer.

Here, we find our old friends and acquaintances… our old clothes and shoes… our tools and workshop… our tractor… and our favorite office.

And what a pleasure… there, on the table next to the bed, was a copy of Michel De Jaeghere’s great book, Les Derniers Jours: La Fin de l’Empire Romain d’Occident (The Last Days: The End of the Roman Empire in the West).

We picked it up and found where we left off a year ago… page 321.

Roman Example

Many of the founders of the American Republic were readers and scholars. “I can’t live without books,” said Jefferson.

He, Monroe, Madison, Adams, and others were much more aware of Roman history than our leaders today. Most had studied Latin and/or Greek.

They had read Plutarch, Seneca, Sallust, Suetonius, and Cicero.

Much was known about the Roman era... and much was discussed. People believed they could learn from it and do better.

In the same year that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his masterpiece, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the transition – natural, and perhaps inevitable – from republic to empire. They had studied it in the Roman example. They had seen how it drew power into a few hands… and corrupted them.

They tried to prevent it from happening in the New World, putting in place limits… circuit breakers… and checks and balances… to keep the government from becoming too big, too ambitious, or too powerful.

Even then, they were doubtful that it would stick. “We give you a republic...” Franklin wrote to posterity, “if you can keep it.”

America did keep it... for nearly 100 years. Maybe a few more. Then, the metamorphosis occurred. And, like Rome, it was not very pretty.

Metamorphic Change

When a man has a wife, he has a more or less agreeable situation, depending on the circumstances. But if he has two wives, he doesn’t simply have twice as much wife. Or twice as much marriage. Or twice as much satisfaction. Or twice as much misery, such as the case may be. It is something altogether different.

Likewise, going to a small airport is very different from going to a large one. And a small, modest country has little in common with a big, aggressive, worldwide empire.

The point we have been making in our Diary is that time and scale have changed the nature, not just the age and the size, of the United States of America. It has become something the Founding Fathers had tried to avoid... and almost certainly wouldn’t like.

It was a metamorphic change, not just more of the same thing. But unlike Jesus, who turned water into wine... or nature, which turns an ugly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly... the change from modest republic to aggressive empire was not necessarily for the better.

The Constitution was twisted into a new shape; like when an alcoholic chaperones a school party after he has had a few drinks, the kids can get away with anything.

The Bill of Rights, too, was run through the wringer. Citizens still have the right to life, liberty, and property – but only to the extent that the feds allow.

They can keep their firearms, for example, but under the Obama Doctrine, the feds can label them terrorists… and kill American citizens.

They still have the right to express themselves under the protection of the First Amendment, unless their opinions are considered “hate speech,” or the feds – or their agents at Facebook and Google – just don’t like what they say.

Your property is still safe, too; but under the doctrine of civil forfeiture, the police can take your money, your cars, and your house… with no due process of law.

Thus, were Americans mugged, mangled, and manacled. And then, the feds hit them in the face with a shovel.

Beginning in 2008, they distributed nearly $4 trillion to America’s wealthy stock- and bond-owners. Trillions more were taken from savers (most of us) by reducing interest rates… and given to big borrowers (corporations, Wall Street, and the feds themselves).

Is it any wonder that ordinary Americans are feeling a little testy?

Almost everything seems to be subject to the law of declining marginal utility. Power is no exception. And like desserts, wives, and shots of whiskey, it doesn’t take too long before the returns to additional power diminish so much that they are no longer positive.

They fall below the zero line. There, another drink is not merely useless, it could be fatal… and more power turns you into a Hell-bound bully.

Evolution of Power

That is the insight we’ve struggled to bring to light. As America evolved into an aging empire, it left behind it the laws, rules, customs, and instincts of its youth, much like Rome did after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.

The U.S. empire is now more than 100 years old. It began in the late 1890s, with the annexation of the Philippines. (Some people put the start date much earlier… when the North brought the South into imperial submission.)

Empires are very different from republics. They are no longer by, for, and of the people. They’re too big… too complex… with too many fingers in too many pies for the people or their elected representatives to keep up with.

So power migrates to the center. There, where the CIA, NSA, Pentagon, NIH, FBI, IRS, and dozens of other agencies… along with the corporate headquarters of hundreds of big industries… and thousands of pressure groups, lobbyists, factotums, hacks, think tanks, NGOs, powerful families, and apparatchiks reside, is where the real power flows.

There, too, in Rome as in Washington, the power congeals.

De Jaeghere... along with hundreds of other historians, ancient and modern... brings the process to light.

After reading them, reading the news today is almost like watching an old movie. We’ve seen it before, but we may still laugh… or shed a tear.

Published:7/4/2018 12:44:46 PM
[Affirmative action] Affirmative action today…(3) (Scott Johnson) The Department of Education has posted the rescission of Obama era federal regulatory guidance documents encouraging educational institutions to discriminate on the basis of race in the name of the shibboleth of “diversity.” We previewed the rescission yesterday here. The Department of Education has now posted it here. It comes in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter signed by senior officers of the Department of Education and the Department Published:7/4/2018 9:11:44 AM
[Education] Eliminating Identity Politics From the Schools and the US Census

Just in time for the Fourth of July, the Trump administration announced it is rescinding Obama administration policies that directed universities to use racial preferences... Read More

The post Eliminating Identity Politics From the Schools and the US Census appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:7/4/2018 8:37:37 AM
[Media] NEW LOW for FAKE NEWS as @NowThisNews uses actors for BOGUS anti-Trump video clip

Now This News has a new mega-viral video up to attempt to hammer the Trump administration over news stories that children are representing themselves in immigration court (which we’ve already told you happened during the Obama years, too). But Now This takes the FAKE NEWS to a new low and pawns off this reenactment of […]

The post NEW LOW for FAKE NEWS as @NowThisNews uses actors for BOGUS anti-Trump video clip appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/4/2018 7:08:18 AM
[Markets] Meyssan: What Donald Trump Is Preparing

Authored by Thierry Meyssan via Voltaire,

After having observed Donald Trump’s historical references (the constitutional compromise of 1789, the examples of Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon) and the way in which his partisans perceive his politics, Thierry Meyssan here analyses his anti-imperialist actions. The US President is not interested in taking a step back, but on the contrary, abandoning the interests of the transnational ruling class in order to develop the US national economy.

The problem

In 1916, during the First World War, Lenin analysed the reasons which led to the confrontation between the empires of his time. He wrote – Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In this book, he clarified his analysis – « Imperialism is capitalism which has arrived at a stage of its development where domination by monopolies and financial capital has been confirmed, where the export of capital has acquired major importance, where the sharing of the world between international trusts has begun, and where the sharing of all the territories of the globe between the greatest capitalist countries has been achieved ».

The facts confirmed his logic of the concentration of capitalism that he described. In the space of one century, it substituted a new empire for the precedents – « America » (not to be confused with the American continent). By dint of fusions and acquisitions, a few multinational companies gave birth to a global ruling class which gathers every year to congratulate itself, as we watch, in Davos, Switzerland. These people do not serve the interests of the US population, and in fact are not necessarily United States citizens themselves, but use the means of the US Federal State to maximise their profits.

Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States on his promise to return to the earlier state of Capitalism, that of the « American dream, » by free market competition. We can of course claim a priori, as did Lenin, that such a reversal is impossible, but nonetheless, the new President has committed to this direction.

The heart of the imperial Capitalist system is expressed by the doctrine of the Pentagon, formulated by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski – the world is now split in two.

On one side, the developed, stable states...

...and on the other, those states which are not yet integrated into the imperial globalist system and are therefore doomed to instability. The US armed forces are tasked with destroying the state and social structures of the non-integrated regions. Since 2001, they have been patiently destroying the « Greater Middle East », and are now preparing to do the same in the « Caribbean Basin .»

We are obliged to note that the way in which the Pentagon looks at the world is based on the same concepts used by anti-imperialist thinkers like Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi or Samir Amin.

The attempted solution

Donald Trump’s objective thus consists both of reinvesting the transnational capital in the US economy, and turning the Pentagon and the CIA away from their current imperialist functions with National Defense.

In order to do so, he has to withdraw from international commercial treaties and dissolve the inter-governmental structures which consolidate the old order.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaking to US President Donald Trump during the second day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Canada, June 2018.

Undoing the international commercial treaties

From the very first days of his mandate, President Trump removed his country from the trans-Pacific partnership agreement, which had not yet been signed. This commercial treaty had been conceived strategically as a means of isolating China.

Since he was unable to cancel the signature of his country on those treaties which were already in force, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he began to unravel them by imposing various customs duties which were contrary to the spirit, but not the letter, of the agreement.

Re-framing or dissolving the inter-governmental structures

As we have often written here, the United Nations Organisation is no longer a forum for peace, but an instrument of US imperialism within which a few states continue to resist. This was already the case during the Soviet policy of the empty chair (Korean War) and, since July 2012, it is once again true.President Trump has directly attacked the two main imperialist tools within the UNO – the peace-keeping operations (which have taken the place of the observation missions which were originally planned by the Charter), and the Human Rights Council (whose sole function is to justify the humanitarian wars waged by NATO). He has deprived the former of their budget, and withdrawn his country from the latter. However, he has just lost the election for Director of the International Organisation for Migration, leaving the road open, for the moment, for the world traffic in human beings. Of course, he has absolutely no wish to destroy the UNO, but only to refocus its activities and bring it back to its original function.

He has just torpedoed the G7. This meeting, initially intended as a moment for the exchange of points of view, had become, as from 1994, a tool for imperial domination. In 2014, it transformed itself into an instrument for anti-Russian activity – thus conforming to what had become the new strategy of the Anglo-Saxon nations, aimed at « cutting our losses », in other words, avoiding a World War by limiting the empire to the borders of Russia and thereby isolating it. President Trump took great care during the meeting in Charleroix to show his confused allies that he was no longer their overlord, and that they would have to make it on their own.

Finally, after having tried to use France to dynamite the European Union, he turned to Italy, where he sent Steve Bannon to create an anti-system government with the help of US banks. Rome has already concluded an alliance with five other capitals against Brussels.

Reinvesting in productive economy

Via diverse fiscal and customs measures, rarely voted by Congress and usually adopted by decree, President Trump encouraged the major companies of his country to repatriate their factories back to the USA. There immediately followed an economic recovery, which is about the only thing for which the Press will recognise him.

However, we are a long way from noting a financial decline. World finance is probably continuing to prosper outside of the USA, or in other words, continuing to suck up the wealth of the rest of the world.

Reorienting the Pentagon and the CIA

This is obviously the most difficult operation. During his election, President Trump could count on the the votes from his troops, but not those of the superior officers and generals

Donald Trump entered into politics on 11 September 2001. He immediately contested the official version of the events. Thereafter, he expressed his astonishment about the contradictions of the mainstream story – while Presidents Bush Jr. and Obama declared that they wanted to eliminate the jihadist movements, we observed on the contrary a drastic multiplication and globalisation of jihadism during their mandates which went as far as the creation of an independent state in Iraq and Syria.

This is why, as soon as he took office, President Trump surrounded himself with officers who enjoyed a recognised authority in the army. It was, for him, the only option, both to guard against a military coup d’etat and to ensure that he would be obeyed in the reforms that he wanted to implement. Then he gave carte blanche to all the military for everything concerning tactics on the ground. Finally, he never lost an opportunity to confirm his support for the armed forces and the Intelligence services.

After having confiscated their permanent chair at the National Security Council from the president of the chiefs of staff and the director of the CIA, he gave the order to cease support for the jihadists. Progressively, we saw Al-Qaeda and Daesh lose ground. This policy continues today with the withdrawal of US support for the jihadists in Southern Syria. From now on, they no longer form private armies, but only scattered groups which are used for occasional terrorist actions.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and US President Donald Trump take a seat during a working dinner meeting at the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) headquarters in Brussels on May 25, 2017 during a NATO summit.

Similarly, he first of all pretended to give up dissolving NATO if it would agree to add an anti-terrorist function to its anti-Russian function. He is now beginning to show NATO that it does not enjoy eternal privileges, as we we saw with his refusal to deliver a special visa for an ex-General Secretary. Above all, he has begun to diminish its anti-Russian function. So he is now negotiating with Moscow the cancellation of Alliance manoeuvres in Eastern Europe. Besides this, he is now taking administrative actions which attest to the refusal of the allies to contribute to collective defence as far as they are able. In this way, he is preparing to dismantle NATO as soon as he sees fit.

This moment will only come when the destructuration of international relations occurs simultaneously at maturity in Asia (North Korea), the Greater Middle East (Palestine and Iran) and in Europe (UE).

Keep in mind 

  • President Trump is absolutely not the « unpredictable » character so often described. Quite the contrary, he acts in a clearly thoughtful and logical manner.

  • Donald Trump is preparing a reorganisation of international relations. This change will operate through a complete and sudden upheaval directed against the interests of the transnational ruling class.

Published:7/3/2018 10:08:16 PM
[Markets] Amazon's Fusion With The State Shows Neoliberalism's Drift To Neo-Fascism

Authored by Elliott Gabriel via MintPressNews.com,

In Part 1 of our investigative series on Surveillance Capitalism, MPN spoke to author Yasha Levine and Monthly Review editor John Bellamy Foster about the rise of the Amazon.com empire and its fusion with the U.S. state apparatus.

In our next installments, we will continue exploring the rise of Surveillance Capitalism and the implications of Amazon-fueled spying technology, both in the workplace and in U.S. city streets.

“Capitalism is a system that seeks to transgress all boundaries in its production and sale of commodities, commodifying everything in existence, which today, in the age of monopoly-finance capital and surveillance capitalism, means intruding into every aspect of existence,” John Bellamy Foster told MPN.

This year may go down in history as a turning-point when the world finally woke up to the dark side of the ubiquitous presence of popular Silicon Valley companies in our daily lives. One can only hope so, at least.

From Amazon to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and PayPal – among others – revelations poured out confirming the ongoing abuse of user data by monopolistic corporations, as well as their growing role as vendors of surveillance technology to the U.S. police state, military, and migrant detention agencies.

In March, the lid was blown off of the violation of user data on Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica mining user information for the purpose of providing millions of detailed “psychological profiles” to the Trump campaign, among others. Scarcely two weeks later, the Google campus was in an uproar over the development of its “Project Maven,” which was building an AI-fueled platform to vastly upgrade the automatic targeting abilities of the U.S. military’s global drone fleet. Faced with public outrage and internal dissent, the company pulled out of bidding to renew its Pentagon contract, which ends next year.

Now, employees and shareholders of Amazon.com – the world’s largest online marketer and cloud-computing provider – are demanding that chief executive Jeff Bezos halt the sale of its facial recognition or Amazon Web Services (AWS) Rekognition service to law enforcement agencies across the U.S., including to the Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS-ICE).

“As ethically concerned Amazonians, we demand a choice in what we build, and a say in how it is used,” the letter said. “We learn from history, and we understand how IBM’s systems were employed in the 1940s to help Hitler.

“IBM did not take responsibility then, and by the time their role was understood, it was too late,” it continued, referring to collusion with the operation of Nazi extermination camps during the Second World War. “We will not let that happen again. The time to act is now.”

Unveiled in November 2016 as a part of the AWS cloud suite, Rekognition analyzes images and video footage to recognize objects while providing analytics to users. It also lets clients “identify people of interest against a collection of millions of faces in near real-time, enabling use cases such as timely and accurate crime prevention,” according to promotional material. Law enforcement agencies like the Washington County Sheriff’s Department pay as little as $6 to $12 a month for access to the platform, giving deputies the ability to scan its mugshot database against real-time footage.

Amazon employees cited a report from the ACLU that notes that AWS Rekognition “raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns” owing to its “capacity for abuse.” Its uses could include monitoring protest activity, as well as the possibility that ICE could employ the technology to continuously track immigrants and advance its “zero tolerance” policy of detaining migrant families and children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the letter distributed on email list “we-won’t-build-it,”  Amazon employees lay out their opposition to their employer’s collusion with the police and the DHS-ICE migrant-capture and mass-incarceration regime:

We don’t have to wait to find out how these technologies will be used. We already know that in the midst of historic militarization of police, renewed targeting of Black activists, and the growth of a federal deportation force currently engaged in human rights abuses — this will be another powerful tool for the surveillance state, and ultimately serve to harm the most marginalized.”

The furor surrounding AWS Rekognition is hardly a revelation to journalist Yasha Levine. Instead, as is the case with Google and other flagship firms’ work for Washington, it’s just another chapter in Silicon Valley’s long-time integration into the repressive state apparatus.

“This isn’t so much a big step to some ‘Surveillance Apocalypse,’ it’s just an indication of where we’ve been for a long time,” Levine told MintPress News.

Yet the Amazon workers’ outrage was likely provoked by recent headlines highlighting the Trump administration’s separation of Central American migrant families at the concentration camps along the Southern border - along with the key role Amazon plays for ICE’s data “ecosystem,” crucial to the operation of ICE’s immigrant enforcement, mass incarceration, and removal regime.

In their letter, Amazon’s employees decried the role the company plays in the platform Palantir provides for ICE:

We also know that Palantir runs on AWS. And we know that ICE relies on Palantir to power its detention and deportation programs. Along with much of the world we watched in horror recently as U.S. authorities tore children away from their parents. Since April 19, 2018 the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers...

In the face of this immoral U.S. policy, and the U.S.’s increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants beyond this specific policy, we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and DHS.“

In 2014, ICE gave Palantir a $41 million contract for the Investigative Case Management (ICM) system, which expanded its capacity for data-sharing between the bureau and other agency databases including those of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, among others. The contract allowed ICE to significantly boost its ability to capture and incarcerate unauthorized migrants based on the disparate data Palantir collated and hosted on Amazon Web Services’ servers.

Watch | Palantir 101

“What Amazon has simply done is allow everyone to lease that [Rekognition] capability the way that you would lease its web space, or have a pay-as-you-go plan with Amazon,” Levine commented.

In his new book, Surveillance Valley: The Hidden History of the Internet, Levine details the romance enjoyed between Big Data and the U.S. repressive state. In the introduction to his book, he notes :

From Amazon to eBay to Facebook — most of the Internet companies we use every day have also grown into powerful corporations that track and profile their users while pursuing partnerships and business relationships with major U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Some parts of these companies are so thoroughly intertwined with America’s security services that it is hard to tell where they end and the U.S. government begins.”

Having conquered retail and the internet, Amazon looks to the state and says “Forward”

President Barack Obama shakes hands with workers after speaking at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tenn., July 30, 2013. Susan Walsh | AP

Conceived by founder Jeff Bezos as an “everything store” selling products from books to DVDs and music, Amazon has long been a scourge to the traditional brick-and-mortar marketplace, spending the late 1990s and the 2000s sweeping big and small booksellers alike into the ash-heap of retail history.

Amazon has now become the de facto store for everything in America –  it’s shocking to think about how much we buy from it and how much money we give away to it,” Levine said, adding that the company’s power as a business “is kind of depressing.”

The company has also become the world’s premier internet hosting firm through its Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform. From 2006 on, AWS played a similar role to Amazon.com’s retail platform in regard to small-fry-displacing traditional corporate data centers and information technology (IT) professionals, providing a previously unimaginable level of centralization in terms of data storage and IT functionality at a low cost. For some time even Dropbox found shelter under the AWS cloud.

Watch | Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos In 1999

The company’s success as the world’s biggest retailer and cloud computing service was closely related to Amazon’s surveillance efforts directed not only toward consumers, but against its huge and heavily-exploited employee workforce. As Levine detailed in his book:

[Amazon] recorded people’s shopping habits, their movie preferences, the books they were interested in, how fast they read books on their Kindles, and the highlights and margin notes they made. It also monitored its warehouse workers, tracking their movements and timing their performance.

Amazon requires incredible processing power to run such a massive data business, a need that spawned a lucrative side business of renting out space on its massive servers to other companies.”

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, AWS software provided nearly all aspects of then-incumbent President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign software and big-data analysis, ranging from web management to mailing-list management, data modeling, volunteer dispatching, voter-information database maintenance and “massive transaction processing” for donations.

Watch | Obama for America on AWS

By early 2013, a secretive deal awarded Amazon a 10-year, $600-million contract to provide cloud services to the Central Intelligence Agency and the 17 agencies comprising the intelligence community.

Langley’s contract with such a commercially-oriented company as Amazon, rather than rival bidder IBM, sent shockwaves through the tech industry, but the company boasted that it reflected the “superior technology platform” it could provide to the CIA along with its ability to deliver “the confidence and security assurance needed for mission-critical systems.”

Amazon’s platform will soon be the venue for a major intelligence project by the CIA dubbed “Mesa Verde,” which will see the agency’s AWS-built C2S cloud software deployed in multiple experiments meant to parse thousands of terabytes of data, including public web data, using natural language processing tools, sentiment analysis, and data visualization.

According to a Bloomberg Government report in May, AWS is the only private cloud platform granted clearance to store agency information marked “Secret.”

Amazon’s CIA partnership: Surveillance Capitalism in action

Rev. Paul Benz, center, and Shankar Narayan, legislative director of the ACLU of Washington, right, stand with others as they wait to deliver petitions at Amazon headquarters, June 18, 2018, in Seattle. Representatives of community-based organizations urged Amazon at a news conference to stop selling its face surveillance system, Rekognition, to the government. They later delivered the petitions to Amazon. Elaine Thompson | AP

Amazon’s partnership with Langley is just another case of surveillance capitalism in action, according to sociology professor and author John Bellamy Foster, the editor of the venerable independent socialist journal Monthly Review.

Speaking to MintPress News, Foster explained:

Amazon now seems to be landing one contract after another with the military and intelligence sectors in the United States...

[The CIA cloud] is built on the premises of a private corporation, a kind of ‘walled castle’ for intelligence [spy] agency communication separate from the rest of the Internet, but principally operated by a for-profit corporation. Amazon also has a $1 billion contract with the Security and Exchange Commission, works with NASA, the Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies.”

In a 2014 essay for Monthly Review, Foster and Robert W. McChesney introduced the term surveillance capitalism in reference to the process of finance capital monetizing data extracted through surveillance operations performed in collusion with the state apparatus. The two trace the political-economic roots of the the data-driven Information Age from the early stages of the military-industrial complex to the 1950s fusion of consumer capitalism – corporations, ad agencies, and media – with the permanent warfare state, eventually leading to the birth of satellite technology, the internet, and the domination of a handful of monopolist tech firms during the present era of neoliberal globalization.

From the tech sector’s role in police-state operations to the expansion of “Smart” technology like Amazon’s Alexa into our homes, the use of drones and AI for keeping tabs on the entire population, and the manipulation of Facebook user data by the Trump campaign’s partnership with Cambridge Analytica, Foster is unequivocal in his judgment of surveillance capitalism’s metastasizing growth and its omniscient role in our daily lives:

The implications for the future are staggering.”

Not everyone shares Foster’s pessimistic perspective. To former CIA cybersecurity researcher John Pirc, the agency contract with Amazon represented the removal of a “clouded judgment”-based stigma over cloud computing security. Speaking to The Atlantic, Pirc commented:

You hear so many people on the fence about cloud, and then to see the CIA gobble it up and do something so highly disruptive, it’s kind of cool.”

Holy Disruption and the “Gale Force of Creative Destruction”

Creation, epiphany, genesis, prophecy, rapture, sacrifice, wrath; such sacred words pepper the Old and New Testaments and still carry divine significance for the faithful. Beloved by clergy and revered by the flock, such consecrated terms hardly apply to Apple’s bitten-fruit logo or Alexa’s profanely secular robotic voice.

But in today’s cult of high technology and the internet — where entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have been elevated to the level of prophets or pharaohs, and start-ups are evangelized at TED Talks as the panacea to problems ranging from physical fitness to refugee crises — a new ecclesiastical lexicon is used. Central to this pseudo-religion of Big Data is the phrase disruption, an oft-invoked term signifying the replacement of old markets and business models by new technological innovations.

As Silicon Valley pioneer, computer scientist, and critic Jaron Lanier noted in his 2013 book Who Owns the Future?:

The terminology of ‘disruption’ has been granted an almost sacred status in tech business circles...

To disrupt is the most celebrated achievement. In Silicon Valley, one is always hearing that this or that industry is ripe for disruption. We kid ourselves, pretending that disruption requires creativity. It doesn’t. It’s always the same story.”

For Lanier – a fervent defender of capitalism —  the D-word is misused to convey the liberating potential of new technology, when in fact the reign of big tech firms has led to a shrunken market dominated by “a small number of spying operations in omniscient positions.” Thus the digital landscape has become the fiefdom of monopoly firms who exercise an iron grip on competitors and Big Data’s primary commodities – internet users and their data.

To Foster, this process is little more than neoliberalism – the prevailing capitalist ideology dictating the unimpeded control over all aspects of public life by finance capital and the market. Foster notes that neoliberal orthodoxy is rooted in the concept of creative destruction, the concept from which the “disruption” buzzword is derived.

Creative destruction was introduced in 1942 by Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter to describe a process of constant change under capitalism, whereby emerging entrepreneurs act as “innovation powerhouses” through a “perennial gale of creative destruction” that disorganizes and displaces competition, reshapes global markets, and paves the way to an emergence of new monopolies such as, for example, Silicon Valley’s leading firms.

Watch | Greenspan on Schumpeter’s “Creative Destruction”

“One of the key components of neoliberal ideology has been the opening up of the system to the unrestricted growth of monopolistic corporations and monopoly power,” Foster said to MintPress News, adding:

The neoliberal age has thus seen one of the greatest periods of growth of monopoly power, particularly in the cyber or digital realm, in all of history. If you take Google, Amazon, and Facebook, none of them even existed 25 years ago, and Facebook didn’t exist 15 years ago. Amazon had a 51 percent increase in market capitalization between 2016 and 2017 alone. These are giant monopolistic enterprises.”

Continuing, Foster explained:

In general, capitalism is a system that seeks to transgress all boundaries in its production and sale of commodities, commodifying everything in existence — which today, in the age of monopoly-finance capital and surveillance capitalism, means intruding into every aspect of existence as a means of manipulating not only the physical world, but also the minds and lives of everyone within it. It is this that constitutes the heart of surveillance capitalism.

But this same system of monopoly-finance capital has as its counterpart a growing centralization of power and wealth, increasing monopoly control, expanding militarism and imperialism, and an expansion of police power. It is what the political theorist Sheldon Wolin called ‘inverted totalitarianism,’ the growth of totalizing control of the population, and the destruction of human freedom under the mask of an ideology of individualism.”

As Amazon now approaches its 25-year anniversary, Foster notes, it’s become “a vast cultural (or anti-cultural) commodity empire” – and its ownership of The Washington Post has made clear the monopoly firm’s fusion with the state apparatus of U.S. imperialism.

Amazon clutches the “Newspaper of Record,” or “Democracy Dies in Darkness”

The front page of the Washington Post is displayed outside the Newseum in Washington, , 2013, a day after it was announced that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million. Evan Vucci | AP

Since Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million, the leading newspaper of the U.S. capital has stood at the ramparts of Fortress Amazon. Beyond any elite squadron of lobbyists or contracts with the Homeland Security or National Security State, the newspaper’s influential role shaping public and policymaker opinion gives Jeff Bezos and his fellow Amazon executives unparalleled access to the halls of imperial power.

“Of course it’s a problem when a powerful, monopolistic business like this with a very controlling owner is in the media business as well,” Yasha Levine commented, adding:

Let’s be honest, Amazon is a major CIA contractor now, and now this major contractor owns one of the most important newspapers in the country – which also happens to report on the CIA and national security issues.”

Since President Donald Trump came to power last January, “Amazon Washington Post” has been the target of the former reality-TV star’s ire as a top example of “fake news media.” While many of Trump’s attacks on the Post have been his standard Twitter outbursts against legitimate journalistic scrutiny, the newspaper once celebrated for publishing the groundbreaking 1971 Pentagon Papers is now both a bully pulpit for the president’s detractors in the Beltway liberal “resistance” and a mouthpiece of an aggressively neoliberal wing of the U.S. establishment.

“The Washington Post was always a liberal-capitalist paper, an arbiter of capitalist ideology and a defender of U.S. empire, [but] it has now become, as part of the Bezos empire, something worse,” Foster observed.

Scarcely a day passes without the Post publishing a torrent of stories seeking to expose “Russian interference” favoring Trump through social media or “fake news.” Citing the “experts” in “nonpartisan” media criticism group PropOrNot, the Post has smeared MintPress News and publications like Black Agenda Report, CounterPunchand Truthout as propaganda platforms tied to the Kremlin without citing so much as a shred of evidence. Through its de facto blacklist, the group has also attempted to tie disparate independent media organizations to hard-right and white-supremacist outlets like Alex Jones’ Infowars and neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.

Watch | WaPo refuses to add disclosure about $600M CIA contract

The Washington Post has generally waged what amounts to an ideological war on basic progressive causes, Foster explained:

It recently ran an article describing the ‘far left’ as those who believed in single-payer health insurance or protecting national parks, as if even these traditional left-liberal causes were now far outside the range of acceptable political discourse — a stance clearly designed to ratchet the political discourse further to the right. Bezos and Amazon are simply symbols of this social retrogression, as is the current autocrat in the White House.

To Levine, the trend – like the ownership of muckraking news website The Intercept by billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur and eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar — goes beyond the Post alone. Levine commented:

It’s a larger issue of Silicon Valley coming into its own, and businesses built on top of the internet dominating business; and if you dominate business, you dominate society and news media coverage – that’s just the way things work.

Foster agrees, and minces no words depicting the danger Amazon’s growing power in U.S. society represents:

Democracy can be judged in various ways, but no definition of democracy – no matter how specious – is consistent with a society in which such vast class and monopoly power exist, and where the infrastructure of genuine democracy (education, communications, science, culture, public discourse, means of public protest) is demolished.

For this and other reasons, U.S. society and much of the capitalist world is shifting from neo-liberalism to something better described as neo-fascism.”

In our next installments, we will continue exploring the rise of Surveillance Capitalism and the implications of Amazon-fueled spying technology, both in the workplace and in U.S. city streets.

Published:7/3/2018 9:35:00 PM
[Markets] Pat Buchanan Blasts "The Liberal Stampede To 'Abolish ICE'"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“No Borders! No Nations! No Deportations!” “Abolish ICE!”

Before last week, these were the mindless slogans of an infantile left, seen on signs at rallies to abolish ICE, the agency that arrests and deports criminal aliens who have no right to be in our country.

By last week, however, “Abolish ICE!” was no longer the exclusive slogan of the unhinged left. National Democrats were signing on.

Before his defeat in New York’s 14th Congressional District, Joe Crowley, fourth-ranked Democrat in the House, called ICE a “fascist” organization.

After Crowley’s rout by a 28-year-old socialist who called for killing the agency, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., declared ICE to be “a cruel deportation force (that) we need to abolish.”

Cynthia Nixon, a candidate for governor of New York, described ICE as a “terrorist organization … terrorizing people who are coming to this country. … We need to abolish ICE.”

A star of “Sex and the City” castigated the men and women of ICE as terrorists at St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Manhattan. One wonders what the pastor thought of this Christian message.

Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined the clamor: “We should abolish ICE.” Over the weekend, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., signed on:

“President Trump seems to think that the only way to have immigration rule is to rip parents from their family (and) treat rape victims and refugees like terrorists and to put children in cages.”

What ICE does is “ugly” and “wrong,” said Warren.

“We need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our morality.”

Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan plans to introduce legislation to do exactly that — abolish ICE.

President Donald Trump describes this latest liberal campaign as social and political insanity:

“You get rid of ICE you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house.”

What is going on here?

Democrats, having just gone through the worst week in memory for progressives, are in imminent danger of losing it altogether.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that not only is the Trump travel ban constitutional, government unions have no right to extract “agency fees” from workers who do not wish to support the union.

Such fees violate the First Amendment rights of government workers not to promote policies or ideas in which they disbelieve.

Then came word that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the “swing vote” on the Supreme Court who was crucial to the decisions that established abortion, homosexuality and same-sex marriage as constitutional rights, will be stepping down.

And Trump informed the press that he would announce Kennedy’s successor on July 9, to be drawn from a list of 20 jurists and legal scholars, all of whom have been vetted by the Federalist Society.

Panic ensued.

“I’m scared. You’re scared. We’re all scared,” says Warren in a video her campaign has released.

On Bill Maher’s show, leftist film director Michael Moore called for a million citizens to surround the Capitol to prevent a vote on Kennedy’s successor. How Moore’s million-man march proposes to get into Mitch McConnell’s Senate chamber was left unexplained.

At a fundraiser in Berkeley, California, Barack Obama tried to calm his terrified minions:

“All these people that are out here kvetching and wringing their hands and stressed and anxious and constantly watching cable tv and howling at the moon, ‘What are we going to do?’ Their hair is falling out.”

But liberal elites making fools of themselves is a less serious matter than the savage slanders Democrats are hurling at the 20,000 men and women of ICE who are daily protecting us and our country.

ICE, after all, was established to prevent another 9/11, when real terrorists, some of whom had overstayed their visas, massacred 3,000 innocent people, most of them Americans.

This vilification of ICE, writes Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan, represents both an injustice and an act of ingratitude:

“Since September 2016, ICE has arrested nearly 5,000 criminal aliens in New York — individuals with a criminal conviction in addition to their violation of immigrant laws. Many of these arrests were conducted at large in the community which ICE is increasingly forced to do due to sanctuary policies in the state that prevent us from taking custody of criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail.

“Governor (Andrew Cuomo) supports these policies at the expense of the safety of the very same communities he took an oath to protect.”

Whatever one may think of Trump’s policy of “zero tolerance” of immigrants who break into our country, for elites to smear the 20,000 men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe, as “terrorists” and “fascists,” is an especially egregious form of liberal ingratitude.

What is it in the DNA of the left that it is always ready to enlist in any new war on cops?

The issue of 2018: Should we, or should we not, abolish ICE and embrace the progressive alternative of open borders?

*  *  *

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Published:7/3/2018 6:05:46 PM
[Markets] Trump Reverses Obama-Era Policies On Use Of Race In College Admissions

As Donald Trump moves to undo every last trace of Obama's legacy, the WSJ reported that on Tuesday, the Trump administration reversed Obama-era policies that encourage the use of race in college admissions "to promote diverse educational settings."  Instead, the Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards.

The reversal would restore the policy set during President George W. Bush’s administration, when officials told schools that it “strongly encourages the use of race-neutral methods” for admitting students to college or assigning them to elementary and secondary schools.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the official announcement Tuesday afternoon.

"The American people deserve to have their voices heard and a government that is accountable to them. When issuing regulations, federal agencies must abide by constitutional principles and follow the rules set forth by Congress and the President," Sessions said. "In previous administrations, however, agencies often tried to impose new rules on the American people without any public notice or comment period, simply by sending a letter or posting a guidance document on a website. That's wrong, and it's not good government."

The decision comes amid a DOJ probe whether Harvard was illegally discriminating against Asian-American students by holding them to a higher standard in its admissions process. The administration revived the probe last year after Obama civil rights officials dismissed a similar complaint.

While the decision does not change current US law on affirmative action, it provides a strong illustration of the administration's position on an issue that could take on renewed attention with the departure of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court.

The guidelines, which were issued jointly by the Obama Justice and Education departments, laid out legal recommendations for schools looking to use race as an admissions factor to boost diversity at their schools. Call it state-sponsored affirmative action. However, the WSJ reports that Trump admin officials will argue that the documents, published in 2011 and 2016, go beyond Supreme Court precedent on the issue and mislead schools to believe that legal forms of affirmative action are simpler to achieve than what the law allows.

It is hardly a surprise that the Obama officials who implemented the policies disagree: Anurima Bargava, who headed civil rights enforcement in schools under Obama’s DOJ, disagreed with that assessment, saying the documents simply offered guidelines to schools and colleges looking to continue using affirmative action legally; she countered by attacking the current administration’s action as signaling that it doesn’t favor racial diversity.

“The law on this hasn’t changed, and the Supreme Court has twice ruled reaffirming the importance of diversity,” she said. “This is a purely political attack that benefits nobody.”

Then again, perhaps the guidelines were not that innocent, and come as a 2014 lawsuit is unfolding in federal court against Harvard, filed by a group called Students for Fair Admissions, which alleges Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-Americans by limiting the number of Asian students who are admitted. It is expected to go to trial in October.

In the bigger picture, the action to rescind Obama-era guidelines comes at a rather sensitive time for the nation, just as Trump is set to appoint a new SCOUT judge, and is also likely to inflame a long-running national debate over the role of race in college admissions, an sensitive issue the U.S. Supreme Court has revisited on several occasions since the 1970s.

In 2016, the high court reaffirmed the practice in a 4-3 decision, but in his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy left the door open to future legal challenges by saying universities must continue to review their affirmative-action policies to assess their positive and negative effects.

Kennedy has since announced his retirement, and advocates on both sides say his successor, to be nominated soon by President Donald Trump, may take a different view on the practice as the Harvard case wends its way through the courts.

As such, the motive behind the process to undo one of Obama's core legacies may be to serve as a litmus test by the Trump administration to gauge just how conservative Kennedy's replacement will be, especially since the affirmative action guidelines are relatively innocuous.

Meanwhile, Harvard has previously objected to the lawsuit, claiming its admissions process is consistent with the legal precedents set over the past 40 years by the Supreme Court, which have allowed universities to consider race as a factor in admissions to obtain the benefits of a diverse student body.

But the plaintiffs suing Harvard said in court filings the school displayed a “stunning failure to take the elementary steps required by the law” to achieve diversity without taking race into account, such as considering applicants’ socioeconomic backgrounds, eliminating early admissions and increasing community college transfers.

And here is where Asian students felt cheated: as the WSJ reports, in court filings published last month as part of its continuing litigation, the university revealed that Asian-American applicants on average had higher academic marks and received higher scores from alumni interviews than other racial groups. But on a “personal” score that admissions officers used to gauge applicants’ character, Asian students scored the lowest.

Whatever the outcome of the challenge, it is inevitable that the aggrieved social grouping, whether conservatives or liberals, will allege that this is another example of racism escalating to dominate ever more aspects of daily life, at a time when social, racial, ethnic and wealth polarization in the US is already nearing its breaking point.

Published:7/3/2018 5:03:45 PM
[Markets] "...For The Children..."

Three little words is all it takes to know that the 'other side' has failed to convince the listener why their fact-based argument should be taken seriously.

Three little words changes everything... no, not "go f**k yourself", those three little words are: "for the children."

The latest and greatest abuse of these three little words is to paper over any extreme, insane, irresponsible comments that are spewed by the left about President Trump's "inhuman, nazi-like, abuse, holocaust..." treatment of "the children" of illegal immigrants.

Of course, ignore the 'fact' that President Trump's detention of children separate from their crime-committing parents is the same as President Obama's, there is another 'fact'.

As Charlie Kirk tweeted: "Did you know: There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison, and 400,000 kids in foster care...But somehow all our focus is on 2,000 illegal immigrants who broke our laws and who got separated from their kids temporarily?"

Fact Check: He is correct (source)

If it's really "for the children" then do The Democrats believe that those 2.7 million children should be rejoined with their crime-committing parents in jail?

Published:7/3/2018 4:05:42 PM
[Markets] Snyder: Civil Unrest Is Here, Prepare For A "Summer Of Rage"

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

On Friday, Michael Moore went on Bill Maher’s HBO show and suggested that the U.S. military would side with progressives in a civil war against Donald Trump.  You can watch Moore make these comments on YouTube right here

The very next day, Antifa thugs violently clashed with pro-Trump conservatives that had gathered for a prayer rally on the streets of Portland, Oregon. 

Flash-bang grenades were thrown by Antifa activists, the police confiscated “mace, clubs, gloves with reinforced knuckles, batons, knives and handgun clips”, and many were injured and had to be taken to the hospital.  The violence was so dramatic that some are actually calling this the first skirmish in America’s next civil war. 

Last week, a shocking poll found that 31 percent of all Americans believe that there will be a civil war in America within the next five years and that 59 percent of Americans believe that Donald Trump’s opponents will resort to violence.  But after the events of this past weekend, we no longer have to wonder if civil unrest is coming to America.  Civil unrest is already here, and it is going to get much worse in the months ahead.

The next several months are being billed as a “summer of rage”.  Progressive leaders continue to insist that they are “the majority” and that it is time for them to “start acting like the majority”.

Of course they aren’t talking about mobilizing voters and taking the country back at the polls in November.

Instead, they are talking about more direct action.

For example, Michael Moore told Bill Maher that if they don’t act now, Americans are going to deeply regret not rising up against “fascism” while there was still time to do so

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was fired up on Friday night’s “Real Time,” telling host Bill Maher that now is the time to stand together to stop the “madness” in the Trump administration, even comparing it to the dystopian world seen in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“We are living ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” Moore said. “This is a serious point. The best part of the show is the flashbacks, where she tries to figure out where was the point where it was too late. Where was the point that if we all just had risen up, just done something? But because it happens in little increments. That’s how fascism works.”

And Michael Moore certainly intends to be at the tip of the spear.

In fact, he also told Bill Maher that he plans “to join a million other Americans to surround the United States Capitol” to protest Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Of course we don’t even know who the nominee will be yet.  There are rumblings that it could be Amy Coney Barrett, and if that is the case the left is really going to freak out then.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC is speaking in apocalyptic terms as well.  He says that this is a time “to fight”, and he is convinced that “it’s gonna be almost like Spanish Civil War stuff”

“So I would say I think this is gonna be the fight of the century,” he told MSNBC. “I think the Democrats have to say no way. No one passes this line. I think it’s gonna be almost like Spanish Civil War stuff – you watch!”

“It’s time for Democrats to play Hardball,” he added. “I’m Chris Matthews and I’m urging them to do just that. There are times to fight and this is one of them.”

I don’t think that most conservatives really understand what is happening.

These radical leftists are ready to put their lives on the line.  They are entirely convinced that Donald Trump is another version of Hitler and that Trump supporters are all a bunch of fascists, and they truly believe that they need to do whatever is possible to fight “the rising tide of fascism” in this country.

The following excerpt from an opinion piece by Charles M. Blow in the New York Times is a glimpse into how these crazed progressives currently view Donald Trump…

He is a racist who disparages black and brown people, whether they be immigrants, Muslims, people from Haiti and Africa, Barack Obama, the mayor of San Juan or Maxine Waters. People equivocate about it and excuse it.

He is attacking the press in the most aggressive of terms so that what they reveal about him will be viewed with skepticism.

He is attempting to weaken our institutions, our protocols and conventions, our faith in the truth, our sense of honor and our respect for the rule of law.

To these progressives, there is no greater cause then resisting Donald Trump and trying to take America back.

During his conversation with Bill Maher, Michael Moore insisted that the “moment is now” and that this movement is something worth giving your life for

“What are people willing to commit to? What would you give your life for?” Moore said. “What would you be willing to actually put yourself on the line for? That moment is now. We are going to lose our democracy if we haven’t already. We have no choice, my friends. We all have to rise up.”

When people are ready to die for a cause, suddenly they will do things that they would not normally do.

Normally, Americans do not throw flash-bang grenades at one another, but that is precisely what happened in Portland over the weekend.  Trump supporters that had gathered to pray were caught unprepared for the violence that erupted, and one woman was entirely convinced that Antifa had come down there to “try to murder us”

‘They were throwing rocks, they were throwing bottles, you need to tell the truth,’ one middle-aged woman in a Make America Great Again hat said after the clashes, addressing media in remarks caught on camera.

‘No one on our side did anything violent, everything was self defense,’ she claimed. ‘You guys have to stop it because you’re encouraging these people to come down here and try to murder us.’

You can watch five minutes of footage from the Portland riot here.  Even though I have been warning that this is coming for a very long time, even I was greatly shocked by the ferocity of the violence.

The thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is rapidly disappearing, and it is going to be exceedingly hard to stop civil unrest from erupting in major cities all over the nation.

As I end this article today, let me leave you with an ominous warning from a progressive that was just published by the Washington Post

The backlash is coming. It is the deserved consequence of minority-rule government protecting the rich over everybody else, corporations over workers, whites over nonwhites and despots over democracies. It will explode, God willing, at the ballot box and not in the streets.

You can only ignore the will of the people for so long and get away with it.

Published:7/3/2018 3:33:29 PM
[Media] D’OH! David Axelrod’s attempted swipe at Trump lands HARD on his old pal Barack Obama

Well, shoot.

The post D’OH! David Axelrod’s attempted swipe at Trump lands HARD on his old pal Barack Obama appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/3/2018 3:02:46 PM
[Markets] Imran Awan Gets Sweetheart Plea Deal; DOJ Won't Prosecute Alleged Spy Ring, Cybercrimes

The Department of Justice won't prosecute Imran Awan, a former IT administrator for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and dozens of other Democrats, for allegations of cybersecurity breaches, theft and potential espionage, as part of a plea agreement one one count of unrelated bank fraud. 

After the entry of your client’s plea of guilty to the offense identified in paragraph 1 above, your client will not be charged with any non-violent criminal offense in violation of Federal or District of Columbia law which was committed within the District of Columbia by your client prior to the execution of this Agreement -Awan Plea Agreement

Awan withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars after lying on a mortgage application and pretending to have a medical emergency that allowed him to drain his wife's retirement account. He then wired large sums of money to Pakistan in January, 2017.

When word of a plea agreement emerged last week, President Trump was none too pleased: 

Awan and several family members worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz along with 20% of House Democrats as IT staffers who held - as the House Inspector General called it - the "keys to the kingdom," when it came to accessing confidential information on Congressional computer systems. 

And while ample evidence of potential crimes were found by the House Inspector General, the DOJ says they found no evidence of wrongdoing.

The Department of Justice said it “found no evidence that [Imran] illegally removed House data from the House network or from House Members’ offices, stole the House Democratic Caucus Server, stole or destroyed House information technology equipment, or improperly accessed or transferred government information.”

That statement appears to take issue — without explaining how — with the findings of the House’s Nancy Pelosi-appointed inspector general, its top law enforcement official, the sergeant-at-arms, and the statements of multiple Democratic aides.

In September 2016, the House Office of Inspector General gave House leaders a presentation that alleged that Alvi, Imran, brothers Abid Awan and Jamal Awan, and a friend were logging into the servers of members who had previously fired him and funneling data off the network. It said evidence “suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity” and that their behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization.”

Server logs show, it said, that Awan family members made “unauthorized access” to congressional servers in violation of House rules by logging into the servers of members who they didn’t work for. -Daily Caller

Awan was arrested at Dulles airport while attempting to flee the country - one day after reports emerged that the FBI had seized a number of "smashed hard drives" and other computer equipment from his residence. While only charged with bank fraud, there is ample evidence that the Awans were spying on members of Congress through their access to highly-sensitive information on computers, servers and other electronic devices belonging to members of Congress. 

Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller has compiled the most comprehensive coverage of the Awan situation from start to finish - and outlines exactly why the Awans' conduct warranted serious inquiry. 

On Feb. 3, 2017, Paul Irving, the House’s top law enforcement officer, wrote in a letter to the Committee on House Administration that soon after it became evidence, the server went “missing.”

The letter continued: “Based upon the evidence gathered to this point, we have concluded the employees are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems.”

Imran, Abid, Jamal, Alvi and a friend were banned from the House network the same day Kiko sent the letter.

The alleged wrongdoing consisted of two separate issues.

The first was the cybersecurity issues. In an April 2018 hearing spurred by the Awan case, Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko testified: “The bookend to the outside threat is the insider threat. Tremendous efforts are dedicated to protecting the House against these outside threats, however these efforts are undermined when these employees do not adhere to and thumb their nose at our information security policy, and that’s a risk in my opinion we cannot afford.”

The second was a suspected theft scheme. Wendy Anderson, a former chief of staff for Rep. Yvette Clarke, told House investigators she believed Abid was working with ex-Clarke aide Shelley Davis to steal equipment, and described coming in on a Saturday to find so many pieces of equipment, including iPods and Apple TVs, that it “looked like Christmas.

Meanwhile, as we noted in June, the judge in the Awan case, Tanya Chutkan, was appointed to the D.C. US District Court by President Obama on June 5, 2014, after Chutkan had contributed to him for years.

Opensecrets.org

Prior to her appointment to the District Court, she was a partner at law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner (BSF) where she represented scandal-plagued biotechnology company Theranos - which hired Fusion GPS to threaten the news media. Because of this, Chutkan had to recuse herself from two cases involving Fusion GPS.

Meanwhile, BSF attorney and crisis management expert Karen Dunn - who prepped Hillary Clinton for debates and served as Associate White House Counsel to Obama - represents Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Another BSF attorney, Dawn Smalls, was John Podesta's assistant while he was Obama's Chief of Staff. And if you still had doubts over their politics, BSF also republished an article critical of Donald Trump in their "News & Events" section.

In short, the Judge in the Awan case - appointed by Obama after years of contributing to him, was a partner at a very Clinton-friendly law firm. It should also be noted that Obama appointed Chutkan's husband, Peter Krauthammer, to the D.C. Superior Court in 2011. 

The left has, of course, seized upon the plea deal to suggest that there was no wrongdoing. 

Published:7/3/2018 3:02:46 PM
[Media] BIGOT much? MSNBC analyst botches possible SCOTUS justice Amy Barrett’s name, sneers that she’s ‘VERY Catholic’

Can you imagine the fit the Left would throw if Obama had nominated a Muslim for the SCOTUS and some ‘analyst’ on Fox News said he or she was ‘very Muslim’? They’d be screeching about bigot this and Islamaphobia that … But since Amy Barrett is a possible Trump SCOTUS nominee that apparently makes her […]

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Published:7/3/2018 1:34:08 PM
[The Blog] Trump administration reverses Obama-era guidance on affirmative action

"The Trump administration’s plan would scrap the existing policies and encourage schools not to consider race at all."

The post Trump administration reverses Obama-era guidance on affirmative action appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/3/2018 12:32:26 PM
[Minorities] Trump Administration Reverses Obama on Affirmative Action The justice and education departments will encourage the nation’s schools and universities to adopt race-blind admissions policies, reversing Obama administration guidance. Published:7/3/2018 12:32:26 PM
[Affirmative action] Affirmative action today…(2) (Scott Johnson) Word comes today via Michelle Hackman’s Wall Street Journal story that the Trump administration is planning to rescind “a set of Obama-era policies that encourage the use of race in college admissions to promote diverse educational settings[.]” Hackman tacfully couches her report in the euphemisms that enshroud the practice of racial discrimination in the name of “affirmative action.” Hackman does not link to either of the two Obama administration guidance Published:7/3/2018 11:04:21 AM
[US News] NERVOUS? Obama’s former ‘Ethics Czar’ totally FLIPS OUT over Sharyl Attkisson’s latest Rosenstein piece

Norm Eisen, Obama’s former ‘Ethics Czar’ (whatever the heck THAT is) seems to have taken issue with Sharyl Attkisson’s latest piece about Rosenstein. Huh, wonder why? This irresponsible, foolish piece claims Rosenstein has "conflicts," yet does not cite to a single rule or other legal authority. We looked at the ACTUAL rules and agreed with […]

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Published:7/3/2018 11:04:21 AM
[Media] BUUUURN! Ben Shapiro drops the HAMMER on Kamala Harris after she SNAPS at White House over her ‘record’

Seems the White House took a page out of Obama’s book and tweeted a senator directly on Twitter. .@SenKamalaHarris, why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does. Here is a link to help you out: https://t.co/kcrNj4aVMU — The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 2, 2018 As you can […]

The post BUUUURN! Ben Shapiro drops the HAMMER on Kamala Harris after she SNAPS at White House over her ‘record’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/3/2018 8:05:03 AM
[Middle Column] Watch: ‘We deserve someone who believes in climate change’ – EPA Chief Scott Pruitt becomes latest Trump official to be harassed at a restaurant

Teacher Kristin Mink was shown approaching Pruitt as he chowed down with a pal at the Teaism restaurant Monday, four blocks from his office at the EPA’s headquarters. “I just wanted to urge you to resign, because of what you’re doing to the environment in our country,” Mink said, holding her two-year-old son and a notepad, as her husband recorded the encounter...Mink teaches sixth grade at Sidwell Friends – the tony school where President Obama sent his two daughters – according to the school’s website and her Facebook account. She told The Post she’s been protesting the Trump administration, including getting arrested at the Hart Senate Office Building last week over the policy to separate parents and children at the U.S. southern border. “This wasn’t planned or organized, I literally just saw him and said you are the man who is ruining the future, for the children, for the next generation,” Mink said, explaining she did what she did not as an activist but as a “mom and citizen.”

Published:7/3/2018 7:35:39 AM
[Markets] The Dictatorship Over America: How It Functions

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Democrats have won the national vote in six of the last seven presidential elections, which, with the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, will have resulted in the appointment of eight of the Supreme Court’s nine justices. And yet four of those justices will have been appointed by presidents who took office despite having fewer votes than their opponent. Republicans will have increasingly solid control of the court’s majority, with the chance to replace the sometimes-wavering Kennedy with a never-wavering conservative movement stalwart.

Over the last generation, the Republican Party has moved rapidly rightward, while the center of public opinion has not. It is almost impossible to find a substantive basis in public opinion for Republican government. On health care, taxes, immigration, guns, the GOP has left America behind in its race to the far right. But the Supreme Court underscores its ability to counteract the undertow of its deepening, unpopular extremism by marshaling countermajoritiarian power.

This is the way that the neocon (Hillary Clinton wing) Democrat Jonathan Chait, writing at the Democratic Party propaganda-organ New York magazine, got something profoundly correct, for a change. That quotation opened Chait’s June 27th commentary, which was titled "The Republican Court and the Era of Minority Rule”.

Neoconservatives (otherwise called “America’s imperialists” but they’re basically no different from imperialists in other countries) now run both of America’s political Parties - not only the Republican Party - regardless of what voters might happen to think of the neoconservative philosophy.

This disparity between the non-ideological public and the virtually 100% neoconservative rulers, is due to the fact that voters have no real power in America (something that Chait noted in that excerpt, but only within a partisan Democratic-Party-versus-Republican-Party context, not any broader or more encompassing context, that questions the political and economic system itself — at a deeper level than merely “Democratic” versus “Republican”). By contrast against that powerless public, America’s aristocrats possess all of the power, and they’re imperialists (“neocons”) because they want their private international corporate empires to dominate over the entire world. But this insightful (though too narrowly focused) opening from Chait shows that even neoconservatives (such as he) aren’t always wrong about everything.

In fact, this opening, from a Democratic Party neoconservative, about America’s increasing conservative (Republican) dictatorship, was entirely truthful within its partisan narrow scope, and therefore (to that extent) more like an exemplification of the proverbial “infinite monkey theorem” — that “a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.” 

However, Chait’s ‘Shakespearean' string ended precisely there, when he immediately followed up that opening statement of his, by saying, “The story really begins in December 2000,” and he proceeded to blame everything on Bush-v.-Gore, and on the way that the Republican operatives raped the American nation on 9 December 2000. This problem of America’s being a dictatorship, however, actually goes far deeper — and farther back — than that Republican Party victory (as will be shown here).

The only comprehensive and scientific study which has ever been done of whether the US is a democracy or instead a dictatorship, was published in 2014, and it found that, “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.”

Consequently, for example, our opinions of “Saddam’s WMD” were simply being manipulated by the controlling owners of US-based international corporations, just as those same super-rich individuals (most of whom are Americans) have controlled whom the nine people will be who rule from the Supreme Court, on what the US Constitution means, and doesn’t mean (and this judicial panel, of course, also decided Bush-v.-Gore).

So: the US Constitution has become increasingly twisted (by such jurists) to ‘mean’ things (such as aristocratic dictatorship) that were loathed by America’s Founders, who actually went to war against Britain’s aristocracy — this Constitution has become increasingly twisted to ‘mean’ things such as creating and expanding an international empire, and as allowing US taxpayers to be forced to subsidize the political speech of some religions and not of other religions, nor of opponents of all religions. (Especially the Republican Party benefits enormously from empowering evangelical pastors to preach Republican propaganda to their congregations.)

According to that scientific study, the United States, during the period that was studied, which extended from 1981 through to 2002, which was virtually the entire twenty years PRIOR to Bush-.v.-Gore — and this is quoting now directly from the study itself: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

So: how does this — the aristocracy’s dictatorial grip on America’s Government — function? Not only the 2000 US Presidential ‘election’ was stolen from the American electorate, but so too are almost all US national elections stolen, especially the crucial ones, such as the political primary elections to Congress and the Presidency, for candidates to become the selected nominees of each of the two political Parties and thus to become offered to the public as the final contestants who might actually win those offices in the US national Government. Just as Bernie Sanders was the most-preferred of all candidates in 2016 to become the US President but the nomination was stolen from him by the Democratic National Committee for Hillary Clinton, it’s the same in most ‘elections’ to American national offices. And this dictatorship by the super-rich didn’t start with Bush.-v.-Gore, such as Chait alleges.

Right now, the US aristocracy, who control all of the large US corporations — including all of the major news-media — are pushing very hard to impose a kind of lock-down against the few media that they don’t control: against the media whose only presence is online, because these small media lack the funding to have either a print-and-paper presence, or else network broadcast and telecast facilities or a cable network.

The way that the ‘news’-giants propagandize this lockdown against unwanted truths, is by calling those small media sites (the half-dozen or so which do publish the elsewhere prohibited truths) ‘fake news’ media, and by alleging that only the print-broadcast-cable ‘news’ media (the very same ‘news’media which had deceived the public in 2002 to fear “Saddam’s WMD” and which had ‘justified’ in 2011 Obama’s destruction of Libya, and his subsequent invasion of Syria) ought to be trusted by the American people. Obviously, that’s crazy, but America’s aristocrats want the public to believe this way.

On June 27th, Gallup reported:

Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation conducted a web-based experiment to assess the effectiveness of a news source rating tool designed to help online news consumers discriminate between real news and misinformation. The tool identifies news organizations as reliable (using a green cue) or unreliable (using a red cue) based on evaluations of their work, funding and other factors by experienced journalists.

The Gallup news-report closed: “Gallup and Knight Foundation acknowledge support for this research provided by the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. All of them are neoconservative organizations, which represent the interests of America’s billionaires — not of the public anywhere.

The technical report of this experiment concluded that mainstream news-media can increase the public’s prejudice against non-mainstream news-media, by having their own hired “experienced journalists” label those small competing news-media as providers of ‘misinformation’ instead of ‘news’

This survey experiment evaluated the effect of a specific source rating tool — cues about news organization trustworthiness based on evaluations from experienced journalists. The findings suggest that using this approach may help combat online misinformation and restore confidence in obtaining quality news.

Of course, this finding is very good news for America’s billionaires, because further suppressing what the aristocrats are calling ‘misinformation’ (such as this) will enable them to increase their dictatorship, even more.

As time goes by, the means of deceiving the public, become even cagier than they were before. The way that the dictatorship in America functions is by deceiving the public; and perhaps this Gallup-Knight-Ford-Gates-Soros study has helped them to develop a more effective “tool” to do that.

Maybe the next big invasion will be of Iran. American-and-allied media seem to be focusing increasingly on this particular target. Perhaps “experienced journalists” are being promoted right now, for that very purpose. With Donald Trump in power, Iran is systematically becoming the main next target. It was his top target even before he became elected; and one can even say that he was selected by the US aristocracy, and by Israel's aristocracy, and by the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia, and by the leader of UAE’s royal families, mainly for this reason, to be installed to run the US regime. But, of course, they would also have done very well if Hillary Clinton had been ‘elected’.

That’s the way things are: politics in America, especially at the national level, is now merely a puppet-show. And, apparently, many if not most of the people who are pulling the strings in it don’t so much as live here — they are foreigners, though of the types that Trump (as now is obvious), relies upon, instead of persecutes (such as ‘wetbacks’).

The American people are merely the audience. We didn’t even buy this puppet-show. Those billionaires did. (The American ones also buy the puppet-theater which presents Russia as being the foreign power that controls the US Government and that ‘endangers democracy’ everywhere. During the communist era, that story-line was believable by even intelligent people, but after 24 February 1990, it no longer is.)

NOTE: The way that the present writer tries to facilitate readers’ checking-out the trustworthiness of the allegations in my own news-reports, isn’t based on sites but on individual news-reports, by means of providing links to the source whenever a given allegation is one that a significant percentage of readers might think to be false. I am selective of each and every individual article or video that I cite as being evidence; I never select sources on the basis of the news-medium that published them, because I sometimes find falsehoods published on even the best media, and sometimes find thoroughly accurate articles or videos to be published on even the worst media. Selecting on the basis of media, is for fools. Every news-consumer should know what the prejudices of any given ‘news’medium are — its main propagandistic orientations. But to evaluate any given allegation on that basis, is foolish. It is ad-hominem, not ad-rem, regarding the given allegation.

Published:7/2/2018 11:29:04 PM
[Markets] Retired Green Beret: The US Border Battle Is Just The Beginning

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via SHTFplan.com,

For several months, now, there has been a steadily growing focus on the U.S.’s implementation of increased border patrols, the creation of a permanent fence or divider on the border, and the question of illegal aliens. The president has taken a firm and unyielding stance. On June 25, AP was quoted as reporting “President Donald Trump on Sunday compared people entering the U.S. from Mexico to invaders and said they should be back without appearing before a judge.”

The president was quoted as saying, “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our country. Our immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting [in] line for years! Immigration must be based on merit – we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!

Absolutely right: they are illegal aliens, and as they are crossing the border illegally without citizenship, they are foreign, non-citizens – aliens, by definition.

The stance of the ACLU, the Democratic Party, and other communist organizations are just such: communist platforms that are evident within Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” Van Jones’ “Top Down, Bottom Up,” principle, and the pseudo-heartfelt “welcome” to the illegals from lifelong party operatives such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer. In the manner of the “open dams” in Europe, allowing the floodgates to open up with Muslims and destroy the European nations from within, the Democrats, communist-sympathizing domestic corporations (globalist and communist are interchangeable), and the “entitlement nation” of citizen-sheeple are pushing hard to make that happen here.

From a technical standpoint, not only are they illegal aliens, but also they are invaders, just as the president stated, and that by their own admission. In the words of the Mexicans who are proponents of “La Reconquista,” the entire southwest and half of California “belongs” to the Mexicans. The exact percentage is unknown: polls of this nature are not taken, and if they were, the results would be discounted or labeled as “racist” in the manner of “The Bell Curve,” released in the mid 1990’s with amazing statistical analyses.

The majority of these “Reconquistadores” truly believe that with a combination of illegal incursions, the drug cartels, and eventually the support of the Mexican government, that the territory ceded to the U.S. in and surrounding the war with Mexico will be reclaimed and renamed Aztlan. Tens of millions have already crossed, and the majority of these illegal aliens brought that philosophy with them: thus, they are illegal aliens, and this is an invasion.

Complicit with that invasion are the politicians in the United States and the moneyed interests, lobbyists, and corporations who set up and pay the politicians’ “second retirement fund,” as in the “Clinton Foundation,” the most massive presidential money-laundering operation carried out by a former president, his family, and his network. The corporations have paid these politicians to look the other way and make it easier for illegal aliens to work in this country under the table. President Reagan had a big hand in triggering this “amnesty” mind-set with his policies that did not enforce border security or crackdowns on corporations employing illegal aliens outside of the tax-format of society.

President Trump is doing the right thing. He is setting the wheels in motion for a no-tolerance policy for illegal entry into the United States. He is fulfilling his job as the Commander-in-Chief by dealing with the border and protecting the interests of U.S. citizens as provided within the Constitution.

Time Magazine’s June 25 edition has an article entitled “A parent’s nightmare at the U.S. border.” The article is a perfect characterization of the Left’s demonization of any…any…upholding of U.S. laws relating to border control. The article uses “A young Honduran woman named Miriam” and her “18 month-old son” that she carried in her arms and walked across the border with, on grounds of “asking for asylum.”

The author’s name is Haley Sweetland Edwards (go figure), and it painted a picture of the struggling, valiant young mother and her infant son against the evils of the U.S. government who wouldn’t just let her walk across. Asylum? Viktor Belenko was granted asylum back in ’74 when he flew a MiG, the “Foxbat” to Japan and defected from the USSR. That’s a case for asylum. Haley Sweetland Edwards, you just walk across the Mexican border asking for “asylum,” and see what they do to you there, or in any other country for that matter.

The mindset is this: you give your money, open your homes, and you let them into the borders…but just don’t give them my things: that is the liberal mindset in a nutshell. Liberals are always generous with things that don’t belong to them, generous with anything that doesn’t come directly out of their pockets or bank accounts.

The irony: it does, because indirectly these illegal aliens are responsible for making their taxes rise, making their wait time in an emergency room double, and is adding to the cost of goods and services in the U.S. across the board. The illegals take jobs out of the hands of American citizens and devalue your own money, liberals, by allowing an outflow of cash that increases the balance of payments for the U.S. and undermines the economy. The president is looking out for the interests of the United States and her citizens, bottom line.  July 2 of Time Magazine’s cover has a picture of the president looking down at a crying Latino child, with the caption, “Welcome to America.”

Let’s take an investigative look at this and find out who the staff at Time is and how many of them have an interest either politically or economically or both – of allowing illegal aliens to cross the border with no restrictions. The American media is one of the vilest, most evil, most despicable institutions that has ever existed on the planet. The crimes that have been committed with their blessings make them nothing less than complicit in their commissions.

And regarding that Time issue? They don’t have a page that lists the editor-in-chief, the editorial staff, and the photographers: the anonymity to protect operatives of the communist party, card-carrying or otherwise. “Pravda” or “Izvestya” is a better title for those fawning communist-syndicated AP parrots.

Omitted are the details of the gang-bangers and narcotrafficantes, and the challenges the Border Patrol faced within the administration that was supposed to support it. Omitted are the crimes committed…murders of U.S. citizens…after these illegal aliens have been let out of detention. Fast and Furious and a dead border patrol agent was under Obama’s watch, and these detention camps that are just now coming to the forefront of the media’s camera lenses? They all sprung up during Obama’s tenure, not under the current administration.

In Europe, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and now Italy are taking a stand and stemming the inflow of illegal aliens into their countries. The United States has the chance to do the same. The globalists cannot win unless they completely collapse nations from within and destroy and devalue the borders, language, religion, economy, and culture. They’re using mass migrations (illegal aliens) to accomplish this. In order for the president to succeed, he needs the support of the Congress and American people to stem the tide of illegal aliens into the United States.

Published:7/2/2018 9:59:13 PM
[Markets] "Monetizing Poor People": Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Is Now A Predatory Lender

?Former Obama Treasury Secretary and Council on Foreign Relations distinguished fellow, Tim Geithner, who condemned predatory lenders - is now a predatory lender. 

I’m still embarrassed by some of the things I did there.” -Former employee

Geithner - who lobbied against capping $165 million in executive bonuses at AIG while it was taking TARP money, is now the president of New York Warburg Pincus - a private equity firm which owns predatory lender Mariner Finance, reports the Washington Post

The firm raised $550 million through bond sales last year - using the proceeds to make high-interest-rate loans to low income individuals. 

The check arrived out of the blue, issued in his name for $1,200, a mailing from a consumer finance company. Stephen Huggins eyed it carefully.

A loan, it said. Smaller type said the interest rate would be 33 percent.

Way too high, Huggins thought. He put it aside.

A week later, though, his 2005 Chevy pickup was in the shop, and he didn’t have enough to pay for the repairs. He needed the truck to get to work, to get the kids to school. So Huggins, a 56-year-old heavy equipment operator in Nashville, fished the check out that day in April 2017 and cashed it.

Within a year, the company, Mariner Finance, sued Huggins for $3,221.27. That included the original $1,200, plus an additional $800 a company representative later persuaded him to take, plus hundreds of dollars in processing fees, insurance and other items, plus interest. It didn’t matter that he’d made a few payments already. -WaPo

It would have been cheaper for me to go out and borrow money from the mob,” said Huggins before his first court hearing in April.

It’s basically a way of monetizing poor people,” said former Nashville Mariner Finance manager trainee John Lafferty, who worked for the company for four months in 2015. Lafferty's misgivings echoed the sentiment of other former employees contacted by The Washington Post. “Maybe at the beginning, people thought these loans could help people pay their electric bill. But it has become a cash cow.”

That said, Mariner does reduce their highest borrowing rate of 36% in states with usury laws.

"Consumer installment loans"

The types of lending Mariner engages in - "consumer installment loans" - has grown rapidly in recent years as federal regulations have significantly hobbled payday lending services, according to nonprofit group Center for Financial Services Innovation. To fill the void, private equity firms have invested billions in the space. 

Among its rivals, Mariner stands out for the frequent use of mass-mailed checks, which allows customers to accept a high-interest loan on an impulse — just sign the check. It has become a key marketing method.

The company’s other tactics include borrowing money for as little as 4 or 5 percent — thanks to the bond market — and lending at rates as high as 36 percent, a rate that some states consider usurious; making millions of dollars by charging borrowers for insurance policies of questionable value; operating an insurance company in the Turks and Caicos, where regulations are notably lax, to profit further from the insurance policies; and aggressive collection practices that include calling delinquent customers once a day and embarrassing them by calling their friends and relatives, customers said. -WaPo

Long arm of the law

Another major aspect of Mariner's business is its collections enforcement arm - a busy legal operation funded in part by the customers themselves: "The fine print in the loan contracts obliges customers to pay as much as an extra 20 percent of the amount owed to cover Mariner’s attorney fees, and this has helped fund legal proceedings that are both voluminous and swift," reports The Post

In Baltimore alone, Mariner filed nearly 300 lawsuits last year. In some cases, lawsuits have been filed within five months of the check being cashed.

Explosive growth

Mariner's expansion has been rapid - growing eightfold since 2013 according to a financial statement obtained by The Post. Compay representatives describe themselves as "a business that yields reasonable profits while fulfilling an important socia lneed." 

“The installment lending industry provides an important service to tens of millions of Americans who might otherwise not have safe, responsible access to credit,” John C. Morton, the company’s general counsel, wrote. “We operate in a competitive environment on narrow margins, and are driven by that competition to offer exceptional service to our customers. .?.?. A responsible story on our industry would focus on this reality.”

Mariner would not discuss an affiliated offshore company that handles insurance, citing competitive reasons - however they sell insurance policies that ostensibly cover a borrower's loan payments in the event of such mishaps as accidents, death, unemployment and similar situations. 

“It is not our duty to explain to reporters .?.?. why companies make decisions to locate entities in different jurisdictions,” Morton wrote.

Former employees spill the beans

In order to get a better handle on just how predatory Geithner's company is, WaPo chatted with a dozen former employees. Ten of them had issues with the company's sales practices - "describing an environment where meeting monthly goals seemed at times to rely on customer ignorance or distress." 

I didn’t like the idea of dragging people down into debt — they really make it a big deal to call and collect and not take no for an answer,” said Asha Kabirou, 28, a former customer service representative in two Maryland locations in 2014. “If someone started to fall behind on their payments — which happened a lot — they would say, ‘Why don’t we offer you another $200?’ But they wouldn’t have the money the next month, either.”

“Were there a few loans that actually helped people? Yes. Were 80 percent of them predatory? Probably,” said one former branch manager who was at the company in 2016. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying he did not want to antagonize his former employer. “I’m still embarrassed by some of the things I did there.

“The company is here to make money — I understand that,” said Mauricio Posso, 28, who worked at a Northern Virginia location in 2016 and said he viewed it as valuable work experience. “At the same time, it’s taking advantage of customers. Most customers do not read what they get in the mail. It’s just little tiny type. They just see the $1,200 for you. .?.?. It can be a win-win. In some situations, it was just a win for us.” -WaPo

Mariner says that nobody's forcing people to take out loans - however in many cases lack of English skills and general knowledge about lending has led many to accept deals with the devil. 

“I wanted to go to my mother’s funeral — I needed to go to Laos,” Keo Thepmany, a 67-year-old from Laos who is a housekeeper in Northern Virginia, said through an interpreter. To cover costs, she took out a loan from Mariner Finance and then refinanced and took out an additional $1,000. The new loan was at a rate of 33 percent and cost her $390 for insurance and processing fees. -WaPo

After Thepmany fell behind on her payments, Mariner filed suit against her last year for $4,200 - which included $703 for attorney's fees. The company sought to garnish her wages. 

Barbara Williams, 72, a retired school custodian from Prince William County, in Northern Virginia, said she cashed a Mariner loan check for $2,539 because “I wanted to get my teeth fixed. And I wanted to pay my hospital bills.”.

She’d been in the hospital with three mini-strokes and pneumonia, she said. Within a few months, Mariner suggested she borrow another $500, and she did. She paid more than $350 for fees and insurance on the loan, according to the loan documents. The interest rate was 30 percent. -WaPo

“It was kind of like I was in a trance,” Williams said of decision to take out the loan. Despite paying back some of the money, and Mariner sued when she fell behind - winning a court judgment against her in April for $3,852, including $632 in fees for Mariner’s attorney.

“You think they’re helping you out — and what they’re doing is they’re sinking you further down,” said Stephen Huggins. “They’re actually digging the hole deeper and pushing you further down.”

Published:7/2/2018 6:58:27 PM
[Markets] Who Is Joel Davis?

This article was originally published via Disobedient Media.

UPDATE: 7/1/18: Shortly after publication, it came to our attention that the Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict had incorrectly referred to Joel Davis as a volunteer coordinator, when in fact he served as the Director of the Campaign. This article has been updated to reflect that change.

Disobedient Media recently reported on the arrest of Joel Davis, Executive Director of Youth to End Sexual Violence and former Director of the Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict, who was arrested on charges related to child pornography as well as an attempt to arrange the rape of a nine-year-old and two-year-old.

In the wake of our initial report, astounding questions have been raised about Davis's history as well as that of the organization he founded. Disobedient Media has learned that Davis, 22, is a two-time college drop out, (from both American University and Columbia University) and was pursuing a third attempt at completing his undergraduate degree at the time of his arrest.

Upon examination, it appears that Youth to End Sexual Violence (Davis's NGO) is no longer a registered 501c charity. Records show that the 501c status of Youth to End Sexual Violence was revoked in May 2017 due to the group failing to submit relevant tax forms for three consecutive years.

Given the fact that the organization was founded in 2014, it would follow that the group never submitted the 990-series form required by the IRS. This finding adds to the general lack of concrete information given by the NGO's website, which provides no identification regarding staff, no address, and generally appears to have been run by Davis himself with the contribution of a handful of international bloggers.

Such revocation may not seem all that surprising given recent events surrounding Davis. However, the importance of the NGO'S defunct 501c status extends far beyond Davis's charity and his reputation.

In 2017, the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict, a coalition of highly reputable humanitarian aid groups, put themselves under the leadership of Davis's (defunct) Youth To End Sexual Violence charity, and at an unknown date, had appointed Davis as Director of the entire Campaign. This decision to "restructure" under the leadership of the Charity Davis headed occurred in the same year that this same NGO lost 501c status.

As previously noted by Disobedient Media, the coalition's Steering Committee includes highly respected organizations, such as: Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Global Fund for Women, Youth to End Sexual Violence, The Italian Mine Campaign, Promundo, Every Woman Everywhere, Sofepadi, and Change Center for Health and Gender Equity. In addition to the involvement of these respected entities, the coalition itself was said to be made up of 5,000 organizations and individuals.

The Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict released the following statement in the wake of Davis's arrest, in which they failed to address the leadership role of his defunct charity at the head of the entire coalition and incorrectly described him as a volunteer coordinator, despite having earlier described him as Director of the Campaign.

 

Although the press release describes Davis as a: "Former volunteer coordinator of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence In Conflict," this appears to be an outright fabrication. The Campaign referred to Davis as the Director of the Campaign as recently as April of this year, when he gave a TEDx lecture where he also referred to himself as Director of the Campaign.

The press release also fails to discuss the fact that the already-defunct charity served as the helm of their entire coalition. Press reports have repeatedly described Davis as the Chairman of the Campaign, and it is unclear at this time whether the moniker was incorrectly applied, or referred to his role at the head of the NGO which led said Coalition. In 2015, NBC reported that Davis had been appointed to the Board of the Directors of the Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence.

 

Lars Anderson, the media contact included in the press release, is a co-founder of BlueDot Strategies according to his LinkedIn profileBlueDotdescribes Anderson and fellow co-founder Moira Whelan as: "Former Federal Government insiders with international communications experience." According to BlueDot, Anderson held: "Several senior-level appointments in the Obama Administration, most recently as the deputy chief of staff and counselor to the administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency." Blue Dot adds that Anderson also served as director and spokesman for USAID, and was the NATO spokesman in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

At the time of writing, the Campaign's website still states: "In 2017, Campaign members voted unanimously to reorganize and restructure under the leadership of Davis's Youth to End Sexual Violence, the first international organization of young survivors working in conflict countries." That the coalition states that they unanimously voted to restructure under the leadership of Youth To End Sexual Violence in 2017 is astounding.

In light of all this, it is unavoidable to ask questions, including: How was it possible for a two-time college dropout to be appointed as the Director of a vast coalition of thousands of groups and individuals, with many member-organizations possessing entire legal departments and staff who could have easily recognized that Davis's charity did not have 501c status?The Campaign describes itself as: "The first ever global collaboration between Nobel Laureates, NGOs, and Humanitarian experts to end sexual violence in conflict."

We do not know at this time what financial relationship, if any, existed between Davis's Youth to End Sexual Violence and the 5000 members of the Campaign coalition after their 2017 decision. However, the fact that they describe themselves specifically as restructuring under the leadership of Davis's defunct group, with Davis formerly serving as the Director of the Coalition itself, raises damning questions about their vetting process, financial oversight, and how that restructuring happened given the revocation of Youth to End Sexual Violence's 501c status that year.

 

Even if there was no financial relationship between the members of the coalition and Davis's NGO, questions remain as to why the unanimous decision was made to place these prestigious organizations under the leadership of his group, and his Directorship given his total lack of experience or even a college degree.

Did no one at Human Rights Watch, the Global Fund For Women, the Nobel Women's Initiative, Promundo, Amnesty International, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling, or others take the time to read Davis's CV? Surely their vetting process in choosing the entity and individual to head their coalition should have balked at his lack of experience, much less the revocation of his NGO's 501c status?

Again: How, did a vast group of highly prestigious and respected NGO's gather together under the banner of Davis's defunct charity and his leadership? What vetting if any was done that preceded this "unanimous"decision by such a vast number of people and entities, the likes of which have worked with some of the most well-known humanitarians of our era?

It seems unavoidable, at this juncture, not to question whether Davis's NGO may have acted as a front organization of some kind. If not, are we to believe a college dropout was capable of swindling the top humanitarian aid groups on the planet? If so, how were they swindled so easily?

Questions have also been raised about the legitimacy of Davis's claim to have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. According to NobelPrize.org, the list of nominees for the prestigious award are officially sealed for 50 years after the award is givenPress reportssurrounding Davis's supposed nomination do not provide any source that verifies the nomination occurred other than Davis himself.

While it is technically possible that one of Davis's college professors did nominate him, his lack of corrorobation raises serious questions as to the legitimacy of his claim. If Davis fabricated the story, it would be a perfect deception in the sense that it can't be proven or disproven in fifty years - a timeframe that would help him create a veneer of respectability with which he could access and abuse children with little likelihood of repercussion.

Shortly after Disobedient Media published our initial coverage of this issue, TEDx deleted the video of Joel Davis' talk, delivered just two months ago at TEDx Columbia University.

Disobedient Media has duly preserved the video. The importance of Davis's lecture is not only that he was able to groom respected groups in the humanitarian community, but also the fact that he included the fatal rape of a six-month-old girl in his talk. He also clearly states in the video that he became the Director of a coalition of over 5,000 NGO's, a clear reference to the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence In Conflict. It is important to preserve the historical record surrounding Davis' 'humanitarian' activities and the depth of hypocrisy he was able to maintain prior to his arrest.

All of this begs the following questions: What would have happened if Davis had not been caught at such a young age? How many children would he have had access to over the ensuing decades in a humanitarian career based on lies and defunct charities? How many monsters like Davis slip by unnoticed within the humanitarian aid industry? If a 22-year-old can fake his way into a position of trust at the head of a coalition of the most prestigious aid groups on the planet, and work alongside the likes of Angelina Jolie, how can we trust that this case is not the tip of a silent, lurking, monstrous iceberg?

Why did the Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict lie about Davis's role in their press release in response to his arrest? Does truth and accountability mean nothing in the world of humanitarian aid?

A serious discussion on vetting and accountability in charity work musttake place as a result of this arrest and the multiple questionable and outright duplicitous aspects of Joel Davis' "aid work" that went unnoticed and unquestioned by the NGO world. This must serve as a wake-up-call and lead to demands for drastically increased accountability - otherwise, this horrendous norm is doomed to repeat itself ad infinitum.

Published:7/2/2018 5:58:08 PM
[Politics] Obama gave citizenship to thousands of Iranians in phony Iran deal – Iranian Official Considering Obama gave billions of dollars to Iran as part of his phony Iran deal, this is totally believable even if it does come from an Iranian official: FOX NEWS – The . . . Published:7/2/2018 4:27:33 PM
[Politics] Obama gave citizenship to thousands of Iranians in phony Iran deal – Iranian Official Considering Obama gave billions of dollars to Iran as part of his phony Iran deal, this is totally believable even if it does come from an Iranian official: FOX NEWS – The . . . Published:7/2/2018 4:27:33 PM
[Barack Obama] Obama not going away (Scott Johnson) Our relative freedom from the sound of Obama’s voice should not mislead us into thinking he has retreated into postpresidential respectability. We know that’s not his way. In the New York Post column “The myth of Obama’s disappearance,” Paul Sperry documents in excruciating detail that he is still out there seeking fundamental transformation. He’s not going anywhere. He hasn’t changed his stripes. He means to put us back on the Published:7/2/2018 3:27:42 PM
[Markets] Maxine Waters Turns On Schumer: "He'll Do Anything To Protect His Power"

Maxine Waters (D-CA) is now attacking establishment Democrats after they denounced her calls to form into mobs and attack Trump officials - blasting Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi after they called for civility and debate in the wake of her inflammatory comments.

Leadership like Chuck Schumer will do anything that they think is necessary to protect their leadership," said Waters during a Sunday appearance on MSNBC's "AM Joy. "What I have to do is not focus on them. I’ve got to keep the focus on the children." 

Waters has chosen the "separated migrant children" hill to die on politically after viral images of "caged" migrant children under the Obama administration was wrongly attributed to President Trump. In the ensuing debate over roughly 2,000 migrant children, the American public learned that it also happened under Bush and Obama, and that the Obama administration placed nearly 300,000 migrant children in "cages" after they were apprehended at the border. 

Pelosi rebuked comments Waters' late-June call for supporters to physically confront Trump administration officials, when she said: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."

Responding over Twitter, Pelosi said "In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also laid into Waters last Monday, saying "No one should call for the harassment of political opponents. That's not right. That's not American." 

President Trump, meanwhile, tweeted: "Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!"

Waters' comments came on the heels of several incidents in which Trump administration officials have been harassed or ejected from public spaces, while protesters have begun to show up at the houses of various White House employees. 

In Mid-June, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was ejected from a Lexington, VA restaurant because the gay staff was too triggered by her presence. After the story went viral, Sanders posted to Twitter: "Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

At the end of the day, the fractured left is eating its own. Pelosi and Schumer likely realize that Waters' calls for physical confrontation with Trump admin officials isn't the best way to message going into midterms, while an entirely different wing of Democrats has swung so far left that they're embracing Democratic Socialism - which will be hard to defend in a debate when the left's leading Democratic Socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, can't even explain what it is. 

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan military just seized control over water supplies as their socialist infrastructure collapse.

We wonder if Waters' comments will have a negative impact in November when she faces GOP challenger Omar Navarro.

Published:7/2/2018 12:55:23 PM
[Politics] 41% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Forty-one percent (41%) of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending June 28.

This is down a point from the previous week and two points from the prior two weeks, which tied the high for the year. This finding has been running in the 40s for most weeks this year after being in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama's last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from June 24-28, 2018. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:7/2/2018 12:27:53 PM
[Markets] Ron Paul: "Who's Afraid Of The Trump-Putin Summit?"

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton was in Moscow last week organizing what promises to be an historic summit meeting between his boss and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bolton, who has for years demanded that the US inflict “pain” on Russia and on Putin specifically, was tasked by Trump to change his tune. He was forced to shed some of his neoconservative skin and get involved in peacemaking. Trump surely deserves some credit for that!

As could be expected given the current political climate in the US, the neoconservatives have joined up with the anti-Trump forces on the Left - and US client states overseas - to vigorously oppose any movement toward peace with Russia. The mainstream media is, as also to be expected, amplifying every objection to any step away from a confrontation with Russia.

Bolton had hardly left Moscow when the media began its attacks. US allies are “nervous” over the planned summit, reported Reuters. They did not quote any US ally claiming to be nervous, but they did speculate that both the UK and Ukraine would not be happy were the US and Russia to improve relations. But why is that? The current Ukrainian government is only in power because the Obama Administration launched a coup against its democratically-elected president to put US puppets in charge. They’re right to be nervous. And the British government is also right to be worried. They swore that Russia was behind the “poisoning” of the Skripals without providing any evidence to back up their claims. Hundreds of Russian diplomats were expelled from Western countries on their word alone. And over the past couple of months, each of their claims has fallen short.

At the extreme of the reaction to Bolton’s Russia trip was the US-funded think tank, the Atlantic Council, which is stuck in a 1950s time warp. Its resident Russia “expert,” Anders Åslund, Tweeted that long-time Russia hawk Bolton had been “captured by the Kremlin” and must now be considered a Russian agent for having helped set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.

Do they really prefer nuclear war?

The “experts” are usually wrong when it comes to peacemaking.

They rely on having “official enemies” for their very livelihood. In 1985, national security “expert” Zbigniew Brzezinski attacked the idea of a summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was “demeaning” and “tactically unwise,” he said as reported at the time by the Washington Times. Such a meeting would only “elevate” Gorbachev and make him “first among equals,” he said. Thankfully, Reagan did engage Gorbachev in several summits and the rest is history. Brzezinski was wrong and peacemakers were right.

President Trump should understand that any move toward better relations with Russia has been already pre-approved by the American people. His position on Russia was well known. He campaigned very clearly on the idea that the US should end the hostility toward Russia that characterized the Obama Administration and find a way to work together. Voters knew his position and they chose him over Hillary Clinton, who was also very clear on Russia: more confrontation and more aggression.

President Trump would be wise to ignore the neocon talking heads and think tank “experts” paid by defense contractors. He should ignore the “never Trumpers” who have yet to make a coherent policy argument opposing the president. The extent of their opposition to Trump seems to be “he’s mean and rude.”

Let us hope that a Trump/Putin meeting begins a move toward real reconciliation and away from the threat of nuclear war.

Published:7/2/2018 12:27:53 PM
[Entertainment] Grinds our GEARS! Seth MacFarlane babbles about Trump picking 2 SCOTUS, accidentally SLAMS Obama

Seth MacFarlane is one funny dude. Seriously. The scenes from Family Guy when Peter can’t stop falling down the stairs? OMG, hilarious. No matter how many times this editor watches that clip on YouTube she laughs like a moron … like ugly cry laughing? It’s not pretty. He’s funny. But when it comes to being political, […]

The post Grinds our GEARS! Seth MacFarlane babbles about Trump picking 2 SCOTUS, accidentally SLAMS Obama appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/2/2018 10:27:30 AM
[Markets] US Conducts Successful Field Test Of New Nuclear Bomb

The US Air Force completed two more tests of the B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb by dropping a dud (or "non-nuclear test assembly") from a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada on June 9, as part of the multi-billion dollar project to extend the service life of the bomb, introduced in 1968, by another 20 years.

“The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and the US Air Force completed two non-nuclear system qualification flight tests of the B61-12 gravity bomb on June 9 at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada,” the Department of Energy announced in a statement. “These tests are the first such end-to-end qualification tests on a B-2A Spirit Bomber for the B61-12.”

The tests involved releasing a B61-12 non-nuclear test assembly, which includes the NNSA designed bomb assembly and U.S. Air Force acquired tail-kit, from a B-2A Spirit Bomber operated by the 419th Test & Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base in California. These tests are the first such end-to-end qualification tests on a B-2A Spirit Bomber for the B61-12.

Over the past five decades, the US has used different versions of the B-61 nuclear gravity bomb, which is a core part of the US nuclear triad and has been deployed across the US and NATO bases for five decades. While, over the years, the Pentagon produced numerous modifications to the deadly weapon, B61 variants of 3, 4, 7, and 11 remain in service.

The bomb tests are a part of the Pentagon's $7.6 billion 'B61-12 Life Extension Program', which aims to “refurbish, reuse, or replace all of the bomb’s nuclear and non-nuclear components” and extend the service life of the B61 by at least 20 years. The “first production unit” is scheduled for completion in 2020.

As RT notes, besides deploying B61-12 on modern and future long range bombers such as the B-2A Spirit bomber, the Pentagon is making sure the bomb can be easily used by F-15E fighter jets, and wants to integrate it with the F-35 Lightning II fifth generation combat jets, raising concerns it is creeping towards lowering the threshold for tactical use of nuclear weapons.

After former President Barack Obama authorized a nuclear modernization program, Trump revised it into an ambitious 30-year project that would cost at least $1.2 trillion to complete. Some $800 billion will be spent on maintaining nuclear forces, while about $400 billion will be spent on modernizing them, under the pretext of an existential need to deter “revisionist powers” such as China and Russia.

To justify the massive taxpayer spending on nuclear upgrades, Washington has constantly pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of threatening its neighbors and US national security. “Russia has demonstrated its willingness to use force to alter the map of Europe and impose its will on its neighbors, backed by implicit and explicit nuclear first-use threats,” the NPR report claims, despite Russian military doctrine clearly stating that nukes can only be used in response to a nuclear attack, or when the state’s very existence is put under threat by a massive conventional attack.

* * *

The latest test was the third in a series that will be conducted over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service. Three successful development flight tests were conducted in 2015.

“These qualification flight tests demonstrate the B61-12 design meets system requirements and illustrate the continued progress of the B61-12 life extension program to meet national security requirements” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application. “The achievement is also a testament to the dedication of our workforce and the enduring partnership between NNSA and the U.S. Air Force.”

"The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory and manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants. The tail-kit assembly section was designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center," the NNSA statement said.


Phil Hoover, an engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, shows off a flight test

body for a B61-12 nuclear weapon

The B61-12 consolidates and replaces four B61 bomb variants in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The first production unit is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

The original B61 gravity bomb is the mainstay of the Air Force’s nuclear arsenal and one of the legs of the so-called nuclear triad, along with the intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed from either ground-based silos or oceangoing submarines. The B61 nuclear gravity bomb, deployed from U.S. Air Force and NATO bases, has almost 50 years of service, "making it the oldest and most versatile weapon in the enduring U.S. stockpile." Numerous modifications have been made to improve the B61’s safety, security, and reliability since the first B61 entered service in 1968, and four B61 variants remain in the stockpile: the 3, 4, 7, and 11. However, the aging weapon system requires a life extension to continue deterring potential adversaries and reassuring our allies and partners of our security commitments to them.

The B61-12 LEP will refurbish, reuse, or replace all of the bomb’s nuclear and non-nuclear components to extend the service life of the B61 by at least 20 years, "and to improve the bomb’s safety,  effectiveness, and security" according to the NNSA. The B61-12 first production unit will occur in FY 2020. The bomb will be approximately 12 feet long and weigh approximately 825 pounds. The bomb will be air-delivered in either ballistic gravity or guided drop modes, and is being certified for delivery on current strategic (B-2A) and dual capable aircraft (F-15E, F-16C/D & MLU, PA-200) as well as future aircraft platforms (F-35, B-21).

President Trump has endorsed the ambitious and expensive plan to modernize the US nuclear triad, begun under his predecessor.

The June test of the B61-12 was the third in a series with the final design review due in September 2018 and the first production unit scheduled for completion by March 2020. Once the bomb is authorized for use in 2020, the US plans to deploy some 180 of the B61-12 precision-guided thermonuclear bombs to five European countries as follows:

  • Belgium - 20;
  • Germany -20;
  • Italy - 70;
  • Netherlands - 20;
  • Turkey -50;

... although in light of the recent developments, the Turkish deployment will likely be scrapped.

 

Published:7/2/2018 7:25:49 AM
[Markets] Turkey And India Have Leverage In Trump's Iran Sanction War

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Both India and Turkey have said they will defy President Trump’s call for them to stop buying Iranian oil once the U.S. reapplies sanctions in November.  That isn’t really news.

Both of them defied the Obama administration in 2012, albeit in different way. Turkey changed its banking rules to monetize gold and used its gold reserves as a means to launder Iranian oil payments for third parties through its banking system.

India bypassed cutting off Iran from the U.S. dollar by beginning a goods-for-oil swap program.

Today, however, the geopolitical background is far different.  Today, Iran can and does list its oil for sale in Shanghai’s futures market payable in Chinese Yuan.  Turkey can recycle its Yuan it receives from its large trade deficit with China to up its purchases of Iranian oil if need be.

But, more importantly, both India and Turkey have geopolitical freedoms they didn’t have in 2012.  I have covered the Turkey angle on this at length.  India, on the other hand, I haven’t.

Iran has become Turkey’s biggest oil importer.

Turkey, a NATO ally, is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs. In the first four months of this year, Turkey bought 3.077 million tons of crude oil from Iran, almost 55 percent of its total crude supplies, according to data from Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EPDK).

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year said Turkey was looking to raise the volume of its annual trade with Iran to $30 billion from $10 billion.

And it doesn’t look like this will change with Trump’s sanctions.

With President Erdogan winning re-election he now goes into the NATO Summit with Trump on July 11-12th with a lot of leverage.  Erdogan has openly courted Russia on energy supplies.

It just began construction on its first nuclear power plant being built by Russia which is due to begin generating power by 2023.  But, in the near term, Turkey is in bed with Gazprom on the Turkish Stream pipeline, which is ready to begin the land-based portion.

The permits have not been issued however.  Turkey has been dragging its feet on this.  And with good reason, Erdogan knows Turkish Stream is a bargaining chip for him with Trump at the NATO summit.

Turkey’s NATO status is becoming problematic and it’s why I don’t really expect Trump to take the U.S. out of the treaty organization just yet.  He wants to lessen our involvement and may very well announce a major funding cut at the Summit, but if his regime change strategy for Iran (and Germany) is to succeed he can’t completely alienate Erdogan just yet.

India’s Silk Road Goes Through Iran

The biggest tell that the U.S. is having to resort to begging to keep its geostrategic allies in line came from the most unlikely source though, U.N. Ambassador and neoconservative Buffoon herself, Nikki Haley.

While urging India to curb its Iranian oil purchases, Haley said the United States supported India’s project to help Iran build a major port complex in Chabahar, which is being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for landlocked Afghanistan.

Calling the port project “vital,” Haley said, “We know the port has to happen and the U.S. is going to work with India to do that.”

Haley acknowledged that the port project will also benefit Iran even as Washington tries to cut Tehran off from international markets.

“We realize we’re threading a needle when we do that,” she said.

This is blatant pandering on Haley’s part to keep India from jumping ship towards the Russia/China/Iran alliance.  The port development project at Chabahar has been delayed for months because of Trump’s threatening to scuttle the JCPOA and make it difficult for Indian companies to do business with Iran.

It’s a major infrastructure project meant to position India, technically, outside of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project which has poured more than $50 billion into India’s biggest rival, Pakistan under the rubric of CPEC — The China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

So, this admission by Haley that the port and railroad upgrades in Iran have to go forward to appease India is telling as to who really has the leverage here.

Ultimately, India will be allowed to bypass the dollar for its oil trade with Iran, if the U.S. wants to remain a serious influencer of policy.  It is already a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Iran now has a free-trade pact with the Eurasian Economic Union, which India is exploring becoming affiliated with.

As much as India may not like the OBOR project from the perspective of national price, its leadership recognizes it will ultimately benefit India tremendously.

So will Turkey.  Trump will talk a big game about sanctioning China but doing so would crash the global economy.  So, it’s all noise.

China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) is taking over for France’s Total on the important South Pars B gas field.  While India and Iran continue to haggle over the South Azadegan oilfield development plan.

A lot of these deals between India and Iran have the stink of U.S. meddling in them, trying to keep them in limbo while furious haggling goes on behind the scenes.  There’s a reason why Haley went to India.

And then there’s another reason why a major “2+2” meeting between the U.S. and India between Secretaries of Defense and State, James Mattis and Mike Pompeo and their Indian counterparts was just unilaterally postponed by the U.S.

The upcoming summit with Putin in Helsinki.  This will not sit well with India as this is the latest in a series of delays because of uncertainty at the State Department under Trump.

In the end, expect India and Turkey to mostly get their way in the coming months on energy and defense policy.  They both understand that Trump is simply trying to manage the retreat of the U.S. empire from Eurasia as best as he can and both are more than willing to play it against the Russia/China/Iran axis to get the best deals they can for themselves.

*  *  *

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Published:7/2/2018 1:22:25 AM
[Markets] Surprise! US Taxpayers, Not Illinoisans, Will Cover Most Of The Public Funding For Obama-Land Fiasco In Chicago

Authored by Mark Glennon via WirePoints.com,

Only now has it become apparent that federal taxpayers, not Illinoisans, will be funding most of the public support for the controversial Obama Center to be built on Chicago’s Southside.

Wirepoints has learned from administrative officials and legislators that at least $139 million — 80% of the public funding for the center — almost certainly will be reimbursed by the federal government. The project was already under attack for a number of other reasons, including a First Amendment “compelled speech” claim that it would force taxpayers to fund private, political advocacy.

The center was initially pitched as a privately funded presidential library. Many Illinois taxpayers therefore were angered to learn that at least $174 million was included in the state’s 1,246-page budget presented in May to rank and file General Assembly members only hours before their vote. Nor will the center be a presidential library.

However, it turns out that federal taxpayers will be the ones compelled to make the subsidy. The Illinois appropriation is for roadway and transit reconfigurations needed to accommodate the center, and 80% of such spending is generally reimbursable by the federal government. Wirepoints has confirmed with state officials that federal reimbursement of at least $139 million is highly likely.

Stoking the controversy is the stated mission of the center, which is partly political. The Original Request for Proposals said the center would “enhance the pursuit of [President Obama’s] initiatives beyond 2017.” Former President Obama has further commented to the same effect. As the Chicago Tribune put it, “As he’s long maintained, Obama said he envisions his center as a place where young people from around the world can meet each other, get training and prepare to become the next generation of leaders.”

The center is already subject to a federal lawsuit with a First Amendment claim based on taxpayer support for a private, political purpose. A lawsuit of that type is difficult to win, but it may be bolstered by the recent Janus decision by the United States Supreme Court. Janus was based on the prohibition of compelled speech, and that same doctrine underpins the First Amendment claim about the center.

Here are the details and background:

Contrary to its clear, initial description as a presidential library, it won’t be one. The center will be owned and run by the Obama Foundation, not the National Archives and Records Administration, as are presidential libraries. Obama’s records, artifacts and papers will not be there.

Initial claims that it would be funded entirely with private money also evaporated. “Construction and maintenance will be funded by private donations, and no taxpayer money will go to the foundation,” the foundation’s spokeswoman said. The interpretation was that assured 100 percent private funding.

Obama Center rendering, to be built on part of Jackson Park

WTTW, a public television station in Chicago, askedthe obvious question when the idea of state funding first floated:

“How could could a public financing proposal fly in a state that is bleeding red ink, especially when the Obamas have promised 100 percent private funding?”

That’s easy to answer in Illinois. Chicago politicians asked for it and they get what they want. “Another fast one by Chicago pols,” as one Illinois paper put it.

“To give credit where credit is due, when Chicago/Illinois politicians come together on a scheme to fleece the public and demonstrate that they are a law unto themselves, they think big.”

The federal lawsuit was filed by Protect our Parks, a not-for-profit. It alleges that the transfer of land from Chicago’s Jackson Park to the Obama Foundation, at no cost, violated state law a number of ways. It was a “bait and switch,” the legal complaint says. The land was transferred under the pretense of being a privately funded presidential library but in fact will be used for a private purpose.

The First Amendment claim in the lawsuit is particularly interesting. The suit was filed prior to Illinois’ appropriation of money for the center. The claim is based, instead, on authorization for a special property tax levy for the center. Using any source of taxpayer money for a private political purpose may violate the First Amendment because it is compelled speech.

But now, with the state appropriation completed and federal reimbursement uncovered, much more money is at issue and it’s a matter for all Americans.

And just last week the United States Supreme Court delivered the Janus opinion, which was particularly firm on the prohibition of compelled speech. From the majority opinion:

Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning, and for this reason, one of our land­ mark free speech cases said that a law commanding “in­ voluntary affirmation” of objected-to beliefs would require “even more immediate and urgent grounds” than a law demanding silence.

“Compelling a person to subsidize the speech of other private speakers raises similar First Amendment con­cerns,” added the court. That’s what’s alleged in the lawsuit against the Obama Foundation — forcing taxpayers to subsidize the a center to be used to preach Obama’s politics.

Jackson Park today

It’s conceivable federal reimbursement will not materialize. Illinois could elect to pay towards the center though a bond offering, in which case, we are told by state officials, reimbursement is not available. The state could also essentially elect to use its access to federal reimbursement for other projects. Again, however, those possibilities are not anticipated, according to our sources, and federal reimbursement is fully expected.

Indeed, when a few Republican lawmakers objected to inclusion of funding for the center in the budget, they were told by party leadership not to be concerned because of the federal reimbursement. Illinois Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), told me this:

“During the budget discussion, when objections were raised about spending $172 million on infrastructure improvements for the Obama project, we were assured by Republican leadership not to worry since 80 percent of the cost would be picked up by the federal government.”

Some may argue that spending for roadway and transit reconfiguration isn’t really part of the project. That’s specious. The spending is necessitated entirely by the project. It’s part and parcel of the center.

The precise amount of taxpayer money to go towards the Obama Center is subject to some interpretation and dispute, though it’s at least $174 million. A specific appropriation for $180 million is in Section 105 on page 664 of the new Illinois budget, though we are told the current cost estimate is just $174. Another $12 million is appropriated in Section 100 on that page for a transit station, though there’s some opinion that the station is separate from the center. Together with other transit station money, the Washington Examiner pegged the grand total Illinois appropriation at $224 million. Accordingly, the 80% reimbursed by federal taxpayers may be significantly higher than $139 million.

That difference in the numbers matters little.

Nor does it matter whether the First Amendment claim is truly viable in court.

What matters is that funding by any taxpayers for the center is wrong and that the public has been duped. A privately funded presidential library morphed into a monument to hubris and the arrogance of power: Obamaland.

Published:7/1/2018 10:21:58 PM
[Markets] Fact Check: Did Obama Detain 90,000 Children At The Border?

President Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale recently tweeted that "Over 90,000 kids were detained under Obama. And no one cared." 

What followed was a barrage of angry tweets and an attempt by AP prove the claim false by conflating two narratives; the first being that Trump is putting separated migrant children in prison-like conditions - which the left quickly abandoned after it was revealed that viral photographs depicting the caged migrant children actually happened under Obama.

That claim then morphed into outrage over the Trump administration separating 20% of minors who enter the country from their parents - around 2,000 kids, while ignoring the fact that the Obama administration was also separating children from their parents, while widespread abuse of detained migrants under previous administrations was reported by the ACLU and the University of Arizona.  

One woman interviewed was detained for nearly a month in CADC while she was six months pregnant. She was shackled during transport to and from the facility. At the facility, she was denied monitoring or treatment for an ovarian cyst that posed a risk to herself and the fetus, and received no response to her requests for prenatal vitamins or extra padding for her bed.68 (Her case is described more fully in the box below.) Another woman interviewed was separated from her breastfeeding baby daughter, who was less than two months old, while she was detained in Eloy for two weeks. -University of Arizona

and

Among those findings are that women did not receive adequate medical or mental health care,were often mixed together with women serving criminal sentences, and were often transferred from faraway states. In most cases, researchers found that women were separated from at least one child. -ACLUAZ.org

Also overlooked is the fact that 80% of children entering the United States are separated from their parents when they're shoved across the border with a human trafficker, and that migrants can seek asylum in the United States through one of the several U.S. consulates in Mexico.

The previously silent left became suddenly outraged after President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy of enforcing existing immigration law resulted in approximately 2,000 minors being separated from their parents. To end this, Trump signed Executive Order #13841 on June 25, ordering that detained families not be separated unless the parents pose a danger to the child, while the Trump administration pledged to reunite separated families.  

The "Fact Check" 

Two days after Parscale's tweet, AP published the article "NOT REAL NEWS: Obama didn’t separate 90,000 migrant families," conflating the "separated families" narrative with the "children in cages" narrative - while pointing to a "conservative website" (which they don't link to) as the source of the claim. 

"The claim, published on a conservative website, was repeated on social media throughout the week as President Donald Trump faced criticism over his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy" -AP

What website? Who said that? Parscale said detained, not separated.

The false claim appears to stem from a January 2016 Senate subcommittee report that investigated how the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Obama administration, placed thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the country. 

The subcommittee report found that from October 2013 through 2015 the federal agency placed nearly 90,000 children with a sponsor, after they were detained at the border without a legal guardian. The majority of those sponsors, the report found, were a parent or legal guardian living in the country. -AP

Note how AP simply says that the 90,000 children were placed with a sponsor... Unfortunately, they're missing a giant link in the chain; the detention centers the kids are placed in first.

Taking a look at the Senate subcommittee report AP references (page 8), since the thrust of the left's outrage over Trump's "Zero Tolerance" policy was originally poor migrant children being forced into cages... 

First, we have the 90,000 under Obama figure - but there's a footnoteThen the report notes that the majority of unaccompanied children over that two-year period were placed with a parent or a legal guardian. 

Since the beginning of FY2014, HHS has placed almost 90,000 UACs [Unaccompanied Alien Child] with sponsors in the United States.(31) According to HHS, it places the majority of those UACs with the child’s parent or legal guardian.(32)

Now let's look at that footnote (31) attached to the 90,000 figure - which directs us to an Office of Refugee Resettlement publication entitled: Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by State.

Navigating over to that document on page 2, we find section "A" which outlines "Cases in which a determination of UAC (Unaccompanied Alien Child) status has already been made."

It's got a footnote too... 

Asylum Offices will see evidence of these prior UAC determinations in A-files or in systems on the form I-213, Record of Deportable Alien; the Form 93 (the CBP UAC screening form0; the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Initial Placement Form1.

And what do we find under the ORR footnote "1"?

"After apprehending an individual and determining that he or she is a UAC, CBP or ICE transfers him or her to a facility run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

In other words - all of the unaccompanied minors detained under the Obama administration were locked up in the exact same facilities the Trump administration is using. 

Stats on the minors:

Digging some more, we find a February, 2016 report from the Government Accountability Office entitled :Unaccompanied Children - HHS Can Take Further Actions To Monitor Their Care.

In fiscal year 2014, nearly 57,500 children traveling without their parents or guardians (referred to as unaccompanied children) were apprehended by federal immigration officers and transferred to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Most of these children were from Central America.

So tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors were taken in by the Obama administration each year and placed in government facilities

Average Stay

In 2011, the average stay of an unaccompanied minor in an Obama-admin facility was 72 days, which dropped to 34 days in 2015. 

How about today? In 2016, the average stay was 41 days, while the Department of Health and Human Services "Unaccompanied Alien Children Program" fact sheet from June 15 states: "Currently, the average length of stay for UAC in the program is approximately 57 days." So in 2011, precious children remained in Obama's "concentration camps" as the left now calls them an average of 15 days longer than today. 

Where are most UACs released?

In 2014, most unaccompanied minors were released in Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties. Counties which took in fewer than 50 UACs are not noted on the map. 

In fiscal year 2014, ORR released a total of 53,518 children to sponsors, and these children were released in every state except one.37 The largest number of children were placed in Texas, New York, California, Florida, and the Washington, D.C. area, respectively, with Harris County, TX receiving 4,028 children in fiscal year 2014, more children than any other single county (see fig. 5).38 Often children were placed in counties with large Latino populations.

So to be clear - hundreds of thousands of migrant children whose parents sent them into the United States alone or with a human trafficker remained in Obama administration facilities for up to months at a time, before eventual release or repatriation

In fact, if one adds up just the unaccompanied minors taken into custody between 2008 - 2016 (here and here), nearly 300,000 children were placed in federal housing under Obama. 

And as Brad Parscale points out, no one cared.

Finally, to clarify what 'we, the people' are supposed to believe:

Published:7/1/2018 9:55:36 PM
[Markets] How The Iran Sanctions Drama Intersects With OPEC-Plus

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

Major states buying oil from Iran are unlikely to heed the US call to drop imports; key allies want a waiver to avoid sanctions; OPEC, meanwhile, will have trouble boosting output in the short-term; the puzzle is not solved, but there are dark clouds...

History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus world, the rules of the game are now de facto controlled by OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia in concert with non-OPEC Russia.

Russia may even join OPEC as an associate member. There’s a key clause in the bilateral Riyadh-Moscow agreement stipulating that joint interventions to raise or lower oil production now are the new norm.

Some major OPEC members are not exactly pleased. At the recent meeting in Vienna, three member states – Iran, Iraq and Venezuela – tried, but did not manage to veto the drive for increased production. Venezuela’s production is actually declining. Iran, facing a tacit US declaration of economic war, is hard-pressed to increase production. And Iraq’s will need time to boost output.

Goldman Sachs insists: “The oil market remains in deficit… requiring higher core OPEC and Russia production to avoid a stock-out by year-end.” Goldman Sachs expects production by OPEC and Russia to rise by 1.3 million barrels a day by the end of 2019. Persian Gulf traders have told Asia Times that’s unrealistic: “Goldman Sachs does not have the figures to assert the capability of Russia and Saudi Arabia to produce so much oil. At most, that would be a million barrels a day. And it is doubtful Russia will seek to damage Iran even if they had the capacity.”

In theory, Russia and Iran, both under US sanctions, coordinate their energy policy. Both are interested in countering the US shale industry. Top energy analysts consider that only with oil at $100 a barrel will fracking become highly profitable. And oil and gas generated via fracked in the US is a short-term thing; it will largely be exhausted in 15 years. Moreover, the real story may be that shale oil is, in the end, nothing but a Ponzi scheme.

Those were the days when the Obama administration ordered Riyadh to unleash a de facto oil-price war to hurt both Russia and Iran. Yet the game drastically changes when Venezuela loses a million barrels a day in production and Iran, under upcoming sanctions, may lose another million.

As Asia Times has reported, OPEC (plus Russia) can at best increase their production by 1 million barrels a day. And that would take time because, as Persian Gulf traders said: “800,000 barrels a day of their cutback is due to depletion that cannot be restored.”

Oil producers don’t want high prices

Most oil-producing nations don’t want high oil prices. When that happens, demand goes down, and the dreaded competition – in the form of electric vehicles – gets a major boost.

That explains in part why Riyadh prevailed in the price-capping war in Vienna. Saudi Arabia is the only producer with some spare capacity; the real numbers are a source of endless debate in energy circles. US-sanctioned Iran, for its part, is in acute need of extra energy income and had to be against it.

The bottom line is that despite the agreement in Vienna, the price of oil, in the short-term, is bound to go up. Analyses by BNP Paribas, among others, are adamant that supply problems with Venezuela and Libya, plus the proverbial “uncertainty” about the sanctions on Iran, lead to “oil fundamentals still…favorable for oil prices to rise over the next six months despite the OPEC+ decision.”

Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh has done his best to downplay how much oil will really be back on the market. In tandem with Persian Gulf traders, he certainly knows that can’t be more than 1 million barrels a day, and that such an output boost will take time.

Considering that in realpolitik terms Riyadh simply is not allowed any “decision” in oil policy without clearing it first with the US, what remains to be seen is how Washington will react to the new, long-term Riyadh-Moscow entente cordiale. As far as oil geopolitics goes, this is in fact the major game-changer.

Business as usual

The Big Unknown is how the US economic war on Iran’s oil exports will play out.

Iran’s Zanganeh has been quite realistic; he does not expect buyers to get any sanctions waivers from Washington. Total and Royal Dutch Shell have already stopped buying.

Iran’s top oil customers are, in order: China, India, South Korea and Turkey.

India will buy Iranian oil with rupees. China also will be totally impervious to the Trump administration’s command. Sinopec, for instance, badly needs Iranian oil for new refineries in assorted Chinese provinces, and won’t stop buying.

Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has been blunt: “The decisions taken by the United States on this issue are not binding for us.” He added that: “We recognize no other [country’s] interests other than our own.” Iran is Turkey’s number-one oil supplier, accounting for almost 50% of total imports.

And Iraq won’t abandon strategic energy cooperation with Iran. Supply chains rule; Baghdad sends oil from Kirkuk to a refinery in Kermanshah in Iran, and gets refined Iranian oil for southern Iraq.

Russia won’t back down from its intention to invest $50 billion in Iran’s energy infrastructure.

Japan and South Korea are lobbying heavily to get waivers. According to South Korea’s Energy Ministry: “We are in the same position as Japan. We are in talks with the United States and will keep negotiating to get an exemption”.

In a less Hobbesian world, the EU-3 (France, UK and Germany), plus China and Russia – which all negotiated the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, along with Japan and South Korea, would be telling the US the Trump administration’s unilateral economic war against Iran is, in fact, a violation of a UN-endorsed treaty, totally disregarding nations that have pledged to protect the JCPOA. In the real world though, that’s not going to happen.

It’s all about energy

Once again, the action to watch will be at the Shanghai Energy Stock Exchange. Petro-yuan contracts started trading in late March. By May, they were already covering 12% of the global market. The price of a barrel of oil, in yuan, has oscillated between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI).

China is going no holds barred, betting simultaneously on Saudi Arabia and Iran. China Investment Corp. may well buy 5% of Aramco, at roughly $100 billion. In parallel, China started paying for Iranian oil in yuan in 2012. If the Europeans buckle up, as top Iranian analysts expect, the volume of energy business with China may soon reach $40 billion a year.

Iran is firmly linked to the petro-yuan. Iran now may rely on a fleet of supertankers, properly insured, to export its own oil. The Iranian calculation is that Washington’s economic war will spur higher oil prices. So, even if Iran’s exports are bound to suffer, energy income may not be affected.

Shaded by all these dramatic eruptions, we find some startling data. Iran – and Russia – may sit on an astonishing $45 trillion worth in oil and gas reserves. US fracking is largely a myth. Saudi Arabia may have at best 20 years of oil supply left. It’s all about energy – all the time.

The usual suspects will hardly sit back and relax while endlessly demonized Russia, just like Norway, builds a solid middle class through oil revenue and massive current account surpluses. Alarm bells are about to sound, to the tune of “Putin has taken over OPEC”. In fact, it was Putin who convinced Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) they should fight the US shale offensive together.

The OPEC-plus-Iran puzzle is far from solved. Only one thing is certain; the future spells out brutal, covert resource wars.

Published:7/1/2018 9:21:54 PM
[Markets] Armed Clashes In Iran As Guiliani Calls For Regime Change: "End Is Near"

Protests in the southern Iran city of Khorramshahr turned into an armed confrontation with security forces early Sunday, resulting in injuries among protesters and police, with conflicting reports that one or more demonstrators may have died.

Screenshot from social media video taken in the city of Khorramshahr showing armed clashes with police. 

Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) confirmed the clashes in the historically restive Arab-majority city after large protests over clean water shortages in the region began Friday, and after 3 days of economic protests in Tehran resulted in the temporary closure of the Grand Bazaar early last week.

Though the AP confirms that gunfire erupted in Khorrmashahr, it reports multiple injuries and no fatalities as "online videos appear to show Iranian security forces shooting at protesters."

However Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported four deaths among protesters on Saturday, and BBC Persian cited at least one death based on an eyewitness account. The Times of Israel echoed regional Arabic press and cited four deaths during the protests.

Meanwhile the AP emphasizes that police were primarily on the receiving end of the violence while citing Iranian media:

Gunfire erupted as Iranian security forces confronted protesters early Sunday amid demonstrations over water scarcity in the country's south, violence that authorities said wounded at least 11 people, mostly police.

While difficult to verify the exact nature of what's being shown, multiple social media videos from the clashes purport to show shots fired by police into crowds of demonstrators, and elsewhere armed men opposing police, including a scene of a man wielding an assault rifle on a motorcycle.

The dramatic footage of overnight events in Khorramshahr has pro- and anti-regime activists debating who is to blame for the violence; however, it's clear from video footage being circulated by both sides that some among the demonstrators were armed  though it should be noted that some activists claim the armed group in the motorbike screen are actually plain clothed security forces.

Regardless, the video confirms shots fired by both sides, and that at least some among the opposition were armed. 

Another angle showing armed elements clashing with security forces, including a man who appears to be shot and dragged away by others

BBC Persian shows civilians fleeing tear gas, and other clips of automatic fire erupting as well as fires being set along roads. 

Arab Gulf media, especially networks based in the UAE and Saudi Arabia gave close coverage to what they dubbed "regime change" protests.  

Police deployed tear gas, but in other videos there appears to be an exchange of gunfire, which protesters blamed on security forces. 

Demonstrators can be seen attacking a police vehicle, and there are conflicting reports of at least one dead among those protesting the regime.

Heavy machine gun can be heard in multiple videos posted to social media showing different locations purportedly within the city of Khorramshahr. 

Iranian state media and opposition media activists traded blame for a blaze which engulfed a museum in Khorramshahr over the weekend. 

https://twitter.com/BabakTaghvaee/status/1013176083989106688

The unrest comes amidst an economic crisis sparked by President Trump's decision with withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal and heighten sanctions, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying last week his country is in a "fight" with the US, blaming the attempt to collapse the JCPOA for "an economic war" fueling Iran's current crisis. “The US cannot defeat our nation, our enemies are not able to get us to their knees,” he said in response to the growing demonstrations.

Currently, a dollar is worth as much as 90,000 rials compared with 65,000 rials before President Trump announced he would pull out from the deal, and compared with 42,890 at the close of 2017. Thus the official government-set exchange rate of 42,000 rials to $1 has been quickly surpassed in the black market, which fueled mass protests in Tehran and reportedly in merchant districts of a few other cities last week. 

The weekend protests in Khorramshahr in particular, which lies about 400 miles southwest of Tehran, came after residents complained of salty, muddy water issuing from their taps during a years long drought.

According to a recent report by a recent report by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, the last decade of drought in Iran has reached crisis levels: "Although Iran has a history of drought, over the last decade, Iran has experienced its most prolonged, extensive and severe drought in over 30 years," the report reads. 

Elsewhere in the country hundreds of deaths have recently been reported based on water poisoning during sporadic outages and shortages — a situation which could get worse due to heightened US sanctions as in some instances the government has failed to properly chlorinate and purify city water supplies.  

Meanwhile, events appear to be unfolding in similar fashion to the early phase of protests that gripped mostly provincial cities and towns across Iran in January. While the last week of protests appear isolated and primarily driven by local and regional factors, and fundamentally by the tanking economy, protest videos increasingly show people chanting "death to Khamenei" in reference to Iran's Supreme Leader. 

And notably, the last week has witnessed mass power and internet outages across the country, as Newsweek reports: "Power outages have hit Tehran this week as protests rocked the Iranian capital due to economic woes, which have seen the country’s currency fall rapidly in recent months".

This weekend's significant clashes in Khorramshahr occurred simultaneously with a major annual conference hosted Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — an organization synonymous with the controversial opposition group in exile, Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK)  considered by Iran and many other countries as a terror organization (and not long ago by the US State Deptartment, though delisted as a terror group under Obama 

The MEK has for years received broad financial and political support from within the Washington mainstream, with dozens of sitting Congressmen and notable US politicians having attended their international conferences on an annual basis. 

Rudy Giuliani said at the NCRI/MEK conference on Saturday that Trump will suffocate Iran’s “dictatorial ayatollahs” and indicated that new sanctions were aimed at regime change. 

"Next year at this time I want us to have this convention in Tehran" Guiliani told the "Free Iran" convention:

“I can’t speak for the president, but it sure sounds like he doesn’t think there is much of a chance of a change in behavior unless there is a change in people and philosophy,” Giuliani told Reuters at the event in Villepinte, north of Paris. 

“We are the strongest economy in the world ... and if we cut you off then you collapse,” he said while referencing the recent protests in Iran. 

“Anybody who thinks the Ayatollahs are honest people is a fool. They are crooks and that’s what Europe is propping up ... murderers and sponsors of terrorism. Instead of taking an opportunity to topple them they are now left propping them up,” Giuliani said referencing is longtime stance supporting regime change in Tehran. 

With the weekend protests in Khorramshahr devolving into a major armed clash with authorities, and with Iran regime change rhetoric among Western political leaders back in the spotlight, we could be witnessing the opening act of much more to come. 

Published:7/1/2018 11:19:23 AM
[Politics] The myth of Obama’s ‘disappearance’ If you believe recent media accounts, the former Democratic president has suddenly transcended the political fray. It’s as if a newly “Zen-like” Barack Obama is content to just write his memoir and let Donald Trump and Republicans write the next chapter of history. In a cover story asking “Where is Barack Obama?” for example, New... Published:6/30/2018 8:12:01 AM
[Markets] Trump Considering 2 Women For Supreme Court; Hillary Re-emerges With Glass Ceiling

President Trump said Friday that he has narrowed down a list of 25 candidates for Supreme Court to just five finalists - including two women, and that he plans to announce his nominee to replace the retiring Justice Kennedy on July 9.

This will be Trump's second Supreme Court pick, the first being Neil Gorsuch who replaced Justice Antonin Scalia after his February, 2016 death at a West Texas ranch.

“I like them all,” Trump told reporters flying with him on Air Force One. “It is a group of highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges.”

“Outside of war and peace, of course, the most important decision you make is the selection of a Supreme Court judge, if you get it,” Trump said, adding “As you know, there are many presidents who never get a choice.”

In response to Kennedy's retirement announcement, Democrats have come out in force - demanding that Trump "not consider a Supreme Court Justice in an election year," suggesting that holding up the process because of the upcoming midterm elections is somehow equivalent to doing the same during a Presidential election year, as was the case after Scalia's death. 

Enter Hillary

And just like that, Hillary Clinton is back - bracing for a battle against whoever Trump nominates to the highest court in the land.

In a Friday tweet, Clinton threw her support behind Demand Justice, a leftist 501(c)(4) advocacy organization headed by her former press secretary, Brian Fallon, that intends to fight "Trump's hateful vision for America" by opposing his Judicial picks across the country - including the Supreme Court.  

"Long after Donald Trump is no longer our President, his takeover of our courts will keep alive his hateful vision for America for decades to come," their website reads. "Trump’s judges are overwhelmingly white men. Many are not at all qualified for their posts. And they consistently hold extreme, right-wing views."

"If we truly want to stop Trump, we can’t surrender this fight." -Demand Justice

Demand Justice also employs chief counsel Christopher Kang, a former congressional aide who was deeply involved in the Obama administration's vetting of judicial nominees. 

While this may be yet more pop-up activism from the left in order to snipe Trump's Supreme Court picks - or it could become something more:

The funding for Demand Justice is also suspect. As a 501(c)(4) organization, Demand Justice does not have a legal obligation to disclose its donors, and the group is too young to have submitted annual IRS tax filings. However, Director Fallon indicated as early as May that Demand Justice was well on its way to reaching its $10 million goal. Coupled with the fact that Fallon recently spoke at the Atlanta Conference of the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy network of left-leaning donors including George Soros, it is clear that Demand Justice could be well on its way to becoming something much bigger than the obscure nonprofit it is now. As a (c)(4), it is allowed to engage in unlimited lobbying. But it can also support or oppose candidates for election (as long as that activity isn’t the organization’s primary purpose, which currently means spending no more than 49 percent of expenditures on electioneering). -Capital Research

After comparing herself to Winston Churchill this week and telling The Guardian that she's not going to "call it a day" anytime soon - exclaiming "I'm not going anywhere," it will be interesting to see how Hillary's notorious brand of feminism intersects with a female Trump pick for the Supreme Court, should that occur. 

Published:6/30/2018 7:12:45 AM
[The Blog] DNC chief introduces Obama: “Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States”

Okay.

The post DNC chief introduces Obama: “Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States” appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:6/29/2018 5:40:54 PM
[Media] ‘You HIGH, bro?’ Chris Cillizza BECLOWNS himself over Barack Obama (on MULTIPLE levels)

"Never go full CNN ..."

The post ‘You HIGH, bro?’ Chris Cillizza BECLOWNS himself over Barack Obama (on MULTIPLE levels) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/29/2018 1:43:12 PM
[Markets] Jim Kunstler Exposes The "Hidden Figures"

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The fabulous Coen Brothers of Hollywood couldn’t come up with a wackier Deep State than the one depicted on Cable News this week. Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing had Congressman Jim Jordan (R- Ohio) in the role of “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski doing battle with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as “Osborne Cox” in Burn After Reading. Rosenstein was sure burning, or at least smoldering in his seat, as Jordan badgered him about threatening House staffers by subpoenaing their emails and phone calls…!

The gotcha moment: “You can’t subpoena a phone call,” Rosenstein answered, trying to suppress his mirthful smirk… as in, listen to me, you dim, Rotarian, Buckeye clod, with your worthless JD from the most obscure law school in the darkest corner of your meth-and vicodan-addled state… you can’t subpoena a phone call, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…!

Had Mr. Jordan been a little more nimble of mind in his Dude role, had he not, say, downed that Red Bull and Ayahuasca “pick-me-up” before the committee session, he might have come back smartly at Mr. Rosenstein with a simple, “…yes, but you can subpoena the records of phone calls, can’t you?” Schwing. Only the poor clod muffed it, and Rosenstein’s praetorian guard of attorneys in the seats behind him joined in the mirthful smirkery, grand fellows of the Deep State are we, we eat Buckeyes for breakfast!

Now, Mr. Trey Gowdy (R – SC) is a different breed of porpoise among congressmen, kind of legal man-eating orca. In look and demeanor, he comes off as a cross between Atticus Finch and the young feller who played the banjo so well in the opening scenes of Deliverance. Mr. Rosenstein didn’t dare lay any mirthful smirky trips on Mr. Gowdy, who radiated the consolidated wrath of the legislative branch at this flock of executive branch popinjays. Mr. Gowdy, who is declining to run for his seat this year, may be bound for bigger things. Some say he may be the next Attorney General.

In case you’ve forgotten, Rod Rosenstein is not the Attorney General, he’s the Deputy AG. His boss is Mr. Jeff Sessions, an elusive figure for months now in the malarial DC backwaters, like that Louisiana Swamp Thang that turns up in the fake Bigfoot documentaries, looming hairily through the night-vision goggles in a cypress slough. Maybe three or four people have laid eyes on him since sometime back in April. Better check his office, make sure he isn’t hunched over face-down in a take-out order of tonkatsu ramen.

It’s rumored that our president, the Golden Golem of Greatness, can, shall we say, put the Department of Justice and its subsidiary, the FBI, out of their current misery by finally firing a few of these conniving top dawgs. Order Rosenstein to release un-redacted files he’s been sitting on for a year, and fire his ass for cause when he refuses. In the case of Mr. Sessions, for Godsake, call the undertaker.

The figures most hidden these days go by the names Barack Obama, Hillery Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Huma Abedin, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

If or when the dark, tangled, matrix of “matters” at the FBI ever manage to get unraveled, these characters will come tumbling out with the yarn, dropping into the harsh daylight like little squirming larva of Tineola bisselliella, the common wool moth.

Personally, I can’t imagine that the mighty mischief at DOJ and the FBI the past two years was not initially approved before 1/20/17 in some fashion by Mr. Obama and with his explicit knowledge.

There’s little doubt that the “Steele Dossier” was the “insurance policy” that FBI Counter-espionage Chief Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page referred to in their famous text exchange about how to deal with the “terrifying” specter of a possible President Trump. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needs to explain under oath how her humble IT employee, a Pakistani national, become a real estate millionaire in the DC burbs while servicing, shall we say, her laptop. Hillary, of course, is like some mythical Cave of Seven Winds — a boundless dark realm of winged beasts and crawling things. Loretta Lynch still has some public ‘splainin’ to do about meeting certain folks on tarmacs.

The grand juries are begging to be convened.

Published:6/29/2018 1:43:12 PM
[US News] Is THAT so? DNC Chair Tom Perez’s Obama scoop is DEFINITELY news to us

"Talk about desperate."

The post Is THAT so? DNC Chair Tom Perez’s Obama scoop is DEFINITELY news to us appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/29/2018 11:10:15 AM
[Media] WHOOPS! NBC News tries to steamroll Trump over family separation, flattens OBAMA in the process

"Hey NBC News, when did Trump take office?"

The post WHOOPS! NBC News tries to steamroll Trump over family separation, flattens OBAMA in the process appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/29/2018 10:08:53 AM
[World] The president and the Supreme Court

President Trump owes a huge debt of gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that he has full authority to ban travel to the U.S. from certain Muslim countries.

The Kentucky Republican's refusal to confirm President Barack Obama's liberal nominee, following the death of ... Published:6/28/2018 9:03:22 PM

[US News] Federal Court Injunction Prohibiting the Separation of Illegal Alien Families [Full Text]

By R. Mitchell -

On June 26, 2018, federal court judge Dana Sabraw issued an injunction against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that prevents the separation of minors from adults when captured illegally crossing into the United States. The order directly conflicts with the Obama-era decision in Flores v. Loretta Lynch and a series of decisions, ...

Federal Court Injunction Prohibiting the Separation of Illegal Alien Families [Full Text] is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:6/28/2018 7:03:21 PM
[Politics] The Uncertain Political Ramifications of Justice Kennedy’s Exit By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley

An already turbulent national political environment was rocked by another major development Wednesday afternoon: Justice Anthony Kennedy, the closest thing there is to a swing vote on the Supreme Court, decided to retire. President Donald Trump, who already got to appoint conservative Neil Gorsuch to the court after Senate Republicans decided not to consider then-President Barack Obama’s replacement for the deceased Antonin Scalia in early 2016, is now poised to pick a second justice, and one who likely will push the court further to the right. This comes on the heels of several key, 5-4 decisions released at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term that broke against the court’s liberal bloc.

Published:6/28/2018 7:30:26 AM
[Politics] The Uncertain Political Ramifications of Justice Kennedy’s Exit By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley

An already turbulent national political environment was rocked by another major development Wednesday afternoon: Justice Anthony Kennedy, the closest thing there is to a swing vote on the Supreme Court, decided to retire. President Donald Trump, who already got to appoint conservative Neil Gorsuch to the court after Senate Republicans decided not to consider then-President Barack Obama’s replacement for the deceased Antonin Scalia in early 2016, is now poised to pick a second justice, and one who likely will push the court further to the right. This comes on the heels of several key, 5-4 decisions released at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term that broke against the court’s liberal bloc.

Published:6/28/2018 6:59:51 AM
[Uncategorized] Dan Rather throws objectivity out the window in unhinged partisan rant on SCOTUS

Dan Rather threw objectivity out the window — not that we suspected he was anything other than a liberal all these years — in an unhinged Facebook rant where he accused Mitch McConnell of orchestrating some sort of coup that prevented Obama from filling the SCOTUS vacancy and the election of Donald Trump: He then […]

The post Dan Rather throws objectivity out the window in unhinged partisan rant on SCOTUS appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/28/2018 6:59:51 AM
[Uncategorized] He did it again! Donald Trump’s tweets on nuking the filibuster in 2013 are PERFECT

As every conservative knows, Dems are limited in their options to oppose any new judges nominated by President Donald Trump because in 2013, then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — with the blessing of President Obama — nuked the filibuster on judicial nominees: Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to consider filibuster reform. […]

The post He did it again! Donald Trump’s tweets on nuking the filibuster in 2013 are PERFECT appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/28/2018 6:29:46 AM
[Markets] Lynn: "There Will Be A Financial Crash... And Trump Will Be Blamed"

Authored by Doug "Uncola" Lynn via TheTollOnline.com,

In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government, but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and believe further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.

– Benjamin Franklin

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

– John Adams

I’m of the opinion that many today are throwing the “baby out with the bathwater” when they claim the conservative versus liberal (right vs. left) construct is phony, or bogus.

Conservatives have lost political ground because they have accepted the moral premises of the Political Left. However, liberals use deception to hide their real motives while, simultaneously, blackmailing conservatives by means of conservative values.

How typical was the mainstream media’s “poor immigrant children” narrative that played the emotional heartstrings of dummies everywhere, like violins.

In the immigration debate, as in the gun control polemic, liberals don’t actually care for the children; at least not in the ways they profess.  They instead callously use the “children” as a means to consolidate their political power.

This explains why liberals never rejoiced for the offspring of lawless invaders when Trump signed the executive order to keep illegal immigrant families together. Instead, they claimed Trump “caved” before the [manufactured] “humanitarian and political crisis”. It’s also why children still attend schools in gun-free zones, while anti-gun protester David Hogg is protected by armed guards; because he’s more important than the other children now.

The Political Left consistently weaponizes the morality of conservatives against said conservatives; and whenever those on the right of the political spectrum accept the moral premises of the deceptive left, the progressive agenda moves “forward”.

Nevertheless, the value systems of conservatives and liberals are separate. This is why words like “freedom” and “rights” hold different meanings for each group.

In the example of the former, freedom and rights manifest as an outgrowth of natural law as defined in the whispers of John Locke. In the latter, these are processed according to the [Machiavellian] totalitarian’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s Will to Power.

The commonality of globalists, neocons, corrupt government officials, and tyrannical collectivists is demonstrated when they profess the moral superiority of their ideological positions and, simultaneously, abrogate timeless moral principles for their own benefit while telling us it’s for ours.

This is the heart of the matter.  It is why decent Americans voted for Trump, flaws and all.  He was elected in protest.

I had a friend text me the following rant that he saw on Facebook:

I still haven’t figured out why Hillary lost. Was it the Russian uranium deal? Was it Wikileaks? Was it Podesta? Was it her sexual predator husband? Was it her staff’s husband’s immoral pictures? Was it her subpoena violation? Was it the corrupt foundation? Was it the congressional lies? Was it the Benghazi scandal? Was it the pay for play? Was it the Travel Gate scandal? Was it the Haiti scandal? Was it the Whitewater scandal? Was it the Cattle Gate scandal? Was it the $15 million for Chelsea’s apartment bought with foundation money? Was it Comey’s investigation? Was it her husband’s interference with Loretta Lynch and the investigation? Was it stealing debate questions? Was it forensically deleting 33,000 emails? Was it the secret server in her house? Was it the Seth Rich murder? Was it calling half of the USA population deplorable? Was it the underhanded treatment of Bernie Sanders? Was it the Vince Foster murder? Was it the Jennifer Flowers assault? Was it the $800,000 Paula Jones settlement? Was it the lie about taking on sniper fire in Bosnia? Was it her husband’s impeachment for lying under oath? Was it the 6 billion $ she “lost” when in charge of the state department? Was it the 10 million she took for the pardon of Marc Rich? Or was it because she was the worst presidential candidate our country has ever had to choose from?

Gee, I just can’t quite put my finger on it, but it seems to be right in front of me.

Here was my reply:

That’s a great rant.  But the reason we are likely doomed is this: After all that, she still won the popular vote.

We live in a land populated by the People of Walmart sustained by a steady diet of fake news, processed foods, electronic fairy tales, and antidepressants.

The trends (i. e. transitional revelations) are pointing towards war and global depopulation; exactly what the Technocratic Elite desire and right on schedule. Any attempt to divert from those outcomes would be akin to a flea trying to steer a dog like a horse.

– The D.C. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America shared a video on Facebook of activists booing and yelling at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at Mexican restaurant and calling on her to “abolish” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

–  A year after the congressional baseball shooting that almost took the life of Rep. Steve Scalise and former Hill staffer Matt Mika, members of Congress expressed concerns for their safety as threats against them have skyrocketed.

 – A plan to split California into three separate states earned a spot on the November ballot there.

 – Because she works for President Trump, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and 7 of her family members were kicked out of a Virginia restaurant.

–  Screaming “God is on our side”, California Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, implored her supporters to harass Trump administration officials in public spaces.

 – Because “there are simply not enough police in D.C. or Virginia or Maryland to protect all Trump officials at their homes and when they go out to restaurants”, the president of the “influential” Crime Prevention Research Center urged officials in the Trump administration to arm themselves.

The mainstream media has engaged in an effort to turn Trump supporters into “Public Enemy # 1”; and now, even the politicians are warning of the forthcoming civil war.

Have you ever cautioned someone over inevitable consequences only to have them blaze ahead anyway? Then when you were proven right, your anger at their stupidity was righteous, was it not?  Especially if any of the consequences affected you.

The Political Left today has extreme anger at those in America who voted for Donald Trump.  It is because they believe Trump to be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler who is currently in the process of destroying the Obama-nation.

Now imagine, if you will, how their anger will be magnified when Trump’s trade wars and tax cuts are blamed for the Next Great Depression.

Today, the Congressional Budget Office announced that growing U.S. budget deficits have pushed public debt to 78% of the nation’s gross domestic product.  This, even as investors grow increasingly anxious over rising interest rates and bank stocks surpass their record “longest losing streak ever”.

Of course, the doubling of the national debt under Obama, or the Federal Reserve’s six (6) rate hikes since Trump’s election, will not be blamed.

Make no mistake:  There WILL be a financial crash and Trump WILL be blamed.  You can take that to the bank (pun intended).  It’s only a matter of time.

After the crash, the support for Trump from the political right will fade like the light of day after sunset; while the vitriol of the left will rise and crash over the land like blue tsunamis under the full moon after an ocean quake.

All they have is hatred for Trump and his supporters now.  It will only grow worse.  And they are everywhere.

When The Office of the First Lady contacted the Secret Service after the actor Peter Fonda called for President Trump’s son, Barron, to be kidnapped and caged with pedophiles, I was reminded of a 1980’s movie, starring Tom Hanks, called “The Burbs”.  The satirically comedic story told of a group of neighbors in the suburbs awakening to the actuality of satanic murderers living next door.

In “The Burbs” a clip was shown of the 1975 film, “Racing With the Devil” which, ironically, starred Peter Fonda as a vacationer who came across a secret society of Luciferian’s deeply entrenched over what appeared to be the entire state of Texas.  My friends and I were underage when we snuck in through the back door of the movie theater to watch that film.  Needless to say, it was a long walk home that night in the dark.

Indeed.  The enemy is everywhere; and there can be no escape.

Therefore, the more I contemplate the concepts of morality and the future, the more I reconsider the old philosophical constructs.

Could the approaching “civil war” actually be spiritual in nature?  Like a holy war?

The ancient prophet Jeremiah, by way of King James, phrased it thusly:

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk therein’.

– Jeremiah 6:16

There is no longer a dividing wall between hope and realismliberty and chaos.

It is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

Prepare and, for those so inclined, pray.

Who said life was fair? And who was it again that promised you that rose garden?

Published:6/27/2018 10:28:18 PM
[Markets] Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Is Retiring

With many expecting a bombshell announcement today from either Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy or Clarence Thomas, moments ago the news hit that indeed the 81-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy - a conservative who provided critical votes for immigration, same sex-marriage and abortion access - will retire from the SCOTUS, and will leave active status on July 31.

Without Kennedy, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. Trump’s nominee is likely to give the conservatives a solid majority and will face a Senate process in which Republicans hold the slimmest majority, but Democrats can’t delay confirmation.

His retirement will allow president Trump to nominate a successor who could create the most conservative court in generations.

The oldest Justice, 85-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has made it clear she won’t reretire any time soon, particularly while Donald Trump is president. Here are the ages of all SCOTUS judges:

  • Roberts, 63
  • Kennedy, 81
  • Thomas, 70
  • Ginsburg, 85
  • Breyer, 79
  • Alito, 68
  • Sotomayor, 64
  • Kagan, 58
  • Gorsuch, 50

Kennedy, an 81-year-old Ronald Reagan appointee, has been the court’s pivotal vote for the last decade, and as Bloomberg reports, his centrist position meant he wrote some of the court’s most important opinions.

He disappointed conservatives in 1992, when he co-wrote an opinion reaffirming the constitutional right to abortion. Although he later backed some restrictions -- voting to uphold a federal ban on some late-term abortions -- he cast the decisive vote to strike down Texas regulations on clinics and doctors in 2016.

Kennedy became a champion of gay rights and wrote the 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, using the type of sweeping language that characterized his opinions. “No longer may this liberty be denied,” Kennedy wrote. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.”

Kennedy also wrote the 2010 Citizens United ruling, which opened the way for a torrent of new campaign spending. He equated campaign-finance laws with censorship, writing that "the First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves."

He was the quintessential swing vote on racial issues. He joined the conservative wing to strike down a core provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 but voted with the court’s liberals in 2016 to back university affirmative action programs.

Kennedy voted to overturn then-President Barack Obama’s health-care law. He was one of five justices in the majority of the 2000 Bush v. Gore ruling, which sealed George W. Bush’s election as president over Democrat Al Gore.

Potential replacements include Washington-based federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former Kennedy law clerk with close ties to the retiring justice. Kavanaugh is a longtime Washington insider, having served as a law clerk to Kennedy and then as a key member of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s team that produced the report that served as the basis for President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. In October, Kavanaugh dissented when his court ruled that an undocumented teen in federal custody should be able to obtain an abortion immediately.

Trump could also consider three federal judges he interviewed before selecting Neil Gorsuch to fill an earlier vacancy: William Pryor of Alabama, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania and Amul Thapar of Kentucky.

Other possibilities include federal appellate judges Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, who was considered for the Gorsuch seat but didn’t get an interview, and Amy Coney Barrett of South Bend, Indiana.
As Bloomberg notes, all are on a list of 25 prospective justices the White House has developed with input from the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation.

Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, so they could approve Trump’s nominee without any Democratic support. In confirming Gorsuch, Republicans eliminated the 60-vote requirement to advance a Supreme Court nomination.

Abortion is likely to be one of the flash points in the nomination fight according to the AP. Kennedy has mainly supported abortion rights in his time on the court, and Trump has made clear he would try to choose justices who want to overturn the landmark abortion rights case of Roe v. Wade. Such a dramatic step may not be immediately likely, but a more conservative court might be more willing to sustain abortion restrictions.

Needless to say, Trump was ready saying that Kennedy will be missed, and that a search for his replacement will begin immediately form a list of 25 possible replacements:

  • TRUMP SAYS HE'S RESPECTED JUSTICE KENNEDY, HE WILL BE MISSED
  • TRUMP: WILL BEGIN SEARCH FOR KENNEDY REPLACEMENT IMMEDIATELY
  • TRUMP SAYS HE HOPES KENNEDY IS AROUND FOR A LONG TIME TO ADVISE
  • TRUMP SAYS HE HAS LIST OF 25 PEOPLE FOR POSSIBLE COURT PICKS

Finally, it is worth noting that this may bring the Republicans even more together ahead of the Midterms...

Published:6/27/2018 1:25:03 PM
[Media] Did Chris Hayes just accidentally team up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to expose Obama’s immigrant ‘black sites’?

On her first day in the spotlight, new Dem hero Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already had to backtrack after saying the government was running “black sites” to house migrant detainees on the border. Ocasio-Cortez said: “…and that is why [ICE is] able to get away with black sites on our border with the separation of children. We […]

The post Did Chris Hayes just accidentally team up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to expose Obama’s immigrant ‘black sites’? appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/27/2018 12:55:43 PM
[Politics] 31% Think U.S. Civil War Likely Soon

Most voters fear that political violence is coming from opponents of the president’s policies, just as they did in the second year of Barack Obama’s presidency, and nearly one-in-three think a civil war is next.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years, with 11% who say it’s Very Likely. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 59% consider a second civil war unlikely, but that includes only 29% who say it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 21 and 24, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:6/27/2018 9:57:17 AM
[Markets] "Not On My Watch": Trump Warns Left Over Escalating Confrontations, Tells Voters "Time To Defend Our Principles"

President Trump has put the left on notice after several key members of his staff were publicly harassed over his administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, telling supporters in a letter: "Not on my watch."

After several high profile harassment incidents, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) tossed a can of gasoline on the dumpster fire last weekend, calling for people to form into mobs and physically confront members of the Trump administration if they see them out in public. 

 "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere," said Waters.

Since then, White House advisor Stephen Miller's apartment was swarmed by protesters who tacked up "Wanted" posters, and on Tuesday a group of Georgetown students harassed Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife. 

And on Monday, we reported that a decapitated and burned animal carcass was found on the porch of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staffer, according to WTOP/ABC.

Around two dozen incidents have been reported against government employees issued in the past few days - primarily against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, which resulted in a determination by Homeland Security that there is a "heightened threat against DHS employees." 

In a fundraising email titled "Harassment," Trump wrote:

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant.

Kirstjen Nielsen was harassed in her own home.

Homeland Security staffers have been warned of “increased threats” from the open borders mob.

...And now Democrat Maxine Waters is calling for MORE HARASSMENT of the Silent Majority. The Left is trying to bully and buy their way back into power. Not on my watch. I will always stand up for you.

The President followed up on this thread this morning, tweeting about the "unhinged" left and once again highlighting Maxine Waters' "crazy rants."

And just in case you were not sure of what "crazy rants" President Trump is speaking about, The GOP provided a handy video guide...

Trump then segued into political double standards, free speech, and the prospect of fighting back

Can we finally admit the truth? Democrats only care about “equal rights” if you’re a liberal.

But if you believe a country MUST have borders, the Left doesn’t want you to have a voice in America.

It’s time to defend our principles and the agenda America proudly voted for.

All this, because the left has been whipped into a frenzy after pictures of Obama-era minors in cages went viral, and Time magazine printed a disingenuous cover depicting Trump towering over a crying migrant child who was never actually separated from her parents. Add the MSM frequently omitting the word "illegal" before "immigrants" to imply Trump is a racist, and we now have protesters accosting Trump administration officials in public and at home

There was little public outcry when the ACLU said this about Obama-era family separations: 

Through our interviews and correspondence with detainees, we’ve been able to document the experiences of mental anguish caused by detention and physical abuse suffered by many immigrants. We’ve heard stories of how parents are separated indefinitely from their children; how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) detainees are placed in segregation for months; how detainees struggle to get medical attention, make a phone call, or visit with a loved one.

ICE continued to detain her, shuttling her from one cell to another in Phoenix, exposing her to terrible jail conditions and keeping her in a constant state of uncertainty and fear, separated from her family.

Or when the University of Arizona's Southwest Institute for Research on Women said this in 2009: 

Another woman interviewed was separated from her breastfeeding baby daughter, who was less than two months old, while she was detained in Eloy for two weeks.

Trump, meanwhile, signed an Executive Order last week ensuring that migrant families would not be separated, while his administration pledged to reunite already-separated minors with their loved ones. 

Meanwhile, there were some amazing revelations during last week's Congressional testimony related to the Clinton email investigation, but never mind all that "largest scandal in the history of the Republic" nonsense - it's all about migration now.

Published:6/27/2018 7:53:54 AM
[Issues] CNN Legal Analyst: McConnell ‘Stole’ SCOTUS Seat From Obama

The post CNN Legal Analyst: McConnell ‘Stole’ SCOTUS Seat From Obama appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:6/26/2018 9:22:18 PM
[Markets] Soros-Linked Protesters Ambush Mitch McConnell In Driveway

?In the latest confrontation between Trump-hating liberals and a conservative woman, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Mitch McConnell (R-KY), unleashed on a group of protesters who ambushed the couple as they left a Monday dinner at Georgetown University with business executives from Cambria Health Solutions.

As the group of angry Georgetown students loudly approached with signboards and backpacks, Chao shouted back "Why don't you leave my husband alone?" while pointing at them.

"How does he sleep at night" shot back one of the protesters. 

The man who shot the video identified himself as "Roberto, a rising Senior at Georgetown University," who says he was "coming back from my internship at United We Dream," when he received a text that McConnell and Chao were on campus and "quickly mobilized".

United We Dream

You may remember them from May as the Soros-funded "open borders" group that developed a smartphone app to assist illegal immigrants by sounding the alarm if htey have been apprehended by US authorities

The app, Notifica (Notify), allows users to program a set of automated messages to alert a pre-selected group of individuals with the press of one button. It is available on the Google and Apple app stores. 

So when an illegal immigrant is in the process of being apprehended by US authorities, they will frantically dig around in their pockets to whip out their phones and activate the app - hopefully without being mistaken for drawing a gun.

United We Dream describes itself as the country's largest immigrant youth-led community - boasting over 400,000 members nationwide. They claim to “embrace the common struggle of all people of color and stand up against racism, colonialism, colorism, and xenophobia.” The group advocates for protections and rights for illegal immigrants - including defending against deportation, obtaining education and acquiring “justice and liberation” for undocumented LGBT “immigrants and allies," according to Judicial Watch

United We Dream started as a project of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), according to records obtained by Judicial Watch. Between 2008 and 2010, NILC received $206,453 in U.S. government grants, the records show. The project funded was for “immigration-related employment discrimination public education.” Headquartered in Los Angeles, NILC was established in 1979 and is dedicated to “defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.” The organization, which also has offices in Washington D.C. and Berkeley, California claims to have played a leadership role in spearheading Barack Obama’s amnesty program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has shielded hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from deportation. “Ultimately, NILC’s goals are centered on promoting the full integration of all immigrants into U.S. society,” according to its website. -JW

Adrian Reyna, director of Membership and Technology Strategies for United We Dream says the app was designed "precisely to have a plan of action at your" fingertips.

It seems like Roberto, an intern at the Soros-Funded United We Dream, had a plan of action indeed.

Published:6/26/2018 7:54:52 PM
[World] Where Is Barack Obama: The Five Discusses Democrat's Absence in Age of Trump

The panel on The Five discussed a new New York Magazine story reporting that many Democrats are concerned about the lack of visibility on the part of former President Barack Obama on the political scene.

Published:6/26/2018 5:20:24 PM
[Markets] Where Do You Draw The Line In Today's Crazed Political Environment?

Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

If you vote for Trump, then you the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border like Nazis going ‘you here, you here’.

– Donny Deutsch on MSNBC last week

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

With each passing day, Trump’s hardcore supporters and detractors become more deeply entrenched in their respective corners and grow more hysterical. With every turn of the news cycle, we see two groups increasingly and equally convinced that only they and their allies can save the nation from total ruin. As someone who isn’t a cheerleader for any politician or political party, it’s fascinating to watch. It’s also made me consider where to draw the line when it comes to political action or commentary.

First off, we need to understand that an increasingly centralized, corrupt and unaccountable government making decisions for 325 million people will be inherently and systemically abusive toward the citizenry. To confront this reality we need resistance, but it can’t be the superficial, purely partisan kind.

Superficial resistance is what you see from establishment Democrats and MSNBC, peddling the fairytale that Trump the person is the problem, not the system itself. In contrast, genuine resistance is admitting and confronting our root problems which are deeply engrained and systemic. It means coming to terms with the fact we’re largely living in an imperial, executive-driven government structure as opposed to a Constitutional Republic. Congress doesn’t even bother to seriously weigh in on war and military operations anymore, essentially outsourcing its most awesome responsibility to whoever happens to be president. Trump the man isn’t our huge problem; excessive, secret and unaccountable government power is.

We need to admit that whoever happens to be elevated to the presidency will invariably abuse such misplaced power. Obama’s terrible policies were deserving of intense criticism as are Trump’s, but thinking that merely switching out the  president is going to magically fix our problems is deranged. This is why I have no patience for “the resistance” to-date, which focuses all its energy and passion on Trump the man, versus they  imperial leviathan he happens to be in charge of at this moment in time.

Obsessing about Trump the man has caused many of his high profile detractors to become overly hysterical, myopic and downright foolish. A perfect example of this occurred last Friday when Donny Deutsch, an advertising guy and pundit, explicitly instructed people to consider Trump voters Nazis.

What Deutsch manages to do is take an already existing obsessive focus on Trump the individual and move it in an even more counterproductive and mindless direction. Blaming Trump the man apparently isn’t superficial enough for him, so he encourages you to demonize the voter. You know the average person who’s intentionality given two awful candidates to choose from every four years. They’re the real problem according to him. Moreover, he doesn’t just want you to blame Trump voters, he wants you to consider them Nazis. This is the sort of clown they put on political television.

The fact that such nonsense so seamlessly flowed from his mouth demonstrates a total lack of capacity for reason. According to this logic, every Obama voter should be seen as a reckless imperialist murderer directly responsible for the destruction of Libya and the emergence of slave markets there. Feel free to use this sort of logic, but you won’t like where it leads.

Even worse for Deutsch, blaming voters is a surefire way to achieve noting politically.

Trump supporters expressed outrage over what Deutsch said, and I’m sympathetic to that. What he said was ludicrous, dangerous and petty. That said, many of those same people got equally bent out of shape over the fact Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant by its owners. On this front I disagree, and think it’s important to draw a distinction between what Deutch said and what the owner of the Red Hen restaurant did.

Of course, I’m not arguing “anything goes” when it comes to government officials and bureaucrats, but kicking Sanders out of a restaurant is a non-violent political statement specifically directed at someone who voluntarily works for government. Standing up to and making government officials uncomfortable is part of our political heritage. We should also never forget how uncomfortable our unaccountable and overbearing government makes us feel all the time.

Finally, the action may herald the beginning of a new sort of activism based on grassroots action as opposed to the superficial, nonsensical and completely phony resistance promulgated by cable television pundits and washed up corporate Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Chucky Schumer.

Obama wasn’t the problem, Trump isn’t the problem, and one slice of desperate, irritated voters isn’t the problem either. If we want to start blaming voters then we should look in the mirror, because all of us allowed this to happen. Demonizing and dehumanizing our neighbors because they voted differently might feel good, but it won’t get us anywhere.

However, giving government officials a hard time for doing terrible things is a reasonable tactic, irrespective of which party happens to be in power. They work for us, and if they’re screwing us over (which is at least 95% of the time) we shouldn’t just bow down and accept it.

*  *  *

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Published:6/26/2018 3:49:55 PM
[US News] Doxxing the lib to own the other lib: Blue-on-blue civility in action as NYC primary turns ugly

It’s getting ugly in New York City as supporters of Dem primary challenger and Obama administration veteran Suraj Patel are turning to social media to help identify a supporter of incumbent Dem Rep. Carolyn Maloney for the crime of … putting up campaign signs? Hey @surajpatelnyc My husband saw a @RepMaloney person taking down all […]

The post Doxxing the lib to own the other lib: Blue-on-blue civility in action as NYC primary turns ugly appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/26/2018 12:49:23 PM
[Markets] The Beginning Of The End Of The Bilderberg/Soros Era

Authored by Alistair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The beginning of the end of the Bilderberg/Soros vision is in sight. The Old Order will cling on, even to the last of its fingernails. The Bilderberg vision is the notion of multi-cultural, international cosmopolitanism that surpasses old-time nationalism; heralding the end of frontiers; and leading toward a US-led, ‘technocratic’, global economic and political governance

Its roots lie with figures such as James Burnham, an anti-Stalin, former Trotskyite, who, writing as early as 1941, advocated for the levers of financial and economic power being placedin the hands of a management class: an élite – which alone would be capable of running the contemporary state - thanks to this élite’s market and financial technical nous. It was, bluntly, a call for an expert, technocratic oligarchy. 

Burnham renounced his allegiance to Trotsky and Marxism, in all its forms in 1940, but he would take the tactics and strategies for infiltration and subversion, (learned as a member of Leon Trotsky’s inner circle) with him, and would elevate the Trotskyist management of ‘identity politics’ to become the fragmentation ‘device’ primed to explode national culture onto a new stage, in the Western sphere. His 1941 book, The Managerial Revolution,” caught the attention of Frank Wisner, subsequently, a legendary CIA figure, who saw in the works of Burnham and his colleague a fellow Trotskyite, Sidney Hook, the prospect of mounting an effective alliance of former Trotskyites against Stalinism.

But, additionally, Wisner perceived its merits as the blueprint for a CIA-led, pseudo-liberal, US-led global order. (‘Pseudo’, because, as Burnham articulated clearly, in The Machiavellians, Defenders of Freedom, his version of freedom meant anything but intellectual freedom or those freedoms defined by America’s Constitution. “What it really meant was conformity and submission”).

In short, (as Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould have noted), “by 1947, James Burnham’s transformation from Communist radical, to New World Order American conservative was complete. His Struggle for the World, [converted into a memo for the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the forerunner of CIA)], had done a ‘French Turn’ on Trotsky’s permanent Communist revolution, and turned it into a permanent battle plan for a global American empire. All that was needed to complete Burnham’s dialectic was a permanent enemy, and that would require a sophisticated psychological campaign to keep the hatred of Russia alive, "for generations".

What has this to do with us today?

A ‘Burnham Landscape’ of apparently, ‘centrist’ European political parties, apparently independent think-tanks, institutions, and NATO structures, was seeded by CIA – in the post war era of anti-Sovietism - across Europe, and the Middle East – as part of Burnham’s ‘battle plan’ for a US-led, global ‘order’. It is precisely this élite: i.e. Burnham’s oligarchic technocracy, that is facing political push-back today to the point at which the Liberal Order feels that it is struggling for its very survival against the enemy in the White House, as the editor of Spiegel Online has termed President Trump.

What has caused this?

Well, like him or hate him, President Trump has played a major part, if only by saying the unsayable. The rationality or not inherent in these Eckhart-style ‘unsayings’, or apophasis, is beside the point: Trump’s intuitive ‘discourse of saying the unsayable’ has taken most of the bolts out of the former Burnham-type, ideological structure. 

But in Europe, two main flaws to the Burnham blueprint have contributed, possibly fatally, to the blueprint crisis:

Firstly, the policy of populating Europe with immigrants, as a remedy for Europe’s adverse demographics (and to dilute to the point of erasure, its national cultures): "Far from leading to fusion”, writes British historian, Niall Ferguson, "Europe’s migration crisis is leading to fission. The play might be called The Meltdown Pot … Increasingly … the issue of migration will be seen by future historians as the fatal solvent of the EU. In their accounts Brexit will appear as merely an early symptom of the crisis". 

And secondly, the bi-furcation of the economy into two unrelated, and dis-equal economies, as a result of the élite’s mismanagement of the global economy, (i.e. the obvious the absence of ‘prosperity for all’).

Trump evidently has heard the two key messages from his constituency: that they neither accept to have (white) American culture, and its way-of-life, diluted through immigration; and, neither do they wish – stoically – to accommodate to America’s eclipse by China.

The issue of how to arrest China’s rise is primordial (for Team Trump), and in a certain sense, has led to an American ‘retrospective’: America now may only account for 14% of global output (PPP – Purchasing Power Parity basis), or 22%, on a nominal basis (as opposed to near half of global output, for which the US was responsible, at the close of WW2), but American corporations, thanks to the dollar global hegemony, enjoy a type of monopoly status (i.e. Microsoft, Google and Facebook, amongst others), either through regulatory privilege, or by marketplace dominance. Trump wants to halt this asset from decaying further and to leverage it again as a potent bargaining chip in the present tariff wars. This is clearly a political ‘winner’ in terms of US domestic grass-roots, politics, and the upcoming November mid-term elections.

The second strand seems to be something of a Middle East ‘retrospective’: to restore the Middle East to the era of The Shah, when ‘Persia’ policed the Middle East; when Israel was a regional ‘power’ implementing the American interest; and when the major sources of energy were under US control. And, further, when Russian influence was being attenuated, by leveraging radical Sunni Islam against Arab socialism, and nationalism.

Of course, Trump is savvy enough to know that it is not possible to revert wholly to that Kissinger-esque world. The region has changed too much for that. But Kissinger remains an influential adviser to the President (together with PM Netanyahu). And it is easy to forget that US dominance of the Middle East brought America not just control of energy, but the re-cycling of petrodollars into Wall Street, and the necklace of US military bases in the Gulf that both surround Iran, and give to the US its military muscle, reaching into Asia.

We have therefore Trump’s hugging of MBS, MBZ and Netanyahu, and a supporting narrative of Iran as a ‘malign actor’ in the region, and a facilitator of terrorism.

But, it is just a ‘narrative’, and it is nonsense, when put into a broader understanding of the regional context. The history of Islam has never been free from violent conflict (going back to earliest days: i.e. the Wars of the Ridda, or apostasy 632-3 etc.). But – lest we forget – this present era of Sunni radicalization (such as has given birth to ISIS) reaches back, at least, to the 17th and 18th Centuries, with the Ottoman disaster at the Gates of Vienna (1683); the consequent onset of the Caliphate dissolution; growing Ottoman permissiveness and sensuality, provoking Abd-el Wahhab’s radical zealotism (on which basis Saudi Arabia was founded); and finally the aggressive westernizing secularism in Turkey and Persia, which triggered what is called ‘political Islam’ (both Sunni and Shi’a that initially, were united, in a single movement).

The MBS narrative that Saudi Arabia’s ‘fundamentalism’ was a reaction to the Iranian Revolution is yet another ‘meme’ that may serve Trump and Netanyahu’s interests, but is just as false. The reality is that the modern Arab (Sunni) system, a holdover from the Ottoman era, has been in a long term channel of decline since WW1 - whereas Shi’i Islam is enjoying a strong revival across the northern tier of the Middle East, and beyond. Put rather bluntly: the Iranians are on the upside of history – it’s as simple as that.

And what Trump is trying to do is Iranian capitulation, in the face of the American-Israeli-Saudi siege, the key to undoing Obama (again), by trying to reassert US Middle East dominance, energy dominance and an Israeli resurgence of regional power. Subjugating Iran thus has emerged as the supreme litmus for re-establishing the unipolar global order.

It is so iconic precisely because, just as much as Trump would like to see Iran, Iraq and Iranian allies everywhere, fall to the unipolar hegemony, Iran is as central to the multipolar vision of Xi and Putin as it is iconic to Trump’s putative Middle East ‘makeover’. And it is not just symbolic: Iran is as pivotal to both Russian and Chinese geo-political strategies. In a word, Iran has more leverage to ensure survival than Trump may have anticipated.

America will leverage its dominance of the financial system to the limit to strangle Iran, and China and Russia will do what is necessary financially, and in terms of trade, to see that Iran does not implode economically – and remains a pillar of the multipolar alternative world order.

And it is here that the paradigm shifts in Europe come into play. It is not, I repeat not because Europe can be expected to show leadership or to ‘do’ much, but rather because the apophatic discourse of ‘saying the unsayable’ is spreading to Europe. It has not, so far, changed the paradigm of power, but may soon (i.e. with Merkel’s possible political demise). Germany may be more staid in its politics than Italy, but the voice of Italy’s new Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, saying ‘no’ to the ‘Burnham’ proxies in Berlin is echoing across Europe, and beyond. It acts like a slap in the face.

Let us be absolutely clear: We are not suggesting that Europe will expend political capital in defending the JCPOA.

That is not likely.

We are saying that America’s dollar hegemony has proved toxic to the rest of the world in very many ways, and Trump - in leveraging that hegemony so gangsterishly: “We’re America, Bitch”, as one official described America’s approach – is fueling antagonism towards dollar hegemony (if not yet towards America per se). It is pushing all of non-America into a common stance of rebellion against America’s unipolar financial dominance.

This ‘revolt’ is already giving leverage to Kim Jong Un, as the Washington Post reports:

“With U.S.-China trade ties on the rocks, Kim is well-positioned to play both powers, talking sweet to Trump while pursuing a closer relationship with Xi…Kim understands the hierarchy. He knows that Xi is the Asian Godfather,” said Yanmei Xie, a China policy analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, an economic research firm in Beijing. “He is making a pragmatic calculation that China can provide economic assistance to integrate North Korea diplomatically and economically into Northeast Asia …

“There is a regional effort, a sort of Northeast Asia coalition of make-believe, to maintain the fiction that the North Korea will de-nuke as long as Americans keep talking to it,” Xie said.

China is less focused on getting Kim to give away his weapons than on getting him to fall into line. It may eventually use trade and investment to keep him onside, experts said.

“With North Korea still struggling under U.N. sanctions, “China’s political and economic support is still highly important,” said Zhao Tong, a North Korea expert at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing. Zhao said the question now is: “How can China help North Korea develop its economy?”

“China can also help Kim normalize North Korea’s diplomatic status. That starts with treating him less like a rogue dictator and more like a visiting statesman.”

The same goes for Iran — in spades. China and Russia know how to play this game of ‘chicken’.

Published:6/26/2018 4:17:14 AM
[Politics] Is there a Difference between the Left’s Refusal to Serve and the Right’s?

The Left has become a public embarrassment, more so than in past years. Everything is racist. If you voted for Trump you’re a Nazi. Following the law that was on the books during Obama’s tenure as President means that children held in detention centers while their parents are being legally processed because they’ve entered the ...

The post Is there a Difference between the Left’s Refusal to Serve and the Right’s? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:6/26/2018 12:46:07 AM
[Politics] Is there a Difference between the Left’s Refusal to Serve and the Right’s?

The Left has become a public embarrassment, more so than in past years. Everything is racist. If you voted for Trump you’re a Nazi. Following the law that was on the books during Obama’s tenure as President means that children held in detention centers while their parents are being legally processed because they’ve entered the ...

The post Is there a Difference between the Left’s Refusal to Serve and the Right’s? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:6/26/2018 12:46:07 AM
[Markets] These Are The Benefits Of A US-Russia Summit

Authored by Matthew Rojansky and Audrey Kortunov via The National Interest,

The history of relations between the United States and Russia demonstrates that there is no substitute for personal contacts between the leaders of the two countries...

Presidents Trump and Putin appear set to hold a summit meeting in July. This will be their third in-person meeting even though both leaders have made statements about how they have a positive working relationship and that they have spoken often by phone.

The U.S. domestic political climate on Russia is especially fraught at present. The White House is at odds with the Justice Department “Russia investigation” team led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who has reportedly sought to question President Trump. At the same time, momentum is building ahead of November’s midterm elections, with leaders from both parties warning about the risks of further “Russian meddling.”

In Russia there is widespread skepticism about any Trump-Putin meeting. Pundits and opinion-makers raise doubts about whether Trump can deliver on any significant matters important to Moscow. The predominant mood is that the U.S. president remains a hostage to the unanimously anti-Russian Washington establishment and that any agreement with him can be overruled by the U.S. Congress or even by his own administration.

Yet what should be in the forefront of the minds of both presidents is the dangerous state of U.S.-Russia relations, and its consequences for the interests of both countries and for global security.

Since the end of the Cold War, and perhaps even since the early 1980s, Moscow and Washington have never been closer to direct military confrontation, a consequence of increasing deployments, exercises, and operations by air, sea, and ground forces from the Baltic region to the Middle East. In some cases, Russian and NATO forces have nearly come into hostile contact, and escalation has been avoided by only the narrowest of margins.

Both Russia and the United States are set to invest billions in modernizing their nuclear arsenals, which, although positive from a safety and reliability standpoint, create the impression of a new “arms race,” as the presidents acknowledged in a March phone call. An especially worrying new dimension to the nuclear risk is the possibility that cyber attacks by states or non-state actors could lead either party to raise its nuclear alert level, thus triggering a matching response from the other side, and possibly touching off a dangerous escalatory cycle.

The forthcoming Trump-Putin meeting cannot resolve fundamental problems between Washington and Moscow. Neither leader would or should make unilateral concessions on matters he views as critical to his country’s national security. However, the meeting might open a path toward stabilizing the relationship, which under the circumstances, would be an important accomplishment in itself.

A simple but vital step toward such de-escalation could be for the two presidents to reiterate the joint view of Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev from their 1986 Reykjavik summit, that “a nuclear war cannot be won, and so should never be fought.” In fact, thirty-two years ago the U.S. and Soviet leaders discussed the possibility of eliminating nuclear weapons altogether, a goal which then Presidents Obama and Medvedev confirmed and supported in 2009.

Yet with the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces practically defunct thanks to reciprocal alleged violations, and the New START treaty limiting overall strategic nuclear arsenals under stress, an optimistic long-term goal like nuclear zero is hardly on the agenda for Moscow or Washington. Instead, both must now confront the urgent negative consequences of stalled U.S.-Russian bilateral arms control for global nuclear nonproliferation.

This is especially true after the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program, and given the real chance that Iran is determined to develop a weapon, which would trigger cascading nuclear breakouts across the Middle East. If the upcoming 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is to be anything but a last gasp for the half-century old nonproliferation regime, Presidents Trump and Putin will have to offer some hope that Washington and Moscow take their own responsibilities to reduce and disarm under the treaty seriously.

The wars in Syria and Ukraine have cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and displaced millions of people across the Middle East, Europe and beyond. Washington and Moscow each control resources and levers of influence vital for managing and ultimately resolving these conflicts. Although officials have sought to negotiate small steps, such as implementation of the Minsk agreements in Ukraine and getting the Syria talks in Geneva back on track, political will is lacking, and a meeting between the U.S. and Russian presidents is by far the best opportunity for each to signal their commitment to progress.

Finally, in the aftermath of years of sanctions and counter-sanctions, policies of mutual isolation have atrophied relations between ordinary Americans and Russians to an unacceptable degree that does not serve the interests of either side. Basic embassy and consular services have been severely constrained by expulsions of diplomats on both sides, and by the closure of U.S. and Russian diplomatic facilities.

As a result, tourism, trade, scientific, cultural and educational exchanges are all plummeting for the first sustained period in the fifty years since the General Agreement on Exchanges was signed at the height of the Cold War in 1958. Even while sanctions remain in place, the two presidents should clearly signal that contacts between diplomats, legislators, businesses, scholars and civic groups are foundational to peaceful, productive relations, and thus are especially important when official ties are strained.

Despite a deep crisis in the state-to-state relationship, Americans and Russians are still interested in each other, and they largely reject the current paradigm of battling official narratives. Russians still line up at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, eager for U.S. visas, and Americans constituted the largest cohort of foreigners visiting Russia for the World Cup this month. It is simply unfair and shortsighted to make ordinary citizens pay the price for conflict between their governments.

Disagreements between Moscow and Washington are extensive, and the two presidents will not find common ground on many issues. The point of meeting is not for them to overlook these differences or to strike a grand bargain. Rather, it should be to send a clear message and create the space necessary for the two governments to restart a cooperative engagement that is in the clear interest of both sides.

The history of relations between the United States and Russia demonstrates that there is no substitute for personal contacts between the leaders of the two countries. This was the case with Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. These historical examples are especially important now, when official contacts at lower levels are hampered.

The current conflict is not a new Cold War, nor will it become one. But attention should be paid to the vital lesson from that conflict, which is that summit diplomacy is not just for celebrating big victories - it is for giving momentum to the small steps and everyday interactions that kept that war from turning hot.

Published:6/25/2018 11:45:49 PM
[US News] OUCH! Sarah Sanders’ swipe at the Obama admin over ‘fixing’ laws WILL leave a mark [video]

"That's a good line."

The post OUCH! Sarah Sanders’ swipe at the Obama admin over ‘fixing’ laws WILL leave a mark [video] appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/25/2018 4:14:05 PM
[Entertainment] Director Adam McKay helps Dems spin new poll about Trump & the economy (Hint: Thanks Obama!)

Here ya go, DNC.

The post Director Adam McKay helps Dems spin new poll about Trump & the economy (Hint: Thanks Obama!) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/25/2018 2:46:22 PM
[Markets] Garrison: 'Trump Derangement Syndrone' Has Reached Epidemic Proportions

Authored by Ben Garrison via GrrrGraphics.com,

Trump Derangement Syndrome, otherwise known as “TDS,” has become an epidemic among the left.

In their restless delirium, the carriers shriek out their hatred of President Trump. We’ve all been made well aware of their disease, which is widespread among Democrats, the corporate legacy media, Hollywood, and most disturbingly, security agencies such as the FBI. The Deep State has a deep case of TDS.

Earlier this week we witnessed a fresh outbreak. People come to our country illegally and they bring their children along while doing it. Naturally, those kids don’t go to jail, but the fact they get separated has caused great outrage and bitter scolding from those afflicted with TDS. (Never mind Obama had the exact same policy).

Hillary Clinton used the artificial outrage to ask for donations to a fund that rewards and encourages more illegal aliens. She’s also the one that brought about the mass hysteria that somehow Trump is Putin’s puppet. Those convinced of that hallucination almost always have TDS.

Peter Fonda actually encouraged criminal acts against Barron Trump. He’s since apologized for becoming so unhinged, but calling for violence against our president and his family is a TDS symptom common to many in the entertainment industry.

Jim Carrey is another good example. Once beloved by many Americans, he’s become a miserable, hectoring scold. He expresses his hatred of Trump by scrawling bitter, ham-fisted cartoons. TDS has stripped him of his humor and popularity.

Robert De Niro is another washed-up star whose anti-Trump profanity does nothing except give many a reason to stop watching his old gangster movies.

Rachel Maddow spewed crocodile tears while on air, thereby making her virtue signaling seem more sincere. She shed tears for the border children, but her eyes remain dry for the millions of unborn children aborted each year.

Bill Maher wished for a recession to hurt Trump’s presidency. He continually says Trump is a ‘threat to our democracy’ without any real supporting evidence.

Speaking of Maher, his show should be renamed “The Trump Derangement Syndrome Show,” because it has devolved into nothing but a parade of hatred toward our president and his family. On a recent show, Maher talked about Trump’s tax ‘giveaway’—and one of his guests also expressed outrage that undeserving people (to her) were ‘given’ money. Wrong. People work hard for their money. They earn it and are forced to cough a great deal of it up to the IRS. If they get any back, they’re getting their own money back. The progressive left always wants more taxes and more government, not less. People such as Michael Moore, another severe sufferer of TDS, wants 97 percent of wages taxed. Like Bernie Sanders, he wants communism.

The TDS sufferers look for Trump’s impeachment as a cure. Instead, they may get a red wave, followed by his reelection in 2020.

Published:6/25/2018 2:13:22 PM
[Politics] NY Mag: Obama's Self-Exile From Politics Modeled After Bush 43 Amid incessant clamoring from Democrats to be more active and vocal, former president Barack Obama's self-imposed exile from public politics is an adherence to his long-term goals, friends and former aides tell New York Magazine. Published:6/25/2018 1:13:43 PM
[Markets] "This Is Not A Reunification Center" Attorneys Flock To Border To 'Protect' Law-Breaking Illegal Immigrant Parents

President Trump  doubled-down on his plan for "immediate" deportation of illegal immigrants this morning, explaining in a tweet that "hiring many thousands of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go," adding that this deterrence approach "is the way to go to stop illegal immigration in its tracks."

But, as NBC News reports,  that hasn't stopped civil rights attorneys from flocking to the Texas border to 'protect' the rights of illegal immigrant parents not to be separated from their children - the exact same policy that is utilized on American parents when they commit a crime with children in tow.

Attorneys have become a lifeline for migrants in detention, responding as would clergy to a disaster or tragedy, as the legal labyrinth of immigration has become more complicated.

Although many are accustomed to the immigration system's complexities, attorneys are finding the situation created by the Trump "zero-tolerance" prosecutions full of never-before-seen hurdles and restrictions that hamper their access to children and parents and are making their work to ensure those with valid asylum and other claims get to stay more difficult.

Ali Rahnama, an immigration attorney from Washington, D.C. who works on public policy and high impact litigation, said he woke up last Monday and felt he needed to be on the border. He found a private donor to pay for him and a few colleagues to fly to the border.

Another attorney, Sirine Sheboya, is choking back emotion over the lengths mothers and fathers are going to be reunited with their children.

"We have people in there who are considering not continuing on with really strong asylum claims," she said stopping to catch her breath as the emotion breaks through, "because they think that maybe they will get reunified with their kids faster if they give up their claim. That's just wrong."

"We have men and women saying, 'My 5- and 6-year-old was holding my leg and was taken away,'" said Rahnama, who visited parents and guardians being held in the Port Isabel Detention Center. "They go to court and are told their child will be there when they come back and they come back and there is no child," he said.

Of course, it's not just attorneys, Democratic politicians are descending for their moment of social justice and never-Trump warrior glory.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., spent 2½ hours in the Port Isabel Detention Center on Sunday night. After the visit, she told reporters stationed outside the center that officials of Immigration and Customs Enforcement told her that the center isn't where parents and children will come together as federal officials have said.

"The [immigration] officials made clear this is not a reunification center. There will be no children brought here. There will be no families brought together in this place," Warren said. "All that's happening here is the detention of mothers and fathers who lost their children."

Warren said she spoke to nine mothers and none the whereabouts of their children or had spoken to them.

"They are crying they are weeping," she said. "They have said they will do anything ... just, please, let them have their babies back."

One quick question to Ms.Warren - what would you do with the children of an American parent, who took his children along with him as he committed a crime? Do they deserve better or worse treatment under the law than an illegal immigrant - who crosses the border not at a port of entry and then proclaims they are seeking asylum?

NBC News reports that DHS said late Saturday that some of the more than 2,000 children - about 522 - have been reunited with parents. Officials said Port Isabel would be its reunification center.

Sometimes it's not just children who attorneys have to locate, but some of the parents as well. Efrén Olivares of the Texas Civil Rights Project can no longer find three clients who were part of a group of five parents who complained in a petition filed with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, part of the Organization of American States, about the child separations.

"They were either released to the U.S. with notice to appear (at a court at a later date) or were deported. We are looking diligently to contact them. We gave them a number and asked them to contact us if they were released," Olivares said.

"We have not heard from them."

Surprise!

Here is immigration expert Steve Cortes corrected host Fredricka Whitfield on the reality of family separation at the U.S. southern border during CNN’s Newsroom Sunday (via The Daily Caller)...

The U.S. Border Patrol does not separate immigrant families who claim asylum if they appear at a legal point of entry to the U.S., Cortes, the former head of President Donald Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council, said.

Until recently, only the families that tried to come into the country outside a point of entry - making them illegal immigrants - were separated.

Trump issued an executive order Wednesday that directed the Border Patrol to detain illegal immigrant families together and to begin reuniting children with their detained parents.

Whitfield asked Cortes how he thought Trump’s plan to reunite “immigrant families” would work out.

“Look, it will be a difficult process, but here’s the thing. The best way for — when you say immigrant families, by the way, it’s important to say illegal immigrant families,” Cortes responded, pointing out the omission. “That’s a very, very important adjective to add in there. Immigrant families have never been separated.”

“Illegal immigrant families have been separated, and I would say separated for a very good reason,” Cotez continued. “Why? Because their parents, unfortunately, or guardians … decided to commit a crime with children in tow. Much like an American committing a crime with children in tow, you get separated from you children. And that’s a terrible consequence for the kids.”

Whitfield defended her characterization of immigrants crossing the border illegally, pointing out that many were crossing the border seeking asylum.

“If you show up to a port of entry in the United States with your children and request asylum lawfully, you are not separated from your family,” Cortes shot back, referring to the difference between applying for affirmative and defensive asylum.

Affirmative asylum applies to immigrants entering the U.S. at a port of entry, or immigrants who apply within a year of entering the U.S., whether or not their entry was legal. Immigrants entering the country illegally can apply for defensive asylum while they are being processed for deportation.

“It’s not [legal]. You have to come to a check point, raise your hand and say, ‘I’m here for asylum,’” Cortes said.

“You can’t sneak across the border and then say, once you’re caught, ‘Oh, I meant to apply for asylum. That’s just not correct.”

Finally, we note another of President Trump's tweets this morning that sums the state of America and its media up very well...

And while we are well aware that comprehending the facts behind this sudden maelstrom of migrant misery headlines, here is the reality of how this all started courtesy of 'The Last Refuge' excellent twitter thread...

1. Once you see the strings on the marionettes you can never watch the pantomime the same way you did before you noticed them.

2. DATELINE - May 2011 – President Obama travels to the Rio Grande sector of the border to push for his immigration platform (ie. Amnesty). He proclaims the border is safe and secure and famously attacks his opposition for wanting an “alligator moat”.

3. November 2012 – Election year campaign(s). Using wedge issues like “War on Women”, and “Immigration / Amnesty”, candidate Obama promises to push congress for “amnesty”, under the guise of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, if elected. 

President Obama wins reelection.

4. December 2012 – Immediately following reelection President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order creating the “Deferred Action Program“, or DACA. Allowing millions of illegal aliens to avoid deportation.

5. According to White House own internal documents and research, this Deferred Action Program is what the Central American communities immediately began using as the reason for attempted immigration.

6. In both (A) Border Control Study; and (B) DHS intelligence report; the DACA program is mentioned by the people apprehended at the border in 2013 and 2014.

7. May 2013 – President Barack Obama visits South America. Following a speech for Mexican entrepreneurs, Obama then traveled to Costa Rica, his first visit as president.

8. cont.. In addition to meetings with Costa Rican President Laura Chincilla, President Obama attended a gathering of leaders from the Central American Integration System, (CAIS).

9. The regional network includes the leaders of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. President Obama meets with the leaders of the Central American Countries.

10. Summer 2013Numbers of Illegal Unaccompanied Minors reaching the Southern U.S. border from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua doubles. 20,000+ reach U.S. Southern border by travelling through Mexico. Media primarily ignores. fpc.state.gov/documents/orga…

11. October 2013 – At the conclusion of the immigrant travel season. White House receives notification that tens of thousands of illegal Unaccompanied Minors should be anticipated to hit the Southern U.S. border the following Summer [2014].

12. An estimated 850% increase in the number of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC's) were reported to the White House. fpc.state.gov/documents/orga…

[In 2012 less than 10,000 were projected]

13. January 2014 – In response to the projections, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posts a jobs notification seeking bids to facilitate 65,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children. fbo.gov/index?s=opport…

14. IMPORTANT. This job posting was January 2014. The Obama administration was *planning for* 65,000 childhood arrivals. In January 2014 they were taking contractor bids for services to be used later in year. Almost no-one noticed.

15. On January 29, 2014, the federal gov. posted an ad seeking bids for a vendor contract to handle “Unaccompanied Alien Children“. Not just any contract mind you, a very specific contract – for a very specific number of unaccompanied minors: "65,000." fbo.gov/index?s=opport…

16. [*Two Weeks Later*] February 2014 – President Obama visits Mexico for “bilateral talks”, in an unusual and unscheduled one day visit:

17. Spring 2014 – With a full year of DACA, successful transport and border crossing without deportation – DHS begins to notice a significant uptick in number of criminal elements from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; which have joined with UAC’s to gain entry.

18. Additionally, 2014 internal administration DHS documents reveal the “refugee” status is now being used by both criminal cartels, and potentially by Central American government(s) to send prison inmates into the U.S.

19. June 2014 – Tens-of-thousands of UAC's from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua hit the border and the headlines. Despite the known planning, and prior internal notifications, the White House claims it did not see this coming.

20. Internal documents including a –DHS Border Security Alert– show that in March, 2014, fully three months earlier, the White House was aware of what was coming in June.

21. June 20th 2014 – Congressional leadership and key Latino Democrats from the Democrat Hispanic Caucus meet with representatives from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. kfgo.com/news/articles/…

22. June/July 2014 – By the end of June the media have picked up the story and it’s called “A Border Crisis”. However, the White House is desperate to avoid exposure to the known criminal elements within the story.

23. July 3rd, 2014 – President Obama requests $3,700,000,000 ($3.7 billion) in supplemental budget appropriations to deal with the border crisis. Only $109 million is for actual border security or efforts to stop the outflow from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

24. Hidden inside the massive budget request is Obama seeking legal authorization to spend taxpayer funds for lawyers and legal proceedings on behalf of UAC’s and their families. Congress is being asked to approve/fund executive branch’s violation of immigration law (DACA).

25. Section 292 of Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits representation of aliens “in immigration proceedings at government expense“. President Obama was seeking authorization to use taxpayer funds to provide Illegal Aliens with government lawyers.

26. July 10th, 2014 – Facing pushback from congress as well as sticker shock at the amount he is requesting, President Obama sends his DHS team to Capitol Hill to ramp up anxiety, and threats of consequences: politico.com/story/2014/07/…

27. “We are preparing for a scenario in which the number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border could reach up to 90,000 by the end of fiscal 2014,” Johnson’s testimony reads: politico.com/story/2014/07/…

28. Not only did the White House know what was going to happen (as far back as 2012), but White House actually constructed events to fall into a very specific pattern and intentionally did NOTHING to stop the consequences from the DACA executive order issued in December 2012.

29. This is the origin of the crisis. It all started with DACA. Having tracked this issue so closely through the years it often feels futile to discuss. It is an ongoing insufferable political game/scheme within the issue of illegal immigrants and "children".

30. Massive illegal immigration is supported by both sides of the professional political machine. There are few issues more unifying for the K-Street purchased voices of DC politicians than keeping the borders open and the influx of illegal aliens as high as possible.

31. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce pays politicians to keep this system in place. All Democrats and most Republicans support mass immigration. Almost no DC politicians want to take action on any policy or legislation that stops the influx.

32. There are billions at stake. None of the GOP leadership want to actually stop illegal immigration; it’s a lucrative business. Almost all of the CONservative groups and politicians lie about it.

33. The religious right is also part of the problem. In the past 15 years illegal immigration and refugee settlement has been financially beneficial for them.

34. There is no greater disconnect from ordinary Americans on any singular issue than the policy positions of Democrats and Republicans in Washington DC surrounding immigration.

President Donald Trump is confronting their unified interests.

35. All political opposition to the Trump administration on this issue is structured, planned & coordinated. The issue is a valuable tool for the professional political class to sow chaos amid politicians. The resulting crisis is useful for them; therefore they fuel the crisis.

36. Washington DC and the activist media, are infested with illegal immigration supporters; the issue is at the heart of the UniParty. Follow the money. It’s the Acorn business model:

37. Southwest Key has been given $310,000,000, in taxpayer funds so far in 2018. And that’s just one company, in one part of a year. Prior CTH research showed this specific “Private Company” nets 98.76% of earnings from government grants. taggs.hhs.gov/Detail/RecipDe…

38. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which provides foster care and other child welfare services to migrant children. “Faith Based Immigration Services” is a code-speak for legalized human smuggling. taggs.hhs.gov/Detail/RecipDe…

39. The “faith-based” crew don’t want it to stop, because facilitating illegal alien import is now the financial bread and butter amid groups in their base of support. taggs.hhs.gov/Detail/RecipDe…

40. The man/woman in the pew might not know; but the corporation minister, preacher or priest (inside the process) surely does. BIG BUSINESS !! taggs.hhs.gov/Detail/RecipDe…

41. These immigration groups, get *MASSIVE* HHS grants and then pay-off the DC politicians and human smugglers. Billions of dollars are spent, and the business end of immigration has exploded in the past six years.

42. It’s a vicious cycle. Trafficked children are more valuable than adults because the organizations involved get more funding for a child than an adult. Each illegal alien child is worth about $56,000 in grant money. The system is full of fraud.

43. Approximately 65% of the money HHS provides is spent on executive pay and benefits, opaque administrative payrolls, bribes, kick-backs to DC politicians and payoffs to the South American smugglers who bring them more immigrants.

44. As best it can be determined, approximately 35% ($19,000) of HHS funds are spent on the alien/immigrant child; maybe. It gets really sketchy deep in the accounting.

45. All of those advocates gnashing their teeth and crying on television have no idea just who is controlling this process; and immigration idiots like Ted Cruz are only adding more fuel, more money, to the bottom line:

46. By threatening to secure the border, President Trump is threatening a Washington DC-based business model that makes money for a lot of connected interests.

47. Beyond enrichment schemes, the entire process of immigration, and Washington-DC legalized human smuggling, has side benefits for all the participants; child sexploitation, child labor, and yes, much worse (you can imagine).

48. So the next time you see this type of terribly misplaced "crying girl" corporate propaganda:

49. Maybe, just maybe, we can remember the *real* consequences of actual legalized human smuggling that has been created -within the business- by U.S. political policy.  This "crying girl":

50. /END

Published:6/25/2018 10:42:33 AM
[Politics] Palmieri Compares Voters Who Want Obama Back to Homesick Children: ‘They Miss Dad’

Former Barack Obama White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri compared voters who want back the 44th president to homesick children, saying in a new feature that "they miss Dad."

The post Palmieri Compares Voters Who Want Obama Back to Homesick Children: ‘They Miss Dad’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:6/25/2018 9:43:14 AM
[Politics] Trump Blasts Coverage of 'Same Immigration Policies' as Obama President Donald Trump on Monday blasted the media's coverage of family separations, calling his the "same immigration policies" as the Obama administration. Published:6/25/2018 9:12:21 AM
[Markets] For the last time: Trump inherited a good economy, and he hasn't made it better In the past 45 years, only one president has inherited a better economy than President Trump. The slow and steady recovery that President Barack Obama kick-started with the stimulus has continued into 2018. Published:6/25/2018 7:11:37 AM
[Markets] Trump To Build Temporary Camps On Military Bases To House Illegal Migrants

Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday said that the Pentagon is preparing to build temporary camps for undocumented migrants at two US military bases, in "close alignment" with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Mattis said that DHS requested the Department of Defense "build temporary camps on two of our bases," and that the U.S. military is in a "logistics support response mode."

"This is something that we can do again, whether it be refugee boat people from Vietnam, people that have been knocked out of their homes by a hurricane, absolutely it's appropriate to provide logistical support however it's needed," Mattis said of his the Defense Department's role in the effort.

While Mattis did not name the bases, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has toured facilities on four military bases; Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, as well as three bases in Texas: Dyess Air Force Base, Goodfellow Air Force Base and Fort Bliss.

“While four bases (3 in Texas and 1 in Arkansas) have been visited by HHS for possible housing, it doesn’t mean any or all children would be housed there,” Army Lt. Col. Jaime Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

The Pentagon said last week that it would make space available to house as many as 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children detained after illegally crossing the southern U.S. border - which we assume will now include families after Wednesday's Executive Order which keeps them together. 

HHS would operate the shelters, while the Pentagon will have no role. 

On Friday Time Magazine obtained a government draft memo which states that the US Navy is drawing up plans for "sprawling detention centers for tens of thousands of immigrants on remote bases in California, Alabama and Arizona, escalating the military’s task in implementing President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy for people caught crossing the Southern border."

The Navy memo outlines plans to build “temporary and austere” tent cities to house 25,000 migrants at abandoned airfields just outside the Florida panhandle near Mobile, Alabama, at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach, Alabama, and nearby Navy Outlying Field Silverhill.

The memo also proposes a camp for as many as 47,000 people at former Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco; and another facility that could house as many as 47,000 people at Camp Pendleton, the Marines’ largest training facility located along the Southern California coast. The planning memo proposes further study of housing an undetermined number of migrants at the Marine Corps Air Station near Yuma, Arizona. -Time Magazine

The Navy would spend around $233 million to build and operate a facility for 25,000 people for a 6-12 month period of time. 

A 60-day timeline has been proposed to build the first temporary facility for 5,000 adults, while room for 10,000 people per month could be added after that. 

The memo was written by Phyllis L. Bayer, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, in anticipation for a request from the Department of Homeland Security. It recommends Navy Secretary Richard Spencer sign off on the plan, which allocates roughly 450 square feet per immigrant held for housing, support staff and security, and send it to Defense Secretary James Mattis. -Time Magazine

On Wednesday, President Trump ordered the Pentagon and DHS to find a solution to house the tens of thousands of immigrants currently awaiting criminal proceedings for crossing the US-Mexican border illegally. 

Migrant children are currently being held in facilities operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement under the HHS - including a Walmart in Texas that was recently opened up to reporters. 

As Time notes, the Obama placed around 7,700 migrant children on military bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma in 2014. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months.

Published:6/25/2018 5:11:08 AM
[Immigration] Nancy Pelosi in 2014: Ignore Family Separation Issue

Last week, on June 18th minority leader Nancy Pelosi, visited a detention center for illegal immigrant kids and admonished the President. Per her website Pelosi’s comments began with: But in 2014  when Barack Obama was president, the United States was having a different crisis of children entering the country Illegally, and Nancy Pelosi visited a ...

The post Nancy Pelosi in 2014: Ignore Family Separation Issue appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:6/25/2018 1:10:15 AM
[Immigration] Nancy Pelosi in 2014: Ignore Family Separation Issue

Last week, on June 18th minority leader Nancy Pelosi, visited a detention center for illegal immigrant kids and admonished the President. Per her website Pelosi’s comments began with: But in 2014  when Barack Obama was president, the United States was having a different crisis of children entering the country Illegally, and Nancy Pelosi visited a ...

The post Nancy Pelosi in 2014: Ignore Family Separation Issue appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:6/25/2018 1:10:15 AM
[Markets] How The US, Under Obama, Created Europe's Refugee Crisis

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The current US President, Donald Trump, claimed on June 18th, that Germany’s leadership, and the leadership in other EU nations, caused the refugee-crisis that Europe is facing:  

“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

The US Government is clearly lying about this.

The US Government itself caused this crisis that Europeans are struggling to deal with. Would the crisis even exist, at all, if the US had not invaded and tried to overthrow (and in some instances actually overthrown) the governments in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere — the places from which these refugees are escaping?

The US Government, and a few of its allies in Europe (the ones who actually therefore really do share in some of the authentic blame for this crisis) caused this war and government-overthrow, etc., but Germany’s Government wasn’t among them, nor were many of the others in Europe. If the US Government had not led these invasions, probably not even France would have participated in any of them. The US Government, alone, is responsible for having caused these refugees. The US Government itself created this enormous burden to Europe, and yet refuses to accept these refugees that it itself had produced, by its having invaded and bombed to overthrow (among others) Libya’s Government, and then Syria’s Government, and by its aiding Al Qaeda in organizing and leading and arming, jihadists from all over the world to come to Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government and to replace it with one that would be selected by the US regime’s key Middle Eastern ally, the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, including its Government, and who are determined to take over Syria.

Trump blames Angela Merkel for — in essence — having been an ally of the US regime, a regime of aggression which goes back decades, and which Trump himself now is leading, instead of his ending, and of his restoring democracy to the United States, and, finally, thus, his restoring freedom (from America), and peace, to other nations, in Europe, and elsewhere (such as in Syria, Yemen, etc.). He blames Merkel, not himself and his predecessor — not the people who actually caused these refugees.

Hypocrisy purer than that which Trump there expressed, cannot be imagined, and this hypocrisy comes from Trump now, no longer from Obama, who, in fact, caused the problem.

As the 2016 study, "An Overview of the Middle East Immigrants in the EU: Origin, Status Quo and Challenges” states in its Abstract:

“EU has the most inhabited immigrant population; it has up to a population of 56 million foreign-born people. And due to the perennial war and chaos in the Middle East, the amount of relocated population in the region, especially the number of refugees, ranks the No.1 all over the world. … There are a large number of refugees and asylum seekers heading to EU countries; it can be divided into four stages. Since the Arab Spring, especially after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, and the rise of the “Islamic State” in 2013, the whole EU area have experienced the biggest wave of refugees since World War II.”

All of these invasions have been, and are, invasions of countries where the US regime demands regime-change.

In order to understand the deeper source of this problem, one must understand, first, the US regime’s continuing obsession to conquer Russia after its communism and Warsaw Pact military alliance, had ended (click onto that link to see the documentation); and, second, one needs to understand the US regime’s consequent and consistent aim after the supposed end of the Cold War, to take over control of Russia’s allied countries, including not only those within the Soviet Union and its military Warsaw Pact, but also within the Middle East, especially Syria and Iran, and even countries such as Libya, where the leader was nominally Sunni but nonetheless friendly toward Russia. (The link there provides documentation not only of what’s said here, but it also documents that the alliance between the two aristocracies, of the US and of Saudi Arabia, is essential to the US aristocracy’s Middle-Eastern objective; and Israel’s aristocracy serves as an essential agent of the Sauds in this crucial regard, because the Sauds rely heavily upon the Israeli regime to do its lobbying in Washington. In other words: America’s consistent objective is to isolate Russia so as for the US regime to emerge ultimately in a position to take over Russia itself. That’s the deeper source of Europe’s refugee-crisis.)

Back at the start of the promised post-Cold-War period, in 1990, the US regime, under its then-President, George Herbert Walker Bush, privately and repeatedly agreed with the USSR regime, under its then-President Mikhail Gorbachev, to end the Cold War — agreed that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east” — that there would be no expansion of the US military alliance against the USSR (soon to become against Russia alone). The US regime’s promise was that NATO would not take in and add to NATO’s membership, any of the countries that then were either in the USS.R’s military alliance the Warsaw Pact (Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) or in USSRitself other than Russia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan), except for the eastern part of Germany. The US regime simply lied. But the Russian Government followed through on all of its commitments. Russia was now trapped, by Gorbachev’s having trusted liars, whose actual goal turned out to be world-conquest — not peace.

Currently, the membership of NATO includes all of the former Warsaw Pact nations, and now the US regime aims to bring in also to "NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine.” Georgia and Ukraine are the first parts of the former USSR republics — not merely parts of the Warsaw Pact but parts now of the USSR itself — to join the anti-Russian military alliance, if either of them gets allowed in. The very possibility of this happening, goes beyond anything that the naive, trusting, Mikhail Gorbachev, would ever have imagined. He hadn’t the slightest idea of how evil was (and still is) America’s Deep State (that which controls America). But now we all know. History is clear and unambiguous on the matter.

The NATO mouthpiece, Brookings Institution, headlined on 15 November 2001, "NATO Enlargement: Moving Forward; Expanding the Alliance and Completing Europe’s Integration” and pretended that this expansion is being done in order to help Europeans, instead of to conquer Russia.

Ukraine has the longest of all European borders with Russia and so has been America’s top target to seize. But before seizing it, the US had tried in 2008 to turn Georgia against Russia, and the Georgian Mikheil Saakashvili was a key US agent in that effort. Saakashvili subsequently became involved in the violent coup that overthrew Ukraine’s Government in February 2014. Saakashvili organized the Georgian contingent of the snipers that were sent to Ukraine to shoot into the crowds on the Maidan Square and kill both police and demonstrators there, in such a way so that the bullets would seem to have come from the police (Berkut) and/or other forces of Ukraine’s democratically elected Government. (Click on this link to see two of the Georgian snipers casually describing their participation in the coup, and referring tangentially to former Georgian President Saakashvili’s role in it. Here is a more comprehensive video compilation describing and showing the coup itself.

As I have pointed out, the testimony of these two Georgian snipers is entirely consistent with what the investigation by the EU’s Foreign Ministry had found out on 26 February 2014 about the snipers, that “they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides” and that these snipers were “from the new coalition government” instead of from the government that was being overthrown — that it was a coup, no ‘revolution’ such as Obama’s people claimed, and Trump’s people now assert).

The US regime has agents in all regions of the former Russia-affiliated bloc — not only in Western Europe.

Obama’s coup to grab Ukraine away from its previous neutrality and to make it immediately a neo-Nazi rabidly anti-Russian country, has destroyed Ukraine — not only from the standpoint of the EU, but (and click on the link if you don’t already know this) from the standpoint of the Ukrainian people themselves. Who wouldn’t want to leave there?

Europe has refugees from the Ukrainian operation too, not only (though mainly) from the Middle Eastern ones.

Europe’s enemy isn’t Russia’s aristocracy, but America’s aristocracy. It’s the billionaires who control America’s international corporations — not the billionaires who control Russia’s international corporations — it is specifically America’s billionaires; it is the people who control the US Government; these, and no Russians at all, are the actual decision-makers, who are behind bringing down Europe. In order for Europe to win, Europeans must know whom their real enemies are. The root of the problem is in the US, Europe’s now fake ‘ally’. Today’s America isn’t the America of the Marshall Plan. The US Government has since been taken over by gangsters. And they want to take over the world. Europe’s refugee-crisis is simply one of the consequences.

In fact, Obama had started, by no later than 2011, to plan these regime-change operations, in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. But, in any case, none of the regime-change operations that caused the current unprecedented flood of refugees into Europe started because of what Europe’s leaders did (other than their cooperating with the US regime). Today’s American Government is Europe’s enemy, no friend at all, to the peoples of Europe. Trump’s blaming this crisis on Europe’s leaders isn’t just a lie; it is a slanderous one.

And this fact is separate from Trump’s similar slanderous lie against the refugees themselves. On May 8th, Germany’s Die Welt newspaper had headlined “Number of crimes falls to lowest level since 1992” and reported that Germany’s Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, announced the 2017 national crime statistics, and he said, “Germany has become safer,” the safest in the last 30 years. Seehofer happens to be a member of Chancellor Merkel’s Administration who is angling to replace her as Chancellor by appealing to the strong anti-immigrant portion of their own conservative party, but even he had to admit, essentially, that the anti-immigrant slur that Trump subsequently made on June 18th is a bald lie; it’s even the exact opposite of the truth. Trump’s tweeted comment then was a lying slander not only against Merkel and other European leaders, but also against the refugees that the US regime itself had produced. How depraved is that? How depraved is Trump?

The refugee crisis isn’t due to the refugees themselves; and it’s not due to Europe’s leaders; it is due to the almost constantly lying US regime - the people who actually control America’s Government and America’s international corporations.

On June 21st, Manlio Dinucci at Global Research headlined “The Circuit of Death in the ‘Enlarged Mediterranean’” and he opened by saying, “The politico-media projectors, focussed as they are on the migratory flow from South to North across the Mediterranean, are leaving other Mediterranean flows in the dark – those moving from North to South, comprised of military forces and weapons.” But the world’s biggest international seller of weapons is the US, not the EU; so, his placing the main focus on European billionaires was wrong. The main culprits are on Trump’s own side of the Atlantic, and this is what is being ignored, on both sides of the Atlantic. The real problem isn’t across the Mediterranean; it is across the Atlantic. That’s where Europe’s enemy is.

On 7 August 2015, I headlined “The US Is Destroying Europe” and reported that: 

“In Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and other countries at the periphery or edges of Europe, US President Barack Obama has been pursuing a policy of destabilization, and even of bombings and other military assistance, that drives millions of refugees out of those peripheral areas and into Europe, thereby adding fuel to the far-rightwing fires of anti-immigrant rejectionism, and of resultant political destabilization, throughout Europe, not only on its peripheries, but even as far away as in northern Europe.”

It’s continuing under Trump.

Published:6/25/2018 1:10:14 AM
[Markets] Trump Drops New Bomb In Trade War: Plans To Restrict China Investment In US Firms

While most analysis has been focused on the non-tit-for-tat trade tariff responses to Trump's $450 billion tariff threats against China, it is the Trump administration that is preparing to fire the next salvo in the trade war, and as The FT notes, this move could have even greater long-term consequences for the economic relationship between the US and China than tariffs.

The FT reports that according to officials and people briefed on the discussions, the administration has decided to restrict China’s ability to invest in or acquire US companies in the industries identified by Beijing in its so-called Made in China 2025 plan.

The Trump administration appears likely to invoke an act that allows US presidents broad powers in the event of a national economic emergency, which the president is likely to declare.

The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) dates to the 1970s and has in the past been used mostly to impose sanctions on countries such as North Korea and Iran. 

Administration officials argue that the restrictions are needed because the US is in an existential innovation war with China over key technologies that will define the future of the world’s two largest economies. 

Although the exact scope of the investment measures is unknown, this level of dramatic escalation implies the China hawks have taken the upper hand in The White House, as is clear by Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro's comments - aimed directly at Xi's goal of leading the world in sectors from aerospace to AI...

“China has targeted America’s industries of the future, and President Trump understands better than anyone that if China successfully captures these emerging industries of the future, America will have no economic future, while its national security will be severely compromised.”

However, as we recently noted, China inbound investment has already collapsed in the last six months. According to research firm Rhodium Group, Chinese companies completed acquisitions and greenfield investments worth only $1.8 billion, a 92% drop over the past year, and the lowest level in seven years.

But there is a twist, as Rhodium  noted, this is much more than simple M&A, it's about capital outflows - which will really upset some of China's wealthiest as they try to find new routes to de-Yuanize their assets...

The rapid decline in Chinese FDI in the U.S. was driven by a “double policy punch” -- Beijing cracking down on rapid outbound investment and the U.S. government increasing scrutiny on Chinese acquisitions through the Committee on Foreign Investment as well as taking a more confrontational stance toward economic engagement with China in general.

Kyle Bass is pleased, judging by his latest tweet,

Confirming his previously noted position that Trump's trade actions are simply about national security:

Tariffs are simply about national security: Hayman Capital founder from CNBC.

However, there are concerns as to just how this all ends, since as a former Obama administration official noted, the unilateral move by the Trump administration to invoke IEEPA would be unusual. 

“That’s a pretty sharp departure from the way things have been done in the past,” adding that

“The Trump administration, kind of across the board, has very much blurred the line and seems to be saying that any significant economic challenge the US faces is also a national security challenge."

All of which seems to ominously fit the historical path of escalation from 'trade imbalance' to 'hot war'...

 

Published:6/24/2018 7:40:43 PM
[US News] Ex President Obama ignores global warming and immigration at the same time as he flies in private jet to go fishing

While Dems are in 2018 mode and at the border protesting Donald Trump’s policies, ex President Barack Obama has gone fishing. Literally. In this case, to Saranac Lake in upstate New York: The private jet is a nice touch because why not ignore global warming at the same time he’s ignoring the immigration crisis on […]

The post Ex President Obama ignores global warming and immigration at the same time as he flies in private jet to go fishing appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 7:12:05 PM
[Markets] Maxine Waters Orders Democrats To Form Mob, "Physically Push Back" Against White House Employees

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) openly called for people to form a mob and physically confront members of Donald Trump's administration if they see them out in public after controversy over separated migrant families erupted two weeks ago. 

Waters, who doesn't live in the district she represents and paid her daughter $750,000 for Democratic fundraising activities, said to a crowd at a "Keep Families Together" rally on Saturday: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."

Waters' comments come on the heels of several members of Trump's administration being physically confronted by angry leftists.

Last week a group of protesters with the Democratic Socialists of America - including a DOJ paralegal - chased Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant near the White House. Days later, protesters showed up at Nielsen's Alexandria townhouse.

And on Friday night, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was ejected from a Lexington, VA restaurant because the gay staff was too triggered by her presence. After the story went viral, Sanders posted to Twitter: "Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so"

Meanwhile, White House adviser Stephen Miller - largely credited with pushing President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy of arresting and processing those entering the U.S. illegally - was heckled at a Mexican restaurant two days before Nielsen was harassed. 

And on Saturday, left-wing activists harassed Florida AG Pam Bondi at a movie theater. 

Earlier in the month, photos of "caged children" in ICE detention centers which happened under Obama went viral - but by the time anyone pointed that out, the outrage machine was already in full swing. 

Largely ignored was the fact that Trump is merely enforcing laws created under Bill Clinton and strengthened under Bush II - while Obama separated migrant families all the time and is being sued for keeping children in brutal conditions. Making matters worse was a fake news picture of a crying "separated migrant child" who was never actually separated from her parents. 

The left has taken this manufactured outrage and has begun to actively pursue members of the Trump administration - which they are proud of. 

Understandably, this has conservatives worried. 

Judging by some social media reactions, the public response to this kind of incitement could get ugly fast.

Published:6/24/2018 6:09:03 PM
[In The News] Former ethics chief incorrectly accuses Sanders of violation for tweet after being thrown out of restaurant

By R. Mitchell -

A former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) under Obama accused White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders of violating a federal ethics law because she posted to Twitter that a restaurant owner had thrown her out. Former ethics chief Walter Shaub took to Twitter to post a ...

Former ethics chief incorrectly accuses Sanders of violation for tweet after being thrown out of restaurant is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:6/24/2018 3:37:43 PM
[US News] Where were protests THEN? Jeh Johnson makes admission about Obama admin’s detainment policy

When everyone could eat in restaurants without being disturbed.

The post Where were protests THEN? Jeh Johnson makes admission about Obama admin’s detainment policy appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/24/2018 1:37:44 PM
[Markets] Amid Record Approval Ratings, Trump Set To Roll The Dice With Putin Summit In July

With President Trump riding high on near-record-high approval ratings...

In what is sure to incense Adam Schiff, The Democrats, and all establishment media, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports that a Trump-Putin summit is expected to take place on July 15th in Vienna "according to the latest information"...

"For several days diplomatic envoys from Washington and Moscow have been in Vienna, to clarify the details of the discussions between the two presidents."

For now, however, no confirmation has been received from either side, as Tass reported, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Kremlin isn't yet ready to give information, but will provide it when available.

But, as M K Bhadrakumar, via The Asia Times, reports, an announcement is expected soon that the meeting will occur after the NATO summit.

If the Trump White House had let it be known a couple of months ago that it was working with the Kremlin to schedule a summit meeting between the two presidents, all hell would have broken loose in the Washington Beltway. But that isn’t happening. There is an eerie calm in Washington, as if Trump’s detractors have run out of ammunition.

What explains it? First, the fizz seems to have gone out of the Russia collusion theory. Robert Mueller could keep uncovering crimes in American public life (of which there is no dearth) forever but he has not been able to say he has actually substantiated the Russia collusion theory. The latest Pew Research Center analysis on June 20 reveals that only 28% Americans remain any longer “very confident” of the fairness of Mueller’s investigation, while four-in-10 say they are not too sure (19%) or are at all confident (21%) in his ability to do this.

Pew admits:

“Republicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of Mueller’s conduct of the investigation and Trump’s ability to deal with it, and these partisan differences extend to views of the importance of the investigation itself.”

This partly explains why the cascade of criticism that could have been expected over Trump’s plan for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin hasn’t materialized – although a lavish, televised lovefest is sure to make a mockery of the Mueller inquest.

Fundamentally, Trump has had remarkable success in boosting his political standing among members of his own party. As Susan Glasser wrote in the New Yorker recently:

“Increasingly, few Republicans are willing to stand in Trump’s way, even when the President’s policies clash with their own deeply held views.”

The recent lamentation by John Boehner, the former Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives – “There is no Republican Party. There is a Trump Party” – may be an exaggeration that he made while sipping a Bloody Mary on stage at a recent conference in Michigan. Nonetheless, as Glasser writes: “The political reality is simply this: President Trump is now too popular with the Republican base to challenge, even when he appears to be upending policies the party of Reagan has embraced for decades.”

Thus, when Trump presses ahead with a meeting with Putin (which he wanted all along), there is now an air of resignation about it. To be sure, Trump’s dramatic, showy one-one-one meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently has rewritten America’s contemporary diplomatic history. And he rewrote it all by himself while no one back home was even sure whether he should do it.

Trump-Putin summit: perfect next act?

Russia, of course, is different. But the analogy of the Art of the Deal is still relevant and why should Trump give up on his campaign vision of closer ties with the Russian president without ever testing it? The Russophobes are hard-pressed to find an answer. Thus, it is a fait accompli that as a US president who embraces personal diplomacy with America’s adversaries as his trademark in foreign policy, Trump’s forthcoming summit with Putin becomes a perfect next act.

Did Trump work towards this? The point is, he’s an inscrutable politician. It wasn’t mere coincidence that just before leaving for the recent G-7 summit in Canada, he would think up the unthinkable – Russia’s return to the grouping. The seemingly stray thought actually gets bracketed with his move to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the vital underpinning of President Barack Obama’s ‘pivot-to-Asia’ strategy (without which a containment strategy against China lacks gravitas).

The common thread is that Trump’s Art of the Deal means putting the focus on America’s interests rather than on the negating of adversaries’ legitimate interests or concerns – be it North Korea or Russia. Of course, if there is an uncomfortable overlap, a deal becomes necessary and Trump believes in his ability to negotiate it.

So, Trump essentially took at a pot shot at the West’s containment strategy against Russia by raising the G7 petard. Meanwhile, on a parallel track, the spadework began for a successful summit between Trump and Putin. Of course, there are so many fault lines in the overall relationship and anything can go wrong between now and the summit. The Kremlin can ensure that there is no “sabotage” from the Russian side, but that cannot be said for the Trump White House.

An announcement on the Trump-Putin summit in the second week of July is due any moment. From available indications, the meet will come after Trump’s participation in the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11-12. Trump is also facing resistance from the US’ European allies who fear “exclusion” from a potential US-Russia rapprochement. And the resistance to detente in the US and in Europe coalesces. Yet, Trump’s strategic asset is that with a high popularity rating of 45% he is at his strongest position today politically and could do things pretty much as he always wanted.

The best sign so far is that a three-member group of Republican senators comprising Richard Shelby (Alabama), John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) and John Hoeven (North Dakota) is visiting Russia in early July on a “reconnaissance mission.” Historically, Moscow preferred to talk with America’s “hawks”. And the good part is that the Trump administration is sponsoring the lawmakers’ visit.

Published:6/24/2018 11:07:25 AM
[Politics] OOPS! Former Obama official says THEY HAD TO detain illegal alien children… Jeh Johnson screwed up the liberal narrative that nobody was Hitlering before Trump Hitlered all those children into cages by admitting that yes, Obama Hitlered them too!! Watch the Hitler video below: . . . Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Politics] OOPS! Former Obama official says THEY HAD TO detain illegal alien children… Jeh Johnson screwed up the liberal narrative that nobody was Hitlering before Trump Hitlered all those children into cages by admitting that yes, Obama Hitlered them too!! Watch the Hitler video below: . . . Published:6/24/2018 10:36:36 AM
[Markets] Trump Promises "Things That Will Shock You" On Trade, Slams "Wacky Jacky" Rosen

By the looks of it, President Trump gave one hell of a performance at the Nevada State GOP convention Saturday night, where he was fundraising on behalf of Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who is running in what Real Clear Politics describes as a "tossup" against Congresswoman Jacky Rosen. And after last night, Heller definitely owes Trump a debt of gratitude for this gem.

In the middle of Saturday night's rally, Trump announced that he had devised a "great nickname" for Heller's opponent. Ever the showman, Trump hemmed and hawed for a few minutes as the crowd egged him on, before continuing with the big reveal:

"Wacky Jacky, you don't want her as your senator!"

Trump slammed "Wacky Jacky" for campaigning with "Pocahontas" - Trump's favorite nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The crowd exploded in wild applause, reminding us all why Trump's approval rating is at its highest level since his inauguration, despite the outrage over his  "zero-tolerance border policy" and concerns that he might be leading the US into a damaging trade war.

Speaking of trade wars, Trump offered a few teasers on that subject as well, telling the crowd that "you will see things happen over the coming months that are going to really shock you."

"And we have so many things that we've done and so many things that we're going to do...nobody had any idea that we'd be able to do so much, so soon. A lot of them have had great starts, and I can tell you that on trade, you're going to see things coming over the coming months that will really shock you. Because for so many years we felt so badly, our jobs have been taken, our companies have been taken like we are a bunch of babies...Let's take the company, let's close the company and fire everybody, let's sell those cars back to America - we won't pay tax. Those days are gone."

Trump also urged the crowd to blame Democrats if their health-care costs go up (and also threw some shade at the ailing John McCain, who represents neighboring Arizona)...

...He also threw a few jabs at the media, calling them "the most dishonest people on Earth" and claimed that his administration had "already started building the wall in San Diego" (his administration is using $147 million from the omnibus spending bill to build a 14-mile section of the border wall).

Expect more performances like these, as Trump travels to states where Republicans are facing stiff mid-term challenges from Democrats, as the Republicans midterm strategy has essentially boiled down to using Trump to rally the base.

Published:6/24/2018 10:06:34 AM
[da645d47-a615-4463-9d2d-b45a13db7e5e] Michelle Obama says her memoir is a 're-humanization' effort Former first lady Michelle Obama said Friday her upcoming memoir “Becoming” is a “re-humanization effort” that she hopes will give voice to people who feel voiceless. Published:6/24/2018 9:06:15 AM
[Markets] US Lawmakers Want Iran Blacklisted From International Financial System

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) have penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin urging him to pressure world leaders to ban Iran from accessing international financial systems, after it was revealed that the Obama administration covertly helped Tehran sidestep international sanctions and potentially tap into billions in hard currency.

Iran was taken off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist as part of an incentive package provided by Obama in the runup to the landmark nuclear deal killed by President Trump in early May. 

"In the push to save its deeply flawed nuclear deal, the Obama administration unwisely backed a wide range of economic relief for Iran - including through the FATF. In June 2016 the administration supported the FATF's decision to suspend "counter-measures" against Iran for one year, following Tehran's submission of an Action Plan to the FATF to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing policies." 

For the last two years, the FATF has continued to suspend these countermeasures at six-month intervals, despite the continued dangerous and belligerent actions of the Iranian regime. Many reports have indicated the regime in Tehran actually increased financial support for its terror proxies in the wake of the nuclear deal. 

Portman and Royce - chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, say that new revelations uncovered through Congressional investigations in to the Obama administration's secret diplomacy with Iran make it all the more important for the Trump administration to take concrete steps against Iran's terror support networks. 

The FATF will meet next week in Paris, where Portman and Royce hope to see substantive action against Iran. 

"This upcoming FATF session is particularly important following the recent release of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' report exposing new details about the previous administration's efforts to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system, including through consideration of a general license for the ëconversion of two non-USD currencies through the limited use of the USD as an intermediate currency,'" wrote the lawmakers.

"It's time to recognize that Iran has failed to take the necessary stepsódespite its pledges two years agoóto be removed from the list of FATFís high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions," the letter states. "The United States should now utilize its influence within the FATF to reimpose countermeasures against Iran and protect the international financial system."

Published:6/24/2018 8:06:02 AM
[Markets] Atrocity Porn And Hitler Memes Target Trump For Regime Change

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

American and global audiences have been bombarded with media images of wailing children in holding facilities, having been separated from adults (maybe their parents, maybe not) detained for illegal entry into the United States. The images have been accompanied by “gut-wrenching” audio of distraught toddlers screaming the Spanish equivalents of “Mommy!” and “Daddy!” – since, as any parent knows, small children never cry or call for their parents except in the most horrifying, life-threatening circumstances.

American and world media have provided helpful color commentary, condemning the caging of children as openly racist atrocities and state terrorism comparable to Nazi concentration camps and worse than FDR’s internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans. Indeed, just having voted for Trump is now reason enough for Americans to be labeled as Nazis.

Finally, the presumptive Hitler himself, also known as President Donald Trump, citing the pleas of First Lady Melania and First Daughter Ivanka, signed an Executive Order to provide for adults and (their?) children to be detained together. However, the order is unlikely to hold up in court, with sanctuary-minded states aiming to obstruct border enforcement the way Trump’s earlier order on vetting arrivals from terrorism-prone countries has been crippled by the federal judiciary. His media and bipartisan political opposition will be happy only when all border violation detentions cease and America has gone full Merkel, starting with ending Trump’s declared zero tolerance for illegal crossings and restoration of Barack Obama’s catch-and-release policy.

Even then, Trump will be vilified for taking so long to do it. Whether or how Trump may yield further is not clear, but rather than slaking the hate campaign against him, his attempted effort at appeasement has put the smell of political blood in the water with the November 2018 Congressional midterm elections looming.

Some images of small children have become veritable icons of Trumpian brutality. One photo, reportedly of a two-year-old Honduran girl (who in fact had not been separated from her mother), graced the cover of Time magazine, confronting the black-hearted tyrant himself. Another, of a little boy in a cage, went viral before it was revealed that this kid had nothing to do with the border but rather was briefly inside a staged pen as part of a protest in Dallas.

The reality behind the pictures doesn’t matter, though. More important are the images themselves and their power, along with dishonest media spin, to produce an emotional response that short-circuits critical thinking.

Never mind what the facts are! Children are suffering! Trump is guilty! We need to “do something”!

On point of comparison, let’s remember the  saturation media distribution given in 2016 to a picture of a little boyOmran Daqneesh, said to have been pulled from the rubble of Aleppo after what was dubiously reported as a Russian airstrike. Promptly dubbed “Aleppo Boy,” his pathetic dusty image immediately went viral in every prestige outlet in the United States and Europe. The underlying message: we – the “international community,” “the Free World,” the United States, you and I – must “do something” to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his main backer and fellow Hitler clone Vladimir Putin.

(Not long before, another little boy, also in the area of Aleppo, was beheaded on video by the “moderate” US-supported jihad terror group Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki. The images of his grisly demise received far less media attention than those of official Aleppo Boy. This other youngster received no catchy moniker. No one called for anyone in power to “do something.” In fact, western support for the al-Zenki murderers – which the Obama administration refused to disavow even after the beheading and allegations of chlorine gas use by al-Zenki – can itself be seen as part of “doing something” about the evil, evil Assad. (Reportedly Trump’s viewing the beheading video led to a cutoff of CIA aid to some jihad groups.) Another small detail readily available in alternative media but almost invisible in the major outlets: Mahmoud Raslan, the photographer who took the picture of Aleppo Boy and disseminated it to world acclaim, also took a smiling selfie with the beaming al-Zenki beheaders of the other kid. But, hey, says Raslan, I barely know those guys. Now let’s move on . . . )

For those who have been paying attention for the past couple of decades, the Trump border crisis kids, like Aleppo Boy before them, are human props in what is known as 'atrocity porn' designed to titillate the viewers through horror and incite them to hatred of the presumed perpetrators. Atrocity propaganda has long been a part of warfare – think World War I claims of Belgian babies impaled on German bayonets – but with modern digital technology and social media the impact is immediate and universal.

It’s irrelevant whether what is identified in images corresponds to reality. What matters is their ability to evoke mindless, maudlin emotionalism, like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow choking up in tears over the border children or the similar weepy display in 2016 by CNN’s Kate Bolduan over Aleppo Boy.  

Now being deployed in an American domestic context over whether or not the US should be allowed to control its borders, for decades atrocity porn has been essential for selling military action in wars of choice unconnected to the actual defense of the US: incubator babies (Kuwait/Iraq); the Racak massacre (Kosovo); the Markale marketplace bombings, Omarska “living skeletons,” and the Srebrenica massacre (Bosnia); rape as calculated instrument of war (Bosnia, Libya); and false flag poison gas attacks in Ghouta  and Douma (Syria). Never mind that the facts, to the extent they eventually become known, may later turn out to be very different from the categorical black-and-white accusations on the lips of western officials and given banner exposure within hours if not minutes of the event in question.

Atrocity porn dovetails closely with another key meme, that of Hitler-of-the-month. In painting Trump as der Führer on the border, we see coming home to America a ploy that has been an essential element to justify foreign regime change operation, each of which has been spelled out in terms of black-and-white, good-versus-evil Manichaean imperatives, with the side targeted for destruction or replacement having absolutely no redeeming qualities. This entails first of all absolute demonization of the evil leader in what is called reductio ad Hitlerum, a concept attributed to philosopher Leo Strauss in 1951. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been characterized by name as another Hitler by Hillary Clinton and others. Among the prominent “Hitlers” since 1991 have been Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia/Serbia), Radovan Karadzic (Republika Srpska), Moammar Qaddafi (Libya), and Bashar al-Assad (Syria), with less imposing Führer figures to be found in Mohamed Farrah Aidid (Somalia), Manuel Noriega (Panama), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), and Omar al-Bashir (Sudan).

With apologies to Voltaire, if Hitler had not existed it would be necessary for the US-UK Deep State to invent him . . .

Today the atrocity porn and Hitler memes that have been so useful in justifying regime change in other countries are being directed with increasing intensity against America’s own duly elected president. This is at a time when the original conspiracy to discredit and unseat him, the phony “Russian collusion” story, is in the process of unraveling and being turned back on its originators. Horror of horrors, Trump is now feeling free enough to move forward on a meeting with Putin.

Keep in mind that Putin is, according to Hillary Clinton, leader of the worldwide “authoritarian, white-supremacist, and xenophobic movement” who is “emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists, and even neo-Nazis.” So he and Hitler-Trump should get on famously! The prospect of any warming of ties between Washington and Moscow has elements of the US intelligence agencies, together with their British coconspirators in MI6 and GCHQin an absolute panic.

That’s why desperate measures are in order. As noted earlier, when confronted with a reincarnation of the most evil personage in history, even the most extreme actions cannot be ruled out. Demonizing the intended target neutralizes objections to his removal – by any means necessary.

After all, how can any decent person oppose getting rid of Hitler?

Published:6/23/2018 10:34:41 PM
[Markets] Johnstone: "Anyone Promoting Regime Change In Iran Is An Evil Piece Of Shit"

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

I have been saying all year that the 8chan phenomenon known as “QAnon” is bogus, and as time has gone on the evidence has become overwhelming that it is an establishment psyop designed to herd the populist right into accepting the narratives and agendas of the establishment orthodoxy. Whether they’re claiming that every capitulation the Trump administration makes to longstanding neoconservative agendas is actually brilliant 4-D chess strategy, or saying that Julian Assange isn’t really trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy, QAnon enthusiasts are constantly regurgitating talking points which just so happen to fit in very conveniently with the interests of America’s defense and intelligence agencies.

A recent “Q drop” (a fancy name for an anonymous user posting text onto a popular internet troll message board with zero accountability) makes this more abundantly clear than ever, with text reading as follows:

Free Iran!!!
Fight
Fight
Fight
Regime change.
People have the power.
We stand with you.
Q

Once you’re cheering for a longtime neoconservative agenda to be accomplished in one of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” countries, you are cheering for the establishment. Or, to put it more clearly to Q followers, you are cheering for the deep state.

So now you have conspiracy-minded populist right wingers being manipulated into supporting the same standard Bush administration globalist agendas that Alex Jones built his career on attacking. The support for regime change interventionism in Iran isn’t limited to the QAnon crowd, having now gone fully mainstream throughout Trump’s base, and I’d like to address a few of the arguments here that they have been bringing to me:

“Iran is nowhere near the same thing as Iraq, Libya or Syria!”

Please go look at a globe and think a little harder about your position here. Iran is a target for regime change for the exact same reasons its neighbors Iraq and Syria have been; it occupies and extremely strategically significant location in an oil-rich region that the US-centralized empire wants full control of. Thinking this one is different because its government isn’t secular is the product of many years of Islamophobic propaganda; the plutocrats and their allied intelligence and defense agencies don’t care what religion sits on top of their oil, and Saudi Arabia proves it. Any argument made against Iranian theocracy could be made even more strongly against KSA theocracy, but you don’t see Sean Hannity advocating the overthrow of the Saudi royals, do you?

“But this regime change intervention would be completely different!”

No it wouldn’t. There has never been a US-led regime change intervention in the Middle East that wasn’t disastrous. Cheering for regime change interventionism in Iran is cheering for all the destabilization, chaos, terror, death, rape and slavery that always necessarily comes with such interventions. Wanting to inflict that upon the world is monstrous.

“This is different, though! This one is led by Trump! Look at all that he’s accomplished in North Korea!”

Okay, three things:

1. All that Trump has done with North Korea is take the very first step in the most rudimentary beginnings of peace talks. I fully support him in taking that step, but you can’t legitimately treat it as an “accomplishment” which proves that he is a strategic genius capable of facilitating the impossible task of non-disastrous regime change in Iran.

2. Even if Trump does help bring abiding peace to the Korean Peninsula, it won’t legitimize regime change interventionism in Iran. Hell, even if Trump gets North Korea to denuclearize (and he won’t), it still wouldn’t legitimize regime change interventionism in Iran. US-led regime change interventionism is always disastrous, especially in the easily destabilized geopolitical region of the Middle East.

3. Neocons are always wrong about foreign policy. Always. There’s no reason to believe Trump spearheading a longstanding neocon agenda would work out any better than Bush or any other neocon.

“Well what about the Iranians in Iran who want regime change?”

What about them? The fact that some Iranians want their government changed has nothing to do with you or your government. The Fox News and Washington Post pundits who keep pointing out the fact that Iran, like America, contains people who are unhappy with its current system of government are only ever trying to galvanize the west against Tehran. There’s no good reason for you to be acting as a pro bono CIA propagandist running around telling westerners how great it would be if the Mullahs were gone.

“Well I don’t want the US to intervene, I just want the Iranians to free themselves!”

Two things:

1. This administration is already currently engaged in regime change interventionism in Iran in the form of escalated CIA covert operations and harsh economic sanctions, and its involvement with Iranian terror cult MEKsuggests it may run far deeper than that in a similar way to US involvement with extremist groups in Syria, Libya and Ukraine.

2. Why say anything, then? Ever stop to ask yourself why you’re always cheering for Iranians to overthrow their government? Why constantly cheerlead for something which requires zero western involvement? Whom does that help? Do you think Iranians don’t already know that America hates their government?

All you’re doing is helping to signal boost the pro-regime change propaganda that US defense and intelligence agencies have been seeding into American public consciousness for many years. Your “Yay, free Iran!” sentiments aren’t helping Iranians, they’re helping the western propagandists target western audiences. You’re just helping the public get more okay with any actions taken against the Iranian government, in exactly the same way Russiagaters help manufacture support for escalations against Russia.

Come on, people. Think harder. This one isn’t difficult. It’s not a random coincidence that you’re all being paced into supporting regime change in the final target named seventeen years ago in General Wesley Clark’s famous “seven countries in five years” list of neocon regime change agendas. The only thing that has changed is the face on the agenda.

Iran is not different from the other regime change targets of Iraq, Libya or Syria. Barack Obama served George W Bush’s third and fourth terms, and Donald Trump is serving his fifth. They were strong-armed in different ways by America’s unelected power establishment into advancing different regime change agendas depending on where their political support came from and public sentiment at the time, but it’s all been pointed at the exact same region for the exact same reasons.

Leave Iran alone. Leave the Iranian people alone. There is no legitimate reason for you to be cheering for regime change in Iran, and anyone who tells you otherwise is an evil piece of shit. Reject them.

*  *  *

Internet censorship is getting pretty bad, so best way to keep seeing the stuff I publish is to get on the mailing list for my website, so you’ll get an email notification for everything I publish. My articles and podcasts are entirely reader and listener-funded, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying my book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Published:6/23/2018 9:33:25 PM
[Markets] Debunking The Persistent Myth Of U.S. Precision Bombing

Authored by Nicholas Davies via ConsortiumNews.com,

U.S. media routinely repeat Pentagon talking points about the accuracy of U.S. bombing, but how precise are these attacks?

Opinion polls in the United States and the United Kingdom have found that a majority of the public in both countries has a remarkably consistent belief that only about 10,000 Iraqis were killed as a result of the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Estimates of deaths in Iraq actually range from 150,000 to 1.2 million. Part of the reason for the seriously misguided public perception may come from a serious belief in guided weapons, according to what the government tells people about “precision” bombing.  But one must ask how so many people can be killed if these weapons are so “precise,” for instance in one of “the most precise air campaigns in military history,” as a Pentagon spokesman characterized the total destruction last year of Raqqa in Syria.

The dreadful paradox of “precision weapons” is that the more the media and the public are wrongly persuaded of the near-magical qualities of these weapons, the easier it is for U.S. military and civilian leaders to justify using them to destroy entire villages, towns and cities in country after country: Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul in Iraq; Sangin and Musa Qala in Afghanistan; Sirte in Libya; Kobane and Raqqa in Syria.

An Imprecise History

The skillful use of disinformation about “precision” bombing has been essential to the development of aerial bombardment as a strategic weapon. In a World War II propaganda pamphlet titled the “Ultimate Weapon of Victory”, the U.S. government hailed the B-17 bomber as “… the mightiest bomber ever built… equipped with the incredibly accurate Norden bomb sight, which hits a 25-foot circle from 20,000 feet.“

However, according to the website WW2Weapons, “With less than 50 per-cent cloud coverage an average B-17 Fortress Group could be expected to place 32.4% of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point when aiming visually.”  That could rise to 60 percent if flying at the dangerously low altitude of 11,000 feet in daylight.

The inaccurate B17 “Flying Fortress”

The U.K.’s 1941 Butt Report found that only five percent of British bombers were dropping their bombs within five miles of their targets, and that 49 percent of their bombs were falling in “open country.”

In the “Dehousing Paper,” the U.K. government’s chief scientific adviser argued that mass aerial bombardment of German cities to “dehouse” and break the morale of the civilian population would be more effective than “precision” bombing aimed at military targets.  British leaders agreed, and adopted this new approach: “area” or “carpet” bombing, with the explicit strategic purpose of “dehousing” Germany’s civilian population.

The U.S. soon adopted the same strategy against both Germany and Japan, and a U.S. airman quoted in the post-war U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey lampooned efforts at “precision” bombing as a “major assault on German agriculture.”

The destruction of North Korea by U.S.-led bombing and shelling in the Korean War was so total that U.S. military leaders estimated that they’d killed 20 percent of its population.

In the American bombing of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the U.S. dropped more bombs than all sides combined in the Second World War, with full scale use of horrific napalm and cluster bombs.  The whole world recoiled from this mass slaughter, and even the U.S. was chastened into scaling back its military ambitions for at least a decade.

The American War in Vietnam saw the introduction of the “laser-guided smart bomb,” but the Vietnamese soon learned that the smoke from a small fire or a burning tire was enough to confuse its guidance system.  “They’d go up, down, sideways, all over the place,” a GI told Douglas Valentine, the author of The Phoenix Program. “And people would smile and say, ‘There goes another smart bomb!’  So smart a gook with a match and an old tire can fuck it up.”

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

President Bush Senior hailed the First Gulf War as the moment that America “kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all.”  Deceptive information about “precision” bombing played a critical role in revitalizing U.S. militarism after defeat in Vietnam.

The U.S. and its allies ruthlessly carpet-bombed Iraq, reducing it from what a UN report later called “a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society” to “a pre-industrial age nation.”  But the Western media enthusiastically swallowed Pentagon briefings and broadcast round-the-clock bomb-sight footage of a handful of successful “precision” strikes as if they were representative of the entire campaign.  Later reports revealed that only seven percent of the 88,500 tons of bombs and missiles devastating Iraq were “precision” weapons.

The U.S. turned the bombing of Iraq into a marketing exercise for the U.S. war industry, dispatching pilots and planes straight from Kuwait to the Paris Air Show.  The next three years saw record U.S. weapons exports, offsetting small reductions in U.S. arms procurement after the end of the Cold War.

The myth of “precision” bombing that helped Bush and the Pentagon “kick the Vietnam syndrome” was so successful that it has become a template for the Pentagon’s management of news in subsequent U.S. bombing campaigns. It also gave us the disturbing euphemism “collateral damage” to indicate civilians killed by errant bombs.

The devastating aerial assault on Baghdad in 2003, known as “shock and awe.”

‘Shock and Awe’

As the U.S. and U.K. launched their “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq in 2003, Rob Hewson, the editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weaponsestimated about 20-25 percent of the U.S. and U.K.’s “precision” weapons were missing their targets in Iraq, noting that this was a significant improvement over the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia, when 30-40 percent were off-target. “There’s a significant gap between 100 percent and reality,” Hewson said. “And the more you drop, the greater your chances of a catastrophic failure.”

Since World War II, the U.S. Air Force has loosened its definition of “accuracy” from 25 feet to 10 meters (39 feet), but that is still less than the blast radius of even its smallest 500 lb. bombs.  So the impression that these weapons can be used to surgically “zap” a single house or small building in an urban area without inflicting casualties and deaths throughout the surrounding area is certainly contrived.

“Precision” weapons comprised about two thirds of the 29,200 weapons aimed at the armed forces, people and infrastructure of Iraq in 2003.  But the combination of 10,000 “dumb” bombs and 4,000 to 5,000 “smart” bombs and missiles missing their targets meant that about half of “Shock and Awe’s” weapons were as indiscriminate as the carpet bombing of previous wars.  Saudi Arabia and Turkey asked the U.S. to stop firing cruise missiles through their territory after some went so far off-target that they struck their territory. Three also hit Iran.

“In a war that’s being fought for the benefit of the Iraqi people, you can’t afford to kill any of them,” a puzzled Hewson said. “But you can’t drop bombs and not kill people.  There’s a real dichotomy in all of this.”

‘Precision’ Bombing Today

Since Barack Obama started the bombing of Iraq and Syria in 2014 more than 107,000 bombs and missiles have been launched. U.S. officials claim only a few hundred civilians have been killed. The British government persists in the utterly fantastic claim that none of its 3,700 bombs have killed any civilians at all.

Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd from Mosul, told Patrick Cockburn of Britain’s  Independent newspaper that he’d seen Kurdish military intelligence reports that U.S. airstrikes and U.S., French and Iraqi artillery had killed at least 40,000 civilians in his hometown, with many more bodies still buried in the rubble.  Almost a year later, this remains the only remotely realistic official estimate of the civilian death toll in Mosul. But no other mainstream Western media have followed up on it.

The consequences of U.S. air wars are hidden in plain sight, in endless photos and videos. The Pentagon and the corporate media may suppress the evidence, but the mass death and destruction of American aerial bombardment are only too real to the millions of people who have survived it.

Published:6/23/2018 8:35:11 PM
[Politics] David Axelrod Rips Tom Steyer for Using Border Audio in Anti-Trump Ad Former Obama adviser David Axelrod on Saturday slammed billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer for incorporating audio of crying illegal immigrant children being separated from their parents in Texas into his "latest ad for his vanity project/impeachment campaign." Published:6/23/2018 6:32:49 PM
[Markets] Star Wars Redux: Trump's Space Force

Authored by Karl Grossman via Counterpunch.org,

If Donald Trump gets his way on formation of a Space Force, the heavens would become a war zone. Inevitably, there would be military conflict in space.

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which designates space as the global commons to be used for peaceful purposes—and of which Russia and China, as well as the United States, are parties—and the years of work facilitating the treaty since would be wasted.

If the U.S. goes up into space with weapons, Russia and China, and then India and Pakistan and other countries, will follow.

Moreover space weaponry, as I have detailed through the years in my writings and TV programs, would be nuclear-powered—as Reagan’s Star Wars scheme was to be with nuclear reactors and plutonium systems on orbiting battle platforms providing the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

This is what would be above our heads.

Amid the many horrible things being done by the Trump administration, this would be the most terribly destructive.

“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council this week.

“Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon,” he went on Monday, “to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces; that is a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal, it is going to be something.”

The notion of the U.S. moving into space with weaponry isn’t new.

It goes back to the post-World War II years when the U.S. government brought former Nazi rocket scientists from Germany to the U.S.—mainly to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama—to use “their technological expertise to help create the U.S. space and weapons program,” writes Jack Manno, who retired last year as a professor at the State University of New York/Environmental Science and Forestry College, in his book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995.

 “Many of the early space war schemes were dreamt up by scientists working for the German military, scientists who brought their rockets and their ideas to America after the war,” he relates. “It was like a professional sports draft.”

Nearly 1,000 of these scientists were brought to the U.S., “many of whom later rose to positions of power in the U.S. military, NASA, and the aerospace industry.” Among them were “Wernher von Braun and his V-2 colleagues” who began “working on rockets for the U.S. Army,” and at the Redstone Arsenal “were given the task of producing an intermediate range ballistic range missile to carry battlefield atomic weapons up to 200 miles. The Germans produced a modified V-2 renamed the Redstone….Huntsville became a major center of U.S. space military activities.”

Manno writes about former German Major General Walter Dornberger, who had been in charge of the entire Nazi rocket program who, “in  1947, as a consultant to the U.S Air Force and adviser to the Department of Defense…wrote a planning paper for his new employers. He proposed a system of hundreds of nuclear-armed satellites all orbiting at different altitudes and angles, each capable or reentering the atmosphere on command from Earth to proceed to its target. The Air Force began early work on Dornberger’s idea under the acronym NABS (Nuclear Armed Bombardment Satellites).”

For my 2001 book, Weapons in Space, Manno told me that “control over the Earth” was what those who have wanted to weaponize space seek. He said the Nazi scientists are an important “historical and technical link, and also an ideological link….The aim is to…have the capacity to carry out global warfare, including weapons systems that reside in space.”

But then came the Outer Space Treaty put together by the U.S., Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. In the 2001 TV documentary I wrote and narrate, “Star Wars Returns.”

Craig Eisendrath, who had been a U.S. State Department officer involved in its creation, notes that the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, Sputnik, in 1957 and “we sought to de-weaponize space before it got weaponized…to keep war out of space.”

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, it entered into force in 1967.  It has been ratified or signed by 123 nations.

It provides that nations “undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in space in any other manner.”

Atomic physicist Edward Teller, the main figure in developing the hydrogen bomb and instrumental in founding Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, pitched to Ronald Reagan, when he was governor of California visiting the lab, a plan of orbiting hydrogen bombs which became the initial basis for Reagan’s “Star Wars.” The bombs were to energize X-ray lasers. “As the bomb at the core of an X-ray battle station exploded, multiple beams would flash out to strike multiple targets before the entire station consumed itself in in a ball of nuclear fire,” explained New York Times journalist William Broad in his 1986 book Star Warriors.

Subsequently there was a shift in “Star Wars” to orbiting battle platforms with nuclear reactors or “super” plutonium-fueled radioisotope thermoelectric generators on board that would provide the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

The rapid boil of “Star Wars” under Reagan picked up again under the administrations George H. W. Bush and son George W. Bush. And all along the U.S. military has been gung-ho on space warfare.

A U.S. Space Command was formed in 1982.

“US Space Command—dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict,” it trumpeted in its 1998 report Vision for 2020. It laid out these words to resemble the crawl at the start of the Star Warsmovies. The U.S. Space Command was set up by the Pentagon to “help institutionalize the use of space.” Or, as the motto of one of its units declares, to be “Master of Space.”

Vision for 2020states, “Historically, military forces have evolved to protect national interests and investments-both military and economic.” Nations built navies “to protect and enhance their commercial interests” and during “the westward expansion of the United States, military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements and railroads. The emergence of space power follows both of these models. During the early portion of the 2lst Century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare.”

“It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen,” remarked U.S. Space Command Commander-in-Chief Joseph W. Ashy in Aviation Week and Space Technology (8/9/96):

“Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but—absolutely—we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space…. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space.”

Or as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Keith R. Hall told the National Space Club in 1997: “With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it and we’re going to keep it.”

The basic concept of the Pentagon’s approach to space is contained in The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century. Written by “arms experts” George and Meredith Friedman, the 1996 book concludes: “Just as by the year 1500 it was apparent that the European experience of power would be its domination of the global seas, it does not take much to see that the American experience of power will rest on the domination of space. Just as Europe expanded war and its power to the global oceans, the United States is expanding war and its power into space and to the planets. Just as Europe shaped the world for a half a millennium [by dominating the oceans with fleets], so too the United States will shape the world for at least that length of time.”

Or as a 2001 report of the U.S. Space Commission led by then U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asserted:

“In the coming period the U.S. will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the earth and in space.”

Nuclear power and space weaponry are intimately linked.

“In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict,” stated New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century, a 1996 US Air Force board report. “These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills.” However, “power limitations impose restrictions” on such space weaponry making them “relatively unfeasible,” but “a natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space.” Says the report: “Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space.”

Or as General James Abrahamson, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, put it at a Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion, “without reactors in orbit [there is] going to be a long, long light [extension] cord that goes down to the surface of the Earth” to power space weaponry.

Thus nuclear power would be needed for weapons in space.

Since 1985 there have been attempts at the UN to expand the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 to prohibit not only nuclear weapons but all weapons from space. This is called the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty and leading in urging its passage have been Canada, Russia and China. There has been virtually universal backing from nations around the world for it. But by balking, U.S. administration after administration has prevented its passage.

Although waging war in space was hotly promoted by the Reagan and Bush administrations and ostensibly discouraged by the Obama administration and Clinton administration, all U.S. administrations have refused to sign on to the PAROS treaty.

In my book Weapons in Space, I relate a presentation I gave at a conference at the UN in Geneva in 1999 on the eve of a vote the next day on PAROS. I spoke about the “military use of space being planned by the U.S.” being “in total contradiction of the principles of peaceful international cooperation that the U.S. likes to espouse” and “pushes us—all of us—to war in the heavens.”

I was followed by Wang Xiaoyu, first secretary of the Delegation of China, who declared: “Outer space is he common heritage of human beings. It should be used for peaceful purposes…It must not be weaponized and become another arena of the arms race.”

The next day, on my way to observe the vote, I saw a U.S. diplomat who had been at my presentation. We approached each other and he said he would like to talk to me, anonymously. He said, on the street in front of the UN buildings, that the U.S has trouble with its citizenry in fielding a large number of troops on the ground. But the U.S military believes “we can project power from space” and that was why the military was moving in this direction. I questioned him on whether, if the U.S. moved ahead with weapons in space, other nations would meet the U.S. in kind, igniting an arms race in space. He replied that the U.S. military had done analyses and determined that China was “30 years behind” in competing with the U.S. militarily in space and Russia “doesn’t have the money.” Then he went to vote and I watched as again there was overwhelming international support for the PAROS treaty—but the U.S. balked. And because a consensus was needed for the passage of the treaty, it was blocked once more.

And this was during the Clinton administration.

With the Trump administration, there is more than non-support of the PAROS treaty but now a drive by the U.S. to weaponize space.

It could be seen—and read about—coming.

“Under Trump, GOP to Give Space Weapons Close Look,” was the headline of an article in 2016 in Washington-based Roll CallIt said “Trump’s thinking on missile defense and military space programs have gotten next to no attention, as compared to the president-elect’s other defense proposals….But experts expect such programs to account for a significant share of what is likely to be a defense budget boost, potentially amounting to $500 billion or more in the coming decade.”

Intense support for the plan was anticipated from the GOP-dominated Congress. Roll Call mentionedthat Representative Trent Franks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and an Arizona Republican, “said the GOP’s newly strengthened hand in Washington means a big payday is coming for programs aimed at developing weapons that can be deployed in space.”

In a speech in March at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego, Trump declared:

“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea. We may even have a Space Force—develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force; we’ll have the Space Force.”

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, notes that Trump cannot establish a Space Force on his own—that Congressional authorization and approval is needed.  And last year, Gagnon points out, an attempt to establish what was called a Space Corps within the Air Force passed in the House but “stalled in the Senate.”

“Thus at this point it is only a suggestion,” said Gagnon of the Maine-based Global Network.

“I think though,” Gagnon went on, “his proposal indicates that the aerospace industry has taken full control of the White House and we can be sure that Trump will use all his ‘Twitter powers’ to push this hard in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, relates Gagnon, there is the “steadily mounting” U.S. “fiscal crisis…Some years ago one aerospace industry publication editorialized that they needed a ‘dedicated funding source’ to pay for space plans and indicated that it had come up with it—the entitlement programs. That means the industry is now working to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what little is left of the welfare program. You want to help stop Star Wars and Trump’s new Space Force. Fight for Social Security and social progress in America. Trump and the aerospace industry can’t have it both ways—it’s going to be social progress or war in space.”

As Robert Anderson of New Mexico, a board member of the Global Network, puts it:

“There is no money for water in Flint, Michigan or a power grid in Puerto Rico, but there is money to wage war in space.”

Or as another Global Network director, J. Narayana Rao of India, comments: “President Donald Trump has formally inaugurated weaponization of space in announcing that the U.S. should establish a Space Force which will lead to an arms race in outer space.”

Russian officials are protesting the Trump Space Force plan, “Militarization of space is a way to disaster,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, told the RIA news agency the day after the announcement. This Space Force would be operating in “forbidden skies.” He said Moscow is ready to “strongly retaliate” if the US violates the Outer Space Treaty by putting weapons of mass destruction in space.

And opposition among legislators in Washington has begun. “Thankfully the president cannot do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart,” tweeted Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.

“Space as a warfighting domain is the latest obscenity in a long list of vile actions by a vile administration,” writes Linda Pentz Gunter, who specializes in international nuclear issues for the organization Beyond Nuclear, this week. “Space is for wonder. It’s where we live. We are a small dot in the midst of enormity, floating in a dark vastness about which we know a surprising amount, and yet with so much more still mysteriously unknown.”

“A Space Force is not an aspiration unique to the Trump administration, of course,” she continued on the Beyond Nuclear International website of the Takoma Park, Maryland group, “but it feels worse in his reckless hands.”

Published:6/23/2018 5:32:06 PM
[Markets] "Obama Kept Them In Cages" - The Pedophrasty Of Politicians Exposed

President Trump started off his day in attack mode (as is almost ubiquitous these days), exclaiming that "The Russian Witch Hunt is Rigged," and how poll number show Americans rapidly losing faith in the 'Russia collusion' narrative. All of which explains their sudden shift to a new narrative - hitler-like separation (and caging) of poor desperate illegal immigrant children from their loving caring illegal immigrant parents.

While the media has been loathed to admit it - the separation policy is not a hitler-confirming Trump decision, it has been in place for many years and, as Trump tweeted, Obama faced similar headlines (though somehow was not compared to Hitler and lambasted in the media)...

Then took direct aim at The Democrats lack of a solution...

But as The Automatic Earth's Raul Ilargi Meijer explains so eloquently below, the pedophastry and bigoteering of politicians everywhere (ably assisted by a subservient liberal media) has enabled 'fake news' to become fact in an ever-increasing divergence from reality.

The two most viral photographs of the ‘Trump Separation Scandal’ have now been debunked, or at the very least been proven to have been used ‘out of context’. This is a dangerous development, as are the reasons to use them the way they have been. Both pictures are of children who had not been separated from their mothers at all. But both were used to depict just that: a child being taken away from its mother.

What’s dangerous about this is, first, that those who spread the narrative regardless of the truth may next permit themselves to use images from entirely different locations or times to make their point. Yes, children have been taken from parents at US borders. And attention for that is warranted, very much so. But playing loose with the facts turns those facts into a mere narrative in which nobody can tell fact from fiction anymore.

First, a week ago already, I saw this on RT: Debunked: Viral Image Of Crying, Caged Toddler ‘Detained By ICE’ Not What It Seems

A distressing image of a crying toddler locked in a barred cage after purportedly being detained by US immigration officials has gone viral – but despite online claims, it does not actually depict what has been alleged. The image, which shows a little boy crying in a cage as he looks out between its bars, was shared by activist journalist and undocumented migrant Jose Antonio Vargas as a comment on the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown on families.

In the same thread, Vargas admitted that he came across the photo on a friend’s timeline and was still looking for the original source. Nevertheless, the snap quickly went viral with Vargas’ post garnering more than 23,000 retweets and many others sharing the image across their own social media accounts.

Vargas explained that he shared the photo because when he was detained by ICE in McAllen, Texas in 2014, he encountered children who were locked up there. “It wasn’t okay then; it’s not okay now,” he wrote, adding that he’s been outraged about the incident for years.

It has since emerged that the picture was in fact not from a detention facility at all, and instead was taken at a protest against Trump’s immigration policies held on June 10 outside Dallas City Hall. The demonstration organized by Brown Berets de Cemanahuac was held to call out the policy of family separation and confining undocumented children.

Ergo: an activist journalist and undocumented immigrant makes it look as if a picture depicts something that in reality it did not. Note also that the article says he wanted to comment on the Trump immigration crackdown, because he has memories of the Obama immigration crackdown, when he saw children locked up. But then, hey, that’s social media, right? Anyone can say anything.

It’s different, though, when TIME Magazine uses such politics. And its editor-in-chief defends the use of the picture by saying it was the most visible symbol of something, even though he knew full well that the photo didn’t depict that something. That’s a mighty slippery scale. If they could have achieved the same effect with a picture of a overripe banana taken in the Pacific in the 1950’s, they probably would have used it. It’s the effect that counts, not the facts.

Fact-Check: Was Migrant Girl On US Border Taken From Mother? Unfounded

Two photos that went viral on social media depict scenes that are not directly related to the family separations taking place on the US-Mexico border since early May. The most prominent, of Honduran two-year-old Yanela Varela crying inconsolably, has become a global symbol of the separations – helping to attract more than $18 million in donations for a Texas non-profit called RAICES. The photograph was taken on June 12 in McAllen, Texas by John Moore, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for Getty Images.

An online article about the picture, published by Time Magazine, initially reported the girl was taken from her mother, but was subsequently corrected to make clear that: “The girl was not carried away screaming by US Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.” Time Magazine nonetheless used the image of the sobbing child on its cover, next to an image of President Trump looming over her, with the caption “Welcome to America”. The head of Honduras’ Migrant Protection Office Lisa Medrano confirmed to AFP that the little girl, just two years old, “was not separated” from her family.

The child’s father also said as much. Denis Varela told the Washington Post that his wife Sandra Sanchez, 32, had not been separated from their daughter, and that both were being detained together in an immigration center in McAllen. Under fire for its cover – which was widely decried as misleading including by the White House – the magazine said it was standing by its decision. “The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason,” Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said.

[ZH: And here's the corrected version:]

Nassim Nicolas Taleb, of black swans and Fragility, has found the appropriate term for this ‘phenomenon’, and explains why it works so well that TIME apparently doesn’t care about the damage to its reputation caused by using photographs for such purposes.

Pedophrasty, Bigoteering, and Other Modern Scams

Pedophrasty Definition: Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an asshole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures. [..] Pedophrasty is effective as it provides arguments to strike before the evidence is formed. People are moved into “doing something” Pedophrasts prey on our maternal (and paternal) instincts.

Pedophrasty has its most effects on actors, journalists and similar types who are intellectually insecure, deprived of critical judgment, and afraid of being classified as violators of some norm of political correctness. For instance, pedophrasty has been commonly used in the Syrian war by such propagandists as Julian Roepke continuously supplying the German public with pictures of dead children. Or the various lobbies hired by Saudi Barbaria (and allies), such as the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, to promote Sunni Islamist policies under the cover of “think tanks”.

The Nayirah testimony: a false congressional testimony by 15-year-old girl who provided only her first name, Nayirah (she turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S.) was a bit responsible into tipping the US into the war. Nayirah claimed that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators a Kuwaiti hospital, and leave the babies to die. Nobody dared to question the veracity of her claims.

That’s what is dangerous: seeing a photo of a child in distress makes people halt their critical thinking. That’s also why such photos are used. They help build a narrative that doesn’t have to be factual to shock people. But at that point TIME becomes a fiction magazine; it’s where it leaves journalism behind.

The narrative also depends to a large extent on the singularity of Trump’s brutality compared to other presidents and nations’ leaders. It seeks to single him out as being extremely cruel. That narrative will fall to pieces going forward, and not only because the stories behind the photos have now been exposed.

First, here’s a look at what happened under earlier US presidents, in this case Obama, published by the ACLU in May 2018:

ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Widespread Abuse Of Child Immigrants In US Custody

Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union featured in a new report released today show the pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The report was produced in conjunction with the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.

“These documents provide a glimpse into a federal immigration enforcement system marked by brutality and lawlessness,” said Mitra Ebadolahi, ACLU Border Litigation Project staff attorney. “All human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their immigration status — and children, in particular, deserve special protection. The misconduct demonstrated in these records is breathtaking, as is the government’s complete failure to hold officials who abuse their power accountable. The abuse that takes place by government officials is reprehensible and un-American.”

The report is based on over 30,000 pages of documents dated between 2009 and 2014.

Then, what other ‘leaders’, who express their ‘disgust’ and worries at the Trump separation policies do at home. The Guardian yesterday:

Theresa May’s Brutal Family Separations Would Make Trump Blush

[..] as a British citizen I cannot, in good faith, reassure myself with that time-old mantra that we are somehow more civilised and less cruel or brutal than our cousins across the pond. Nor do I think that condemnation from our government can carry any real currency. Since long before anybody had heard the words “Make America great again”, splitting up families has been official policy in Theresa May’s Home Office – and it has been carried out with a brutality and on a scale that would make even President Trump blush.

The Children’s Commissioner has found that at least 15,000 children growing up in the UK live without a parent because the right of British citizens to reunite with a foreign spouse is limited by an unreasonable income threshold, an impossible complicated application system fraught with Home Office errors, and no legal aid for families to challenge incorrect decisions.

And the Sydney Morning Herald from December 2017:

Australia Is Wilfully Damaging The Health Of Children On Nauru To Make A Point – And It Is Appalling

When we visited Nauru as paediatric specialists three years ago, we were asked to see 30 of the 100 children being detained on the island. Among them was a six-year-old girl who had tried to kill herself and a two-year-old boy with such severe behaviour problems a doctor had prescribed anti-psychotic medicines. Their parents were in despair. They had fled persecution, trying to save their children from harm, but had ended up imprisoned on a remote island, without hope.

We left with the view that these were the most traumatised children we had ever consulted on, far worse than children we had seen in Australia, Africa, Asia or Europe. Three years later, 43 of those children remain on the island. Officially they are now free to move around, but reports of attacks by locals show Nauru is not safe and so they remain in the “Regional Processing Centre”.

In 2014, the Australian Human Rights Commission reported that children at this centre were deeply traumatised psychologically, and had even been abused. Their detention was harming them. When Australia introduced mandatory detention in 1992, it took 10 weeks on average to process an application for refugee status. Now it takes years. As the numbers of children in detention fall, the length of time in detention rises. This is deliberate: wilfully damaging children’s health to deter others from seeking asylum.

See, what TIME Magazine and others do, using pictures of crying children regardless of their actual context, may make for an initially appealing narrative, but in the end their approach only distracts from what really matters. Which is that children need to be with their mothers (and preferably fathers).

Just reporting the facts on this is not only enough, it’s the only way to report on it. Once you start making up stuff, you’re done, and the truth is done.

US immigration laws are clearly not working; so change them. ICE is a terrible organization that has attracted far too many sociopaths. Close it down. Child abuse as a tool to instill fear has been an international political tool for a very long time. Those are the things that should be making headlines. Turning this into yet another anti-Trump narrative, using crying children as shortcuts to people’s emotions, doesn’t work, or not for long.

This is not about Trump. Trying to make it about him is not going to help those children. And that’s what you want, right? Right?

Published:6/23/2018 3:32:14 PM
[Clinton emails] Understanding Hillary’s crimes: The podcast (Scott Johnson) I have been saying that an overwhelming wealth of story lines emerges from the IG report on the Clinton email “investigation” released last week. I posted the report via Scrbid here. Andrew McCarthy pointed out before the election in 2016 and repeatedly since (perhaps most recently here), the fix was in from the beginning. The fix was in because Obama was in on the wrongdoing and he was the head Published:6/23/2018 12:31:06 PM
[World] Gary Kaltbaum Calls Out Barack Obama's Immigration Views from 2005 News Conference

Gary Kaltbaum reminded viewers of "Cavuto Live" of then-Sen. Barack Obama's views on illegal immigration, as critics of President Trump continue to lash out despite his signing of an executive order to keep migrant families together.

Published:6/23/2018 11:00:23 AM
[Markets] The 'Murder' Of Julian Assange

Authored by Kurt Nimmo via Another Day In The Empire blog,

It was a fool’s errand.

On the day Donald Trump was elected his supporters asked him to pardon the founder and frontman of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. They flooded social media demanding Assange be allowed to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London without arrest and extradition to the United States.

Stone silence from Trump and his administration.

A few months before the election, WikiLeaks released a searchable archive of over 30,000 emails and attachments taken from Hillary Clinton’s not-so private email server. 

Trump held no aversion to exploiting the emails. He called them the Crooked Hillary emails and said they endangered the national security of the United States. 

Democrats called foul, said Assange had colluded with Putin and the Russians. 

In April, they filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks. They argue there was a widespread conspiracy to swing the 2016 election.

They have zero evidence of this. Evidence is no longer required. Accusations alone now serve to take down leaders and destroy careers. 

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are no longer of use to Donald Trump. 

He dished out pardons to ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and neocon leaker Scooter Libby. Trump mulled other pardons, including a posthumous one for Muhammad Ali to wipe out his draft dodging conviction. It was reported in June Trump insiders are pushing to pardon the junk bond king Michael Milken and reverse his conviction on securities fraud. The Milken pardon is being pushed by Goldman Sachs alumnus and current Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. 

Meanwhile, Julian Assange is left to twist in the wind. 

Both Trump’s attorney general and his former CIA director, now secretary of state Mike Pompeo want Assange extradited to the United States where he will face trial and possible execution for espionage. 

AG Jeff Sessions said the arrest and prosecution of Assange is a priority for the United States government, while Pompeo denounced him as a “hostile intelligence service,” never mind he had no problem using the Clinton emails to accuse the DNC of sabotaging the Bernie Sanders campaign. 

The US has leaned heavy on Ecuador. 

Following a meeting with General Joseph DiSalvo of the Southern Command - ostensibly to discuss “security cooperation”—Ecuadorian president Lenín Moreno rolled back security at the embassy and denied Assange access to family, friends, and doctors. They also shut down his internet connection. 

This week Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia said his government working on an “exit” plan to remove Assange from the embassy where he has lived the past six years. Valencia told the Associated Press the plan would be “one that encourages an exit, that we do not want to be traumatic... we do not want it to be an exit that may cause dissonance with international law.”

Moreno said Assange interfered in Ecuador’s relationship with other countries by tweeting on political events. He also lamented the “nuisance” of Assange’s political asylum and said the Australian whistleblower is an “inherited problem” left over from the previous administration. 

Moreno’s government granted Assange citizenship in a hope diplomatic immunity would be granted and he would leave the embassy. Assange knows better than to fall for this. Immunity or no, he will be arrested the minute he walks out of the embassy. 

Activist and filmmaker John Pilger took the Left to task for abandoning Assange.

“There is a silence among many who call themselves left,” he said in a statement.

“The silence is Julian Assange. As every false accusation has fallen away, every bogus smear shown to be the work of political enemies, Julian stands vindicated as one who has exposed a system that threatens humanity.” 

For the establishment, it’s imperative Assange be arrested, extradited, and brought up on espionage charges in the United States. The message will be priceless, the chilling effect invaluable. 

The dirty secrets of war, political subterfuge, election fixing, and assorted other crimes and misdeeds are not for public consumption.

The release of the Collateral Damage video and the war logs of Afghanistan and Iraq should have resulted in a larger and more active antiwar movement. This didn’t happen. 

Liberal and leftist opposition to war only occurs when a Republican sits in the Oval Office. Obama effectively destroyed what remained of the Bush era antiwar movement. Eights year of Obama worked like a lobotomy on the Left. 

Democrats supported Hillary Clinton’s war on the people of Libya. They didn’t have a problem when she arranged weapons collected from the battlefields of Libya to be sent by the CIA to the “rebels” in Syria. 

Democrats call for overthrowing Bashar al-Assad in Syria. They believe Russia got Trump elected and Vladimir Putin spreads lies and false news to undermine and destroy our democracy. Large NGOs, foundations, and think tanks are pushing this nonsense. 

Due mostly to indoctrination as a result of public education and a herd mentality inculcated by leaders and media, it is a relatively easy task for the financial oligarchy and its corporate partners to brainwash the public. It now disguises war and conquest as humanitarianism. 

I’m old enough to remember when millions of Americans praised Daniel Ellsberg for releasing the Pentagon Papers. That was then, this is now. Now liberals and progressives want to string up whistleblowers, same as their conservative Republican and neocon counterparts. 

Gore Vidal said America suffers from amnesia. 

Americans are largely blind to the war and financial crimes perpetuated in their name. Part of this is the result of indoctrination through propaganda media, but to a large degree Americans are incurious and unbothered by the criminality of their leaders and institutions. 

Most don’t care Julian Assange is a dead man walking. 

They are unable to see the criminal state for what it is - a global Mafia operation that shakes down entire continents and wages wars of conquest and pillage for profit. 

Published:6/23/2018 7:30:05 AM
[Markets] The Eagle, The Dragon, And The Bear

Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog,

Does Trump recognize the limits of US power?

Trump’s new world order comes straight from The Godfather. There are three global powers: the US, Russia, and China. None of these powers can militarily defeat either of the other two, and even an alliance among two of them would have trouble defeating the third.

Like Don Corleone, Trump is dividing up the larger territory into smaller, great-power controlled sub-territories. He is tacitly recognizing Russia and China’s dominance in their own spheres of influence, and holding them to account in their territories. The implicit agreement among the three is apparently that each power will, in their, “sphere of influence…enforce peace.”

Trump’s New World Order,” SLL 3/20/18

In one week President Trump confirmed that his first concern is the United States, that he has what may be a workable vision for its place in the world, and he loathes globalism and the globalists.

A good measure of his efficacy is the outrage he generates. By that measure, that week was his finest hour... so far.

Europe won’t have a seat at Trump’s great-power table. Its welfare states are addicted to their handouts, deeply in debt, rely on uneven trade arrangements with the US, and have below-replacement birth rates. They are cowed by Soros-sponsored propaganda—Immigration is the answer!—and haven’t shut off the immigrant invasion. Refusing to spend on their own militaries, they’ve used what they save on defense to subsidize welfare spending and state bureaucracies.

They’re ignoring a lesson from history: nations that rely on other nations for their defense generally come to regret it. Instead, they’re wedded to the globalist acronyms: NATO, EU and UN. They have frittered away their power and their glory—Europe’s heritage and civilization—opting for overrun masquerading as assimilation by dogmatic and implacable foes.

Trump is all about power and despises weakness. There isn’t always strength in numbers. A confederation of weaklings doesn’t equal strength, especially when the weaklings’ premises and principles are fundamentally wrong. Strongest of the weaklings is Germany, a trade powerhouse but a US military vassal. It’s hard to say if Trump’s dislike of Angela Merkel is business—she’s one of the world’s most visible and vociferous proponent of globalism, or personal—it’s always her way or the highway. Probably both, and it looks like Germany may finally be rejecting her way on immigration.

Trump clearly relished snubbing her and her G-6 buddies, particularly boy toys Trudeau and Macron, who may actually believe his bone-crushing handshakes intimidated Trump. When you’re paying for a continent’s defense and you’re giving them a better deal on trade than they’re giving you, that’s leverage, and Trump knows it. He’s not intimidated.

US Atlanticists have used that leverage to cement Europe into the US’s confederated empire. That Trump is willing to blow off Europe suggests that he may be blowing off empire.

America’s imperialists equate backing away from empire with “decline,” but such a sea change would be the exact opposite. Empires require more energy and resources to maintain than can be extracted from them. They are inevitably a road to ruin.

Nothing is as geopolitically telling as Trump leaving Europe’s most “important” heads of state early to meet with the leader of one of Asia’s most impoverished backwaters. Europe’s time has passed, the future belongs to Asia. Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia may look like the same recognition, but it was not. That pivot was designed to encircle China diplomatically, economically, and militarily. That thinking persists among much of the US military, but Trump may have something different in mind.

China has its problems. Much of its economy, especially its financial sector, is state-directed, despite the capitalistic gloss. There will be a reckoning from its debt binge. The repressive social credit system typifies the government’s immoral objective: keeping China’s people compliant but productive drones. However, enforced docility and innovation—the foundation of progress—mix as readily as oil and water, and theft of others’ innovations can’t fill the void.

Notwithstanding its issues, China is a major power and is not going to be encircled or regime changed by the US. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) it cosponsors and finances with Russia is the centerpiece of a basket of initiatives designed to further those countries’ influence and leadership within Eurasia and among emerging market countries. BRI is an apt symbol of the movement towards multipolarity, with competition shifting from the military to the economic and commercial sphere.

Trump tacitly accepts Russian and Chinese dominance in Eurasia. However, Trump doesn’t give without receiving; he’s going to extract concessions. Number one on the list is North Korea and its nuclear weapons. We’ll probably never know what has gone on behind the scenes between Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and perhaps Vladimir Putin, but Kim may have received an offer he couldn’t refuse. Both China and Russia would be well-served by a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons and US troops. Whatever transpired, Kim came around. Trump ameliorated any potential humiliation, journeying to Kim’s neck of the woods, laying on an inspirational movie video, and flattering the North Korean leader and his country. Kim the farsighted leader may be able to reach a deal; Kim the browbeaten puppet couldn’t. If he tried, he’d probably be deposed, always a danger for dictators.

As global competition moves from military to economic, Trump is also going to make sure he tilts, as much as possible, the rules of that competition back towards the US. There are the existing trade arrangements with Europe, Canada, and Mexico that he’s willing to blow up, presumably to obtain better arrangements.

China is in a league of its own when it comes to gaming trade, and it’s getting the Trump treatment as well. Much of the Chinese “advantage” stems from Chinese overcapacity, fueled by below market interest rates in China and around the globe. Trump can’t do much about that “advantage.” The low-interest regime will eventually crash and burn, but it’s going to take a depression to clear overcapacity in China and elsewhere.

Innovation and intellectual property are America’s one indisputable comparative economic advantage. It will be a tough nut, but Trump is bent on curbing China’s acquisitions, by fair means and foul, of US know how. If he succeeds it will slow, but not stop, the Chinese economic juggernaut. It has millions of smart, well-educated, industrious people who will continue to fuel indigenous innovation (notwithstanding state-enforced docility).

Three realities confronted Trump when he assumed office. The US empire is unsustainable, so too is the trajectory of its spending and debt, and the government is fundamentally corrupt. It would be foolish to bet Trump doesn’t understand these issues and the linkages between them.

“Trump’s New World Order”

If Trump has recognized that first reality and is implementing Don Corleone’s spheres of influence concept, he may get some breathing room to address the intractable second and third realities: the trajectory of US spending and debt, and the fundamentally corrupt government. On the debt, all the breathing room in the world isn’t going to save him. The US keeps adding to principal, which is compounding at rising rates. Cutting imperial expenditures would help some, although transfer payments are the biggest enchilada. To make even the first step on the thousand mile journey to solvency, however, the US government will have to run a bona fide surplus for many years. That prospect is not on the horizon.

As for corruption, thousands of articles by bloggers and commentators, including SLL, may have less instructional value for the populace at large than one simple demonstration: most of America’s rulers and its captive media are speaking out against a peace initiative, not on the merits of the initiative itself, but because Donald Trump was one of its initiators.

That tells those Americans who are paying attention all they need to know about their rulers and their captive media. Whether they do anything about it is another question.

Published:6/22/2018 10:27:28 PM
[Markets] America's Military Drops A Bomb Every 12 Minutes, And No One Is Talking About It

Authored by Lee Camp via TruthDig.com,

We live in a state of perpetual war, and we never feel it. While you get your gelato at the hip place where they put those cute little mint leaves on the side, someone is being bombed in your name. While you argue with the 17-year-old at the movie theater who gave you a small popcorn when you paid for a large, someone is being obliterated in your name. While we sleep and eat and make love and shield our eyes on a sunny day, someone’s home, family, life and body are being blown into a thousand pieces in our names.

Once every 12 minutes.

The United States military drops an explosive with a strength you can hardly comprehend once every 12 minutes. And that’s odd, because we’re technically at war with—let me think—zero countries. So that should mean zero bombs are being dropped, right?

Hell no! You’ve made the common mistake of confusing our world with some sort of rational, cogent world in which our military-industrial complex is under control, the music industry is based on merit and talent, Legos have gently rounded edges (so when you step on them barefoot, it doesn’t feel like an armor-piercing bullet just shot straight up your sphincter), and humans are dealing with climate change like adults rather than burying our heads in the sand while trying to convince ourselves that the sand around our heads isn’t getting really, really hot.

You’re thinking of a rational world. We do not live there.

Instead, we live in a world where the Pentagon is completely and utterly out of control. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the $21 trillion (that’s not a typo) that has gone unaccounted for at the Pentagon. But I didn’t get into the number of bombs that ridiculous amount of money buys us. President George W. Bush’s military dropped 70,000 bombs on five countries. But of that outrageous number, only 57 of those bombs really upset the international community.

Because there were 57 strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen—countries the U.S. was neither at war with nor had ongoing conflicts with. And the world was kind of horrified. There was a lot of talk that went something like, “Wait a second. We’re bombing in countries outside of war zones? Is it possible that’s a slippery slope ending in us just bombing all the goddamn time? (Awkward pause.) … Nah. Whichever president follows Bush will be a normal adult person (with a functional brain stem of some sort) and will therefore stop this madness.”

We were so cute and naive back then, like a kitten when it’s first waking up in the morning.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that under President Barack Obama there were “563 strikes, largely by drones, that targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. …”

It’s not just the fact that bombing outside of a war zone is a horrific violation of international law and global norms. It’s also the morally reprehensible targeting of people for pre-crime, which is what we’re doing and what the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report” warned us about. (Humans are very bad at taking the advice of sci-fi dystopias. If we’d listened to “1984,” we wouldn’t have allowed the existence of the National Security Agency. If we listened to “The Terminator,” we wouldn’t have allowed the existence of drone warfare. And if we’d listened to “The Matrix,” we wouldn’t have allowed the vast majority of humans to get lost in a virtual reality of spectacle and vapid nonsense while the oceans die in a swamp of plastic waste. … But you know, who’s counting?)

There was basically a media blackout while Obama was president. You could count on one hand the number of mainstream media reports on the Pentagon’s daily bombing campaigns under Obama. And even when the media did mention it, the underlying sentiment was, “Yeah, but look at how suave Obama is while he’s OK’ing endless destruction. He’s like the Steve McQueen of aerial death.”

And let’s take a moment to wipe away the idea that our “advanced weaponry” hits only the bad guys. As David DeGraw put it, “According to the C.I.A.’s own documents, the people on the ‘kill list,’ who were targeted for ‘death-by-drone,’ accounted for only 2% of the deaths caused by the drone strikes.”

Two percent. Really, Pentagon? You got a two on the test? You get five points just for spelling your name right.

But those 70,000 bombs dropped by Bush—it was child’s play. DeGraw again:

“[Obama] dropped 100,000 bombs in seven countries. He out-bombed Bush by 30,000 bombs and 2 countries.”

You have to admit that’s impressively horrific. That puts Obama in a very elite group of Nobel Peace Prize winners who have killed that many innocent civilians. The reunions are mainly just him and Henry Kissinger wearing little hand-drawn name tags and munching on deviled eggs.

However, we now know that Donald Trump’s administration puts all previous presidents to shame. The Pentagon’s numbers show that during George W. Bush’s eight years he averaged 24 bombs dropped per day, which is 8,750 per year. Over the course of Obama’s time in office, his military dropped 34 bombs per day, 12,500 per year. And in Trump’s first year in office, he averaged 121 bombs dropped per day, for an annual total of 44,096.

Trump’s military dropped 44,000 bombs in his first year in office.

He has basically taken the gloves off the Pentagon, taken the leash off an already rabid dog. So the end result is a military that’s behaving like Lil Waynecrossed with Conor McGregor. You look away for one minute, look back, and are like, “What the fuck did you just do? I was gone for like, a second!”

Under Trump, five bombs are dropped per hour - every hour of every day. That averages out to a bomb every 12 minutes.

And which is more outrageous—the crazy amount of death and destruction we are creating around the world, or the fact that your mainstream corporate media basically NEVER investigates it? They talk about Trump’s flaws. They say he’s a racist, bulbous-headed, self-centered idiot (which is totally accurate) - but they don’t criticize the perpetual Amityville massacre our military perpetrates by dropping a bomb every 12 minutes, most of them killing 98 percent non-targets.

When you have a Department of War with a completely unaccountable budget—as we saw with the $21 trillion—and you have a president with no interest in overseeing how much death the Department of War is responsible for, then you end up dropping so many bombs that the Pentagon has reported we are running out of bombs.

Oh, dear God. If we run out of our bombs, then how will we stop all those innocent civilians from … farming? Think of all the goats that will be allowed to go about their days.

And, as with the $21 trillion, the theme seems to be “unaccountable.”

Journalist Witney Webb wrote in February, “Shockingly, more than 80 percent of those killed have never even been identified and the C.I.A.’s own documents have shown that they are not even aware of who they are killing—avoiding the issue of reporting civilian deaths simply by naming all those in the strike zone as enemy combatants.”

That’s right. We kill only enemy combatants. How do we know they’re enemy combatants? Because they were in our strike zone. How did we know it was a strike zone? Because there were enemy combatants there. How did we find out they were enemy combatants? Because they were in the strike zone. … Want me to keep going, or do you get the point? I have all day.

This is not about Trump, even though he’s a maniac. It’s not about Obama, even though he’s a war criminal. It’s not about Bush, even though he has the intelligence of boiled cabbage. (I haven’t told a Bush joke in about eight years. Felt kind of good. Maybe I’ll get back into that.)

This is about a runaway military-industrial complex that our ruling elite are more than happy to let loose. Almost no one in Congress or the presidency tries to restrain our 121 bombs a day. Almost no one in a mainstream outlet tries to get people to care about this.

Recently, the hashtag #21Trillion for the unaccounted Pentagon money has gained some traction. Let’s get another one started: #121BombsADay.

One every 12 minutes.

Do you know where they’re hitting? Who they’re murdering? Why? One hundred and twenty-one bombs a day rip apart the lives of families a world away - in your name and my name and the name of the kid doling out the wrong size popcorn at the movie theater.

We are a rogue nation with a rogue military and a completely unaccountable ruling elite. The government and military you and I support by being a part of this society are murdering people every 12 minutes, and in response, there’s nothing but a ghostly silence. It is beneath us as a people and a species to give this topic nothing but silence. It is a crime against humanity.

*  *  *

If you think this column is important, please share it. Also, check out Lee Camp’s weekly TV show “Redacted Tonight” and weekly podcast “Common Censored.”

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Published:6/22/2018 8:57:36 PM
[664509b1-1779-4d86-b332-6bd7110ee210] TIME cover paints Trump as immigration ‘boogeyman,’ in striking contrast with Obama coverage A misleading TIME magazine cover of President Trump looming over a crying migrant girl has exemplified the media’s eagerness to portray the administration’s immigration policies in the harshest possible light -- despite treating the Obama administration with comparative kid gloves over similar practices. Published:6/22/2018 4:27:43 PM
[Markets] Kunstler: "Don't Cry For Me, Rachel Maddow"

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The latest artificial hysteria cranked up by the Offendedness Cartel - re: detention of juvenile illegal immigrants — is the most nakedly sentimental appeal yet by the party out-of-power, a.k.a. “the Resistance.”

I have a solution: instead of holding these children in some sort of jail-like facility until their identity can be sorted out, just give each one of them an honorary masters degree in Diversity Studies from Harvard and let them, for God’s sake, go free in the world’s greatest job market.

Before you know it, we’ll have the next generation of Diversity and Inclusion deans, and America will be safe from racism, sexism, and Hispanophobia.

I won’t waste more than this sentence in arguing that official policy for the treatment of juvenile illegal immigrants is exactly what it was under Mr. Obama, and Mr. Bush before him.

I didn’t hear Paul Krugman of The New York Times hollering about the various federal agencies acting “like Nazis” back in 2014, or 2006.

You’d think that ICE officers were taking these kids out behind the dumpster and shooting them in the head.

No, actually, the kids are watching Marvel Comics movies, playing video games, or soccer, and getting three square meals a day while the immigration officials try to figure out who their parents are, or how to repatriate them to their countries-of-origin if they came here without any parents — say, with the assistance of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel.

By the way, these make up the majority of kids detained in the latest wave of mass border crossings.

Actual political leadership among “the Resistance” is AWOL this week. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer failed to offer up any alternative legislative plan for sorting out these children differently.

One can infer in the political chatter emanating from the Offendedness Cartel that immigration law is ipso-facto cruel and inhuman and that the “solution” is an open border.

In theory, this might play to the Democratic Party’s effort to win future elections by enlisting an ever-growing voter base of Mexican and Central American newcomers. But it assumes that somehow these newcomers get to become citizens, with the right to vote in US elections - normally an arduous process requiring an application and patience - but that, too, is apparently up for debate, especially in California, where lawmakers are eager to enfranchise anyone with a pulse who is actually there, citizen or not.

Krugman of The Times really hit the ball out of the park today with his diatribe comparing US Immigration enforcement to the Nazis treatment of the Jews.

As a person of the Hebrew persuasion myself, I rather resent the reckless hijacking of this bit of history for the purpose of aggrandizing the sentimentally fake moral righteousness of the Resistance. It actually diminishes the meaning of the Nazi campaign against European Jews. I daresay that commentary like Krugman’s will only serve to amplify a growing resentment of Jewish intellectuals in this country — including myself, increasingly the target of anti-Jewish calumnies and objurgations. You’d think the Mr. Trump had offered to blow up Ellis Island the way the Resistance is clamoring to pull down statues of Thomas Jefferson.

One also can’t fail to notice that this latest hysteria was ginned up the very same week that the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in congress about the gross and astounding misconduct in the executive suites of those sister agencies — literally a bastion of the Resistance (or Deep State bureaucracy).

Some kind of giant worm is turning in that circle of the three-ring-circus US politics has become.

A lot of the characters who politicized the FBI - turned it into a chop-shop for election campaign shenanigans - will be headed for grand juries and some of them maybe even jail. It may be the sort of jail in the federal system that offers ping pong and bocce ball, but it won’t be the same as practicing law on K Street in a wainscoted office with coffered ceilings and lunch of poulet chasseur sent up from the brasserie downstairs.

Those confined will have plenty of time to commiserate with the kids from south-of-the-border who were dragged into the USA one way or another by people who didn’t care what happened to them, or reckon on it if they did care.

Published:6/22/2018 4:27:43 PM
[Immigration] Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Trump’s Position on Immigration, Compared With Obama’s ‘Catch-and-Release’ Policy

Conservative Republican members of Congress are sharply criticizing their Democratic colleagues on immigration, accusing them of wanting to go back to so-called “catch and release”... Read More

The post Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Trump’s Position on Immigration, Compared With Obama’s ‘Catch-and-Release’ Policy appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:6/22/2018 2:58:01 PM
[Entertainment] ROFLMAO! James Woods shares new TIME magazine cover and it totally NUT-PUNCHES Obama

All across Twitter, people have been sharing their own ideas for various TIME magazine covers on immigration after the news broke that the little girl they featured on their cover wasn’t actually separated from her mother or seeking asylum. And several covers were pretty damn hilarious, but by far this one from James Woods is […]

The post ROFLMAO! James Woods shares new TIME magazine cover and it totally NUT-PUNCHES Obama appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/22/2018 2:58:01 PM
[Media] Hell to the YEAH! Laura Ingraham BLASTS fashionable Michelle Obama ‘helping the poors’ as only she can

Let us know when the outrage over Michelle Obama wearing really expensive sneakers to help raise awareness about a food bank kicks in. Fashionable First Lady Michelle Obama helps the poor in $540 sneakers https://t.co/MOGeKmGwhG — Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 22, 2018 Oops! From the LA Times: First Lady Michelle Obama, who’s become quite the fashion […]

The post Hell to the YEAH! Laura Ingraham BLASTS fashionable Michelle Obama ‘helping the poors’ as only she can appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:6/22/2018 11:24:29 AM
[Entertainment] Michelle Obama to discuss new, personal memoir at New Orleans library conference Former first lady Michelle Obama will discuss her upcoming memoir "Becoming" as she kicks off the American Library Association's annual conference in New Orleans.
     
 
 
Published:6/22/2018 6:53:21 AM
[Markets] Soros Steams That Trump's "Revolution In World Affairs" Is Succeeding

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

Soros is lamenting that his desired world order is under threat because of Trump.

Expressing frustration that “everything that could go wrong has gone wrong”, the billionaire financier of countless Color Revolutions all across the world told the Washington Post that he was “living in [his] own bubble” because he failed to foresee Trump’s meteoric rise. Fearful that Trump “is willing to destroy the world”, as he put it, he vowed to “redouble [his] efforts” in pouring millions of dollars into opposing everything that the President stands for all across the world.

While the Hungarian-American might come off as full of doom and gloom in his interview, he actually has a reason to feel that way because Trump has single-handedly presided over the dismantlement of the Liberal-Globalist world order that Soros has worked for decades to build, destroying the old paradigm of Trans-Atlantic relations in a simple spree of tweets and presiding over the return of Christian morals, ethics, and values in American society, ideas that are absolutely anathema to the atheist billionaire.

From Soros’ perspective, Trump is indeed destroying the world, albeit not in the apocalyptic sense like he’s implying but in the ideological one of pioneering a completely new world order than the one that the President inherited.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama congratulates U.S. President Donald Trump after he took the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC

Obama, who can be regarded as Soros’ surrogate in the White House, worked towards building a world where the US bows before the authority of the UN on many (but crucially, not all) key issues such as climate change and sustainable development agendas, heralding in a new multilateralism that would have moved International Relations closer to a so-called “one world government”, albeit one that would still be largely under indirect American influence.

Concurrent with this, the Obama-Soros vision was to have the media attack all of their opponents as “racist, fascist, white supremacists” for daring to think that the future might be different, but then all of a sudden Trump came along and committed to undoing their legacy.

The world that Trump wants to build is one of unrestricted American unilateralism in “Leading from the Front” while unabashedly pioneering a return to unipolarity, righting what he truly believes to have been the many historic wrongs that Obama, Soros, and all the others before him committed in voluntarily handicapping American power through lopsided trade deals and various other unfair commitments.

All told, this global recalibration can rightly be described as a “Revolution in World Affairs” because of the “new thinking” involved in guiding America’s policies from here on out.

Published:6/22/2018 2:52:13 AM
[Markets] The United States Is Pushing Toward War With China

Authored by Michael Klare via The Nation,

The decision to change the name of US forces in the Pacific is more than symbolic... it’s a threat.

On May 30, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced a momentous shift in American global strategic policy.

From now on, he decreed, the US Pacific Command (PACOM), which oversees all US military forces in Asia, will be called the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM).

The name change, Mattis explained, reflects “the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans,” as well as Washington’s determination to remain the dominant power in both.

What? You didn’t hear about this anywhere? And even now, you’re not exactly blown away, right? Well, such a name change may not sound like much, but someday you may look back and realize that it couldn’t have been more consequential or ominous. Think of it as a signal that the US military is already setting the stage for an eventual confrontation with China.

If, until now, you hadn’t read about Mattis’s decision anywhere, I’m not surprised since the media gave it virtually no attention—less certainly than would have been accorded the least significant tweet Donald Trump ever dispatched. What coverage it did receive treated the name change as no more than a passing “symbolic” gesture, a Pentagon ploy to encourage India to join Japan, Australia, and other US allies in America’s Pacific alliance system. “In Symbolic Nod to India, US Pacific Command Changes Name” was the headline of a Reuters story on the subject and, to the extent that any attention was paid, it was typical.