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Thread: USA under presidency of a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist, mobbed-up narcissist!!

  1. #991

    Default Hilary Frame-Up?

    Cliff, thanks for the prompt input on the above theory.

    The Watergate burglars may have found evidence of criminality at the DNC Watergate office. Doesn't matter. Nixon was never allowed to raise the merits of what was found at Watergate. The break-in was judged as criminal. Truth was no defense.

    Trump is being accused of meeting with Russians to get dirt on Hilary. Trump is not being allowed to raise the truth in the dirt as a defense. If he colluded with Russians, his enemies say, whether he got true dirt or false dirt is, to them, irrelevant.

    Maybe someone has seen evidence of whether Hilary ACTUALLY AUTHORIZED the Christopher Steele activities? The money for Steele apparently came out of her campaign via Fusion GPS. I can't believe Hilary would have authorized a scheme like this.

    And if Hilary authorized and paid for Steele's work, THEN SHE GOT WHAT SHE PAID FOR. WHY, THEN, DIDN'T SHE USE IT? You would have to believe she took a hideous risk, got the results she was seeking, and then didn't use it!!??!!??

    It looks like Christopher Steele, acting like the UK Intel mole that he was (one of several UK moles in this), snuggled up to fusion GPS to create a link to the Hilary Campaign, foreign intelligence and Russia. If Hilary were elected, she (like Nixon and Trump) would have had a tough time dealing with the consequent investigation. She would surely have had to do stuff in her own defense which would be considered obstructive and interference in an investigation. Her campaign workers would have flipped, etc. etc.

    When you think about it, all of this mess would have been a much bigger Albatross around Hilary's neck than it is for Trump, since her campaign has been proven to be involved. I don't see how there is any question about this uncontrovertable fact.

    And we know that Comey wanted HILARY DEFEATED because of his 11th hour announcement about the Hilary "investigation" just prior to the election. The FBI may dislike Trump, but their aversion to Hilary seems to have been ten times worse.

    And that makes sense, since the Deep State is quasi-fascist and obviously doesn't like anything or anyone smacking of Liberalism. (Look at the openly anti-socialist Deep State campaign against the government of Venezuela today).

    James Lateer

  2. #992

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    Published on
    Monday, May 21, 2018


    by
    Common Dreams

    As Trump-North Korea Talks Falter, South Korea Says 'Landmine' John Bolton to Blame

    One American analyst reportedly said "only half in jest" that South Koreans despise Bolton as much as North Koreans do




    by
    Jake Johnson,



    Ch
    acterizing U.S. national security adviser John Bolton as a human "landmine," a South Korean lawmaker has reportedly joined others who have made clear their belief that Bolton is the true culprit behind faltering diplomatic efforts ahead of a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month.

    "There are several land mines on the way to the summit between North Korea and the U.S. One of those land mines just exploded: John Bolton."
    —Chung Dong-young, South Korean lawmaker
    "There are several landmines on the way to the summit between North Korea and the U.S.," South Korean lawmaker Chung Dong-young told a Seoul-based radio show, according to the Washington Post. "One of those landmines just exploded: John Bolton."
    In a Facebook post last week, Woo Sang-ho—a lawmaker in South Korean President Moon Jae-in's Democratic Party—expressed a similar view, highlighting Bolton's "preposterous" invocation of the "Libya model" as a possible guide for America's approach to nuclear talks with North Korea.
    The South Korean lawmakers' comments on Bolton come as Moon is set to meet with Trump at the White House on Tuesday to help "shore up plans for a U.S.-North Korea summit that seem to be on shaky ground."
    As Common Dreams reported, North Korea has condemned Bolton and his "Libya model" remarks last week as a "sinister" regime change threat in a statement last week.
    "We shed light on the quality of Bolton already in the past, and we do not hide our feelings of repugnance towards him," said Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs. "We are no longer interested in a negotiation that will be all about driving us into a corner and making a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes and this would force us to reconsider whether we would accept the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting."
    Bolton has a long history of calling for both regime change and a U.S. first strike on North Korea, warmongering that led Pyongyang to call him a "bloodsucker" when he was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
    As the Washington Post's Anna Fifield notes, South Korean lawmakers and officials also "know the current American national security adviser's background all too well."
    "Many served under pro-engagement president Roh Moo-hyun, at a time when Bolton was a strong proponent inside the George W. Bush administration of the invasion of Iraq and of regime change in North Korea," Fifield adds. "After meetings with top officials [in Seoul] last week, one American analyst remarked—only half in jest—that the South Koreans detested Bolton as much as the North Koreans."






    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  3. #993

    Default

    The Coming Collapse - Chris Hedges

    Mr. Fish / Truthdi
    g

    The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.
    The Democratic Party, which helped build our system of inverted totalitarianism, is once again held up by many on the left as the savior. Yet the party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency by Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarize our police and reform a prison system that has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics.
    This is a doomed tactic, but one that is understandable. The leadership of the party, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, are creations of corporate America. In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege. And that, I fear, is what will happen. The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way a bulwark against despotism defies the last three decades of its political activity. It is the guarantor of despotism.
    Trump has tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them. He may be inept, degenerate, dishonest and a narcissist, but he adeptly ridicules the system they despise. His cruel and demeaning taunts directed at government agencies, laws and the established elites resonate with people for whom these agencies, laws and elites have become hostile forces. And for many who see no shift in the political landscape to alleviate their suffering, Trump’s cruelty and invective are at least cathartic.

    Trump, like all despots, has no ethical core. He chooses his allies and appointees based on their personal loyalty and fawning obsequiousness to him. He will sell anyone out. He is corrupt, amassing money for himself—he made $40 million from his Washington, D.C., hotel alone last year—and his corporate allies. He is dismantling government institutions that once provided some regulation and oversight. He is an enemy of the open society. This makes him dangerous. His turbocharged assault on the last vestiges of democratic institutions and norms means there will soon be nothing, even in name, to protect us from corporate totalitarianism.
    But the warnings from the architects of our failed democracy against creeping fascism, Madeleine Albright among them, are risible. They show how disconnected the elites have become from the zeitgeist. None of these elites have credibility. They built the edifice of lies, deceit and corporate pillage that made Trump possible. And the more Trump demeans these elites, and the more they cry out like Cassandras, the more he salvages his disastrous presidency and enables the kleptocrats pillaging the country as it swiftly disintegrates.
    The press is one of the principal pillars of Trump’s despotism. It chatters endlessly like 18th-century courtiers at the court of Versailles about the foibles of the monarch while the peasants lack bread. It drones on and on and on about empty topics such as Russian meddling and a payoff to a porn actress that have nothing to do with the daily hell that, for many, defines life in America. It refuses to critique or investigate the abuses by corporate power, which has destroyed our democracy and economy and orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history. The corporate press is a decayed relic that, in exchange for money and access, committed cultural suicide. And when Trump attacks it over “fake news,” he expresses, once again, the deep hatred of all those the press ignores. The press worships the idol of Mammon as slavishly as Trump does. It loves the reality-show presidency. The press, especially the cable news shows, keeps the lights on and the cameras rolling so viewers will be glued to a 21st-century version of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” It is good for ratings. It is good for profits. But it accelerates the decline.
    All this will soon be compounded by financial collapse. Wall Street banks have been handed $16 trillion in bailoutsand other subsidies by the Federal Reserve and Congress at nearly zero percent interest since the 2008 financial collapse. They have used this money, as well as the money saved through the huge tax cuts imposed last year, to buy back their own stock, raising the compensation and bonuses of their managers and thrusting the society deeper into untenable debt peonage. Sheldon Adelson’s casino operations alone got a $670 million tax break under the 2017 legislation. The ratio of CEO to worker pay now averages 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. This circular use of money to make and hoard money is what Karl Marx called “fictitious capital.” The steady increase in public debt, corporate debt, credit card debt and student loan debt will ultimately lead, as Nomi Prins writes, to “a tipping point—when money coming in to furnish that debt, or available to borrow, simply won’t cover the interest payments. Then debt bubbles will pop, beginning with higher yielding bonds.”
    An economy reliant on debt for its growth causes our interest rate to jump to 28 percent when we are late on a credit card payment. It is why our wages are stagnant or have declined in real terms—if we earned a sustainable income we would not have to borrow money to survive. It is why a university education, houses, medical bills and utilities cost so much. The system is designed so we can never free ourselves from debt.
    However, the next financial crash, as Prins points out in her book “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” won’t be like the last one. This is because, as she says, “there is no Plan B.” Interest rates can’t go any lower. There has been no growth in the real economy. The next time, there will be no way out. Once the economy crashes and the rage across the country explodes into a firestorm, the political freaks will appear, ones that will make Trump look sagacious and benign.
    And so, to quote Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?
    We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town. The elites in a time of distress will retreat to their gated compounds and leave us to fend for ourselves. Basic services, from garbage collection to public transportation, food distribution and health care, will collapse. Massive unemployment and underemployment, triggering social unrest, will be dealt with not through government job creation but the brutality of militarized police and a complete suspension of civil liberties. Critics of the system, already pushed to the margins, will be silenced and attacked as enemies of the state. The last vestiges of labor unions will be targeted for abolition, a process that will soon be accelerated given the expected ruling in a case before the Supreme Court that will cripple the ability of public-sector unions to represent workers. The dollar will stop being the world’s reserve currency, causing a steep devaluation. Banks will close. Global warming will extract heavier and heavier costs, especially on the coastal populations, farming and the infrastructure, costs that the depleted state will be unable to address. The corporate press, like the ruling elites, will go from burlesque to absurdism, its rhetoric so patently fictitious it will, as in all totalitarian states, be unmoored from reality. The media outlets will all sound as fatuous as Trump. And, to quote W.H. Auden, “the little children will die in the streets.”
    As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  4. #994

    Default

    Sen. Flake challenges Class of 2018 to protect the rule of law

    May 23, 2018





    Credit: Heratch Ekmekjian

    Before he offered any words of wisdom to the Harvard Law School Class of 2018, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake quipped that he had come to HLS to receive advice.
    “I’ll soon be in the job market myself,” Flake said. The Arizona senator announced in October that, after six years in the Senate and six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, he would not be running for reelection.
    On Class Day, May 23, Flake told the Class of 2018 assembled on a sunny Holmes Field that they were entering the legal profession in a critical moment, when the branch of government he represents “is failing its constitutional obligations to counteract the power of the president.”
    That has created risks, he said, for the rule of law and its fragility; exposed the vulnerability of democratic norms; called into question the independence of the justice systems; and threatened the “cherished American value” of “truth. Empirical objective truth.”
    HLS graduates will be called upon to defend these values and institutions, Flake said, and may require lawyers to risk their careers in favor of their principles. “But you–and our country–will be better for it. You can go elsewhere for a job but you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.”
    Flake asked graduates to consider “the miracle of the rule of law”–how it was achieved and how we are now “testing the durability of this idea that William III first had the good sense to agree to.” Democracy is in trouble, Flake said, “if the only acceptable outcome in a matter of law or justice is a result that is satisfactory to the leader.” And it’s in trouble if “the leader attacks the legitimacy of any institution that does not pay him obeisance–say the independent judiciary or the free press.”
    He told graduates: “It will be the work of your generation to make sure that this degradation of democracy does not continue.”
    Flake called himself a conservative Republican. Opposing the current president, he said, did not make him less of a Republican or less of a conservative. “And opposing the president and much of what he stands for it not an act of apostasy–it is rather an act of fidelity,” he said.
    Compromise must be a part of lawmaking, said Flake, “because lasting solutions to the problems before us must involve both sides … I believe that our government should include people who believe as I do, just as I believe it must include people who believe as my friend Tim Kaine [’83] does, or as my friend Cory Booker does, to name but two.”
    He told the graduates, “I urge all of you to challenge your assumptions, regularly. Recognize the good in your opponents. Apologize every now and then. Admit to mistakes. Forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Speak up more, for politics sometimes keeps us silent when we should speak.”
    Flake challenged the class “to be able to say in the future that we faced these forces that would threaten the institutions of liberty and tear us apart and that we said: ‘No.’ ”
    “That is the job before us–to get through this, and beyond it. And you’re just the ones to take us there.”

    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  5. #995

    Default

    MAY 23, 2018 | GINA BRADBURY


    ROSENSTEIN IS CAUGHT BETWEEN DOING HIS JOB AND APPEASING TRUMP

    Trump Tests the Independent Integrity of the Justice Department

    Left to right: FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Blue Mass, May 7, 2018. Photo credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has one of the toughest jobs in Washington. He wants to ensure that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election can proceed while also having to handle the increasingly frequent tantrums from President Donald Trump.
    The latest chapter in this ongoing saga started in late April when Trump called into his favorite morning cable news show for a live, on-air interview. Trump spent much of the 45-minute segment airing a series of personal grievances to Fox and Friends hosts, in an erratic, unhinged rant. He began yelling into the telephone, verbally attacking his own Justice Department, expressing his disdain for his own appointees — all while the show’s hosts, which are usually squarely in Trump’s corner, increasingly appeared uncomfortable.
    Just before the three managed to fit a word in edgewise, convincing the president it was time to hang up the phone, Trump proclaimed he would ultimately have to assert himself into what he described as “my Justice Department.”
    This week, he attempted to do just that. After spending a rainy weekend bunkered inside his Sterling, Virginia, golf club rage-tweeting, Trump returned to Washington on Monday prepared to drag the entire nation one step closer to a Constitutional crisis.
    In an act of unprecedented executive overreach, Trump summonedFBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Rosenstein to the White House Monday afternoon, in a blatant effort to protect himself from the special counsel’s criminal investigation.
    Trump initiated the meeting a day after launching a series of bombastic tweets, including a demand that the Justice Department investigate unfounded allegations that Obama administration officials infiltrated his presidential campaign for nefarious political purposes. Reports published last week confirm the FBI had been working with an informant inside Trump’s presidential campaign.
    The Justice Department responded shortly after Trump’s Sunday tweet, stating, “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action”.
    While some may perceive Rosenstein’s immediate response as an appeasement to Trump’s abuse of power, others suggest the deputy attorney general is attempting a careful balancing act, doing whatever he can to protect the integrity of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, while being pummeled by incessant threats and calls for impeachment from House Republicans.
    Rather than opening a criminal investigation into the president’s conspiratorial claims, Rosenstein forwarded the inquiry to Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office on Monday. If Horowitz concludes intelligence officials intercepted communications between Trump campaign members and Russians during the Justice Department’s counterespionage investigation (spoiler alert: they did), the FBI’s use of a confidential informant to gain access inside Trump’s campaign would be deemed appropriate. It’s also worth noting that Trump and his team were warned by senior FBI officials back in August 2016 that Russians were trying to infiltrate their campaign.
    The White House Press Office issued a statement at the end of Monday’s meeting, stating Chief of Staff John Kelly plans to “immediately set up a meeting” with congressional leaders, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the director of national intelligence to review “highly classified and other information they have requested” related to the Russia investigation.
    Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) continues his efforts to sabotage the investigation, demanding the Justice Department hand over sensitive, classified documents, which would result in grave national security consequences and expose confidential counterintelligence sources.
    Additionally, any classified information made public would undoubtedly be shared with the president, in an effort to assist his defense against prosecutors. One source, in fact, was revealed on Sunday, after former Trump campaign surrogate Sam Nunberg blurted out his name during an MSNBC interview. Nunberg is now a cooperating witness in Mueller’s probe.
    While congressional Republicans enable the president’s scorched-earth tactics in testing the rule of law, it’s worth remembering Rod Rosenstein’s profound statement made during his appearance at a Newseum event in early May: “There have been people that have been making threats, publicly and privately, against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now: The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted.” The deputy attorney general asserted, “Any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job. We have a responsibility and we take an oath.That’s the whole point.”
    Mr. Rosenstein, America looks to you to uphold the independent integrity of the justice system. Godspeed.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

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