North Carolina Has OutLawed Payday Lenders - But Patrick McHenry Is The Industry's Champion Even More So Than Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Can we make it to the election in November?
Forget Halloween. Will Herr Trumpf’s candidacy for the highest office in the land even last that long? Might it be over by Labor Day? Oh the irony of a Republican nominee for president dropping out on Labor Day. Seems sort of appropriate to me!
. . . This situation is a very conflicting thing for Republicans. The Republican Party is in a state of Civil War with some at the top of the party worried that Trump’s extremist and bonkers candidacy will jeopardize the party’s control of both the Senate and the House; not to mention state and local offices. It’s not that they don’t like what Trump is and what he stands for; it’s more in the way he presents himself and constantly, so blatantly, reveals what the Republican Party is really about.
. . . This is more than Trump. It’s about the millions of Republican voters who have so eagerly put him where he is today. They built this.
. . . We have the past history of Republican actions to point out what direction they would move in if such an extreme measure was taken. We cannot expect a political party that has steadily moved in the direction of complete, utter insanity for the past 50 years to suddenly reverse course. The current emotional and mental breakdown of the Republican Party and the emotional and mental breakdown of Donald Trump go hand in hand. They are manifestations of each other. The marriage of Trump and the Republican Party was inevitable. Is this a case of ‘til death do they part?
. . . The fact that the recent Kleveland Kook-Fest, chose Donald Trump as their leader is only the latest manifestation of the depths to which Republicans will go when choosing a standard bearer. Insane Dick Nixon? Mindless dementia patient Ronald Reagan? Drug and alcohol damaged Dubya? All of the other 2012 and 2016 Republican Primary candidates? It’s worth noting that even the endorsements of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and every single other white supremacy group in the land did not give the Republican Party pause and deter them from nominating Donald Trump and singing his praises. Why would they?
. . . Once you’ve nominated Trump, you can nominate just about anybody.
On the other foot . . .
I'll take (Bernie's) OpEd under advisement. There was another OpEd for Hillary, this one written by a former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell, in the NY Times yesterday. Morell, an establishment guy who is also known as a CIA torturer, works for a Clinton-connected firm and is pushing key Clinton talking points that Trump is a scary monster and super creep who also happens to be a Putin puppet. "I am neither a registered Democrat nor a registered Republican," the disreputable neocon wrote. "In my 40 years of voting, I have pulled the lever for candidates of both parties... On Nov. 8, I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Between now and then, I will do everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president."
. . . My training as an intelligence officer taught me to call it as I see it. This is what I did for the C.I.A. This is what I am doing now. Our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president.
They are one and the same in Hillary. The Goldwater girl is the one who rooted for Goldwater’s racism and is also now the Wall St. girl.
It is said of Trump that what you see is what you get. With Hillary what you see is what you don’t get. Trump provides some clarity, albeit distasteful, but shows what America has been and still largely is. This may lead to conflict upon election which may lead to change, the 1960s again! Hillary is not what you see — she will lead to thousands of people killed in her illegal invasions abroad, as her history makes clear but she obfuscates today, all the more reason she is dangerous. She already the other day again said that she will get rid of President Assad. Yet she cries foul about her election here influenced by Russia.
She toppled governments already, as did Panetta, the former CIA chief who had the gall to appear at the DNC, showing how ignorant Americans are of history. Secretaries of State and the CIA have in modern times striven to overthrow the elected leaders of Venezuela and Honduras. Previously there was the assassination of the leader of the Congo, Lumumba; that of the elected president of Chile, Allende; that of Diem of Vietnam; and the overthrow of the leader of Iran and that of Guatemala in the early 1950s, to name a few more.
Hillary even glaringly laughed on TV about killing the leader of Libya. Watch the clip with Lesley Stahl interviewing her. That in itself shows she is not mentally fit to be president. But then Albright, a former Secretary of State who also should be behind bars, supports Hillary and also had the gall to appear at the DNC, said on TV in an interview that the price of our involvement in the 500,000 children dead in Iraq in the early 1990s from sanctions was “worth it.” Where is William Blum when we need him? He and others are the experts on exposing our overthrowing of governments and our slaughtering of millions.
Hillary did not defend Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother whose son was killed in the Iraq invasion and wanted to meet with Bush to ask what the noble cause was that led to the death of her son. Bush did not tell her, but his underlings derided her and called her a clown, etc. The Khans should also have asked Hillary what the cause was that their son died for and that she voted for, instead of being used as props by her for political gain.
All this belies the notion that because Hillary has a uterus she will do for women and children. She has not and she will not. The same could have been said of Albright, or even of Thatcher and other murderous women leaders. It is the same as saying that I should have voted for Ted Cruz because of his last name, whereas he has nothing to do with the interests of Hispanics and in fact is against them in his policies, though some Hispanics were fooled and voted for him because of his name. Hillary’s bloodthirsty and warmongering past means war in the future and more murders of women and children, not to mention men.
The Goldwater girl that was in her throughout some 30 years came out in her reference to young blacks as “super-predators” who should (animal-like) be brought “to heel.” She was brazen enough to say that, after she used blacks as props in 1992 who voted for Bill. Then in 1996 she again made fools of blacks in her approval of the dismantling of poverty programs. Then again she uses them today as props.
Take it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Wall Street supports Hillary. The Koch brothers themselves said they will too if her actions belie her rhetoric, and her actions certainly belie her rhetoric. That says it all. The Kochs are not apt to throw away billions. They are giddy as we sleepwalk to her coronation. Now we have the spectacle of the media actually shouting recently that she is 3 points ahead of Trump, then 6 points, then 10 points!
It may be better to put up the barricades with Trump as president than for us to die from the blowback of terrorism here and thousands die elsewhere with Hillary as president.
And if we really wanted a candidate who would work for a progressive USA! USA! USA?
Shhhhh! It's almost illegal to speak her name.
August 5, 2016
Jill Stein, the Green Party’s nominee for president, has been the sudden target of attacks from all corners of online media since the official end of Bernie Sanders’ campaign at the Democratic National Convention. Outlets like the Washington Post, New York Magazine and Gizmodo have assaulted Stein by using out-of-context quotes to assail her, wrongly, for being anti-vaccination and anti-WiFi, which is a code for being “anti-science.” This allows us a unique opportunity to confirm the structural role of the media as hypothesized by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in Manufacturing Consent: that the media is a propaganda arm for the elite and powerful, and is used to condition us to accept the bounds of socio-political discourse as set by the ruling class. It also shows us the desperate need we have for an alternative media culture to counteract mainstream discourse.
The attack on Stein (and not, conveniently, on Gary Johnson), is linked to the need by the elite to de-legitimize A.) critics of neoliberal policies and B.) potential alternatives to the political status-quo. Trump and Clinton have had and will have no discussion about thirty years of neoliberalism and austerity. Sanders gave a voice to those within the Democrats who were willing to question, but since his defeat momentum on the left has shifted to Stein and the Green Party. It is, granted, still early, but the outpouring of support means there is a possibility the left could begin to regroup outside the Democratic Party. Real success for Stein could mean a permanent presence on the national stage for the left, to which a president Clinton or Trump would have to answer and which would be able to build an entirely different ideological discourse in the United States.
What is the role of the media in this scenario, one that explains the current froth about Stein? Although the public is rarely allowed a glimpse behind the curtain, almost all media in the United States is controlled by just a few large corporations. In the era of mass communication, the media has usurped the role formerly played by the Church as a primary source of information and the bounds of discourse.
Private corporations are interested in making a profit, and ensuring the economy continues to produce those profits. Marx once opined that “the ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class,” and in an era of (potential) mass political upheaval, the media plays an active role in silencing dissent to those ideas.
Indeed, they are linked to the continued profits generated by the political order. Political candidates and parties that challenge and threaten to upend this are typically subject to vigorous criticism if they threaten to shift the political discourse or take power: witness the barrage of negative stories and editorials on leaders like Hugo Chávez or new political parties like Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain.
These attacks on Stein are produced and then echoed by a online media constructed to reach an educated, young segment of the population that has nevertheless begun to consider rejecting Clinton (and Trump) on election day.
Chomsky notes that 20-30% of the populace is highly indoctrinated so as to function as system-managers, and that these tend to correspond to the college-educated. The remaining 70-80% are fed a steady diet of entertainment programming to induce sheer apathy in politics, even though today the propaganda fed to the managerial class often takes the form of info-tainment, and news departments are filled with pundits and not reporters.
Rumor has it Donald Trump may be dropping out of the Presidential race.
We’ve heard these speculations before, but after kicking a crying baby out of one of his rallies, even his staunchest supporters are scratching their heads.
Does this guy even want to be President of the United States?
Only a few weeks ago a story was circulating that Donald Jr. was calling up potential Republican running mates asking if they wanted to run both domestic and foreign policy while his dad handled “Making America Great Again.”
From the very beginning of this unlikely Presidential run, people have questioned all kinds of things about the Trump campaign – chief among them was this: Is he serious!?
Donald Trump is the Republican standard barer – Isn’t he more of a Democrat? Isn’t he actually friends with his supposed Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton? Didn’t he actually donate money to her first Presidential bid in 2008? Is he just a false flag for Clinton – someone so odious he’ll rally people to vote FOR HER rather than for him?
I have no idea whether this will actually come to pass. Win the nomination and then drop out? Anything is possible when you’re running a reality TV star for the highest office in the land. But it begs the question – what happens if he really does it? What happens if Trump drops out?
Certainly the Republicans will find SOMEONE to run in his stead. Maybe it will be his running mate, Mike Pence. Maybe the party elders will pick one of the usual suspects – Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush.
But in such a situation, what happens to the Democratic nominee?
Hillary Clinton is not popular on her own.
Her Presidential crusade is built on one thing: she’s not Trump.
For the most part, she isn’t running on what she’d do as commander in chief. Sure, she’s pulled out a bunch of progressive platitudes mostly cribbed from the Bernie Sanders campaign. But no one with any memory of the Clintons actually expects her to abide by them. If you don’t think the first thing she’ll do in office is approve the TPP, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Hillary Clinton will say what she has to say to get elected. If you doubt that, please recall that when she went on one of the most popular black radio programs, they asked her what’s one thing she always keeps in her purse. She said, “Hot Sauce!” They incredulously asked if she was just saying that to get black votes, and she jokingly asked, “Is it working?”
Without Trump, why would anyone vote for Hillary Clinton?
She needs him to get elected. She needs the fire and brimstone of his campaign. She needs to be able to point to him and portray how terrible a Trump Presidency would be.
For example, take the Hitler analogies.
During the primaries, pundits cautiously feared breaking Godwin’s Law when it came to Trump. Sure, he has certain similarities with the National Socialist German Workers Party candidate of yore, but few were willing to conflate the two.
Now that Trump has miraculously earned his party’s unequivocal nomination, the gloves are off. Talking heads across the nation equate Trump and Hitler as if it were somehow axiomatic. And, yes, Trump is racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc. He feeds off these qualities in others. He uses them to propel his campaign. But he doesn’t have control of the military like the Nazis did in Germany – they hate him. He doesn’t have the groundwork of a party explicitly founded on the theory of racial purity. He hasn’t weakened the entire political system to the degree that it is willing to bow down before him and do whatever he wants.
A president, even a Trump president, can’t do whatever he likes. There are checks and balances. But the Clinton fear machine has us all convinced that the second he gets into office he’ll be launching nukes, rounding up undesirables and opening concentration camps.
Make no mistake – Trump would clearly be a terrible President. I do not dispute it. Very few people do. But the force of Clinton’s candidacy is based on Trump’s existence. Her campaign has talked up how he would bring forth a combination of the Holocaust and Armageddon.
Without him in the game, the voting public loses it’s best reason to come to the polls for her.
She’s a war hawk. As President, her husband with her full support increased the prison industrial complex more than any other chief executive in history. She’s in favor of public school privatization, endless standardized testing and Common Core. She supports the same Wall Street friendly policies that helped crash the economy and evaporated jobs.
But she’s not Donald Trump.
If the Republicans put forth a milquetoast candidate, who’s to say if he’ll get much support from the base. The Trump faithful will still vote for the Donald, whether he’s officially on the ballot or not. The GOP vote would be fractured between Trump and Republican No. 2. And it’s hard to say who Independents, who make up the largest voting block in the country, will support. More likely than not, they’ll do what the usually do – stay home.
Independents strongly favored Clinton’s Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders in the primaries. If Trump drops out, it provides an opening for a true progressive third party candidate, someone to get the Independents to the polls.
The only thing stopping some people from voting third party now is fear of Trump. They can’t accept letting him win. But if Clinton has no robust Republican challenger, it frees former Bernie supporters to back someone like Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Stein is Bernie on steroids.
She wants to boost the economy by forgiving all student debt. She wants single-payer healthcare. She wants a Green New Deal – to reduce the size of the military while investing in environmentally friendly jobs at home. She’s against public school privatization, testing and Common Core.
She makes Hillary Clinton look… well, like Donald Trump.
But she has a hard road ahead of her. She may not be on every state ballot. Not since George Washington has a third party candidate won the Presidency. Even Ralph Nader – who is erroneously blamed for turning the 2000 election in favor of George W. Bush – didn’t get enough votes to win a single district or electoral vote.
But in the political chaos following a Trump flame out, a chance opens up.
Everything would be up for grabs.
Why vote for a neoliberal like Clinton without the fear of a neofascist like Trump? If too few people vote for a third party, Clinton wins. Nothing lost there. Meanwhile, it’s doubtful Republicans could pull off a victory without independents.
But if Independents and almost half of the Democrats who voted for Bernie pull together behind Stein, there is a real chance of victory.
So keep your eyes on the flaming zeppelin that is the Trump campaign. The one person with more at stake than The Donald is Hillary Clinton.
- Steve Singer
By Associated Press
04 August 16
The Fed fined the bank on Wednesday for what it called the use and disclosure of confidential materials that the US uses in its supervision of banks
he Federal Reserve fined Goldman Sachs $36.3m for what it called the use and disclosure of confidential materials that the US uses in its supervision of banks.
The Fed ordered the big Wall Street bank on Wednesday to put in place a program to ensure that the alleged violation doesn’t happen again.
Regulators now want to ban Joseph Jiampietro, a former managing director at Goldman, from the banking industry and levy fines against him for the incident that took place more than two years ago.
Jiampietro’s attorney said the Fed’s allegations are false and his client will fight them in the Fed’s legal proceedings.
Regulators say the “confidential supervisory information” obtained by Goldman included reports of bank examinations used by regulators. Goldman employees improperly used and disclosed the confidential information during presentations to clients and prospective clients in an attempt to get their business, they said.
Since at least 2012, Goldman employees lacked proper training and the company didn’t have policies or procedures in place to ensure compliance with disclosure rules, according to the Fed’s order. The central bank said it will “actively monitor” Goldman’s implementation of a compliance program.
It prohibited Goldman from rehiring anyone involved in the alleged violation.
Michael DuVally, a spokesman for the New York company, said: “We’re pleased to have resolved this matter.”
When Goldman discovered that a former employee, Rohit Bansal, had improperly obtained material from the New York Fed, where he had previously worked, the bank immediately notified the Fed and other regulators, DuVally said. Goldman fired Bansal in 2014 and the Fed permanently banned him from the banking industry last year.
“We previously reviewed and strengthened our policies and procedures after Bansal was terminated,” he said in a company release. “We have no tolerance for the improper handling of confidential supervisory information.”
Jiampietro’s lawyer, Adam Ford, said the Fed’s allegations are “demonstrably false, and rely solely on the testimony of a single and inherently incredible witness”, whom he didn’t name.
“As Mr Jiampietro has said from the start, he never requested confidential supervisory information from anyone, and never used it for his or anyone’s benefit,” Ford said in a statement. “The Fed has the law wrong and the facts wrong.”
by Paul Craig Roberts
“If you have been wondering what all the terror events in France and Germany are about, here is the answer: - http://www.strategic-culture.org/
Washington has raised the cost of being a member of its Empire too high. Vassals such as France and Germany are beginning to exercise independent policies toward Russia. Observing the cracks in its Empire, Washington has decided to bind its vassals to Washington with terror. Most likely what we are witnessing in the French and German attacks is Operation Gladio.
Washington’s policy toward Russia, which has been imposed by Washington on all of Europe, benefits no one but the handful of American ideologues known as neoconservatives. Neoconservatives are crazed psychopaths willing to destroy Earth in behalf of American hegemony.
A delegation of members of the French National Assembly and Senate went to Crimea to participate in Russian Navy Day on July 28. Thierry Mariani, the head of the French delegation, addressed the parliament in Crimea and said that there are no reasons for France to continue to support Washington’s illegal sanctions on Russia. As the Strategic Culture Foundation reports, this “is part of a trend taking place in Europe.”
“On June 8, the French Senate voted overwhelmingly to urge the government to gradually reduce economic sanctions on Russia amid growing opposition to the punitive measures across Europe. The French National Assembly voted for lifting the sanctions in late April.” See: https://www.rt.com/ Politicians in Italy, Belgium, and Cyprus are taking the same tack. Politicians in Greece and Hungary have also questioned the sanctions.
So does Donald Trump, and that is why the servile American press is trying to drive him into unacceptability and out of the race. Democratic websites are spreading the rumor that Trump never intended to win the nomination. His goal was to come in second. His campaign was just an elevation of his name recognition to help him in his deals. But he and his advisors misjudged the disaffection of the voters from the Establishment parties and Trump won.
Democratic websites claim that Trump is trying to get himself so opposed by criticizing Muslim families of war heros and women for abortions that he can withdraw, thus allowing the RNC to select a candidate that can rival Hitlery in appeal to the ruling oligarchs and pressitute media. Considering the degeneration of America, this could possibly be true.
But for now we must doubt it and ascribe it to the effort to undermine Trump with his supporters. The evil that rules in America is determined to have in the White House its own servant, and that servant is Hitlery.”
By Robert Parry, Consortium News
04 August 16
The prospect of Donald Trump in the White House alarms many people but bashing him over his contrarian views on NATO and U.S.-Russian relations could set the stage for disasters under President Hillary Clinton, writes Robert Parry.
he widespread disdain for Donald Trump and the fear of what his presidency might mean have led to an abandonment of any sense of objectivity by many Trump opponents and, most notably, the mainstream U.S. news media. If Trump is for something, it must be bad and must be transformed into one more club to use for hobbling his candidacy.
While that attitude may be understandable given Trump’s frequently feckless and often offensive behavior – he seems not to know basic facts and insults large swaths of the world’s population – this Trump bashing also has dangerous implications because some of his ideas deserve serious debate rather than blanket dismissal.
Amid his incoherence and insults, Trump has raised valid points on several important questions, such as the risks involved in the voracious expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders and the wisdom of demonizing Russia and its internally popular President Vladimir Putin.
Over the past several years, Washington’s neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment has pushed a stunning policy of destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia in pursuit of a “regime change” in Moscow. This existentially risky strategy has taken shape with minimal substantive debate behind a “group think” driven by anti-Russian and anti-Putin propaganda. (All we hear is what’s wrong with Putin and Russia: He doesn’t wear a shirt! He’s the new Hitler! Putin and Trump have a bro-mance! Russian aggression! Their athletes cheat!)
Much as happened in the run-up to the disastrous Iraq War in 2002-2003, the neocons and their “liberal interventionist” allies bully from the public square anyone who doesn’t share these views. Any effort to put Russia’s behavior in context makes you a “Putin apologist,” just like questioning the Iraq-WMD certainty of last decade made you a “Saddam apologist.”
But this new mindlessness – now justified in part to block Trump’s path to the White House – could very well set the stage for a catastrophic escalation of big-power tensions under a Hillary Clinton presidency. Former Secretary of State Clinton has already surrounded herself with neocons and liberal hawks who favor expanding the war against Syria’s government, want to ratchet up tensions with Iran, and favor shipping arms to the right-wing and virulently anti-Russian regime in Ukraine, which came to power in a 2014 coup supported by U.S. policymakers and money.
By lumping Trump’s few reasonable points together with his nonsensical comments – and making anti-Russian propaganda the only basis for any public debate – Democrats and the anti-Trump press are pushing the United States toward a conflict with Russia.
And, for a U.S. press corps that prides itself on its “objectivity,” this blatantly biased approach toward a nominee of a major political party is remarkably unprofessional. But the principle of objectivity has been long since abandoned as the mainstream U.S. media transformed itself into little more than an outlet for U.S. government foreign-policy narratives, no matter how dishonest or implausible.
To conform with the neocon-driven narratives, much recent history has been lost. For instance, few Americans realize that some of President Barack Obama’s most notable foreign policy achievements resulted from cooperation with Putin and Russia, arguably more so than any other “friendly” leader or “allied” nation.
For instance, in summer 2013, Obama was under intense neocon/liberal-hawk pressure to bomb the Syrian military supposedly for crossing his “red line” against the use of chemical weapons after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2103.
Yet, hearing doubts from the U.S. intelligence community about the Assad regime’s guilt, Obama balked at a military strike that – we now know – would have played into the hands of Syrian jihadists who some intelligence analysts believe were the ones behind the false-flag sarin attack to trick the United States into directly intervening in the civil war on their side.
But Obama still needed a path out of the corner that he had painted himself into and it was provided by Putin and Russia pressuring Assad to surrender all his chemical weapons, a clear victory for Obama regardless of who was behind the sarin attack.
Putin and Russia helped Obama again in convincing Iran to accept tight restraints on its nuclear program, an agreement that may mark Obama’s most significant foreign policy success. Those negotiations came to life in 2013 (not coincidentally after Secretary of State Clinton, who allied herself more with the bomb-bomb-bomb Iran faction led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had resigned and was replaced by John Kerry).
As the negotiating process evolved, Russia played a key role in bringing Iran along, offering ways for Iran to rid itself of its processed nuclear stockpiles and get the medical research materials it needed. Without the assistance of Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the landmark Iranian nuclear deal might never have happened.
Obama recognized the value of this Russian help but he also understood the political price that he would pay if he were closely associated with Putin, who was already undergoing a thorough demonization in the U.S. and European mainstream media. So, Obama mostly worked with Putin under the table while joining in the ostracism of Putin above the table.
But Washington’s neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment – and its allied mainstream media – check-mated Obama’s double-talking game in 2013 by aggressively supporting a regime-change strategy in Ukraine where pro-Russian elected President Viktor Yanukovych was under mounting pressure from western Ukrainians who wanted closer ties to Europe and who hated Russia.
Leading neocon thinkers unveiled their new Ukraine strategy shortly after Putin helped scuttle their dreams for a major bombing campaign against Assad’s regime in Syria. Since the 1990s, the neocons had targeted the Assad dynasty – along with Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq and the Shiite-controlled government in Iran – for “regime change.” The neocons got their way in Iraq in 2003 but their program stalled because of the disastrous Iraq War.
However, in 2013, the neocons saw their path forward open again in Syria, especially after the sarin attack, which killed hundreds of civilians and was blamed on Assad in a media-driven rush to judgment. Obama’s hesitancy to strike and then Putin’s assistance in giving Obama a way out left the neocons furious. They began to recognize the need to remove Putin if they were to proceed with their Mideast “regime change” dreams.
In late September 2013 – a month after Obama ditched the plans to bomb Syria – neocon National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman wrote in The Washington Post that Ukraine was now “the biggest prize” but also was a steppingstone toward the even bigger “regime change” prize in Moscow. Gershman, whose NED is funded by Congress, wrote:
“Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”
By late 2013 and early 2014, with Gershman’s NED financing Ukraine’s anti-government activists and journalists and with the open encouragement of neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain, the prospects for “regime change” in Ukraine were brightening. With neo-Nazi and other Ukrainian ultra-nationalists firebombing police, the political crisis in Kiev deepened.
Meanwhile, Putin was focused on the Sochi Winter Olympics and the threat that the games could be disrupted by terrorism. So, with the Kremlin distracted, Ukraine’s Yanukovych tried to fend off his political crisis while limiting the violence.
However, on Feb. 20, 2014, snipers fired on both police and protesters in the Maidan square and the Western media jumped to the conclusion that Yanukovych was responsible (even though later investigations have indicated that the sniper attack was more likely carried out by neo-Nazi groups to provoke the chaos that followed).
A Successful Coup
On Feb. 21, a shaken Yanukovych agreed to a European-brokered deal in which he surrendered some of his powers and agreed to early elections. He also succumbed to Western pressure that he pull back his police. However, on Feb. 22, the neo-Nazis and other militants seized on that opening to take over government buildings and force Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives.
The U.S. State Department and its Western allies quickly recognized the coup regime as the “legitimate” government of Ukraine. But the coup provoked resistance from the ethnic Russian populations in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, political uprisings that the new Kiev regime denounced as “terrorist” and countered with an “Anti-Terrorism Operation” or ATO.
When Russian troops – already in Crimea as part of the Sevastopol naval basing agreement – protected the people on the peninsula from attacks by the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, the intervention was denounced in the West as a “Russian invasion.” Crimean authorities also organized a referendum in which more than 80 percent of the voters participated and favored leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia by a 96 percent margin. When Moscow agreed, that became “Russian aggression.”
Although the Kremlin refused appeals from eastern Ukraine for a similar arrangement, Russia provided some assistance to the rebels resisting the new authorities in Ukraine. Those rebels then declared their own autonomous republics.
Although this historical reality – if understood by the American people – would put the Ukrainian crisis in a very different context, it has been effectively blacked out of what the American public is allowed to hear. All the mainstream media talks about is “Russian aggression” and how Putin provoked the Ukraine crisis as part of some Hitlerian plan to conquer Europe.
Trump, in his bumbling way, tries to reference the real history to explain his contrarian views regarding Russia, Ukraine and NATO, but he is confronted by a solid wall of “group think” asserting only one acceptable way to see this complex crisis. Rather than allow a serious debate on these very serious issues, the mainstream U.S. media simply laughs at Trump’s supposed ignorance.
The grave danger from this media behavior is that it will empower the neocons and liberal hawks already nesting inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign to prepare for a new series of geopolitical provocations once Clinton takes office. By opportunistically buying into this neocon pro-war narrative now, Democrats may find themselves with buyer’s remorse as they become the war party of 2017.
(Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book.)
Paul Craig Roberts
As John Williams has made clear, the monthly payroll jobs number consists mainly of an add-on factor of 200,000 jobs. These jobs are a product of the assumption in the Birth-Death Model that new business ventures create more unreported new jobs than the unreported job losses from business failures. If we sustract out this made-up number, July saw a gain of 55,000 jobs, not enough to keep up with population growth. Even the 55,000 figure is overstated according to John Williams’ report: “The gimmicked, headline payroll gain of 255,000 more realistically should have come in below zero, net of built-in upside biases.”_______________________
In other words, the 255,000 jobs are the product of a virtual reality created by a faulty model and manipulations of seasonal adjustments. Williams says the real rate of unemployment is not the claimed 4.9% figure but 23%.
Even if we assume that 255,000 jobs were created in July, the news remains bad, because the jobs claimed are mainly lowly-paid part-time jobs without benefits and provide insufficient income to support an independent existence. This is why so many employed young people continue to live at home with their parents.
The labor force participation rate, a measure of labor market strength, is far below where it was 22 years ago. The low participation rate is inconsistent with the claimed 4.9% rate of unemployment.
Real GDP growth has been flat since 2009. The government produces the illusion of growth by understating Inflation.
The conclusion is that Washington lies about the economy just as it lies about everything else.
The liquidity provided by the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, and Bank of England inflates the prices of stocks and bonds and keeps the stock market near its high. The inflated stock market creates the impression that the economy is strong. But, of course, if the economy were strong, interest rates would not be zero.
The house of cards will not forever stand.
Michael Moore, progressive darling and filmmaker, made a shocking prediction: Trump will win in November. Here’s his full open letter to supporters:
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”
Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now.
I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. You alternate between being appalled at him and laughing at him because of his latest crazy comment or his embarrassingly narcissistic stance on everything because everything is about him. And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want! Yes! Four more years of this!
You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – “77% of the electorate are women, people of color, young adults under 35 and Trump cant win a majority of any of them!“ – or logic – “people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests!“ – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma. Like when you hear a loud noise on the street and you think, “oh, a tire just blew out,” or, “wow, who’s playing with firecrackers?” because you don’t want to think you just heard someone being shot with a gun. It’s the same reason why all the initial news and eyewitness reports on 9/11 said “asmall plane accidentally flew into the World Trade Center.” We want to – we need to – hope for the best because, frankly, life is already a shit show and it’s hard enough struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t handle much more bad news. So our mental state goes to default when something scary is actually, truly happening. The first people plowed down by the truck in Nice spent their final moments on earth waving at the driver whom they thought had simply lost control of his truck, trying to tell him that he jumped the curb: “Watch out!,” they shouted. “There are people on the sidewalk!”
Well, folks, this isn’t an accident. It is happening. And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. As of today, as things stand now, I believe this is going to happen – and in order to deal with it, I need you first to acknowledge it, and then maybe, just maybe, we can find a way out of the mess we’re in.
Don’t get me wrong. I have great hope for the country I live in. Things are better. The left has won the cultural wars. Gays and lesbians can get married. A majority of Americans now take the liberal position on just about every polling question posed to them: Equal pay for women – check. Abortion should be legal – check. Stronger environmental laws – check. More gun control – check. Legalize marijuana – check. A huge shift has taken place – just ask the socialist who won 22 states this year. And there is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide.
But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote. And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, they not only have a longer line to wait in, everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot. So in most elections it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November – who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot? That’s right. That’s the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself — no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or outfacting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo.
Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:
From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!
- 1. Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.
And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.
That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop!
- 2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man. Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!
Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies. But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.
- 3. The Hillary Problem. Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done.
- 4. The Depressed Sanders Vote. Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ‘08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.
Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show.
- 5. The Jesse Ventura Effect. Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad. And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like. Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump.
(Next week I will post my thoughts on Trump’s Achilles Heel and how I think he can be beat.)
Speaking of one of those who are qualified to lead this country in a new life-sustaining direction . . .
Notice how the MSM treats him.
From the "New York Times:"
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — THERE are shameful photos of me on the internet.In one series, my groceries are being packed into plastic bags, as I’d forgotten to bring cloth ones. In other shots, I am getting in and out of … cars. There are video snippets of me giving talks, or standing on the street. Sometimes I see the cameraman, sometimes I don’t. The images are often posted to Twitter, reminders that I’m being watched.
In April, Politico and The Hill reported that America Rising Squared, an arm of the Republican opposition research group America Rising, had decided to go after me and Tom Steyer, another prominent environmentalist, with a campaign on a scale previously reserved for presidential candidates. Using what The Hill called “an unprecedented amount of effort and money,” the group, its executive director said, was seeking to demonstrate our “epic hypocrisy and extreme positions.”
Since then, my days in public have often involved cameramen walking backward and videotaping my every move. It’s mostly when I travel (I’ve encountered them in at least five states so far, as well as in Australia), and generally when I’m in a public or semipublic space. They aren’t interested in my arguments; instead, these videos, usually wordless, are simply posted on Twitter, almost always with music. One showed me sitting in a church pew, accompanied by the song “Show Me That Smile.” The tweet read, “Ready for his close-up.”
Someone also went to the archive at Texas Tech University, where my papers are stored, and asked for copies of everything in all 54 boxes. He identified himself as being with a group that is affiliated with America Rising Squared.
This effort has resulted in all kinds of odd things appearing on right-wing corners of the web: out-of-context quotations from old books and articles apparently put on display to prove I’m a zealot, and photos from God knows who intended to make me out as a hypocrite (the plastic bags, for instance, and my travel by car, which, you know, burns gas). Mostly, they’ve just published those creepy videos, to remind me that I’m under surveillance.
I understand that this isn’t horrible in the way that police brutality is horrible, or having your home swept away by a flood is horrible. I know that in other parts of the world, environmentalists have worse things than cameras pointed at them. From Honduras to the Philippines, in the last two years, activists have been assassinated after getting in the way of megaprojects.
And I get, as well-meaning friends keep reminding me, that at some level it’s all tribute to our movement’s work in helping kill the Keystone pipeline and highlighting Exxon’s climate history, campaigns that cost the industry a lot of money. But I also understand that the simple fact that I’ve done nothing wrong is no defense against the destruction of a reputation: These are the same kind of people who turned John Kerry, a bona fide war hero, into a traitor through twisting and manipulation.
Merely having someone with a camera follow you somehow makes you feel as if you’re doing something wrong. My house is covered in solar panels, and I plug my car into a socket those panels power. But environmentalists also live in the world we’re trying to change: We take airplanes and rent buses for rallies; we make a living, shop for groceries. None of this should demand an apology. Changing the system, not perfecting our own lives, is the point. “Hypocrisy” is the price of admission in this battle.
And despite what the industry and its advocates insist, that does not make us all equally responsible for the climate crisis.
We’re fighting for policy changes that will make it possible for us to have better choices: utilities that offer us renewable options, electric trains that make short-haul flights obsolete, public transit. Exxon and its ilk have been fighting for decades to keep these choices out of our reach, and then claim that we are voting with our dollars every time we sit in traffic or heat our homes with fossil fuels supplied by a utility that has a monopoly. They can play gotcha as much as they want, but all it proves is how badly we need better options. And we are still going to fight like heck to make sure options are available to everyone.
And yet, for all that logic, I still find myself on edge. To be watched so much is a kind of never-ending nightmare. And sometimes it’s just infuriating.
And I'm guessing that it hasn't come to an end yet.
In this episode of "Redacted Tonight," Lee Camp explains how the mainstream “liberal” pressure and shaming of free-thinkers to succumb to “voting for the lesser of two evils” is sad and, ultimately, a doomed philosophy. Lee also discusses how the Obama administration’s draconian treatment of whistleblowers has gotten to the point where it actually reflects the dystopian plot of the Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22. In light of the last of the Baltimore police involved in the Freddie Gray murder having all charges dropped, correspondent John F. O’Donnell discusses journalist Shaun King’s 25-part report on comprehensive, achievable solutions that will massively decrease police brutality in America. Correspondent Naomi Karavani reveals the insanity of how extensively the US is arming the entire world with weapons. She reveals how sick it is to say we’re peacekeepers when we’re arming all sides. This and more on "Redacted Tonight."
This week, Lee covers the Republican National Circus, the recently released 28 pages that were redacted from the 9/11 commission report. Then Naomi Karavani reviews the CIA’s program to recruit more women. Correspondent Carlos Delgado presents politicians we can have faith in besides candidates for president. This and more on "Redacted Tonight."
In this special episode of "Redacted Tonight," Lee Camp reveals what REALLY went down at the DNC. He also delves into a brand new 100 page election fraud report released by “Election Justice USA” that the media has essentially blacked out. Correspondent John F. O’Donnell files a live report from Philly about where Bernie Sanders supporters are going to “Turn Their Bern” now that Hillary Clinton has gotten the nomination. Finally, correspondent Carlos Delgado explains how capitalism and natural disasters are benefiting each other, and what each presidential candidate thinks about this situation. This and more on "Redacted Tonight."
We discuss the ‘Great Period of Instability’ and the $24 trillion rollover risk as interconnected disasters in the global economy. Max then talks to Reggie Middleton in Bryant Park, NY, about there being no such thing as negative interest rates and how the German taxpayer will go broke before Deutsche Bank does. Max talks to Valentin Schmid of the Epoch Times about the trillions of bad debts in the Chinese banking system and what plans the Peoples Bank of China has for dealing with it.
We discuss the farcical, upside down world that central bank intervention has made in markets – where the safest bets are now the most dangerous. We also discuss the otherwise undiscussed collateral damage to European countries from sanctions friendly fire. In the second half, Max continues his interview with Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com about entrepreneurship and the US elections.
Read more at http://www.maxkeiser.com/#gOJ21c7XYf3TLoF6.99