Friday, May 31, 2019

Today's links

The intelligence community – after two solid decades of PR disasters, from 9/11 to Iraq to Abu Ghriab to Gitmo – has rebounded in the public’s eye since 2016, cleverly re-packaging itself as serving on the front lines of the anti-Trump resistance. 

 

 It’s even managed to turn the invention of the term “deep state” to its advantage, having media pals use it to make any accusation of investigatory overreach, leaking, and/or meddling in domestic politics sound like Trumpian conspiracy theory. 

 

 But these people are not saviors of democracy. They’re the same scoundrels we rightfully learned to despise in the Bush and Obama years for lying about everything from torture to rendition to drone assassination to warrantless surveillance. 

 

 They haven’t suffered a public ass-whipping since the Church-Pike hearings in the seventies (which also detailed illegal domestic surveillance), and appear to have grown overconfident since, genuinely believing they don’t owe congress or the White House, much less the public, any explanations for their behavior. In the Trump years, they’ve gone beyond becoming accustomed to reverential treatment from reporters. They now also expect upon retirement to be handsomely compensated to promote their self-serving bullshit as news, with their own platforms as network contributors. 

 

 Russiagate has always been two stories. One is about foreign cyber-incursion. The other is a shaggy dog tale about half-smart intelligence goons who spent years whispering to reporters about their heroic efforts to stop a conspiracy that apparently was never there. 

 

 This overheated story did tremendous political damage, undermining confidence around the world in a range of American institutions, from the press to law enforcement. Just as the Mueller probe was necessary, we need to get to the bottom of how that second thing happened, and protecting “sources and methods” just doesn’t cut it as an excuse not to anymore. They’ve cried wolf one too many times.

Matt Taibbi

 

 

 

1--What a Hash Mueller Made of It, Pat Buchannan


Of the charge of conspiracy to collude with the Russians to hack the emails of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Mueller said, “there was insufficient evidence to charge a larger conspiracy.”
 
This suggests that there was at least some evidence to conclude that Donald Trump’s campaign did conspire with Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin to fix the 2016 election, just not enough evidence to sustain a charge of treason.

Didn’t they use to call this McCarthyism?

On obstruction of justice, Trump attempting to impede his investigation, Mueller said: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
“Mueller Declines to Absolve Trump” was The New York Times headline.

That tells us that Mueller would not give Trump absolution. But why would Trump need absolution, if he did not commit the crime

Mueller implied that his refusal to charge Trump publicly was based on a Justice Department ruling that presidents cannot be indicted.
But if the special counsel cannot indict a sitting president, and ought not charge him, as, said Mueller, it is “unfair to accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge,” then what was the point of naming a special counsel?

If Mueller actually believes Trump was guilty of obstruction, why did he not forthrightly declare: “While the Justice Department’s interpretation of the Constitution precludes my office us from indicting President Trump, we believe his actions during the course of our investigation constituted an obstruction of justice.”

At least we would have clarity....

If, after two years, Mueller found “insufficient evidence” of collusion by Trump, what was the compelling evidence that justified launching the investigation of collusion during the Obama era?
Did that earlier “evidence” turn out to be false allegations and lies?

Why are these questions important? Because the investigation itself, leaving as it did a cloud over the legitimacy of the president, was damaging not only to Trump but also to the nation. As long as half the country believed Trump was an agent or asset or blackmail victim of Putin, the nation could not come together.
 
Did Mueller feel no obligation to clear up that false impression as swiftly and fully as possible, if, indeed, he believes it is false?

When did Mueller discover the Steele dossier was the product of a dirt-diving operation, financed by the Clinton campaign and fabricated by a Trump-hating ex-chief of British intelligence with long ties both to former agents of Russia’s FSB and James Comey’s FBI


 2--Aaron Mate on the Very Shaky “Certainty” of Russian Interference


Mueller, Brennan, and Clapper all believed in Iraqi WMD and supported the invasion of Iraq. Russian social media “barrage” was $46,000 spent on laughable clickbait having no relevance to the 2016 election.
Mueller says, "The GRU 'appears' to have stolen the emails"..Not definitive 


3--Did Brits warn about Steele's credibility, before Mueller's probe? Congress has evidence

 

One of the deepest, darkest secrets of Russiagate soon may be unmasked. Even President Trump may be surprised.

Multiple witnesses have told Congress that, a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, Britain’s top national security official sent a private communique to the incoming administration, addressing his country’s participation in the counterintelligence probe into the now-debunked Trump-Russia election collusion.

Most significantly, then-British national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant claimed in the memo, hand-delivered to incoming U.S. national security adviser Mike Flynn’s team, that the British government lacked confidence in the credibility of former MI6 spy Christopher Steele’s Russia collusion evidence, according to congressional investigators who interviewed witnesses familiar with the memo

Congressional investigators have interviewed two U.S. officials who handled the memo, confirmed with the British government that a communique was sent and alerted the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the information. One witness confirmed to Congress that he was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller about the memo....

“A whistleblower recently revealed the existence of a communique from our allies in Great Britain during the early days of the Russia collusion investigation,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told me.

“Based on my conversations with that individual, and the credible timelines that are supported by other events, I made a referral to Attorney General William Barr and Inspector General Michael Horowitz for further investigation,” he added. “There now is overwhelming evidence to suggest that on multiple occasions the FBI was warned that Christopher Steele and the dossier had severe credibility issues.”

The revelation of a possible warning from the British government about Steele surfaces less than a month after a long-concealed document was made public, showing that a State Department official in October 2016 met with Steele and took notes that raised concerns about the accuracy of some information he provided...

The message was clear: the Brits were saying they may have done some stuff to assist the investigation that they now regretted after learning the whole thing was based on information from Steele,” the former U.S. official told me. “They wanted Trump’s team to know they did not think Steele’s information was credible or reliable.
“They also wanted Trump to know whatever they had done, they did only at the Americans’ request and didn’t want it to get in the way of cooperating with the U.S.”...

It would mean that Trump was never told of the warning Flynn’s team received, and that the FBI and DOJ continued to rely on Steele’s uncorroborated allegations for many months as they renewed the FISA warrant at least two more times and named Mueller as special prosecutor to investigate Russia collusion.


4--What diplomacy? Here are 36 countries the US has bullied this week 

 

The pointless squandering of power

 

5--Half and perhaps more of the “cheap goods” imported from China are the goods of American firms, such as Apple, Levi, Nike.  PCR

 

The Chinese did not steal American jobs by selling below US cost.  The jobs were taken to China by US global corporations, along with the technology and business know-how, for the sole reason of maximizing US corporate profits.  Labor, made as productive as US labor by offshored US capital, technology, and business know-how, could be hired at much less cost in China and elsewhere in Asia due to the enormous excess supply of labor that overhangs Asian labor markets.  The enormous cost savings went directly into US corporate profits, capital gains for shareholders, and bonuses for executives.  Half and perhaps more of the “cheap goods” imported from China are the goods of American firms, such as Apple, Levi, Nike.  They are products of US firms that are made in China for sale in the US.  They are not “cheap Chinese goods.”  Do you think an iPhone is cheap or a MacBookPro is cheap?

 

The tariffs will reduce the profits of American overseas production exported to the US and raise prices to US consumers, who have already lost the incomes from the manufacturing jobs that American companies moved abroad.  

In other words, tariffs are not a solution.

6--The German government prepares military intervention in Syria

According to Spiegel Online it is still open how the German army will participate in the establishment of the safe zone. The dispatch of ground troops has been ruled out for political reasons, but the possibility of aerial support for a security force has been raised. To this end, Berlin made the offer to Washington of extending the German army’s current mission in Jordan....
 Military support of a “safe zone” in northern Syria would mean a massive escalation of Germany’s participation in the Syrian war, which from the outset was aimed at ousting the regime of Bashar al-Assad and replacing it with a Western puppet regime.
The German government is preparing to provide military support for a US-planned “safe zone” in northern Syria. The zone is intended to protect the Kurdish militias, which fought against the Islamic State (IS) on the side of the US, from both Syrian and Turkish troops.


the German government is now plunging into a military adventure that involves not only confrontation with the regime in Damascus, but also with its NATO partner Turkey, Iran and the nuclear power, Russia.

Damascus rejects such a “safe zone” because it would massively curtail the country’s sovereignty. Ankara is opposed because it wants to prevent at all costs the emergence of a Kurdish state on its border, which is under the control of a PKK-affiliated organisation. Tehran, which is being economically starved by the US and threatened with a devastating war, is closely allied with both Damascus and Ankara. And Moscow, which supports the Assad regime militarily and maintains close ties with Tehran and Ankara, quite rightly views the Western offensive in the Middle East as part of a containment strategy against Russia.

7--Lies and more lies about North Korea--Death And Resurrection In North Korea

 

8--Stefan Halper, the FBI's Rat F****r? by Larry C Johnson (truly fascinating. Why would Halper need to lie unless he was trying to create a reason to spy on the Trump campaign??)

 

Stefan Halper played a key role in a sophisticated counterintelligence operation that involved the FBI, the CIA British Intelligence and the media. The ultimate target was Donald Trump. Halper's part of the operation focused on using an innocent woman who had the misfortune of being born in Russia, Svetlana Lokhova, to destroy General Michael Flynn.

Halper's nefarious activities included manufacturing and publishing numerous false and defamatory statements. Halper, for example, falsely claimed that Svetlana Lokhova  was a “Russian spy” and a traitor to her country. He also circulated the lie that Lokhova had an affair with General Flynn on the orders of Russian intelligence. Not content to use the unwitting Svetlana as a weapon against General Flynn, Stefan Halper also acted with malice to destroy Svetlana Lokhova's  professional career and business by asserting that she was not a real academic and that her research was provided by Russian intelligence on the orders of Vladimir Putin.

The most diabolical aspect of Halper's "rat fucking" activities is that the FBI knowingly used Halper’s lies and the lies of others as the foundation and basis upon which to begin a “special investigation” into “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

While at Cambridge, Halper worked for years alongside Sir Richard Dearlove. Dearlove spent decades with British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), known as MI6, and was its Director from 1999 to 2004.3 [http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/network/richard-dearlove/]...

Between 2012 and 2018, Halper received a total of $1,058,161.00 USD from the Department of Defense (DoD). Halper’s contract was funded through annual awards paid out of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA”).  Over half of the sum paid to Halper was for his counterintelligence efforts surrounding the 2016 Presidential election. ...

Christopher Andrew and Stefan Halper became very active in the Spring of 2016, mounting a disinformation campaign that used Svetlana Lokova as a meme connecting General Flynn to a fabricated narrative that members of the Trump campaign were colluding with the Russians...... Halper and Martland were asking pointed questions about who Lokhova was meeting with, where and when. Dr. William Foster later advised Lokhova that Halper was spying on Lokhova to get to General Flynn....

Halper's role in the information warfare campaign against Trump escalated. Christopher Andrew told Svetlana in July 2016 that “ludicrous rumours were circulating” about her family’s links to Russian intelligence. Stefan Halper resigned from the Seminar in July 2016, which coincided with what was later reported--i.e., that the FBI officially began a covert counterintelligence operation known as “Crossfire Hurricane”. As I have reported in a previous piece (see The Campaign to Paint Trump as a Russian Stooge Started on May 4, 2016), the July 2016 alleged start date was a lie. It started earlier.
Halper took part as well in the FBI fabrication to paint George Papadopolous as a pipeline for the Russians. Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat with close ties to the Clintons, told the FBI that Papadopoulos revealed he knew of hacked Democratic Party emails. He claimed, falsely, that this conversation took place over late-night drinks in London.

Halper stepped in to help build the lie on September 2, 2016, when he sent an unsolicited email to Papadopoulos offering to pay the Trump adviser $3,000 to write an academic paper about a gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea. Thereafter, Halper and CIA honeypot, Azra Turk, met with Papdopoulos. Halper lied to Papadopoulos and introduced Turk as his “assistant”

The Financial Times published an article on 16 December 2016, entitled “Intelligence experts accuse Cambridge forum of Kremlin links”, and reported that Dearlove and Halper had cut ties with “fellow academics” at Cambridge “in a varsity spy scare harking back to the heyday of Soviet espionage at the heart of the British establishment.” The FT Article stated that Dearlove and Halper resigned “because of concerns over what they fear could be a Kremlin-backed operation to compromise the group.” Halper said he stepped down due to “unacceptable Russian influence on the group”. Lokhova was not named in this article.

Following publication of the FT piece, Halper told Sean O’Neill (“O’Neill”), a chief reporter with The Times of London (Britain’s oldest national daily newspaper), that Lokhova was a Russian spy. On December 19, 2016, O’Neill called Lokhova and repeated the false accusation.
 

 

Stefan Halper then told the Wall Street Journal that Lokhova and Flynn had an affair. On February 28, 2017, two WSJ “journalists” emailed Lokhova asking about her “relationship with Flynn”. Lokhova did not reply. She was ill and dealing with a newborn. When they could not get a comment out of Lokhova, the WSJ “journalists” then put it to senior academics at Cambridge that Lokhova and General Flynn had had an affair. The WSJ was informed that the accusations were untrue. In spite of these red flags and reasons to doubt Halper’s veracity, the Journal published Halper’s lies.

The attack on General Flynn, with Lokhova as the cudgel, intensified. On March 17, 2017, the WSJ published an article, entitled “Mike Flynn Didn’t Report 2014 Interaction With Russian-British National”. This was a lie. There was nothing for Flynn to report. Saying hello at a dinner and exchanging professional emails with a British National is not considered a CI issue.

The gist and defamatory implication of the WSJ Article was that Lokhova engaged in unlawful or suspicious interactions with General Flynn on behalf of the Russia government that should have been reported to the DIA. The WSJ Article is intentionally laden with false facts in order to support Halper’s preconceived false narrative. The Article referred to the February 2014 dinner as a “U.K. security conference”. It was not. It was a dinner.

The Article misstated that General Flynn’s contact with Lokhova at the Cambridge dinner “came to the notice of US intelligence”. It did not. The Article falsely stated that Lokhova was a “foreign stranger”. She was a citizen of the UK. Moreover, Lokhova’s name, the fact that she was invited to the dinner by Dearlove, and the fact that she would show her research were all pre-reported to the DIA..

I can not state with certainty that Halper was working as an FBI informant. It also is possible that he was working for the CIA or for British intelligence or for some other entity not yet identified. What is certain is that he was involved in a broad conspiracy to paint anyone associated with the Trump Campaign as an agent of Russia.


 

9--Formal complaint and Lokhova lawsuit against
STEFAN A. HALPER, DOW JONES & COMPANY, INC.,WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY,  WA Post COMPANY, LL

1IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

 

As part of the Special Counsel investigation, Mueller and his team interviewed General Flynn approximately nineteen times.8. Mueller and his team 

 neverinterviewed Plaintiff once andneversubpoenaed a single record from her. 9. After a thorough investigation, the Special Counsel found no evidencethat Plaintiff was a Russian spy; no evidencethat General Flynn had an affair with Plaintiff; no evidence that General Flynn was ever compromised in any way as a result of any interaction he ever had with Plaintiff; and no evidencethat any 

member of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, and/or others associated with it, ever conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The Mueller Report conclusively vindicates Plaintiff and General Flynn, and proves Halper and his associates were intentionally lying about virtually every material fact. ..

 

On March 22, 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his confidential report entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” (the “Mueller Report”). The Special Counsel and his staff of 19 lawyers, assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff, issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesse 


10--Devon Nunes on Mueller's statement


"Mueller says the OLC says you can't indict a sitting president. Then Mueller should have been done after Day2."
Light the fire for impeachment because these guys are in big trouble.
Barr telling Mueller , "We've got you on the record 3 different times saying you did not have enough evidence to indict on obstruction.It had nothing to do with OLC.
weissman and bruce ohr had the dossier in august 2016, but didn't want to know that it came from the Dems??
Not credible.

11--US Department of Energy is now referring to fossil fuels as “freedom gas


Slate notes that the term "freedom gas" seems to have originated from an event with DOE Secretary Rick Perry. Earlier this year, the secretary signed an order to double the amount of LNG exports to Europe, saying, “The United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent. And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas.”
A reporter at the order signing jokingly asked whether the LNG shipments should be called "freedom gas," and Perry said, "I think you may be correct in your observation."

12--The intelligence community needs a house-cleaning


Now that Trump has announced he’s giving the hated Barr wide latitude to declassify intelligence community information about the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, suddenly more tales of this top-secret source are appearing.

The New York Times ran a piece called “Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Department and CIA,” which all but announced in neon signage, WE HAVE A HUMAN SOURCE RIGHT NEXT TO PUTIN!

Citing “some officials,” the paper wrote, “The most prominent of the C.I.A.’s sources of intelligence on Russia’s election interference was a person close to Mr. Putin,” adding this “person” was “long nurtured by the C.I.A.” and “rose to a position that enabled the informant to provide key information.”
Then it added this paragraph:
John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director under Mr. Obama, would bring reports from the source directly to the White House, keeping them out of the president’s daily intelligence briefing for fear that the briefing document was too widely disseminated, according to the officials. Instead, he would place them in an envelope for Mr. Obama and a tiny circle of aides to read.

The intelligence community – after two solid decades of PR disasters, from 9/11 to Iraq to Abu Ghriab to Gitmo – has rebounded in the public’s eye since 2016, cleverly re-packaging itself as serving on the front lines of the anti-Trump resistance.

It’s even managed to turn the invention of the term “deep state” to its advantage, having media pals use it to make any accusation of investigatory overreach, leaking, and/or meddling in domestic politics sound like Trumpian conspiracy theory.

But these people are not saviors of democracy. They’re the same scoundrels we rightfully learned to despise in the Bush and Obama years for lying about everything from torture to rendition to drone assassination to warrantless surveillance.

They haven’t suffered a public ass-whipping since the Church-Pike hearings in the seventies (which also detailed illegal domestic surveillance), and appear to have grown overconfident since, genuinely believing they don’t owe congress or the White House, much less the public, any explanations for their behavior. In the Trump years, they’ve gone beyond becoming accustomed to reverential treatment from reporters. They now also expect upon retirement to be handsomely compensated to promote their self-serving bullshit as news, with their own platforms as network contributors.

Russiagate has always been two stories. One is about foreign cyber-incursion. The other is a shaggy dog tale about half-smart intelligence goons who spent years whispering to reporters about their heroic efforts to stop a conspiracy that apparently was never there.

  This overheated story did tremendous political damage, undermining confidence around the world in a range of American institutions, from the press to law enforcement. Just as the Mueller probe was necessary, we need to get to the bottom of how that second thing happened, and protecting “sources and methods” just doesn’t cut it as an excuse not to anymore. They’ve cried wolf one too many times.

 

13--John Brennan faces scrutiny over anti-Trump dossier

critical

 








Thursday, May 30, 2019

Today's links

"I promise that if we do not leave the EU on October 31st, I will lead The Brexit Party into the next general election and sweep away parties that have dominated British politics for over 100 years." Nigel Farage

 

 Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Richard Durbin, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS commentators. Meet the liberals assisting Trump’s policy to destabilize, starve and strangle Venezuela. max blumenthal

 

"From 1945 until the financial crisis, the world became more integrated But what happened with the financial crisis, was that this period of globalization began to come to an end... now  I believe that globalization will continue in the sense that companies will continue to trade across borders wherever possible But globalization as an ideological project driven by policymakers who constantly want to lower borders cheered by ideologues and intellectuals who say that globalization will produce a more integrated, more liberal more peaceful world, that globalization is beginning to dissolve before our eyes" Adrian Wooldridge



Those demanding the release of Mueller’s underlying material in a probe that found no Trump-Russia conspiracy are now livid over an order to declassify the underlying material that launched the probe. The hypocrisy is staggering, & the reason is obvious: the probe was baseless. aaron mate

May 25
Alexander Downer’s fake testimony against me helped launch a witch-hunt. My real testimony against him has launched an unprecedented investigation into the deep state and its global actors in Italy-Ukraine-UK-Australia. Downer will forever b remembered as the Clinton errand boy.



1-- The Brexit Surge

The Euro elections confirm that millions of people want real, radical democratic change.

And still the establishment is in denial. Even following the stellar performance of a brand new party in the Euro elections, still the political establishment and its cheerleaders on social media are in a state of blinkered, fingers-in-ears denial about political feeling in the UK. How bad is their denial? Get this: the Brexit Party, barely six weeks old, soared to victory in the EU elections, decimated the Tories, conquered historic Labour-held territories like Bolsover and Hartlepool, and became the largest party in the entire European Parliament, and yet the No1 political trend on Twitter is… #RemainSurge....

And still the establishment is in denial. Even following the stellar performance of a brand new party in the Euro elections, still the political establishment and its cheerleaders on social media are in a state of blinkered, fingers-in-ears denial about political feeling in the UK. How bad is their denial? Get this: the Brexit Party, barely six weeks old, soared to victory in the EU elections, decimated the Tories, conquered historic Labour-held territories like Bolsover and Hartlepool, and became the largest party in the entire European Parliament, and yet the No1 political trend on Twitter is… #RemainSurge.
Yes, these people, these inhabitants of the Brexitphobic echo chamber, have convinced themselves that this electoral revolt in which the Brexit Party steamrollered all the other parties is actually a victory for them. This takes self-delusion to giddy new heights.
....
In the face of this colossal culture of denial among the political and media elites, let’s reiterate some basic facts. The Brexit Party battered Labour and the Tories. It won more than five million votes. It won 31.6 per cent of the vote, which is 8.4 per cent more than the Tories and Labour combined: the Tories got 9.1 per cent (fifth place) and Labour got 14.1 per cent (third place). The Brexit Party got 28 seats, making it the largest party in the European Parliament. It won in every single region in England apart from London, speaking profoundly to the massive political and moral divide separating the capital – the heart of the political establishment – from the rest of England. It also did spectacularly well in Wales, topping the poll and winning in 19 out of 22 council areas..

The divide now is between Leavers and Remainers; between those who have a strong sense of nationhood and those who see globalist institutions as the best means of organising political life; between those who value community and family and those who prefer to engage in the divisive cult of identity; between those who see democracy as their only means of expressing themselves and those who are suspicious of democracy for the same reasons – because it allows those people to express themselves..

Brexit is the best opportunity in our lifetimes to re-energise democracy by including previously ignored voices, by drawing into the decision-making process the people of Hull, Stoke, Walsall, Boston, South Wales and others across the UK who for decades have effectively been disenfranchised by a political class that isn’t interested in them and a technocratic political system that filters out their views and opinions. Can the Brexit Party do this? That remains to be seen. For democrats, this election is a cause for celebration and for reflection. Let’s celebrate that the Brexit spirit and the thirst for greater democracy remains strong in many parts of the country. And let’s reflect on the fact that some people, especially in poorer areas of the country, seem to have arrived at the understandable conclusion that their democratic voice counts for nought. Engaging the ignored masses, tapping their democratic insights, genuinely drawing their convictions and concerns and beliefs into the heart of the political sphere – this is now the key task of everyone who is committed to the idea of Brexit, democracy and radical political change in this country. 

2--Poll--Drop it and move on



A majority of Americans feels they have heard enough about the Mueller report, while over one-third wants to hear more. More than half of Americans want congressional Democrats to drop the Russia matter and move on to other issues, but partisan divides on this have grown since March, and a large majority of Democrats wants Congress to keep investigating. 
 Overall, the number who feel they have heard enough about the Mueller report (58%) outpaces the number who say they'd like to hear more about it, (37%) though most Democrats do want to hear more.

 
Americans remain split over the findings of the Mueller report. Thirty-one percent feel the report has cleared President Trump of illegal activity and 33% feel it has not. The percentage who feel it has not cleared him is up from March — back then, more people felt it was too soon to say. Today, one-third still feel it is too soon to know
 
3--How Times Change: 2014 Mainstream Media Demands Obama Fire Brennan, Fix Intel Agencies
 
“The facts will come out,” Brennan told NBC News in March after Feinstein's comments “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate,” he said.
But, as the truth hit, in July 2014, none other than The Washington Post  printed a story lambasting the lies gushing forth from then CIA Director Brennan's and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
 
As reports emerged Thursday that an internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general found that the CIA “improperly” spied on US Senate staffers when researching the CIA’s dark history of torture, it was hard to conclude anything but the obvious: John Brennan blatantly lied to the American public. Again...

...Brennan also fed the public wildly inaccurate details about the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, and despite condemning leaks of classified information from others, he has often leaks classified information himself to suit his own needs. This is not the type of guy who is going to resign because of some report he doesn’t like; this is the type of spy who apologizes even though he’s not sorry, who lies because he doesn’t like to tell the truth...

" The report by the agency’s inspector general also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information."
 
 
 
4--For f*ck's sake! Don't be mad at Dems, get even! — May 26, 2019 




 5--Washington revives Syria chemical weapons propaganda as pretext for war

 

6---The Dems march to war

 

 ...the pseudo-left—from the Democratic Socialists of America to the recently dissolved International Socialist Organization—has worked in lock-step with the Democratic Party and the US military and intelligence apparatus. They seek to create an ostensibly liberal constituency for war among privileged layers of the middle class with invocations of “human rights” and an attempt to sell the CIA war for regime change as some kind of “democratic revolution”.

Their politics are a “left” expression of the relentless drive by US imperialism to overcome the decline of its global hegemony by military means. In particular, this has taken the form of an attempt to assert its unfettered domination of the world’s oil fields, from Iran to Venezuela, placing itself in control of resources required by its principal global rival, China.

7--NBC Journalist Quits Then Blows The Whistle On How Mainstream Media Deceives The Public

 

William arkin--When that three-part investigative series, titled “Top Secret America,” was published, I hailed it as one of the most important pieces of reporting of the war on terror, because while “we chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, this is the Real U.S. Government:  functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization.”...

This is one of many proofs of the Deep State. It’s been referenced by countless politicians and academics throughout history.

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and  corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. – Theodore Roosevelt
The most recent politicians to reference it were Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, as well as Vladimir Putin. Western mainstream media will have you believe this narrative as being completely ‘fake,’ despite the fact that many western politicians themselves have also shared this perspective.
William Arkin Speaks Out Against NBC & MSNBC
Arkin recently blasted NBC News along with MSNBC news in an email for “becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine’s promotion of militarism and imperialism.” This is something, based on my research, mainstream media has always been. It’s why they were created in the first place....

Another great quote comes to mind here,
“The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation . . .  The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties . . .  [and] control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.”  (source)(source) – Mayor of New York City from 1918-1925
Arkin has worked with NBC and MSNBC since 2016, and it’s great to see that he’s leaving due to the fact that these outlets have become nothing but the “central propaganda arm of the CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI. This network alone consists of former CIA, NSA and Pentagon officials as news analysts. MSNBC host and former Bush-Cheney Communications Director Nicole Wallace is one of multiple great examples...

the CIA task force “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation,” and that “this has helped us turn some ‘intelligence failure’ stories into ‘intelligence success” stories,’ and has contributed to the accuracy of countless others.” Furthermore, it explains how the agency has “persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.”..

A Few More Examples
Dr. Udo Ulfkotte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades. He went on the record stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also mentioning that noncompliance would result in him losing his job. Not long ago, he made an appearance on RT news Stating that:
“I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.” (source)
Here is a great TEDx talk from veteran investigative journalist and former CBS NEWS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. In it, she explains how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, funded by political, corporate, or other special interests, are very effectively manipulating and distorting mainstream media messages, whether it be political or corporate

 8--Archive--Spying Program Snared U.S. Calls-2005

 

9--DOJ watchdog: Former FBI official illegally leaked court docs, disclosed 'sensitive' information and took gift from media

 

10--Trump's war on China's tech industry

 

the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed in August 2018, banned the government from purchasing Huawei or ZTE equipment. Then, on May 15, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order restricting access of “foreign adversaries” to American information and communications technology sectors. The same day, the Department of Commerce added Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to the trade blacklist. As a consequence, Google suspended Huawei from using its Android operating system. The move was followed by Intel, Qualcomm, and Xilinx, which stopped supplying components to the Chinese firm.

 

11--‘Putin has a Mueller pee tape!’ Waiting for the most insane takes from Special Counsel’s statement 

 

12--John Cleese: London Is Not An English City Anymore

 

The actor said that London was the most cosmopolitan city on earth but that it “doesn’t feel English”.
“I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King’s Road and say, “Where are all the English people?”
“I mean, I love having different cultures around. But when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you’re left thinking, “Well, what’s going on?”‘ said Cleese.
The Monty Python star’s comments are just a reflection of reality. In London, white British people are a minority and have been for some years.
Over 41% of London’s population is foreign born. London also has the second highest foreign-born population of any city in the world.

13--Junk bonds go nuts 

 

14--Mueller encourages drive to remove Trump

 

Mueller hewed closely to the wording in the report he issued on April 18, but he pointedly contradicted White House claims that his report exonerated Trump of criminal violations.

Mueller stressed that he could not charge Trump with a criminal offense due to long-standing Justice Department rules barring the indictment of a sitting president for federal crimes. But he did not clear Trump of criminal obstruction of justice, suggesting on the contrary that were it not for the Justice Department policy, he would have indicted the president.

The retiring special counsel said, “[I]f we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit any crime, we would have said that. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
He then essentially invited Congress to launch impeachment proceedings against the president, saying that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”..

Moreover, the persistent concern from within powerful factions of the intelligence and military apparatus is that the administration has not been sufficiently aggressive against Russia.
It is for this reason that the Democrats’ opposition to Trump has centered not on his very real crimes: his mass detention—in conditions the UN said were tantamount to torture—of immigrant children, his declaration of a state of emergency to fund his border wall, his abuse of his pardon power to defend war criminals—but on absurd and concocted allegations that his election victory was the result of a conspiracy with the Kremlin....

Mueller made a point of reasserting the bogus claim that WikiLeaks functions as an instrument of Russian government attacks on “American democracy.”
The Democratic Party, far from representing a democratic and progressive alternative to Trump, will not hesitate to call upon the military and its allies in the CIA and FBI should the outrage of workers over war, inequality and repression threaten the existence of their system. The Democrats have devoted all their efforts since Trump’s inauguration to suppressing and dissipating popular opposition to his administration and channeling it behind a right-wing, pro-war policy....

The critical issue for the working class is to respond to the political crisis of capitalist rule by intervening on the basis of its own program and perspective. The conflict within Washington is between two rival right-wing, militaristic factions of the same ruling elite who are operating behind the backs of the population.

15--"Don’t say I didn’t warn you”--China considering “rare earths” retaliation in conflict with the US


The conflict has also extended to the World Trade Organisation when the Chinese representative raised the issue of the US bans on sales of products to Huawei at the meeting of the organisation’s market access committee on Tuesday.
According to a report in the Financial Times, when the meeting moved to discuss “other business,” the Chinese representative launched an attack on the US saying the placing of Huawei on an export blacklist by the US Commerce Department breached WTO rules.

Under those rules, member states can invoke trade bans on “national security” grounds. However, the representative accused the US of claiming “national security” concerns across the board, which was causing “great concern” in the membership of the organisation.
Trump has invoked “national security” to place tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and has threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports on the same basis....

The US administration was “using every tool they have, including legislative, administrative, and diplomatic channels. They want to put us out of business. Almost never seen in history. The fact is the US government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation.”

16--The European elections and the resurgence of the class struggle


The framework of European bourgeois politics still moves relentlessly to the right. The European financial aristocracy, whose fortunes were saved after the 2008 crash by a vast build-up of public debt funded by draconian austerity, have amassed vast wealth and power. Amid explosive geopolitical and economic conflicts undermining the foundations of European capitalism—threats of a US attack on Iran, a continuing NATO military build-up in Eastern Europe targeting nuclear-armed Russia, US trade war threats against both China and Germany, and Britain’s imminent exit from the EU—the European imperialist powers are all building up their armies and police state machines. This determines the extreme right evolution of European politics...

...workers and youth are still in the initial stages of the process of radicalization described by Leon Trotsky in his great History of the Russian Revolution:
The masses go into a revolution not with a prepared plan of social reconstruction, but with a sharp feeling that they cannot endure the old rĂ©gime. Only the guiding layers of a class have a political program, and even this still requires the test of events, and the approval of the masses. The fundamental political process of the revolution thus consists in the gradual comprehension by a class of the problems arising from the social crisis—the active orientation of the masses by a method of successive approximations.
 

17--US Army tweet provokes outpouring of antiwar sentiment


Veteran suicides, depression, violence, recurring nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug abuse, addiction, alcoholism, rape and sexual assault by commanding officers, inadequate health care, generational trauma, exposure to chemical agents, war crimes. These were just some of the nightmarish tales that emerged..

More than 5,500 veterans killed themselves last year, and active-duty military suicides were at an all-time high in 2018. More than 321 of those in active duty in the military killed themselves in 2018, with 138 in the US Army alone.

A 2018 study by the Council on Foreign Relations found that recruits from families with annual incomes less than $38,400 a year made up 19 percent of soldiers. Over 60 percent of recruits come from families with annual incomes less than $61,403, and over 80 percent come from families who make less than $80,912. The study did not show the levels at which the top 5 percent or the top 1 percent participated in the wars, but they no doubt constitute a tiny minority.

Numerous commenters on the US Army Twitter thread referred to the statements of Major-General Smedley Butler, who famously confessed in 1933, “War is just a racket. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.”..

The Democrats have waged their opposition to Trump largely on the demand that the administration adopt a more aggressive position against Russia and expand the war in Syria and the Middle East. The Democrats have sought to position themselves as the party of the military and the intelligence agencies, hailing as heroes such arch warmongers as the late Republican Senator John McCain.
And the organizations of the complacent and privileged upper-middle class that surround the Democratic Party have become the most adamant supporters of American imperialism.


18--The Plot to Subvert an Election-(NYT continues its intel agency-promoted lies) 

 

19--Mueller muddies the water on report conclusions

 

If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller told reporters, explaining that, as part of the Justice Department, his office was “bound by” the OLC’s opinion.

“Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider,” Mueller said.
That’s a fantasy Mueller just tried to sell on national TV. Here’s the reality.
If President Trump actually committed a crime, there is nothing in the OLC’s opinion that would have prevented the special counsel or the attorney general from saying so.
The most relevant concern the OLC raises is that an indictment “exposes the President to an official pronouncement that there is probable cause to believe he committed a criminal act,” which could impair “his credibility in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities.”...

Because Mueller’s report was a private, internal Justice Department document intended for the attorney general, Mueller could draw any conclusion he wanted regarding President Trump without violating Justice Department policy against disclosing derogatory uncharged conduct.
If, on the other hand, Mueller believed that the evidence was not sufficient to establish a chargeable case of obstruction of justice, he could have said so just as easily. He did, in fact, do exactly that with dozens of other potential crimes over the course of his report, including the one that served as the basis for his entire investigation.

Most crucially, Mueller’s own report admitted that the Special Counsel’s Office  “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had the courage and integrity to do what Mueller would not. Reviewing the same underlying material that Mueller developed, and in consultation with other senior Justice Department attorneys, Barr and Rosenstein jointly concluded that the evidence was “not sufficient” to constitute obstruction of justice by President Trump. Period...

Unfortunately, Mueller has created new shades of gray for the Democrats to exploit and chose this politically opportune moment to do so, as the Russiagaters flail on Capitol Hill.
The motive is obvious. Mueller, having failed for two years to find Trump-Russia “collusion,” is trying to reframe the Russiagate narrative in an effort to put some wind back in the sails of the impeachment effort.
Mueller couldn’t even stop himself from dropping a not-so-subtle hint to that effect when he spoke to reporters and the TV audience, characterizing the OLC’s opinion as saying that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”

20--Tucker Carlson on Mueller's statement 


21--DOJ watchdog: Former FBI official illegally leaked court docs, disclosed 'sensitive' information and took gift from media

.

22--"Multiple systematic interventions" by Russia, says Mueller. Aaron Mate says, Nope


23--Stefan Halper, the FBI's Rat F****r? by Larry C Johnson

 

24--Gallup--Top Issues for Voters: Healthcare, Economy, Immigration-

 

Bottom Line

After reviewing the importance of issues in the 2014 midterm elections, Gallup concluded: "No candidate for office in this year's midterm elections will go wrong in emphasizing what he or she would do to fix the economy and create more jobs in the U.S." This year, that conclusion is still appropriate in general, as the economy is the second-most-important issue on the list tested among voters. But a focus on the economy may not have the same payoff this year as in the past, given that on an absolute basis, the economy is rated as less important now than in 2014 and as less important than it was before any midterm dating back to 2002.
Immigration, in turn, has become a more important issue this year, and healthcare remains important.

The four issues of the least importance to Republicans are the Russian investigation, climate change, income and wealth distribution, and the way women are treated in U.S. society.

 

25--Dershowitz on Mueller--The best analysis yet

 

Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.

Virtually everybody agrees that, in the normal case, a prosecutor should never go beyond publicly disclosing that there is insufficient evidence to indict. No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict. Supporters of Mueller will argue that this is not an ordinary case, that he is not an ordinary prosecutor and that President Trump is not an ordinary subject of an investigation. They are wrong. The rules should not be any different

Remember that federal investigations by prosecutors, including special counsels, are by their very nature one-sided. They hear only evidence of guilt and not exculpatory evidence. Their witnesses are not subject to the adversarial process. There is no cross examination. The evidence is taken in secret behind the closed doors of a grand jury. For that very reason, prosecutors can only conclude whether there is sufficient evidence to commence a prosecution. They are not in a position to decide whether the subject of the investigation is guilty or is innocent of any crimes.

 


 



 

 


 




Thursday, May 16, 2019

Today's Links

Relax, everyone. The Flynn news is a distraction from the big news coming out of Italy today that the Italians flipped on Brennan and are giving up Mifsud. If any “outreaches” from Congress/WH constituted “obstruction”, it would have been in the Mueller report. Keep focused!  george papadopolous  

 

Remember the text messages between Strzok and Page on March 14th, 2016, where they are discussing “their guy now talking”? That was the same day I met Mifsud in Rome. Conspiracy is a hell of a charge. It’s coming down on a lot of these freaks.  George Papadopoulos

 

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.  George Papadopoulos

 

I agree with everything in this superb article except “Azra Turk” clearly was not FBI. She was CIA and affiliated with Turkish intel. She could hardly speak English and was tasked to meet me about my work in the energy sector offshore Israel/Cyprus which Turkey was competing with.  George Papadopoulos

 The historical crisis of mankind, he declared, “is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.”,

 

 

 

1---Felix Sater,  Henry Greenberg and George Papadopolos, by Larry Johnson

 Entrapment schemes date back to 2015

2--Hellstorm: The Documentary--war crimes against German survivors of WW2


3--The Problem with Globalization

 

Globalization is not what most people expected. We thought this rising tide would lift all boats, but it hasn't. So has globalization failed? According to research, globalization can be redirected to improve the lives of people all over the world. But it will require us to think differently.

 

4--A future imperfect: why globalisation went wrong | Adrian Wooldridge |(must see)


5--Coup Conspirators at Each Other’s Throats

 

Who pushed to include dossier in the briefing,...again, her first question: “Lost in this spat is that it ignores a bigger question. There were two outrageous aspects to that Jan. 2017 briefing. One is the subject of this dispute: Who pushed to include dossier in the briefing…?” And again, just to remind you, Comey tells Trump about the golden showers story in the dossier, ostensibly to warn Trump about the kind of smears that are out there and the reason you should be listening to the intelligence community.

The real reason that Comey did this was to be able to get the dossier out of the ashes and into the news. So Comey tells Trump, leaves the meeting, calls Clapper, says “mission accomplished.” Clapper calls CNN, they report on the dossier, and CNN ended up getting a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on this one, when all they did was answer a phone call from James Clapper, which had probably been set up in advance. Remember, Comey was interviewed by Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel, and Bret Baier asked a very good question:

Well, when you were telling Trump about the dossier and the golden showers story, why didn’t you tell him more? Why didn’t you tell Trump that was it Hillary Clinton opposition research? Why didn’t you tell Trump that it was bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC? Why didn’t you tell Trump that none of it had been verified?” Comey’s answer to Bret Baier: “That wasn’t my mission. My mission was to only reveal that part of the dossier.”

6--Household debt hits $13.6 trillion as student loan and credit card delinquencies rise


 

7--Who pushed the dossier: Brennan or Comey?

 

8--Auto-Loan Delinquencies Spike to Q3 2009 Level, Despite Strongest Labor Market in Years



9--Stephen Harper globalization

 

10--Papadopoulos: Informant Who Tried To "Seduce" Me During 2016 Campaign Was CIA Not FBI

 

11--mark blyth global trumpism --revolt against the elites 


12--QE Retrospective--Kevin Walsh


The distributional effects of QE across households are significant. Despite all-time highsin stock prices and house prices,household net worth since 2007 is down for all income groups except for the top 10percent. Net worth for the top decile is up an average of 27percent. For the middle deciles, it’s down 2030percent in real terms. That does not ask or answer the question whether we should have done QE last time, whether we should do it next time,but I think it suggests that we shouldn’t hide from the dat...

 

First, how important are price signals?In my view, price signals are everything. Price signalsare precious. So when we decided to mute price signals, it better darn well be worth it. Andin the depths of the crisis, my judgment was it was worth it.And during the times of some-whatgreater peace and prosperity, I think hiding a price signal of the most important risk asset anywhere in the world, the 10-year Treasury bond, is a more tricky endeavor...

 

How durable is the Feds status and respon-sibilities? If we think that the Fed is a permanent feature of our government, then you’ve got nothing to really worry about. If they get some right, get some wrong,but no one woulddare take on the independence and credibility of the Fed.But,of course, American historytells us this is our third experiment with a central bank. Without going into detail,it’s our third because the first two didn’t work out so wel

 

Stephen Roach

It’s pretty clear that the GDP path over the last nine years plus of 2percent is about half the norm of earlier long cycles. And to dismiss that shortfall as being something outside the purview of monetary policy is, I think, something you can draw into question.The numbers I think are pretty clear that QE2 and 3 were disappointing both from at least the payback were disappointing, as it can be seen from both the quantity and the pricedimensions of the Fed’s monetary policy transmission mechanism. The evidence on quantity,do a back-of-the-envelope calculation yourself. From September of 2008 to November of 2014, the end of QE3, successive QE programs added $3.6 trillion to the Fed’s balance sheet.Over that same exact period,nominal GDP was up $2.9 trillion. So there was clearly a lot more QE injected into the system than was reflected in the real economy.

 

Looking at the evidence on the impact of QE on the price dimension of monetary policy, I’m left with the same conclusion insofar as estimating its impact on longer-term interest ratesnamely,the 10-year Treasury. A recent paper written by my former colleague Dave Greenlaw, James Hamilton, Ethan Harris, and Kenneth West looked very carefully at the impact of QE on 10-year Treasury yields through their events studies metric and raised serious questions about the link between QE and 10-year Treasury yields

 

The second lesson, I’ll be a little briefer here, is a lesson that deals with the addictive behaviorbetweeneconomic decision-making and balance sheet management by the Central Bank aimed at supporting asset markets. Two pieces of evidence here. One, the excess liquidity that I just cited, obviously I think spilled over and Desmond you were alluding to this into equity markets, has also provided valuation support to the bond market. And so to Kevin’s point, which is really important that I agree with, on price discovery, asset prices were shaped more by monetary authorities than by the fundamentals of the market.And the second piece of the addiction lesson is the impact that wealth effects haveon real economic activity postcrisis. Postcrisis American consumers, in particular, obliterated by the job losses and the recession,needed the wealth effects more than ever, and with the lifeline of support in this dark period then comes the very difficult pain of withdrawal. AndI think that’s been increasingly thecase for the real side of the USeconomy but also the case, and again that just underscoresthe point thatDesmond was making, for capital inflowsinto foreign economies, and especially the impact of those flows on QE distorted interest rates spreads. True at the taper tantrum of 2013, along with more current manifestations of that we’re seeing in Argentina and Brazil....

 

QE blurs the distinction between fiscal and monetary policy. And the mountingdebt burden of the United States government is of little consequence today in a zero interestrate environment. But make no mistake about it, the debt overhang is building hugely,and,as has been alluded to several times earlier today,we’ll be growing a good deal further in the years ahead because of these ill-timed, late-cycle fiscal stimulus actions.But over the course of the QE period, from 2008 to 2017, federal debt held by the public doubled from 39 to 76 percent. And so in a zero interest rate environment, big deal, no bigdeal, but when as rates start to normalize,itmaybe a bigger deal and America’s fiscal risks could then be unmatched. 

 

e to have a proactive central bank that is willing to move before a crisis hits and lean againstthe mounting excesses in asset markets? This debate over whether it’s a lien or clean, as they call it, continues to rage in policy and academic circles. And Chairman Bernanke andChairman Greenspan are cleaners, and they have been strongly in favor of this reactive approach in the case of Ben Bernanke as an academic before he even came to Washington.My fifth lesson, and this is the one where I have just as much respect as I have for Ben Bernanke, this is one where I’m seriously at odds with him and his predecessor intellectually,and that’s the distinction between short-term tactics and longer-term strategy. As the lenderof last resort, the Fed deserves great credit for stepping into the lurch and saving the financialsystem from catastrophic implosion in the depths of thecrisis. The problem, of course, andI say this with all due respect, is that the Fed in my view, under both Chairman Greenspanand Chairman Bernanke, played a role and not an inconsequential role in condoning the precrisis froth that took the system to the brink.And so this really poses a profound and deep strategic question. Do we want a reactive central bank that is focused on cleaning up the mess after a crisis unfolds,or is it preferabl