Saturday, June 30, 2018

Today's Links

"Europe is reaping the consequences of its alliance with US militarized imperialism whereby the US uproots millions of people and the EU spends billions of euros to cover the cost of immigrants fleeing the western wars.....To restrain immigration the first step is to end imperial wars, withdraw troops,and to cease financing paramilitary and client terrorists. James Petras

 

 

 

 

1-- Syria Endgame? Hassan Nasrallah: “All armed groups are in a state of collapse and no prospect of fighting.

 


Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary-General (Arabic): “All armed groups are in a state of collapse and no prospect of fighting. What is most important to the media, the information indicates large falls in armed groups that have begun to recalculate and there is nothing left in this area except the dark black part, which is dominated by the Daesh, which will be clear and settled in the coming period. That is to mean we are in the final analysis of a major transformation in southern Syria.”

2-- Lawmakers take immigration battle to ballot box

 

Two Republican-backed immigration bills to protect Dreamers, who came to the country illegally as children, failed in the House this month. And neither chamber tackled legislation to prevent family separations at the border before they left town for the July Fourth recess, though Trump did sign an executive order to temporarily fix the problem.
Democrats are already seizing on the images and audio of children crying and screaming for their mothers while being held in detention centers behind chain-linked fences — recordings that are sure to be made into attack ads this fall.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) even tried to play the audio on the House floor earlier this month before he was shut down.
“As we sit here today, there’s still thousands of babies and kids ripped away from their parents by Trump’s child separation policy that have not been reunited,” Lieu said on the House floor this week before lawmakers left town. “That is evil, and it’s shameful that no democratic bills have been brought on this floor to address that

3--NBC's attempt to sabotage nuke's deal?--North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites, say U.S. officials

 

4--Lavrov interveiw



Question: Foreign Minister, the summit is happening in Helsinki. Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump together. Is this the post-West world order that you have talked of in the past? Has it now arrived?

S.Lavrov: Well, I think that we are in the post-West world order, but this order is being shaped and it will take a long time. It is a historical epoch, if you want. Certainly, after five or so centuries of domination of the collective West, as it were, it is not very easy to adjust to new realities that there are other powerhouses economically, financially and politically, China, India, Brazil. African countries are going to be very much on the rise, as soon as they resolve at least some of the conflicts, which are there on the continent. Well, Russia certainly would like to be an independent world player. Independent in the sense that we do not want to violate and international law and norms, but the decisions, which we would be taking on the basis of international law, would not be influenced by pressure, money, sanctions, threats or anything else.

5--The Blame is Bipartisan: How the Democrats Ruined Central America and Worsened the Mess at the Border


At this writing the Trump Administration’s mistreatment of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United States from Mexico has drawn international condemnation, and rightly so. The cliché that most migrants come here to pursue economic opportunities is out of date. Nowadays much if not most of the migratory flow is comprised of refugees from violence, specifically from the so-called “Northern Triangle countries” of Central America: Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala. Homicide rates are especially high in Honduras and El Salvador. A 2015 Doctors Without Borders survey of refugees from these countries found that most Central Americans seeking political asylum on the southern border were fleeing physical attacks or threats of violence against themselves or a close family member. More than 40% had had a family member killed in the previous two years....

Obama played a double game. In public — after an embarrassing, telling silence — Obama decried the coup and called for Zelaya’s return to power.
Thanks to WikiLeaks we know that behind the scenes and in defiance of international law, Clinton reached out to the new junta leader to assure him of U.S. support and rejected the international community’s requests that the U.S. demand Zelaya’s reinstatement. The secretary of state worked hard to make certain democracy did not return to Honduras so that the new junta could remain in power.

The right-wing military junta, many of whom graduated from the Pentagon’s notorious assassin-training School of the Americas, were not good stewards. “The homicide rate in Honduras, already the highest in the world, increased by 50 percent from 2008 to 2011; political repression, the murder of opposition political candidates, peasant organizers and LGBT activists increased and continue to this day. Femicides skyrocketed. The violence and insecurity were exacerbated by a generalized institutional collapse. Drug-related violence has worsened amid allegations of rampant corruption in Honduras’ police and government. While the gangs are responsible for much of the violence, Honduran security forces have engaged in a wave of killings and other human rights crimes with impunity,” Al Jazeera reports.

Next door in El Salvador — the only other Northern Triangle nation with a higher murder rate than Honduras — Obama propped up sellout former leftist president Mauricio Funes, who abandoned his populist roots to open his country up to looting by transnational corporations. Poverty, violence and drug trafficking increased dramatically.

There is no excuse for the way the Trump Administration is treating applicants for asylum as they enter the U.S. from Mexico. But it’s worth noting that both major political parties are to blame here. Many of the children showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border are there in the first place because of the mayhem to which Obama and Clinton contributed.

6--Washington tries to torpedo Nordstream 


7--Opposition mounts to Trump administration’s persecution of immigrants


 However, the Washington Post reported late Friday that the Trump administration is proposing instead to modify the Flores agreement so that parents and children can be detained together indefinitely.
According to papers filed with the San Diego federal court, the Justice Department gave the following notice to the judge who issued the June 26 order, Dana Sabraw: “The government will not separate families but detain families together during the pendency of immigration proceedings when they are apprehended at or between ports of entry.”

As the Post explained, “The new filing does not explicitly say the Trump administration plans to hold families in custody beyond the 20-day limit, but by saying officials plan to detain them ‘during the pendency’ of immigration proceedings, which in many cases can last months, they imply that families will spend that time in detention.”
In other words, the Trump “solution” to the cruelty of family separation is the provocation of family imprisonment, jailing teenagers, younger children, even babies along with their parents. Once this new posture becomes more widely known, it is bound to inflame popular hostility to the vicious anti-immigrant bigotry and repression unleashed by the White House....

All are opposed, however, to any policy of “open borders” that would allow immigrants to come and go freely and live and work in the country of their choice. Instead, the Democratic Party merely seeks to rebrand ICE and CPB. “You need some kind of agency to deal with immigration, but ICE is not that,” de Blasio said on The Brian Lehrer Show on WYNC. Ocasio-Cortez recently said in a CNN interview that ICE would have to be replaced with “a humane agency,” because, “We do need to make sure that our borders are secure.”

In fact, Trump’s policy of separating children is merely an intensification of the immigration policy begun by the Obama administration. During his presidency, Obama sped up the deportations process while integrating ICE into federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, resulting in the deportation of over 3 million immigrants and the separation of hundreds of thousands of children from their families. Due to his efforts, he came to be known in immigrant communities as the “deporter-in-chief.”

8-- Immigration: Western Wars and Imperial Exploitation Uproot Millions


US wars, military intervention and economic exploitation has forced millions of Latin Americans to immigrate to the US.. Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras engaged in popular struggle for socio-economic justice and political democracy between 1960 – 2000.  ...

The US-backed oligarchic regimes forced millions of displaced and uprooted pr unemployed and landless workers to flee to the US.
US supported coups and dictators resulted in 50,000 in Nicaragua, 80,000 in El Salvador and 200,000 in Guatemala. President Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a military coup in Honduras which overthrew Liberal President Zelaya— which led to the killing and wounding of thousands of peasant activists and human rights workers, and the return of death squads, resulting in a new wave of immigrants to the US.

The US promoted free trade agreement (NAFTA) drove hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmers into bankruptcy and into low wage maquiladoras; others were recruited by drug cartels; but the largest group was forced to immigrate across the Rio Grande. The US ‘Plan Colombia’ launched by President Clinton established seven US military bases in Colombia and provided 1 billion dollars in military aid between 2001 – 2010. Plan Colombia doubled the size of the military.
The US backed President Alvaro Uribe, resulting in the assassination of over 200,000 peasants, trade union activists and human rights workers by Uribe directed narco-death squad.Over two million farmers fled the countryside and immigrated to the cities or across the border.






 



Friday, June 29, 2018

Today's links

1-- Honduras Is a Hellhole: Who’s Responsible?

Hillary Clinton, US imperialism, and criminal cronyism

Honduras has always been an American plaything, to be toyed with for the benefit of United Fruit (rebranded Chiquita) and the native landowning aristocracy, and disciplined when necessary: Washington sent in the Marines a total of seven times between 1903 and 1925. The Honduran peasants didn’t like their lands being confiscated by the government and turned over to foreign-owned producers, who were granted monopolistic franchises by corrupt public officials. Periodic rural revolts started spreading to the cities, despite harsh repression, and the country – ruled directly by the military since 1955 – returned to a civilian regime in 1981.”

That column was about the Hillary Clinton-endorsed coup against the democratically elected President, Manuel Zelaya. The popular conservative-turned-reformer had pushed through a number of measures designed to alleviate the peasantry’s hopeless poverty and shift power from the military to the presidency, which angered the Honduran elite. They were triggered, however, when Zelaya joined the ALBA alliance of Latin American countries allied with Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. While ALBA never really amounted to much, either economically or militarily, the symbolism of this move was too much for the Honduran military, which was trained in the US and generously subsidized by Washington. The generals soon had Zelaya on a plane out of the country – while still in his pajamas. Washington issued a perfunctory scolding, but Hillary’s State Department had approved the coup in advance. It’s always been done that way, and this time was no exception....

It looks to me like the Trumpistas are on the right track with their radical decimation of US military aid to the corrupt Honduran government. And while we shouldn’t pursue a policy of regime change, even if only to undo our previous regime change, our usually loudmouth democracy-promoters at the State Department would do well to draw attention to the depredations of the current regime. After all, this is something they can blame on Hillary Clinton.

2--American Spending Grows Faster Than Income For The 29th Straight Month

 

... the vast gap between extreme high confidence and extreme low savings rate - a borrow-my-way-to-happiness narrative - has never ended well in the past..

 

3-- If self-serving celebs want to help vulnerable kids, they should look at US militarism & foster care

 

Obama’s DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson recently went on Fox News and commented on startling images of young immigrant children separated from their parents and put in makeshift jail cells by the Obama team in 2014. Johnson said, “Without a doubt the images, and the reality, from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty.”
Johnson then said of Obama’s family-detainment policy, which at times included child separation, “We expanded it, I freely admit it was controversial, we believed it was necessary at the time, I still believe it is necessary…”
Johnson also proudly said that the Obama administration had deported and repatriated over a million people....

One wonders why Hollywood bigwigs like musician and actor John Legend only seem to care about draconian immigration enforcement policy when Trump is doing it. Legend, who recently donated $72,000 to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) over Trump’s inhumane border control practices, must have been blissfully unaware that the organization lambasted Obama in 2015 for his family detention and fast-track deportation policy for Central American illegal immigrants....

El Salvador didn’t become a violent hellhole all by itself. From 1980 to 1992, the US fueled a dirty civil war in the Central American country by sending hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and military aid and advisers who trained paramilitary death squads that kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of innocent Salvadorans. 75,000 people were killed in that brutal, US-backed proxy war that destabilized El Salvador to such an extent that it still hasn’t recovered.

Honduras is also a hot mess of a country, in part, because in 2009, in opposition to the Organization of American States, the EU and United Nations, the US backed and supported a coup that toppled a democratically elected government.
None of this is new, as children from all over the world have had to pay the price for America’s militarism for a long time now. Millions of children have become refugees, orphans or been killed or maimed by US recent military adventurism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen....

According to the Pew Research Center, from 2005 to 2015 the number of displaced migrants in the Middle East is a staggering 23 million, the majority of which were the result of American-backed wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. If Hollywood genuinely wants to protect children, a good place to start would be to stop collaborating with the Pentagon in making muscular propaganda for American militarism that leads to endless military actions across the globe.

And finally, if these celebrities were genuine in wanting to help children separated from their parents, they wouldn’t have to go all the way to the border to find them.
Los Angeles County, home to Hollywood, has the largest foster care system in America with nearly 20,000 children in their care. Over 81 percent of these kids have been removed from their homes due to neglect. These children, just like those taken from their families at the border, have been traumatized and are in desperate need of a warm bed and a kind soul to care for them.

4--How Long Can The Federal Reserve Stave Off the Inevitable?


When are America’s global corporations and Wall Street going to sit down with President Trump and explain to him that his trade war is not with China but with them? The biggest chunk of America’s trade deficit with China is the offshored production of America’s global corporations. When the corporations bring the products that they produce in China to the US consumer market, the products are classified as imports from China.

Six years ago when I was writing The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, I concluded on the evidence that half of US imports from China consist of the offshored production of US corporations. Offshoring is a substantial benefit to US corporations because of much lower labor and compliance costs. Profits, executive bonuses, and shareholders’ capital gains receive a large boost from offshoring. The costs of these benefits for a few fall on the many—the former American employees who formerly had a middle class income and expectations for their children.

In my book, I cited evidence that during the first decade of the 21st century “the US lost 54,621 factories, and manufacturing employment fell by 5 million employees. Over the decade, the number of larger factories (those employing 1,000 or more employees) declined by 40 percent. US factories employing 500-1,000 workers declined by 44 percent; those employing between 250-500 workers declined by 37 percent, and those employing between 100-250 workers shrunk by 30 percent. These losses are net of new start-ups. Not all the losses are due to offshoring. Some are the result of business failures” (p. 100).

In other words, to put it in the most simple and clear terms, millions of Americans lost their middle class jobs not because China played unfairly, but because American corporations betrayed the American people and exported their jobs. “Making America great again” means dealing with these corporations, not with China. When Trump learns this, assuming anyone will tell him, will he back off China and take on the American global corporations?...

A recent Federal Reserve study concluded that Americans are so indebted and so poor that 41 percent of the American population cannot raise $400 without borrowing from family and friends or selling personal possessions....

the Ponzi scheme falls apart when it becomes impossible to continue to support the dollar as burdened as the dollar is by debt levels and abundance of dollars that could be dumped on the exchange markets.

5--Hmmm?  Trump Officials Don’t Deserve Hospitality


Last week, restaurants once again served as a battleground in the culture wars, igniting a debate over how Trump administration officials should be treated in public. It started when Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was jeered at MXDC Cocina Mexicana, a D.C. Mexican restaurant, in the wake of the administration’s extreme immigration policies. Days later, it came to light that senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, the architect of the government’s family separation policy and genuinely Bad Person, was called a fascist and heckled by his fellow diners while eating at Espita Mezcaleria in D.C., also a Mexican restaurant. The controversy reached critical mass when, over the weekend, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, mid-dinner because she made the staff uncomfortable.  ...


Some, like California congresswoman Maxine Waters, believe that the public should take these actions one step further and harass Trump employees and supporters in all spaces. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said at a rally over the weekend...

The fraught politics of the American restaurant make it a reasonable place to address how we respond to the presence of people who pursue the dehumanization of others. Without picking up a sign or marching in the streets, restaurant owners who feel strongly about this administration’s policies should be free to make a statement in support of their employees, their patrons, and basic human decency by saying, “No, we will not serve you.”
Let them eat cake, but only if they bake it at home.

6--New poll-- 88% americans say they don't want kids separated from parents, but 70% said they want tougher enforcement of our immigration laws

Should cities who arrest illegal immigrants be required to notify ICE? .
Required to notify--84%
Prohibited from notifying--16%
What should happen to families that are here illegally?  By 2 to 1 americans said "They should be sent home"
Americans "Tougher borders with compassion" 
Trumps numbers have gone up after this flap to 47% in Harvard Harris poll

7--Ex-Clinton aide: 84 percent of Americans support turning undocumented immigrants over to authorities 

 

8--Why the Red Hen incident so troubles us as Americans

 

Despite having been entirely peaceful, the incident at the Red Hen restaurant is unsettling because its goes to the core of how we treat those with whom we disagree in this republic. To be shamed with your family in the middle of a meal because of your service to the country and for your political views means that there is no activity safe for those who work for or, by extension, who just voted for or supported the opposing party. The Red Hen incident crossed the line from just words to actions by ejecting White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family.

Yes, President Trump instituted an immigration policy that was wrong. In many ways, the system worked and caused him to reverse a highly unpopular policy within a week. Yet, in the process, inflammatory language comparing the administration to Adolf Hitler and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to Nazis undermined those who sincerely opposed the policy as unjust...

In the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, 72 percent say it is wrong to eject someone from a restaurant for their political views. Only two jurisdictions in the United States explicitly make it illegal to discriminate in restaurants on the basis of political affiliation. One of them is the District of Columbia, but the Red Hen owner is likely safe from legal process in Virginia. Left unchecked, all this could easily spiral out of control. Why stop at Cabinet members? Imagine restaurants and hotels with “Democrats Not Served Here” signs. Today, that would be perfectly legal in most places....

Another growing problem is the stigmatization of people at work for their political views. In a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll last year, 40 percent said they were afraid to express their true political views with family or at work because of potential retaliation. While the First Amendment prevents Congress from penalizing people for what they say, it does not prevent your employer from firing you for your politics. Once again, a raging online mob can get almost any employee fired in short order...

This is not just about a lack of civility. It is about the core values behind our Constitution and the American spirit that welcomes peaceful political diversity at the center of creating a “more perfect union,” even when we grapple with the toughest and most emotional of issues or with leaders and parties that exploit rather than heal our divisions. We are a dynamic society living materially better than at any time in history. Yet, if we do not observe our own red lines, we will go down the very path of division and retribution that Madison warned us about.  

9--CNBC: Despite Immigration Outrage, Trump Approval Rises as Economic Satisfaction Soars



A quick addendum to this morning's post, which mostly quoted from fresh CBS News polling.  CNBC has now released its own national survey, the results of which will be welcome news at the White House.  The American people are increasingly pleased with what they're seeing out of the US economy, are satisfied with the president's handling of the issue, are awarding him more credit for recent gains than Congress or his predecessor, and are now less critical of his overall job performance.  There's a reason why the RNC is eagerly sharing these outcomes on social media:

For the first time since President Donald Trump took office, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows more than half the public approving his handling of the economy, and it appears to be having some impact on his overall job approval rating. The president’s economic approval rating surged 6 points to 51 percent with just 36 percent of the public disapproving, a 6 point drop from the March Survey...His overall approving rating rose 2 points to 41 percent from the first quarter survey, but the percentage of Americans who disapprove dropped 10 points to 47 percent, the lowest recorded by CNBC during his presidency. Trump’s approval rating remains negative, at minus 6, but it’s also the lowest negative rating recorded since he took office...

The rise in the president’s economic approval comes with growth running about a percentage point higher than it did during the Obama presidency, with unemployment near a 20-year low and amid what is believed to be a very strong quarter for growth. That has translated into positive views by the public on the economy that are reaching new records for the survey. Fifty-four percent of Americans say the economy is good or excellent, the highest recorded by CNBC in the 10 years of the survey. Just 43 percent say the economy is fair or poor, the lowest in the history of the survey. Positive views on the economy have surged 20 points since the election. 

10--Trump, public approval. Dems

Democrats' 5% job approval -- down from 10% the prior week -- ties the lowest he has had among that group, which also occurred in four other weeks, including one in December and three in January.

The latest results are based on June 18-24 Gallup polling.

Trump's 45% job approval rating during the week of June 11-17 was likely aided by his historic June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. While the more positive feelings toward Trump coming out of the event would probably have faded in time, that process was likely hastened by the controversy over the administration's immigration policy. As part of a crackdown that treated all illegal U.S.-Mexico border crossings as criminal offenses, children were separated from parents while their parents were held in custody, awaiting hearings.

News about the policy dominated the headlines last week. After Trump and administration officials initially defended the policy of separating children and parents, the president reversed course Wednesday by issuing an executive order to overturn it.
Later in the week, Trump appeared to withdraw his support for GOP-led legislation in the House of Representatives designed to address various immigration issues, by saying in a Twitter post that Republicans should work on other issues.

The 41% job approval rating remains slightly better than his 39% average approval rating for his presidency to date.

Republicans' support for Trump remains high at 87% even after the family separation controversy, but is lower than their 90% approval during the prior two weeks. Republican approval of Trump is now back to the average for his second year in office.

Democrats' 5% job approval -- down from 10% the prior week -- ties the lowest he has had among that group, which also occurred in four other weeks, including one in December and three in January.

11--Dems and GOP split on immigration



The survey found 92 percent of likely Democratic primary voters (topline results, crosstabs) opposed Trump’s policy of separating families at the border, which the president ended last week through executive action. A little more than half of Republican primary voters (topline results, crosstabs) feel the same way, while 37 percent of likely GOP voters found the policy acceptable.
"So there is a distance between the two parties," according to Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, which conducted the WBUR survey. "Even so, you see a majority on both sides saying the policy was unacceptable."





That reversal is popular: 74 percent of voters say they support Trump’s decision, while just 15 percent oppose it.
"Voters across the political spectrum approve of the Trump administration's decision to end the child separation policy," said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s managing director. “Despite the vitriolic rhetoric, 76 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Republicans, and 69 percent of independents say they support the administration's decision."...

The poll shows Trump’s overall approval rating at 43 percent, in line with other recent POLITICO/Morning Consult polls. A majority of voters, 54 percent, disapprove of the job Trump is doing

 

13--To the Editor: The buck stops in washington


In your June 24 editorial, “The G.O.P. Built Donald Trump’s Cages,” you mention the big increase in migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and say, “None of this is surprising considering the rampant violence in the region.”
Indeed. What seems largely lost in current immigration discussions is that those countries have never recovered from brutal civil wars that our government abetted with vast amounts of aid and training to their armed forces and other combatants.

To punish migrants for protecting their children from social violence seeded by American foreign policy ignores our own historical complicity in forcing their decision to leave their broken societies.
Redirecting billions of tax dollars intended to secure our borders toward programs to stabilize these societies would not only fulfill our moral responsibility to repair the damage we have done but also give Central Americans reason to have hope for and remain in their homelands.

14--NYTimes editors oppose peace with Russia


Mr. Trump could compound that by canceling military exercises, as he did with South Korea after the meeting with Mr. Kim, and by withdrawing American troops that are intended to keep Russia from aggressive action in the Baltics.

Another fraught topic is Syria. Mr. Trump has signaled his desire to withdraw American troops from Syria, a move that would leave the country more firmly in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad and his two allies, Russia and Iran. Russia, in particular, is calling the shots on the battlefield and in drafting a political settlement that could end the fighting, presumably after opposition forces are routed.

15--More commited to Democracy than Trump?  Putin's Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly






 

 

 





 



Thursday, June 28, 2018

1-- Immigrants HAVE rights

 

President Trump is my friend. I like him dearly and wish him well and want him to succeed. But he is profoundly wrong here. He cannot lawfully or morally reject his oath to uphold the Constitution. Denying due process on the basis of alienage is tantamount to denying the personhood of undocumented foreigners as the U.S. once did to slaves and does today to babies in the womb. And that denial is a slippery slope, at the bottom of which lie tyranny and misery.


Hundreds of books and law review articles have been written about due process. Here we are addressing procedural due process, which has three components. The first is notice. The person against whom the government is proceeding is entitled to a written statement specifically articulating his alleged wrongful behavior sufficiently prior to trial. Once notice is given, the government is hard-pressed to alter the charges.

The second component of due process is the requirement of the government to prove its charges against the person to whom it has given notice before a neutral judicial official, not one who works for the entity that is proceeding against him.

The third component of due process requires that the entire proceeding against the person be fair, that it appear to be fair and that the outcome be rational. The judge can decide whom to believe, but she cannot, for example, decide that 2+2=22, as that would be irrational. Fairness also includes the right to an appeal.

The dangers of rejecting the plain meaning of the Constitution (“person”) and the dangers of taking a class of people and refusing to recognize their fundamental constitutional rights because of an immutable characteristic of birth (alienage) cannot be overstated.

2--12 Ways Bernie Sanders Is a Pro-Establishment, pro-Israel, Warmonger - He's Part of the Problem, Not the Solution


. Regardless of calling himself an “independent”, Sanders is a member of the Democratic caucus and votes 98% of the time with the Democrats and votes in the exact same way as war criminal Hillary Clinton 93% of the time. Sanders campaigned for Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential race and again in 1996—after Clinton had rammed through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), vastly expanded the system of mass incarceration and destroyed welfare

. Regardless of calling himself an “independent”, Sanders is a member of the Democratic caucus and votes 98% of the time with the Democrats and votes in the exact same way as war criminal Hillary Clinton 93% of the time. Sanders campaigned for Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential race and again in 1996—after Clinton had rammed through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), vastly expanded the system of mass incarceration and destroyed welfare

3--How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks' immunity deal

 

Comey and Warner kill deal to find out who stole DNC emails

 

4-- What the New York primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez means

 

5--Is loretta Lynch at the center of Russiagate?

The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified" dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

 

6--Did Sen. Warner and Comey ‘Collude’ on Russia-gate?

The U.S. was in talks for a deal with Julian Assange but then FBI Director James Comey ordered an end to negotiations after Assange offered to prove Russia was not involved in the DNC leak, as Ray McGovern explain

 

7--We’re probably at peak housing. Here’s what that means.

 

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Today's Links

Godwin’s Law—which states that as an internet discussion thread grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning Hitler approaches certainty

 

Bill Blum-- The American people are very much like the children of a Mafia boss who do not know what their father does for a living, and don’t want to know, but then they wonder why someone just threw a firebomb through the living room window.

 

 

 1--Majority of Americans think news is "Fake"


Seventy-two percent of Americans believe "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading," according to a new poll from Axios and Survey Monkey released on Thursday.
The poll of nearly 4,000 adults shows that 92 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents "say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes," a finding in line with other recent polls conducted by Pew Research and Gallup.

It found the sentiment extends to those who identify as Independents and Democrats, with 79 percent of Independents also saying traditional outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes. Democrats agree by a slight majority of 53 percent.
The poll also found that almost two-thirds of those polled say fake news "is usually reported because people have an agenda." About one-third of those polled say false information is reported because of "poor fact-checking" or laziness.

Trust in media was once at 74 percent in 1976 in the post-Watergate reporting era, according to Gallup.
That number dropped to 32 percent in 2016, the last time Gallup polled on the question. Just 14 percent of Republicans said they trusted the media in that poll.

2--The Left in 2018: Unhinged

1 minute takedown of new trends in political expression that are hurting liberals

 

3-- Judge Rules Trump Has 30 Days To Reunite Families Separated At Border

 

Following a blitz of federal lawsuits filed yesterday by a group of Democratic attorneys general from 17 states and Washington, DC, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that US immigration agents can no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing over the US-Mexico border, and also that the US government is responsible for reuniting families split up in custody, according to Reuters.

the government now has 14 days to reunite children who are younger than five, and 30 days to reunite all other minors with their families. More than 2,300 children have been taken into US custody since President Trump first announced his "zero tolerance" border policy in early May

 

4-- Nazi?? This should give us pause to avoid what is still not inevitable: the Nazi turn.

 

his Eichmann war criminal attitude of indifference not just by this one officer but of many citizens who happily go along without any questioning is frightening, for it is this same mentality, so ready to dehumanize the other that is also prepared to pull the lever of elimination at command. .....

Let’s be frank about what is happening before our eyes. The cruel and inhumane incarceration of children torn from their parents is a fascist response from a narcissist government that strokes its own ego by claiming to be the greatest nation in the world. Yet this greatness is being pursued by a regime of endless war abroad and ethnic cleansing and social control at home. Yesterday it was the Obama administration that ratcheted up the mass deportation machine, paving the way for the rabidly racist Trump, whose child internment program has already suffocated the lives of innocent children held hostage by a gang of criminal hoodlum politicians. The sociopaths who had the nerve to go on national television to proffer rationales for this program of Zero Tolerance are all too willing to violate in an irreparable manner the dignity and innocence of the child.

 

5--EU will respond if Washington sanctions European energy companies over Nord Stream 2 project

 

6--U.S. pushes nations to cut Iran oil imports to zero by Nov. 4, plans no waivers for allies

 

 7--A Children’s Gitmo on the Border

Heartless America’s Latest Nightmare
 

The current mass exodus of people from Central America to the United States, with the daily headline-grabbing stories of numerous children involuntarily separated from their parents, means it’s time to remind my readers once again of one of the primary causes of these periodic mass migrations.
Those in the US generally opposed to immigration make it a point to declare or imply that the United States does not have any legal or moral obligation to take in these Latinos. This is not true. The United States does indeed have the obligation because many of the immigrants, in addition to fleeing from drug violence, are escaping an economic situation in their homeland directly made hopeless by American interventionist policy.

It’s not that these people prefer to live in the United States. They’d much rather remain with their families and friends, be able to speak their native language at all times, and avoid the hardships imposed upon them by American police and other right-wingers. But whenever a progressive government comes to power in Latin America or threatens to do so, a government sincerely committed to fighting poverty, the United States helps to suppresses the movement and/or supports the country’s right-wing and military in staging a coup. This has been the case in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Honduras.

The latest example is the June 2009 coup (championed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) ousting the moderately progressive Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. The particularly severe increase in recent years in Honduran migration to the US is a direct result of the overthrow of Zelaya, whose crime was things like raising the minimum wage, giving subsidies to small farmers, and instituting free education. It is a tale told many times in Latin America: The downtrodden masses finally put into power a leader committed to reversing the status quo, determined to try to put an end to two centuries of oppression … and before long the military overthrows the democratically-elected government, while the United States – if not the mastermind behind the coup – does nothing to prevent it or to punish the coup regime, as only the United States can punish; meanwhile Washington officials pretend to be very upset over this “affront to democracy” while giving major support to the coup regime. The resulting return to poverty is accompanied by government and right-wing violence against those who question the new status quo, giving further incentive to escape the country
 
Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
  2. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
  3. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
  4. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
  5. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
  6. Led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance by American teachers, especially in Latin America....
  7.  
  8. Next came Libya; again, a secular country, under Moammar Gaddafi, who, like Saddam Hussein, had a tyrant side to him but could in important ways be benevolent and do some marvelous things. Gaddafi, for example, founded the African Union and gave the Libyan people the highest standard of living in Africa. So, of course, the United States overthrew that government as well. In 2011, with the help of NATO, we bombed the people of Libya almost every day for more than six months.

9--Top Ten Ways You Can Tell Which Side The United States Government is On With Regard to the Military Coup in Honduras 

 

10-- Seven Mysterious Preludes to the FBI's Trump-Russia Probe

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation formally opened its Trump investigation after Western intelligence assets and Clinton-affiliated political operatives repeatedly approached the Trump campaign and tried but failed to damage it through associations with Russia, a growing body of evidence suggests.
Before the FBI began investigating the Trump campaign in an operation code-named “Crossfire Hurricane,” there were at least seven different instances when campaign advisers were approached with Russia-related offers. Most of those contacts — including Donald Trump Jr.’s much-publicized meeting with a Russian lawyer and others in June 2016 — offered the prospect of information damaging to Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Two of these approaches were made by one U.S. government informant already publicly identified as such, Stefan Halper. Another was made by a man who swore in court that he had worked as an FBI informant. Two others were made by figures associated with Western intelligence agencies. Another two approaches included political operatives, one foreign, with ties to the Clintons.

President Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has asserted that dispatching Halper to follow the Trump campaign "protected" it from the Russians.

neither the FBI nor the Clinton campaign’s paid operatives came up with anything of substance. The seven approaches to the Trump campaign, as far as is publicly known, generated no evidence of coordination with the Russians. No evidence has emerged to change former FBI Director James B. Comey’s description of key parts of the Steele dossier as “salacious and unverified.”
Nevertheless, the report of one person who reached out to a Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, was reportedly used to launch an official Department of Justice and FBI probe into the Trump campaign and the dossier was evidently a key piece of evidence used to secure a FISA surveillance warrant against Page....

As former agent Wauck suggests, taken together these efforts could be interpreted not as an investigation but a sting operation intended to dirty a presidential campaign.

FBI Launches ‘Crossfire Hurricane’

The opening of the FBI’s full investigation into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016 was an extraordinary event, launched despite the DOJ’s traditional reluctance to investigate political campaigns in the middle of an election. That decision has raised even more questions following the report this month from the Justice Department’s inspector general, which detailed many instances of anti-Trump bias in the upper echelons of the FBI.

“Crossfire Hurricane” was reportedly initiated because of the vague tip regarding Russian dirt that Alexander Downer had passed on to the State Department almost two months earlier. The six other Russia-related approaches that occurred before July 31 might have shown the FBI that the Trump team was free of Russian influence.


 


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Today's Links




1--In Defense of the Red Hen

One side of the argument

 

2--George Papadopoulos Was Interviewed By FBI's Anti-Trump "Resistance" Lawyer

 

3--The night Trump won the nomination, Page wrote to Strzok "This is unbelievable that Trump won"

 

Strzok repliaes--"This increases the pressuer to terminante MYE (Hillary investigation)

That is not just an oopinion. That is a statement about how we should do our jobs. and that was NOT in the IG report


4--Mueller Poised to Zero In on Trump-Russia Collusion Allegations

 

 The lies persist despite the absence of evidence

By the spring of 2016 the frequent contacts set off alarm bells among U.S. intelligence officials, according to James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence at the time. The FBI’s Russia investigation officially began that July.
“The dashboard warning lights were on for all of us because of the meetings,” Clapper said in an interview this month. “We may not have known much about the content of these meetings, but it was certainly very curious why so many meetings with Russians.”

 

 5--The Asylum Crisis Is a Security Challenge, Not a Legal Problem 

 

The “rule of law” is not a magic wand. It is possible only in a community that has agreed to live under its provisions. Even within such a community, it must enforced by the power of the state...

 

The demographics of the migrant population have drastically changed — no longer mainly Mexican men but large numbers of women and children from Central America (especially Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). The latter are more difficult to turn away because of a law enacted in 2008 — called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, though a better title would have been “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” The point, in any event, is that the number of migrants need not approach historic highs to prompt a crisis. It need only overwhelm the resources we have allocated to deal with asylum claims and the attendant complication of detaining family members while the claims are processed. This creates a security problem our law has not anticipated and is not fit to answer.

The current crisis is the fallout of a category error. We have a security problem that has been exacerbated by laws that, depending on your perspective, are either foolish or cynically designed to enable illegal immigration. The fact that bad laws make the security challenge worse does not mean that good laws would solve it. Better laws cannot transform a security challenge into a legal problem.
We can have humanitarian sympathy for the plight of migrants fleeing dystopian societies while still recognizing that the United States government exists to protect the American people. Our government should do as little harm as is practical under the circumstances. Its first duty, however, is to secure the border

6--The IG Report Should End Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation


Twelve, in which the IG marshals text messages and other recorded communications between investigators, is breathtaking. The report does not say that the investigators’ manifest loathing of Trump, their expressed intent to derail his presidential bid, and their desire to bring about his impeachment were irrelevant. It says that (a) because there were legitimate policy considerations that could have informed every one of their investigative decisions, and (b) because, as a matter of law, the FBI and Justice Department have broad discretion to make such judgment calls, (c) it is not the IG’s place to second-guess those decisions.....

I have argued from the start that Mueller’s appointment was illegitimate, because Rosenstein did not comply with federal regulations, which, among other things, do not provide for appointment of a special counsel to conduct a counterintelligence investigation. More saliently for present purposes, I have also contended that the obstruction investigation is illegitimate because the president undeniably has the constitutional authority to remove the FBI director (he does not need a reason) and to exercise prosecutorial discretion by opining on the merits of an investigation (since the Constitution makes prosecutorial discretion a unilaterally executive power...

here is no doubt that a president can legitimately be accused of obstruction based on clearly criminal actions (e.g., witness tampering — see: the Nixon and Clinton impeachment proceedings). But if a president’s actions are lawful on their face, it is not the place of a subordinate executive officer, such as a prosecutor, to question the chief executive’s motives — especially under circumstances in which the president does not need any reason to take the action at issue. (Critical!)


As Horowitz points out, when we are evaluating a discretionary judgment call, the question is not whether we agree with it, or whether it was right or wrong. What matters is whether it was rational. Horowitz’s own report finds major faults with Comey’s performance as director; in this, it echoes Rosenstein’s memorandum written at the time of Comey’s dismissal....

So the obstruction investigation should be closed. Should Special Counsel Mueller fail to close it, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein ought to be summoned by Congress to testify, specifically on this question: If the Justice Department accepts IG Horowitz’s premise that it must not second-guess the discretionary decision-making of FBI and Department officials when there are legitimate grounds to support their decisions, on what basis may a special counsel second-guess the president’s decision-making when — as Rosenstein himself has argued with respect to Comey — there are legitimate grounds to support the president’s decisions?


7--Due Process for Undocumented Immigrants, Explained

 

 8--Border Officials Suspend Handing Over Migrant Families to Prosecutors

 

The nation’s top border security official said Monday that his agency has temporarily stopped handing over migrant adults who cross the Mexican border with children for prosecution, undercutting claims by other Trump administration officials that “zero tolerance” for illegal immigration is still in place.

Kevin K. McAleenan, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said his agency and the Justice Department should agree on a policy “where adults who bring their kids across the border — who violate our laws and risk their lives at the border — can be prosecuted without an extended separation from their children.”

Because Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not have enough detention space for the surge of families crossing the border, many families will be quickly released, with a promise to return for a court hearing. Mr. McAleenan said that the agency would continue to refer single adults for prosecution for illegally crossing the border, and that border agents would also separate children from adults if the child is in danger or if the adult has a criminal record.

Mr. McAleenan’s decision, conveyed to reporters at a processing center here, will at least temporarily revive a “catch and release” approach used during the Obama administration. President Trump has repeatedly railed against that approach, saying it invited waves of crime and violence into the United States

9--Federal authorities are investigating whether sensitive data was stolen from congressional offices by several Pakistani-American tech staffers and sold to Pakistani or Russian intelligence, knowledgeable sources say.

 

 

 

 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Today's Links

 1-- Rachel Maddow-- Crocodile tears


2-- Poll: immigration has become the No. 1 issue for voters in 2018

 

A new Pew poll finds immigration has overtaken health care and the economy as a top 2018 issue....

Democrats have been hammering home two issues in particular ahead of the 2018 midterms: jobs and health care.
But between the recent outrage over the Trump administration’s family separation policy and House Republicans taking up a comprehensive bill aimed at fixing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, one new poll finds that voters thinking about 2018 care most about immigration.
Out of 2,002 Republican and Democratic adults (including 1,608 registered voters) surveyed by the Pew Research Center from June 5 to 12, immigration emerged as the top issue they most wanted to hear 2018 candidates talk about. In fact, about one in five voters mentioned immigration — more than mentioned either health care or the economy.

Republican voters or those who lean Republican were slightly more likely to mention immigration as their most important issue than their Democratic counterparts; 21 percent of Republicans mentioned immigration as their top issue, compared to 18 percent of Democrats.
Health care was the next most important priority for Democratic voters, while Republicans were focused on the economy and economic issues. Democratic voters were twice as likely as Republicans to mention health care as a key issue....

However, Democrats have been clear their first priority will be jobs and advancing legislation to put people back to work. Even with low unemployment numbers, Democrats have been hammering home points about raising wages and providing job training for more people. House and Senate Democrats unveiled a platform called A Better Deal, which focuses largely on increasing the minimum wage, putting a dent in rising income inequality, and solving the crisis of unaffordable housing.
But such focus on jobs could mean that immigration legislation gets pushed to the side again, even if Democrats are able to retake the House in 2018. Voters may not be happy if interest in immigration issues remains high through the fall. 

3--  PEW--Voters More Focused on Control of Congress – and the President – Than in Past Midterms


4--How US Policy in Honduras Set the Stage for Today’s Mass Migration

 

5-- Krugman never exaggerates--Trump is Hitler, Immigration is the Holocaust


The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we’ve gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages.
What’s almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it’s not a response to any actual problem. The mass influx of murderers and rapists that Trump talks about, the wave of crime committed by immigrants here (and, in his mind, refugees in Germany), are things that simply aren’t happening. They’re just sick fantasies being used to justify real atrocities.
And you know what this reminds me of? The history of anti-Semitism, a tale of prejudice fueled by myths and hoaxes that ended in genocide

6--75 percent of Americans say immigration is a good thing: Gallup poll

 

A record-high 75% of Americans, including majorities of all party groups, think immigration is a good thing for the U.S. -- up slightly from 71% last year. Just 19% of the public considers immigration a bad thing.

Currently, 85% of Democrats and Democratic leaners and 65% of Republicans and Republican leaners view immigration positively....Given attempts by the Trump administration to cut back on legal immigration, Gallup tested an alternative wording to this question for the first time this year -- asking half of the respondents about "legal immigration," whereas the trend question does not specify a particular type of immigration. Americans are more likely to support legal immigration, with 84% describing it as a good thing, nine percentage points higher than the reading for "immigration."...
 
29% -- saying that immigration into the U.S. should be decreased. A plurality of 39% think immigration into the U.S. should be kept at its present level, while 28% say it should be increased.
 
Implications
U.S. immigration policy was a key part of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and it has been an area of significant action because his administration has targeted both legal and illegal immigration with its policies. Since taking office, Trump has issued a travel ban for residents of a number of primarily Muslim countries, continued to press for a wall along the Southern U.S. border and sought to end the DACA program, in addition to a number of other less visible actions.

Gallup polling has shown that the public is at odds with Trump over the border wall and strongly favors allowing DACA children to remain in the U.S. and have a path to citizenship. More generally, Americans' strong belief that immigration is a good thing for the country and that immigration levels shouldn't be decreased present the president and Congress with some tough decisions as the midterm elections loom.

7-- Quinnipiac Poll on Immigration


American voters oppose 66 – 27 percent the policy of separating children and parents when families illegally cross the border into America.
Republican voters support the separation policy 55 – 35 percent, the only listed party, gender, education, age, or racial group to support it.
American voters also support 79 – 15 percent allowing immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, so-called “Dreamers,” to remain and ultimately to apply for citizenship.
All listed groups support Dreamers, ranging from 61 – 28 percent among Republicans to 94 – 5 percent among Democrats

Support for Dreamers has ranged from 77 percent to 81 percent in every Quinnipiac University National Poll conducted this year.
American voters oppose 58 – 39 percent building a wall along the border with Mexico. The only listed groups to support the wall are Republicans 77 – 17 percent and white voters with no college degree 52 – 44 percent.
The Trump Administration has been too aggressive in deporting illegal immigrants, 50 percent of voters say, as 13 percent say the administration has not been aggressive enough and 33 percent say the administration has been acting appropriately.
“When does public opinion become a demand that politicians just can’t ignore? Two-thirds of American voters oppose the family separation policy at our borders,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. Neither quotes from the Bible nor get-tough talk can soften the images of crying children nor reverse the pain so many Americans feel.”

Illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay and eventually apply for citizenship, 67 percent of American voters say.
Another 8 percent say they should be allowed to stay, but not become citizens, and 19 percent say they should be forced to leave.
Among Republicans, 48 percent say illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship, while 9 percent say they should be allowed to stay, but not become citizens, and 36 percent say they should be forced to leave. All other listed groups support by wide margins a path to citizenship.

8--Enormous write downs on bad loans fueled the housing recovery

 

9--Enormous write downs on bad loans fueled the housing recovery






Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today's Links






1--A realist "sizes up" at Trump, Giraldi


And then there is also Donald Trump’s recent renunciation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), eliminating a successful program that was preventing nuclear proliferation on the part of Iran and replacing it with nothing whatsoever apart from war as a possible way of dealing with the potential problem. Indeed, Trump has been prepared to use military force on impulse, even when there is no clear casus belli. In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington’s stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work.

The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. In Latin America, Washington has backed off from d̩tente with Cuba and has been periodically threatening some kind of intervention in Venezuela. In Europe, it is engaged in aggressive war games on the Russian borders, most recently in Norway and Poland. The Administration has ordered increased involvement in Somalia and has special ops units operating Рand dying Рworldwide. Overall, it is hardly a return to the Garden of Eden.

2-- A realist looks at immigration, Diana Johnstone

 

3--South Korea wants railroad link to Russia through North Korea

 

One such project could be a railway that will be able deliver goods from Russia to South Korea through North Korea. "Once the Trans-Korean Main Line is built, it may be connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway. In this case, it will be possible to deliver goods from South Korea to Europe, which would be economically beneficial not only to South and North Korea but to Russia as well," Moon Jae-in said in an interview with Russian media ahead of his state visit to Moscow.
A gas pipeline coming from Russia to North Korea to be extended to the South is another possibility, he said. "We can also build a gas pipeline via North Korea, so that not only South Korea will receive Russian gas but we will also be able to deliver it to Japan," the South Korean president said

The project to unite the Korean Peninsula with a gas pipeline has been discussed for a long time, but official talks started in 2011. The negotiations were frozen after relations between Seoul and Pyongyang deteriorated. Last week, Russian energy major Gazprom announced it resumed talks with Seoul over the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Russia with North and South Korea.
The countries could also connect their electricity grids, Moon Jae-in said. "We can also establish a powerline that would allow us to receive electricity from Russia. It could also be delivered not only to South and North Korea but also to Japan.”

4--When Central Banks Rule-- Assets of world’s “high net wealth” millionaires surged to $70 trillion in 2017

 

The concentration of the planet’s wealth in the hands of a narrow financial elite is growing by leaps and bounds. A new report published Tuesday reveals that the wealth of the world’s 18.1 million “high net worth individuals”—those having investable assets of $1 million or more—shot up by 10.6 percent last year to top $70 trillion for the first time ever.
The “World Wealth Report 2018,” issued by the consulting firm Capgemini, revealed that the combined wealth of the world’s millionaires rose for the sixth consecutive year in 2017 to reach $70.2 trillion. It is on target to surpass $100 trillion by 2025.

5--The United States of America: Land of internment camps

 

The United States government has implemented a policy of separating thousands of immigrant children from their parents and locking them in cages in desert tent cities. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls this “child abuse”, Amnesty International says it is “nothing short of torture”, and the United Nations denounces it as “despicable” and an “unconscionable” violation of human rights.

 

6--FBI Agent Strzok Was Escorted Out Of FBI Building

 

7--Beyond Trump’s Korea Fantasies

 

8--The fix was in.  

Clinton Emails: What the IG Report Refuses to Admit

Despite the sprawl of Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s 568-page report on the Clinton-emails investigation, there is precious little discussion of the most important issue: The Justice Department and FBI’s rationale for declining to prosecute Hillary Clinton. I believe this is intentional. The inspector general’s message is: “Despite pervasive political bias and investigative irregularities, which I have comprehensively documented, rest assured that nothing too terrible happened here.”

That silver-lining version of this dark spectacle could not have survived a searching analysis of the decision not to indict.
In explaining themselves to the IG, Obama Justice Department and FBI officials contended that the make-or-break issue in the case was whether they could prove mens rea — criminal state of mind. In this instance, that involved former secretary of state Clinton’s knowledge and intent regarding the unauthorized transmission and retention of classified information. Investigators say it dawned on them at a very early stage that they could not. Hence, they urge, their decisions to allow the election calendar to impose a time limit on the investigation, to limit the amount of evidence they considered, to be less than aggressive in obtaining evidence, and to draft an exoneration of Clinton months before interviewing her (and other key witnesses), were entirely reasonable....

Horowitz’s fleeting conclusion that the decision not to charge Clinton was rational and not necessarily motivated by political considerations hinges on the assumption that the intent evidence truly was as sparse as the FBI and Justice Department described it. Of course the decision to decline prosecution was defensible, if not incontestable, if one accepts that false premise. And Horowitz does not just accept the premise; he treats it as a background assumption, writing as if there’s no other conceivable way to look at the case....

What made Clinton’s conduct outrageous was not that national-defense officials emailed each other frequently. That happens in every government agency that deals with national security. The unique fact here was that Mrs. Clinton willfully set up a system in which those communications would transit through and be retained on a non-secure system, outside the government’s layers of protection. That system was extraordinarily vulnerable to penetration by hostile actors, a fact of which Clinton was undeniably, intimately aware. (See, e.g., Clinton’s banning of State Department employees from using private email for official business due to security concerns; Clinton’s citing of an ambassador’s use of private email for government business in firing him; Clinton’s acknowledgment that she “received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of classified information”; Clinton’s memoir, Hard Choices, in which she vividly recounts the thorough training she received about protecting intelligence from the omnipresent threat of espionage, including instruction to leave communications devices on planes with batteries removed during her frequent foreign travel, as well as the need to use an “opaque tent” or “a blanket over our head” when she and her staff read “sensitive material” outside the secure U.S. government setting.)

9--Gowdy scorches Comey in blistering opening statement at IG hearing

 

Referring to IG findings that Comey defied his superiors in his handling of the Clinton email case, Gowdy accused the ex-director of essentially operating by his own rules.
"We see Jim Comey and Jim Comey alone deciding which DOJ policies to follow and which to ignore," he said.

Gowdy accused Comey of watering down his initial statement on the investigation's findings and making other decisions on his own. While Comey has suggested he acted unilaterally out of concern for the Justice Department's handling of the case, Gowdy questioned why he didn't seek a special counsel -- as he indirectly did regarding concerns about the Trump administration.

“Instead, he appointed himself FBI director, attorney general, special counsel, lead investigator and the general arbiter of what is good and right in the world according to him,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy said that Horowitz’s report, which was released last Thursday, should “conjure anger, disappointment and sadness in anyone who reads it.”
He also said that, in the wake of the IG report, there were FBI agents and attorneys who decided to "prejudge" the outcome of the Clinton case.

“These exact same FBI agents and attorney prejudged the outcome of the Russia investigation before it even began,” he added.
He said “prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it ends, and prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it begins” is the “textbook definition of bias.”
Horowitz also testified on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In that hearing, he confirmed that his office was investigating Comey for potentially mishandling classified information, regarding the sharing of memos detailing conversations with President Trump.

 

 

 Relevant??

18h18 hours ago

Horowitz just confirmed that there indeed was an original draft of his 568-pp report that was subsequently redlined by DOJ/FBI higher-ups. It's imperative that Congress obtain this early version before the swamp rats edited and revised it for obvious CYA purposes

Huh?? 
BREAKING: Horowitz revealed that Hillary was never really under formal investigation, never listed by FBI as a "subject" of investigation.
BREAKING: IG Horowitz just testified that the two unidentified biased FBI investigators (in addition to Stzok and Page) assigned to the Mueller investigation are no longer working for the special counsel, and at least one of them was "removed" due to the anti-Trump text messages.

IG Horowitz revealed in Senate testimony FBI never named a target or even subject in Clinton probe. Not Mills, Abedin, Combetta or Clinton herself. "Nobody was listed as a subject of this investigation at any point in time," adding this was "surprising" for a crim probe