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[Corruption] The ‘Science’ Behind Michelle Obama’s Hated School Lunch Rules Ends Up Being a Fraud

We have now discovered that the "science" Michelle Obama cited to support her hated school lunch rules has turned out to be a fraud.

The post The ‘Science’ Behind Michelle Obama’s Hated School Lunch Rules Ends Up Being a Fraud appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/21/2018 1:26:42 PM
[Politics] Wha? Trump BACKS AWAY from immediate release of classified documents on Russia probe… Well this is interesting. Trump has apparently been advised that an immediate release of the unredacted Carter Page FISA warrant pages and the next messages of the top Obama FBI agents related . . . Published:9/21/2018 12:45:45 PM
[Politics] Wha? Trump BACKS AWAY from immediate release of classified documents on Russia probe… Well this is interesting. Trump has apparently been advised that an immediate release of the unredacted Carter Page FISA warrant pages and the next messages of the top Obama FBI agents related . . . Published:9/21/2018 12:45:45 PM
[Corruption] NJ Sen. Cory Booker, the Left’s ‘Next Obama,’ Once Praised Groping Women

Democrat Cory Booker is screaming that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to be a Supreme Court Justice because of (fake) accusations of sexual assault.

The post NJ Sen. Cory Booker, the Left’s ‘Next Obama,’ Once Praised Groping Women appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/21/2018 12:15:24 PM
[Corruption] NJ Sen. Cory Booker, the Left’s ‘Next Obama,’ Once Praised Groping Women

Democrat Cory Booker is screaming that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to be a Supreme Court Justice because of (fake) accusations of sexual assault.

The post NJ Sen. Cory Booker, the Left’s ‘Next Obama,’ Once Praised Groping Women appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/21/2018 12:15:24 PM
[Politics] Trump's Passport To Oblivion For Democrats The current standing of the Democrats in the midterm election polls is a levitation. Their record when they had the administration was poor. Their official leader, President Obama, bombed with his long-winded, self-serving monotone of historical revision at the University of Illinois two weeks ago and its dreary sequels in Orange County, Calif. He reminded America of why it put Donald Trump in the White House. Democrats and their helpers have emptied their magazines at the opening of the... Published:9/21/2018 12:15:23 PM
[Politics] Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 49% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 36% who Strongly Approve of the president is performing and 43% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -7. (see trends).

By comparison, President Obama’s job approval rating was -19 on this day in his second year in office.

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project. Learn more about how you can contribute

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump's job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to  beth@rasmussenreports.com .

Published:9/21/2018 8:48:48 AM
[Markets] The Next Big Geomagnetic Storm Poses An Astronomical Risk To Modern Man

Scientists are concerned about the next significant "space weather" event, which begins at the sun in the center of the solar system. Severe space weather occurs less frequently than traditional weather on Earth but can be more destructive in nature.

The sun is now headed towards a solar minimum, forecasted to arrive in 2019 as the Sun changes over from Solar Cycle 24 to Solar Cycle 25. The Sun goes through 11-year cycles, during which solar activity increases and decreases.


Tracking sunspot activity dates back to the start of the first solar cycle in 1755. Today, simple sketching and counting of sunspot numbers have given way to land-based and space-based technologies that continuously monitor the Sun.

Scientists have discovered that intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares generally subside during a solar minimum. Dean Pesnell of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said during a solar minimum, that does not mean the sun becomes dull.

He said solar activity simply changes.

For instance, Pesnell warned, "during a solar minimum, we can see the development of long-lived coronal holes."

Coronal holes are large regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows streams of solar particles known as coronal mass ejection (CME) to escape the sun as fast solar wind.

If the coronal hole is Earth-facing, then electrically charged particles from the Sun slam into Earth's magnetic field and cause intense electromagnetic storms around the planet. The impact of these particles on the electronic infrastructure underlying modern industrial civilization can be devastating, said the Financial Times.

CMEs disrupt GPS, satellites, and astronauts currently in space. Even airline crew and passengers get a markedly higher dose of radiation during solar storms, especially during polar-crossing, trans-oceanic flights.

And a repeat of the most significant solar storm on record, the 1859 Carrington Super-flare, would cost trillions of dollars in damage as power grids, communication networks, and electronic equipment worldwide would be knocked out.

Some scientists believe that Earth is due for a severe space weather event that could send civilization temporarily into reverse.

Another incident occurred in 1989, when an Earth-facing CME rocked the planet, producing a surge in voltage that caused Hydro-Québec power grid in Canada to collapse, leaving millions of people without electricity.

"During a big geomagnetic storm in 2003, a Japanese scientific satellite was lost and 10 percent of the world’s satellite fleet suffered malfunctions," said Professor Richard Horne of the British Antarctic Survey.

"Today we have around 1,500 satellites in orbit, with thousands more due to be launched in the next few years," Prof Horne adds. "People are trying to use more commercial off-the-shelf components, rather than components made to operate in space, and many systems have not been tested in a major storm, so there is a lot of uncertainty about what might happen."

A recent space weather event in late April 2017, allegedly knocked out power grids across the entire country in one simultaneous fashion. San Fransisco, New York, and Los Angeles were the three main areas affected. Each region experienced challenges or shutdowns in basic infrastructure such as communication networks and mass transportation.

An unfortunate coincidence of adverse space and Earth weather came in September 2017, when space storms disrupted shortwave radios for hours -- preventing emergency response to hurricanes tearing apart the Caribbean.

"The Sun’s been very quiet for the last 10 years. It reminds people not to be complacent," said Mike Hapgood, head of space weather at the UK Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Scientists tell the Financial Times that satellites can monitor potentially troublesome activity on the sun days ahead of a possible eruption, forecasting the path and effects of an actual CME, well, that is very difficult. If the CME is Earth-facing it takes about 24-hours to arrive, so when the next big solar flare comes racing towards Earth, government officials do not have enough time to prepare the nation or even the world for impact -- it would be devastating.

According to Prof Horne, the most notable satellite for short-term space weather forecasting today is the US Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, launched into low-Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2015. From this tactical position about 1m miles from Earth, DSCOVR provides an early warning of about one hour before impact.

In late 2016, the Obama administration quietly passed an executive order titled "Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events," which prepares the fragile nation for economic collapse from a space weather event. The mainstream media, for a good reason, were not allowed to cover the passage of this executive order because it would cause too much panic among the American people. When the next significant solar event strikes, most will not be prepared -- not even government.

Published:9/21/2018 12:16:14 AM
[Markets] California Governor's Veiled Threat To Trump: "Something's Got To Happen To This Guy"

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

California governor Jerry Brown recently spoke a veiled threat to president Donald Trump.  Brown is dissatisfied with Trump’s stance on the often altered “science” of “climate change” and said, “something’s got to happen to this guy.”

In an interview that aired Monday, Jerry Brown called the president a “saboteur” in the fight to combat climate change, and in a thinly veiled threat said that “something’s got to happen to this guy.” Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell at an environmental summit in San Francisco last week, Brown tore into Trump for the president’s tweets about the death toll in Puerto Rico from last year’s Hurricane Maria and urged voters to vote for Democrats in November’s midterm elections in an effort to thwart Trump’s agenda, according to Fox News.

Brown was quoted as saying:

“We never had a president who was engaged in this kind of behavior. I mean he’s not telling the truth; he keeps changing his mind; he’s sabotaging the world order in many respects.”

“It’s unprecedented, it’s dangerous, and hopefully this election is going to send a strong message to the country; the Democrats will win…something’s got to happen to this guy, because if we don’t get rid of him, he’s going to undermine America and even the world.”

There’s nothing like a little fear-mongering to get people to vote themselves into slavery. 

“California has positioned itself as the center of the Trump resistance,” Jessica Levinson, a clinical law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, told Fox News. “It’s bloody combat.”

Shortly before the climate conference began last week, California’s socialist governor also signed a piece of legislation that will require the phasing out of all electricity in the state produced by fossil fuels by 2045.

“It’s really extraordinary that the president can deny science like that,” Brown told MSNBC of Trump’s questioning the veracity of climate change.

“It’s bad, and how we counteract it is with a climate summit, with normal people respecting the truth, and communicating that with other normal people, and combating the President of the United States in what are lies, distortions, and quite frankly, bizarre behavior.

But the Trump administration hasn’t cowered to Brown’s threats and fear mongering. The administration announced on Tuesday that it was rolling back an Obama-era rule meant to curb climate-changing pollution and easing restrictions on energy companies that allow huge volumes of natural gas to escape after drilling it from land in the United States.

Published:9/20/2018 8:11:00 PM
[Media] ‘What could go wrong?’ Ex-Obama WH lawyer’s approach to Kavanaugh-Ford should set off alarm bells

"File under precedents they aren’t going to like in the future."

The post ‘What could go wrong?’ Ex-Obama WH lawyer’s approach to Kavanaugh-Ford should set off alarm bells appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/20/2018 4:43:49 PM
[Education] Why States Are Leaving Common Core in Droves

After less than 10 years in the classroom, Common Core could soon be on its way out. The Obama administration introduced Common Core in 2010,... Read More

The post Why States Are Leaving Common Core in Droves appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:9/20/2018 3:38:50 PM
[Uncategorized] Hispanic Gang Member Admits That He Murdered Someone Just to Get Into Gang Life

An Hispanic member of the MS-13 gang that Obama did his best to ignore admits that initiates are told to murder someone to become a member of the gang.

The post Hispanic Gang Member Admits That He Murdered Someone Just to Get Into Gang Life appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/20/2018 1:08:11 PM
[Uncategorized] Hispanic Gang Member Admits That He Murdered Someone Just to Get Into Gang Life

An Hispanic member of the MS-13 gang that Obama did his best to ignore admits that initiates are told to murder someone to become a member of the gang.

The post Hispanic Gang Member Admits That He Murdered Someone Just to Get Into Gang Life appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/20/2018 1:08:11 PM
[Obama] Chicago Reveals Sweetheart Deal of $10 for 99-Year Lease on Land for Fake Obama ‘Library’

Chicago is finding out just how crooked the backroom deals are for Barack Obama's fake "library" that he plans to build on Chicago's lake shore.

The post Chicago Reveals Sweetheart Deal of $10 for 99-Year Lease on Land for Fake Obama ‘Library’ appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/20/2018 12:08:13 PM
[Obama] Chicago Reveals Sweetheart Deal of $10 for 99-Year Lease on Land for Fake Obama ‘Library’

Chicago is finding out just how crooked the backroom deals are for Barack Obama's fake "library" that he plans to build on Chicago's lake shore.

The post Chicago Reveals Sweetheart Deal of $10 for 99-Year Lease on Land for Fake Obama ‘Library’ appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/20/2018 12:08:13 PM
[World] College Students Give President Trump Credit for the Economy, Not Obama

Former President Obama raised eyebrows earlier this month when he said he, not President Trump, should get credit for the historically strong U.S. economy.

Published:9/20/2018 8:08:10 AM
[Political Cartoons] A.F. Branco Cartoon – Abracadabra

Abracadabra. Obama mocked Trump’s promise to bring jobs back and raise the GDP up to 3.0 by asking does he have some kind of magic Wand?

The post A.F. Branco Cartoon – Abracadabra appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/20/2018 8:08:08 AM
[Political Cartoons] A.F. Branco Cartoon – Abracadabra

Abracadabra. Obama mocked Trump’s promise to bring jobs back and raise the GDP up to 3.0 by asking does he have some kind of magic Wand?

The post A.F. Branco Cartoon – Abracadabra appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/20/2018 8:08:08 AM
[9ad7238b-5e96-4216-af1a-4b7b19673fcb] When will Democrats wake up and resist the socialists' scheme to take over their party? Obama’s endorsement of "Medicare for All" was a moment of great celebration for an organization that for years has plotted to hijack the Democratic Party and use it as a parasitic host to remake the nation. Published:9/20/2018 4:02:51 AM
[Markets] Trump Weighs In On The Single Worst Mistake In American History

In a wide ranging interview with The Hill on Tuesday conducted in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked to give his take on the biggest mistake in American history. 

Considering just how open-ended a question that is, it's perhaps surprising that he merely went back less than a couple decades into the Bush presidency, though Trump's base will certainly welcome it as it hearkens back to his "America First" foreign policy vision of the campaign trail. 

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” the president during his interview with Hill.TV.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country,” he said.

Trump explained the reasoning behind this choice, and why it wasn't something like the civil war or another defining and devastating event reaching far into American History. 

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, 'oh gee, let’s not do it. Seven trillion, and millions of lives — you know, ‘cause I like to count both sides. Millions of lives,” the president explained.

Some scholars and humanitarian groups estimate that over one million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. A 2008 Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll, for example, found that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war.

“To me it's the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, civil war. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”

Various estimates on the Iraq war's cost have put the total taxpayer bill as low as near $2 trillion, but none dispute that it is in the multiple trillions, and estimates will vary widely depending on if veteran care is factored into it. 

The comments echo things Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. For example during one of his first major foreign policy speeches then candidate Trump said, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.” And referencing the famous quote of John Quincy Adams, he said during the same speech, “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”

He had previously shocked pundits for being the first Republican nominee for president to trash George W. Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, and has more recently likened it to "throwing a big fat brick into a hornet's nest".

All of this is a hopeful sign considering the extremely heightened and dangerous tensions over Syria this week, and given Trump seems to have vacillated between "bringing the troops home" and getting more involved. On Monday Trump hinted that a decision on the U.S. role in Syria is coming soon.

Commenting on the over 2,000 troops now in Syria ostensibly as part of the "anti-ISIL" coalition campaign, Trump indicated this mission could end soon: “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said. He followed with: “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.”

We consider it a hopeful and a good sign that Trump is possibly revisiting his "America First" foreign policy pledges by identifying the Iraq War as the worst mistake in US history. 

 

Published:9/19/2018 10:06:21 PM
[Uncategorized] Chicago Park District halts Obama Presidential Center-related construction Now, top officials of the Obama Foundation are beginning to respond to environmental impact lawsuits. Published:9/19/2018 6:37:48 PM
[Markets] Chicago Set To Offer $350 Million ObamaLand Center 99-Year Lease For Just $10

The Obama foundation is set to receive a 99-year lease to build its Presidential Center in Chicago's Jackson Park, according to Chicago Business

The ordinance will go before the City Council on Thursday, along with an ordinance that covers use of the roadways surrounding the center. 

Under terms of the agreement, the Obama Foundation will be responsible for maintaining and keeping in good repair the grounds and buildings, while the City of Chicago will own the buildings and grounds. By contrast, the 11 official Museums in the Parks all have agreements in perpetuity. The foundation will pay the city $10 for the 99-year agreement. -Chicago Business

The foundation will need to satisfy several requirements - including meeting funding requirements for the estimated $350 million project, as well as assurances that the center passes the National Environmental Policy Act, for which a review being conducted by the National Parks Service is currently underway. 

Opponents of the center's location - a 19.3 acre spread on the National Register of Historic Places - have taken issue with plans to cut down 40 mature trees - a process which has been halted "in an abundance of caution and to allay any doubts about the intentions of the city in respect to the ongoing federal reviews," according to Shannon Breymaier, deputy director of communications for the mayor’s office.

According to the land-use agreement, the Obama Presidential Center must offer free admission 52 days of the year and offer parking rates on par with rates at the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science & Industry. The grounds surrounding the center must be accessible to the public during Chicago Park District hours; the center can use the center's green space and plaza for private events for no more than 15 days a year, and may not hold political fundraisers on the grounds.

The agreement also stipulates that the city reimburse the Obama Foundation, up to $75,000, for an environmental investigation of the property and "incremental remediation costs." -Chicago Business

As Mark Glennon of WirePoints has noted several times, at least $139 million of the center will almost certainly be reimbursed by the federal government despite the fact that it was initially pitched as a privately funded presidential library. 

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.

Meanwhile, the center has been receiving massive donations, as the founders of Twitter and LinkedIn are among those giving or pledging to give north of $1 million to the project, according to the Chicago Sun Times

The stepped up fundraising comes as former President Barack Obama is spending more to program and construct his Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park with the tab to build the complex between $300 million and $350 million.

The new list of $1 million-plus donors has 46 individuals or foundations giving between Sept. 30 and Dec. 31. That compares with 13 individuals or foundations on the donor list released reflecting contributions through the third quarter last year.

...

Donors already in the Obama Foundation pipeline giving more include Chicago’s Crown family, which had given between $250,000 and $500,000 and is now in the million-dollar plus donor range. Chicago media executive Fred Eychaner, one of the nation’s biggest Democratic donors, who previously had given between $750,001 to $1 million, now is listed as giving more than $1 million. Ariel Investment’s John Rogers, on the Obama Foundation board went from the $500,001 to $750,000 range to more than one million dollars. -Chicago Sun Times

Groundbreaking for the center has been pushed to next year, as the center still has several additional hurdles to clear before construction can begin - including an EPA review. 

Published:9/19/2018 5:14:22 PM
[Media] Whoops! CNN analyst Brian Karem’s snarky swipe at Trump hits Obama right in the face

Be really quiet, you guys. Brian Karem is just waking up from an eight-year nap.

The post Whoops! CNN analyst Brian Karem’s snarky swipe at Trump hits Obama right in the face appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/19/2018 5:14:22 PM
[Markets] DOJ Vows To Investigate After Second Veritas Video Exposes "Deep Throat" Types Within HHS

The Department of Justice on Wednesday said it would look into allegations of "misuse of government resources to advance personal interests" after James O'Keefe's Project Veritas released a second video this week exposing "deep state" federal employees pursuing socialist agendas while on the clock at their government jobs. 

In the latest undercover video, DOJ paralegal and Democratic Socialists of America member, Allison Hrabar, reveals that there is "a lot of talk about how we can, like, resist from the inside." She discusses a fellow DSA member working from within the Department of Agriculture who is "slowing down" the process by which people are eliminated from the food stamp program. 

PV Journalist: “…she mailed it to you in like physical snail mail like post office and then you like got it. That’s like awesome.”

Schubel: “Yeah. It’s kind of like the Nixon, “deep throat” type of thing.

"We have a member who works for the people who distribute food stamps, and they can, like, take that away, and they’re slowing what they do… What they’re doing means that people are going to be able to stay on food stamps for another month or two, which is, like, really important," Hrabar said.

Hrabar also appears to use her DOJ work computer to research DSA political targets - including looking up the license plate of a lobbyist in order to organize a protest outside his home

In another portion of the video, Jessica Schubel - former Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under teh Obama administration says that there is "like, a little resistance movement" within the government. Schubel also states that she received confidential information from a friend at the Department of Heath and Human Services.

In response to the Veritas videos, a DOJ spokesperson said: "These allegations are deeply concerning. Department policy prohibits misuse of government resources to advance personal interests. We are looking into this immediately and have referred this matter to the Inspector General as well."

Watch the full video here: 

 

Published:9/19/2018 4:32:21 PM
[Politics] Voters Aren’t Politically Correct And Say Neither is Trump

Voters view so-called political correctness as a problem and see it as a wedge used to silence opposition. President Obama was politically correct, they say; President Trump is not.

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project. Learn more about how you can contribute.

(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 Likely Voters was conducted on September 17-18, 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:9/19/2018 10:02:10 AM
[Entertainment] Anna Kendrick Called Barack Obama an "A--hole" When They Met Anna Kendrick, The Late ShowAnna Kendrick made quite an impression on Barack Obama. Six years ago, the 33-year-old star of A Simple Favor had the opportunity to meet the United States President as he was seeking...
Published:9/19/2018 9:14:25 AM
[Markets] FBI, DOJ To Defy Trump Order; Redactions Planned As Top 'Deep State' Dems Demand Insubordination

Despite President Trump's Monday order for the "immediate declassification" of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, "without redaction," the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter. 

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. -Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI's FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr. 

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence - which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on. 

"When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests," a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. "The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order."

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified "sources and methods" pertaining to the Russia investigation - which will put them in direct conflict with Trump's order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own. 

Trump's order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency. 

The FBI's spy...

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump's request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. 

Showdown?

Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers "express profound alarm" at the decision to "intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him." 

"Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us." 

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials "to anyone at the White House."  

In short, prepare for fireworks... 

Published:9/19/2018 9:14:25 AM
[Political Cartoons] Abracadabra – A.F. Branco Cartoon

By A.F. Branco -

Former President Barack Obama said that manufacturing jobs were never coming back and that Trump didn’t have a magic wand to make it happen. Well, I guess he does. A.F.Branco’s Newest Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here!

Abracadabra – A.F. Branco Cartoon is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/19/2018 9:14:25 AM
[Climate Change] If Any President Was Complicit in Causing Extreme Weather, It Was Obama!

The 'Washington Post' wrote: "When it comes to extreme weather, Trump is complicit." But if anyone is guilty of climate crimes, it's Obama.

The post If Any President Was Complicit in Causing Extreme Weather, It Was Obama! appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/17/2018 7:58:12 AM
[Climate Change] If Any President Was Complicit in Causing Extreme Weather, It Was Obama!

The 'Washington Post' wrote: "When it comes to extreme weather, Trump is complicit." But if anyone is guilty of climate crimes, it's Obama.

The post If Any President Was Complicit in Causing Extreme Weather, It Was Obama! appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/17/2018 7:58:12 AM
[Markets] Trump Threatens More Tariffs, Boasts "Jobs And Dollars" Are Flowing Back To US

With investors already nervous about the prospect of President Trump slapping the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods as soon as Monday (US stock futures, which have so far internalized these trade tensions with surprising equanimity, were down slightly in early trade), President Trump boasted on Twitter that his trade war has produced only positive results, including boosting jobs and revenues while "cost increases" have been negligible (even though we could name more than a few CEOs who would beg to differ).

According to Trump, "tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable. If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be 'Tariffed!'"

Dow future crept lower following Trump's latest tweetstorm, which also featured rants about Obama's ineffectual economic policies...

...While the president asserted that the US steel industry is already benefiting from Trump's tariffs on aluminum and steel.

Remember, as President Trump prepares to slap tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods entering the US (tariffs that, as Deutsche Bank recently pointed out, will likely have a material impact on US supply chains and consumers, particularly when China retaliates)...

China

...This will become the most important chart in the world as President Trump has repeatedly cited the divergence of US stocks from ex-US as evidence that he is winning the trade war.

Chart

And as a reminder, here's a handy timeline of the trade dispute.

China Trade

Published:9/17/2018 6:17:43 AM
[Politics] George Conway Rips Trump's 'Ceaseless, Witless Prevarication' The husband of White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway struck back at President Donald Trump's rip of ex-President Barack Obama's "57 states" comment, rebuking Trump's ceaseless "witless prevarication" of all topics big and small. Published:9/16/2018 3:28:39 PM
[Markets] Spygate Operative Nellie Ohr To Testify Before Congress This Week About Work For Fusion GPS

Nellie Ohr will sit for an interview with Congress next week, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX). 

Ohr, an expert on Russia who speaks fluent Russian, is a central figure in the nexus between Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm paid by the Clinton campaign to produce the "Steele Dossier " - and the Obama Justice Department - where her husband, Bruce Ohr, was a senior official. Bruce was demoted twice after he was caught lying about his extensive involvement with Fusion's activities surrounding the 2016 US election.

Notably, the Ohrs had extensive contact with Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 spy who authored the salacious anti-Trump dossier used to justify spying on the Trump campaign during the election, and later to smear Donald Trump right before he took office in 2017. According to emails turned over to Congress and reported in late August, the Ohrs would have breakfast with Steele on July 30 at the downtown D.C. Mayflower hotel - days after Steele had turned in several installments of the infamous dossier to the FBI. The breakfast took place one day before the FBI/DOJ launched operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the codename for the official counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. 

"Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce," Steele wrote shortly following their breakfast meeting. "Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s (sic). Glenn is happy to speak to you on this if it would help," referring to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. 

No stranger to the US intelligence community, Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group in a 2010 "expert working group report on international organized crime" along with Bruce Ohr and Glenn Simpson.

Meanwhile, some have wondered if Nellie's late-life attraction to Ham radios was in fact a method of covertly communicating with others about the Trump-Russia investigation, in a way which wouldn't be surveilled by the NSA or other agencies. 

was Nellie Ohr’s late-in-life foray into ham radio an effort to evade the Rogers-led NSA detecting her participation in compiling the Russian-sourced Steele dossier? Just as her husband’s omissions on his DOJ ethics forms raise an inference of improper motive, any competent prosecutor could use the circumstantial evidence of her taking up ham radio while digging for dirt on Trump to prove her consciousness of guilt and intention to conceal illegal activities. -The Federalist

In mid-August, President Trump called Bruce Ohr a disgrace - tweeting: "Will Bruce Ohr, whose family received big money for helping to create the phony, dirty and discredited Dossier, ever be fired from the Jeff Sessions  “Justice” Department? A total joke!"

Needless to say, Congress will have no shortage of questions to ask Nellie.  

Published:9/16/2018 2:35:11 PM
[Markets] FBI Had No Clue About Trump-Russia Collusion When Mueller Took Over: Lisa Page

A newly reported comment made by former FBI attorney Lisa Page during her May testimony to Congress has revealed a "momentous fact," according to The Hill's John Solomon: after nine months of investigations - which included the use of a well-paid spy to infiltrate the Trump campaign, The FBI had no clue whether there was any collusion between Trumpworld and Russia when the case was handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller. 

It’s a reflection of us still not knowing,” Page told Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) when questioned about texts she and Strzok exchanged in May 2017 as Robert Mueller was being named a special prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation.

With that statement, Page acknowledged a momentous fact: After nine months of using some of the most awesome surveillance powers afforded to U.S. intelligence, the FBI still had not made a case connecting Trump or his campaign to Russia’s election meddling.

Page opined further, acknowledging “it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing” to connect Trump and Russia, no matter what Mueller or the FBI did. -The Hill

"As far as May of 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question," said Page at another point. 

In short - the FBI's lead attorney on the Trump-Russia investigation said the agency had no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, while special counsel Robert Mueller has yet to produce a shred of evidence either. 

Comey corroborates...

As Solomon notes, ex-FBI Director James Comey told the Senate shortly after he was fired that there was "not yet evidence to justify invstigating Trump for colluding with Russia." 

"When I left, we did not have an investigation focused on President Trump," Comey told Congressional investigators. 

Meanwhile, Page's lover Peter Strzok - who spearheadsed the FBI's counterintelligence investigation before Mueller took over, texted "there's no big there, there." 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general asked Strzok shortly before he was fired from the FBI what he meant by that text, and he offered a most insightful answer.

Strzok said he wasn’t certain there was a “broad, coordinated effort” to hijack the election and that the evidence of Trump campaign aides talking about getting Hillary Clinton dirt from Russians might have been just a “bunch of opportunists” talking to heighten their importance.

Strzok added that, while he raised the idea of impeachment in some of his texts to Page, “I am, again, was not, am not convinced or certain that it will,” he told the IG. -The Hill

In short, James Comey, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have all said or implied that the FBI had nothing linking Trump to Russia. Which, as John Solomon concludes, raises the question: If there was no concrete evidence of collusion, why did we need a special prosecutor?

Page's admission also sugests that the FBI and DOJ officials were likely behind a series of leaks to the media just before Mueller's appointment which made collusion evidence look far stronger than investigators knew it to be. It also suggests that the MSM - "perhaps longing to find a new Watergate," were "far too willing to be manipulated by players in a case that began as a politicial opposition research project funded by Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and led by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, who despised Trump." 

At what point does Trump simply demand Mueller lay his cards on the table? 

Published:9/16/2018 12:26:38 PM
[Markets] Jamie Dimon Apologizes To Trump (Again), Insists He's "Done With Politics"

Just in case you missed it the first time, JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon sincerely wants the world to know that he's truly sorry for the mean-spirited comments about President Trump that he made earlier this week. To wit, in an appearance on ABC's "This Week" earlier today, the CEO again insisted that he has no plans to challenge President Trump in 2020. In fact, Dimon insisted, he has no political ambitions whatsoever - which might help assuage the concerns of major JPM shareholders (not to mention members of Dimon's board) who expect him to stick around for at least another four years, like he promised.

"I'm done with politics," Dimon declared in response to a question from ABC's Rebecca Jarvis, blaming his impudent remarks on "machismo." Dimon's decision to quit while he's ahead is hardly surprising, considering has reputation for being one of the most shrewd leaders on Wall Street (and, as ABC pointed out, the last CEO of a major US bank who is still standing 10 years after Lehman's bankruptcy). 

That's because, unlike Trump, Dimon is a staunch Democrat who has insisted that his wealth "wasn't a gift from daddy" (even though his father was a wealthy banker whose connections served as a launchpad for Dimon's own career). And given the recent wave of progressive and socialist candidates, the Democratic base has made it clear that they won't accept another corporatist nominee, especially not a banker like Dimon.

Dimon

For readers who missed the fireworks, Dimon waded into a minor controversy on Wednesday when he boasted to an audience at a JPM philanthropy event that he could beat Trump in an election, adding that "I'm tougher than he [Trump] is, I'm smarter than he is". Though Dimon quickly backpedaled and apologized to Trump, that didn't stop the president from slamming Dimon, who was once rumored to be a top Treasury Secretary pick, as a "nervous mess" and someone who lacks "the smarts and the aptitude" to occupy the Oval Office.

During the interview, Dimon insisted that he's not "ever" going to run for president, and that his intemperate remark "proves" that he wouldn't be a good politician.

JARVIS: So you're, you're done with politics?

DIMON: Yes.

JARVIS: No running for president for you.

DIMON: No.

JARVIS: Ever?

DIMON: Well, I never say never to anything but no.

[...]

DIMON: Yeah, I shouldn't have said it. And I -- more out of frustration and a little of my own machismo, but I shouldn't have said it. And so -- it also proves I wouldn't be a good politician.

Dimon also made it a point to stroke the president's ego by implying that Trump's economic policies deserve the primary credit for the present economic boom, not Obama's.

DIMON: You know, when President Trump was elected confidence skyrocketed, consumers, small business, large corporate and because pro-business, pro-competitive taxes, pro some regulatory reform, and that has helped the economy. So it's impossible for me to tease out how much but it has helped the economy, just like that President Obama helped to stop the economy from getting much worse.

But they also did policies, I think, that slowed down growth. So, some of those are being reversed. So, yeah, he should take some credit for that.

JARVIS: What kind of grade would you give President Trump purely on the economy?

DIMON: I'd say pretty good.

JARVIS: B plus? A minus?

DIMON: Yeah, something like that.

Of course, these are only words (and Dimon did clarify that he "never says never to anything"), and they certainly don't preclude him from having a sudden change of heart between now and the 2020 Iowa Caucuses. But even if Dimon did run, we doubt working Americans would share the media elite's enthusiasm for his wonky policy proposals. Because, while "pragmatic" solutions like converting the earned income tax credit to a payroll tax might win over the New York Times editorial board, its poverty-fighting implications would likely be lost on the average voter. And though we must admit "that's why I'm richer than you" has the makings of an epic campaign slogan, we suspect American workers might find it the slightest bit patronizing.

Published:9/16/2018 11:26:18 AM
[2018 News] Kerry On Trump: “He Has The Maturity Of An Eight-Year-Old Boy” Kerry On Trump: “He Has The Maturity Of An Eight-Year-Old Boy.” So says the petulant former head of the State Department who sneaks around behind Daddy Trump’s back like an 8 year old child, violating the Logan Act  while trying to preserve his and Obama’s legacies. Published:9/16/2018 10:48:39 AM
[Barack Obama] An Obama postscript (Scott Johnson) In a book to be published this week, Jeanne Marie Laskas tells the story of the ten thousand letters a day Americans wrote to President Obama. “Every evening for eight years,” the publisher recalls, “at his request, President Obama was given ten handpicked letters written by ordinary American citizens—the unfiltered voice of a nation—from his Office of Presidential Correspondence.” And Laskas reports that President Obama responded in his fashion. The Published:9/16/2018 9:35:29 AM
[Issues] Trump Rolls Back Anti-Franchising Regs

Franchise businesses received a significant boost from the Trump administration on Friday as labor regulators began to unravel one of the Obama administration's most controversial employment policies.

The post Trump Rolls Back Anti-Franchising Regs appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/16/2018 5:42:45 AM
[AFFH] Dr. Carson’s misguided alternative to Obama’s AFFH rule (Paul Mirengoff) For the most part, Ben Carson has maintained a low profile as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Early on in the Trump administration, he announced that HUD will “reinterpret” the ultra-instrusive Obama housing rule known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). AFFH is an abomination. It enables HUD to order more than 1,200 cities and counties that accepted any part of annual community development block grants to rezone neighborhoods Published:9/15/2018 10:40:21 PM
[Corruption] Obama Steals Away $244 Million in Tax Dollars from Bankrupt Illinois for His ‘Private’ Museum

Barack Obama sold his fake presidential library as a "private" project that would not require any state tax money. But he lied.

The post Obama Steals Away $244 Million in Tax Dollars from Bankrupt Illinois for His ‘Private’ Museum appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/15/2018 3:22:22 AM
[Corruption] Obama Steals Away $244 Million in Tax Dollars from Bankrupt Illinois for His ‘Private’ Museum

Barack Obama sold his fake presidential library as a "private" project that would not require any state tax money. But he lied.

The post Obama Steals Away $244 Million in Tax Dollars from Bankrupt Illinois for His ‘Private’ Museum appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/15/2018 3:22:22 AM
[2018 News] Bombshell: Paul Manafort Agrees To Cooperate With Mueller Paul Manafort's cooperation agreement with the special counsel does not include matters involving the Trump campaign, according to a person familiar with the case, @johnson_carrie reports — NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) September 14, 2018 Bombshell: Paul Manafort Agrees To Cooperate With Mueller. According to NPR this will not involve Trump. It appears Obama and his buddies […] Published:9/15/2018 3:22:22 AM
[Open Threads] Bookworm Beat 9/14/2018 — Trump versus Obama Illustrated edition

I’ve got 44 funny posters (heavy on the Trump versus Obama theme) plus a true video highlighting media histrionics. It’s all funny and thought-provoking. So dramatic! Dude from the weather channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past. #HurricaneFlorence pic.twitter.com/8FRyM4NLbL — Tony scar. (@gourdnibler) September 14, 2018

The post Bookworm Beat 9/14/2018 — Trump versus Obama Illustrated edition appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:9/15/2018 3:22:21 AM
[Markets] On The Brink With Russia In Syria Again, 5 Years Later

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

The New York Times, on September 11, 2013, accommodated Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s desire “to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders” about “recent events surrounding Syria.”

Putin’s op-ed in the Times appeared under the title: “A Plea for Caution From Russia.” In it, he warned that a military “strike by the United States against Syria will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders … and unleash a new wave of terrorism. … It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”

Three weeks before Putin’s piece, on August 21, there had been a chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed. There soon emerged, however, ample evidence that the incident was a provocation to bring direct U.S. military involvement against Assad, lest Syrian government forces retain their momentum and defeat the jihadist rebels.

In a Memorandum for President Barack Obama five days before Putin’s article, on September 6, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) had warned President Barack Obama of the likelihood that the incident in Ghouta was a false-flag attack.

Despite his concern of a U.S. attack, Putin’s main message in his op-ed was positive, talking of a growing mutual trust:

“A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action. [Syria’s chemical weapons were in fact destroyed under UN supervision the following year.]

“I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive … and steer the discussion back toward negotiations. If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust … and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.”

Obama Refuses to Strike

In a lengthy interview with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg published in The Atlantic much later, in March 2016, Obama showed considerable pride in having refused to act according to what he called the “Washington playbook.”

Clapper (far right): No slam dunk Assad did it. (Office of DNI)

He added a telling vignette that escaped appropriate attention in Establishment media. Obama confided to Goldberg that, during the crucial last week of August 2013, National Intelligence Director James Clapper paid the President an unannounced visit to caution him that the allegation that Assad was responsible for the chemical attack in Ghouta was “not a slam dunk.”

Clapper’s reference was to the very words used by former CIA Director George Tenet when he characterized, falsely, the nature of the evidence on WMD in Iraq while briefing President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in December 2002. Additional evidence that Ghouta was a false flag came in December 2016 parliamentary testimony in Turkey.

In early September 2013, around the time of Putin’s op-ed, Obama resisted the pressure of virtually all his advisers to launch cruise missiles on Syria and accepted the Russian-brokered deal for Syria give up its chemical weapons. Obama follow public opinion but had to endure public outrage from those lusting for the U.S. to get involved militarily. From neoconservatives, in particular, there was hell to pay.

Atop the CNN building in Washington, DC, on the evening of September 9, two days before Putin’s piece, I had a fortuitous up-close-and-personal opportunity to watch the bitterness and disdain with which Paul Wolfowitz and Joe Lieberman heaped abuse on Obama for being too “cowardly” to attack.

Five Years Later

In his appeal for cooperation with the U.S., Putin had written these words reportedly by himself:

“My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is ‘what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.’ It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

In recent days, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has left no doubt that he is the mascot of American exceptionalism. Its corollary is Washington’s “right” to send its forces, uninvited, into countries like Syria.

“We’ve tried to convey the message in recent days that if there’s a third use of chemical weapons, the response will be much stronger,” Bolton said on Monday. “I can say we’ve been in consultations with the British and the French who have joined us in the second strike and they also agree that another use of chemical weapons will result in a much stronger response.”

As was the case in September 2013, Syrian government forces, with Russian support, have the rebels on the defensive, this time in Idlib province where most of the remaining jihadists have been driven. On Sunday began what could be the final showdown of the five-year war. Bolton’s warning of a chemical attack by Assad makes little sense as Damascus is clearly winning and the last thing Assad would do is invite U.S. retaliation.

Haley: Already knows who did it. (UN Photo)

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, with remarkable prescience, has already blamed Damascus for whatever chemical attack might take place. The warnings of direct U.S. military involvement, greater than Trump’s two previous pin-prick attacks, is an invitation for the cornered jihadists to launch another false-flag attack to exactly bring that about.

Sadly, not only has the growing trust recorded by Putin five years ago evaporated, but the likelihood of a U.S.-Russian military clash in the region is as perilously high as ever.

Seven days before Putin’s piece appeared, citizen Donald Trump had tweeted: “Many Syrian ‘rebels’ are radical Jihadis. Not our friends & supporting them doesn’t serve our national interest. Stay out of Syria!”

In September 2015 Trump accused his Republican primary opponents of wanting to “start World War III over Syria. Give me a break. You know, Russia wants to get ISIS, right? We want to get ISIS. Russia is in Syria — maybe we should let them do it? Let them do it.”

Last week Trump warned Russian and Syria not to attack Idlib. Trump faces perhaps his biggest test as president: whether he can resist his neocon advisers and not massively attack Syria, as Obama chose not to, or risk the wider war he accused his Republican opponents of fomenting.

*  *  *

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

Published:9/13/2018 10:21:47 PM
[2018 News] BREAKING: FBI Isn’t Investigating Brett Kavanaugh Over Content Of Vague Dianne Feinstein Document BREAKING: FBI Isn’t Investigating Brett Kavanaugh Over Content Of Vague Dianne Feinstein Document. ‘Cheap Shot’ Feinstein just got told to sit down and shut up. This isn’t Obama’s FBI anymore. Published:9/13/2018 8:56:16 PM
[Markets] Assault On Syria's Idlib Risks "Scattering Terrorists" Abroad, French Foreign Minister Warns

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned this week in a surprisingly frank statement that a Syrian government offensive on anti-Assad insurgent held Idlib could scatter thousands of foreign militants abroad, posing a security threat to the West.

His comments were made on Tuesday, after France previously pledged it would join any potential US coalition strikes on Syria if Assad uses chemical weapons in Idlib. 

"There are in all likelihood dozens of French fighters from both Al-Qaeda and Daesh (ISIS)" in Idlib, Le Drian told France's BFMTV, according to the AFP. He further said that there were "also many terrorists from other nations who could scatter" in the event of a joint Syrian-Russian offensive, warning of "risks for our security".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian

Le Drian's words reveal a bizarre twist in logic concerning the West's role in the now seven-year long grinding conflict, which now seems to be slowly winding down ahead of the Syrian Army's fight to take back Idlib Province, barring major Western military intervention. 

On the one hand the French FM is acknowledging, similar to prior admissions of the US State Department, that al-Qaeda held (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) Idlib is controlled by dangerous terrorist elements; while on the other hand he's suggesting they only belong in Syria

The West has long been accused by both Damascus and Moscow of sponsoring the rise of foreign jihadist armies, including ISIS, as way to pressure and ultimately topple the Assad government

One of the more shocking admissions of this strategy came in 2016, when then Secretary of State John Kerry was caught on audio telling a Syrian opposition gathering, which met on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting, that Obama hoped to use ISIS as leverage against Assad.

According to Kerry on the leaked audio (25:50):

"And we know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened"... "(We) thought, however, we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate. But instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him."

In the past weeks Western leaders have focused their arguments against a Syrian assault on Idlib around the humanitarian aspect, saying an air and ground invasion to root out the insurgency could result in the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history.

However, Le Drian's words are remarkably honest in terms of ulterior motives the West has for seeking to stop the offensive: he ultimately promoted a desire to see the international terrorist menace be confined only to Syria, where jihadists can fight the government, but which never spill over into Europe

Other threats from Western leaders over the Assad military build-up near Idlib have continued this week, with US Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley addressing Syrian allies Russia and Iran, saying “Don’t test us again” in a Wednesday night Fox News interview.

“Any offensive on the civilian people in Idlib was going to be dealt with,” Haley told Fox News’ Bret Baier, in a repeat of multiple past similar threats in recent weeks. 

Importantly, it appears Haley's threats of attacking the Syrian government have now expanded to beyond the scenario of the US reacting militarily to a chemical attack, but to a mere conventional military assault on Idlib itself. 

Published:9/13/2018 6:44:38 PM
[Politics] Obama Diving Into Dems' Effort to win Ohio Governor Race Former President Barack Obama is jumping in on the Democrats’ plan to retake Ohio with an appearance on Thursday for Richard Cordray, a candidate for governor, Politico is reporting. Published:9/13/2018 7:38:24 AM
[Markets] "Leaking Like Mad": FBI-DOJ-MSM Collusion Went Far Deeper Than Previously Known

The FBI's coordination with the mainstream media surrounding the 2016 US election - a "media leak strategy" which was first first revealed Tuesday, goes far deeper than first reported, according to Fox Newswhich obtained "new communications between the former lovers." 

A December 15, 2016 email appears to discuss a "political" leaking operation, in which others were "leaking like mad" amid the Trump-Russia probe.

“Oh, remind me to tell you tomorrow about the times doing a story about the rnc hacks,” Page texted Strzok.

“And more than they already did? I told you Quinn told me they pulling out all the stops on some story…” Strzok replied.

A source told Fox News “Quinn” could be referring to Richard Quinn, who served as the chief of the Media and Investigative Publicity Section in the Office of Public Affairs. Quinn could not be reached for comment.

Strzok again replied: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried, and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.

In one passage, Strzok apparently misreads a reference to "rnc" as "mc," and then, realizing his error, blames "old man eyes."

It is unclear at this point to whom Strzok was referring when he used the term “sisters.” -Fox News

"Sisters" may refer to sister agency.

“Sisters is an odd phrase to use,” retired FBI special agent and former FBI national spokesman John Iannarelli told Fox News Wednesday. “It could be any intelligence agency or any other federal law enforcement agency. The FBI works with all of them because, post 9/11, it’s all about cooperation and sharing.

The US intelligence community is comprised of 17 agencies, including the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the National Security Agency. 

Fox News notes that the "leaking like mad" reference was texted the same day that several US news outlets reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved - and personally approved, Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Several days before that, an article titled "Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says," was published in the New York Times, which cited "senior administration officials." 

Then, on January 10, 2017, The Times published another article which suggested that Russian hackers had "gained limited access" to the Republican National Committee (RNC) - the same day that BuzzFeed News published the "Steele Dossier" accusing President Trump of a variety of salacious and unproven ties to Russia. 

Following the text about “sisters leaking,” Strzok wrote to Page:

And we need to talk more about putting C reporting in our submission. They’re going to declassify all of it…

Page replied: “I know. But they’re going to declassify their stuff, how do we withhold…

We will get extraordinary questions. What we did what we’re doing. Just want to ensure everyone is good with it and has thought thru all implications,” Strzok wrote. “CD should bring it up with the DD.” 

A source told Fox News that “C” is likely in reference to classified information, whereas “CD” is Cyber Division, and DD could refer to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March for making an unauthorized disclosure to the news media, and "lacked candor" under oath on multiple occassions. 

It is unclear what “submission” Strzok and Page were referring to. -Fox News

A source also told Fox News that the messages were part of the newly released batch of Strzok-Page communications obtained by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who uncovered them as part of his investigation into the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation. 

Published:9/13/2018 4:37:41 AM
[Politics] Michael Reagan to Newsmax TV: Trump Signs Sanctions Order Obama Should Have Political commentator Michael Reagan told Newsmax TV action against Russia should have been taken during the Obama administration for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, but instead it was President Donald trump signing an executive order. Published:9/12/2018 10:06:02 PM
[US News] John Kerry admits the Obama administration did not get 100 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile

"We knew that Assad had kept some."

The post John Kerry admits the Obama administration did not get 100 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/12/2018 9:32:49 PM
[The Blog] News Shocker: Media fact-Checks Barack Obama, at least this once

You better sit down for this one.

The post News Shocker: Media fact-Checks Barack Obama, at least this once appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/12/2018 7:08:35 PM
[Markets] John Kerry Accused Of Violating Logan Act After He Admits To Secret Iran Talks

Though he previously denied it when allegations first surfaced last spring, former Secretary of State John Kerry has now disclosed he's personally had semi-frequent face to face contact with top Iranian officials to discuss US-Iran relations since Trump entered office.

Kerry confirmed and explained in detail his recent meetings with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new memoir, Every Day Is Extra.

During the interview Kerry disclosed that he met with Zarif "three or four times" and discussed political issues and challenges between the United States and Iran in what could constitute a significant and clear violation of the Logan Act

Back when Kerry was actually authorized to do this sort of thing as Secretary of State under Obama in 2015. Via the Iran Project

Though it's almost never been enforced, the 1799 Logan Act states that unauthorized diplomacy with foreign powers by private American citizens is a crime. Notably, two Trump-connected individuals that prominent Liberals and editorials demanded be prosecuted under the Logan act include former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

When asked during the radio show about his rumored meetings with top Iran officials, Kerry admitted, "I think I've seen him three or four times," but attempted to claim he was not trying to "coach" Iran on how to navigate President Trump's pullout of the deal.

Kerry is of course now a private citizen out of government but holds clout and influence with the Iran FM as the two hammered out the details of the JCPOA brokered under President Obama. 

However, by Kerry's own explanation it looks precisely like he was doing this: "What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better," Kerry said. He also shared his belief that American policy in the Middle East would be much better off if the White House had stayed in the agreement, and that the global community would be more stable and secure. 

It sure sounds like unauthorized diplomacy behind Trump's back by a high ranking member of the former administration to us...

Soon after the interview, some Iran hawks in Congress took to Twitter to decry the hypocrisy of the whole thing. 

Here's a key part of the transcript via the Hugh Hewitt Show:

Hugh Hewitt: Okay, it’s been reported you’ve met with him a couple of times at least since leaving office as well. So you still…

John Kerry: Yes, I have. That’s accurate.

HH: And is it a half dozen times, a dozen times?

JK: No. No, no, no. I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.

HH: Are you trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the JCPOA?

JK: No, that’s not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that’s not how it works. What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack. I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further. And I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.

It certainly appears that Kerry by his own admission is indeed trying to "coach" the Iranian FM on how to deal with the current White House. And the discussions clearly included chiding the Trump administration over its Iran policy while in Kerry's own words the "open[ing] of diplomatic channels" was on his mind. 

Meanwhile some Republican lawmakers have already, hours after the interview, unleashed charges that Kerry is engaged in rogue diplomacy and is undermining the active, elected administration.  

It was only a matter of time before he put his foot in his mouth, and promoting his new book means we're likely about to hear a lot more self implicating details spilled. 

Published:9/12/2018 6:03:06 PM
[] Lindsey Graham: Trump Is Right to Declassify DOJ/FBI RussiaGate Documents; Politicization of These Agencies Began Under Obama Obviously true. It is increasingly clear it was the Obama Administration who politicized the DOJ/FBI, not the Trump Administration.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 11, 2018 Trump has not yet declassified these documents, but is rumored by many to be nearing... Published:9/12/2018 5:35:46 PM
[cc5b771e-fad9-4d34-a245-db95723b3c7f] Karl Rove: By attacking Trump, Obama shows he's a self-absorbed partisan warrior, not a senior statesman The Democratic former president delivered a full-throated, highly partisan address designed to make the midterms an Obama-Trump matchup. Published:9/12/2018 3:26:55 PM
[Politics] Obama 2012 Campaign Manager: Embracing Socialist Label Is ‘Harmful to Democrats’

The post Obama 2012 Campaign Manager: Embracing Socialist Label Is ‘Harmful to Democrats’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/12/2018 12:29:21 PM
[Politics] Scalise: Trump, Not Obama, Pulled Economy From the Tank Denying former President Barack Obama's move to take credit for the current improvements, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said the nation's economy was "in the tank" under former President Barack Obama, but President Donald Trump is helping to pull it out again. Published:9/12/2018 12:29:21 PM
[9784d857-06cd-47a4-8abd-cb37175e6520] Marc Thiessen: Democrats like to talk about Trump breaking norms. Now Obama is If Obama were really concerned that Trump is behaving in a manner beneath the dignity of his office, then the answer is to set a better example for presidential behavior -- not join him. Published:9/12/2018 10:27:47 AM
[Politics] Only 38% Welcome Obama Back on the Campaign Trail

Democrats think former President Obama’s presence on the campaign trail is a boost for candidates in their party, but all voters aren’t as convinced.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate whom Obama campaigns for, while 36% say they are less likely. Twenty-four percent (24%) feel an Obama endorsement has no impact on their vote. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project. Learn more about how you can contribute.

(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 September 9 -10, 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:9/12/2018 9:41:10 AM
[Markets] There Is No Patriot Or Spartacus Here - Just Politics

Authored by Peter van Buren via The American Conservative,

There are ways for officials to honorably dissent, like blowing a whistle, resigning, or penning a protest with your actual name on it.

The anonymous New York Times op-ed writer inside government thwarting Trump’s plans does not understand how government works. Amplified by worn accusations in Bob Woodward’s new book, the op-ed is nonetheless driving calls for Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment to save America. But look closer: there are no patriots here, and little new; it’s all nasty politics.

You don’t join government to do whatever partisan thing you think is right; you serve the United States, and take an oath to a Constitution which spells out a system and chain of command. There is no Article 8 saying “but if you really disagree with the president it’s OK to just do what you want.”

I served 24 years in such a system, joining the State Department under Ronald Reagan and leaving during the Obama era. That splay of political ideologies had plenty of things in it my colleagues and I disagreed with or even believed dangerous. Same for people in the military, who were told who to kill on America’s behalf, a more significant moral issue than a wonky disagreement over a trade deal or a boorish tweet.

But the only way for America to function credibly was for us to work on her behalf, and that meant following the boss, the system created by the Constitution, and remembering you weren’t the one elected, and that you ultimately worked for those who did the electing. There were ways to honorably dissent, such as resigning, or writing a book with your name on the cover (my choice), and otherwise taking your lumps.

But acting as a wrench inside the gears of government to disaffect policy (the Washington Post warned “sleeper cells have awoken”) is what foreign intelligence officers recruit American officials to do, and that doesn’t make you a hero acting on conscience, just a traitor.

It seems odd someone labeled a senior official by the New York Times would not understand the difference before defining themselves forever by writing such an article. (Then again, Sen. Cory Booker didn’t seem to know the documents he was so bravely disclosing were already declassified before he called the gesture his “I am Spartacus moment.”)

So don’t be too surprised if the op-ed author turns out to be a junior official not in a position to know what they claim to know, a political appointee in a first government job reporting second- or third-hand rumors—maybe an ex-Bushie in over their head. That will raise important questions about whether the NYTexaggerated the official’s importance, and thus credibility, and whether anonymity was being used to buff up the narrative by encouraging speculation.

Next up: sorting out the “new” facts forming the underbelly of calls to end the Trump presidency. The op-ed’s release was set by the Times to perfectly dovetail with Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear (It would be interesting to know how much of this was created by the Times — did the paper encourage the heretofore unidentified ‘patriot’ to write? Did they have to be persuaded? How much editing was done? How far from the role of journalism into political activism did the Timesstray?)

Neither the book nor the op-ed breaks any new ground. Both are chock full of gossip, rumors, and half-truths present from Trump day one and already ladled out by Michael Wolff’s own nearly-forgotten book and Omarosa’s unheard recordings: the man is clinically insane, has the mind of a child, acts impulsively, and is thus dangerous. Same stuff but now 18 months shinier and sexier—Woodward! Watergate! Anonymous! Deep Throat! It’s clever recycling, a way to appear controversial without inviting skepticism by telling people what they already believe because they’ve already heard it. What seems like confirmation is just repetition.

There are plenty of accusations in Woodward’s book (“Trump is not smart“) that were quickly denied by those quoted (Jim Mattis and JohnKelly, for example.) But one new item, the claim that Gary Cohn, Trump’s former economic adviser, walked into the Oval Office and snatched a letter off Trump’s desk, suggests how sloppy the reporting is. Cohn supposedly stopped Trump from pulling out of a trade agreement with South Korea by stealing an implementing letter, preventing Trump from signing it. Woodard writes Cohn did the same thing on another occasion to stop Trump pulling out of NAFTA.

“Paper” inside government, especially for the president’s signature, does not simply disappear. Any document reaching a senior official’s desk has been tasked out to other people to work on. The process usually begins when questions are asked at higher levels and then sent down to the bureaucracy; no president is expected to know it’s Article 24.5 of an agreement that allows withdrawal. That request creates a paper trail and establishes stakeholders in the decision, for example, people standing by to implement a decision or needing to know ahead of negotiations with Seoul POTUS changed his mind.

So paper isn’t forgotten. I know, I had a job working as the Ambassador’s staff assistant in London where most of my day was spent tracking letters and memos on his behalf. Inside the State Department an entire office known as The Line does little else but keep track of paper flowing in and out of the Secretary of State’s actual In/Out boxes. This isn’t just bureaucratic banality at work; this is how things get done in government, as documents with the president’s signature instantly turn into orders.

So even if, playing to the public image of a dotard-in-chief, Trump didn’t remember calling for that letter on South Korea, and thus never missed it after Cohn allegedly stole it to change history, a lot of other people would have gone looking for it. Stealing a letter off the president’s desk is not the equivalent of hiding the remote to keep grandpa from changing channels. And that’s to call the claim absurd even before noting how few individuals the Secret Service allows into the Oval Office on their own to grab stuff. While the example of the stolen letter is a bit down in the bureaucratic weeds, it is important because what is being widely reported, and accepted, is not always true.

The final part of all this which doesn’t pass a sniff test is according to the op-ed, 25th Amendment procedures to remove the president from office were discussed at the Cabinet level. The 25th, passed after the Kennedy assassination, created a set of presidential succession rules, historically used for short handovers of power when a president has gone under anesthesia. Most relevant is the never-used full incapacitation clause.

An 2018 interpretation of that clause made popular by TV pundits is now the driver behind demands that Trump is so stupid, impulsive, and insane he cannot carry out his duties, and so power must be transferred away from him today. While the op-ed writer says the idea was shelved only to avoid a Constitutional crisis, in fact it makes no sense. The 25th’s legally specific term “unable” does not mean the same thing as the vernacular “unfit.” An unconscious man is unable (the word used in the Amendment) to drive. A man who forgot his glasses is unfit (not the word used in the Amendment), but still able, to drive, albeit poorly.

The use of the 25th to get Trump out of office is the kind of thing people with too much Google time, not senior officials with access to legal advice, convince themselves is true. The intent of the amendment was to create an administrativeprocedure, not a political thunderbolt.

But intent aside, the main reason senior officials would know the 25th is not intended to be used adversarially is the Constitution already specifies impeachment as the way to force an unfit president out. The 25th was not written to be a new flavor of impeachment or a do-over for an election. It has to be so; the Constitution at its core grants ultimate power to the people to decide, deliberately, not in panic, every four years, who is president. Anything otherwise would mean the drafters of the 25th wrote a backdoor into the Constitution allowing a group of officials, most of whom were elected by nobody, to overthrow an elected president they simply think turned out to be bad at his job.

The alarmist accusations against Trump, especially when invoking mental illness to claim Americans are in danger, are perfectly timed fodder, dropped right after Labor Day into the election season, to displace the grinding technicalities of a Russiagate investigation. Political opponents of Trump had been counting on Mueller by now to hand them November amid a wash of indictments, and thus tee up impeachment with a Democratic majority in the House.

The op-ed does indeed signal a crisis, but not a Constitutional one. It is a crisis of collusion, among journalists turned to the task of removing a president via what some would call a soft coup.

Because it’s either that, or we’re meant as a nation to believe an election should be overturned two years after the fact based on a vaguely-sourced tell-all book and an anonymous op-ed.

Published:9/11/2018 11:23:59 PM
[Markets] Are We Remembering 9/11 Or Forgetting It?

Authored by David Stolinsky via The Gatestone Institute,

  • Instead of being angry at the perpetrators of 9/11, some people are angry at those who waterboarded three (only three) terrorists, including one of the chief planners of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. As a result of information he revealed, a plot to crash a plane into the Los Angeles Library Tower was broken up, saving thousands of lives.

  • The attack of 9/11 was not only an act of war. It was also a horribly costly lesson. Let's not waste it... This does not mean that we should involve ourselves in every conflict in the Middle East. But if it is, we should use not a "light footprint" but a size-14 boot stomp. Our object should be to encourage our friends and frighten our enemies, not the opposite....

  • Some argue that the terrorists are trying to goad us into getting involved more deeply, so we should do nothing. These people forget the long series of terrorist attacks that led up to 9/11... In fact, by doing nothing, we are goading the terrorists into escalating.

  • The purpose of remembering 9/11 is not merely a history lesson. Like remembering the Holocaust, the purpose is never again.

Freedom cannot be taken for granted. The Statue of Liberty on 9/11. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Does this photo mean anything to you?

Rick Rescorla, Jorge Velazquez, and Godwin Forde leading the evacuation on 9/11. Photo: Rickrescorla.com.

Rick Rescorla, chief of security for Morgan Stanley, safely evacuated all 2,700 employees on 9/11, except for six. Four of the six were himself and his three deputies (two pictured above): Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velasquez, and Godwin Forde. That's true multiculturalism.

Rick was last seen going back into Tower 2 shortly before its collapse. When he was told he should get out, he replied, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out." His body was never recovered, but U.S. troops at Fallujah remembered him well.

Then there is Mike Kehoe, the firefighter who was photographed going up the stairs when most people were going down. From the expression on his face, I would guess that he had doubts about his survival. But he did survive. He got out about 30 seconds before the tower collapsed. But 343 of his fellow firefighters were not so lucky.

And what about Todd Beame? He was a passenger on United Flight 93. What happened was verified by the telephone supervisor with whom he spoke. They recited the Lord's Prayer together, and he made her promise to tell his wife and sons he loved them. He then said his timeless words: "God help me. Jesus help me. Are you ready? Let's roll!"

Beamer played a key role in the passengers' revolt against the terrorists. As a result, the airliner crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, and not into the Capitol Building or the White House, thereby saving many lives. Revealingly, his timeless words were omitted from the film "United 93." Hollywood doesn't like to say anything positive about Christianity, even if it is factual.

What about this photo?

Heather "Lucky" Penney, who took off unarmed in an F-16, planning to ram United Flight 93 before it reached Washington. Photo: Wikipedia.

Maj. (then Lt.) Heather "Lucky" Penney was with her Air National Guard unit at Andrews Air Force Base on 9/11. When it became clear that we were under attack, she and Col. Marc Sasseville took off in F16s – unarmed because there was no time to arm them. Col. Sasseville said, "I'll take the cockpit," clearly implying that Lt. Penney should take the tail. They planned to ram the airliner headed for the White House or the Capitol Building. They knew they would have no time to eject.

But the passengers on United 93 rose up against the hijackers and caused the plane to crash into a field at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, so the pilots' suicide mission was unnecessary. "Because of what they did, we didn't have to."

Later she served two tours in Iraq. Whether we know it or not, our lives depend on people like Maj. Penney – people who risk their lives to make up for the blundering and dithering of chairborne poseurs, paper-shuffling careerists, and political gasbags.

And what about this photo, which resembles the Pietà?

Father Mychal Judge, chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, was killed while ministering to the dead and wounded. Photo: YouTube.

Father Mychal Judge, OFM, was chaplain of the Fire Department of the City of New York. He was ministering to the injured and dead when debris from the tower killed him. He was carried to a nearby church and laid in front of the altar. He was the first recorded fatality of 9/11.

Another priest, Father George Rutler, rushed to the scene. He saw a line of firefighters moving into the building with grim expressions. Realizing that they might not survive, he granted general absolution, as if to troops going into combat – which, in effect, they were. The firefighters knew the risks, but they went anyhow. That is courage.

In all, nearly 3,000 human beings died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania, while more than 6,000 were injured. The exact total will never be known. Even now, 1,113 bodies and body parts remain unidentified. To fail to remember an event of such magnitude suggests some sort of national Alzheimer's.

Many people, however, see nothing wrong with building a mosque near Ground Zero. They do not realize that it would be similar to building a Japanese Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor, near the USS Arizona Memorial. They do not realize that, like our troops raising our flag on Iwo Jima, it would be a symbol of victory - but not our victory.

President Barack Obama proposed that 9/11 be a "National Day of Service" marked by volunteering for the poor. But this has nothing to do with remembering 9/11 – and absolutely nothing to do with preventing a recurrence. On the contrary, Obama ordered officials to minimize mention of Al Qaeda, as if not mentioning it would make it go away. The problem with 9/10 thinking is that it leads to 9/11.

At least I understand what it means to be beaten up. What can I grasp about 9/11?

The only aspect of 9/11 that I have a right to forgive is the emotional distress I felt watching it on TV – a microscopic part of that event. For me to usurp the right to forgive the terrorists would be arrogant and egotistical. Only the victims have the right to forgive. And they aren't here.

Instead of being angry at the perpetrators of 9/11, some people are angry at those who waterboarded three (only three) terrorists, including one of the chief planners of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. As a result of information he revealed, a plot to crash a plane into the Los Angeles Library Tower was broken up, saving thousands of lives. Now known as the U.S. Bank Tower, it was the tallest building west of Chicago.

The attack of 9/11 was not only an act of war. It was also a horribly costly lesson. Let's not waste it. Let's use it to relearn what we used to know – the difference between petty anger and righteous indignation. Yes, 17 years later I am still angry about 9/11, and I will be until the terrorist network has been rooted out. Only then can I allow myself to "just get over it."

This does not mean that we should involve ourselves in every conflict in the Middle East. But if it is, we should use not a "light footprint" but a size-14 boot stomp. Our object should be to encourage our friends and frighten our enemies, not the opposite – which we were doing until recently. Threatening to wage a "minimal" war makes us look weak. No, it proves we are weak.

This is the six-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed. They asked for more security – it was denied. They called for help – we didn't come. They were killed – we did nothing. How's that for looking weak and incompetent?

Yet former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for whom Ambassador Stevens worked, claimed, "We didn't lose a single person in Libya." No, we lost four. Is she a liar or an amnesiac?

Some argue that the terrorists are trying to goad us into getting involved more deeply, so we should do nothing. These people forget the long series of terrorist attacks that led up to 9/11. We did nothing then, so the attacks escalated until we had to act. Must we wait for another 9/11 before we act now? In fact, by doing nothing, we are goading the terrorists into escalating. If we learned nothing from a terribly costly lesson like 9/11, what does that say about us?

On the contrary, we lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for an inspection regime that is dubious at best. Will Iran proceed to develop nukes and the missiles to deliver them?

The motto of Scotland is Nemo me impune lacessit. It is usually translated as "No one attacks me and goes unpunished." The Scots render it informally as "Who dares meddle with me?" In the days before political correctness, we Americans used to be even more direct – as witness "The Ballad of Mike Moran." Listen to it, and remember when America was still America.

We are forgetting who we are and where we come from. We have trouble distinguishing our friends from our enemies. Such people are easily reduced from citizens to subjects.

We should emulate Lady Liberty. On 9/11 she had her eyes wide open, facing the burning towers. If we hope to remain free, we must keep our eyes open as well, and face squarely the dangers that continue to confront us. The purpose of remembering 9/11 is not merely a history lesson. Like remembering the Holocaust, the purpose is never again.

Published:9/11/2018 7:54:21 PM
[Markets] Escobar: 'Resistance' Runs Amok In The US Deep-Throat War

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

Bob Woodward’s book and the ‘resistance’ op-ed look increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops scheme and a prelude for a ‘Deep State’ coup...

We now live in a psy-ops world. The latest Deep Throat War in Washington bears all the elements of an epic of the genre. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, who remains an associate editor at the Washington Post, will be released next week, on the 17th anniversary of 9/11.

This, in turn, will divert attention from the fact that the former, Bush era-coined Global War on Terror has metastasized into an all-American Rebels With A Cause special, featuring support for the “moderate rebels” al-Qaeda in Syria, former Jabhat al-Nusra, now Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

In the wake of Fear, a Deep Throat surged out of nowhere in the form of an anonymous Op-Ed in the New York Times, which spilled the beans on Trumpian chaos in the White House.

Post-modern cynics were left wondering if this one-two walks and talks like a tie-in, it must be a tie-in. The Washington Post is the property of multi-billionaire Jeff “Amazon” Bezos and it has been on a permanent collision course with President Donald Trump.

And yet the Post may be seething now because Deep Throat, this time around, actually helped the competition. Adding insult to injury, the Times timed the release of its bombshell Op-Ed for the day after the Post’s strategic “leak” of Woodward’s book.

The heart of the matter is that the possible tie-in plays to the simple premise – extolling the role of a small “resistance” or the good guys. They are driven to protect “our values” and “our institutions” from dangerously chaotic Trump.

Post-truth cynics also cannot help being reminded of the historical precedence of a 1970s “resistance” – at the Nixon White House – who leaked to the press that “Tricky Dick” was out of control and was kept in check by true American patriots.

The current Deep Throat War is more like the case of a fractioned Deep State out for revenge on Trump via its media arm. The one-two tie-in – Woodward’s book and the “resistance” Op-Ed – looks increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops – a prelude for a Deep State white coup.

All those creatures in the swampland

At the heart of the “resistance” is Russia. Trump, who was egged on by the divide-and-rule personal advice from Henry Kissinger since before the inauguration, essentially wants better relations with Russia to try to detach Moscow from the strategic partnership with Beijing.

Virtually everyone surrounding the president, not to mention most Deep State factions, are opposed to this.

And this brings me back to the “gutless”  Op-Ed, according to the Trump administration, by a “senior official,” according to the Times. It argued that  Trump was always against moves to counter proverbial Russian aggression before he finally acquiesced.

Now, compare it with Republicans on Capitol Hill, who forced the White House to impose even stronger sanctions on Russia. And yet they do not label themselves as “resistance.”

The anonymous “resistance” warrior has to be put in context with Trump’s basic instinct of trying, at least, to put together an Art of the Deal dialogue with North Korea and Russia.

This is seen by the mainstream media as a “preference for autocrats and dictators,” such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, over America’s “allied, like-minded nations.” Again, this sounds like something straight from the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The arcane rules in Washington determine that whistleblowing should proceed only via two authorized forms. This involves a leak, as in Mark Felt, the original Deep Throat, to the Post, or leaking official documents, as in Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

Digital smuggling, as in the Edward Snowden case, or receiving digital files from insiders, as in Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, is strictly off-limits.

The “resistance” bears no documents. Instead, the “resistance” warrior tries to make the case that Trump is not running the show as the real protagonists are anonymous functionaries who can be equally praised as “patriots,” according to the Times, or derided as “traitors,” or “TREASON?” as Trump tweeted.

Curiously enough, the site MyBookie lists the odds for the US president charging the “resistance” warrior with treason at 1-2, which is more likely than Trump being impeached by 2020 at 3-1.

Meanwhile, there is no debate whatsoever on the dire consequences of removing a sitting president – as alluded by the “resistance” warrior – because he’s unwilling to let US-Russia confrontation degenerate into a nuclear red alert.

It would be hard to dismiss the President when he says: “I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back.”

Relieving the golden age of journalism

Now, compare all these post-truth, psy-ops creatures in this new swampland with a swampland of years gone by, masterfully depicted by Seymour “Sy” Hersh in his latest book Reporter.

No-nonsense living legend Sy describes himself as “a survivor from the golden age of journalism.” He seems to marvel at the fact he is just a guy from the Midwest who “began his career as a copyboy for a small news agency that covered crime, fires and the courts there.”

Roughly 11 years later, he was “a freelance reporter in Washington working for a small antiwar news agency” and “sticking two fingers in the eyes of a sitting president” by revealing “a horrific American massacre and being rewarded for it.”

Now, that has the merit of recovering the true meaning of “resistance” by documenting the story of a war gone wrong.

Sy may not be an epic writer in the Norman Mailer mold or wallow in the onomatopoeia orgy of an innovative Tom Wolfe. He is more like a Chicago streetfighter, packing myriad punches as quotes, many of them from anonymous players cultivated for decades on the basis of mutual trust. All the while, he would layer them into a vivid story – not a shadowy hagiography.

In this “I did it, my way” journey, we do get a walking, talking tour of the golden age of journalism, complete with the terrific step-by-step thriller of how Sy unveiled the My Lai massacre.

Even after all the prizes and accolades for one of the greatest scoops of the 20th century, it is poignant to know Sy “still wanted a newspaper job.” He got it – first at a magazine, The New Yorker, and then finally at The New York Times, “where I wanted to be” and “where my reporting would have [an] immediate impact.”

Sy conveys the excitement of his first trip as an on-off foreign correspondent, now forced to convert his legwork skills into writing on deadline. He was off to North Vietnam, “money belt tucked away, via Bangkok and Vientiane, where I was to be met by a North Vietnamese official and put on one of the irregular flights from Laos to Hanoi.”

When finally hired by the Times as a staff writer, his career “began with a roar – at the Paris peace talks.”

Sy later wrote a series of front-page stories about the CIA’s heroin ratline, an essential part of the agency’s covert ops in Southeast Asia. The ratline was first reported in a book by Alfred McCoy, then a graduate student at Yale and now a history professor at the University of Wisconsin.

Sy ended up receiving the proverbial CIA “visit,” someone from “the Agency’s so-called dirty tricks bureau.” It didn’t matter that he had quoted “a former CIA officer with years of experience in Vietnam as saying that McCoy’s work was “10% tendentious and 90% of the most valuable contribution I can think of.”

For the CIA, Sy was running amok.

Kissinger: more relevant than Watergate

It is enlightening to know how he “kept the hell away from the Watergate story” – even though he played tennis with Woodward “as Watergate moved from scandal to impeachment.”

One reason had to do with the fact that, in the end, the Post relied entirely on a single source, Deep Throat, while Sy was journalism’s Muhammad Ali, packing quotes verbal punches.

Another, more worrying, is that the Times editorial heavyweights “had been assured by Kissinger that the Post was making a big mistake.” Kissinger said: “The Post would be embarrassed.”

Sy was more interested in “a secret world in Washington” – code for Deep State machinations. But then in one of his reports, he finally got the message when senior editors advised him to “run it by Henry [Kissinger]. Sy was incredulous: “Run it by Henry and Dick [Helms]? They were the architects of the idiocy and criminality I was desperate to write about.”

The criminality ran deep. It included the secret bombing of Cambodia and the CIA’s covert ops to destroy Salvador Allende’s government in Chile (in his confirmation testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kissinger produced at best a qualified lie: “The CIA had nothing to do with the coup, to the best of my knowledge and belief.”)

Sy also exposed Kissinger’s secret talks in early 1971 in Islamabad with Pakistani president Yahya Khan, then the one and only go-between to arrange Nixon’s visit to China in early 1972. Khan’s army had slaughtered as many as three million people to suppress the secession in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Yet Kissinger had to remain mute to protect his prized messenger to Mao.

Chapter 14 of Reporter, titled Me and Henry, also details Kissinger “wiretapping friend and foe – especially his foes – in the bureaucracy.” Sy went all-out for what he qualifies as Kissinger’s “immorality and deceit” – at a time when he kept absolute control over US foreign policy. Kissinger “escaped any possible sanction” for his wiretapping with the threat that he would resign unless the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing canceled what he called a stain in his “public honor.”

The Price of Power, Sy’s book on Kissinger, published in 1983, ended up reconstructing in excruciating detail fours years of US foreign policy. It remains a must read. Kissinger’s reaction: “I haven’t read the book,” adding, “what you read is a slimy lie.”

The book on Cheney; bring it on

While Woodward over the years excelled as Washington prime hagiographer and court stenographer (now reconstructed as court smasher) Sy kept breaking major stories, few more devastating than torture in Abu Ghraib’s prison in Iraq in 2004. Sy painfully recognizes that Abu Ghraib did not change the course of the Iraq war, “just as the My Lai story had not ended the Vietnam War or its brutality.”

And the same applies to what really happened at the Obama administration’s killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. The Deep State prevailed; Sy could not possibly publish this story in the US. It came out in 2015 in the London Review of Books.

The game-changer was bound to be Sy’s work-in-progress magna opus on Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney. Unlike Woodward on Trump, Sy perfectly understands the problem posed by “many hundreds of interviews…none cited by name”: a “book full of secrets” with players “still involved inside the intelligence and military communities posed a high risk of legal action.”

So he went back to the bin Laden story, where he shows how Pakistani intel was betrayed by the Obama administration: “The possibility that two dozen Navy SEALS could escape observation and get to bin Laden without some help from the Pakistani military and intelligence communities was nil, but the White House press corps bought the story.”

It will take the last of the greats from “the golden age of journalism” to write the definitive account of the Cheney regime – who reduced the entire White House press corps to mere puppets. This enterprise would convey what Fear is really about, not a fuzzy hatchet job taking sides in a still in progress establishment civil war.

In parallel, in the truth-is-fiction neo-Matrix world, “inconvenient” presidents are axed. In House of Cards, Frank Underwood is dead – as decreed by the Netflix God.

So the stage will soon be set for House of Trump. Much to the chagrin of the “resistance.” Kevin Spacey might even get his old job back.

Published:9/11/2018 7:18:15 PM
[Politics] Graham: Obama to Blame for Politicizing DOJ, FBI Sen. Lindsey Graham blames the Obama administration for having "politicized" the Department of Justice and FBI - and supports President Donald Trump's reported intent to declassify documents related to ex-campaign adviser Carter Page and DOJ official Bruce Ohr. Published:9/11/2018 5:47:01 PM
[Markets] Intel Veterans Urge President Trump To Step Back From The Brink On Syria

Via ConsortiumNews.com,

In a memo to President Trump, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, warn that the potential for a U.S.-Russia confrontation has never been greater at a moment the White House has confirmed it's in the planning stages of a strike on Syria, claiming "new intelligence" that Assad has already "ordered" a chemical weapons attack, according to the WSJ

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Moscow Has Upped the Ante in Syria

Mr. President:

We are concerned that you may not have been adequately briefed on the upsurge of hostilities in northwestern Syria, where Syrian armed forces with Russian support have launched a full-out campaign to take back the al-Nusra/al-Qaeda/ISIS-infested province of Idlib.  The Syrians will almost certainly succeed, as they did in late 2016 in Aleppo.  As in Aleppo, it will mean unspeakable carnage, unless someone finally tells the insurgents theirs is a lost cause.

That someone is you. The Israelis, Saudis, and others who want unrest to endure are egging on the insurgents, assuring them that you, Mr. President, will use US forces to protect the insurgents in Idlib, and perhaps also rain hell down on Damascus. We believe that your senior advisers are encouraging the insurgents to think in those terms, and that your most senior aides are taking credit for your recent policy shift from troop withdrawal from Syria to indefinite war.

Big Difference This Time 

Russian missile-armed naval and air units are now deployed in unprecedented numbers to engage those tempted to interfere with Syrian and Russian forces trying to clean out the terrorists from Idlib. We assume you have been briefed on that — at least to some extent. More important, we know that your advisers tend to be dangerously dismissive of Russian capabilities and intentions.

We do not want you to be surprised when the Russians start firing their missiles.  The prospect of direct Russian-U.S. hostilities in Syria is at an all-time high.  We are not sure you realize that.

The situation is even more volatile because Kremlin leaders are not sure who is calling the shots in Washington.  This is not the first time that President Putin has encountered such uncertainty (see brief Appendix below).  This is, however, the first time that Russian forces have deployed in such numbers into the area, ready to do battle.  The stakes are very high.

We hope that John Bolton has given you an accurate description of his acerbic talks with his Russian counterpart in Geneva a few weeks ago. In our view, it is a safe bet that the Kremlin is uncertain whether Bolton faithfully speaks in your stead, or speaks INSTEAD of you.

The best way to assure Mr. Putin that you are in control of U.S. policy toward Syria would be for you to seek an early opportunity to speak out publicly, spelling out your intentions.  If you wish wider war, Bolton has put you on the right path. 

If you wish to cool things down, you may wish to consider what might be called a pre-emptive ceasefire. By that we mean a public commitment by the Presidents of the U.S. and Russia to strengthen procedures to preclude an open clash between U.S. and Russian armed forces.  We believe that, in present circumstances, this kind of extraordinary step is now required to head off wider war.

FOR THE VIPS STEERING GROUP, SIGNED: 

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) and Division Director, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Philip Giraldi, CIA Operations Officer (retired)

James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate Republican leadership (Associate VIPS)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, U.S. Air Force, Intelligence Officer, and former Master SERE Instructor (retired)

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and Former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC Iraq; Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret) (Associate VIPS)

David MacMichael, Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, Army/Infantry Intelligence Officer and CIA Presidential Briefer (retired)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (retired)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army reserve colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

* * *

Appendix: 

Sept 12, 2016:  The limited ceasefire goes into effect; provisions include separating the “moderate” rebels from the others. Secretary John Kerry had earlier claimed that he had “refined” ways to accomplish the separation, but it did not happen; provisions also included safe access for relief for Aleppo.

Sept 17, 2016: U.S. Air Force bombs fixed Syrian Army positions killing between 64 and 84 Syrian army troops; about 100 others wounded — evidence enough to convince the Russians that the Pentagon was intent on scuttling meaningful cooperation with Russia.

Sept 26, 2016:  We can assume that what Lavrov has told his boss in private is close to his uncharacteristically blunt words on Russian NTV on Sept. 26. (In public remarks bordering on the insubordinate, senior Pentagon officials a few days earlier had showed unusually open skepticism regarding key aspects of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement – like sharing intelligence with the Russians (a key provision of the deal approved by both Obama and Putin).   Here’s what Lavrov said on Sept 26:

“My good friend John Kerry … is under fierce criticism from the US military machine. Despite the fact that, as always, [they] made assurances that the US Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, supported him in his contacts with Russia (he confirmed that during his meeting with President Vladimir Putin), apparently the military does not really listen to the Commander in Chief.”

Lavrov went beyond mere rhetoric. He also specifically criticized JCS Chairman Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia, “after the agreements concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama stipulated that they would share intelligence. … It is difficult to work with such partners. …”

Oct 27, 2016:  Putin speaks at the Valdai International Discussion Club
At Valdai Russian President Putin spoke of the “feverish” state of international relations and lamented: “My personal agreements with the President of the United States have not produced results.” He complained about “people in Washington ready to do everything possible to prevent these agreements from being implemented in practice” and, referring to Syria, decried the lack of a “common front against terrorism after such lengthy negotiations, enormous effort, and difficult compromises.”

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington’s justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.

Published:9/11/2018 4:01:36 PM
[Politics] Media Can Hardly Contain Excitement Over Obama’s Return

The post Media Can Hardly Contain Excitement Over Obama’s Return appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/11/2018 1:20:14 PM
[World] Barack Obama Benghazi Conspiracy: John 'Tig' Tiegen Reacts on America's Newsroom

A member of the Benghazi said Tuesday on "America's Newsroom" that former President Barack Obama's remark about "conspiracy theories" surrounding the terror attack were reckless and disrespectful.

Published:9/11/2018 12:48:50 PM
[World] Benghazi Hero Kris Paronto: Obama's 'Conspiracy Theories' Remark 'Disgraceful'

Kris Paronto, one of the heroes of Benghazi, is furious with Barack Obama over the former president's recent remark about "conspiracy theories" surrounding the 2012 terror attack.

Published:9/11/2018 10:33:28 AM
[2018 News] Twitter censors Benghazi hero for mocking Obama Twitter censors Benghazi hero for mocking Obama. You won’t find a more obvious case of liberal bias in social media than this one. Obama lies about Benghazi in public speech, does not get censored. Hero who fought off terrorists while waiting for the help that Obama never sent, mocks the ex-president for lying and gets […] Published:9/11/2018 10:33:27 AM
[Elections] Wait, WHICH Which President Is the Worst For the Press, Again?

He’s baaaaack! It felt like a trip on Dr. Emmett Brown’s “Back To The Future” DeLorean on Friday as former President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail with a speech at the University of Illinois. And just as they did during the eight years of his presidency, instead of confronting his lies and hypocrisy, the ...

The post Wait, WHICH Which President Is the Worst For the Press, Again? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/11/2018 9:12:56 AM
[Elections] Wait, WHICH Which President Is the Worst For the Press, Again?

He’s baaaaack! It felt like a trip on Dr. Emmett Brown’s “Back To The Future” DeLorean on Friday as former President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail with a speech at the University of Illinois. And just as they did during the eight years of his presidency, instead of confronting his lies and hypocrisy, the ...

The post Wait, WHICH Which President Is the Worst For the Press, Again? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/11/2018 9:12:56 AM
[Political Cartoons] A.F. Branco Cartoon – NObama-nomics

NObama-nomics! Obama breaking ex-presidential etiquette and protocol to come out and bash the current President Trump. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco.

The post A.F. Branco Cartoon – NObama-nomics appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/11/2018 8:19:07 AM
[Political Cartoons] A.F. Branco Cartoon – NObama-nomics

NObama-nomics! Obama breaking ex-presidential etiquette and protocol to come out and bash the current President Trump. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco.

The post A.F. Branco Cartoon – NObama-nomics appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/11/2018 8:19:07 AM
[Media] You mad, BRO?! Kimberley Strassel kicks Obama RIGHT in the GDP and his cult just CAN’T DEAL

Obama’s economy struggled to grow. Truth hurts, Lefties, but it did. Even CNN had to admit in January 2017 the GDP expanded at least 3% every year … until Obama took office. The highest his administration saw was 2.6% in 2015 and then dropped like a ROCK in 2016 to 1.9%. There’s a reason Democrats […]

The post You mad, BRO?! Kimberley Strassel kicks Obama RIGHT in the GDP and his cult just CAN’T DEAL appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/11/2018 7:28:36 AM
[Politics] 42% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Forty-two percent (42%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending September 6.

This is down one point from the previous week. 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.

Published:9/11/2018 2:29:26 AM
[World] Obama reminds voters why they backed Trump

Just in time to remind America why voters elected Donald Trump president two years ago, ex-President Barack Obama emerged from political exile last week.

Pompous, insufferable, self-enthralled, cliched and uninspiring, he picked up right where he left off.

Reliving his eight-year campaign that cost over a thousand Democrat politicians their ... Published:9/9/2018 9:24:48 PM

[Markets] Criminalizing Childhood: School Safety Measures Aren't Making Students Any Safer

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning. From metal detectors to drug tests, from increased policing to all-seeing electronic surveillance, the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes

It used to be that if you talked back to a teacher, or played a prank on a classmate, or just failed to do your homework, you might find yourself in detention or doing an extra writing assignment after school. 

Of course, that was before school shootings became a part of our national lexicon.

Nowadays, as a result of the government’s profit-driven campaign to keep the nation “safe” from drugs, weapons and terrorism, students are not only punished for minor transgressions such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight, but they are being punished with suspension, expulsion, and even arrest.

Welcome to Compliance 101: the police state’s primer in how to churn out compliant citizens and transform the nation’s school’s into quasi-prisons through the use of surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, zero tolerance policies, lock downs, drug sniffing dogs, strip searches and active shooter drills.

If you were wondering, these police state tactics have not made the schools any safer.

Rather, they’ve turned the schools into authoritarian microcosms of the police state, containing almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.”

If your child is fortunate enough to survive his encounter with the public schools, you should count yourself fortunate.

Most students are not so lucky.

From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98,000 public schools to the moment he or she graduates, they will be exposed to a steady diet of draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech, school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “disorderly” students, standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking, politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them, and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement.

By the time the average young person in America finishes their public school education, nearly one out of every three of them will have been arrested.

More than 3 million students are suspended or expelled from schools every year, often for minor misbehavior, such as “disruptive behavior” or “insubordination.”

Black students are three times more likely than white students to face suspension and expulsion.

Zero tolerance policies that were intended to make schools safer by discouraging the use of actual drugs and weapons by students have turned students into suspects to be treated as criminals by school officials and law enforcement alike, while criminalizing childish behavior.

For instance, 9-year-old Patrick Timoney was sent to the principal's office and threatened with suspension after school officials discovered that one of his LEGOs was holding a 2-inch toy gun. 

David Morales, an 8-year-old Rhode Island student, ran afoul of his school's zero tolerance policies after he wore a hat to school decorated with an American flag and tiny plastic Army figures in honor of American troops. School officials declared the hat out of bounds because the toy soldiers were carrying miniature guns.

A 7-year-old New Jersey boy, described by school officials as "a nice kid" and "a good student," was reported to the police and charged with possessing an imitation firearm after he brought a toy Nerf-style gun to school. The gun shoots soft ping pong-type balls.

Things have gotten so bad that it doesn't even take a toy gun to raise the ire of school officials.

A high school sophomore was suspended for violating the school's no-cell-phone policy after he took a call from his father, a master sergeant in the U.S. Army who was serving in Iraq at the time. 

A 12-year-old New York student was hauled out of school in handcuffs for doodling on her desk with an erasable marker.

In Houston, an 8th grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school in memory of her grandmother (the school has a zero tolerance policy against the rosary, which the school insists can be interpreted as a sign of gang involvement). 

Six-year-old Cub Scout Zachary Christie was sentenced to 45 days in reform school after bringing a camping utensil to school that can serve as a fork, knife or spoon.

Even imaginary weapons (hand-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a “threatening” manner, imaginary bows and arrows, even fingers positioned like guns) can also land a student in detention.

Equally outrageous was the case in New Jersey where several kindergartners were suspended from school for three days for playing a make-believe game of "cops and robbers" during recess and using their fingers as guns.

With the distinctions between student offenses erased, and all offenses expellable, we now find ourselves in the midst of what Time magazine described as a “national crackdown on Alka-Seltzer.” Students have actually been suspended from school for possession of the fizzy tablets in violation of zero tolerance drug policies.

Students have also been penalized for such inane "crimes" as bringing nail clippers to school, using Listerine or Scope, and carrying fold-out combs that resemble switchblades.

A 13-year-old boy in Manassas, Virginia, who accepted a Certs breath mint from a classmate, was actually suspended and required to attend drug-awareness classes, while a 12-year-old boy who said he brought powdered sugar to school for a science project was charged with a felony for possessing a look-alike drug.

Acts of kindness, concern, basic manners or just engaging in childish behavior can also result in suspensions.

One 13-year-old was given detention for exposing the school to “liability” by sharing his lunch with a hungry friend. A third grader was suspended for shaving her head in sympathy for a friend who had lost her hair to chemotherapy. And then there was the high school senior who was suspended for saying “bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezed.

In South Carolina, where it’s against the law to disturb a school, more than a thousand students a year—some as young as 7 years old—“face criminal charges for not following directions, loitering, cursing, or the vague allegation of acting ‘obnoxiously.’ If charged as adults, they can be held in jail for up to 90 days.”

Another 12-year-old was handcuffed and jailed after he stomped in a puddle, splashing classmates.

Things get even worse when you add police to the mix.

Thanks to a combination of media hype, political pandering and financial incentives, the use of armed police officers (a.k.a. school resource officers) to patrol school hallways has risen dramatically in the years since the Columbine school shooting (nearly 20,000 by 2003).

What this means, notes Mother Jones, is greater police “involvement in routine discipline mattersthat principals and parents used to address without involvement from law enforcement officers.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, these school resource officers (SROs) have become de facto wardens in the elementary, middle and high schools, doling out their own brand of justice to the so-called “criminals” in their midst with the help of tasers, pepperspray, batons and brute force.

As a result, students are not only being ticketed, fined and sent to court for behavior perceived as defiant, disruptive or disorderly such as spraying perfume and writing on a desk, but they are also finding themselves subjected to police tactics such as handcuffs, leg shackles, tasers and excessive force for “acting up.”

In the absence of school-appropriate guidelines, police are more and more “stepping in to deal with minor rulebreaking: sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes. What previously might have resulted in a detention or a visit to the principal’s office was replaced with excruciating pain and temporary blindness, often followed by a trip to the courthouse.”

The horror stories are legion.

One SRO is accused of punching a 13-year-old student in the face for cutting in the cafeteria line. That same cop put another student in a chokehold a week later, allegedly knocking the student unconscious and causing a brain injury. 

In Pennsylvania, a student was tased after ignoring an order to put his cell phone away.

On any given day when school is in session, kids who “act up” in class are pinned facedown on the floor, locked in dark closets, tied up with straps, bungee cords and duct tape, handcuffed, leg shackled, tasered or otherwise restrained, immobilized or placed in solitary confinement in order to bring them under “control.”

Roughly 1500 kids are tied up or locked down every day by school officials in the United States.

At least 500 students are locked up in some form of solitary confinement every day, whether it be a padded room, a closet or a duffel bag. In many cases, parents are rarely notified when such methods are used.

In almost every case, these undeniably harsh methods are used to punish kids for simply failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums.

Very rarely do the kids pose any credible danger to themselves or others.

For example, a 4-year-old Virginia preschooler was handcuffed, leg shackled and transported to the sheriff’s office after reportedly throwing blocks and climbing on top of the furniture. School officials claim the restraints were necessary to protect the adults from injury.

6-year-old kindergarten student in a Georgia public school was handcuffed, transported to the police station, and charged with simple battery of a schoolteacher and criminal damage to property for throwing a temper tantrum at school.

Unbelievably, these tactics are all legal, at least when employed by school officials or school resource officers in the nation’s public schools.

According to a ProPublica investigative report, such harsh punishments are part of a widespread phenomenon plaguing school districts across the country.

Indeed, as investigative reporter Heather Vogell points out, this is a local story everywhere.

It’s happening in my town.

It’s happening in your town.

It’s happening in every school district in America.

This is the end product of all those so-called school “safety” policies, which run the gamut from zero tolerance policies that punish all infractions harshly to surveillance cameras, metal detectors, random searches, drug-sniffing dogs, school-wide lockdowns, active-shooter drills and militarized police officers.

Mind you, this is all part of the government’s plan to “harden” the schools.

What exactly does hardening the schools entail?

More strident zero tolerance policiesgreater numbers of school cops, and all the trappings of a prison complex (unsurmountable fences, entrapment areas, no windows or trees, etc.).

Schools acting like prisons.

School officials acting like wardens.

Students treated like inmates and punished like hardened criminals.

Even in the face of parental outrage, lawsuits, legislative reforms, investigative reports and endless cases showing that these tactics are not working and “should never be used for punishment or discipline,” full-grown adults—police officers and teachers alike—insist that the reason they continue to handcuff, lock up and restrain little kids is because they fear for their safety and the safety of others.

“Fear for one’s safety” has become such a hackneyed and threadbare excuse for behavior that is inexcusable.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that explanation covers a multitude of sins, whether it’s poorly trained police officers who shoot first and ask questions later, or school officials who are ill-equipped to deal with children who act like children, meaning they don’t always listen, they sometimes throw tantrums, and they have a hard time sitting still.

Unfortunately, advocates for such harsh police tactics and weaponry like to trot out the line that school safety should be our first priority lest we find ourselves with another Sandy Hook. What they will not tell you is that such shootings are rare. As one congressional report found, the schools are, generally speaking, safe places for children.

In their zeal to crack down on guns and lock down the schools, these cheerleaders for police state tactics in the schools might also fail to mention the lucrative, multi-million dollar deals being cut with military contractors such as Taser International to equip these school cops with tasers, tanks, rifles and $100,000 shooting detection systems.

Indeed, the transformation of hometown police departments into extensions of the military has been mirrored in the public schools, where school police have been gifted with high-powered M16 rifles, MRAP armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other military gear. One Texas school district even boasts its own 12-member SWAT team.

According to one law review article on the school-to-prison pipeline, “Many school districts have formed their own police departments, some so large they rival the forces of major United States cities in size. For example, the safety division in New York City’s public schools is so large that if it were a local police department, it would be the fifth-largest police force in the country.”

The ramifications are far-reaching.

The term “school-to-prison pipeline” refers to a phenomenon in which children who are suspended or expelled from school have a greater likelihood of ending up in jail.

As if it weren’t bad enough that the nation’s schools have come to resemble prisons, the government is also contracting with private prisons to lock up our young people for behavior that once would have merited a stern lecture. Nearly 40 percent of those young people who are arrested will serve time in a private prison, where the emphasis is on making profits for large megacorporations above all else.

This profit-driven system of incarceration has also given rise to a growth in juvenile prisons and financial incentives for jailing young people.

Indeed, young people have become easy targets for the private prison industry, which profits from criminalizing childish behavior and jailing young people. For instance, two Pennsylvania judges made headlines when it was revealed that they had been conspiring with two businessmen in a $2.6 million “kids for cash” scandal that resulted in more than 2500 children being found guilty and jailed in for-profit private prisons.

So what’s the answer, not only for the here-and-now—the children growing up in these quasi-prisons—but for the future of this country?

Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College, believes that school is a prison that is damaging our kids, and it’s hard to disagree, especially with the numbers of police officers being assigned to schools on the rise.

Clearly, the pathology that characterizes the American police state has passed down to the schools. Now in addition to the government and its agents viewing the citizenry as suspects to be probed, poked, pinched, tasered, searched, seized, stripped and generally manhandled, all with the general blessing of the court, our children in the public schools are also fair game.

Instead of raising up a generation of freedom fighters, however, we seem to be busy churning out newly minted citizens of the American police state who are being taught the hard way what it means to comply, fear and march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.

After all, how do you convince a child who has been routinely handcuffed, shackled, tied down, locked up, and immobilized by government officials—all before he reaches the age of adulthood—that he has any rights at all, let alone the right to challenge wrongdoing, resist oppression and defend himself against injustice?

Most of all, how do you persuade a fellow American that the government works for him when for most of his young life, he has been incarcerated in an institution that teaches young people to be obedient and compliant citizens who don’t talk back, don’t question and don’t challenge authority?

What can be done?

Without a doubt, change is needed, but that will mean taking on the teachers’ unions, the school unions, the educators’ associations, and the police unions, not to mention the politicians dependent on their votes and all of the corporations that profit mightily from an industrial school complex.

As we’ve seen with other issues, any significant reforms will have to start locally and trickle upwards.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, with every school police raid and overzealous punishment that is carried out in the name of school safety, the lesson being imparted is that Americans—especially young people—have no rights at all against the state or the police.

If we do not rein in the police state’s influence in the schools, the future to which we are sending our children will be characterized by a brutal, totalitarian regime.

Published:9/8/2018 10:14:54 PM
[US News] Barack Obama’s Nazi jab at President Trump answered with some questions for him

We know Barack Obama spends a lot of time looking in the mirror, but he needs to look harder.

The post Barack Obama’s Nazi jab at President Trump answered with some questions for him appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/8/2018 9:43:38 PM
[Markets] Key Words: Barack Obama once got kicked out of Disneyland for smoking with his friends College-aged Obama had just wrapped up a concert when he and his buddies decided to take a ride on the gondolas while smoking.
Published:9/8/2018 9:43:38 PM
[Markets] Pat Buchanan Exposes Regime Change - American Style

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

The campaign to overturn the 2016 election and bring down President Trump shifted into high gear this week.

Inspiration came Saturday morning from the altar of the National Cathedral where our establishment came to pay homage to John McCain.

Gathered there were all the presidents from 1993 to 2017, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Henry Kissinger, the leaders of both houses of Congress, and too many generals and admirals to list.

Striding into the pulpit, Obama delivered a searing indictment of the man undoing his legacy:

“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. … It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear.”

Speakers praised McCain’s willingness to cross party lines, but Democrats took away a new determination: From here on out, confrontation!

Tuesday morning, as Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court began, Democrats disrupted the proceedings and demanded immediate adjournment, as scores of protesters shouted and screamed to halt the hearings.

Taking credit for orchestrating the disruption, Sen. Dick Durbin boasted, “What we’ve heard is the noise of democracy.”

But if mob action to shut down a Senate hearing is the noise of democracy, this may explain why many countries are taking a new look at the authoritarian rulers who can at least deliver a semblance of order.

Wednesday came leaks in The Washington Post from Bob Woodward’s new book, attributing to Chief of Staff John Kelly and Gen. James Mattis crude remarks on the president’s intelligence, character and maturity, and describing the Trump White House as a “crazytown” led by a fifth- or sixth-grader.

Kelly and Mattis both denied making the comments.

Thursday came an op-ed in The New York Times by an anonymous “senior official” claiming to be a member of the “resistance … working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his (Trump’s) agenda.”

A pedestrian piece of prose containing nothing about Trump one cannot read or hear daily in the media, the op-ed caused a sensation, but only because Times editors decided to give the disloyal and seditious Trump aide who wrote it immunity and cover to betray his or her president.

The transaction served the political objectives of both parties.

While the Woodward book may debut at the top of The New York Times best-seller list, and “Anonymous,” once ferreted out and fired, will have his or her 15 minutes of fame, what this portends is not good.

For what is afoot here is something America specializes in — regime change. Only the regime our establishment and media mean to change is the government of the United States. What is afoot is the overthrow of America’s democratically elected head of state.

The methodology is familiar. After a years-long assault on the White House and president by a special prosecutor’s office, the House takes up impeachment, while a collaborationist press plays its traditional supporting role.

Presidents are wounded, disabled or overthrown, and Pulitzers all around.

No one suggests Richard Nixon was without sin in trying to cover up the Watergate break-in. But no one should delude himself into believing that the overthrow of that president, not two years after he won the greatest landslide in U.S. history, was not an act of vengeance by a hate-filled city that ran a sword through Nixon for offenses it had covered up or brushed under the rug in the Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson years.

So, where are we headed?

If November’s elections produce, as many predict, a Democratic House, there will be more investigations of President Trump than any man charged with running the U.S. government may be able to manage.

There is the Mueller investigation into “Russiagate” that began before Trump was inaugurated. There is the investigation of his business and private life before he became president in the Southern District of New York. There is the investigation into the Trump Foundation by New York State.

There will be investigations by House committees into alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. And ever present will be platoons of journalists ready to report the leaks from all of these investigations.

Then, if media coverage can drive Trump’s polls low enough, will come the impeachment investigation and the regurgitation of all that went before.

If Trump has the stamina to hold on, and the Senate remains Republican, he may survive, even as Democrats divide between a rising militant socialist left and the Democrats’ septuagenarian caucus led by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi.

2019 looks to be the year of bellum omnium contra omnes, the war of all against all. Entertaining, for sure, but how many more of these coups d’etat can the Republic sustain before a new generation says enough of all this?

Published:9/8/2018 8:11:23 PM
[Entertainment] Barack Obama Once Got Kicked Out of Disneyland for Smoking on a Ride Barack ObamaFormer president Barack Obama appeared at a rally in Orange County, Calif. on Saturday and recalled the time he got kicked out of Disneyland for smoking on a ride. The 44th commander in...
Published:9/8/2018 7:19:24 PM
[Markets] Missing Link In Papadopoulos Conspiracy "May Be Deceased" 

A key player at the very beginning of the Obama administration's counterintelligence operation on the Trump campaign "is missing and may be deceased," according to Bloomberg, citing a late Friday court filing by Democratic National Committee (DNC) lawyers in their case against Russia over hacking during the 2016 election. 

Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud - who bragged last November that he was a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Clinton Foundation, told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos on April 26, 2016 that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton weeks before Papadopoulos would drunkenly repeat the same rumor to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer on May 10

Downer's subsequent report to "five eyes" authorities resulted in the launch of Operation Crossfire Hurricane - the FBI/DOJ's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. Recall that former FBI agent Peter Strzok flew to London to meet with Downer in the summer of 2016. 

Mifsud has been missing since October, 2017 - while Papadopoulos was just sentenced to a grand two week stint in prison for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Maltese professor. 

The DNC stood by its claim in a statement to The Hill on Friday. The committee indicated that an investigator had been used to find Mifsud, who has been missing for months, and was told the Maltese professor may be dead.

“The DNC's counsel has attempted to serve Mifsud for months and has been unable to locate or contact him. In addition, public reports have said he has disappeared and hasn't been seen for months," DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. -The Hill

Meanwhile, a close associate of Mifsud, Gianni Pittella, has been described by EU parliament as a "reliable ally" to George Soros

However, according to internal documents from George Soros Open Society Foundation leaked in 2016, Pittella is considered to be a close ally of George Soros. The 127-page document by the Open Society European Policy Institute, titled “Reliable allies in the European Parliament (2014 – 2019),” lists the names of 226 EU MEPs that are likely to support the Open Society Foundation and its many initiatives. Included among the names of 226 MEPs is that of Gianni Pittella. -Disobedient Media

Mifsud was also the link between Papadopoulos and his wife of six months, attorney Simona Mangiante - bolstering theories by some that he purposefully seeded the Russia-Clinton "dirt" rumor in order to lure the Trump campaign into a trap. 

Expanding this Twitter thread by user @rising_serpent, we find: 

2. That connection was Joseph Mifsud, a most mysterious former Maltese government official who ran an institute called the London Centre of International Law Practice in Britain. THE Joseph Mifsud now made infamous by her husbands indictment by Robert Muller.

3. Mangiante, started working at the organization after meeting Mifsud while she was employed at European Parliament in Brussels. Papadopoulos, who had worked for Mifsud’s organization as well, reached out to say he liked her profile picture.

(articleGeorge Papadopoulos, his bride-to-be, and the Russia-linked ‘professor’ who brought them together)

4. Mangiante left the London Centre of International law after three months, after concluding the law office was “a facade for something else.” But the two continued to talk over the Internet, before meeting in person for the first time in New York in spring 2017.

5. Mangiante was introduced to Mifsud in 2012 by Gianni Pittella, a well-known Italian MEP who in 2014 became president of the Socialists and Progressive Democrats group. “I always saw Mifsud with Pittella,” So, Mangiante knew Mifsud for many years before she did Papadopoulos

6. Mangiante worked for 2 European parliament officials, Mairead McGuinness, a vice-president & McGuinness’s Italian predecessor Roberta Angelilli. She was also admin to home affairs committee under Martin Schulz, then a German MEP & now leader of Germany’s Social Democrats

7. So Mangiante moved within the corridors of power within Europe's Italian Democrats & German social democrats. When her contract expired, Pittella suggested she go work for Mifsud in London who offered her a job in 2016 at the London Centre of International Law Practice

8. in September 2016, Mangiante received a message on the LinkedIn social network from George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had worked at the same London Center of International law centre briefly before joining Trump’s campaign. That was the beginning of their acquaintance.

9. It appears that Mangiante started her job around September 2016, the same time as she started corresponding with Papadopoulos. Mangiante was not happy with her work in London.

(articleThe boss, the boyfriend and the FBI: the Italian woman in the eye of the Trump-Russia inquiry)

10. The entire institution seemed “fake”, “artificial”, with Mifsud interested solely in organising political meetings. “I didn’t smell a culture of academia" Mifsud’s diplomatic activity, Mangiante now believes, was a facade. “I never met any Russians there”

11. Mangiante quit her post there after three months, in November 2016. In the meantime, Mangiante’s romance with George began. After several unsuccessful efforts to get together in London, they met in March 2017 in New York. They hit it off, began dating and fell in love

12. Prior to meeting Mangiante, FBI had interviewed Papadopoulos Jan 2017 in connection with the collusion investigation. Papadopoulos gave federal agents a false account of his meetings with Mifsud. So he deleted his Facebook account and changed his cellphone number.

13. So almost 3 months prior to Papadopoulos actually meeting Mangiante he was already in the crosshairs of FBI, he was deleting facebook, changing phone numbers and like James Bond, was actively romancing a beautiful woman. Plausibility check # 1, what do you think ?

14. On the day Papadopoulos pleaded guilty, Mangiante was at her boyfriend’s family home in Chicago. There was a ring at the door. A casually dressed man informed her that he was a federal agent. He was serving her with a subpoena from Mueller.

15. Mangiante decided not to hire a lawyer after discovering they cost $800 an hour. She turned up alone at Chicago FBI headquarters. the FBI was interested in her relationship with Papadopoulos. Was it genuine? “They asked: “Do you love him?” “Yes”. They replied: ‘He is lucky’”

16. Plausibility check # 2. Do you think about how much lawyers cost when the FBI tells you that your boyfriend is chin deep in legal manure and you may be too? Stormy Daniels gets a lawyer for free, but someone being investigated by the FBI thinks about a lawyers cost?

17. March 2016 Papadopoulous learned he would be Trumps foreign policy advisors, he ended up meeting Mifusud on March 14 2016 while he was traveling in Italy (where Mangiante was, coincidentally). Important: He met Mifsud first in Italy, see indictment (click here)

18. Mifusd's interest is piqued when he learned that Papadopoulos was going to be involved with the Trump campaign. They meet again subsequently in London on March 24th 2016 when Mifusd was accompanied by the "Putins niece" Olga Vinogradova, who like Mifsud has now disappeared.

19. Papadopoulos met Mifusd again on April 24th 2016 for breakfast at a London hotel. This is the first time that Mifsud tells him he knows the Russians have "dirt" on Hillary. Mind you the DNC leaks weren't published till June/July 2016. Important point right there.

20. That DNC was hacked by the Russians remains a matter of great contention and those with exquisite expertise in cybersecurity don't agree with the assertion that Russians hacked it. Remember the only people that conducted the investigation into the hack were CrowdStrike

21. Now we turn the bizarre dial to 11, why did Papadopoulos say to Mangiante when he was looking at her LinkedIn profile that they worked for the same company? Two things wrong with this: I couldn't find any evidence that Paps worked for the London center of international law

22. and if he did, he would have known Mifsud from his work, so the whole theory of his being introduced to Mifusd falls flat.

23. The BIG question: by the time Papadopoulos began corresponding with Mangiante in Sept 2016, he was a part of the Trump Campaign, what was he looking at LinkedIn profiles of people working at the London center of international law for? What am I missing here? 

24. I have more questions than answers, but the timeline just doesn't add up, there is a lot missing here apart from my functioning neuronal circuitry. All of this is important in the context of Mangiante's recent media blitz and her asking for Trump to pardon Papadopoulos.

25. Feel free to add to what I have just outlined. Things are not only a little askew here but seems that we are seeing this whole matter askance and many facts are obscured by layers of hearsay disguised as factual information. -fin.

26. Addendum: anybody else find it most peculiar that Mangiante worked for Italian and German social democrats? Especially now that we know that MI6 (Downer/Steele/Halper) were probably involved with the genesis of the Steele dossier?

27. Mifusud appears to be more aligned with the UK than he is with the Russians, Mangiante herself said so. Also she has since dialed down her touting of her husbands role in the Trump campaign, why?

Fascinating... 

Published:9/8/2018 6:16:15 PM
[Markets] Covert US Plot For Venezuela Coup Detailed In Explosive NYT Report

“This is going to land like a bomb” in the region, a former Latin America diplomatic official told the New York Times in this morning's explosive lengthy report detailing how the Trump administration held covert meetings with Venezuelan military coup plotters targeting President Nicolás Maduro.

The "clandestine channel" involved contacts with what are described as "rebellious officers" bent on bringing about regime change with the help of Washington.

The astounding revelation though perhaps familiar-sounding when considering the historical string of coups and CIA covert interventions across the 20th century from Cuba to Nicaragua to Chile comes just over a month after a bizarre assassination attempt involving two C-4 explosive laden drones which detonated near Maduro as he gave a televised speech during a military parade in Caracas.

At the time the Venezuelan president pointed the finger at Washington, claiming right-wing factions connected to Columbia and Florida and backed by the United States were behind the sensational attempt on his life; meanwhile some American pundits raised the question of whether it was a 'false flag' staged by Maduro himself, given the strangeness of the event.

Though the August 4 events remain very much a mystery, the new revelation of White House-sponsored coup plotting meetings are sure to add fuel to Maduro's ravings against Washington, and will further be utilized to blame external forces for causing Venezuela's collapsing economy and failed infrastructure.

Like prior US covert action in Latin America, The New York Times finds that the White House was in bed with some very unsavory local actors:

But one of the Venezuelan military commanders involved in the secret talks was hardly an ideal figure to help restore democracy: He is on the American government’s own sanctions list of corrupt officials in Venezuela.

More "moderate rebels" in Washington's eyes perhaps? Once again America's covert proxy forces are revealed to be those most eager and willing to do their paymasters' dirty work.

The chief plotter and "rebel" Venezuelan military commander the White House liaised with is not named in the Times report, but is among officers on a corrupt officials sanctions list, and is described in the following:

He and other members of the Venezuelan security apparatus have been accused by Washington of a wide range of serious crimes, including torturing critics, jailing hundreds of political prisoners, wounding thousands of civilians, trafficking drugs and collaborating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

The report details several secret meetings between the Trump administration and military officers to talk about potential coup plans, but according to Times sources "the coup plans stalled". 

The meetings were spearheaded by someone simply described as a "career diplomat".

Maduro shielded by his security during last month's bizarre drone assassination attempt. 

Eleven current and former American officials spoke to the NYT for the story, which also involved interviews with a top former Venezuelan military commander that took part in the plotting. 

The White House has not responded to the bombshell report and allegations, only saying in a statement it continues to seek to engage in “dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy” in order to “bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro.”

Under the Obama administration Venezuelan officers were also said to have approached the White House, only to be rebuffed; however, Trump offered a new opening when in August of last year, he declared the United States had planned a “military option” for Venezuela.

According to the Times report, it was after this period that contacts were reportedly initiated, the details of which are as follows:

In a series of covert meetings abroad, which began last fall and continued this year, the military officers told the American government that they represented a few hundred members of the armed forces who had soured on Mr. Maduro’s authoritarianism.

The officers asked the United States to supply them with encrypted radios, citing the need to communicate securely, as they developed a plan to install a transitional government to run the country until elections could be held.

Dubiously, the NYT's sources claim the White House did not order such equipment and military supplies to be transferred something which likely would fall under the CIA's role if the plan did indeed move forward to that point.

Instead, according to the report, "American officials did not provide material support, and the plans unraveled after a recent crackdown that led to the arrest of dozens of the plotters." The secret talks were reportedly dropped and the mutinous officers on their own. 

With the NYT story now going viral this weekend, the White House's prior maneuvers will likely produce huge backlash in the region, and bolster Maduro's standing among his leftist constituency. The report concludes that "Mr. Maduro has long justified his grip on Venezuela by claiming that Washington imperialists are actively trying to depose him, and the secret talks could provide him with ammunition to chip away at the region’s nearly united stance against him."

Published:9/8/2018 3:41:56 PM
[Opinion] Arrogant Obama Takes Credit For Trump Economy

By Jim Clayton -

Nearly two years after leaving office, Barack Obama could not hold back his irritation that Trump has rightfully received credit for the roaring economy. At a speech at the University of Illinois, Obama scoffed that some of the greatest economic numbers in American history are occurring under Trump’s administration. Obama ...

Arrogant Obama Takes Credit For Trump Economy is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/8/2018 3:16:26 PM
[World] Barack Obama Rips Trump, GOP in Speech: Tomi Lahren Reacts on Fox & Friends

Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren said Saturday on Fox & Friends that the more former President Barack Obama blasts President Trump and Republicans, the more the American people will back the current commander in chief.

Published:9/8/2018 2:39:26 PM
[Markets] The Untold Truth About Obama's Former CIA Director, John Brennan

Authored by Richard Galustian via TheDuran.com,

"Why does John Brennan need a security clearance other than to commercially exploit it? "

Let’s get something clear from the start.

In 1976, in his 20s, John Brennan was a card-carrying communist who supported the then Soviet Union, at the height some might say of the Cold War, so much so he voted and assisted Gus Hall, the communist candidate for President against a devout Christian, Jimmy Carter who ultimately won the Presidency.

Yet under four years later, just after the then Soviet Union invaded, just weeks before, Afghanistan and months after the tumultuous Iranian revolution of 1979, which at the time many thought the Soviet Union had a hand in, Brennan was accepted into the CIA as a junior analyst.

At that time, John Brennan should have never got into the CIA, or any Western Intelligence agency given his communist background.

Think on that carefully as you continue to read this.

Also reflect on the fact that Brennan, later in his CIA career, was surprisingly elevated from junior analyst to the prestigious position of Station Chief in Saudi Arabia where he spent a few years.

Its said he was appointed purely for ‘political’ reasons, alleged to have been at the direct request of Bill Clinton and other Democrats not because of a recommendation or merit from within the Agency.

Its further said that the Saudis liked Brennan because he became very quickly ‘their man’ so to speak. Some reports, unsubstantiated, even allege Brennan became a Muslim while there to ingratiate himself with the Saudis.

Important to read is an NBC news article entitled ‘Former Spooks Criticize CIA Director John Brennan for Spying Comments’ by Ken Dilanian dated March 2nd, 2016.

The article contains many revealing facts and evidence, while giving a flavour, of the feelings of many in the CIA who felt that Brennan was totally unsuitable and unqualified to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

A final controversy is the little known fact of Brennan’s near four year departure from the CIA into the commercial world, having been ‘left out in the cold’ from the CIA, from November 2005 to January 2009 when he was CEO of a private company called ‘The Analysis Corporation’.

So why was he then reinstated into the CIA, to the surprise of CIA’s senior management, by newly elected President Obama, to head the CIA? No answer is available as to why he left the CIA in 2005.

Lastly let’s not forget Brennan’s many failures as CIA head in recent years, one most notable is the Benghazi debacle and the death of a US Ambassador and others there. Something else to ponder.

Back to the present an the issue of security clearances.

In early August, on the well known American TV Rachel Maddow Show, Brennan back tracked on his Trump traitor claim by saying “I didn’t mean he (Trump) committed treason. I meant what he has done is nothing short of treasonous.” Rachel Maddow responded correctly “If we diagram the sentence, ‘nothing short of treason’ means it’s treasonous?”

A simple question follows. Since he is no longer in the CIA, why does he need a security clearance other than to commercially exploit it?

Tucker Carlson explains succinctly here:

Last month what can be described as 200+ ‘friends of Brennan’, former CIA officials of varying rank, responded against the removal of former CIA Director Brennan’s security clearances, in support of him.

These men and women too most likely will have their clearances revoked.

And why not?

Since the only purpose they retain it is to make money as civilians?

A potentially more serious issue than ‘the Brennan controversies’ is that the US intelligence community has around 5 million people with security clearances as a whole includes approximately 1.4m people holding top secret clearances. It is patently a ridiculously high number and makes a mockery of the word secret.

Former CIA veteran Sam Faddis is one of the few people brave enough and with the integrity required, that has stood up and told some of the real truths about Brennan in an ‘Open Letter’, yet this letter’s contents have hardly at all been reported in the media.

Generally by nature, CIA Officers sense of service and honour to their Country, their professionalism and humility, and disdain for publicity has dissuaded most of them to enter the current very public Brennan controversy; but for how much longer?

As stated earlier, former CIA professional Sam Faddis explains what’s wrong with Brennan in his revealing letter, abbreviated for space below.

Dear Mr. Brennan,

I implore you to cease and desist from continuing to attempt to portray yourself in the public media as some sort of impartial critic concerned only with the fate of the republic. I beg you to stop attempting to portray yourself as some sort of wise, all-knowing intelligence professional with deep knowledge of national security issues and no political inclinations whatsoever.

None of this is true.

You were never a spy. You were never a case officer. You never ran operations or recruited sources or worked the streets abroad. You have no idea whatsoever of the true nature of the business of human intelligence. You have never been in harm’s way. You have never heard a shot fired in anger.

You were for a short while an intelligence analyst. In that capacity, it was your job to produce finished intelligence based on information provided to you by others. The work of intelligence analysts is important, however in truth you never truly mastered this trade either.

In your capacity as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, while still a junior officer, you were designated to brief the President of the United States who was at that time Bill Clinton. As the presidential briefer, it was your job to read to the president each morning finished intelligence written by others based on intelligence collected by yet other individuals. Period.

While serving as presidential briefer you established a personal relationship with then President Bill Clinton. End of story.

Everything that has transpired in your professional career since has been based on your personal relationship with the former president, his wife Hillary and their key associates. Your connection to President Obama was, in fact, based on you having established yourself by the time he came to office as a reliable, highly political Democratic Party functionary.

All of your commentary in the public sphere is on behalf of your political patrons. It is no more impartial analysis then would be the comments of a paid press spokesman or attorney. You are speaking each and every time directly on behalf of political forces hostile to this president. You are, in fact, currently on the payroll of both NBC and MSNBC, two of the networks most vocally opposed to President Trump and his agenda.

There is no impartiality in your comments. Your assessments are not based on some sober judgment of what is best for this nation. They are based exclusively on what you believe to be in the best interests of the politicians with whom you long since allied yourself.

It should be noted that not only are you most decidedly not apolitical but that you have been associated during your career with some of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent American history.

Ever since this President was elected, there has been a concerted effort to delegitimize him and destabilize him led by you. This has been an unprecedented; to undermine the stability of the republic and the office of the Presidency, for solely partisan political reasons. You and your patrons have been complicit in this effort and at its very heart.

You abandoned any hope of being a true intelligence professional decades ago and became a political hack. Say so.

Sam Faddis

Read the full letter here...

Published:9/8/2018 2:39:24 PM
[76de37a1-e41b-426f-abe9-c3d9546ca9b0] Failed Obama attacks successful Trump in bitter swan song Former President Obama subjected students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to an hour-long verbal tranquilizer Friday as he attacked President Trump and stuck to his usual specialty: mendacity and self-love. Published:9/8/2018 2:17:12 PM
[Politics] Kamala Harris feeds deceptively edited video of Kavanaugh to slavish witless followers Kamala Harris, who appears to be the left’s next extraordinarily inexperienced Obama figure, picked up on a deceptively edited video that made Kavanaugh appear to be much more radical on birth control . . . Published:9/8/2018 12:34:12 PM
[Politics] Kamala Harris feeds deceptively edited video of Kavanaugh to slavish witless followers Kamala Harris, who appears to be the left’s next extraordinarily inexperienced Obama figure, picked up on a deceptively edited video that made Kavanaugh appear to be much more radical on birth control . . . Published:9/8/2018 12:34:12 PM
[Corruption] Navy SEAL Destroys Obama: ‘Try Saying Radical Islam’ Won’t You?

Obama thought he was scoring points saying Trump wouldn't say Nazis are bad, but Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill asked Obama why HE won't say "radical Islam."

The post Navy SEAL Destroys Obama: ‘Try Saying Radical Islam’ Won’t You? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/8/2018 12:34:11 PM
[Corruption] Navy SEAL Destroys Obama: ‘Try Saying Radical Islam’ Won’t You?

Obama thought he was scoring points saying Trump wouldn't say Nazis are bad, but Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill asked Obama why HE won't say "radical Islam."

The post Navy SEAL Destroys Obama: ‘Try Saying Radical Islam’ Won’t You? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/8/2018 12:34:11 PM
[Markets] NYT Flashback: "If Donald Trump Targets Journalists, Thank Obama"

Former President Obama has come under fire for what many have viewed as a hypocritical condemnation of President Trump during a Friday acceptance speech for his Ethics in Government award at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

In particular, critics are slamming Obama for his comments regarding Trump's criticism of the press - while casually minimizing his own actions against journalists and whistleblowers: 

It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don’t like. I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down or call them enemies of the people. -Barack Obama

Except Obama did much, much more than that...

In addition to prosecuting more whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined, the Obama administration targeted then-Fox News journalist James Rosen as a "criminal co-conspirator" for protecting his sources in a DOJ leak investigation. 

And while Obama's defenders have attempted to downplay his actions, the overwhelming consensus appears to be that the former President is a massive hypocrite. 

To that end, Greenwald links to a scathing 2016 Op-Ed from James Risen in the New York Times - long before Trump's feud with the mainstream media (or "opposition party" as Steve Bannon calls them) kicked into high gear. 

Via the New York Times

WASHINGTON — If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the F.B.I. to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump made his animus toward the news media clear during the presidential campaign, often expressing his disgust with coverage through Twitter or in diatribes at rallies. So if his campaign is any guide, Mr. Trump seems likely to enthusiastically embrace the aggressive crackdown on journalists and whistle-blowers that is an important yet little understood component of Mr. Obama’s presidential legacy.

Criticism of Mr. Obama’s stance on press freedom, government transparency and secrecy is hotly disputed by the White House, but many journalism groups say the record is clear. Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.

Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have spied on reporters by monitoring their phone records, labeled one journalist an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for simply doing reporting and issued subpoenas to other reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.

I experienced this pressure firsthand when the administration tried to compel me to testify to reveal my confidential sources in a criminal leak investigation. The Justice Department finally relented — even though it had already won a seven-year court battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court to force me to testify — most likely because they feared the negative publicity that would come from sending a New York Times reporter to jail.

In an interview last May, President Obama pushed back on the criticism that his administration had been engaged in a war on the press. He argued that the number of leak prosecutions his administration had brought had been small and that some of those cases were inherited from the George W. Bush administration.

“I am a strong believer in the First Amendment and the need for journalists to pursue every lead and every angle,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with the Rutgers University student newspaper. “I think that when you hear stories about us cracking down on whistle-blowers or whatnot, we’re talking about a really small sample.

“Some of them are serious,” he continued, “where you had purposeful leaks of information that could harm or threaten operations or individuals who were in the field involved with really sensitive national security issues.”

But critics say the crackdown has had a much greater chilling effect on press freedom than Mr. Obama acknowledges. In a scathing 2013 report for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Leonard Downie, a former executive editor of The Washington Post who now teaches at Arizona State University, said the war on leaks and other efforts to control information was “the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate.”

When Mr. Obama was elected in 2008, press freedom groups had high expectations for the former constitutional law professor, particularly after the press had suffered through eight years of bitter confrontation with the Bush administration. But today, many of those same groups say Mr. Obama’s record of going after both journalists and their sources has set a dangerous precedent that Mr. Trump can easily exploit. “Obama has laid all the groundwork Trump needs for an unprecedented crackdown on the press,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Dana Priest, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post, added: “Obama’s attorney general repeatedly allowed the F.B.I. to use intrusive measures against reporters more often than any time in recent memory. The moral obstacles have been cleared for Trump’s attorney general to go even further, to forget that it’s a free press that has distinguished us from other countries, and to try to silence dissent by silencing an institution whose job is to give voice to dissent.”

The administration’s heavy-handed approach represents a sharp break with tradition. For decades, official Washington did next to nothing to stop leaks. Occasionally the C.I.A. or some other agency, nettled by an article or broadcast, would loudly proclaim that it was going to investigate a leak, but then would merely go through the motions and abandon the case.

Of course, reporters and sources still had to be careful to avoid detection by the government. But leak investigations were a low priority for the Justice Department and the F.B.I. In fact, before the George W. Bush administration, only one person was ever convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking — Samuel Morison, a Navy analyst arrested in 1984 for giving spy satellite photos of a Soviet aircraft carrier to Jane’s Defense Weekly. He was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

Things began to change in the Bush era, particularly after the Valerie Plame case. The 2003 outing of Ms. Plame as a covert C.I.A. operative led to a criminal leak investigation, which in turn led to a series of high-profile Washington journalists being subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and name the officials who had told them about her identity. Judith Miller, then a New York Times reporter, went to jail for nearly three months before finally testifying in the case.

The Plame case began to break down the informal understanding between the government and the news media that leaks would not be taken seriously.

The Obama administration quickly ratcheted up the pressure, and made combating leaks a top priority for federal law enforcement. Large-scale leaks, by Chelsea Manning and later by Edward J. Snowden, prompted the administration to adopt a zealous, prosecutorial approach toward all leaking. Lucy Dalglish, the dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school, recalls that, during a private 2011 meeting intended to air differences between media representatives and administration officials, “You got the impression from the tone of the government officials that they wanted to take a zero-tolerance approach to leaks.”

The Justice Department, facing mounting criticism from media organizations, has issued new guidelines setting restrictions on when the government could subpoena reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources. But those guidelines include a loophole allowing the Justice Department to continue to aggressively pursue investigations into news reports on national security, which covers most leak investigations. In addition, the guidelines aren’t codified in law and can be changed by the next attorney general.

More significantly, the Obama administration won a ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in my case that determined that there was no such thing as a “reporter’s privilege” — the right of journalists not to testify about their confidential sources in criminal cases. The Fourth Circuit covers Virginia and Maryland, home to the C.I.A., the Pentagon and the National Security Agency, and thus has jurisdiction over most leak cases involving classified information. That court ruling could result, for example, in a reporter’s being quickly jailed for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Trump administration’s Justice Department to reveal the C.I.A. sources used for articles on the agency’s investigation into Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election.

Press freedom advocates already fear that under Senator Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump’s choice to be attorney general, the Justice Department will pursue journalists and their sources at least as aggressively as Mr. Obama did. If Mr. Sessions does that, Ms. Dalglish said, “Obama handed him a road map.”

Published:9/8/2018 12:34:11 PM
[Politics] CNN’s Brian Stelter gets HUMILIATED on his shameless pro-Obama bias… CNN’s wannabe media critic Brian Stelter once again embarrassed himself with his own unflinching pro-Obama bias, and then he got humiliated in debate for good measure. Stelter was seriously trying to say . . . Published:9/8/2018 10:53:21 AM
[Politics] CNN’s Brian Stelter gets HUMILIATED on his shameless pro-Obama bias… CNN’s wannabe media critic Brian Stelter once again embarrassed himself with his own unflinching pro-Obama bias, and then he got humiliated in debate for good measure. Stelter was seriously trying to say . . . Published:9/8/2018 10:53:20 AM
[Entertainment] BINGO! Babylon Bee’s 1-tweet summary of Obama’s midterm kickoff speech is PERFECT

"Most accurate headline of the day."

The post BINGO! Babylon Bee’s 1-tweet summary of Obama’s midterm kickoff speech is PERFECT appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/8/2018 7:08:36 AM
[2018 News] HE’S BACK! Obama refers to himself 102 times during 64-minute speech HE’S BACK! Obama refers to himself 102 times during 64-minute speech. The Narcissist-in-Chief has returned and he’s as full of himself and as full of shit as ever. We spared you from putting the entire speech up. You’re welcome. Published:9/7/2018 9:14:53 PM
[US News] Man of the people Barack Obama hits the local coffee shop with billionaire J.B. Pritzker

After reminding Americans why they voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail with billionaire J.B. Pritzker who is running for governor of Illinois. Here are the two men of the people hitting a local coffee shop: President Barack Obama is visiting Caffe Paradiso in Urbana with JB […]

The post Man of the people Barack Obama hits the local coffee shop with billionaire J.B. Pritzker appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 9:14:52 PM
[Politics] NY Times Editor Rejects Obama’s Credibility in Defense of Media: ‘Come On’

Amy Fiscus, the New York Times’ national security editor, criticized former President Barack Obama’s prosecution of anonymous government sources Friday.

The post NY Times Editor Rejects Obama’s Credibility in Defense of Media: ‘Come On’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/7/2018 7:52:54 PM
[Open Threads] Bookworm Beat 9/7/2018 — the “won’t that boring Obama ever shut up” edition

This Bookworm Beat has as its starting points Obama’s self-aggrandizing, offensive speech. Then it gets to the fun and interesting stuff for you to enjoy. Obama as a sleeping aid. I visited my father’s best friend today. The two met in 1935. My father passed away more than twenty years ago, but his friend is still […]

The post Bookworm Beat 9/7/2018 — the “won’t that boring Obama ever shut up” edition appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:9/7/2018 7:02:12 PM
[US News] DAYUM! Kris Paronto just NUKED Obama for referring to Benghazi as ‘wild conspiracy theory’

Reality check INCOMING!

The post DAYUM! Kris Paronto just NUKED Obama for referring to Benghazi as ‘wild conspiracy theory’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 5:25:13 PM
[334de88e-d261-4284-932b-b39dba2fb938] Obama tries to demonize Trump voters, following Hillary's losing strategy Former President Obama gave the nation some insights into the Democratic Party’s midterm election strategy Friday with a political speech demonizing Americans who elected Donald Trump as president and doubling down on the failed liberal ideology that devastated our economy. Published:9/7/2018 4:50:23 PM
[Markets] College Removes All Uniforms With Nike Logo To Protest Kaepernick Ad

Following Nike's controversial endorsement deal with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a private Missouri college is removing all uniforms bought from Nike that contain the brand's logo, reports the Associated Press

"If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them" said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis, adding "We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform."

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016, has become a divisive figure; representing a resistance icon to some, and an unpatriotic anti-American to others.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," said the former QB - whose kneeling movement which began under the Obama administration has become a thorn in President Trump's side. 

In May, Trump told Fox & Friends "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country

And in a Wednesday tweet in response to the Nike deal, Trump wrote: "Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts," adding "I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!"

Nike's ad featuring Kaepernick sparked outrage from the right, with several social media users posting videos of burning shoes and other Nike apparel. 

And on Wednesday we reported that legendary Green Beret sniper and ex-UFC star Tim Kennedy says he's boycotting Nike following their decision to spotlight former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick - as many in law enforcement and the military have taken offense to the ad's tag-line of "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." 

Kennedy - who is currently participating in a military school course at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, told TMZ that Nike's ad is disrespectful to the US flag as well as to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

"When I walked into the team room this morning, there were some people who were fuming," Kennedy tells TMZ Sports ... "I'm not gonna speak for them, but there was no one happy about it." -TMZ

Kennedy says that every member of the special forces in his team room had lost at least 10 friends who had "sacrificed everything." 

"You can’t go around that room [in Fort Bragg] and not ask a guy if he could list on his two hands friends that have died from Special Forces," said Kennedy, adding "I'm talking about REAL heroes and I'm surrounded by a bunch of them right now."

Meanwhile, the National Fraternal Order of Police issued a press release in response to Nike, which reads in part: 

"Since 2016, 381 cops have been killed in the line of duty. They believed in something and sacrificed everything as did the families they left behind. All of the men and women in law enforcement believe in something and are prepared to sacrifice everything." 

Published:9/7/2018 4:22:30 PM
[] Trump on Obama's Speech: "I'm sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep. I found he's very good. Very good for sleeping.: Amusing. It's nice to have someone representing us who doesn't bow to the media pressure to flatter The Precious 24/7. Obama had gotten snippy that Trump was getting (some) credit for the booming economy. He did some petulant whining about... Published:9/7/2018 3:22:05 PM
[World] Kayleigh McEnany Blasts Obama for Comments About Trump, Republicans, 2018 Midterm Elections

Kayleigh McEnany fired back after former President Barack Obama took aim at President Donald Trump and Republicans during a speech in Illinois.

Published:9/7/2018 2:48:36 PM
[Politics] Trump: I Fell Asleep During Obama’s Speech

The post Trump: I Fell Asleep During Obama’s Speech appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/7/2018 2:19:40 PM
[US News] D’OH! Jedediah Bila spots piece of advice from Obama that came WAY too late for Hillary Clinton

One of the more self-unaware speeches in recent memory also accidentally slammed Hillary.

The post D’OH! Jedediah Bila spots piece of advice from Obama that came WAY too late for Hillary Clinton appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 2:19:40 PM
[Social Media] ‘Damn, dude … just … DAMN’! Why didn’t Barack Obama share this advice with his OWN administration?

"REALLY!!!!"

The post ‘Damn, dude … just … DAMN’! Why didn’t Barack Obama share this advice with his OWN administration? appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 1:50:41 PM
[The Blog] Obama: Democrats are running on some good new ideas this year — like single-payer

"He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years."

The post Obama: Democrats are running on some good new ideas this year — like single-payer appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/7/2018 1:22:55 PM
[Media] AWKWARD! Bret Baier dumps ICE-COLD water on Barack Obama’s boast about the economy

Oof.

The post AWKWARD! Bret Baier dumps ICE-COLD water on Barack Obama’s boast about the economy appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 1:22:55 PM
[US News] ‘BEYOND LYING’! Barack Obama has SOME NERVE saying this about illegal immigrant children [video]

"TFG."

The post ‘BEYOND LYING’! Barack Obama has SOME NERVE saying this about illegal immigrant children [video] appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 12:58:34 PM
[Media] JAW, MEET FLOOR: Brian Stelter trips ALL OVER Sharyl Attkisson, James Rosen, et al. in MAD rush to kiss Obama’s a**

"You can't be serious."

The post JAW, MEET FLOOR: Brian Stelter trips ALL OVER Sharyl Attkisson, James Rosen, et al. in MAD rush to kiss Obama’s a** appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/7/2018 12:40:51 PM
[World] Barack Obama Says Donald Trump Capitalizing on Resentments

Former President Barack Obama spoke Friday in Illinois, contrasting Democrats' agenda against President Trump and Republicans ahead of the midterm elections.

Published:9/7/2018 12:02:02 PM
[Columns] The Sum of All Tears

International business consultant Wendy Sherman was the chief American negotiator of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal agreed to by President Obama in 2015 and abrogated by President Trump earlier this year. She has a new book out, Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence, and in the space of 14 Tweets promoting it the other day she managed to combine basically everything I dislike about Washington.

The post The Sum of All Tears appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/7/2018 4:53:39 AM
[4bd18c6b-883f-43ba-99be-35642af8c355] Marc Thiessen: To the New York Times op-ed writer: If you can't serve honorably, don't serve at all The "deep state" exists after all. But it turns out that deep state is not made up of the permanent bureaucracy, shadowy intelligence officials, or even Obama administration holdovers; rather it is made up of President Trump's own senior appointees. Published:9/7/2018 3:20:03 AM
[Markets] Johnstone: Are We Being Played?

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

If any evidence existed to be found that Donald Trump had illegally colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election, that evidence would have been picked up by the sprawling surveillance networks of the US and its allies and leaked to the Washington Post before Obama left office.

Russiagate is like a mirage. From a distance it looks like a solid, tangible thing, but when you actually move in to examine it critically you find nothing but gaping plot holes, insinuation, innuendo, conflicting narratives, bizarre mental contortions to avoid acknowledging contradictory information, a few arrests for corruption and process crimes, and a lot of hot air. The whole thing has been held together by nothing but the confident-sounding assertions of pundits and politicians and sheer, mindless repetition. And, as we approach the two year mark since this president’s election, we have not seen one iota of movement toward removing him from office. The whole thing’s a lie, and the smart movers and shakers behind it are aware that it is a lie.

And yet they keep beating on it. Day after day after day after day it’s been Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. Instead of attacking this president for his many, many real problems in a way that will do actual damage, they attack this fake blow-up doll standing next to him in a way that never goes anywhere and never will, like a pro wrestler theatrically stomping on the canvass next to his downed foe.

What’s up with that?

As you doubtless already know by now, the New York Times has made the wildly controversial decision to publish an anonymous op-ed reportedly authored by “a senior official in the Trump administration.” The op-ed’s author claims to be part of a secret coalition of patriots who dislike Trump and are “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” These “worst inclinations” according to the author include trying to make peace with Moscow and Pyongyang, being rude to longtime US allies, saying mean things about the media, being “anti-trade”, and being “erratic”. The possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment is briefly mentioned but dismissed. The final paragraphs are spent gushing about John McCain for no apparent reason.

I strongly encourage you to read the piece in its entirety, because for all the talk and drama it’s generating, it doesn’t actually make any sense. While you are reading it, I encourage you to keep the following question in mind: what could anyone possibly gain by authoring this and giving it to the New York Times?

Seriously, what could be gained? The op-ed says essentially nothing, other than to tell readers to relax and trust in anonymous administration insiders who are working against the bad guys on behalf of the people (which is interestingly the exact same message of the right-wing 8chan conspiracy phenomenon QAnon, just with the white hats and black hats reversed). Why would any senior official risk everything to publish something so utterly pointless? Why risk getting fired (or risk losing all political currency in the party if NYTAnon is Mike Pence, as has been theorized) just to communicate something to the public that doesn’t change or accomplish anything? Why publicly announce your undercover conspiracy to undermine the president in a major news outlet at all?

What are the results of this viral op-ed everyone’s talking about? So far it’s a bunch of Democratic partisans making a lot of excited whooping noises, and Trump loyalists feeling completely vindicated in the belief that all of their conspiracy theories have been proven correct. Many rank-and-file Trump haters are feeling a little more relaxed and complacent knowing that there are a bunch of McCain-loving “adults in the room” taking care of everything, and many rank-and-file Trump supporters are more convinced than ever that Donald Trump is a brave populist hero leading a covert 4-D chess insurgency against the Deep State. In other words, everyone’s been herded into their respective partisan stables and trusting the narratives that they are being fed there.

And, well, I just think that’s odd.

Did you know that Donald Trump is in the WWE Hall of Fame? He was inducted in 2013, and he’s been enthusiastically involved in pro wrestling for many years, both as a fan and as a performer. He’s made more of a study on how to draw a crowd in to the theatrics of a choreographed fight scene than anyone this side of the McMahon family (a member of whom happens to be part of the Trump administration currently).

You don’t have to get into any deep conspiratorial rabbit hole to consider the possibility that all this drama and conflict is staged from top to bottom. Commentators on all sides routinely crack jokes about how the mainstream media pretends to attack Trump but secretly loves him because he brings them amazing ratings. Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America’s two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad. They spit and snarl and shake their fists at each other, then cuddle up and share candy when it’s time for a public gathering. Why should this administration be any different?

I believe that a senior Trump administration official probably did write that anonymous op-ed. I do not believe that they were moved to write it out of compassion for the poor Americans who are feeling emotionally stressed about the president. I believe it was written and published for the same reason many other things are written and published in mainstream media: because we are all being played.

The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties, yes, but even more importantly it’s a mechanism of narrative control. If you can separate the masses into two groups based on extremely broad ideological characteristics, you can then funnel streamlined “us vs them” narratives into each of the two stables, with the white hats and black hats reversed in each case. Now you’ve got Republicans cheering for the president and Democrats cheering for the CIA, for the FBI, and now for a platoon of covert John McCains alleged to be operating on the inside of Trump’s own administration. Everyone’s cheering for one aspect of the US power establishment or another.

Whom does this dynamic serve? Not you.

If you belonged to a ruling class, obviously your goal would be to ensure your subjects’ continued support for you. In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don’t know they’re ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you’d need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You’d have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning with the theater of enmity and heroism.

As a result of the New York Times op-ed, if this administration engages in yet another of its many, many establishment capitulations (let’s say by attacking the Syrian government again), Trump’s supporters won’t see it as his fault; it will be blamed on the deep state insiders in his administration who have been working to thwart his agendas of peace and harmony. Meanwhile those who see Trump as a heel won’t experience any cognitive dissonance if any of the establishment agendas they support are carried out, because they can give the credit to the secret hero squad in the White House.

Would a billionaire WWE Hall of Famer and United States President understand the theater of staged conflict for the advancement of plutocratic interests, and willingly participate in it? I’m going to say probably.

*  *  *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, 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:9/6/2018 11:43:47 PM
[The Blog] Here we go: Obama to make “pointed” critique of Trump in midterm push

Lit.

The post Here we go: Obama to make “pointed” critique of Trump in midterm push appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/6/2018 9:58:29 PM
[Politics] Report: Deportations Increasing But Not Up to Obama Peak While immigration arrests and deportations are still short of peak levels under President Barack Obama, they are are rising under the Trump administration, according to The Washington Times on Thursday. Published:9/6/2018 7:16:05 PM
[Markets] Social Justice Books Your Kids Are Reading For College

Authored by Grace Gottschling via Campus Reform,

Each year, hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States assign incoming freshmen a “summer reading” book that is discussed throughout the year. 

Campus Reform reviewed the summer reading assignments from over 400 schools. While many selections focused on motivation and self-help, Social Justice was the overarching theme this year, including topics on immigration, racism, and sexuality.

While not every book assigned was overtly left-leaning, several books chosen this year explore explicitly liberal themes. This has been an ongoing trend among liberal colleges, who create mandatory programs like summer readings to communicate social justice themes to students.

The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers, edited by Brian Turner, is a collection of short stories written by several authors who recall romantic encounters from a variety of situations and locations. The Kiss has been assigned to incoming freshmen at Sierra Nevada College.

“From Sioux Falls to Khartoum, from Kyoto to Reykjavik; from the panchayat forests of India to the Giant’s Causeway on the coast of Northern Ireland; in taxis and at bus stops, in kitchens and sleigh beds, haystacks and airports around the globe—people are kissing one another,”  the description from publisher W.W. Norton reads. “The sublime kiss. The ambiguous kiss. The devastating kiss.” 

“A deliciously diverse anthology of essays, stories, poems, and graphic memoirs, where writers explore the deeply human act of kissing,” the description continues.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, follows the fictional aftermath of an unjustified police shooting of an unarmed black boy. The novel has been assigned by six schools, including the State University of New York at Brockport and Kansas State University. 

“The novel goes on to raise cogent and credible counter-arguments to the flattening narratives often presented by authorities and echoed by many media outlets in shooting cases involving young black males,” declares a review by The Atlantic. “Thomas’s novel keenly understands the dangers of defaulting to the cop/vigilante versus ‘thug’ framing device: The deceased get put on trial, rather than their killers.”

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, is a fictional account of a near-future society in which the United States has been replaced by a patriarchal theocratic regime where women’s primary focus is replenishing the waning population.

“Women are the main target of the regime’s brutality,” a review from The Guardian surmised. “Their rights and personal freedoms have been abolished. They are no longer allowed to work, to own assets or to be in relationships not sanctioned by the state. They are now categorised according to marital status and reproductive ability.”

The Handmaid’s Tale was assigned by four schools, including the University of California, Berkeley and Northwestern University.

Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, edited by Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown, is a collection of short stories by a variety of authors involved in social justice and activism. The book was created and named in honor of award winning author Octavia Butler. 

Octavia’s Brood is described by NY Journal of Books as an exploration of “current social issues such as capitalism, climate change, gentrification, immigration, etc. through the lens of science fiction and with the goal of social change.”

The stories, as described by the Journal, “suggest that science fiction or speculative fiction is indeed the ideal venue for imagining a world without war, violence, prisons, or capitalism.”

Octavia’s Brood was assigned by Western Washington University.

No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine, by Rachel Pearson, documents the author’s medical experiences, including her time at an abortion clinic. The book has been assigned to the incoming class at Lehigh University.

“Pearson’s inspired collective of illuminating clinical episodes immediately sparks to life with anecdotes from her early work in a female-owned and -operated abortion clinic in her 20s,” a Kirkus review states. “Her experience there as a young, bilingual patient advocate counseling Spanish-speaking women greatly broadened her perspective on women’s issues, ‘the suffering that women go through,’ and it solidified her decision to pursue a career in medicine.”

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided, by Diane Guerrero, documents Guerrero’s experience after she illegally immigrated to the United States with her family as a child. The book explores how Guerrero went from an undocumented immigrant to a famous actress serving as an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization under the Obama administration. 

“Like many of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, her parents worked in countless low-paying menial jobs while in constant fear, knowing that they could be snatched away any time,” Publisher’s Weekly noted in its review. “They tried to obtain green cards and citizenship through legal channels, but were scammed by a con artist.” 

The autobiography was assigned by the University of Houston and the University of South Carolina, Beaufort.

USC-Beaufort explains that it assigned the book to “provide opportunities for students to gain cultural competence and understand different perspectives.”

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, by Amy Ellis Nutt, was assigned by three schools, including California State University, Northridge and CSU-Sacramento. The fictional novel is based on a real family’s experience raising twin boys, one of whom decided to transition to female as a child. 

“When trying to illuminate the possible biological origins of transgenderism, Ms. Nutt explains that genital formation and sexual differentiation of the brain are distinct processes that may not always correspond,” a New York Times review details. “When theorizing about this particular, beguiling case—transgenderism in one of two identical twins—she notes that even a fetus’s position in the womb can affect its hormone intake.”

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander breaks down the relationship between mass incarceration of black Americans and Jim Crow laws. Alexander is currently a visiting professor of Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary

“[Alexander] wrote this book for liberals like her to alert them that this system—in which people are being targeted, criminalized, stereotyped to support popular complacent consent for criminalization, incarcerated, and then denied full citizenship upon release—is a legacy to the racial caste system that was Jim Crow,” according to The New Orleans Review.

Alexander’s book has been assigned by two schools this summer, including the University of Missouri Law School, which describes the book as “controversial and provocative, arguing that the war on drugs and unequal enforcement of criminal laws have legalized old forms of discrimination regarding employment, housing, voting rights, educational opportunities, and other public benefits.”

The most commonly assigned book this year is Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which explores a black father’s advice to his young son regarding race and living as a black man in modern America. The book explores different periods of American history in which race played a key factor, such as the American Civil War, the development of historically black colleges, and modern Chicago.

“Americans have built an empire on the idea of ‘race,’ a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion,” according to Coates’ publisher, Penguin Random House

The book asks several questions, such as “What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?”

Topping the list, Between the World and Me has been chosen for the summer reading by eight colleges this summer, including the University of Vermont, Pacific College, Augustana University, and Westfield State University.

“Coates’s book offers a timely exploration of both the lived experience of race and the structural consequences of racism, weaving together individual experiences and broad insights,” the University of Vermont explains. “As such, the book models critical inquiry, offering students and all of us at UVM an example of what it means to pursue ideas and their consequences, drawing on multiple disciplinary perspectives.”

Published:9/6/2018 5:35:53 PM
[GBLT] Did I ever tell you about the openly gay drag queen in today’s Navy?

It’s not your father’s Navy. Thanks to Obama’s order allowing openly gay service in the military, the USS Ronald Reagan now boasts its own drag queen. Winston Churchill is famously quoted as saying of the British Navy “Nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers and the lash.” Here in America, jokesters in the other branches of the […]

The post Did I ever tell you about the openly gay drag queen in today’s Navy? appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:9/6/2018 1:51:30 PM
[Markets] "Informational Crime": Saudi Arabia Threatens 5 Years Jail, $800K Fine For Posting Satire

Via TheAntiMedia.com,

The Saudi government announced this week it is further criminalizing dissentdeeming satire that “disturbs the public order” a crime in what amounts to an escalation of already existing practices despite recent claims the Kingdom has entered an age of reformation.

The government’s Public Prosecution tweeted Monday that using social media to commit an “informational crime” that “affects public order, religious values and public morals” will be punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of three million riyals, roughly $800,000.

The Kingdom has a well-established track record of forcefully silencing protest and dissent. It was the target of widespread condemnation when authorities imprisoned and flogged blogger Raif Badawi in 2015, as well as when it sentenced multiple youths to death over their participation in protests during the Arab Spring.

Last year, President Donald Trump and the U.S. government ignored pleas from rights groups to advocate on behalf of a student involved in those protests. He was on his way to study abroad in the United States when the Saudi authorities arrested him.

Women have also been arrested for fighting for their rights. Concern over women’s rights launched a public feud between the Saudi government and Canada after Ottawa’s government criticized the Kingdom’s crackdowns. This has resulted in further suppression of speech and protest. Since that incident, the Saudi government has persecuted the family of a Saudi blogger located in Montreal; after attempting to use the family to silence him—and after he refused to keep quiet—two of his brothers disappeared.

In light of claims of “reform” in Saudi Arabia, such as granting women the right to drive, the American media has fawned over the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, massive arms deals facilitated by both Trump and Obama have led directly to the deaths of children in Yemen as the Saudi government suppresses protest domestically. Despite the notion that U.S. ties with the Saudis are justified because the Kingdom has embraced modernity under the guidance of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the ongoing crackdowns on dissent suggest little has changed.

Published:9/5/2018 8:34:25 PM
[Crime] Trump’s worst tweet yet (Paul Mirengoff) We’re in the middle of a busy news week, but I don’t want to overlook something President Trump tweeted on Monday. It was this: Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…… I Published:9/5/2018 7:57:47 PM
[Markets] Former Congressman: "The Deep State Is Real..& They Don't Like Trump's Disruption"

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

In his new book titled  “The Deep State: How an army of bureaucrats protected Barack Obama and is working to destroy Donald Trump,” Jason Chaffetz alleges that the deep state is very real. 

His book, which is set to be published on September 18, details the lengths the intelligence community is going to in an attempt to undermine Trump.

“The Deep State is real,” Chaffetz wrote, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. 

“They don’t like exposure, accountability or responsibility. They fight back, outlast and work the system for their advantage. And they certainly don’t like disruptive forces such as Donald Trump.”

Of course, this flies in the face of 'lying' former FBI Director James Comey, who exclaimed in May that:

There is no deep state, but there’s a deep culture and commitment to the rule of law that runs all the way down through not just the Department of Justice and the FBI but the military services and the intelligence community. It would be interesting to see what would happen next,” 

Chaffetz, a former congressman from Utah, resigned from Congress in June 2017. At the time, that was about six months into Trump’s presidency. Chaffetz then decided to take a job as a political analyst for the FOX News Channel and the FOX Business Network, according to USA Today.

Chaffetz says that the devastating Benghazi incident is what uncovered a larger problem in the corrupt government.

“Without exposing Benghazi we might never have learned that Hillary Clinton was using her private email server to conduct government business and transmit classified information,” Chaffetz wrote.

Benghazi was a symptom of a much deeper problem at the State Department. Their decisions were based not on a security calculation, but on a political one.” 

Chaffetz also tosses the Department of Justice firmly under the bus in his book as well. The DOJ is a frequent target of both Trump and the House Freedom Caucus.

“The DOJ should be protecting us,” Chaffetz wrote.

“And yet it is the federal agency that stands head and shoulders above the rest in enabling the Swamp.”

The leftists both in political positions and amongst the public see Chaffetz as going after Obama while allowing Trump to run free.

 “Despite issuing a steady stream of far-reaching subpoenas during the Obama Administration, the Oversight Committee has essentially gone dormant under the Trump Administration, and Chairman Chaffetz’s successor has not issued a single subpoena to anyone, on any issue, ever,” Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland and the top Democrat on the  House oversight panel said.

Published:9/5/2018 2:19:50 PM
[In The News] Court Backtracks On Order Forcing Trump’s EPA To Enforce Obama-Era Rule

By DCNF -

A federal court back-peddled Tuesday night after business groups criticized a previous order forcing the EPA to enforce an Obama-era rule designed to regulate chemical plants.

Court Backtracks On Order Forcing Trump’s EPA To Enforce Obama-Era Rule is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/5/2018 10:48:43 AM
[Markets] In Latest Shock Upset, Democrat Backed By Ocasio-Cortez Topples 10-Term Incumbent In Boston Primary

This is starting to look like a trend.

Ayanna Pressley, a former staffer for John Kerry the first black woman to serve on the Boston City Council, has now become the second female, far-left woman of color to oust a member of the Democratic firmament in an upset primary victory that echoed Bronx "native" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's June waxing of Queens Rep. Joe Crowley - the No. 4 House Dem who was once rumored to be in line to succeed Nancy Pelosi. On Tuesday night, Pressley defeated 10-term Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano to win the Democratic nomination to represent Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District - surging ahead to claim victory despite her opponent's double-digit lead in the polls.

Capuano conceded 30 minutes before the Associated Press officially called the race; at the time, Pressley was leading by more than 10,000 votes with 70% of precincts reporting, according to Fox News. Barring some unforeseeable catastrophe, Pressley will likely become the first black female member of Congress from Massachusetts in Novemeber since she will be running unopposed in the general election (that is, unless Capuano decides to stage an upstart independent bid). The 7th District, which cuts a north-south swath across the city of Boston, was designated the state's first majority-minority district.

Pressley

Capuano, left, Pressley, right

While she's avoided the label of Democratic Socialism, Pressley has espoused a progressive agenda that will almost certainly set the media pundits chirping about the failures of the Democratic establishment (and, if Presley's lucky, earn her a fawning interview segment with the hosts of "Morning Joe").

While not a socialist, as Axios carefully reminds us, Pressley supports progressive immigration and health care policies that really aren't all that different from those espoused by Capuano. Still, she managed to ride a wave of anti-establishment sentiment to victory, as voters in her district apparently decided en masse that now would be a good time to usher in a new generation of leaders. "I'm not running to keep things as they are...I'm running to change them," Pressley said - which is ironic considering she has also acknowledged that she would likely vote the same way on a number of issues as Capuano would. Capuano, like Crowley, was an early supporter of Medicare-for-All, but has staked his claim even further to the left by supporting the impeachment of President Trump (to the consternation of the Democratic leadership) while pushing to make Somerville, Mass. a sanctuary city.

But in keeping with this primary season's overriding theme, Pressley declared that "it seems like change is on the way" during her primary speech (funny, that phrase sounds familiar...)

As Fox points out, Capuano is the fourth House member to lose a primary this year, along with Reps. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina and Mark Sanford of South Carolina - both Republicans.

Of course, anti-Trump pundits will be eager to tout Pressley's victory as a sign that the female-led "blue wave" will sweep Trump supporting Republicans out of office and hand control of Congress to the Democrats. Though, with President Trump's approval rating hovering at its highest level since his inauguration (thanks in part to a 4.2% GDP print), Dems should be careful not to count their eggs before they hatch...

Blue

 

Published:9/5/2018 5:18:35 AM
[Markets] Italy's Stagnant Economy The Most Likely Trigger To Europe's Existential Crisis

Authored by Christopher Wood via Grizzle.com,

With the focus on Turkey and the potential related fallout in other emerging markets in recent weeks, it is easy to forget about the Eurozone. Yet the current Italian government is likely to trigger a renewed existential crisis in the Eurozone once the Europeans return from the beach and the Italian Government comes up with a budget for 2019 which is likely to put it in direct conflict with the Maastricht Treaty.

BROKEN BRIDGES UNDER THE EURO

The collapse of a motorway bridge in Genoa last month resulting in 43 deaths, and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s exploitation of that event by blaming Brussels-imposed austerity, is a reminder of what is coming.

Having driven over that particularly rickety bridge on more than one occasion, this writer is not surprised to hear about what happened. Similarly, driving through Italy in recent years always serves as a reminder just how poor Italy has become under the euro. Remember, Italy has recorded almost no growth since the formation of the euro at the beginning of 1999, nearly 20 years ago. Italian real GDP has risen by only an annualized 0.4% since 1Q99 and is up only an annualized 0.1% in real GDP per capita terms over the same period (see following chart).

ITALY REAL GDP AND REAL GDP PER CAPITA

Source: CLSA, Datastream

The Italian issue is raised again in part because it is timely with the end of the summer holiday season. The view here remains that a systemic event in financial markets is more likely to be triggered by Italy and the Eurozone than other candidates currently discussed by pundits, be it a Donald Trump-triggered trade war, a much anticipated (by talking heads) Chinese currency collapse or overvalued Wall Street FANG stocks.

Still, they are all interconnected phenomena since, for example, a renewed focus on the existential risks in the Eurozone is likely to put renewed downward pressure on the euro which, if what happened in the second quarter is any guide, will then lead to broader US dollar strength against emerging market currencies. This will in turn make it more challenging for China to manage the capital outflow issue.

BURNING THE BRIDGE TO EUROPE, BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE US

Returning to the Eurozone issue it is also important to remember what is easily forgotten in the financial markets. That is that the anti-euro, anti-immigration populists in Europe now have a supporter in the White House who is openly encouraging them to pursue their agendas. This is, of course, the exact opposite of what was the case under Barack Obama who, unfortunately, intervened in the Brexit debate in Britain with negative consequences for the ‘Remain’ cause he was supporting.

Donald Trump could not have made it clearer that he supports the cause of those in Italy wanting to leave the euro – just as he could not have made it clearer that he supports Brexit. This is not unimportant since a potential future decision by, say, Italy to walk out of the euro looks a lot less risky politically and economically if it has the support of the American president. This will be particularly the case if that particular American president’s political position has been strengthened by the outcome of the November mid-term elections. This is one reason, among many others, why those elections are becoming rather important. The base case here remains that the Republicans will maintain control of the Congress. But, clearly, that is not consensus.

It is also important to remember that Europe has its own upcoming election cycle. Grizzle refers again to the potentially hugely important May 2019 European parliamentary elections. While the focus of financial markets in the coming quarter will likely be on the Italian Government’s budget, and how Brussels and Berlin will respond, next May’s parliamentary elections are likely to be by far the most significant ever.

This is because the anti-euro populist parties are likely to run a far more coordinated campaign. The result could be the emergence of a populist alliance in the European parliament determined to attack from within many of the foundations of the Eurozone, be it the Maastricht Treaty in the economic sphere or ‘free movement’ in terms of the politically charged issue of immigration.

A reminder of this comes from reading a recent article on the growing activities in Europe of Steve Bannon, Trump’s former political strategist (see International New York Times article: “In Europe, a best friend for Bannon”, August 21, 2018 by Ivan Krastev). This article reported how Bannon announced in late July that he plans to establish in Europe a foundation, called The Movement, to create a formal alliance of populist right-wing parties ahead of next May’s European elections.

The mooted foundation will aim to provide polling and policy support. His main ally in Europe in this venture is, according to the same article, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who was re-elected in April for his third consecutive four-year term.

Obviously, turning such an alliance into an effective political force is easier said than done, most particularly as there will be different views on specific policies. Still, there will be an easily achieved consensus among the populists on the related issues of immigration and Islam. On this point, the same article reports that Orban intends to make next May’s elections “a referendum on migration and Islam”.

THE SHIFTING TIDE OF IMMIGRATION

This is where the renewed crisis in Turkey, with its focus on a collapsing currency and macro imbalances, meets the issue of European politics. This is, of course, because the main reason the flow of migrants into Europe, and in particular Germany, has declined significantly since late 2016 due to the EU-Turkey migration deal Angela Merkel negotiated with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in March 2016.

Under the deal, the EU agreed to pay Turkey €6 billion to halt the human flow with some 3.5 million Syrian refugees remaining in Turkey. As a result, the number of asylum applications lodged in Europe declined by 44% YoY to 728,470 people in 2017 and were down 15% YoY to 301,390 in 1H18, according to the European Asylum Support Office (see following chart). As for Germany, total asylum applications declined by 70% from a peak of 745,545 people in 2016 to 222,683 in 2017 and were down 15% YoY to 110,324 in the first seven months of 2018, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (see following chart).

ASYLUM APPLICATIONS LODGED IN EUROPE

Source: European Asylum Support Office (EASO)

GERMANY – TOTAL NUMBER OF ASYLUM APPLICANTS

Note: Data up to July 2018. Source: Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

The above creates obvious leverage for Erdogan to apply against Merkel and the Eurozone. This explains why Merkel in her public comments has taken a conciliatory tone in response to recent developments in Turkey in stark contrast to the provocative posture adopted by the Donald Trump.

Published:9/5/2018 2:48:49 AM
[Markets] Obamacare Requirement Blamed For Doctor Burnout

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

A government requirement in the massive Obamacare law is being blamed for the burnout of doctors across the United States. A new report found that over just three years as Obamacare was being implemented, “physician burnout increased significantly, from 45.5 percent to 54.4 percent.”

The report published in the American Journal of Medicine found that the electronic health records (EHR) is destroying the relationship between doctors and patients. The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom charges the Obamacare requirement that doctors use electronic health records has caused a surge of burnout in the medical profession, explains Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. “The EHR is causing doctors to leave their patients,” said Twila Brase, the president of CCHF and the author of “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records.”

“Congress forced doctors to buy and use computerized record systems to collect and report patient data to the government. And it’s wreaking havoc on their practices and their patients,” said Brase according to WND. 

Brase’s book is opening eyes to the problems of government interference in markets – especially the healthcare market.

There are serious dangers lurking behind the government’s $30 billion electronic health record (EHR) experiment. This omnipresent technology turns doctors into data clerks and shifts attention from patients to paperwork–while health plans, government agencies, and the health data industry profit. Patients who think the HIPAA ”privacy” rule protects the confidentiality of their medical information will be shocked to discover it makes their medical records an open book.

“Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records,” desription.

“Parallel studies of all U.S. workers during the same period showed no changes,” the report found. It also said studies “show the doctors spend more face time on their EHRs than with their patients.” It added,

“The hours spent cloning notes in a mandated doctor computer relationship leaves the physician unable to experience the best part of being a doctor.”

The increase in doctor burnout was not seen in any other profession.  Doctors now spend two hours doing the paperwork required to comply with Big Brother for every hour they spend with a patient. If we thought Obamacare was done destroying what little medical freedom we had left, we were all very wrong.

Published:9/4/2018 4:58:25 PM
[Markets] 10 Years Later - No Lessons Learned

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“A variety of investors provided capital to financial companies, with which they made irresponsible loans and took excessive risks. These activities resulted in real losses, which have largely wiped out the shareholder equity of the companies. But behind that shareholder equity is bondholder money, and so much of it that neither depositors of the institution nor the public ever need to take a penny of losses. Citigroup, for example, has $2 trillion in assets, but also has $600 billion owed to its own bondholders. From an ethical perspective, the lenders who took the risk to finance the activities of these companies are the ones that should directly bear the cost of the losses.”– John Hussman – May 2009

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Wall Street/Fed/Treasury created financial disaster of 2008/2009. What should have happened was an orderly liquidation of the criminal Wall Street banks who committed the greatest control fraud in world history and the disposition of their good assets to non-criminal banks who did not recklessly leverage their assets by 30 to 1, while fraudulently issuing worthless loans to deadbeats and criminals. But we know that did not happen.

You, the taxpayer, bailed the criminal bankers out and have been screwed for the last decade with negative real interest rates and stagnant real wages, while the Wall Street scum have raked in risk free billions in profits provided by their captured puppets at the Federal Reserve. The criminal CEOs and their executive teams of henchmen have rewarded themselves with billions in bonuses while risk averse grandmas “earn” .10% on their money market accounts while acquiring a taste for Fancy Feast savory salmon cat food.

I find the cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias regarding what has actually happened over the last ten years to be at astounding levels. As someone who views the world based upon a factual assessment of financial, economic and global data, I’m flabbergasted at the willful ignorance of the populace and the ease with which the ruling class has used their propaganda machine to convince people our current situation is normal, improving, and eternally sustainable.

When confronted by unequivocal facts, historically accurate comparisons, and proof our economic system is unsustainable and headed for a crash, the average person somehow is able to ignore the facts and believe all will be well because some “experts” in the propaganda media said not to worry. Those who present factual arguments are declared doomers or conspiracy theorists. They are scorned and ridiculed for being wrong for the last ten years.

The vast majority of math challenged citizens in this country don’t understand the concepts of real interest rates, real wages, debt to GDP, deficits, national debt, or unfunded liabilities. As long as their credit cards are accepted and they can get that pack of smokes with their debit card, all is well with the world. They’ve been convinced by the propagandist corporate media machine that acquiring stuff on credit makes them wealthier. They think their wages are increasing when they get a 2.5% raise, when they are falling further behind because true inflation exceeds 5%.

Their normalcy bias keeps them from grasping why their credit card balance rises even though they have slightly higher pay. They actually believe bloviating politicians when they declare we have the best jobs market in history. Suddenly, formerly skeptical conservatives who rightly believed the government drones at the BLS and BEA cooked the books to make the economy appear better than it really is, believe Trump’s declarations based on the same data. Root, root, root for your home team. Why let facts get in the way of a good story?

“The President says this is the best economy in “15 years”. Kudlow says we’re in a “boom”. But in the first 18 months of the Trump presidency, private nonfarm payrolls averaged 190k, the same rate of job creation in the last 18 months of the Obama tenure.” – David Rosenberg

The unemployment rate was falling during Obama’s entire presidency and has continued to fall under Trump. It’s the same story. In order to keep up with the demographic growth of the labor market we need to generate 200k new jobs per month. But even though we’ve added less than 200k per month for the last three years, the unemployment rate has fallen because the BLS drones say a few million more working age stiffs have willingly left the labor force, bringing that total to just below 96 million people with their feet up on the couch watching The View.

They must be living off their non-existent savings and accumulated wealth. The cognitive dissonant masses, who believe the BS peddled by CNBC, etc., don’t seem to question why their real wage increases have ranged between 0% and 1% since the Trump reign began (it was 2% during Obama’s last two years). Real wages couldn’t be falling if the unemployment rate was really 3.9%. But, why spoil a good narrative with inconvenient truth.

With stagnant real wages since the Wall Street created financial crisis, a critical thinking person might wonder how an economy whose GDP is 70% dependent on consumer spending could grow for the last nine years, with corporate profits at all-time highs, consumer confidence at record highs, and the stock market at record highs. The Deep State/Ruling Class/Powers That Be or whatever you want to call the real people pulling the strings behind the curtain boldly assumed their propaganda machine and the years of dumbing down the populace through their public education system could convince the American public to utilize cheap plentiful debt to re-inflate a new bubble to replace their last criminal enterprise.

You would think after being burned with 50% losses twice in the space of eight years, the average American would have learned their lesson. Debt kills. Consumer debt, which collapsed under an avalanche of Wall Street write-offs (paid for by you the taxpayer) in 2009/2010, has regained all-time high levels and is accelerating as we enter this final phase of blow-off top euphoria. When the next inevitable financial collapse occurs these heavily indebted suckers will be blind-sided with a baseball bat to the skull again. It seems Americans never learn.

Total household debt topped out at $14.5 trillion in 2008 and proceeded to fall by almost $1 trillion as a tsunami of foreclosures swept across the land. But a funny thing happened on the way towards Americans approaching debt with the appropriate caution – QE1, QE2, QE3 and propped up Wall Street banks doling out loans to anyone capable of fogging a mirror and scratching an X on a loan document. The Deep State oligarchs realized the only way to keep their ponzi scheme economy afloat was to lure in more suckers with debt that could be re-circulated to make the economy appear solvent.

College students, after over a decade of government school indoctrination, were the perfect dupes. From 2009 until today the government has doubled student loan debt from $750 billion to over $1.5 trillion. Everyone likes a shiny new car, so the financial industry took auto lending from $700 billion to over $1.1 trillion over the same time frame. The re-ignition of the housing bubble, through Wall Street engineered supply suppression, has driven prices far above the 2005 peak in most major markets.

With household debt at record levels, real wages stagnant and being in the ninth year of economic recovery a positive sign for the future? Do you believe the Fed has conquered economic cycles and have eliminated recessions? Have we entered a new permanent prosperity paradigm? We’ve also heard about how corporations are swimming in profits (turbocharged in the last nine months by the Trump tax cuts). This narrative is used to resolve the excess stock valuation dilemma.

If corporations were swimming in profits, why have they added $2.5 trillion of debt above the pre-collapse high in 2008? It seems they have been incentivized to take on mountains of debt because the Fed inflicted ZIRP upon the economy. Did American companies use this debt to expand facilities, invest in new capital projects, or raise wages for their workers? Don’t be silly. They had a better idea.

In what passes for the normal exercise of crony capitalism in this warped deviant shitshow we call America, the biggest corporations in the world took the free money created by the Federal Reserve and proceeded to “invest” it in their own stock rather than investing it in their operations and workers. Borrowing at near zero rates and using the proceeds to buy back hundreds of billions of your own stock had multiple benefits for greedy feckless Harvard MBA CEOs. Reducing shares outstanding juiced their earnings per share, resulting in a false profit picture to investors, who bid their stock prices higher.

Corporate executives tied their compensation to stock performance and reaped extravagant salaries and bonuses. This same scenario played itself out in 2007 – 2009. These brilliant CEOs bought back a record amount of stock just before the financial collapse. Using their borrowings, along with Trump’s tax cut windfall, current day S&P 500 company CEOs are saying “Hold My Beer”. They are on pace to buy back $1.2 trillion of their stock at all-time highs. When stock prices are cut in half again, these greed monkeys will pay no price for their reckless stupidity. All of this idiocy has been aided and abetted by the Fed with their near zero interest rates a decade after the crisis supposedly ended.

The messengers for the Deep State, put forth on the propaganda news networks, are paid to spin the narrative that debt is under control, GDP is soaring, inflation is non-existent, unemployment is at record lows, and America’s economy has never been better. Despite retro-active upward adjustments to GDP and personal income by government drone agencies to obscure the truth, even the fake data reveals debt levels at extremely dangerous heights. U.S. corporate debt as a percentage of GDP is currently the highest in history.

Previous peaks occurred at the bubble peaks in 1990, 2001 and 2008, just before recessions hit. Due to Fed monetary recklessness, irresponsibility, and enslavement to Wall Street bankers, we now have an “Everything Bubble” consisting of stocks, bonds, commercial real estate, and housing market. With corporate and personal debt at record levels, rising interest rates, and a slowing global economy, the dominoes are lined up once again. If you don’t know what happens next, you’re the dupe.

If you think corporations and consumers have been on debt binge, check out what the rest of the world has done since 2007. There should be no disagreement the global financial catastrophe of 2008/2009 was caused by excessive un-payable debt creation by global financial institutions in conspiracy with the Federal Reserve, Washington politicians, and corporate America. Trillions in faux wealth was obliterated in a matter of months. Rather than learn a useful lesson from this orgy gone wrong, the shadowy figures in smoky back rooms decided the solution was ramping debt to levels never imagined.

Using “Big Lie” propaganda and central bank printing presses across the globe, they have managed to add $71 trillion of global debt in the last ten years, up 43% from pre-crisis levels. And the most mind-boggling aspect of this growth is that $42 trillion of the new debt was in emerging markets, up 200%. Venezuela, Argentina, and Turkey are considered emerging markets. No risk of contagion there. Right? Trying to solve a debt problem by creating far more un-payable debt is like trying to cure stomach cancer with a gunshot to the scrotum. How the average person can not see the insanity of these actions by their political and financial leaders is beyond my comprehension. Or am I the crazy one for questioning our ruling oligarchs?

In order to prop up the criminal banking cabal, the Fed, ECB and Bank of Japan took their balance sheets from less than $4 trillion in 2008 to over $14 trillion today – and still rising. Make no mistake, this “money” (debt) was created out of thin air by captured bureaucrats doing the bidding of bankers, billionaires and the rest of their Deep State cronies. Believing the false narrative this was done for Main Street USA is a sign of willful ignorance or pure stupidity, as proven by the following chart.

While central bankers have more than tripled their balance sheets and funneled the fantasy bucks to Wall Street banks and mega-corporations, virtually none of it trickled down to Main Street. The only trickle is the piss running down our backs from the ruling elite. The massive debt creation has been nothing more than a last-ditch effort to prop up the crumbling financial/political paradigm. The current state of affairs is unsustainable. It is failing. And it will fail. This turkey will ultimately hit the ground like a wet sack of cement.

“Instead of doing the right thing and fund the tax cut through spending restraint, government expenditures have ballooned 10% in the past year. Treasury borrowing in July at $130 billion was the most ever outside the 2008/09 recession.” – David Rosenberg

I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 because he wasn’t Hillary and he had voiced what I considered positive stances on economic and global issues. He ridiculed the government data regarding unemployment and inflation. He trashed Yellen and the Federal Reserve for creating bubbles with their recklessly low interest rates. He railed against excess government spending and deficits. He declared the stock market was a bubble (7,500 Dow points lower than today). He had criticized our military involvement in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

As we know, he got elected and proceeded to forget all of his positions from the campaign. His Supreme Court choices have been stellar. Reducing regulations and taxes is a good thing. Fighting the Deep State and his own intelligence agencies takes balls. And his contempt and ridicule of the fake news media is to be applauded. But his 180 degree reversal on rational economic stances and feeding the war machine has been disappointing and will ultimately contribute to the next financial crisis.

Does every new president get brought into a room where they are told what to say about the economy, or else? Mr. Concerned about government spending and deficits signed one of the largest tax cuts in history (mostly to corporate America) while simultaneously ramping up military spending and cutting absolutely nothing. The result is trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. The fake government data he once scorned, he now boasts about on a daily basis. It seems he now loves low interest rates and bubbles.

He threatens the Federal Reserve Chairman about raising rates. Even though the stock market is 45% higher than when he declared it a bubble, he takes credit for its ascension to record highs. Saber rattling and threatening war around the globe is now par for the course. It seems Trump thinks he can run our economy like a NYC real estate mogul. He does have experience with bankruptcies. That may come in handy.

As a country, we’ve allowed our elected and unelected rulers to do the exact opposite of what should have been done in 2009. We allowed criminal banks who were too big in 2008 to get bigger and now, Too Big To Control. Not one criminal banker was jailed, despite proof of the greatest financial fraud in history. We allowed ourselves to become addicted to low interest rate debt. We now view $1 trillion deficits as normal, when the highest annual deficit in history prior to 2008 had been $413 billion.

Ivy League educated intellectual yet idiot financial experts argue a negative real Federal Funds rate during a “booming” economy is logical. Everything about our economic system and financial markets is abnormal. And whenever a sober minded person questions this insanity, the spokesmodels for the establishment point to the record stock market as their proof all is well.

The arrogance and hubris of those who have benefited from Fed handouts and rigged market gains has reached epic levels. They’ve now convinced average Joes and Janes to venture into the markets at all-time highs. Equity exposure was only higher at the Dot.com peak. Consumer confidence is the highest since 2001. Irrational exuberance abounds. Whenever forthright honest financial analysts use factual historical data to prove stock valuations are at excessive levels, they are attacked and ridiculed for being wrong for the last decade. The old Wall Street adage that “being right but early is the same as being wrong” applies.

What the hubristic MBA stock trading savants fail to acknowledge is the longer this nine- year bull market goes, the closer to its demise. The unsustainable will not be sustained. Back in 2008 only 20% of market assets were passively managed through Index and ETF funds. That number now stands at 40%. This works well on the way up. It will create a cascading crescendo of selling on the way down.

I wonder how the 30-year-old big swinging dicks will handle that situation. To be confident about substantial upside at these levels is not rational, but whoever claimed Wall Street traders were rational? Reason and rationality will eventually assert themselves. Dark humor will have to sustain honest men for now.

“If margins are 2x the norm, valuations are 2x the norm, and mean regression is still a force of nature, we are looking at an 80% correction. Of course, if an 80% correction whacks revenues, then it could start to get ugly.”– Dave Collum

Warren Buffet’s favorite indicator of stock market valuations now exceeds the Dot.com peak.

Shiller’s cyclically adjusted P/E ratio is far above 1929 and 2007 crash levels. Only the Dot.com bubble saw a higher level.

Those who continue to point out inconvenient facts about our economy and financial markets will continue to be branded doomers and conspiracy theorists. Scorn and ridicule will be the weapons used by the Deep State to undermine confidence in reality- based analysis. Newsletter writers and money managers will be accused of fear mongering to attract subscribers and investors. I’m neither a newsletter peddler or investment professional. I’m just a dude who gets up every morning and drives to my job to support my family. I benefit in no way financially by taking a stand against the corrupt, lying, propaganda peddlers for the establishment.

The entire purpose of creating The Burning Platform was to inform those who wanted to hear the truth about our unsustainable financial, social and political systems. I’ve tried to do that to the best of my limited abilities for the last ten years. I’m frustrated because the majority have learned no lessons from the 2008/2009 catastrophe. The ruling class has doubled-down on the same policies and actions which created the disaster. Those in control may have successfully delayed the day of reckoning, but they have insured it will be far worse than it needed to be.

We are only halfway through this Fourth Turning and the coming financial collapse will be the catalyst for the looming conflicts and clashes which will determine the future course of our country. If you choose not to acknowledge the inevitability of financial collapse and imminent conflict, you haven’t been paying attention. Lessons not learned in the past decade will be learned the hard way in the next decade. To paraphrase Mencken, they deserve to get it good and hard, and they will.

“Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe  The Fourth Turning – 1997 

*  *  *

If you feel you’ve received some value from this article and this blog dedicated to free speech and truth in the face of lies, corruption and fake news, feel free to make a Donation to keep the lights on at The Burning Platform.

Published:9/4/2018 3:39:33 PM
[Politics] This Ohio County Swung From Obama to Trump. Here’s What 8 Fair Attendees Think, 2 Years Later.

CANTON, Ohio—Attendees of the 169-year-old Stark County Fair in Ohio don’t come out to see politicians, and politics aren’t on the forefront of their minds,... Read More

The post This Ohio County Swung From Obama to Trump. Here’s What 8 Fair Attendees Think, 2 Years Later. appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:9/3/2018 8:21:32 PM
[Politics] 43% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Forty-three percent (43%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending August 30.

This is up two points from the previous week. 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.

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project.   Learn more about how you can contribute.

(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 August 26-30, 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:9/3/2018 8:21:32 PM
[Markets] Asia's Shifting Alliances In The Time Of Trump

Authored by Conn Hallinan via Dispatches From The Edge blog,

“Boxing the compass” is an old nautical term for locating the points on a magnetic compass in order to set a course. With the erratic winds blowing out of Washington these days, countries all over Asia and the Middle East are boxing the compass and re-evaluating traditional foes and old alliances.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars in the past half-century, and both have nuclear weapons on a hair trigger. But the two countries are now part of a security and trade organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with China, Russia and most of the countries of Central Asia. Following the recent elections in Pakistan, Islamabad’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, has called for an “uninterrupted continued dialogue” with New Delhi to resolve conflicts and establish “peace and stability” in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is a critic of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and particularly opposed to the use of U.S. drones to kill insurgents in Pakistan.

Russia has reached out to the Taliban, which has accepted an invitation for peace talks in Moscow on Sept. 4 to end the 17-year old war. Three decades ago the Taliban were shooting down Russian helicopters with American-made Stinger missiles.

Turkey and Russia have agreed to increase trade and to seek a political solution to end the war in Syria. Turkey also pledged to ignore Washington’s sanctions on Russia and Iran. Less than three years ago, Turkish warplanes downed a Russian bomber, Ankara was denouncing Iran, and Turkey was arming and supporting Islamic extremists trying to overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad.

After years of tension in the South China Sea between China and a host of Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, on Aug. 2 Beijing announced “breakthrough” in talks between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). After years of bluster— including ship-to-ship face-offs—China and ASEAN held joint computer naval games Aug. 2-3. China has also proposed cooperative oil and gas exploration with SEATO members.

Starting with the administration of George W. Bush, the U.S. has tried to lure India into an alliance with Japan and Australia—the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or “quad”—to challenge China in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. The Americans turned a blind eye to India’s violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and dropped the ban on selling arms to New Delhi. The Pentagon even re-named its Pacific Command, “Indo-Pacific Command” to reflect India’s concerns in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. is currently training Indian fighter pilots, and this summer held joint naval maneuvers with Japan and the U.S.—Malabar 18— in the strategic Malacca Straits .

But following an April Wuhan Summit meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, New Delhi’s enthusiasm for the Quad appears to have cooled. New Delhi vetoed Australia joining the Malabar war games.

At June’s Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, Modi said “India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members,” and pointedly avoided any criticism of China’s behavior in the South China Sea. Given that Indian and Chinese troops have engaged in shoving matches and fistfights with one another in the Doklam border region, Modi’s silence on the Chinese military was surprising.

China and India have recently established a military “hot line,” and Beijing has cut tariffs on Indian products.

During the SCO meetings, Modi and Xi met and discussed cooperation on bringing an end to the war in Afghanistan. India, Pakistan and Russia fear that extremism in Afghanistan will spill over their borders, and the three have joined in an effort to shore up the Taliban as a bulwark against the growth of the Islamic State.

There is also a push to build the long-delayed Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline that will eventually terminate in energy-starved India.

India signed the SCO’s “Qingdao Declaration,” which warned that “economic globalization is confronted with the expansion of unilateral protectionist policies,” a statement aimed directly at the Trump administration.

The Modi government also made it clear that New Delhi will not join U.S. sanctions against Iran and will continue to buy gas and oil from Teheran. India’s Defense Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman also said that India would ignore U.S. threats to sanction any country doing business with Russia’s arms industry.

Even such a staunch ally as Australia is having second thoughts on who it wants to align itself with in the Western Pacific. Australia currently hosts U.S. Marines and the huge U.S. intelligence gathering operation at Pine Gap. But China is Canberra’s largest trading partner, and Chinese students and tourists are an important source of income for Australia.

Canberra is currently consumed with arguments over China’s influence on Australia’s politics, and there is a division in the foreign policy establishment over how closely aligned the Australians should be with Washington, given the uncertain policies of the Trump administration. Some—like defense strategist Hugh White—argue that “Not only is America failing to remain the dominant power, it is failing to retain any substantial strategic role at all.”

White’s analysis is an overstatement. The U.S. is the most powerful military force in the region, and the Pacific basin is still Washington’s number one trade partner. In the balance of forces, Canberra doesn’t count for much. But the debate is an interesting one and a reflection that the Obama administration’s “Asia pivot” to ring China with U.S. allies has not exactly been a slam-dunk.

Of course, one can make too much of these re-alignments.

There are still tensions between China and India over their borders and competition for the Indian Ocean. Many Indians see the latter as “Mare Nostrum” [“Our Sea”], and New Delhi is acquiring submarines and surface crafts to control it.

However, since some 80 percent of China’s energy supplies transit the Indian Ocean, China is busy building up ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Djibouti to guard those routes.

India has recently tested a long-range ICBM—the Agni V—that has the capacity to strike China. The Indians claim the missile has a range of 3000 miles, but the Chinese say it can strike targets 5000 miles away, thus threatening most of China’s population centers. Since Pakistan is already within range of India’s medium range missiles, the Agni V could only have been developed to target China.

India is also one of the few countries in the region not to endorse China’s immense “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure initiative to link Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe into a vast trading network.

A number of these diplomatic initiatives and re-alignments could easily fail.

Pakistan and India could fall out over Kashmir, and resolving the Afghanistan situation is the diplomatic equivalent of untying the Gordian Knot. The Taliban accepted the Russian invitation, but the Americans dismissed it. So too has the government in Kabal, but that could change, particularly if the Indians push the Afghan government to join the talks. Just the fact that the Taliban agreed to negotiate with Kabal, however, is a breakthrough, and since almost everyone in the region wants this long and terrible war to end, the initiative is hardly a dead letter.

There are other reefs and shoals out there.

Turkey and Russia still don’t trust each other, and while Iran currently finds itself on the same side as Moscow and Ankara, there is no love lost among any of them. But Iran needs a way to block Trump’s sanctions from strangling its economy, and that means shelving its historical suspicions of Turkey and Russia. Both countries say they will not abide by the U.S. sanctions, and the Russians are even considering setting up credit system to bypass using dollars in banking.

The Europeans are already knuckling under to the U.S. sanctions, but the U.S. and the European Union are not the only games in town. Organizations like the SCO, ASEAN, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and Latin America’s Mercosur are creating independent poles of power and influence, and while the U.S. has enormous military power, it no longer can dictate what other countries decide on things like war and trade.

From what direction on the Compass Rose the winds out of Washington will blow is hardly clear, but increasingly a number of countries are charting a course of their own.

Published:9/3/2018 8:21:31 PM
[US News] Nope and change: How some Democrats responded to potential midterm help from Obama speaks VOLUMES

Thanks, but no thanks.

The post Nope and change: How some Democrats responded to potential midterm help from Obama speaks VOLUMES appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/2/2018 2:53:20 PM
[Politics] WOW! John Kerry TOSSES Obama under the Kerry 2020 campaign bus!! This is just great. John Kerry is no blaming Obama for not enforcing his “red line” against Bashar al Assad. Watch below: LOL! So he WAS a feckless… leader. Right? I wonder . . . Published:9/2/2018 1:52:23 PM
[Politics] WOW! John Kerry TOSSES Obama under the Kerry 2020 campaign bus!! This is just great. John Kerry is no blaming Obama for not enforcing his “red line” against Bashar al Assad. Watch below: LOL! So he WAS a feckless… leader. Right? I wonder . . . Published:9/2/2018 1:52:23 PM
[National Security] Kerry: U.S. Paid a Price for Not Enforcing Obama’s Red Line in Syria

The post Kerry: U.S. Paid a Price for Not Enforcing Obama’s Red Line in Syria appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/2/2018 12:51:10 PM
[US News] Attention 2020 voters: John Kerry has a NOT-SO-PRESSING admission to make about Obama’s foreign policy

Really? No way!

The post Attention 2020 voters: John Kerry has a NOT-SO-PRESSING admission to make about Obama’s foreign policy appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/2/2018 12:51:10 PM
[Markets] Trump Allies Fume Over "Political Hand-Grenades" At Hyper-Partisan McCain Funeral

President Trump's allies, both in Washington D.C. and across the country, are fuming after the funeral for the late Sen. John McCain turned into an anti-Trump rally.

Meghan McCain, along with former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, used the somber event to take pot-shots at Trump - who was golfing during the ceremony while his daughter Ivanka sat through harsh criticism of her father - seated next to her husband, Jared Kushner.

McCain’s service was, on one level, a return to old Washington civility, with Republicans and Democrats, past presidents, friends and foes gathered in unity. But as its tributes echoed with overt criticism of the president, it only deepened the hostility between the city’s establishment and the outsider in the White House. -Politico

McCain was perhaps Trump's most prominent nemesis in Washington D.C. - first withdrawing support for Trump during the 2016 election after the Access Hollywood "pussy tape" was leaked, and later hand delivering the infamous "Steele Dossier" to former FBI Director James Comey (who already had a copy). McCain would fly back to Washington D.C. in July of last year to a standing ovation on the Senate floor - only to cast the deciding vote against Trump's repeal of Obamacare

And after Meghan McCain said during her father's eulogy that "The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great," and former Presidents Obama and Bush took similar veiled shots at the President - albeit without mentioning him by name, Trump's allies across the country were left fuming. 

Following the Saturday spectacle, Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson tweeted: "@realDonaldTrump ran for @POTUS ONE time and WON! Some people will never recover from  that. #SorryNotSorry Yes, #MAGA" 

American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp tweeted: "I hope I have lots of time but if not: anyone can come, will be about God and not politics, and celebrate."

Others echoed the disgust: 

 We're sure McCain would have wanted it this way. 

Published:9/2/2018 11:02:16 AM
[Media] UH OH! Lefties NOT amused by reaction to viral vid of George W. Bush ‘sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama’ at McCain funeral

"Instant Twitter classic" doesn't sit well with many.

The post UH OH! Lefties NOT amused by reaction to viral vid of George W. Bush ‘sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama’ at McCain funeral appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/1/2018 11:13:53 PM
[Markets] US Strategy In Syria: "Create Quagmires Until We Get What We Want"

Authored by Jason Ditz via AntiWar.com,

In 2013, top Obama Administration officials described their policy in the Syrian War as one of keeping the war going. The administration wanted a big seat at the table for a political settlement, which officials clarified meant ensuring that the war kept going so that there was never a clear victor.

The Trump Administration seems to be slipping into that same destructive set of priorities in Syria. The Washington Post this week quoted an unnamed Administration official as saying that “right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want.”

As ever, what the US really wants is to have a dominant position in post-war negotiations, so they can dictate the form that post-war Syria takes. This means ensuring that the Syrian government doesn’t win the war outright.

That’s not as realistic as it once was, with the Assad government, backed by Russia, having retaken virtually all of the rebel-held territory except for a far north bastion in Idlib, dominated by al-Qaeda. This means the US now has to save al-Qaeda to keep the war going, which if we’re being honest has been a recurring undercurrent in US policy in Syria for years.

It is this desire that has the US repeatedly threatening Syria and warning them not to attack Idlib. It is this desire that is sparking almost daily US threats to intervene militarily if the Idlib offensive involves chemical weapons. Most importantly, it is this desire that has Russia very much believing media reports that the rebels could “stage” a fake chemical attack just to suck the US into the war, and be fairly confident it would work.

The US is, after all, constantly talking about an imminent chemical attack despite there being no reason to think Syria is poised to launch one. At times, US officials have privately conceded that there is no sign Syria is making any moves to even ready such weapons for the offensive. Yet several times a week, the US issues statements with allegations of a chemical plot featuring prominently, setting the stage for a reaction.

The Syrian War has been nearing its endgame for months now, with Israeli officials conceding it is all but over as far as they are concerned (while vowing not to honor any post-war deals). When a war is lost and a plan has failed, however, the US government is often the last to know, and that has them determined to drag the war on as long as possible.

Published:9/1/2018 10:45:24 PM
[Markets] Russian Oligarch And Putin Pal Admits To Collusion, Secret Meetings

Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, has gone on record with The Hill's John Solomon - admitting to colluding with Americans leading up to the 2016 US election, except it might not be what you're thinking. 

Deripaska, rumored to be Donald Trump's "back channel" to Putin via the Russian's former association with Paul Manafort, says he "colluded" with the US Government between 2009 and 2016. 

In 2009, when Robert Mueller was running the FBI, the agency asked Deripaska to spend $25 million of his own money to bankroll an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent - Robert Levinson, who was kidnapped in 2007 while working on a 2007 CIA contract in Iran. This in and of itself is more than a bit strange. 

Deripaska agreed, however the Obama State Department, headed by Hillary Clinton, scuttled a last-minute deal with Iran before Levinson could be released. He hasn't been heard from since.

FBI agents courted Deripaska in 2009 in a series of secret hotel meetings in Paris; Vienna; Budapest, Hungary, and Washington. Agents persuaded the aluminum industry magnate to underwrite the mission. The Russian billionaire insisted the operation neither involve nor harm his homeland. -The Hill

In other words - Trump's alleged "back channel" to Putin was in fact an FBI asset who spent $25 million helping Obama's "scandal free" administration find a kidnapped agent. Deripaska's admitted 

Steele, Ohr and the 2016 US Election

As the New York Times frames it, distancing Deripaska from the FBI (no mention of the $25 million rescue effort, for example), the Russian aluminum magnate was just one of several Putin-linked Oligarchs the FBI tried to flip.

The attempt to flip Mr. Deripaska was part of a broader, clandestine American effort to gauge the possibility of gaining cooperation from roughly a half-dozen of Russia’s richest men, nearly all of whom, like Mr. Deripaska, depend on President Vladimir V. Putin to maintain their wealth, the officials said. -NYT

Central to the recruiting effort were two central players in the Trump-Russia investigation; twice-demoted DOJ #4 official Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele - the author of the largely unverified "Steele Dossier." 

Steele, a longtime associate of Ohr's, worked for Deripaska beginning in 2012 researching a business rival - work which would evolve to the point where the former British spy was interfacing with the Obama administration on his behalf - resulting in Deripaska regaining entry into the United States, where he visited numerous times between 2009 and 2017.  

The State Department tried to keep him from getting a U.S. visa between 2006 and 2009 because they believed he had unspecified connections to criminal elements in Russia as he consolidated power in the aluminum industry. Deripaska has denied those allegations...

Whatever the case, it is irrefutable that after he began helping the FBI, Deripaska regained entry to the United States. And he visited numerous times between 2009 and 2017, visa entry records show. -The Hill

Deripaska is now banned from the United States as one of several Russians sanctioned in April in response to alleged 2016 election meddling. 

In a September 2016 meeting, Deripaska told FBI agents that it was "preposterous" that Paul Manafort was colluding with Russia to help Trump win the 2016 election. This, despite the fact that Deripaska and Manafort's business relationship "ended in lawsuits, per The Hill - and the Russian would have every reason to throw Manafort under the bus if he wanted some revenge on his old associate. 

So the FBI and DOJ secretly collaborated with Trump's alleged backchannel over a seven-year period, starting with Levinson, then on Deripaska's Visa, and finally regarding whether Paul Manafort was an intermediary to Putin. Deripaska vehemently denies the assertion, and even took out newspaper advertisements in the US last year volunteering to testify to Congress, refuting an AP report that he and Manafort secretly worked on a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin government" a decade ago. 

Soon after the advertisements ran, representatives for the House and Senate Intelligence Committees called a Washington-based lawyer for Mr. Deripaska, Adam Waldman, inquiring about taking his client up on the offer to testify, Mr. Waldman said in an interview.

What happened after that has been in dispute. Mr. Waldman, who stopped working for Mr. Deripaska after the sanctions were levied, said he told the committee staff that his client would be willing to testify without any grant of immunity, but would not testify about any Russian collusion with the Trump campaign because “he doesn’t know anything about that theory and actually doesn’t believe it occurred.” -NYT

In short, Deripaska wants it known that he worked with the FBI and DOJ, and that he had nothing to do with the Steele dossier.

Today, Deripaska is banned anew from the United States, one of several Russians sanctioned in April by the Trump administration as a way to punish Putin for 2016 election meddling. But he wants to be clear about a few things, according to a statement provided by his team. First, he did collude with Americans in the form of voluntarily assisting and meeting with the FBI, the DOJ and people such as Ohr between 2009 and 2016.

He also wants Americans to know he did not cooperate or assist with Steele’s dossier, and he tried to dispel the FBI notion that Russia and the Trump campaign colluded during the 2016 election. -The Hill

Interestingly, Steele's dossier which was partially funded by the Clinton campaign, relied on senior Kremlin officials

 

It would be most helpful if the Department of Justice could please investigate and then prosecute themselves and/or members of the previous administration, so that journalists like John Solomon, Sara Carter, Luke Rosiak, Chuck Ross and others don't have to continue to break stories that are seemingly ignored by all but a handful of Congressional investigators.

Published:9/1/2018 6:42:05 PM
[Markets] Carol Swain On Race Relations In America: "The Divisiveness Of Our Politics Cannot End Well"

Authored by Erico Matias Tavares via Sinclar & Co.,

Dr. Carol Swain is an award-winning political scientist, a former professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University, and a lifetime member of the James Madison Society, an international community of scholars affiliated with the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, Dr. Swain was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Swain is the author and editor of several books, including “Debating Immigration” and “Abduction: How Liberalism Steals our Children’s Hearts and Minds.”

E Tavares: Dr. Swain, we are honored to be speaking with you today. We would like to get your views on the current state of race relations in America. This has always been a difficult, sensitive topic, but we get the sense that they are at a low point in generations, despite all the technical progress and a relatively benign economy currently. What do you make of this?

C Swain: Many issues complicate race relations in America. Some of these issues I identified in 2002 in the publication of my book “The New White Nationalism In America: Its Challenge to Integration.” In that book, I warned about a set of conditions converging that would create a devil’s brew for race relations. These issues included white concerns about racial preferences in hiring and university admissions; minority crime, especially black-on-white violent crime; demographic changes that are transforming the nation into one without a racial majority; frustration at liberal immigration policies; and the ability to use the Internet and social media to organize.

What I believe we are seeing is the rise of white consciousness and a perception of a white interests that must be protected in the same manner racial and ethnic minorities seek protection. I believe the campaign to destroy Confederate symbols and monuments polarizes the nation and politicizes people who were previously indifferent.

Improved race relations will require a different approach than what we see today.

ET: You faced dispiriting challenges during your upbringing, many of which still afflict other African-Americans, such as dealing with extreme poverty, growing up in a segregated community (in the Deep South) and other social issues. And yet you made it, becoming a teacher in prestigious universities, an award-winning author, a regular guest in national radio and TV shows and even running for mayor recently. To what do you attribute your success? Did the government play a major role in it?

CW: I have always believed in the promise of the American Dream. Specifically, if I worked hard, I could achieve a middle-class status.

Starting at a community college, I was able to earn five college and university degrees and become a tenured professor at elite institutions. I have always had mentors. Most of them were whites who took a special interest in me because I was a hard worker who was dependable as a student and as an employee.

Government played a role in that I received work-study at the community college and the Basic Grant later known as the Pell Grant. I also received scholarships for graduate school and much encouragement from people who wanted to see me succeed.

ET: We were curious to get your personal take on the role of government for the following reason. Dr. Tom Sowell, one of the brightest economists around, has studied in detail the conditions of the African-American community over a century. He found that from the abolition of slavery in the South up to 1960 they were steadily closing the gap with, and in some cases surpassing, whites on a variety of social metrics, including income, employment, education, religious values and so forth.

Then came the 1960s and a perfect storm hit the African-American community: welfare dependency brought about by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the sexual revolution and the drugs epidemic. The consequences were profound, even tragic. Income, employment, education standards and social mobility have plummeted since then. Children born out of wedlock – a reliable predictor of future criminality and social underperformance – exploded as the State replaced the role of the father at home. Successive generations became dependent on welfare. Drug and alcohol abuse became prevalent in many communities.

Actually, we saw the same thing happening on the little predominantly white European island where we were born, although with a lower intensity. So we can personally state that these are outcomes NOT determined by race. However, instead of looking at these facts, prominent black leaders constantly blame the plight of their community on “institutional white racism.” Why is that?

CW: Many African-American leaders are unaware of their history of success before aggressive governmental intervention. Acknowledging any unintended negative consequences from governmental decisions adopted to help blacks and other disadvantaged groups would be seen by some as a loss of moral authority. 

If blacks accepted individual responsibility for some of the continued problems decimating their communities, it might mean they would have to adopt a different, more hands-on interventionist strategy that would require a greater commitment for change. Right now it is far easier to continue the mantra of blaming white people and slavery for the plight of blacks. 

As long as blacks look in the rearview mirror, the problems will continue. What we need is a new approach and some forgiveness on all sides.  

ET: You have been a vocal critic of these policies for many years. And because of that, at one point you were placed on the “hit list” of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who claim to be on your side in these issues. Can you briefly describe what happened here?

CW: The SPLC went after me in retaliation for a 2009 article I published in The Huffington Post accusing them of having lost sight of their original mission. A couple of months later, Mark Potok, the communications director at the time, was quoted in my local newspaper calling me an “apologist for white supremacy” because of a favorable review I gave a film titled “A Conversation about Race,” that I enthusiastically recommended for classroom use.  Fortunately, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article refuting the SPLC claims.

ET: You also wrote a book on immigration. There was a time when liberals claimed to be on the side of the American worker, and especially African-Americans, at least nominally. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders and even Barack Obama used to speak about limiting immigration for these reasons. Today they are firmly for it, along with major Republican donors, like the Koch brothers, who like the cheap labor. Several studies show that the African-American community suffered disproportionately from the increased competition from immigrants in terms of employment, education and wages. Inner cities have been transformed as a result. And yet blacks overwhelmingly continue to vote for more of these policies. Why?

CW: Initially, black leaders switched their positions as the percentage of Hispanics increased in their districts. However, it is now the Democratic Party’s liberal stance on these issues that push black leaders toward policy stances that work against the interests of low-wage, low-skilled Americans regardless of race and ethnicity.

ET: As these events were hitting the African-American community, something else – equally transformative – was taking place across the wider American society. And that is the gradual shift to the left of US political discourse after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which in the last decade or so has accelerated to the far, radical left. This can be observed daily in the national chatter.

At the risk of oversimplifying it, identity politics is the post-industrial version of Marxism. Substituting in the 1848 international communism manifesto the maleficent bourgeois by “white patriarchy” (or “supremacy”, take your pick) and the oppressed proletariat by “minorities” - purposefully fragmented along racial, gender and sexual characteristics – we get today’s progressive political platform down to a T.

This toxic brew of race baiting can only fuel division and hatred in their long march to create a new Marxist multicultural society, where its “racist” history must be expunged (along with its monuments, traditions and institutions) and replaced by an omnipresent government that will achieve the utopian level of social, gender and racial equalities. It has gone mainstream after being hatched initially in American universities, and now shapes much of the discourse across entertainment, the media, multiple government layers, the judicial system, public libraries, even churches and big corporations.

Here’s a good example. The “Black Lives Matter” movement never addresses the bloodshed taking places in communities like Chicago, where blacks are overwhelmingly shot by other blacks. Instead, they purposefully focus on the very few contentious incidences of cops killing blacks in the line of duty. Why? Because they can use this to dismantle that “white patriarchy,” gain political power and advance their radical agenda – while actually doing nothing to solve the violence in black communities.

CW: I would agree wholeheartedly with your assessment.

The early Black Lives Matter website contained Marxist rhetoric about dismantling the state. Much of the unrest related to race, sexual identity and feminism are part of the Marxist strategy for destroying the State outlined by Herbert Marcuse in his articles and books.

ET: The irony is that the US is the least-racist, multiethnic country in the world, certainly one of the top countries in that regard. This is why millions of people of all races want to emigrate there. Americans even fought a Civil War over it. No country is perfect, but the remarkable progress of American society since its founding should be a reason for celebration. And yet the mainstream narrative is the exact opposite, with all sorts of groups angrily complaining about discrimination.

We recently hailed a cab in Boston and the driver was a gentle, older man from West Africa, generally with extremely socially conservative societies. He was listening to an interview with Trevor Noah, the host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, and how he feels discriminated in America. Here is an immigrant from South Africa - one of the most racially tense countries on the planet - getting paid millions of dollars for a job any American could dream of while dumping on his host country. No proof of racism was presented. The driver then turned to us and said, “He’s right, this country is racist.” And if he believes that, of course, he will not vote for conservative values like in his native country, but progressive so that the “Nazis” don’t take over. And why would he make an effort to integrate into such a “racist” society?

So it’s not only that Americans are turning on each other. Newly arrived immigrants are being taught the same thing as well. What do you make of this?

CW: Yes, this is taking place. Educational institutions at every level have become the transmission belts for these ideas.

ET: If these dynamics remain in place, it is hard to remain optimistic about the future of the US. All this is happening as the country is already in the midst of a profound demographic transformation, a challenging process all by itself. As an example, in California, the largest state, between 1970 and 2011 the share of whites in the total population declined from 80% to 40%. At this rapid rate, integration becomes very difficult, if not impossible, meaning that the melting pot is turning into a contentious multicultural salad bowl.

There is no longer a consensus of what it means to be an American, if the country’s borders remain relevant, who has the right to come into the country and under what conditions? These are profound, perhaps irreconcilable differences. As a result, the Union may start to break apart at some point. We are already seeing signs of that, with Middle America increasingly at odds with its coastal counterparts. What can be done to avoid this outcome? What will it take to truly heal racial and social tensions in America?

CW: We need to move away from multiculturalism and identity politics and toward an embrace of the American national identity.

The truth is Americans stand or fall together. The divisiveness of our politics and the pitting of groups against each other cannot end well.

ET: Finally, as an African-American woman, do you believe America is worth saving?

CW: I love America. As a child I believed I lived in the greatest nation in the world. It was America with its Judeo-Christian underpinnings that provided me with the route out of poverty. America was and remains a land of enormous opportunities for those willing to avail themselves.

ET: Hopefully our discussion will be a modest step in that direction. Where can people find out more about your important work in this area? How can they get involved?

CW: Anyone interested in learning more about me can visit my websites at carolmswain.com and bethepeopletv.com. I am also a podcaster and an author. My books – Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and PromiseThe New White Nationalism: Its Challenge to Integration, and Abduction: How Liberalism Steals Our Children’s Hearts and Minds – can be starting points to learn more.

My new book is Debating Immigration: Second Edition. I am on Facebook as Profcarolmswain and Twitter as carolmswain.

ET: Dr. Swain, thank you so much for sharing your insights.

CW: It was my pleasure.

Published:9/1/2018 4:47:44 PM
[US News] Huh: “Obama health care guy” really wants Cindy McCain to finish out her husband’s term

Funny how liberals are excited about Republican John McCain's wish that Cindy McCain be appointed to fill out his term.

The post Huh: “Obama health care guy” really wants Cindy McCain to finish out her husband’s term appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/1/2018 2:47:08 PM
[Media] “Imagine if Obama’s kids had said this”: Thanks to the media, they never had to

Here’s some minor news about Lara Trump introducing her father-in-law at a fundraiser in North Carolina Lara Trump at NC fundraiser introduces her father-in-law as "The savior of our country" — Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 31, 2018 That’s a bit much, but she said it at a rally featuring President Trump, so we’re pretty sure […]

The post “Imagine if Obama’s kids had said this”: Thanks to the media, they never had to appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/1/2018 2:21:03 PM
[Markets] Meghan McCain Takes Shot At Trump, "Cheap Rhetoric" During Father's Eulogy

Meghan McCain kicked President Trump in the bone-spurs while delivering a eulogy for her father on Saturday, stating that John McCain was "The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriate of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege," reports The Hill

In her eulogy honoring Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the first remarks from a scheduled speaker at the service, McCain, 33, battled tears as she recounted her father's wartime sacrifice in Vietnam.

"He was a great man," McCain told the audience. "We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness." -The Hill

McCain circled back to dive-bomb Trump's 2016 slogan as well; 

"The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great," she said to applause.

Meghan McCain's comments were addressed to a packed audience at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, as various dignitaries and lawmakers attended to honor the late Senator. While Trump was not in attendance - per John McCain's wishes, his daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner were present. 

Also present were McCain's 106-year-old mother, Vice President Mike Pence, former Vice President Al Gore, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Elizabeth Warren, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. 

McCain told the audience that her father was not "defined" by his membership in the Republican party any more than his Naval service or by his torture at the hands of North Vietnamese forces. 

"John McCain was not defined by prison, by the Navy, by the Senate, by the Republican Party, or by any single one of the deeds in his absolutely extraordinary life," she told the audience.

"John McCain was defined by love," McCain added.

(Love of bombing Iran, in particular - but now apparently isn't the time to criticize the man who never met an oil-rich nation he didn't want to attack)

McCain - who served in the legislative body for over 30 years, died last week at the age of 81 of brain cancer.

Published:9/1/2018 1:11:12 PM
[Politics] McCain Tributes Echo With Criticism of Trump John McCain's daughter opened his memorial service by posing her father's legacy as a direct challenge to President Donald Trump, setting a tone that echoed the senator's own fighting spirit as former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush eulogized him Saturday at the... Published:9/1/2018 12:40:32 PM
[Politics] Bush, Obama Say John McCain Made Them 'Better' Presidents Former US presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who both defeated John McCain in their White House contests, said Saturday at the late senator's funeral that he made them "better." Published:9/1/2018 12:20:19 PM
[World] Barack Obama Delivers Remarks at John McCain Memorial Service

Former President Barack Obama said that John McCain's request for him to speak at his memorial service showed the senator's ability to see past people's differences.

Published:9/1/2018 11:41:17 AM
[Markets] Live: President Barack Obama speaks at McCain memorial service Live: President Barack Obama speaks at McCain memorial service Published:9/1/2018 10:41:33 AM
[] Late Summer Saturday Open Thread September 1 [KT] The idea of White Privilege is to pretend that Jaden Smith, or Barack Obama's kids, have fewer opportunities than some poor, white, son-of-meth-head does, by nature of skin color. Happy Labor Day Weekend! Hope you all plan to listen... Published:9/1/2018 9:39:19 AM
[Entertainment] THUD! Ron Howard rolls out BIG concerns about the Trump presidency, trips hard over Obama

We don't recall Hollywood expressing these concerns a few years ago.

The post THUD! Ron Howard rolls out BIG concerns about the Trump presidency, trips hard over Obama appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/1/2018 8:48:44 AM
[Corruption] What The In-N-Out Boycott Tells You About the Democrats

When a political party starts attacking private businesses because of the donations they make, it should be over for that political party. The Democrat Party is evil. Have you noticed how Democrats have been slobbering all over themselves at John McCain’s funeral? When he ran against Obama in 2008, McCain was attacked without mercy. It ...

The post What The In-N-Out Boycott Tells You About the Democrats appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/1/2018 8:13:10 AM
[Corruption] What The In-N-Out Boycott Tells You About the Democrats

When a political party starts attacking private businesses because of the donations they make, it should be over for that political party. The Democrat Party is evil. Have you noticed how Democrats have been slobbering all over themselves at John McCain’s funeral? When he ran against Obama in 2008, McCain was attacked without mercy. It ...

The post What The In-N-Out Boycott Tells You About the Democrats appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:9/1/2018 8:13:10 AM
[Politics] Trump Tweets: Approval Rating at 48 Percent Despite 'Fake News' President Donald Trump late Friday pointed out his latest approval rating is at 48 percent, tweeting that "despite the constant and intense fake news" his ratings are at a high point. "Higher than Election Day and higher than President Obama," Trump said. "Rasmussen was one... Published:8/31/2018 10:33:29 PM
[Markets] Forget Who Takes The Mid-Terms; Here's How To Personally Repeal Obamacare

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

If the US government doesn’t act quickly, Americans may be stuck with years more of deteriorating healthcare and skyrocketing medical bills.

Back in 2010, Congress and President Obama completely overhauled the US healthcare system with the “Affordable” Care Act (aka Obamacare). Their intention was to provide all US citizens with access to healthcare.

But, the result of government interference in markets was – surprise – rising costs and lower quality service.

Over the past several years, politicians have paid lip service to abolishing Obamacare. Even with a Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2017 and 2018, Congress couldn’t issue a repeal.

And now, US midterms elections are looming.

Obamacare stands no chance of repeal by a potentially divided Congress starting in 2019.

Fortunately for you, when it comes to healthcare policies, it doesn’t matter who takes control of Congress...

Because you can still find fantastic and affordable healthcare, even without a corporate-sponsored insurance plan. You just have to look outside the US.

As countries like the US, Canada and the UK suffer under bloated healthcare bureaucracies, more of their citizens are venturing beyond their countries’ borders for medical treatment at a fraction of the costs – so-called medical tourism.

Still, patients receive safe and first-class care from English-speaking doctors, many trained at top medical schools around the world.

For example, heart bypass surgery in the US costs well over $100,000. If you have great insurance, you’ll be fine to remain in the US. (The US healthcare system is great for wealthy patients with low deductible, comprehensive health insurance plans.)

But if you’re self-employed and without access to a large employer’s group plan, your out-of-pocket costs for this surgery may be unaffordable.

Or, you can travel to Thailand, save a fortune and recuperate in a first-class facility.

Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok was the first Asian hospital to receive Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation. JCI is the gold standard to certify hospitals and clinics worldwide.

At Bumrungrad, they offer a package deal for heart bypass surgery. The package includes the surgeon and anesthesiologist’s fees, operating room charges, routine lab tests, X-rays (if required), medications, medical supplies, pacemaker (if required) and seven nights’ accommodation, including two in the post-surgical Coronary Care Unit.

And your grand total? 690,000 baht (about $21,000 USD).

Medical tourism is not just for major surgeries.

You can also benefit from venturing abroad for preventative health or routine procedures like executive health screenings – a comprehensive physical exam with labs, electrocardiogram, stress tests, consultations with multiple specialists, etc.

Places like the Cleveland or Mayo Clinics will administer an executive exam… but, depending on your insurance, it may not cover these types of physicals.

So, you may pay $5,000 or more out-of-pocket, plus food, lodging and airfare. And you may wait in line for months, as more US patients want this service.

But, back in Thailand there’s no months-long wait and no multi-thousand-dollar price tag for an executive exam.

A screening for a 30 to 40-year-old man or woman includes: Renal function, three liver function tests, a urine test, lung and heart X-rays, an ultrasound of abdominal organs, an electrocardiogram and a few other services. Doctors, nurses and technicians will spend 3-4 hours with you.

And for this thorough exam, you’ll pay… 9,500 Thai baht or about $292 at the current exchange rate.

Even their highest-priced executive exam for women over 50 is 25,600 baht, which is $786. And this package includes all the labs and screenings as above, plus an ophthalmology exam, hearing screening, brain blood vessel check and checks for colon, liver and cervical cancers. Patients spend 5-6 hours with the medical staff.

In the US, you’re lucky to spend 15 minutes with a doctor. And as healthcare deteriorates, US wait times may rival Canada’s and the UK’s – where thousands of patients wait for months to see a specialist.

Then there’s the regulatory hurdle, which prompts individuals to seek care elsewhere. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) erect barriers that prevent experimental (and often effective) procedures and medicines.

So, medical tourism offers you the chance to skip long medical lines, receive top care that may be unavailable in your home country and potentially save thousands of dollars.

I view medical tourism as another international arbitrage opportunity.

For medical tourism, your arbitrage opportunity takes advantage not only of the price difference, but also of the quality of care you’d receive.

If you’re from a nation suffering under a healthcare system that doesn’t meet your needs and expectations, why wouldn’t you explore other options around the world?

With a little planning and action, you can take charge of your health.

And to continue learning how to ensure you thrive no matter what happens next in the world, I encourage you to download our free Perfect Plan B Guide.

Published:8/31/2018 1:00:24 PM
[Quick Takes] WaPo Reporter Demonstrates Bias in Tweet About Betsy DeVos and Due Process on Campus Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a frequent target of the left. She has made due process on campus a priority, which is refreshing after eight years of the Obama administration. Twitchy highlighted this tweet by Aaron Blake of the Washington
 […]...
Published:8/31/2018 9:32:43 AM
[Political Cartoons] A.F. Branco Cartoon – Deflategate

Deflategate! The mainstream media worked overtime trying to pump-up the Obama’s failing economy, and now are working even harder to talk down the Trump historic Economic boom. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco.

The post A.F. Branco Cartoon – Deflategate appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/31/2018 9:32:43 AM
[Political Cartoons] A.F. Branco Cartoon – Deflategate

Deflategate! The mainstream media worked overtime trying to pump-up the Obama’s failing economy, and now are working even harder to talk down the Trump historic Economic boom. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco.

The post A.F. Branco Cartoon – Deflategate appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/31/2018 9:32:43 AM
[Laughter is the Best Medicine] Thoughts from the ammo line (Scott Johnson) Ammo Grrrll formulates AMMO GRRRLLINSKY’S STRICT NEW RULES FOR “JOURNALISTS.” She notes parenthetically: “(Last week I promised the end of my travelogue. Next week for sure. Meanwhile…)” She writes: Saul Alinsky famously had his celebrated Rules for Radicals. He was a major destructive jackass and inspiration to such other unpleasant figures as domestic terrorist Bill “Guilty as hell, free as a bird” Ayers, Barack Hussein Obama, twice a terrible President; Published:8/31/2018 7:30:19 AM
[Markets] "Hard To Refute" FBI Leaked Stories To Media And Used Them To Obtain FISA Warrants

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Special Agent Jonathan Moffa testified last Friday behind closed doors and before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee. Moffa said that FBI personnel would use media reports based on information they leaked to justify applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.

Moffa, who worked with controversial former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, did not come forward to the media, but according to a report by Fox News, a source familiar with his testimony has spoken about it.

When pressed by the committees on whether this was common practice at the FBI, Moffa acknowledged the FBI had at least engaged in this activity in other cases. However, the source also told Fox News that Moffa did not specifically confirm that the practice of using leaked information to bolster warrant applications was employed with regard to the dossier. 

The source told Fox News that Moffa acknowledged this “had been a practice in the past.”

Republicans have long questioned to what extent leaked information, related to the unverified anti-Trump dossier, was used as a basis for surveillance warrants against former Trump adviser Carter Page in 2016 — when the bureau was led by James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe. Fox News

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, told Fox News on Tuesday that the committee had evidence of the FBI’s practice that would be “hard to refute,” and the FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News‘ request for comment.

 We know that some people at the Department of Justice and the FBI actually gave information to the media, then the stories were reported. Then they used those reports to justify further investigations,” Meadows said on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. 

“You know, that’s like saying, we’re going to incriminate on one hand, and be the jury on the other. It just doesn’t work that way.”

Meadows also took to Twitter to announce this new information

The Daily Caller was the first to report on the specifics of Moffa’s claims.

Published:8/30/2018 9:55:15 PM
[Markets] McMaken: You Can't Be Both "Pro Military" And "Pro Second Amendment"

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

The phrase "pro-gun, pro-military" is used by some conservatives to describe themselves, as if the two go together seamlessly. For example, activist and political candidate Erin Cruz states she is both "Pro Second Amendment" and "Pro Military" in her promotional materials.

Another Republican candidate, Gregory Duckworth, advertises that he advances "pro-gun and pro-military initiatives."

And last year, Donald Trump, Jr. - as part of a controversy over Keurig coffee pulling its advertising from Sean Hannity's show — denounced Keurig and endorsed Black Rifle Coffee, which is advertised as a company with a "pro-gun and pro-military stance."

And yet, there is an inherent conflict between the two positions. This becomes evident when we consider the words of US Senator Tom Coburn in 2013:

The Second Amendment wasn't written so you can go hunting, it was to create a force to balance a tyrannical force here.

Given that the US military is one of the primary means by which the US government can exert its own coercive force, it seems a bit odd to think that one can simultaneously be "pro-military" while also being for gun rights designed to "balance a tyrannical force here."

Even the left, which is prone to an especially high level of confusion when it comes to the gun issue, has identified the conflict with memes such as this:

After all, we hear constantly from "pro-military" advocates that the military suffers greatly from too little spending on its needs, that Barack Obama cut back military spending to the bone, and that, in general, the military is underfunded. Never mind, of course, that US military spending is larger than the next seven biggest spenders combined, or that

The US Navy is about ten times bigger than the next largest navy, which happen to be its close ally, the Royal Navy. The United States has four air forces, one for each service, and all very capable ... the US Army has dozens of powerful brigade combat teams and dominates potential rivals in any form of conventional warfare. The US Marine Corps is much bigger than any comparable force. And US special operations forces are about the same size as all elements of the Canadian military.

If one is concerned about providing "balance" against abuse of government power, it would seem that pushing for a few more AR-15s in private hands isn't really going to make a critical difference.

The Authors of the Second Amendment Were Anti-Militarists

The fact that many Americans today think it is possible to be both pro-Second Amendment and pro-military at the same time would have struck many Americans of the Revolutionary period as exceptionally odd.

After all, at the time of the ratification of the new Constitution — and the writing of the Second Amendment — Americans were notable for their opposition to a permanent and powerful military force — especially in the form of a so-called "standing army."

Greatly distrustful of putting military power in the hands of the federal government, the authors of the Second Amendment advocated instead for a far larger decentralized and locally controlled militia. Thus, in the nineteenth century, both state and local militias greatly outweighed federal military power, and it was assumed that any large standing force would have to be composed of state units supplied by state governments. In practice — until the late twentieth century — state governments could veto these deployments. Even statemilitia power was suspect, if it was full-time and professionalized. Thus, the concept of the "unorganized" militiaretained significant support even into the early twentieth century. Today, however, these checks on federal power have been abolished, thus that which is "pro-military" is now necessary pro federal military.

Nor was this opposition to a national army unique to the Americans. The concept had already been well-established in English politics going back at least to the English civil war. At the time, opponents of unchecked monarchical power supported and obtained a decentralized non-professional militia system designed to partially supplant a standing army under the control of the king.

This later proved to be a significant issue during debates over the ratification of the new constitution, as many Americans felt the new reforms placed too much power in the hands of the federal military. As historian Anthony Peacock observed, "the anti-militarism of Americans during the founding period presented a significant problem for the federalists who wanted a larger, permanent army."

Peacock was expanding on the views of Richard Kohn who also contended:

No principle of government was more widely understood or more completely accepted by the generation of Americans that established the United States than the danger of a standing army in peacetime. Because a standing army represented the ultimate in uncontrolled and controllable power, any nation that maintained permanent forces surely risked the overthrow of legitimate government and the introduction of tyranny and despotism.

In the US, as in England, the proper role of military power consisted only in protecting lanes of commerce and in a strictly defensive military. In their minds, this did not preclude a large and strong navy, but it did preclude any nationally-controlled military force capable of occupying cities and enforcing the will of the central government.

Consequently, Anti-Federalists and their allies fought for the adoption of the Second Amendment, which, contrary to many modern misconceptions, was not focused on simply allowing some private individuals to own rifles. It was focused on enhancing a decentralized militia system that would head off any attempts to create a large national and professional standing army. This was designed to provide a bulwark against federal centralization of military power. In other words, the Second Amendment was a key component in efforts by anti-militarists to prevent just the sort of permanent military establishment the US taxpayer now so generously funds. As noted by historical Leon Friedman:

the people organized in the state militias were regarded as a counterforce against the threat that the regular army could be used as an instrument of oppression and service in the militia was a right of the citizen that could not be transgressed by the federal government.

Put another way, the authors of the Second Amendment clearly had a very different conception of "balance" when it came to balancing out a potentially "tyrannical force." For them, the non-federal fighting force was assumed to be armed with the same weapons as the federal military, and would exist in far greater numbers. This was even the vision of pro-federal James Madison who, in Federalist 46, estimated that an appropriate state of affairs would be one in which the US federal government could put approximately "twenty-five or thirty thousand men" in the field, while it could be opposed by "a militia of near half a million citizens ...united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence." In other words, this much-larger and presumably equally-well-armed militia would be loyal not to the federal government, but to the individual states. In other words, this much-larger and presumably equally-well-armed militia would be under the command of — and loyal to — the individual states and not the federal government.

Thus, properly understood, the Second Amendment goes hand in hand with opposition to federal military spending and to limiting a standing army to a mere fraction of the size of the state-controlled militias. If modern pro-Second Amendment activists claim to support a Second Amendment as understood by its authors, they could conceivably still support naval forces and a very small fraction of the US's standing army. Any consistency in supporting the Second Amendment as originally intended, would require drastic cuts to both the Army and the Marines, which combined make up more a standing army of more than 550,000 troops.

Needless to say, such a proposal is unlikely to gain much traction with many Americans who consider themselves defenders of freedom via the Second Amendment. Consequently, the ideology behind the "pro-military" mindset has destroyed the anti-militarist and decentralist vision of the Americans who fought for and won passage of the Second Amendment.

Long gone is the militia-dominated military force supported by the authors of the Second Amendment. The final death throes for the militia began with the Dick Act (the Militia Act) of 1903. And, as noted by David Yassky:

Statutes subsequent to the Dick Act have placed the National Guard under ever-greater federal control. Currently, anyone enlisting in a National Guard unit is automatically also enlisted into a "reserve" unit of the U.S. Army (or Air Force), the federal government may use National Guard units for a variety of purposes, and the federal government appoints the commanding officers for these units.3

This situation would be unrecognizable to a Patrick Henry or a George Mason who had advocated for a strong independent militia system to offset the power of the federal military.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin came with the Montgomery Amendment which removed a state governor's ability to veto the federal governments ability to federalize National Guard troops and send them overseas. Enraged by the idea that a state "militia" unit was able to act with any independence, pro-military Senator C.V. Montgomery authored and ultimately passed his amendment which removed the final remnants of state control over what were by then barely state militias at all.

This destruction of the militia system - a system going back to the Revolutionaries and the English libertarians before them - struck at the core of the Second Amendment. The Amendment still legally protected some private gun ownership, but gone are the foundations built on the premise of federalism and decentralization in military power. Instead, all that is left is the notion that some untrained civilians with non-military-grade weapons can offer a "counterforce" to the US military.

What private gun ownership there is, of course, is better than nothing, but thanks to the "pro-military" mindset of people also claiming to be "pro-gun" the Second Amendment is now a hollowed out shell of what it once was.

Published:8/30/2018 7:54:47 PM
[Markets] Trump Says Google, Facebook In "Very Antitrust Situation"

Responding to reports that Silicon Valley social media platforms are censoring conservatives, President Trump stepped up his criticism of technology firms - telling Bloomberg in a wide-ranging interview that they may be in a "very antitrust situation," while repeatedly censoring himself over whether or not the companies should be broken up.

I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that [Google] or Amazon or Facebook,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday with Bloomberg. “As you know, many people think it is a very anti-trust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”

Trump has been levying accusations against social media giants for weeks - while ratcheting up his rhetoric in recent days. 

On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his threats against Facebook, Twitter and Google with new comments from the Oval Office, saying the social media platforms are "treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful."

"I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that's a very serious thing and it's a very serious charge," Trump told reporters following a meeting with the president of FIFA. "They better be careful because they can't do that to people."

Earlier Tuesday, Google responded to an accusation by Trump over Twitter that they're "rigging" search results against him, providing as evidence a "Trump News" search which showed predominantly "left" media publications popping up in the search results.

To which Google replied "Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology"

"Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment"

As we noted on Teusday, however, maybe Google can explain why Trump's picture is just about the only thing that appears when one does a Google image search for the word "idiot" vs. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo

President Trump on Wednesday renewed his attacks on technology companies and platforms, including Twitter, Facebook Inc and Google, saying they were “trying to silence” people and suggesting that their activities - i.e., shadowbanning, censorship and bias - may be illegal.

“I think that Google and Facebook and Twitter ... treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think it’s a very serious problem because they’re really trying to silence a very large part of this country, and those people don’t want to be silenced. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It may not be legal, but we’ll see. We just want fairness,” Trump added.

Then, in doubling-down on his attacks on what he called Google bias, Trump tweeted a short video that showed Google promoting president Obama's State of the Union on its homepage, in the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, but when Trump took office Google stopped, the video claims.

Google responded, saying that it did publicize Trump's 2018 State of the Union address, and adds that Trump's 2017 address was not a SOTU, it was an address to Congress, so they didn't publicize it (just as they didn't publicize Obama's address to Congress in 2009.)

In any event, between Trump's personal battles with Silicon Valley and large swaths of conservatives across social media complaining of censorship, it appears that Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg have a fight on their hands. 

Published:8/30/2018 6:57:42 PM
[Markets] The Wall Street Journal: California moves to establish nation’s strongest net-neutrality rules California on Thursday moved to reinstate Obama-era open-internet rules, challenging Trump administration rollback efforts and setting the state on a path to have the strongest net-neutrality rules in the nation.
Published:8/30/2018 6:26:53 PM
[Economics] Under Trump, Household Income at All-Time Highs… Media Ignores

Household incomes in the U.S. are at all-time highs. If this were happening under Obama the media would be touting the good news in every newscast. But since it is happening under Trump, few outlets have paid much attention to it. Not only is the economy up to four percent growth, but jobs are good ...

The post Under Trump, Household Income at All-Time Highs… Media Ignores appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/30/2018 1:23:30 PM
[Economics] Under Trump, Household Income at All-Time Highs… Media Ignores

Household incomes in the U.S. are at all-time highs. If this were happening under Obama the media would be touting the good news in every newscast. But since it is happening under Trump, few outlets have paid much attention to it. Not only is the economy up to four percent growth, but jobs are good ...

The post Under Trump, Household Income at All-Time Highs… Media Ignores appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/30/2018 1:23:30 PM
[Media] Hypocrisy Alert: Remember When Leftists Crapped On John McCain ?

While the Left has spent the last few days shedding tears over the passing of Arizona Sen. John McCain, it’s important to remember that their admiration for him hasn’t always been so evident. In fact, Barack Obama and his supporters were downright hostile to McCain in 2008, when the aging senator dared to challenge the ...

The post Hypocrisy Alert: Remember When Leftists Crapped On John McCain ? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/30/2018 11:21:43 AM
[Markets] DOJ Sides With Asian-Americans Against Harvard In Landmark Affirmative Action Lawsuit

The Department of Justice on Thursday lent its support to Asian-American students suing Harvard University over "personal rating" affirmative action policies they claim are discriminatory - a case with far-reaching consequences for reversing Obama-era policies "to promote diverse educational settings," reports the Wall Street Journal

The statement of interest filed Thursday by the Justice Department supported the claims made by the plaintiffs, who have sued Harvard for allegedly limiting the number of Asian-American students it admits and holding them to a higher standard than students of other races. -WSJ

The 37-page DOJ brief filed on Thursday concludes that Harvard violated the law with the "personal rating" system, and that it has failed to demonstrate how its use of the system is narrowly tailored to suit a competing interest. 

"Harvard acknowledges that it voluntarily uses race as a factor in deciding whether to offer certain young adults admission to, and the substantial educational benefits of, its elite institution," reads the DOJ brief. "Harvard seeks to justify this use of race to award educational opportunities as necessary to its pursuit of the ‘educational benefits of diversity.’ But Harvard has failed to carry its demanding burden to show that its use of race does not inflict unlawful racial discrimination on Asian Americans."

"As a recipient of taxpayer dollars, Harvard has a responsibility to conduct its admissions policy without racial discrimination by using meaningful admissions criteria that met lawful requirements," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.

The lawsuit, originally filed in Boston federal court in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions, has become a "closely watched battle over how one of the nation's most selective colleges chooses who gets admitted," and whether the university has been discriminating based on race. 

On Monday, the Ivy League school argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the case is founded on "invective, mischaracterizations and in some cases outright misrepresentations," adding that the judge should rule in their favor since the lawsuit is nothing but a "litigation vehicle" to advance the ideological objectives of the plaintiffs' group, led by Edward Blum. 

The plaintiffs allege that based on their analysis, Asian-American applicants receive Harvard's lowest subjective personal rating scores, while consistently achieving the highest academic and extracurricular ratings of any other racial group. The personal rating is in part based on teacher recommendations, personal essays and admissions interviews, according to Harvard. 

DOJ lawyers say the personal rating reflects racial stereotypes that Asian-Americans are less "likeable," which hurts their chances of admission

“The vague and elusory ‘personal rating’ may be infected with racial bias against Asian Americans,” the Justice Department wrote in the filing.

The government said in the filing that Harvard acknowledged it tends to score Asian-American applicants lower on the personal rating but couldn’t explain why, representing an “intentional and unexplained use of race” in the admissions process. It said the school’s practice defies Supreme Court decisions requiring schools to consider race in a “narrowly tailored” way to achieve diversity.

...

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has also opened its own investigation into the use of race in Harvard’s admissions practices. A Justice Department official said Thursday that the investigation is still ongoing and could result in a separate lawsuit or administrative proceedings. -WSJ

In response to the DOJ letter, Harvard said they are "deeply disappointed" that the DOJ has taken the side of Blum and Students for Fair Admissions, "recycling the same misleading and hollow arguments that prove nothing more than the emptiness of the case against Harvard." 

"This decision is not surprising given the highly irregular investigation the DOJ has engaged in thus far, and its recent action to repeal the Obama-era guidelines on the consideration of race in admissions."

"Harvard does not discriminate against applications from any group...

Harvard claims that their admissions process takes several factors into account besides race, including athletics, socioeconomic background, legacy status and extracurricular activities. 

Several students and alumni, meanwhile have condemned the lawsuit. 

In briefs filed in support of Harvard at the end of July, students and alumni said that they “condemn” the plaintiffs’ “attempt to manufacture conflict between racial and ethnic groups in order to revive an unrelenting agenda to dismantle efforts to create a racially diverse and inclusive student body through college admissions.” -NYT

"It’s alarming that Trump is aligning himself with anti-civil rights activist Edward Blum in this subversive attempt to say that civil rights protections cause discrimination," said Jeannie Park - head of the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance. "Asian-Americans have long benefited from policies to increase equal opportunity and still do. Our fear is that Harvard’s admissions system is just the latest target in a larger fight to roll back protections for people of color in all fields, including government and business."

The DOJ briefing marks the first time the government has weighed in with legal arguments against Harvard's admissions practices - however as the Journal notes, "its stance was not unexpected" after the department had been signaling for months its desire to dismantle Obama-era affirmative action policies. 

Over the summer, the DOJ and Department of Education began jointly directing schools to adopt race-neutral admissions standards - reversing the Obama-era guidance encouraging the use of race to promote diversity. 

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 said last month: 

"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."

In its Thursday court filing, the DOJ said it had a "substantial interest" in the outcome of the lawsuit because it could affect their ongoing Civil Rights Division investigation, along with the interpretation and scope of several federal anti-discrimination laws. 

In the bigger picture, the action to rescind Obama-era guidelines comes at a rather sensitive time for the nation, following Trump's appointment of Brett Kavanaugh for SCOTUS - a move likely to inflame a long-running national debate over the role of race in college admissions, a 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.

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 Kavanaugh will be, especially since the affirmative action guidelines are relatively innocuous.

Kavanaugh wrote in a 1999 article that "in the eyes of government, we are just one race." 

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, right, with his four law clerks for 2017-2018

Sixteen prestigious US colleges supported Harvard in a July court filing, arguing that any prohibition on considering race in admissions decisions would be an "extraordinary intrusion" by the federal government. 

Published:8/30/2018 11:21:43 AM
[Media] Hypocrisy Alert: Remember When Leftists Crapped On John McCain ?

While the Left has spent the last few days shedding tears over the passing of Arizona Sen. John McCain, it’s important to remember that their admiration for him hasn’t always been so evident. In fact, Barack Obama and his supporters were downright hostile to McCain in 2008, when the aging senator dared to challenge the ...

The post Hypocrisy Alert: Remember When Leftists Crapped On John McCain ? appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/30/2018 11:02:29 AM
[Media] “Fanboying to the extreme”: Vanity Fair writer is ready for Beto O’Rourke … President Beto O’Rourke, that is

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who was elected to Congress in 2012 and is now running against Sen. Ted Cruz for the Senate, is being called an Obama-like potential challenger to Donald Trump for president. Via Vanity Fair’s Peter Hamby: "On what planet is Beto O’Rourke not a presidential contender?" writes @PeterHamby https://t.co/kUlsf7adkB — The Hive (@VFHIVE) […]

The post “Fanboying to the extreme”: Vanity Fair writer is ready for Beto O’Rourke … President Beto O’Rourke, that is appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:8/30/2018 9:32:26 AM
[Markets] "Sloppy" Carl Bernstein Hits Back At Trump: "I Stand By My Reporting" 

Journalist Carl Bernstein hit back against insults lobbed by President Trump on Wednesday, saying he stands by his July report that then-candidate Trump had prior knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, something which Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, was allegedly prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller.

"I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties,” Bernstein tweeted at Trump. “No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. @CNN stands by its story, and I stand by my reporting," tweeted Bernstein. 

Bernstein's tweet follows a similar defense from CNN, which reads "Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie." 

Except here's the lie:

Lanny Davis - Cohen's attorney and lifelong friend of the Clintons later admitted that he was the source for CNN's story amid massive backpedaling over the claim, yet CNN specifically notes in the article that Davis declined to comment: 

Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment.

So either Davis is lying or CNN is, and CNN hasn't refuted Davis's claim that he was a source. Instead, they doubled down and insisted he wasn't the only source. 

In a Wednesday night tweet, President Trump wrote "CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake," Trump tweeted Wednesday evening. "Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News"

Degenerate fool? 

Does Trump know something we don't? A 1989 Wahington Post exposé on Bernstein offers some clues - revealing that his angry, cheated-on ex-wife published a novel which "portrays a Bernstein-like character as an emotionally empty, self-absorbed, narcissistic man capable of having sex with venetian blinds."

When ABC Washington offered Bernstein a job as the Washington bureau chief in the 80s, the "power seemed to go to his head," reported the Post. (h/t Josh Caplan)

"I gotta tell you, at ABC, he was just a terrible screw-up. It's awful to say it. It was awful to watch it." About this time, people noticed that Bernstein was drinking more heavily. His life had gone beyond chaotic. While Nora was pregnant with their second child, Bernstein had his now-notorious affair with Margaret Jay, wife of the British ambassador. -Wahington Post

Perhaps this is what the President was referring to? 

Later Wednesday evening, a feisty President Trump tweeted: “Lanny Davis admits being anonymous source in CNN Report.” @BretBaier  Oh well, so much for CNN saying it wasn’t Lanny. No wonder their ratings are so low, it’s FAKE NEWS!"

Nearly two hours after Trump's first tweet, Don Jr. chimed in, calling Bernstein a "leftist hack" peddling "literal fake news." 

Published:8/30/2018 9:32:26 AM
[Markets] Why Americans Can't Understand The Middle East

Authored by Marco Carnelos via Middle Easat Eye,

A recent editorial in the Washington Post, written by columnist David Ignatius, offers a shining example of the United States’ difficulty in understanding today’s world and, most of all, the Arab world.

Ignatius conveys a genuine concern for “The Unintended Consequences of US Disengagement in the Middle East”, quoting worried comments made by a member of the Arab elite allied with the US.

The journalist expresses uneasiness about the fact that “American power and values won’t matter the way they once did”. His position is steeped in the typical intellectual milieu of American exceptionalism, a position based on the hardwired assumption that the condition for an ideal existence and a stable world order are ensured only when American power and values are strong and shared.

Binary Thinking

The article emphasises that, at the moment, there would be “…no constituency in the US for…doing more in the Middle East”. This alleged disengagement apparently began with the Obama administration, but now is strongly attributed, and blamed on, Trump. Leaving aside the fact that, based on recent history, a significant part of Middle Eastern population would object to the “United States doing more in the Middle East”, it is what follows that is really astonishing.

Quoting the same Arab source, Ignatius affirms that US disengagement could imply that Arab nations will need to do things on their own. So far nothing wrong, except that, for Ignatius and his source, Arab nations going it alone has only one meaning: “closer relations with Russia and China”. Another depressing and frustrating example of Western binary thinking.

It could be argued that the columnist’s conclusion is neo-colonial, orientalist, or too patronising; but what appears incontrovertible is that it does not put an inch of trust in Arab will and capabilities to find their own way in managing their own foreign policy in their own region and in the rest of the world. Its inescapable geopolitical corollary seems to be that distancing yourself from the United States has only one possible implication, getting closer to Russia and/or China. There is no alternative, no middle way.

Hold fast, the beauty has yet to come.

So Absurd

The American columnist adds:

“Maybe I’m a foreign policy dinosaur. But I still want a modernizing Middle East that shares America’s value, and I regret our loss of influence – and even more, the way that decent people and ideas suffer when the umbrella of US hegemony is withdrawn and discarded…. I’ve seen new examples of bad decisions when leaders decide that Uncle Sam doesn’t matter.”

This set of statements is so absurd that it deserves to be analysed, sentence by sentence: “Maybe I’m a foreign policy dinosaur.” At least, Ignatius seems assaulted by some doubt. This is probably the most truthful sentence in his whole article.

“I still want a modernizing Middle East that shares America’s value…”. Again, in accordance with the principle of US exceptionalism, the author conveys the impression that only if it will embrace American values will the Middle East be able to modernise itself.

“…I regret our loss of influence – and even more, the way that decent people and ideas suffer when the umbrella of U.S. hegemony is withdrawn and discarded…” . 

Losing influence is part of an historical cycle that has occurred to every great nation. This process could be accelerated when this influence is badly and unwisely used, as appear to be have been the case for the United States in the last 25 years.

The concept that decent people and ideas suffer when there is no American umbrella is affirmed as a scientific principle, a dogma; it is, again, a manifestation of US exceptionalism that deserves no further comment. Nonetheless, Ignatius’ candour must be recognised. He uses the concept of US hegemony; he does not even try to deploy the over-abused term, “US leadership”, that in such cases provides the much-needed politically correct cover for US imperial policymaking around the world.

“I’ve seen new examples of bad decisions when leaders decide that Uncle Sam doesn’t matter.” This is extraordinary. Its corollary seems to be that when Uncle Sam is not around only bad decisions are taken. But what is even more extraordinary is one of the examples Ignatius uses to justify his preposterous statement: the sequence of mistakes made ultimately by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).

He mentions specifically the crisis MbS has triggered with Canada, following the crackdown on female activists after having formally allowed women to drive in the kingdom. The bloody misadventure in Yemen or the detention last year of many Saudi businessmen who were released only after their payment of a billionaire’s ransom, could be added to the list.

The Inconvenient Truth

The inconvenient truth is that these bad decisions by MbS were not taken because Uncle Sam does not matter, but precisely for the opposite reason. It was the unconditional support that the Saudi crown prince has felt coming from Washington that has been pushing him to act so recklessly.

US administrations, under Obama and now Trump, have been, and still are, providing logistical and intelligence support for the Saudi Air Force in Yemen, ignoring the devastating effects of its bombing campaign; Riyadh was the first foreign capital visited by Donald Trump whose administration has maintained a deafening silence during the jailing of Saudi businessmen and the crackdown on women activists.

The evidence points to such bad decisions being taken not because the Russian or Chinese presidents are being emulated as behaviour models, as Ignatius’ article seems to imply, but simply because Uncle Sam appears to matter, or matters too much.

If a sober, experienced, widely read and moderate mainstream American columnist like David Ignatius is able to misread and misinterpret in such a fundamental way events in the Middle East, what hope is left for a different US attitude in the region and in the rest of the world?

However, it is the arrogant conclusion to which Ignatius arrives that best mirrors the increasing American problem in understanding and dealing with almost anybody beyond its own border: “But guess what? Even in a world where the United States’ military and diplomatic power seems to be in retreat, there is an element of the US-led order that’s as strong as ever – our dominance of the global economy…In the still-global economy, going it alone really isn’t an option, folks.”

In other words, if you don’t agree with us, we will simply impose draconian sanctions to bring down your economy.

The American Problem

What’s wrong in Ignatius’ and, more worringly, in Washington’s approach to the world, is that it is precisely this more and more unacceptable “imperial” feature of bullying dominance that is pushing some nations to search for an alternative to the US-led order.

The problem is not just joining Russia or China in a sort of unlikely alliance, but that any attempt to go it alone appears to be intolerable. This mistaken view is not just held by Trump and some of his supporters, but shared widely among the mainstream US establishment.

It is the American propensity to apply sanctions to anybody disagreeing with its view of the world, and the willingness to use its financial leverage based on the dollar as reserve currency, which is stimulating others (including some Europeans) to reflect seriously on the cost of maintaining – on current terms – their relationship with the United States of America.

It is, ultimately, America’s stubborn refusal to accept that not all the inhabitants of this planet love to shape their life to the American model that is triggering these increasing misunderstandings and widening the current divide.

Although US and Western values are probably the best available to mankind, maybe the time has arrived for a halt in US manifest destiny aimed at transforming all the people inhabiting planet Earth into Americans. It could be discovered, for example, that if America pauses for a while in trying to impose its own way of life to the whole planet, nothing catastrophic will occur.

On the contrary, nations that are challenging or abandoning the US-led order are too quickly labelled a threat, too dismissively portrayed as a national security problem; any event is too easily framed as a conspiracy against the West and its liberal order by the usual suspects: Russia, China and Iran.

Sober discussion and objective analysis of any fact has become almost impossible. There is a clear risk if such a negative spiral is not stopped soon, a fatal miscalculation and a subsequent conflict with unpredictable consequences could follow.

The sooner the US turns away from this neo-McCarthyite mind-frame, and tempers its own sense of exceptionalism, the better, for the sake of the American people, and for the rest of humankind.

Published:8/30/2018 4:20:30 AM
[Politics] Obama, Bush Were Surprised by Eulogy Request From McCain Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were surprised when John McCain requested they deliver eulogies at his funeral, CNN reports.McCain, 81, died Saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer. Published:8/29/2018 8:52:52 PM
[The Blog] State Department denying passports to people on the Texas border, demanding proof they were really born here

"...the State Department during George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations denied passports to people who were delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley."

The post State Department denying passports to people on the Texas border, demanding proof they were really born here appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/29/2018 8:29:42 PM
[Markets] Trump Unleashes On "Degenerate Fool" Carl Bernstein Over "Fake News"; CNN Responds

President Trump launched a decisive attack on CNN, roasting the network along with veteran journalist Carl Bernstein for a "Fake News" report over the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. 

"CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake," Trump tweeted Wednesday evening. "Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News"

Bernistein, who gained notoriety with his coverage of the Watergate scandal, co-wrote an article for CNN in which he claimed that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Donald Trump approved the Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney (who hates Trump) who promised "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. 

Lanny Davis - Cohen's attorney and lifelong friend of the Clintons, began to backpedal on the claims last week - and later admitted that he was the source for CNN's story. And while the Washington Post had the good sense to back away from the narrative - CNN did not. Instead, the network hit back against Davis, throwing him under the bus and claiming that he wasn't their only source. 

"We stand by our story, which had more than one source, and are confident in our reporting of it," said a CNN spokeswoman on Tuesday. 

Most hilariously, CNN writes in its "bombshell" report: "Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" - a complete lie, considering Davis's admission that he was their source

In response to Trump's tweet, CNN's Communications department responded: "Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them."

Later Wednesday evening, a feisty President Trump tweeted: “Lanny Davis admits being anonymous source in CNN Report.” @BretBaier  Oh well, so much for CNN saying it wasn’t Lanny. No wonder their ratings are so low, it’s FAKE NEWS!"

Nearly two hours after Trump's first tweet, Don Jr. jumped off the turnbuckle and tag-teamed CNN and Bernstein, who he called a "leftist hack" peddling "literal fake news." 

And once again: 

Published:8/29/2018 8:29:42 PM
[Markets] "It Was All A Set-Up" - Pentagon Whistleblower Exposes Russia Probe Reality

Via SaraCarter.com,

Adam Lovinger, a former Defense Department analyst, never expected that what he stumbled on during his final months at the Pentagon would expose an integral player in the FBI’s handling of President Donald Trump’s campaign and alleged Russia collusion.

Lovinger, a whistleblower, is now battling to save his career. The Pentagon suspended his top-secret security clearance May 1, 2017, when he exposed through an internal review that Stefan Halper, who was then an emeritus Cambridge professor, had received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports, his attorney Sean Bigley said. Before Lovinger’s clearance was suspended he had taken a detail to the National Security Council as senior director for strategy. He was only there for five months before he was recalled to the Pentagon, stripped of his prestigious White House detail, and ordered to perform bureaucratic make-work in a Pentagon annex Bigley calls “the land of misfit toys.” His security clearance was eventually revoked in March 2018, despite the Pentagon “refusing to turn over a single page of its purported evidence of Lovinger’s wrongdoing,” Bigley stated. Conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department to obtain the withheld records.

Lovinger also raised concerns about Halper’s role in conducting what appeared to be diplomatic meetings with foreigners on behalf of the U.S. government because his role as contractor forbids him from doing so, according to U.S. federal law.

An investigation by SaraACarter.com reveals that the documents and information Lovinger stumbled on and other documents obtained by this news site, raise troubling questions about Halper, who was believed to have worked with the CIA and part of the matrix of players in the bureau’s ‘CrossFire Hurricane’ investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Halper, who assisted the FBI in the Russia investigation, appears to also have significant ties to the Russian government, as well as sources connected directly to President Vladimir Putin.

Halper did not respond to requests for comment.

“When Mr. Lovinger raised concerns about DoD’s misuse of Stefan Halper in 2016, he did so without any political designs or knowledge of Mr. Halper’s spying activities,” Bigley told SaraACarter.com.

“Instead, Mr. Lovinger simply did what all Americans should expect of our civil servants: he reported violations of law and a gross waste of public funds to his superiors.”

And for that, Bigley said, Lovinger has paid the ultimate price in his 12-year career as a strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. According to Bigley, shortly after Lovinger began reporting and asking questions about suspicious contracts given to Halper and others, including one person closely associated Chelsea Clinton, his security clearance was suspended. Later, on April 3, 2018, the DoD’s Washington Headquarters Services Director Barbara Westgate sent a letter to Lovinger indefinitely suspending him from duty and pay status after his clearance was removed in March. The letter stated, “The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that I am proposing to indefinitely suspend you from duty and pay status in your position as a Foreign Affairs Specialist.”

Lovinger, who is married with three children and is the family’s primary breadwinner, has been living off the generosity of family members since his pay was removed.

The retaliation for whistleblowing was something Bigley expected. “So, we weren’t surprised when DoD bureaucrats moved shortly thereafter to strip Mr. Lovinger of both his security clearance and his detail to the National Security Council, where he had been Senior Director for Strategy as a by-name request of the incoming Trump Administration,” said the attorney.

“Yet, we were puzzled by the unprecedented ferocity of efforts to discredit Mr. Lovinger, including leaks from DoD of false and defamatory information to the press,” he said. “Our assumption was that the other contractor about whom Mr. Lovinger explicitly raised concerns – a close confidante of Hillary Clinton – was the reason for the sustained assault on Mr. Lovinger, and that certainly may have played a role.”

Bigley suspects it was more than the Clinton-connected contracts adding, “Mr. Lovinger unwittingly shined a spotlight on the deep state’s secret weapon – Stefan Halper – and threatened to expose the truth about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative than being plotted: that it was all a set-up.”

Halper’s Ties to Russian Officials Raise Serious Questions

Halper has had a long career and worked in government with several GOP administrations. At 73, the elusive professor spent a career developing top-level government connections–not just through academia but also through his work with members of the intelligence apparatus.

Those contacts and the information Halper collected along the way would eventually, through apparent circumstance, become utilized by the FBI against the Trump campaign. But, it was during his time hosting the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar at the University of Cambridge where Halper shifted from a professor and former government consultant to FBI informant on the Trump campaign.

In 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused of being sympathetic to Russia and sought better relations between the U.S. and Russian officials. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.

During that time, the FBI sought and obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to spy on Page and used Halper to collect information on him, according to sources. The House Intelligence Committee Russia report and documents obtained by this outlet revealed that the bulk of the warrant against Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by Former British Spy Christopher Steele and the matter is still under congressional investigation. Steele, who was a former MI6 agent, also had ties to many of the same people, like former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, who were part of the seminar.

Stefan Halper

Halper, along with Dearlove, left the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar in December 2016, saying they were concerned about Russian influence. Halper had told reporters at the time that it was due to “unacceptable Russian influence.”

Ironically, documents obtained by SaraACarter.com suggest that Halper also had invited senior Russian intelligence officials to co-teach his course on several occasions and, according to news reports, also accepted money to finance the course from a top Russian oligarch with ties to Putin.

Several course syllabi from 2012 and 2015 obtained by this outlet reveal Hapler had invited and co-taught his course on intelligence with the former Director of Russian Intelligence Gen. Vladimir I. Trubnikov.

On May 4, 2012, the course syllabus states, “Ambassador Vladimir I. Trubnikov will comment on the challenges faced while directing the Foreign Intelligence Service, his tenure as Ambassador to India, President Putin and the likely course of Russia’s relations with Britain and the U.S.”

In May 2015, Trubnikov returned to teach with Halper at his seminar in Cambridge on “current relations between the Russian Federation and the West.” Other notable intelligence experts attended the event in 2015, including Major Gen.Peter Williams, a former British commander of the mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany.

Halper’s partner in the seminar, Cambridge Professor Neil Kent has also espoused better relations with Russia and Putin in his writings and told Russia Today in a 2014 interview that “everyone is attacking and demonizing Russia.” According to Kent’s biography, he was a professor from 2002 to 2012 at Russia’s St. Petersburg State Academic Institute.

Even more interesting are reports from the British Media outlet, The Financial Times, that state Halper received funds for the Cambridge seminar from Russian billionaire Andrey Cheglakov, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cheglakov also funded Veruscript in 2016, which raised the suspicion of Dearlove and those connected to the seminar. Veruscript, a publisher for a Russian academic journal, was suspected by MI6 of being a front for Russian intelligence. Kent also happened to be the editor and chief of the journal. He published the inaugural article in the journal “The Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism”  blaming the West for the Russian invasion into Crimea but the journal closed down due to their suspicions.

Dearlove was also concerned “that Russia may be seeking to use the seminar as an impeccably credentialed platform to covertly steer debate and opinion on high-level sensitive defense and security topics,” according to the Financial Times sources.

A former senior intelligence official told this news outlet, “It’s all smoke and mirrors. Halper was well aware when he was bringing in Trubnikov in 2012 that the Russian’s were already there at his invitation. The FBI uses Halper to get more information on Trump aides but it’s Halper who has the real connection to Russia.”

Lovinger raised concerns with top officials at the Pentagon in 2016 and noted that Halper went far beyond his work as a contractor after he discovered that the amount of money the professor was being paid for his research did not make sense. Lovinger stressed his concern that Halper was not just being utilized as a contractor, but that he was also conducting diplomatic work for the Pentagon “in violation of federal law,” according to Bigley.

In one email from Stephan Halper to Andrew May, the second highest ranking official in Lovinger’s office, Halper writes about a planned trip to conduct meetings in India.

“I am in Cambridge en route to India – arriving Saturday. So far 14 meetings have been scheduled with various parts of the political-military community. On Monday, a meeting is planned with the Delhi Policy Group where I will meet with Brigadier Seghal who is, apparently working with ONA (Office of Net Assessment) Can you tell me anything about him,” according to the document obtained by SaraACarter.com.

Halper and George Papadopoulos

Halper was not only spying on Page for the FBI in 2016, but he had also made contact in September 2016 with another Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos. He invited Papadopoulos to London that September, luring him with a  $3,000 paycheck to work on a research paper under contract.  By this time the young Trump campaign volunteer had already been in contact London-based professor, Josef Mifsud, who had basically informed him that the Russians had damaging material about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Misfud’s role has also come into question by Congress.

Eventually, Papadopoulos was swept into Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation and pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. His wife, Simona Papadopoulos, who’s been a vocal advocate for her husband, told SaraACarter.com that essentially he was forced to plead guilty because of threats from Mueller’s team and lack of financial resources.

After testifying behind closed doors last month to the House Intelligence Committee, Simona told this outlet that she testified to Congress “as far as George is concerned, he met with individuals following the same pattern of behavior….and all of a sudden (Halper) was asking if he was doing anything with Russians…. This is the case with Halper, who is now proven to be a spy, possibly with (Australian Ambassador) Alexander Downer” who her husband met with in London.

Halper and Michael Flynn 

Before Page and Papadopolous, there was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had been invited to Cambridge in February, 2014 for a a dinner hosted by both Dearlove and Halper.

But during that time, Flynn was already walking a fine line with the Obama Administration and battling President Obama and the CIA over his deep disagreement with the administration’s narrative that al-Qaeda and extremists groups, had been defeated or were on the run. Several months later Flynn was forced to resign early and ended his tenure as the director of the DIA.

Stefan Halper

“Flynn was pushed out by Obama and then became a thorn in the side of Obama and the Clintons when he joined the Trump campaign,” said a former senior intelligence source with knowledge of what happened. “The investigation into Trump didn’t start with Carter Page or George Papadapolous, but with Flynn. Flynn was already on the CIA and Clinton target list. Those same people sure as hell didn’t want him in the White House and they sure as hell didn’t want Trump to win.”

Flynn’s career with Trump ended as quickly as it came. He was forced to resign as Trump’s National Security Advisor 27 days after taking the job. The highly classified conversation between Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was leaked to the Washington Post in January 2017 and he was later questioned by the FBI on that conversation. According to former FBI Director James Comey, the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he was lying, but in the end, Flynn pled guilty to one count of lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He had already spent more than $1 million in lawyers fees and sold his home to help with the debt. According to sources, Flynn’s family was being threatened by the Mueller team.

Halper’s involvement in the bureau’s investigation started much earlier than the FBI’s opening of its Crossfire investigation into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. He was already providing information on Page, Papadopolous, and Flynn earlier that year.

And it was in 2016 when Halper had told the FBI that he witnessed concerning interactions between Russian academic, Svetlana Lokhova, and Flynn at the February 2014 seminar dinner. This suspicion – without any proof – was then leaked to papers in London and eventually discussed in the U.S. media.  Lokhova told the BBC in May 2017 that when she first saw the allegations raised in the media she thought it was a joke.

Numerous sources with knowledge of the allegations Halper made about Flynn, said that they were “absolutely” false and that Flynn and Lokhova only spoke for a short time at the dinner. Several email exchanges between Lokhova, Flynn and his assistant that took place after the dinner were generic in nature, as Flynn had asked her for a copy of a historical 1930s postcard she had brought to the seminar.

“But it didn’t matter that it wasn’t the truth,” said the former senior intelligence official.

“It was already out there because of Halper’s allegations and the constant leaking and lying of false stories of those to the media.”

Published:8/29/2018 6:20:27 PM
[Markets] Trump Renews Google Attack: Tweets Video Showing Search Bias

President Trump on Wednesday renewed his attacks on technology companies and platforms, including Twitter, Facebook Inc and Google, saying they were “trying to silence” people and suggesting that their activities - i.e., shadowbanning, censorship and bias - may be illegal.

“I think that Google and Facebook and Twitter ... treat conservatives and Republicans very unfairly,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think it’s a very serious problem because they’re really trying to silence a very large part of this country, and those people don’t want to be silenced. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It may not be legal, but we’ll see. We just want fairness,” Trump added.

Then, in doubling-down on his attacks on what he called Google bias, Trump tweeted a short video that showed Google promoting president Obama's State of the Union on its homepage, in the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, but when Trump took office Google stopped, the video claims.

Trump's tweet comes just minutes after the Senate Intelligence Committee said it has invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page to a Sept. 5 open hearing to examine social media companies’ responses to “foreign influence operations” on social media platforms.

A panel spokesperson said Page was invited after Google parent Alphabet declined to confirm a senior official to testify. According to Bloomberg, the Committee declined to hear from Google’s Kent Walker - who has previously testified before the panel and was offered as a witness - and instead seeks to hear from more "a more senior executive". The committee said that the invitation to Alphabet was always addressed to Page.

Looks like tensions between Trump and Google, which now appears will be only the third company to hit a $1 trillion market cap after Apple and, soon Amazon, is only set to rise from here.

Published:8/29/2018 4:46:17 PM
[Markets] Christopher Steele Worked For Sanctioned Russian Oligarch While Composing Sham Dossier: Solomon

Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele - the author of the largely unverified "Steele Dossier," worked as a subcontractor for Russian billionaire and aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska at the same time he was pontificating that Donald Trump's alleged (and still unproven) ties to Russia amounted to treason, according to The Hill's John Solomon. 

Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired by a law firm working for Deripaska in 2012, marking the beginning of a relationship which extended at least throughout 2016 according to Solomon. Steele was tasked with researching a business rival of Deripaska, however Steele's work for the Russian billionaire evolved to the point where the former British spy was interfacing with the Obama administration on his behalf. 

To that end, Steele and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr communicated extensively about the Russian Oligarch as recently as February 2016, which included efforts to obtain a Visa for Deripaska to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting int he US. 

Deripaska is now banned from the United States as one of several Russians sanctioned in April in response to alleged 2016 election meddling. 

Ohr, meanwhile, was demoted twice after the DOJ's Inspector General discovered that he lied about his involvement with opposition research firm Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson - who employed Steele. Ohr's CIA-linked wife, Nellie, was also  employed by Fusion as part of the firm's anti-Trump efforts, and had ongoing communications with the ex-UK spy, Christopher Steele as well. 

What's more, Ohr met with Deripaska according to Solomon. 

By 2015, Steele’s work had left him friendly with one of Deripaska’s lawyers, according to my sources. And when Ohr, then the associate deputy attorney general and a longtime acquaintance of Steele, sought help getting to meet Deripaska, Steele obliged.

Deripaska, who frequently has appeared alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at high-profile meetings, never really dealt with Steele, but he followed his lawyer’s recommendations and met with Ohr, my sources say. -The Hill

The September 2015 meeting between Ohr, Deripaska and several FBI agents in New York sought the Russian billionaire's assistance regarding organized crime investigations. That meeting was facilitated by Steele.

To recap: Bruce Ohr = the #4 official at the DOJ, met with a billionaire friend of Vladimir Putin, in a sit-down arranged by Christopher Steele. Steele and the DOJ, meanwhile, were accusing Donald Trump of collusion with Putin - while the Obama administration used Steele's dodgy dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. 

Talk about actual collusion!

Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch's behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele's research and the oligarch's affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation. -Washington Examiner

Deripaska has denied any involvement with the Steele dossier, telling The Hill's Solomon in a statement: "The latest reckless media chatter proposes that I had some unspecified involvement in the so-called dossier. Like most of the absurd fantasies and smears that ricochet across the internet, it is utterly false. I had absolutely nothing to do with this project, and I never had any knowledge of it until it was reported in the media and I certainly wasn’t involved in any activity related to it." 

We're sure Jeff Sessions is all over this...

Meanwhile, Bruce Ohr looked somewhat spooked walking into yesterday's closed-door interview with Congressional investigators. 

Published:8/29/2018 2:13:33 PM
[Markets] "A Senator Masquerading As A Gas Station"

Authored by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

John McCain is dead, and many people are celebrating whereas they should be sad. He wasn’t a friend of mankind - he was its enemy, but a really bad one. But with such grossly incompetent enemies - who needs friends?

McCain did a great deal to destroy America. He devoted his entire lifetime to American destruction. To start with, he was quite effective as a protester against America’s genocidal war on the people of Vietnam. Other Americans just marched around ineffectually, waving banners and shouting antiwar slogans, but not McCain! His own father had a lot to do with starting that war, but McCain made up for that by destroying 26 American war planes. That’s quite something! If every American flyer crashed as many planes, countless innocent lives would have been saved.

Of course, he could have done even better - and he did try. He almost managed to destroy the US aircraft carrier Forrestal by setting it ablaze. To top off his illustrious military career, he surrendered to the enemy and spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. This made him a hero - in Americans’ eyes only, while the rest of the world saw in him a murderer of Vietnamese children.

His “martyrdom” as a POW helped pave his way to a political career, first in Congress, then in the Senate. During his obscenely long career in national politics, McCain did what he could to make American “democracy” look like a complete joke and to hasten America’s collapse. This, by the way, wasn’t a tall order: American “democracy” had long been a cesspool—a playground for lobbyists and political technologists based on a fully gerrymandered system of fake elections. But he did his thing, and is therefore twice the hero.

Defecating into the cesspool of American politics doesn’t alter its chemistry much, but McCain pushed the limits here as well. If only he and the native genius that is Sara Palin had won the Presidency! This surely would have hastened American collapse by quite a substantial amount, bringing his life’s work to fruition. This was perhaps his greatest failing: he turned out to be a traitor to his own friends and a faithful servant to his political enemies. He shut down his electoral campaign two weeks before the election. Then he did whatever he could to kiss up to Obama and helped wreck the repeal of Obamacare. McCain deserves to have a gigantic sausage-shaped obelisk erected in his honor, made of the same lumpy, brown material that he was so full of throughout his political career.

Internationally, McCain was a stellar performer when it came to meddling in the affairs of other nations, often in ways that helped undermine America’s standing in the world. Whenever he visited a foreign country, the likelihood of civil war breaking out there went up by a notch, sometimes by two. He always had a warm place in his heart for terrorists—be they Ukrainian neo-Nazis or the homicidal maniacs of the Islamic Caliphate (a.k.a. ISIS). He managed to perform in spite of not being very smart: in 2013 he published an article on the website Pravda.ru, thinking that it was Russia’s main newspaper (which was at that point two decades defunct).

He was one of the prime architects of the Ukrainian government’s “anti-terrorist operation” against its own citizens in the east of the country. His actions helped assure American defeat and Syrian victory in Syria and set the Ukrainian government he had helped install in 2014 on a course for self-destruction. Russia owes him a debt of gratitude for its reunification with Crimea after its two lost decades in the Ukrainian wilderness. He was also a champion of America’s own self-destruction through national bankruptcy, always being in favor of its profligate, fantastically corrupt and otherwise ineffectual defense spending.

His crowning achievement was his successful push for anti-Russian sanctions. They made it very difficult for Russian government officials to appear serious and resist the urge to say “May we have some more sanctions, please?” Thanks to these sanctions, Russia has moved rapidly toward achieving food security and has become one of the world’s major agricultural exporters; it has achieved or will soon achieve complete self-sufficiency in defense and in many other industrial sectors; and it is quite far along in making itself independent of the US dollar and of Western finance.

The effect of the sanctions in simultaneously driving down both the ruble and the Russian stock market has allowed the Russian government to sell dollars high and to buy up Russian industrial stocks low, effectively re-nationalizing Russian industry at bargain-basement prices, shifting the share of its government ownership from around 16% to at least 65% while squeezing out Western financial interests. The profits that would have otherwise been pocketed by Western investors are now flooding into the Russian treasury, to be spent on health, education, housing, roads and bridges and so on. McCain, you socialist you!

McCain also had a wonderful talent for being not just wrong but exactly wrong, as in the exact opposite of right. He called Russia “a gas station masquerading as a country.” That was great for Russia, because Russia was at the time a country masquerading as a gas station, to buy itself the time it needed to rebuild and rearm. Now that it has done so, the mask can come off, and Russia is most grateful to McCain for having given it plenty of cover just at the time when it most needed it.

It is a sad moment now that McCain’s untimely demise has sent him off to an eternity in Hell, because he didn’t get to finish his life’s work: destroying the United States. Nevertheless, we should call it a job well done, for the course on which he helped set the country is now unalterable. Even if he is replaced in his Senate seat by someone actually competent and able to act in his nation’s interest, this won’t alter its course by much, and certainly will not reverse it. Let us now observe a minute of silence in honor of John McCain, for upon his passing the American Collapse Party has lost a true leader.

Published:8/29/2018 10:14:24 AM
[Politics] Trump Quotes Carlson: 'Obama People' Spied on Rival Presidential Campaign President Donald Trump, in a pair of tweets, Wednesday quoted Fox News' Tucker Carlson's accusation that "the Obama people" spied on a rival presidential campaign. Published:8/29/2018 9:00:55 AM
[worldNews] Trump's EPA unveils weaker alternative to Obama power plant rule The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed replacing a signature Obama-era policy to combat climate change with a weaker plan that would let states write their own rules on coal-fired power plants, prompting critics to warn of dire environmental and health consequences.
Published:8/29/2018 5:40:44 AM
[Law] The Daily Signal Podcast: Wednesday, Aug. 29

During the Obama years, red states found themselves battling together on the front lines to defend liberty against an overreaching federal government. Attorneys General Ken... Read More

The post The Daily Signal Podcast: Wednesday, Aug. 29 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/29/2018 2:11:56 AM
[Markets] The Other Side Of John McCain

Authored by Max Blumenthal via Consortium News,

If the paeans to McCain by diverse political climbers seems detached from reality, it’s because they reflect the elite view of U.S. military interventions as a chess game, with the millions killed by unprovoked aggression mere statistics.

As the Cold War entered its final act in 1985, journalist Helena Cobban participated in an academic conference at an upscale resort near Tucson, Arizona, on U.S.-Soviet interactions in the Middle East. When she attended what was listed as the “Gala Dinner with keynote speech”, she quickly learned that the virtual theme of the evening was, “Adopt a Muj.”

“I remember mingling with all of these wealthy Republican women from the Phoenix suburbs and being asked, ‘Have you adopted a muj?” Cobban told me. “Each one had pledged money to sponsor a member of the Afghan mujahedin in the name of beating the communists. Some were even seated at the event next to their personal ‘muj.’”

The keynote speaker of the evening, according to Cobban, was a hard-charging freshman member of Congress named John McCain.

During the Vietnam war, McCain had been captured by the North Vietnamese Army after being shot down on his way to bomb a civilian lightbulb factory. He spent two years in solitary confinement and underwent torture that left him with crippling injuries. McCain returned from the war with a deep, abiding loathing of his former captors, remarking as late as 2000, “I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.” After he was criticized for the racist remark, McCain refused to apologize. “I was referring to my prison guards,” he said, “and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend some people because of the beating and torture of my friends.”

‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison where McCain was tortured. (Wikimedia Commons)

McCain’s visceral resentment informed his vocal support for the mujahedin as well as the right-wing contra death squads in Central America — any proxy group sworn to the destruction of communist governments.

So committed was McCain to the anti-communist cause that in the mid-1980s he had joinedthe advisory board of the United States Council for World Freedom, the American affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). Geoffrey Stewart-Smith, a former leader of WACL’s British chapter who had turned against the group in 1974, described the organization as “a collection of Nazis, fascists, anti-Semites, sellers of forgeries, vicious racialists, and corrupt self-seekers. It has evolved into an anti-Semitic international.”

Joining McCain in the organization were notables such as Jaroslav Stetsko, the Croatian Nazi collaborator who helped oversee the extermination of 7,000 Jews in 1941; the brutal Argentinian former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla; and Guatemalan death squad leader Mario Sandoval Alarcon. Then-President Ronald Reagan honored the group for playing“a leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being waged by the true freedom fighters of our day.”

Being Lauded as a Hero

On the occasion of his death, McCain is being honored in much the same way — as a patriotic hero and freedom fighter for democracy. A stream of hagiographies is pouring forth from the Beltway press corps that he described as his true political base. Among McCain’s most enthusiastic groupies is CNN’s Jake Tapper, whom he chose as his personal stenographer for a 2000 trip to Vietnam. When the former CNN host Howard Kurtz asked Tapper in February, 2000, “When you’re on the [campaign] bus, do you make a conscious effort not to fall under the magical McCain spell?”

“Oh, you can’t. You become like Patty Hearst when the SLA took her,” Tapper joked in reply.

Ocasio-Cortez: Called McCain ‘an unparalleled example of human decency.’

But the late senator has also been treated to gratuitous tributes from an array of prominent liberals, from George Soros to his soft power-pushing client, Ken Roth, along with three fellow directors of Human Rights Watch and “democratic socialist” celebrity Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who hailed McCain as “an unparalleled example of human decency.” Rep. John Lewis, the favorite civil rights symbol of the Beltway political class, weighed in as well to memorialize McCain as a “warrior for peace.”

If the paeans to McCain by this diverse cast of political climbers and Davos denizens seemed detached from reality, that’s because they perfectly reflected the elite view of American military interventions as akin to a game of chess, and the millions of dead left in the wake of the West’s unprovoked aggression as mere statistics.

There were few figures in recent American life who dedicated themselves so personally to the perpetuation of war and empire as McCain. But in Washington, the most defining aspect of his career was studiously overlooked, or waved away as the trivial idiosyncrasy of a noble servant who nonetheless deserved everyone’s reverence.

McCain did not simply thunder for every major intervention of the post-Cold War era from the Senate floor, while pushing for sanctions and assorted campaigns of subterfuge on the side. He was uniquely ruthless when it came to advancing imperial goals, barnstorming from one conflict zones to another to personally recruit far-right fanatics as American proxies.

In Libya and Syria, he cultivated affiliates of Al Qaeda as allies, and in Ukraine, McCain courted actual, sig-heiling neo-Nazis.

While McCain’s Senate office functioned as a clubhouse for arms industry lobbyists and neocon operatives, his fascistic allies waged a campaign of human devastation that will continue until long after the flowers dry up on his grave.

American media may have sought to bury this legacy with the senator’s body, but it is what much of the outside world will remember him for.

‘They are Not al-Qaeda’

McCain with Abdelhakim Belhaj, leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a former Al Qaeda affiliate.

When a violent insurgency swept through Libya in 2011, McCain parachuted into the country to meet with leaders of the main insurgent outfit, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), battling the government of Moamar Gaddafi. His goal was to make kosher this band of hardline Islamists in the eyes of the Obama administration, which was considering a military intervention at the time.

What happened next is well documented, though it is scarcely discussed by a Washington political class that depended on the Benghazi charade to deflect from the real scandal of Libya’s societal destruction. Gaddafi’s motorcade was attacked by NATO jets, enabling a band of LIFG fighters to capture him, sodomize him with a bayonet, then murder him and leave his body to rot in a butcher shop in Misrata while rebel fanboys snapped cellphone selfies of his fetid corpse.

slaughter of Black citizens of Libya by the racist sectarian militias recruited by McCain immediately followed the killing of the pan-African leader. ISIS took over Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte while Belhaj’s militia took control of Tripoli, and a war of the warlords began. Just as Gaddafi had warned, the ruined country became a staging ground for migrant smugglers on the Mediterranean, fueling the rise of the far-right across Europe and enabling the return of slavery to Africa.

Many might describe Libya as a failed state, but it also represents a successful realization of the vision McCain and his allies have advanced on the global stage.

Following the NATO-orchestrated murder of Libya’s leader, McCain tweeted, “Qaddafi on his way out, Bashar al Assad is next.”

McCain’s Syrian Boondoggle

Like Libya, Syria had resisted aligning with the West and was suddenly confronted with a Salafi-jihadi insurgency armed by the CIA. Once again, McCain made it his personal duty to market Islamist insurgents to America as a cross between the Minutemen and the Freedom Riders of the civil rights era. To do so, he took under his wing a youthful DC-based Syria-American operative named Mouaz Moustafa who had been a consultant to the Libyan Transitional Council during the run-up to the NATO invasion.

In May 2013, Moustafa convinced McCain to take an illegal trip across the Syrian border and meet some freedom fighters. An Israeli millionaire named Moti Kahana who coordinated efforts between the Syrian opposition and the Israeli military through his NGO, Amaliah, claimed to have “financed the opposition group which took senator John McCain to visit war-torn Syria.”

“This could be like his Benghazi moment,” Moustafa remarked excitedly in a scene from a documentary, “Red Lines,” that depicted his efforts for regime change. “[McCain] went to Benghazi, he came back, we bombed.”

During his brief excursion into Syria, McCain met with a group of CIA-backed insurgents and blessed their struggle. “The senator wanted to assure the Free Syrian Army that the American people support their cry for freedom, support their revolution,” Moustafa said in an interview with CNN. McCain’s office promptly released a photo showing the senatorposing beside a beaming Moustafa and two grim-looking gunmen.

Days later, the men were named by the Lebanese Daily Star as Mohammad Nour and Abu Ibrahim. Both had been implicated in the kidnapping a year prior of 11 Shia pilgrims, and were identified by one of the survivors. McCain and Moustafa returned to the U.S. the targets of mockery from Daily Show host John Stewart and the subject of harshly critical reports from across the media spectrum. At a town hall in Arizona, McCain was berated by constituents, including Jumana Hadid, a Syrian Christian woman who warned that the sectarian militants he had cozied up to threatened her community with genocide.

McCain with then-FSA commander Salam Idriss, an insurgent later exposed for kidnapping Shia pilgrims.

But McCain pressed ahead anyway. On Capitol Hill, he introduced another shady young operative into his interventionist theater. Named Elizabeth O’Bagy, she was a fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, an arms industry-funded think tank directed by Kimberly Kagan of the neoconservative Kagan clan. Behind the scenes, O’Bagy was consulting for Moustafa at his Syrian Emergency Task Force, a clear conflict of interest that her top Senate patron was well aware of. Before the Senate, McCain cited a Wall Street Journal editorial by O’Bagy to support his assessment of the Syrian rebels as predominately “moderate,” and potentially Western-friendly.

Days later, O’Bagy was exposed for faking her PhD in Arabic studies. As soon as the humiliated Kagan fired O’Bagy, the academic fraudster took another pass through the Beltway’s revolving door, striding into the halls of Congress as McCain’s newest foreign policy aide.

McCain ultimately failed to see the Islamist “revolutionaries” he glad handled take control of Damascus. Syria’s government held on thanks to help from his mortal enemies in Tehran and Moscow, but not before a billion dollar CIA arm-and-equip operation helped spawn one of the worst refugee crises in post-war history. Luckily for McCain, there were other intrigues seeking his attention, and new bands of fanatical rogues in need of his blessing. Months after his Syrian boondoggle, the ornery militarist turned his attention to Ukraine, then in the throes of an upheaval stimulated by U.S. and EU-funded soft power NGO’s.

Coddling the Neo-Nazis of Ukraine

On December 14, 2013, McCain materialized in Kiev for a meeting with Oleh Tyanhbok, an unreconstructed fascist who had emerged as a top opposition leader. Tyanhbok had co-founded the fascist Social-National Party, a far-right political outfit that touted itself as the “last hope of the white race, of humankind as such.” No fan of Jews, he had complained that a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” had taken control of his country, and had been photographed throwing up a sieg heil Nazi salute during a speech.

None of this apparently mattered to McCain. Nor did the scene of Right Sector neo-Nazis filling up Kiev’s Maidan Square while he appeared on stage to egg them on.

“Ukraine will make Europe better and Europe will make Ukraine better!” McCain proclaimed to cheering throngs while Tyanhbok stood by his side. The only issue that mattered to him at the time was the refusal of Ukraine’s elected president to sign a European Union austerity plan, opting instead for an economic deal with Moscow.

McCain met with Social-National Party co-founder Oleh Tyanhbok.

McCain was so committed to replacing an independent-minded government with a NATO vassal that he even mulled a military assault on Kiev. “I do not see a military option and that is tragic,” McCain lamented in an interview about the crisis. Fortunately for him, regime change arrived soon after his appearance on the Maidan, and Tyanhbok’s allies rushed in to fill the void.

By the end of the year, the Ukrainian military had become bogged down in a bloody trench war with pro-Russian, anti-coup separatists in the country’s east. A militia affiliated with the new government in Kiev called Dnipro-1 was accused by Amnesty International observers of blocking humanitarian aid into a separatist-held area, including food and clothing for the war torn population.

Six months later, McCain appeared at Dnipro-1’s training base alongside Sen.’s Tom Cotton and John Barasso. “The people of my country are proud of your fight and your courage,” McCain told an assembly of soldiers from the militia. When he completed his remarks, the fighters belted out a World War II-era salute made famous by Ukrainian Nazi collaborators: “Glory to Ukraine!”

Today, far-right nationalists occupy key posts in Ukraine’s pro-Western government. The speaker of its parliament isAndriy Parubiy, a co-founder with Tyanhbok of the Social-National Party and leader of the movement to honor World World Two-era Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera. On the cover of his 1998 manifesto, “View From The Right,” Parubiy appeared in a Nazi-style brown shirt with a pistol strapped to his waist. In June 2017, McCain and Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan welcomed Parubiy on Capitol Hill for what McCain called a “good meeting.” It was a shot in the arm for the fascist forces sweeping across Ukraine.

McCain with Dnipro-1 militants on June 20, 2015

The past months in Ukraine have seen a state sponsored neo-Nazi militia called C14 carrying out a pogromist rampage against Ukraine’s Roma population, the country’s parliament erecting an exhibition honoring Nazi collaborators, and the Ukrainian military formally approving the pro-Nazi “Glory to Ukraine” greeting as its own official salute.

Ukraine is now the sick man of Europe, a perpetual aid case bogged down in an endless war in its east. In a testament to the country’s demise since its so-called “Revolution of Dignity,” the deeply unpopular President Petro Poroshenko has promised White House National Security Advisor John Bolton that his country — once a plentiful source of coal on par with Pennsylvania — will now purchase coal from the U.S. Once again, a regime change operation that generated a failing, fascistic state stands as one of McCain’s greatest triumphs.

McCain’s history conjures up memory of one of the most inflammatory statements by Sarah Palin, another cretinous fanatic he foisted onto the world stage. During a characteristically rambling stump speech in October 2008, Palin accusedBarack Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” The line was dismissed as ridiculous and borderline slander, as it should have been. But looking back at McCain’s career, the accusation seems richly ironic.

By any objective standard, it was McCain who had palled around with terrorists, and who wrested as much resources as he could from the American taxpayer to maximize their mayhem. Here’s hoping that the societies shattered by McCain’s proxies will someday rest in peace.

Published:8/29/2018 1:09:04 AM
[Markets] As MSM & Hollywood Distract, US Government Quietly Prepares For Nuclear War

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

The MSM (Mainstream Media) and Hollywood forms a conglomerated consortium of Marxists, Socialists, creepy-refugee professors from Woodstock, and wanna-be left-wing revolutionaries. They have two different paths. The MSM forces non-news down the throat of the public while decrying the true news in the alternative media.  Hollywood is shaping the formation of the public consciousness and forcing a paradigm shift (Overton window principle), a shift to the left through popular culture, film, television, and the music industry. Both of them have one end objective in mind: the dissolution of the United States, and the destruction of its borders, language, religions, culture, and society as a whole in all of its forms.

You don’t receive news anymore from reporters or journalists. It is a collage of sensationalism coupled with reality TV shows, all sans morals or any form or semblance of decency. This has been repeated throughout history. The Visigoths were at the gates of Rome, yet her citizens would not drag themselves away from the chariot races to man the walls and the battlements. Now is the same, merely fast-forwarded. In all this, if you have not noticed, the U.S. is quietly assuming the same footing they did during the Cold War, and more.

On 8/24/18, BuzzFeed News published an article by Dan Vergano entitled “The US Government is Updating its Nuclear Disaster Plans and They are Truly Terrifying.” I strongly recommend reading it.

The article begins with this:

“Amid concerns over North Korea, federal emergency managers are updating disaster plans to account for large nuclear detonations over the 60 largest US cities, according to a US Federal Emergency Management Agency official.  The shift away from planning for small nuclear devices that could be deployed by terrorists toward thermonuclear blasts arranged by “state actors” was discussed on [8/23/18]…”

“The North Koreans have really changed the calculus…we really have to look at thermonuclear now.”

“In response to an audience question, [FEMA Chief of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Branch] said the agency has also considered scenarios where a nuclear bomb, a cyberattack, a coordinated electromagnetic pulse, and biological weapons all hit the US at the same time.”

I have written numerous articles on the threat posed by North Korea, especially with regard to an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) strike against the United States. I did not arrive upon these assertions without research and study: the conclusions of such notables as Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), and others of the (now-disbanded) Committee to Assess EMP Threat against the United States... their research provided a great deal for the basis of my assertions. I stand by what I wrote.

We are in a difficult time currently in the world situational arena. Russia and China are strengthening their militaries, economies, and influence, and the reformative acts by President Trump may be too little and too late. The midterms may turn him into a tiger without the teeth to enable the passage of any laws. Even with the teeth…and current Republican control of the Senate and House, it has proven to be a battle between a combination of turncoats and fifth columnists that has slowed down the reforms considerably.

Now the “conga line” of communists follows after smear tactics such as “Russiagate” and election conspiracy accusations, the endless “witch hunt” by Mueller, and the Stormy Daniels nonsense. All of these actions are taken to derail the President and deny a turnaround for the country after 8 years of Obama.

With all of this in consideration, though, the threat of a nuclear war is real, and (as I’ve mentioned in the past) a first strike would be precipitated by an EMP attack. North Korea is the perfect source as an individual “aspirant” or with the prompting of the “state actors,” singly or in unison. The last sentence in the referenced article summarizes it simply yet eloquently: an attack would be multifaceted and simultaneous.

The summit with North Korea was one of those George Bush Jr. moments, where he declared victory in Iraq a decade before the U.S. withdrew its forces. Everyone made fun of North Korea and said the game was over with the summit because Kim Jong-Un and the President shook hands.

With the reassessment: nothing has changed, except North Korea has now gained time to prepare that it did not have before.

The Russians and the Chinese have a major joint military exercise scheduled to commence on 9/11/18, in which for the first time drills will be conducted to include responses to nuclear attack. In addition, many nations are dumping their holdings in U.S. debt and there is a lot of volatility in the world, such as the Brexit actions, the trade status of Britain with the EU after it occurs, NATO instability, and the continuing influx of Muslims into Europe.

Trouble usually arises in the midst of confusion or where one side assesses that the other is ripe to attack. The President was elected and the leadership redefined, but the country has not been extricated from the quagmire that Obama and his cronies (including such as McCain and Graham) placed it in. At such times and when beset by difficulties and a looming midterm election, a lack of policy is potentially worse than bad policy. The information from the referenced article is serious. Threats have not reemerged: in fact, they never left. The Potemkins of the MSM and Hollywood managed to screen them, yet the U.S. government is altering assessments and plans to address those threats, and the potential for a nuclear war is still very real.

Published:8/28/2018 11:14:55 PM
[FBI] Bruce Ohr Testifies (John Hinderaker) Bruce Ohr, the number four official in Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, testified before the House Oversight and Judiciary committees today. Given what we know about his role in the DOJ/FBI scandal, his testimony should have been riveting. However, he testified in closed session, so this will be a short post. Fox News hints at what happened behind closed doors: While lawmakers told reporters that Ohr was being cooperative, Rep. Published:8/28/2018 8:07:43 PM
[Markets] "Idiot" Trump Warns Facebook, Twitter And Google To Tread Carefully

President Trump doubled down on Tuesday threats against Facebook, Twitter and Google with new comments from the Oval Office, saying the social media platforms are "treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.

"I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people and I think that's a very serious thing and it's a very serious charge," Trump told reporters following a meeting with the president of FIFA. "They better be careful because they can't do that to people."

Earlier in the day, Google responded to an accusation by Trump over Twitter that they're "rigging" search results against him, providing as evidence a "Trump News" search which showed predominantly "left" media publications popping up in the search results.

To which Google replied "Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology"

"Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment"

Maybe they can explain why Trump's picture is just about the only thing that appears when one does a Google image search for the word "idiot"

And while Google had visited the Obama White House over 230 times in seven years, we wonder how many times they've visited since Trump took office? 

Published:8/28/2018 5:17:39 PM
[Markets] Buchanan Asks "Are The Interventionists Now Leaderless?"

Authored by Pat Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“McCain’s Death Leaves Void” ran The Wall Street Journal headline over a front-page story that began:

“The death of John McCain will leave Congress without perhaps its loudest voice in support of the robust internationalism that has defined the country’s security relations since World War II.”

Certainly, the passing of the senator whose life story will dominate the news until he is buried at his alma mater, the Naval Academy, on Sunday, leaves America’s interventionists without their greatest champion.

No one around has the prestige or media following of McCain.

And the cause he championed, compulsive intervention in foreign quarrels to face down dictators and bring democrats to power, appears to be a cause whose time has passed.

When 9/11 occurred, America was united in crushing the al-Qaida terrorists who perpetrated the atrocities. John McCain then backed President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, which had no role in the attacks.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, he slipped into northern Syria to cheer rebels who had arisen to overthrow President Bashar Assad, an insurgency that led to a seven-year civil war and one of the great humanitarian disasters of our time.

McCain supported the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe and the Baltic, right up to Russia’s border.

When Georgia invaded South Ossetia in 2008, and was expelled by the Russian army, McCain roared, “We are all Georgians now!”

He urged intervention. But Bush, his approval rating scraping bottom, had had enough of the neocon crusades for democracy.

McCain’s contempt for Vladimir Putin was unconstrained. When crowds gathered in Maidan Square in Kiev to overthrow an elected pro-Russian president, McCain was there, cheering them on.

He supported sending arms to the Ukrainian army to fight pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass. He backed U.S. support for Saudi intervention in Yemen. And this war, too, proved to be a humanitarian disaster.

John McCain was a war hawk, and proud of it. But by 2006, the wars he had championed had cost the Republican Party both houses of Congress.

In 2008, when he was on the ballot, those wars helped cost him the presidency.

By 2016, the Republican majority would turn its back on McCain and his protege, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and nominate Donald Trump, who said he would seek to get along with Russia and extricate America from the wars into which McCain had helped plunge the country.

Yet, while interventionism now has no great champion and has proven unable to rally an American majority, it retains a residual momentum. This compulsion is pushing us to continue backing the Saudi war in Yemen and to seek regime change in Iran.

Yet if either of these enterprises holds any prospect of bringing about a more peaceful and prosperous Middle East, no one has made the case.

While the foreign policy that won the Cold War, containment, was articulated by George Kennan and pursued by presidents from Truman to Bush I, no grand strategy for the post-Cold War era has ever been embraced by a majority of Americans.

Bush I’s “New World Order” was rejected by Ross Perot’s economic patriots and Bill Clinton’s baby boomers who wanted to spend America’s peace dividend from our Cold War victory on America’s homefront.

As for the Bush II crusades for democracy “to end tyranny in our world,” the fruits of that Wilsonian idealism turned into ashes in our mouths.

But if the foreign policy agendas of Bush I and Bush II, along with McCain’s interventionism, have been tried and found wanting, what is America’s grand strategy?

What are the great goals of U.S. foreign policy? What are the vital interests for which all, or almost all Americans, believe we should fight?

“Take away this pudding; it has no theme,” said Churchill. Britain has lost an empire, but not yet found a role, was the crushing comment of Dean Acheson in 1962.

Both statements appear to apply to U.S. foreign policy in 2018.

We are bombing and fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, partly John McCain’s legacy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sent a virtual ultimatum to Iran. We have told North Korea, a nuclear power with the world’s fourth-largest army, either to denuclearize or the U.S. may use its military might to get the job done.

We are challenging Beijing in its claimed territorial waters of the South China Sea. From South Korea to Estonia, we are committed by solemn treaty to go to war if any one of dozens of nations is attacked.

Now one hears talk of an “Arab NATO” to confront the ayatollah’s Iran and its Shiite allies. Lest we forget, ISIS and al-Qaida are Sunni.

With all these war guarantees, the odds are excellent that one day we are going to be dragged in yet another war that the American people will sour upon soon after it begins.

Where is the American Kennan of the new century?

Published:8/28/2018 10:12:36 AM
[Markets] China Hacked Clinton's Private Email Server: Daily Caller

A Chinese-owned firm with operations in Washington D.C. hacked Hillary Clinton's private server "throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails," reports the Daily Caller's Richard Pollock. 

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources. -Daily Caller

During a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) disclosed that the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton's emails from her homebrew server were funneled to a "foreign entity." Gohmert did not reveal the entity's identity - however he said it wasn't Russia. 

A government staff official briefed on the ICIG's findings told the Daily Caller that the Chinese firm which hacked Clinton's emails operates in Washington's northern Virginia suburbs, and that it was not a technology firm - but a "front group" for the Chinese government. 

Warnings ignored

Two ICIG officials, investigator Frank Ruckner and attorney Janette McMillan, repeatedly warned FBI officials of the Chinese intrusion during several meetings, according to the Daily Caller, citing a "former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues who was briefed on the matter." 

Among the FBI officials warned was Peter Strzok - who was fired earlier this month from the agency over anti-Trump text messages he sent while spearheading an investigation of Trump's 2016 campaign. Strzok did not act on the ICIG's warning according to Gohmert - who added that Strzok and three other top FBI officials knew about an "anomaly" on Clinton's server

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton's email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton's emails were sent to a foreign entity - while IG Horowitz simply didn't want to know about it. 

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok. -Daily Caller

Gohmert: “It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn't remember the "specific" content of their discussion. 

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

Meanwhile, four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz "never returned the call."

Internal Pushback 

In November of 2017, IG McCullough - an Obama appointee - revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton's emails and other anomalies. 

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue. 

"It's absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information," he said.

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an "adversarial posture" from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

"I expected to be embraced and protected," he said, adding that a Hill staffer "chided" him for failing to consider the "political consequences" of the information he was blowing the whistle on. -Fox News

Published:8/28/2018 4:39:09 AM
[Markets] Mueller Might Be Barred From Publishing Trump-Russia Report Thanks To Obscure Court Case

A six-decade old murder case working its way through a Washington D.C. Court of Appeals may set a precedent that would prevent special counsel Robert Mueller from publishing any information from stemming from the Trump-Russia investigation, reports Politico

Columbia University professor Jesus Galindez disappeared in 1956, and was believed to be possibly kidnapped to the Dominican Republic and murdered. His body was never found. The case inspired a 2003 film starring Harvey Keitel, "The Galindez File." 

Attorney and author Stuart McKeever has been pursuing the case, and has asked the D.C. court to release secret testimony given to a DC-based grand jury, however the Department of Justice (DOJ) has argued that judges don't have "inherent authority" to release said information unless Congress approves.

As Politico's Josh Gerstein notes, McKeever's success or failure to obtain the documents may have far reaching implications for other investigations - including Mueller's probe of President Trump and those in his orbit

 

[I]f a Washington appeals court set to hear the murder-related case next month sides with the Justice Department and rules that judges don’t have the freedom to release grand jury information that is usually kept secret, it could throw a monkey wrench into any plans Mueller has to issue a public report on his probe’s findings, lawyers following the issue said.

And it might even keep the special counsel from sending a report to Congress, shaking Democrats’ hopes that such a document could provide the impetus for impeachment proceedings against the president. -Politico

This means of course that if Mueller can't nail Trump for anything outside of porn-star payoffs and parking tickets, he will conveniently avoid an embarrassing public disclosure after more than two years of DOJ investigation. On the other hand, if Trump is found guilty of being a Putin-puppet, it would similarly hinder public disclosure.

"It is a sleeper case," says Harvard Law professor Alex Whiting. "If the D.C. Circuit were to accept the Department of Justice’s arguments…that would have potentially enormous implications for the future of the information from the Mueller investigation. That could close out a path by which that information becomes public."

Published:8/27/2018 8:27:03 PM
[Markets] Remember When Obama And His Supporters Hated And Mocked John McCain?

Submitted by Rusty of The Political Insider,

While the left has spent the last few days shedding tears over the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, it's important to remember that their admiration for him hasn't always been so prevalent.

In fact, Barack Obama and his supporters in 2008, when McCain dared to challenge the first African-American candidate for the presidency, offered far less adoration than you'll see today.

For his part, the former President issued a statement raving about his longtime adversary, even lauding his tragic war experiences as a test that showed McCain's courage.

"Few of us have been tested the way John once was or required to show the kind of courage that he did," Obama said in a statement. "But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own."

It is a far cry from those years in which supporters of Obama belittled McCain's war record, mocked him for the injuries he suffered, scoffed at his age, and even compared him to a Nazi.

If you're watching media coverage of the Republican 'maverick' today, you'd be skeptical. But yes, all of those things happened just a decade ago.

General Wesley Clark, an ardent defender of Obama who was once considered for the role of Vice President, scoffed at McCain's war record, or the 'test' that Barack referenced.

"I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president," he said during a 'Face the Nation' interview.

Former Obama adviser Rand Beers attacked McCain saying his "isolation" during much of the Vietnam War (being a POW and tortured), meant that his national security experience was "sadly limited."

Liberal blogger John Aravosis added to the reprehensible attacks saying, "getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience."

Aravosis was referring to a false confession drawn out of McCain after being tortured for multiple days and having his ribs broken in a North Vietnamese prison.

In a later blog post, Aravosis claimed Obama's people asked him to do "all the dirty work" for the campaign.

What is now a test of courage and a sign of McCain's strength was once a source of mockery for his political opponents. A political ad released by the campaign even mocked the Republican's old age and inability to use email, a result of injuries sustained during his years in captivity.

"McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes," Mary Leonard wrote in the Boston Globe in 2000.

Rep. John Lewis painted McCain as comparable to George Wallace, a man fostering "an atmosphere of hate" and "hostility" in 2008. Two days ago he called the 'hostile' McCain a "warrior for peace."

Then there was the far-left Hollywood crowd who adored Obama and remarkably compared McCain to Nazis and Adolf Hitler, paving the way for Trump supporters years later to not give a rip about the disparaging comparisons.

The animated comedy 'Family Guy' featured a scene in which characters were transported back to Nazi Germany and tried to blend in wearing uniforms, one of which had a McCain/Palin button.

Madonna, who this go around declared her fantasy was to blow up the White House because a Republican resides there, used a video montage during one of her concerts in 2008 that showed images of McCain alongside photos of Hitler and brutal Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Not very many offered an ardent defense of McCain at the time. Certainly not the media, and certainly not soon-to-be President Obama and former President George W. Bush.

Yet both men have been invited to deliver a eulogy at the Senator's funeral services at the National Cathedral.

By contrast, "Mr. McCain quietly declared before his death that he did not want Mr. Trump to take part in his funeral," the New York Times reported.

How quickly they have forgotten that Obama and his supporters said the very same things Trump did during the heat of a political battle.

One side has been forgiven. The other has not.

Published:8/27/2018 6:54:51 PM
[Markets] Top Student Loan Official Quits, Blames Trump; Warns "The System Is Rigged"

The top federal official overseeing the massive $1.5 trillion student loan market bubble resigned Monday, citing in a letter what he says is the Trump administration’s blatant disregard toward protecting the nations 44 million Americans struggling with student loan debt (which, however, they had no problem taking out).

In a fiery resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who until Monday morning was the Student Loan Ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), warned that current leadership “has turned its back on young people and their financial futures.” i.e., loans are not being forgiven. The letter was addressed to the Honorable Mick Mulvaney, the Acting Director of the CFPB.

In the letter, obtained by NPR, Frotman unloads on Mulvaney and the Trump administration of undermining his ability to defend the millions of millennial loan borrowers struggling to stay afloat. There was no mention of explaining to said millions of millennials why taking out debt in the first place is a bad idea if there are no prospects of ever repaying it.

“I had hoped to continue this critical work in partnership with you and your staff by using our authority under law to stand up for student loan borrowers trapped in a broken system. Unfortunately, under your leadership, the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting. Instead, you have used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America."

Congress created the Student Loan Ombudsman office when it formed the CFB, citing the critical need for a specific office to handle student loan complaints.

Frotman’s office was quite powerful; they worked with the bureau’s enforcement staff to pinpoint bad behavior in the student loan market as well as an advocate for student loan borrowers. Since inception, the Student Loan Ombudsman office returned $750 million to harmed borrowers.

“Frotman’s office was central to processing tens of thousands of complaints from student loan borrowers against their servicers. It also was the office at the center of the lawsuits against for-profit colleges like Corinthian Colleges and is currently heading up a lawsuit between the CFPB and Navient. The Navient lawsuit has been mired in bureaucratic red tape as the Department of Education, headed by Betsy DeVos, has been unwilling to help the CFPB with their lawsuit,” said Bloomberg.

Under Mulvaney, Frotman’s student loan office was severely downgraded, which scaled back its enforcement work. Mulvaney’s office is currently in the process of revising or rescinding all of the rules and regulations it put into place under the Obama administration.

Frotman concludes the resignation letter with a warning that the “system is rigged to favor the most powerful financial interests.” He also mentioned millions of borrowers are "trapped in a broken student loan system", by which he meant one in which borrowers are expect to repay their lenders:

In my time at the Bureau I have traveled across the country, meeting with consumers in over three dozen states, and with military families from over 100 military units. I have met with dozens of state law enforcement officials and, more importantly, I have heard directly from tens of thousands of individual student loan borrowers.

A common thread ties these experiences together — the American Dream under siege, told through the heart-wrenching stories of individuals caught in a system rigged to favor the most powerful financial interests. For seven years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fought to ensure these families received a fair shake as they as they strived for the American Dream.

Sadly, the damage you have done to the Bureau betrays these families and sacrifices the financial futures of millions of Americans in communities across the country.

For these reasons, I resign effective September 1, 2018. Although I will no longer be Student Loan Ombudsman, I remain committed to fighting on behalf of borrowers who are trapped in a broken student loan system.

As for millions of the millennials who are financially wrecked with student loans and shitty jobs in the gig economy, and whose only hope was to get their debt forgiven, perhaps complain to the Fed and demand that during the next bailout their debt be monetized too.

Published:8/27/2018 5:54:53 PM
[Entertainment] That’s harsh: After killing off “Roseanne,” ABC’s going to kill off Roseanne Connor

Just to be clear, we weren’t amused by Roseanne Barr’s tweet that described Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett as the lovechild of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes — a tweet Barr later attributed to “Ambien tweeting,” which earned her a tweet from the maker of Ambien: People of all races, religions […]

The post That’s harsh: After killing off “Roseanne,” ABC’s going to kill off Roseanne Connor appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:8/27/2018 5:29:09 PM
[Markets] Key Words: McCain ally reads ‘farewell statement’ from the late senator Clad in a tan suit and sipping from a water bottle as he sought to keep emotion in check, Rick Davis, national campaign manager for John McCain’s 2008 presidential run against then–fellow U.S. senator Barack Obama, read a message touching on themes of patriotism, exceptionalism and tribalism and explicitly looking ahead to McCain’s imminent demise.
Published:8/27/2018 1:57:42 PM
[Politics] 41% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Forty-one percent (41%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending August 23.

This is down two points from the previous two weeks. 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.

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project. Learn more about how you can contribute.

(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 August 19-23, 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:8/27/2018 12:27:49 PM
[Markets] Paul Craig Roberts: Watching America Collapse

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

In the 1950s and 1960s the United States was a vibrant society. Upward mobility was strong, and the middle class expanded. During the 1970s the internal contradiction in Keynesian demand management resulted in stagflation. Reagan’s supply-side economic policy cured that. With a sound economy under him, Reagan was able to pressure the Soviet government, which was unable to solve its economic problem, to negotiate the end of the cold war.

This happy development was not welcomed by powerful forces, both in the US and Soviet Union.

In the US the powerful military/security complex was unhappy about losing the Soviet Threat, under the auspices of which its budget and power had soared. Right-wing superpatriot conservatives accused Reagan of selling out America by trusting the Soviets. The American rightwing portrayed President Reagan as the grade-two movie actor dupe of “cunning communists.”

In the Soviet government Gorbachev faced a larger problem. With trust established between the two nuclear powers, Gorbachev released the Soviet hold on Eastern Europe. Hardline elements in the Soviet Communist Party saw too much change too rapidly and concluded that Gorbachev had sold out the Soviet Union to Washington. This conclusion resulted in Gorbachev’s arrest, and the consequence of his arrest was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.

With communism departed, the Russians forgot all of Marx’s lessons about capitalism and naively concluded that we were all now friends. The Yeltsin government opened to American advice and, by naively accepting American advice, Russia was looted and reduced to penury. Russia under Yeltsin became an American puppet state, and the Russian people paid for it with a great reduction in their living standard.

The collapse of the Soviet Union is usually attributed to Reagan and represented as one of his victories. This is a fabrication. I was in Reagan’s government, both as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and afterward as a member of a secret Presidential Committee with subpeona power over the CIA. Reagan told us many times that his purpose was not to win the Cold War but to end it.

He told everyone involved that all respect had to be shown to the Soviets as the purpose was to end the threat of nuclear war, not to have an insulting triumphal victory.

Unfortunately, the trust Reagan established with the Russians was betrayed by the corrupt and criminal Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. Because of these utterly corrupt regimes, today the distrust between the US and Russia is far higher than ever existed during the long decades of the Cold War. What the criminal Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes did was to resurrect the possibility of nuclear war that Reagan and Gorbachev had terminated.

As I have explained at length and as all available evidence supports, the attack on Trump rests on an orchestration called “Russiagate,” for which no evidence exists. It is an orchestration concocted by John Brennan, James Comey, Clapper, Rod Rosenstein, Mueller, and the Democratic National Committee. The transparent lies on which “Russiagate” is based are repeated continually by the presstitute media in an effort to create in the public mind a case for the removal of Trump from the Oval Office.

Mueller is part of the plot against Trump as is Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller special prosecutor. Both are guilty of sedition as they are active participants in an organized coup to overthrow the President of the United States. But Trump is too powerless to have them arrested and put on trial for the conspiracy against democracy that they are conducting. President Trump is making a terminable mistake in trusting to facts and truth, neither of which is respected in the scant remains of Western Civilization.

Once there was hope that information available on the Internet would serve as a countervailing power to the lies told by the Western print, TV, and NPR presstitutes. But this was a vain hope. There are some good and reliable websites, increasingly being closed down by the ruling elite. The ruling elites have most of the money and can finance most of the online voices, all of which are employed for the purpose of contradicting truth.

I received today an email from RootsAction urging me to donate money to speed Trump’s impeachment. The website has even prepared the Articles of Impeachment and proclaims that “Trump’s Fixer Says the President Engaged in a Criminal Conspiracy to Sway the 2016 Election.”

This accusation comes from one of Trump’s former lawyers, Michael Cohen. They are allegations that most defense attorneys understand is Michael Cohen’s effort to gain a light sentence for his income tax evasion by “composing,” to use the term of Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, evidence against the man Mueller really wants—President Trump.

I will be unequivocal. RootsAction, as is the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the rest of the media whores, is lying. To pay off two women, who might have been paid by the military/security complex, or Hillary & Bill Clinton, or the Democratic National Committee, to bring such charges or who simply saw an opportunity to collect a bunch of dollars from Donald Trump, is most certainly, most definitely not, as RootsAction claims, “the high crime and misdemeanor of attempting to fraudulently influence the outcome of a US presidential election. This is an impeahable offense warranting removal from office.”

Whoever advises RootsAction is a totally incompetent attorney. Moreover, to show the utter stupidity of RootsAction’s ignorant assertion, a “misdemeanor” cannot be a “high crime.” A “high crime” is a “felony.”

I have posted on my website statements from legal experts that there is nothing unlawful about paying off claimants. Corporations do it continually. It is much cheaper to pay off a false claim than to finance a court case to refute it. There is no reason whatsoever for a political candidate competing for a party’s nomination for the presidency to be distracted by fighting court cases brought to extort money from him.

Moreover, considering the dire straits in which the American population between the two coasts has been left by decades of jobs offshoring, the government’s inability to provide assistance to those millions of Americans whose living standard is dissolving because the military/security complex appropriates $1,000 billion annually from America’s resources, and the Trump public’s awareness that provoking Russia into war is in no one’s interest, RootsAction and the rest of the imbeciles have to be crazy beyond all belief to think that that anyone who voted for Trump cared if he had sexual encounters with two women. Considering the dire straits of Americans, the last thing they would do is to vote against their champion because he had sex with two women, assuming that he did.

Yet, an unsubstantiated claim by a lawyer who did not pay his income tax, a claim made for the purpose of a light sentence in exchange for providing false evidence against the President of the United States, is now, according to RootsAction, the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, etc., and so on, grounds for impeaching the President of the United States who hopes to defuse the extremely dangerous tensions between Washington and Russia.

The military/security complex wants to impeach Trump because he wants peace with Russia, thus taking away the essential enemy that justifies their budget and power.

Are Americans too stupid to notice that there is not a shred of evidence of the “Russiagate” accusations? What we have in their place is income tax evasion charges, not against Trump, but against an attorney and a Republian campaign manager. More convincing charges could be brought against Democrats, but have not. The Hillary crowd of criminals has proven immune to prosecution.

No one has to approve of Trump in order to have the intelligence to see that Trump’s intention to normalize relations with Russia is the world’s main hope of continued existence. Once nuclear weapons go off, global warming will take on new meaning.

After three eight-year terms of US presidents, relations between the US and Russia stand at a far more dangerous level than ever existed during the Cold War. I know this for a fact, as I was directly involved in the Cold War.

The security that insouciant Americans find in the belief that only the US is a superpower is ignorant beyond all belief. A new book by Andrei Martyanov published by Clarity Press proves that, at best, the US is a second rate military power that can be utterly destroyed at will by Russia along with the entirety of the stupid NATO countries, every one of which is militarily impotent. In the present correlation of forces, nothing whatsoever can be done to save a square inch of the Western world if Russia ever has enough of the absurd accusations, absurd threats, absurd postering of a totally inferior military power drunk on its own ignorant hubris.

Americans are too insouciant to know it, but they are living day by day only at the mercy of Russia.

Published:8/26/2018 11:12:45 PM
[Markets] Trump Rejected Plans For White House Statement Praising McCain: WaPo

In a report that is likely to provoke further scrutiny of the tense relationship between the president and the late Senator John McCain - to put it mildly - the Washington Post reports that President Trump rejected issuing a statement that "praised the heroism and life of Sen. John McCain", instead telling White House aides he preferred to issue a tweet before posting one Saturday night that did not include any praise for the late Arizona Republican.

According to the report, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and other White House aides advocated for an official statement that gave the decorated Vietnam War POW plaudits for his military and Senate service and called him a "hero." A statement to that purpose had been drafted before McCain died Saturday, and Sanders and others edited a final version this weekend that was ready for the president.

However, Trump told aides he wanted to post a brief tweet instead, and the statement praising McCain’s life was not released:  "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!" Trump posted Saturday evening shortly after McCain’s death was announced. 

Instead, White House aides posted statements from officials other than the president praising McCain.

By Sunday afternoon, the vice president, secretary of state, homeland security secretary, defense secretary, national security adviser, White House press secretary, counselor to the president, education secretary, interior secretary and others had posted statements lauding the former 2008 Republican presidential nominee. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush issued glowing eulogies as well.

Other world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, also released similar statements.

“John McCain was a true American hero. He devoted his entire life to his country. His voice will be missed. Our respectful thoughts go to his beloved ones,” Macron posted on Twitter.

Needless to say, Trump's break with precedent from previous presidents "who have typically released effusive official statements for noteworthy Americans upon their death" confirmed that the bitter relationship between the two men, Trump’s continued anger toward McCain and the substantive and stylistic differences between them, lasted until the end.

Meanwhile, as the tributes poured in, Trump - who in 2015 said McCain was “not a war hero” - spent much of Sunday at his golf course in Virginia and did not utter a word publicly. He returned to the White House in the afternoon, where the flags were lowered to half-staff for the deceased senator.

Then came the criticism:

“It’s atrocious,” Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team and a longtime Republican strategist, said of Trump’s reaction to McCain’s death. “At a time like this, you would expect more of an American president when you’re talking about the passing of a true American hero.”

Other chimed in:

Mark Hertling, a former senior military commander who lauded McCain on Twitter for visiting Mosul during heavy fighting in Afghanistan, said he was not surprised by Trump’s reaction to McCain’s death. Nineteen months into his presidency, Trump has yet to visit any war zones where American troops are fighting.

“It was very shallow,” Hertling said of Trump’s response.

Trump, however, remained unmoved, and as the WaPo notes, Trump's Twitter feed was silent Sunday other than reprising screeds against the investigation into Russian election interference and boasting about a buoyant economy.

“Fantastic numbers on consumer spending released on Friday!” Trump posted en route to the Virginia course Sunday morning. “Stock Market hits all time high!” Later Sunday, he accused the news media of giving Obama credit for his accomplishments, posting an excerpt of a weeks-old piece from the Washington Times.

Published:8/26/2018 7:42:37 PM
[Markets] US 2nd Fleet Reactivated, Preparing For Arctic Warfare With "Bad Actors" 

Following a sharp increase in Russian naval activity in the arctic and North Atlantic, the Trump administration has reactivated Navy's 2nd Fleet to deal with "bad actors on the world's stage," according to Vice Adm. Andrew "Woody" Lewis, who took command of the reestablished forces. 

In a Friday ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, Lewis warned of foreign adversaries who intend to undermine American dominance, referring to (but not naming) Russia - which has vast military assets in the Arctic Circle, a region estimated to contain 15% of the world's remaining oil and up to 30% of natural gas deposits. 

There are some bad actors on the world’s stage,” Lewis told the crowd. “We call them competitors in our strategic documents. They intend to undermine and rewrite the order that America established at the end of world war II and threaten the very birthright freedoms that we hold sacred.” -Navy Times

“Second Fleet has a storied history and we’ll honor that legacy,” Lewis told those in attendance. “However, we will not simply pick up where we left off. We are going to aggressively and quickly rebuild this command into an operational warfighting organization. We will challenge assumptions, recognize, our own vices and learn and adapt from our own failures in order to innovate and build a fleet that’s ready to fight.”

The 2nd Fleet's boundaries will extend "well past the old submarine stomping grounds of the Cold War into waters north of Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle," near the submarine headquarters of Russia's Northern Fleet, according to John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations. 

While not part of the 2nd fleet, US Navy Seals are no strangers to the Arctic

"A new 2nd Fleet increases our strategic flexibility to respond — from the Eastern Seaboard to the Barents Sea," said Richardson. "Second Fleet will approach the North Atlantic as one continuous operational space, and conduct expeditionary fleet operations where and when needed."

"The days of competition at sea and challenges to our maritime security have returned," said US Fleet Forces Commander Adm. Chris Grady. "We, as a nation, have not had to confront such a competition since the Cold War ended nearly three decades ago," he added. 

Russia's arctic forces

The Kremlin, meanwhile, has been increasing their presence in the Arctic region over the last several years - deploying submarines and other assets on a permanent basis. "In the future, we plan to further increase our presence in the Arctic region [as] a matter of national state security," Russian Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov told Russian newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in 2017. Kochemazov is the head of the combat training department of the Russian Navy. 

"Along with the modernization and construction of the new submarines, work is underway to create sophisticated submarine-based weapon systems," Kochemazov said, referring to the Kalibr and Oniks missile systems capable of destroying both sea and ground targets.

"Additionally, new samples of underwater naval weapons are being developed," he said, adding that new diesel-electric submarines and nuclear powered submarine cruisers have been equipped with torpedoes with improved tactical and technical characteristics since 2016. -Sputnik

Business Insider (2015)

In 2015, Business Insider reported on Russia's increasing northern presence, warning that the Kremlin is "positioning itself to become the dominant player in a resource-rich and strategically positioned region.

In order to capitalize on the oil and gas under the Arctic seabed and exploit new shipping routes as ice cover recedes, Moscow is undertaking a major military upgrade of its northern coast and outlying archipelagos. Its new bases — which include search-and-rescue stations, ports and airstrips, and military headquarters — are meant to project Russian hard power into an emerging strategic frontier.

...

To support the new military bases, many of which are old Soviet bases that are being reopened or modernized, the Kremlin is upgrading its Northern Fleet.

The fleet will undergo a substantial upgrade starting in 2015 that will last through the end of the decade. -Business Insider

Moscow has plans to open ten Arctic search-and-rescue stations, 16 deep-water ports, 13 airfields and 10 air defense radar stations across the Arctic. Once construction is completed, it will "permit the use of larger and more modern bombers," according to NYU Russia expert Mark Galeotti. 

"By 2025, the Arctic waters are to be patrolled by a squadron of next-generation stealthy PAK DA bombers." 

In other words, the Trump administration is simply keeping up with the Joneskis after Obama balked in the face of rapid Russian expansion. 

Published:8/26/2018 11:38:37 AM
[Markets] McCain Will Lie In State At Capitol; Barack Obama, George W. Bush To Deliver Eulogies

John McCain requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver eulogies at his funeral, according to CBS News. McCain died at home on Saturday of an aggressive form of brain cancer at the age of 81, after his family announced on Friday that the Senator had chosen to discontinue medical treatment. 

McCain will lie in state at the Capital Rotunda and receive a full dress funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, and will also lie in state at the Arizona Capital, according to the New York Times. He will be buried in Annapolis, Md. according to a Republican official involved in the planning. 

More than 30 people have been honored by lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda, a gesture reserved for the country’s “most eminent citizens,” since the practice began in 1852 after the death of Henry Clay, the former House speaker and senator from Kentucky. Mr. McCain would be the 13th former senator to be granted the honor, according to the Architect of the Capitol. -NYT

Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential election, issued a statement after McCain's death which reads in part: "Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did .... But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own." 

George W. Bush, to whom McCain lost the 2000 GOP nomination, said "John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order."

Under initial plans for McCain's funeral, Vice President Mike Pence will attend, as the deceased Arizona Senator insisted that President Trump not appear, according to a May report from the Times. McCain, a harsh critic of President Trump who hand-delivered the controversial "Steele dossier" to FBI Director James Comey, returned to the Senate in July 2017 after emergency brain surgery to become the deciding vote that killed the GOP's repeal of the Affordable Care Act. 

A controversial Vietnam war veteran who became a fierce advocate for US foreign military intervention and regime change, McCain has been lionized by the establishment on both sides of the aisle - in no small part due to his vehement opposition to President Trump.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat, said on Saturday that he would introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building — currently named for Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, who often opposed civil rights legislation — in honor of Mr. McCain. -NYT

In July, the Navy expanded the name of guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, named after his father, to include the then-dying Senator.

lifelong war hawk and neoconservative (famously singing "bomb Iran" to warm up a crowd), McCain strongly advocated for military action in several countries, including; Iraq, Syria, Kosovo, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran - as well as escalations with Russia. McCain supported the Al-Qaeda-aligned Free Syrian Army, calling for arming them with heavy weapons in order to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

McCain was a strong supporter of Israel, backing President Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - writing on his website after the announcement "I have long believed that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel." The Senator also backed Israel's multiple offensives against Palestinians - including the 2014 bombardment of Gaza. 

While McCain was one of the most hawkish GOP during the 2003 Iraq War, he wrote in his 2018 memoir The Restless Wave that "The principal reason for invading Iraq, that Saddam had WMD, was wrong."

"The war, with its cost in lives and treasure and security, can't be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it."

Published:8/26/2018 11:07:53 AM
[US News] Obama task force member explains how term pro-life is “so hypocritical”; Y’all don’t care about gay babies

Planned Parenthood doesn't care if a baby's black, brown, gay, disabled, or Muslim — they'll abort anyone.

The post Obama task force member explains how term pro-life is “so hypocritical”; Y’all don’t care about gay babies appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:8/25/2018 10:13:29 PM
[Markets] Andrew Cuomo & The Chronic Existential Anxiety Of The White Male Democrat

Authored by John Derbyshire via Unz.com,

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of my home state of New York, was speaking in Manhattan on Wednesday, signing a bill to make sex trafficking a felony in the state. He made a now-famous gaffe, which says a great deal about the state of the modern Democratic Party.

But first, just a word about sex trafficking.

Kidnapping vulnerable young girls and renting them out for sex is a flourishing business down among the urban underclass. The Pakistani pimps of Rotherham and other English cities are the best-known cases, but plenty of it goes on here in the U.S.A., too. As in England, it’s very much an ethnic affair here, although news reports tie themselves in pretzels trying to obscure the fact. [Inside New York’s silent sex trafficking epidemic, NYPost, April 17, 2018] There’s an immigration angle, too; a lot of the women being trafficked here are illegal aliens from Mexico, Central America, and Asia.

It’s a problem in New York, and our legislators figured we need a new law to deal with it. I find it hard to believe that the laws we already have on kidnapping, prostitution, and abuse of minors are not adequate to deal with the issue; but hey, it’s an election year, Cuomo’s up for re-election as governor, and signing a new law is good show business.

So there was Cuomo doing the soft-shoe shuffle. Our Governor is a sort of grandee of the Democratic Party: son of a former three-term Governorex-husband of a Kennedy gal.

But I should say that the phrase “Democratic Party” in my last sentence refers to the oldDemocratic Party, the party of FDRJFKBill Clinton and John Kerry. Andrew Cuomo, like those other names, is a white guy of European ancestry. Like other white guys in his party, Cuomo has the uncomfortable feeling that the ground is moving under his feet—that the Democratic Party is turning into something different from what it has been though his, and my, lifetime.

As a result, the Governor is nursing some serious political insecurities. Is the Democratic Party still a party for him, for white guys? Or is it on its way to being a party for women, blacks, mestizos, and sexual eccentrics?

Naturally the guy is nervous. He is, as I said, up for re-election in the fall; and before that, next month, he faces off in a Democratic primary against TV actress Cynthia Nixon.

Nobody thinks Ms. Nixon has much of a chance of becoming the Democrat nominee for Governor in the fall, but that’s not really the point. The point is that in Andrew Cuomo’s eyes, and the eyes of old white male heterosexual Democrats like him, Cynthia Nixon looks like the future while he looks like the past. Ms. Nixon is female, homosexual, and wa-a-a-ay out on the political Left. She makes our poor governor feel like a relic.

Don’t place any bets against Cuomo. He’s a skillful politician with the state party in his pocket. He’ll get the nomination, then he’ll win re-election in November. Our state is mostly Republican; but the wee bit that isn’t includes New York City, which has close to half the state’s population … enough said.

Still the guy’s nervous. He was also a little rattled, earlier this week—before the Wednesday bill-signing event—he was a little rattled by President Trump having been in the state on Monday, at a fundraiser for the state Republican Party. At that event our President speculated that maybe Cuomo wants to run for President in 2020. “Please do it, please,” said the President mockingly. [Trump dares NY Gov. Cuomo to run against him in 2020, says 'anybody that runs against Trump suffers', By Alex Pappas, Fox News, August 13, 2018] The Governor doesn’t like to be mocked, any more than you or I do.

So when Cuomo stepped up on Wednesday to sign this bill against sex trafficking, he was both suffering from chronic existential anxiety about the direction of his party andrattled by Trump’s Monday remark. Under those stresses, his self-control slipped, and he spoke unwisely.

What he actually said was:

We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great. We have not reached greatness, we will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged, we will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone and every woman’s full potential is realized and unleashed and every woman is making her full contribution.

[Andrew Cuomo shocks crowd, says America 'was never that great', by Adam Shaw, August 1, 2018]

Now, taken on face value, that’s gibberish. Men and women are biologically different; they are never going to exhibit identical profiles on every kind of behavior, achievement, or social outcome. As for “discrimination”: Well, someone should ask the governor why, if women are “51 percent of our population,” they are 56 percent of college students but less than seven percent of federal prison inmates.

But that’s giving the Governor’s words more respect than they deserve. He’s not making observations about real things in the real world; he’s a politician sending out signals to likely voters. The signal there was:

“I’m not a part of that rotten old patriarchy trying to keep women down. I am cool and up-to-date with the newDemocratic Party, which is absolutely not a party of straight old white guys.”

But Cuomo just went a bit too far, saying that America “was never that great.” It’s a logical thing for a Progressive to think. American society in the past had imperfections and injustices; therefore we shouldn’t talk about it having been great; that’s the Progressive mentality.

What it misses is, that all societies everywhere have imperfections and injustices, and this will always be so. The U.S.A. was, and is, great because it had, and has, fewer imperfections and injustices than other nations. That’s why so many people—so many millions, tens of millions of people—wanted, and want, to come and live here.

I got to know the U.S.A. during its Golden Age—the third quarter of the 20th century—and mostly from outside: I grew up in England, didn’t actually get here until 1973. Boy, America was great! —free, rich, victorious, generous, creative…Britain was in imperial decline, half of Europe was under the Soviet yoke, Africa was sinking into post-colonial chaos, India and Pakistan were at loggerheads, South America was run by buffoons like Juan Perón, and in China tens of millions were starving to death under the crudest, cruellest kind of totalitarian dictatorship.

America was great—with very restricted immigration and men mostly running things. We had imperfections, sure; but by comparison with any other country at that time…Well, there was no comparison. We were the greatest.

The Progressive vision is narrow, provincial, and present-centric. The past, according to them, was bad; the present is just tolerable; the future will be radiant.

That is no basis for policy. There are good reasons to think that if we don’t get a grip on mass immigration, America’s future will be Venezuela. There are good reasons to think that if the insulting and belittling of men under labels like “toxic masculinity” keeps going, the things that men do better than women—leadership, risk-taking, science, engineering—won’t get done, or will get done elsewhere, not in America.

Whether Andrew Cuomo understands any of that, I don’t know. He has to pretend notto understand it because of the threat from his Left—from people like Cynthia Nixon, who surely don’t understand it.

That is the dilemma of white men in the Democratic Party today. They deserve it.

Published:8/25/2018 7:34:26 PM
[The Blog] Judge blocks Trump executive orders on federal union operations

Not surprisingly, an Obama appointee

The post Judge blocks Trump executive orders on federal union operations appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/25/2018 3:35:39 PM
[ObamaCare] Traitors: Now Senate Republicans Introducing Bills to Protect Obamacare

While most Republican voters want to see Obamacare ended, now the Republicans in the U.S. Senate are trying to pass bills that protect Obama’s socialist health care law. Instead of repeal, GOP leadership is trying to enlarge it. Ten traitorous GOP Senators introduced a bill to protect Obama’s fiscally irresponsible provision to force insurance companies ...

The post Traitors: Now Senate Republicans Introducing Bills to Protect Obamacare appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/25/2018 12:34:14 PM
[ObamaCare] Traitors: Now Senate Republicans Introducing Bills to Protect Obamacare

While most Republican voters want to see Obamacare ended, now the Republicans in the U.S. Senate are trying to pass bills that protect Obama’s socialist health care law. Instead of repeal, GOP leadership is trying to enlarge it. Ten traitorous GOP Senators introduced a bill to protect Obama’s fiscally irresponsible provision to force insurance companies ...

The post Traitors: Now Senate Republicans Introducing Bills to Protect Obamacare appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/25/2018 12:03:35 PM
[ObamaCare] Five States Win Massive $839 Million Judgment Against Disastrous Obamacare

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is celebrating this week after winning an $839 million judgment against Barack Obama’s disastrous Obamacare policy in what is a major blow to Obama’s chief achievement. The misnamed Affordable Care Act (ACA) — derisively better known as Obamacare — was requiring states to pay a Health Insurance Provider Fee even ...

The post Five States Win Massive $839 Million Judgment Against Disastrous Obamacare appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/25/2018 11:13:42 AM
[ObamaCare] Five States Win Massive $839 Million Judgment Against Disastrous Obamacare

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is celebrating this week after winning an $839 million judgment against Barack Obama’s disastrous Obamacare policy in what is a major blow to Obama’s chief achievement. The misnamed Affordable Care Act (ACA) — derisively better known as Obamacare — was requiring states to pay a Health Insurance Provider Fee even ...

The post Five States Win Massive $839 Million Judgment Against Disastrous Obamacare appeared first on Godfather Politics.

Published:8/25/2018 11:13:42 AM
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