Category: Politics

Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Ever since the end of World War II, the United States, rightly or wrongly, but most of the time, wrongly, has fancied itself as the «world’s policeman». Even a disastrous and costly military intervention in Southeast Asia did not deter the United States from acting as the chief arbiter of what governments were «in» and which were «out» as evidenced by Central Intelligence Agency interloping in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Angola, Haiti, and Colombia. Two military interventions in Iraq and a U.S.-led military campaign directed against Yugoslavia were not enough to pry the United States from its self-appointed role as the chief «global cop». In fact, American neoconservatives continued to fanaticize about the United States leading the world into a post-Cold War «new American century».

The United States under Donald Trump now resembles a disabled policeman who was forced to retire on disability after being injured, not in the line of duty, but by engaging in self-destructive piques of bravado. The United States has abandoned internationalism as witnessed by Washington’s withdrawal from the free trade Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Paris climate agreement. The United Kingdom’s decision to depart the European Union in the Brexit referendum has put the final nail in the coffin of Britain’s status as a minor «superpower».

Until another nation steps forward to claim the title of chief world cop, the world will be subjected, as coined by the New Testament’s Book of Matthew, to «wars and rumors of wars».

Arising from a combination of Donald Trump's tweets and outbursts about subjects ranging from Qatar to Taiwan and NATO to Palestine, old border disputes and diplomatic rivalries are beginning to flare up. The Trump administration also appears to be unwilling to fill a number of vacancies in the State Department, a development that has added to a de facto American hands-off approach to many simmering international disputes.

Trump's siding with the Saudi Arabian-led bloc of Arab and Muslim nations in its confrontation with Qatar has resulted in Trump’s Saudi and other Gulf allies demanding that Qatar close down Al Jazeera and other media operations in Doha that are out of favor with Qatar’s neighbor oligarchic potentates. The Saudi-contrived demands of Qatar’s government, in return for a lifting of Saudi and United Arab Emirates sanctions against Doha, amount to nothing less than total political and economic subjugation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, which is akin to Saudi Arabia’s de facto colonization of Bahrain. In the past, the United States would have simply ordered the Saud regime to cease and desist in making threats against neighboring countries. Saudi action against Qatar has had wide-ranging effects in the region, which include renewed border tensions between Qatar and Bahrain over some largely uninhabited islands, as well as between Eritrea and Djibouti, on whose border Qatar had provided a peacekeeping force.

In 2001, the International Court of Justice awarded many of the disputed Hawar Islands, which lie closer to Qatar than to Bahrain, to the Bahrainis. As a consolation prize, the world court awarded Janan Island to Qatar. The decision never sat well with Qatar. As the Bahrainis were announcing a mega-development project for the largely-uninhabited Hawar Islands, the pro-Saudi press in the Middle East began writing stories about Qatari intelligence operations directed against Bahrain. Press items included the interest shown by Qatari intelligence in the military deployments and readiness of Bahraini forces stationed in the Hawar Islands.

After Eritrea and Djibouti sided with Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic dispute with Qatar, Qatari peacekeeping troops were withdrawn from the Eritrean-Dijbouti border. The result was Eritrean troops quickly occupying the Doumeira mountain border area, which is claimed by Djibouti. The border dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti began in 2008, when Eritrean troops occupied the Doumeira mountain and dug in. Qatar sent some 450 peacekeepers to patrol the disputed zone in 2010. With their hasty departure, the border has become a renewed flash point in the volatile Horn of Africa.

Although the African Union got involved in the border dispute, the U.S. State Department, once a nexus for geopolitical status quo enthusiasts, remained quiet. It is unusual for the State Department not to comment on such border disputes. Not only does the United States maintain the large U.S. Central Command airbase at Al-Udeid in Qatar, but it also has a major military presence at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

China, the power that is eclipsing the United States in international importance as an arbiter of disputes, is building a military base in Djibouti. It is also establishing a maritime port in Gwadar in Pakistan, from which it can deploy naval forces to the Persian Gulf.

Elsewhere in Africa, a border dispute over Lake Nyasa has erupted after a 50-year dormancy between Malawi and Tanzania. A dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi Peninsula also shows signs of re-erupting. At issue are natural gas deposits under Lake Nyasa and oil in the Bakassi region. Sudan and Egypt are, once again, bickering over control of the Halayeb triangle border region, currently under Egyptian control.

Two NATO allies, Croatia and Slovenia, are awaiting a decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on its decision in a border dispute. Croatia has accused the Slovenians of conspiring with the judges. Croatia also likely distrusts the United States and its Slovenian-born First Lady Melania Trump for possibly influencing the court's decision in favor of Slovenia. Mrs. Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, have visited the White House and they are in a perfect position to deliver to President Trump, «personal» messages from the Slovenian government. The court's decision is expected on June 29, 2017.

The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has re-triggered sovereignty issues between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar and Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands and Dependencies and British Antarctic Territory. Britain also saw a stinging rebuke over its treatment of the Chagos Islanders in its unilaterally-created British Indian Ocean Territory. In the late 1960’s, the people of the Chagos Islands, which include the island of Diego Garcia, were deported from the islands to Mauritius and Seychelles to make way for a U.S. military base on Diego Garcia. In a 94 to 15 vote, the United Nations General Assembly ordered the case of the legal status of the Chagos Islands to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. If the court rules against Britain, the United States will have to make a new long-term lease deal with Mauritius, the original legal administrator of the Chagos Islands, to keep the base at Diego Garcia.

In the UN vote, Britain’s soon-to-be-former European Union allies abstained. The United Kingdom, backed by the Trump administration, saw NATO and EU members France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, and Greece abstain. Canada, a «Five Eyes» intelligence partner of the United States and Britain, also abstained. Voting with the United States and Britain and against Mauritius were a collection of countries that are nothing more than beggars for U.S. and British military aid: Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Lithuania, Montenegro, and South Korea, in addition to the other Five Eyes spy partners Australia and New Zealand. The Maldives no vote is based on a competing claim for the Chagos Islands by Maldives, which views Diego Garcia and the 64 other islands as the southern part of the Maldives chain. Mauritius claims sole sovereignty over the same islands. The eclipse of U.S. and British dominance in the Indian Ocean sets the stage for several conflicts over islands and sea beds.

The «Trump Effect» of a diminished U.S. role in international affairs is also being felt in South America, where Ecuador has irritated Peru by building a Trump-style border wall on its frontier with its neighbor to the east and south. Peru claims the wall is illegal because it violates a 1998 agreement prohibiting border construction within 33 feet from the border. Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has also prompted Botswana to start construction on an electrified fence along its border with Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's Deputy Home Minister Obedingwa Mguni lashed out at Botswana's decision, telling the Zimbabwe press: «We should not copy the United States of America’s idea of putting a border wall on its border with Mexico when we are actually one people who are related».

There are other long-simmering border disputes and secessionist movements emerging from «cold» status to hot conflicts in Asia, the Arctic, the Pacific region, and the Caribbean. As U.S. State Department dominance fades, in addition to Halayeb, Bakassi, and Chagos, the world will soon see headlines concerning flashpoints having other unfamiliar names – Ladakh, Baltistan, Riau, Otong Java, Rotuma, Chuuk, Pemba, the Rif, Cabinda, and Oduduwa – and those with more familiar names – Biafra, Zanzibar, Scotland, and Catalonia.

The American neo-conservatives predicted the 21st century would be a «New American Century». Instead, it is becoming a «New Chinese Century», with the United States still believing, wrongly, that it is the «leader of the free world» and a «super power». As Mao Zedong once stated, the United States is a «paper tiger». And Mao had another prediction: «The day will come when the paper tigers will be wiped out». That day is now upon us.

Submitted by Michael Brenner,

America’s Common Man exists no more – gone and forgotten. Once he was lauded as the salt of the earth - our country’s embodiment of what made us special, of what made the great democratic experiment successful, of what made of the United States the magnetic pole for the world’s masses. Politicians paid their rhetorical respects, poets exalted him in paeans of praise, Aaron Copeland composed an “Fanfare to the Common Man” suite. It was an honorable term, an affective shorthand for the Working Man, the Artisan and the Shopkeeper, the clerk. All now passed from our language and from our consciousness. Instead, we are offered the “hard working middle class people who pay their taxes, obey the law and worry about their children’s future.” The linguistic dross of the hackneyed stump speech.

Loss of the Common Man is not due to progressive economic realities and a naturally evolving political culture. More educated Americans are caught in the grip of long-term stagnation than ever before, they have less likelihood of social mobility than ever before, more have every reasonable expectation that their children will be worse off than they are, more are politically marginalized by a party system that serves up a restricted menu of options which effectively disenfranchises 25% or so of voters. The Common Man has lost the attention as well as the concern of the country’s elites. He has been marginalized in every respect but one – he is sovereign audience for a pop culture that provides a heady brew of distractions. In that realm of fantasy he reigns supreme while the serious action which shapes his life takes place elsewhere.

Today, to call a person common is an insult, just as we have degraded the term working class. The connotations are heavily pejorative –they’re failures, they’re losers, they had the American Dream within reach but lacked the will and the spirit to grab it. It is natural, and just, that they should live out their lives on scant rations. It’s their own fault. This Victorian ethic grounded in Social Darwinism has now been restored as part of the national creed. Fitted out in the post-modern fancy dress of market fundamentalist economics, Ayn Randish homilies of narcissistic ego-mania, and a parade of revivalist Christian sects that mix New Age Salvation with balm for anxious egos, this beggar-thy-neighbor ideology dominates our public discourse. It has put on the back foot those who still adhere to the enlightened humanism which propelled progressive thinking and policy for a century.

All this is no accident. Powerful interests have orchestrated a relentless campaign for more than forty years to reconfigure American life in accord with their reactionary aims and principles. This is now obvious to anyone who cares to look. The key questions are: why have so few cared to look, and why the ease with which the crusade has won converts, fellow travelers and the acquiescence of the country’s elites.

The distressing truth of our times is that the Common Man has been abandoned by those elites – in politics, in government, in journalism, in professional associations, in academia. The most cursory monitoring of what they do and say – and, equally, what they don’t do and say - makes that manifestly clear. Personal acquaintance with those elites confirms it. It is a fair generalization that they care little, are preoccupied with their own careers and pastimes, possess only a feeble sense of social obligation, and are smugly complacent. Money is the common denominator in all of this. But why? These are the people whose material well-being is best protected from the vagaries of a globalized economy, from the predations of big finance and big business. Yes, it is true that they are concerned about preserving their fine houses, sending their children to the top schools, having substantial nest eggs, and enjoying generous health care. Yes, avarice and moral courage are not compatible human traits. However, none of their comforts is threatened by public policies that conform to the New Deal consensus which most of them at one time shared (or their parents shared). In objective terms, the greatest potential threat to their well-being lurks in the plutocratic structures that control our public affairs, the effects of gross and growing income mal-distribution, and the lurch toward mindless Rightest nostrums by both parties.

We should look elsewhere to explain the wholesale flight from responsibility by America’s elites. Social anthropology offers more insight than does a crude political-economic calculus. At the heart of the matter is status anxiety. All layers of society struggle with status deprivation or status insecurity. It is most acute among those whose education and ambition have made them ultra-sensitive to insignia of rank and marks of achievement. They can’t live happily without tangible signs of their having a place that honors their efforts and satisfies their pride. Money is that tangible sign. It always has been in America where inherited class position never was wholly secure and easily uprooted by the winds of a constant social shuffling. Americans always have been consumed by an endless, open ended status competition. That generates anxiety since there is never enough positive status to go around. Status is a finite commodity as most are destined to find out to their surprise and frustration. Nowadays, people who see themselves as uncommon winners can’t be bothered by the plight of the Common Man.

What has changed to make contemporary American so anxiously self-absorbed when placed in historical context? Above all, there is the deepening of our narcissistic culture. We are now a society where growing numbers recognize no external communal standard to measure and appraise their conduct – or their worth. The collective superego is shriveled. The self is the only valid pole of reference. That self directs its attention with near exclusivity to its own wants and expectations. It is almost as if the new categorical imperative is to think of oneself alone whenever and wherever possible. To give priority to any other claim on us is taken as unnatural, i.e. something that has to be justified rather than instinctive or ingrained. The Godfather’s self-serving plaint that “I did it for my family” is widely adopted as the all purpose excuse for selfish acts of malfeasance or non-commission which, in an earlier time, would be felt by many to be irresponsible – if not downright shameless.  The axial precept “Let humanity be the ultimate measure of all that we do” was the gyroscope for the enlightened social humanism fostered during the second half of the twentieth century. It no longer balances and orients us.

Why then not betray a public trust when doing so (seemingly) advances my political ambitions? Why level with a distressed populace when “America is back!’ strikes such a sonorous upbeat note? Why not defer to the latest doomed escalation abroad dear to an incoming President when skepticism endangers funding, access and visibility? Why not avoid critical columns that expose a naked untruth when the entire political class in going along with the convenient myth that Social Security is part of the Treasury’s budget and a cause of the deficit? Why not trade in my senior government post for a lavish corporate life style since notions of the collective good and of the public trust are subversive of the individual enterprise that makes this country great?; besides, there’s my family’s financial security to think about. Why irritate campaign contributors when pulling your punches supposedly means that your well intentioned self can be kept in office for another 6 or 2 years? Why not conceal from readers the knowledge of systematic civil liberties violations when not printing the truth may give you access to other truths more fit to print? Why call attention to yourself by teaching the untutored and uninformed of how twisted their nation’s public discourse has become? Why not be accomplice to torture when doing so opens a spot at the Pentagon trough for the American Psychological Association? Why not hide your head in the sand to avoid the discomfort of resisting the assault on the law if you are an officer of a Bar Association?  Why should a law school Dean or senior faculty stick his neck out when the Koch Bros are offering lush funding to establish Law & Economics programs that just happen to promote market fundamentalist principles?

These are the persons who will stand up front before the bar of History – because they knew better,  should have known better, were expected to know better.

Why deny yourself 3 hours of golf on 333 occasions while President even if there are grave, unresolved issues requiring your attention and reflection?

If I have good reason to sublimate all this, why have I a duty to the Common Man – the ordinary citizen? My status, my rank, do not depend on it. My financial well-being does not dictate it. To pose the question this way is to anticipate the convenient answer.

We know one thing for certain:

When the “common man” dies, the America that the world marveled at for 250 years dies with him

So many of you are triggered to the point of feverish insanity. What sort of subhuman will you become when Trump is vindicated from all Russian collusion claims and the DOJ starts tossing faggots into dank prison cells for ginning up fake intelligence reports to take down a President?

Tom Sperry from the NY Post is out with a report tonight, stating the Senate is about to ramp up their efforts in investigating the birthplace of the debunked Trump-Russian dossier, the one thar claimed germophobe Trump enjoyed getting urinated on by Russian hookers. For democrats, this might lead to a Mortal Kombat fatality move if implicated. Criminal charges might rain fire upon them -- like the second coming of Jesus. Many of you still believe said dossier was, in fact, correct. To those people, dare I say, prove it...faggot.
 

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.
 
What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources say it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.
 
“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”
 
Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.
 
More, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.
 
In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary’s campaign.
 
Property records show that in June 2016, as Clinton allies bankrolled Fusion GPS, Fritsch bought a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Bethesda, Md., for $2.3 million.
 
Fritsch did not respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Fusion GPS said the firm’s work is confidential.

Both partners of Fusion GPS have ties to Mexico -- with Fritsch a former Journal bureau chief in Mexico City, married to a Mexican woman who worked for Grupo Dina -- a beneficiary of NAFTA.
 
His partner, Thomas Catan, formerly from Britain, once edited a Mexican business magazine.
 
Perhaps we should now investigate the Democrats' ties to Mexico?
 

Senate investigators are demanding to see records of communications between Fusion GPS and the FBI and the Justice Department, including any contacts with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, now under congressional investigation for possibly obstructing the Hillary Clinton email probe, and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who is under investigation by the Senate and the Justice inspector general for failing to recuse himself despite financial and political connections to the Clinton campaign through his Democrat activist wife. Senate investigators have singled out McCabe as the FBI official who negotiated with Steele.
 
Like Fusion GPS, the FBI has failed to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking documents.

 

 
It's entirely possible we're about to see the pendulum swing violently against the democrats, with widespread investigations into this dossier, Lynch and how the CIA and FBI got duped into believing it.
 
Why do I give a shit?

I'm here for the chaos.

 

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

Newt Gingrich is once again driving the narrative surrounding the multiple investigations into President Donald Trump and his campaign. After Gingrich asserted in a tweet Friday that it's "time to rethink" the assumption that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors will behave impartially, Axios has followed up with a report noting that nearly every member of Mueller’s team has contributed to Democratic candidates. The Axios report echoes a similar story by CNN, which previously reported on donations by three members of Mueller’s team.

The donations:

 

James Quarles: Donated almost $33,000 to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He has also donated about $2,750 to Republicans — the only lawyer on Mueller's team to have done so.

 

Jeannie Rhee: Donated more than $16,000 since 2008 to Democrats, including the maximum donation possible to Clinton in both 2015 and 2016. Rhee has also donated to Obama.

Andrew Weissmann: Donated more than $4,000 to Obama in 2008 and $2,000 to the DNC in 2006.

 

Elizabeth Prelogar: Donated $250 each to Clinton in 2016 and Obama in 2012.

 

There are no FEC filings for Aaron Zebley. It was not immediately clear whether Lisa Page had donated. The Michael Dreeben listed in the FEC database is not the same Dreeben Mueller hired, per CNN. Bob Mueller has not made donations.”

The assumption of impartiality has been made by both Republicans and Democrats. During testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the donations didn’t necessarily preclude Mueller’s team from being objective…but considering deluge of leaks out of Mueller’s office that were clearly meant to embarrass Trump, Rosenstein might want to rethink those claims.

 

 

Mueller hasn’t donated to candidates of either party, records show. Mueller's team is investigating both the allegations of collusion between Russian entities and the Trump campaign, as well as whether Trump’s treatment of former FBI Director James Comey amounted to obstruction of justice.

Gingrich’s comments in recent weeks have been eerily prescient. In a June 17 interview with Sean Hannity, Gingrich noted that some Senate Democrats were beginning to question whether Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s conduct during the campaign merited an investigation – and took a swipe at Republicans for letting Lynch off the hook. Less than a week later, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced it had launched a bipartisan-endorsed probe into Lynch.

Gingrich also told Hannity that the Mueller investigation will likely result in “somebody going to jail.” Though that somebody probably won’t be President Donald Trump.

Trump also weighed in during a Fox News interview on Friday, when he told Ainsley Earhardt that he is bothered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's close relationship with fired FBI Director James Comey. When asked whether Mueller should recuse himself, Trump replied "well he's very, very good friends with Comey which is very bothersome... We're going to have to see."

As radio host Mark Levin noted that the investigation is beginning to look like a premeditated “pretext for impeachment” given the close relationship between Mueller and key witness Comey.

As LibertyReport’s Mike Krieger pointed out earlier this week, retired FBI special agent Coleen Rowley punched holes in the consensus narrative that portrays Mueller and Comey as honest, diligent and impartial public servants. A closer look at their conduct during the Bush administration reveals that the two officials participated inn post-9/11 coverups and secret abuses of the Constitution.

“Mainstream commentators display amnesia when they describe former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey as stellar and credible law enforcement figures. Perhaps if they included J. Edgar Hoover, such fulsome praise could be put into proper perspective.

 

Although these Hoover successors, now occupying center stage in the investigation of President Trump, have been hailed for their impeccable character by much of Official Washington, the truth is, as top law enforcement officials of the George W. Bush Administration (Mueller as FBI Director and James Comey as Deputy Attorney General), both presided over post-9/11 cover-ups and secret abuses of the Constitution, enabled Bush-Cheney fabrications used to launch wrongful wars, and exhibited plain vanilla incompetence.”

How quickly Senate Democrats, many of whom lambasted the Bush Administration for deceiving the country with questionable intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq, forget…
 

After months of blaming everything under the sun for their November presidential shocker, from Putin to racism to misogyny to you name it, Chuck Schumer, the lead Democrat in the Senate, has a message for John Ossoff and all the Dems now calling for Nancy Pelosi's resignation over their latest embarrassing defeat in Georgia's 6th district: "But you lose an election, you don’t blame other people, you blame yourself."

Really? Because we're almost certain Democrats and every mainstream media outlet has done nothing but launch an all out crusade against Russia for the past 6 months rather than blame the fact that they ran a corrupt process (poor Bernie) and a failed candidate.  Again, if someone can please tell us why the Russians were only effective in flipping votes to Trump in MI, WI, OH and PA but not in CO, NM or NV we would very much love to hear your thoughts...

Here is what Schumer had to say earlier on ABC's "This Week" with the always fair and balanced George Stephanopoulos.

"Democrats need a strong, bold, sharp-edged and commonsense economic agenda. Policy, platform, message that appeal to the middle class, that resonate with the middle class, and show that — and unite Democrats."

 

"This economic message platform is going to resonate.  It’s what we were missing, and it’s not going to be baby steps — it’s going to bold."

 

"But you lose an election, you don’t blame other people, you blame yourself."

 

But, if Schumer is suddenly having a change of heart on the whole blame game thing...we would fully support it.  That said, he should probably reach out to Hillary to relay the new strategy because apparently she "Has 39 Problems, But Hillary Ain't One."

 

In conclusion:

Pot

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

It is Sunday morning, and Trump celebrated the start of the new week with a tweet at exactly 8 am EDT in which the president lashed out against both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party, accusing them of colluding to "beat Crazy Bernie Sanders." 

“Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!” Trump said.

Trump is referring to the disclosures that emerged last summer when it was revealed by email leaks from hacker Guccifer 2.0 that the DNC had colluded with the Clinton campaign to prevent Bernie from winning the Democratic primary.

It's not the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of cheating Sanders out of the nomination, although today's tweet comes amid probes ongoing probes into Russian meddling into the presidential election and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

In an interview airing Sunday on Fox and Friends Weekend, Trump blasted Barack Obama over Russia's interference, accusing Obama of doing “nothing” before the election.

“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that,” Trump said in an interview airing in full Sunday on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”

“The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even -- before the election. And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing," Trump continued. "In other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it.  But you don't read that. It's quite sad," Trump said.

On Saturday evening, Trump mused some more on this topic when he tweeted that "Obama Administration official said they "choked" when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn't want to hurt Hillary?"

Sensing a shift in sentiment - as reported yesterday, angry grassroots Democrats are increasingly turning on leaders such as Obama, Pelosi, Schumer with demands that they "talk less about Russia" and focus on core economic issues instead. Needless to say, nothing could make Trump happier than to put the Russian scandal in the past, especially if he can do it while redirecting attention to his arch-nemesis, Hillary Clinton.

As for Bernie Sanders, we doubt he will care much about what Trump has to say. As reported yesterday, the Vermont senator and his wife, who are now under investigation for bank fraud, have far bigger problems on their heads than a Trump tweet.

Hard, soft or left? One year on and theories abound, but politicians are yet to define their vision for the shape of Britain’s post-EU future

Few predicted it at the time, but the real effect of the EU referendum a year ago has been political rather than economic. One prime minister has resigned and another has been so badly mauled that she may not survive much longer. Britain is closer to having a Labour government with a radical leftwing agenda than it has been for decades.

All this has been going on while the economy has been growing at a respectable, if unspectacular, rate, averaging growth of 0.5% a quarter since the Brexit vote. The recession so confidently predicted by the Treasury ahead of the vote has not happened.

Continue reading...

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane have lawyer'd up amid an FBI investigation into a loan obtained to expand Burlington College while she was its president.

As we noted just over a year ago, Burlington College, a small Vermont private school once led by the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, said Monday it will close later this month, citing "the crushing weight" of debt incurred during the presidency of Jane Sanders who was in charge of the college until 2011.

According to WaPo, the college which enrolled 224 students as of fall 2014, said it faced financial troubles connected to its 2010 purchase of 32 acres of lakefront property from the Archdiocese of Burlington, according to the Burlington Free Press. The college said it had sold property to reduce its debt to a manageable level, but it was placed on probation in 2014 by its accrediting agency and it faced cash flow problems due to the imminent loss of a line of credit.

The reason for the small liberal school's terminal financial trouble is that to fund the property purchase from the Catholic diocese, Sanders took out $10 million in loans.  As HeatStreet reported last year, the college almost immediately fell short on its financial obligations as fundraising pledges and commitments Ms. Sanders cited in the loan agreements never materialized. Less than a year after leading Burlington College into massive debt, Ms. Sanders resigned, taking with her a $200,000 severance package. By 2014, because of its shaky finances and running deficits, Burlington College found itself placed on probation for two years by the regional accreditation agency.

Jane Sanders was president of the college from 2004 to 2011. Her husband, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a former mayor of Burlington, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007 and since then has represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate.

Jane Sanders stepped down in 2011 amid a dispute with the college’s board. After her husband launched his presidential campaign, news stories emerged that scrutinized her role in a loan application for the lakefront ­real-estate purchase. Jane Sanders has dismissed those stories as politically motivated and said the issue was not a factor in her departure from the college.

A Burlington College news release issued this morning called these financial hurdles insurmountable at this time.

And now, as Politico Magazine first reported the Sanders have hired lawyers to defend them in the probe.

Sanders' top adviser Jeff Weaver told CBS News the couple has sought legal protection over federal agents' allegations from a January 2016 complaint accusing then-President of Burlington College, Ms. Sanders, of distorting donor levels in a 2010 loan application for $10 million from People's United Bank to purchase 33 acres of land for the institution

According to Politico, prosecutors might also be looking into allegations that Sen. Sanders' office inappropriately urged the bank to approve the loan.

Brady Toensing of Burlington, the man responsible for the claims filed to the U.S. attorney for Vermont, was a chairman for the Trump campaign in his state

"I filed a request for an investigation in January 2016 and an investigation appears to have been started right away," he said in an email to CBS News. "It was started under President Obama, his Attorney General, and his U.S. Attorney, all of whom are Democrats."

 

"My only hope is for a fair, impartial, and thorough investigation," Toensing added.

 

Weaver told CBS News that Toensing's claim that Sen. Sanders used his influence to lobby for the loan is a "political charge" that is "baseless" and "false."

Interesting that a growing number of people around Hillary Clinton are suddenly under FBI scrutiny?

View photos
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie at his nomination victory party in Richmond, Va., June 13, 2017. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ed Gillespie has a tricky road ahead of him as he campaigns for Virginia governor this year.

The Republican nominee wants to talk about state issues, not President Trump, not Russia and certainly not what’s on Twitter.

But Democrats hope to make the race, one of the few significant elections this fall, a referendum on Trump. The latest sign is that former President Obama has already decided to campaign for the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Obama isn’t coming to campaign for Northam because he wants to discuss the state budget. He’s going to come and talk about the man in the Oval Office.

And Gillespie can’t easily distance himself from the Republican president. He barely won the Republican primary, almost losing to another Republican candidate who imitated Trump’s style and approach to issues. That candidate, Corey Stewart, received 155,466 votes, and Gillespie eked out a victory with a few thousand more.

Without a good number of those Stewart voters on his side, Gillespie won’t have much of a chance on Nov. 7. The first poll of the general election showed Gillespie trailing Northam by eight points.

And Democratic turnout was enormous in the primary. A total of 540,000 Democrats voted in the primary, compared to just 360,000 Republicans. That suggests Gillespie is facing a potential tsunami of anti-Trump sentiment.

In an interview with Yahoo News at his office here just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Gillespie, a longtime Republican operative and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, gave a preview of how he’ll try to navigate these challenges. He said that he voted for Trump for president and hopes he can pass policies that help Virginians, but also took some effort to note that it’s “not my job” to “always be for the president or always be against the president.”

“It’s to always be for Virginia,” he said. “Clearly I supported [Trump], but I look at everything through a focus of Virginia.”

Gillespie made several comments that signaled a clear break with the resentment-driven politics embodied by Trump. He noted that he’ll run an inclusive campaign that appeals to all races and religions.

“I intend to be governor for all Virginians. I will take my campaign to all Virginians. I try to look at things through other people’s eyes and to listen and to be open to different perspectives,” he said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate, Ed Gillespie, front left, waits to place a flower on an impromptu memorial for Nabra Hassanen, who was killed in a road rage incident, prior to the start of a vigil in honor of Nabar on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Reston, Va. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

Gillespie attended a funeral Wednesday for Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was beaten and killed Sunday by an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, as she was on her way to Ramadan prayers at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, one of the largest mosques in the area.

“I have a lot of friends in the ADAMS community,” Gillespie noted.

Gillespie’s starkest departure from the Trump brand of politics was his expression of agreement that “Black Lives Matter” and his acknowledgment that he did not respond positively to the slogan at first.

“I remember the first time I heard Black Lives Matter, and my reaction I’m sure was similar to that of many others, which was, ‘Well, of course they do. All lives matter,’” Gillespie said. “As I thought about it and talked to people, it occurred to me that I never felt the need to say white lives matter. The fact that a significant portion of our fellow citizens feel the need to tell us that tells me something.”

View photos
Ed Gillespie, front left, at a memorial for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, June 21, 2017, in Reston, Va. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

I asked Gillespie what it told him.

“It tells me that —” he said, then paused. “Well, I’ll just leave it at that. I am responsive and open to and listening to the needs of my fellow Virginians, wherever they are, and I think people see that.”

Gillespie’s hesitation indicates his awareness that most Republican voters probably don’t share his appreciation of movements like Black Lives Matter. A recent survey of 40,000 Americans found a dramatic drop in the number of self-identified Republicans who believe African-Americans face discrimination, from 46 to 32 percent in just the last year.

Beyond that, Gillespie wants to talk about the economy. He’s a classic conservative in the sense that his main focus is on creating the conditions for economic growth. He believes that’s the biggest thing the government can do to improve the lives of the greatest number of people.

The commonwealth has had sluggish economic growth for several years, often lagging behind the national rate, which has averaged around 2 percent. “Five of the past six years, our economic growth rate has been below 1 percent, and the only year it wasn’t, it was at 2 percent, which is still anemic,” Gillespie said.

The state’s economy was deeply affected by the budget sequester cuts in 2013 that took money away from the robust federal contracting industry in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Gillespie said his “long-term goal is to make our economy less reliant on federal spending and federal programs.” That’s been a goal of the current governor as well, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who is limited to one term by the state constitution.

But while McAuliffe traveled the globe to attract business to locate in Virginia, Gillespie thinks a 10 percent cut in the state income tax rate, which hasn’t changed in over four decades, is a key to “a more dynamic economy” because most small-business owners pay the individual rate rather than the corporate rate.

“We have had a focus for 25 years … on what I call ‘whale hunting’ in Virginia in terms of our economic development policy. We’re constantly trying to get some Fortune 100 company to move its headquarters lock, stock and barrel into Virginia, and we throw taxpayer dollars to lure them here to do that,” Gillespie said. “I think that is an antiquated approach and that we need to put a greater focus on startups and scale-ups.”

“It’s more natural, organic growth. It is a more long-term but sustainable approach to job creation here, and it will help us diversify our economy,” he said.

Gillespie also wants to require that municipalities look for alternatives to three categories of local taxes, which he thinks are stifling small business growth.

He said this election will put Virginia on one of two trajectories: to be like many Northeastern states, with high taxes and lower rates of growth, or follow the course of Southern states, that he said have more people moving into them because of lower taxes and more jobs.

“Virginia is either going to become the northernmost southeastern state or the southernmost northeastern state,” he said.

Northam’s approach to the economy includes a desire to make the code “simpler, more progressive and fairer,” and he has spoken of the need “to have a tax code that’s competitive with other states.”

“If we don’t, these businesses and manufacturers are going to choose to go elsewhere,” Northam said. That could be interpreted to mean Northam wants to lower taxes for corporations, but he has so far not spelled out the details.

Northam also wants to raise the minimum wage, offer a tax credit to allow employers to offer more paid family leave and provide tax credits to offset grocery tax for lower-income Virginians.

The two candidates have already started to trade blows, with Northam charging that Gillespie is “Trump’s lobbyist.” It’s a double-pronged attack meant to tie him to Trump, forcing him to defend the president to hold on to the Republican base, but hurting him among moderates and independents.

And Democrats will look to ding Gillespie over some of his lobbying clients.

“There are plenty of clients of his that the public will find unappealing. He made money off helping big corporations game the system,” said Northam spokesman David Turner.

Gillespie began his political career as a congressional aide and quickly rose through the ranks of Republican operatives during the 2000 presidential campaign, and then formed a powerful lobbying company with Democrat Jack Quinn.

View photos
President George W. Bush with Ed Gillespie on the South Lawn of the White House in 2008. (Photo: Ron Edmonds/AP)

He was named chairman of the Republican National Committee and helped oversee the effort to reelect George W. Bush in 2004, then served as a senior White House adviser to Bush. He has since worked in both national politics and in Virginia. He was a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and nearly won the 2014 U.S. Senate election against incumbent Mark Warner, a Democrat.

Part of Gillespie’s counterattack against Northam so far has been to label the Democrat as having drifted too far left, more focused on social issues and on attacking the president than on basic bread and butter economic issues.

“I’m going to keep talking about the issues that matter to Virginia … jobs and roads and schools and the safety of our communities and neighborhoods,” Gillespie said.

He concluded with a shot at the media, one topic that he does appear to agree with Trump.

“I have to talk to the voters about what the voters are telling me they care about and just let the media talk about what they want to talk about, because the good news is, it doesn’t matter that much anymore,” he said. “The voters will get their information, and they’ll get it through other means.”
_____

Read more from Yahoo News:

Read More At:  Article Source

The post Defend Trump? ‘Not my job,’ says GOP’s Gillespie in Virginia race appeared first on RocketNews |Top News Stories From Around the Globe.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia.

One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government.

Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to seperate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

These independent actions were misrepresented by Washington and the presstitutes who whore for Washington as a “Russian invasion.” Despite all facts to the contrary, this misrepresentation continues today. In US foreign policy, facts are not part of the analysis.

The most important fact that is overlooked by the Washington Post and the Russophobic members of the US government is that it is an act of insanity to call for more punishment and more pressure on a country with a powerful military and strategic nuclear capability whose military high command and government have already concluded that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack.

Are the Washington Post editors trying to bring on nuclear armageddon? If there was any intelligence present in the Washington Post, the newspaper would be urging that President Trump immediately call President Putin with reassurances and arrange the necessary meetings to defuse the situation. Instead the utterly stupid editors urge actions that can only raise the level of tension. It should be obvious even to the Washington Post morons that Russia is not going to sit there, shaking in its boots, and wait for Washington’s attack. Putin has issued many warnings about the West’s rising threat to Russian security. He has said that Russia “will never again fight a war on its own territory.” He has said that the lesson he has learned is that “if a fight is unavoidable, strike first.” He has also said that the fact that no one hears his warnings makes the situation even more dangerous.

What explains the deafness of the West? The answer is arrogance and hubris.

As the presstitute media is incapable of reason, I will do their job for them. I call for an immediate face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin at Reykjavik. Cold War II, begun by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, must be ended now.

So, where is President Trump? Why is the President of the United States unable to rise to the challenge? Why isn’t he the man Ronald Reagan was? Is it, as David Stockman says, that Trump is incapable of anything except tweeting?

Why hasn’t President Trump long ago ordered all intercepts of Russian chatter gathered, declassified, and made public? Why hasn’t Trump launched a criminal prosecution against John Brennan, Susan Rice, Comey, and the rest of the hit squad that is trying to destroy him?

Why has Trump disarmed himself with an administration chosen by Russiaphobes and Israel?

As David Stockman writes, Trump “is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/mainstream media prosecution” and “has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive” against those working to destroy him. But there is no Trump offensive, “because the man is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.”

Our president twitters while he and Earth itself are pushed toward destruction.

Via TheAntiMedia.org,

There’s currently a push in the halls of Washington D.C., to establish a new branch of the military by 2019, one whose focus would be operations among the stars. Proposed legislation by House representatives would create a “Space Corps” that would serve “as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force.”

 It would be the first branch added to the military since 1947 when the Air Force was officially established.

On Tuesday, the top two lawmakers of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Representatives Mike Rogers and Jim Cooper, added the legislation to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The subcommittee oversees military space operations and works within the umbrella of the House Armed Services Committee.

“There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” Rogers and Cooper said in a joint statement.

 

“We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems.”

Under the proposed legislation, the Space Corps would serve under the direction of the Air Force much like the Marine Corps serves under the direction of the Navy. But the military branch would have its own chief, equal in rank to that of Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Additionally, the Space Corps head would have a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Air Force itself, however, seems somewhat cool to the congressmen’s idea. At a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the NDAA on Thursday, Air Force spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder said the United States military should be focusing on coordination:

“We think right now it’s important to take the capabilities and the resources that we have and focus on implementation and integration with the broader force, versus creating a separate service.”

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson echoed a similar sentiment while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday:

The Pentagon is complicated enough. This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart, and cost more money. And if I had more money, I would put it into lethality, not bureaucracy…I don’t need another chief of staff and another six deputy chiefs of staff.”

The entire House Armed Services Committee will have to approve the subcommittee’s additions to the NDAA before they can go any further. If that happens, the debate will move to the House floor, where the NDAA is expected to be voted on sometime after the Fourth of July.

Whether or not the legislation makes the cut, however, it should be noted that the idea of militarizing space is nothing new for the United States. As Anti-Media has reported, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work stated at a conference back in 2015 that space must “be considered a contested operational domain in ways that we haven’t had to think about in the past.”

Last month, we reported on a poll showing most Americans don’t want to see President Donald Trump impeached. Today, a new poll released exclusively to the Hill shows that most Americans feel the investigations into alleged collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign are a distraction.

The poll found that 64% of Americans believe the investigations are hurting the country, and a whopping 73% believe that the focus on Russia is distracting Congress from important issues like health care and tax reform.

Here’s the Hill:
 
A majority of voters believe the Russia investigations are damaging to the country and are eager to see Congress shift its focus to healthcare, terrorism, national security, the economy and jobs.

 

Those are the findings of the latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey, provided exclusively to The Hill, which paints a complicated picture of voters’ opinions about the numerous probes that have engulfed the White House.

 

Sixty-four percent of voters said the investigations into President Trump and Russia are hurting the country. Fifty-six percent of voters said it’s time for Congress and the media to move on to other issues, compared to 44 percent who said the focus should stay on Russia.

 

But other surveys have found strong support for the special counsel investigating the Russia probe. A Harvard-Harris survey released last month found 75 percent support for former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation.

 

There is evidence in the Harvard-Harris survey that voters are taking the investigations seriously: Fifty-eight percent say they’re concerned by allegations of obstruction of justice against Trump, with the same number worried about possible dealings between Trump and the Russian government.

 

But far more — 73 percent — say they’re concerned that the Russia probes have caused Congress to lose focus on the issues important to them. That figure encompasses 81 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats.

 

“While the voters have a keen interest in any Russian election interference, they are concerned that the investigations have become a distraction for the president and Congress that is hurting rather than helping the country,” said Harvard-Harris co-director Mark Penn. “Most voters believe that the president's actions don't rise to the level of impeachable offenses, even if some of them were inappropriate.”

The poll is the latest indication that, despite the best efforts of the New York Times-CNN-Washington Post media cabal, Americans have not been swayed by the steady flow of unsourced allegations. The FBI's probe allegedly began in July of 2016, meaning it's been ongoing for a year now, and yet, nothing even resembling a smoking gun has been shared with the public, one of many of many conspicuous loose ends in the investigation narrative.

Maybe now that the Senate Judiciary Committee is finally investigating alleged misconduct by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, lawmakers will start to slowly turn their attention away from Trump and his associates and focus on an official who clearly abused a position of public trust for political gain.

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Once again this week, the United States teetered a little closer towards war with the Russians. On Sunday, the US military shot down a Syrian jet that was allegedly targeting US backed forces. The Russians have since claimed that the aircraft was engaging ISIS, and have revealed that their air defense systems will now track any of our aircraft that happen to fly over Western Syria. They also suspended a hotline between the US and Russia that was in place to prevent mid-air collisions over the crowded skies of Syria.

Amid incidents like this, you have to wonder what our government is thinking. For most Americans, Syria must seem inconsequential. Why is our military involved in a country, where we are brushing shoulders with a nuclear armed nation? If it’s to fight ISIS, then we could easily sit back and let Russian and Syrian forces wipe them out. If it’s to affect regime change, then clearly our government hasn’t learned anything from Iraq or Afghanistan. Why are we risking a war with the Russians just to influence the outcome of a regional civil war that has little bearing on the daily lives of most Americans?

The answer to that question could probably fill a novel, but there is one reason that the elites in Washington will never admit to. They can afford to make careless decisions because they are insulated from the results. If there is a war with Russia, which could easily turn into a nuclear war, they’ll have plenty of spacious bunkers to hide out in while the rest of America burns. And that’s been our government’s plan in regards to nuclear war since the beginning of the Cold War.

That’s the main takeaway from a new book called Raven Rock: The Story of the US Government’s Plan to Save Itself. Our government has spent decades building sprawling bunkers, like Raven Rock, that high ranking officials can flee to in the event of a nuclear war.

The idea for Raven Rock was to have a military base that would function as an alternative to the Pentagon and would be dug out of a mountain and deep enough to survive any Russian attack.

 

A site was chosen six miles from Camp David, the Presidential retreat in Maryland, and work began in 1951 on the $17 million project

 

Some 300 men worked round the clock in three shifts to carve a 3,100ft tunnel out of the granite; engineers invented technology as they went along including blast doors and blast valves.

 

Inside the facility there was 100,000sq/ft of office space in five parallel caverns big enough to hold a three story building in each.

 

The entire facility could fit 1,400 people and was placed on giant springs to reduce the impact of a blast.

Via Daily Mail

Meanwhile, as they were building these bunkers and trying to convince Americans that nuclear war could be easily survivable, behind the scenes they knew it would be a bloodbath for civilians.

At the end of the 1950s, the FCDA created ‘Battleground USA’, a grim 120-page report on how cities should manage civil defense operations in the event of an attack.

 

It said that the area should be divided into ‘mortuary zones’ with ‘collection teams’ in charge of identifying bodies.

 
Post Office mail trucks would ferry the wounded to one of 900 improvised hospitals set up near attack sites in places like federal prisons.

 

In Kansas officials planned to confiscate household vitamins for use by the general population.

 

Planners estimated they could assemble two million pounds of food after an attack from their own reserves and from stores.

They could also could find 11 million ‘man-days’ of food in the forests and plains in rabbit meat, 10 million ‘man-days of wild birds and five million ‘man-days’ of fish.

 

Most chillingly they budgeted nearly 20 million ‘man-days’ of meat in residential pets.

 

It was disturbing reading and a view of the world that summed up by Eisenhower in one meeting: ‘The destruction might be such that we might ultimately have to go back to bows and arrows’

 

During another meeting Eisenhower admitted that nation didn’t have ‘enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the street’ in the event of a nuclear strike’.

And as we all know, our government didn’t take many measures to protect civilians from the potential carnage that would be inflicted by a nuclear war. They didn’t build many bunkers for the rest of us.

At first glance that may sound like an impossible task, but it’s not. Take Switzerland for instance. Despite not having any nuclear weapons, they’ve built enough fallout shelters to house every Swiss citizen. You might say that we could never afford that many shelters, but it’s not a question of cost. Switzerland’s GDP per capita is similar to America’s.

The truth of the matter, is that our leaders don’t give a damn about what happens to American civilians. As long as they have their bunkers, they feel safe while antagonizing nuclear armed nations like Russia. They know that if there’s a war, they’ll survive while the rest of us burn and starve.

Make no mistake, if there’s ever a war with Russia, you’ll be on your own. Whether or not you survive depends entirely on your willingness and ability to prepare now.

It’s been a rough week for the legacy of the Obama administration. Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee launched a Democrat-endorsed probe into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s conduct during the campaign – when it’s widely believed she colluded with the Clinton’s to “soften” the FBI’s probe into Hillary’s mishandling of classified information. Earlier, sure-thing Democratic neophyte Jon Ossoff lost a special election in Georgia that he was supposedly guaranteed to win, leading America’s least—preferred party of overly brazen corporatists to an embarrassing 5-0 defeat, and stoking calls for Nancy Pelosi - the Dem’s longtime leader in Congress - to step aside.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, revelations that Russian hackers targeted voting systems in 21 states – and the Obama administration did nothing about it – have inspired the president’s fellow Democrats to turn on their once-revered leader.

 

As the Hill reports, Democrats are criticizing no-drama Obama for being too cautious with his disclosures about “the Russia problem” in the run-up to the 2016 election, claiming that he shouldn't have hesitated to inform the public about the allegations:

“The Obama administration is under fresh scrutiny for its response to Russian meddling in the election after new details emerged this week about how the White House weighed its actions against the 2016 political environment.

 

Then-President Obama was too cautious in the months leading up to the election, frustrated Democratic lawmakers and strategists say.

 

“It was inadequate. I think they could have done a better job informing the American people of the extent of the attack,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who co-chairs the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee."

Meanwhile, Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan, who recently challenged Pelosi for leadership of the party, is leading a small group of Congressional Dems in criticizing Chuck Schumer, Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership's irrational focus on the Russia investigations. Ryan believes the focus on making the Dems appear out of touch to working Americans who care more about economic issues than the Trump witch hunt, as the Hill reports.  Ryan's attempt to lead from behind comes as some of his peers push for the creation of a 9/11-style Commission to launch what would be the fourth investigation into the Trump campaign. 

Even though the contradiction here is obvious - Dems are complaining that the party is too focused on Russia, while criticizing Obama for not releasing more scurrilous details about alleged interference -at least Ryan recognizes that the focus on Russia will hurt the Dems where it counts: In next year's midterms.

"We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. “They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like.

 

“And if we don't talk more about their interest than we do about how we're so angry with Donald Trump and everything that's going on,” he added, “then we're never going to be able to win elections.”

Turning back to Obama, the president's motives in withholding the information definitely leave room for speculation. Was he worried that the public would interpret the disclosure as transparent fearmongering intended to benefit the Clinton campaign – or maybe he thought it would make the Democrats and Clinton look ineffectual in the face of a problem that couldn’t be solved with a couple of well-timed drone strikes? For what it's worth, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says Obama withheld the information because he didn’t want to play into Trump’s claims that the election was being “rigged.”

"Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday told lawmakers that the White House held back on responding to Russia because it didn’t want to play into fears, propagated by then-candidate Trump, that the election would be “rigged.”

 

“One of the candidates, as you'll recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way,” Johnson said. “And so we were concerned that, by making the statement, we might in and of itself be challenging the integrity of the election process itself.”

 

Trump had repeatedly claimed that the outcome of the election would be “rigged” against him, alleging widespread voter fraud and inaccurate polling. He provided no evidence to back up his claims, but critics feared that his rhetoric could undermine public trust in the outcome of the election.

In any event, Obama’s decision to withhold the information has made the Dems look weak, desperate and disorganized. And now they’re rightfully worried that the administration’s countermeasures – kicking out a few dozen diplomats – have helped them lose what little credibility they still had in the eyes of the public. Meanwhile, President Trump has a few questions of his own;

'Some Republicans argue the Obama administration only started to take the Russia threat seriously after President Trump had won the election.

 

Trump has called the influence operation a “hoax” and dismissed the various inquiries into Russian interference in the election — which include looking for possible collusion between his campaign and Moscow — as a “witch hunt.”

 

“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?” Trump tweeted Thursday.
The Obama administration announced on Oct. 7 that the theft and release of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails was part of a widespread campaign “intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

So what’s next for the Dems? Obama, who has already pivoted from politician to social-media celebrity, will probably continue to chime in every now and then from the peanut gallery. Meanwhile, we wait to see if the DOJ or any other interested parties piggy-back on the Senate’s investigation into Lynch’s blatant attempt at obstruction, and wonder: Could this be the controversy that leads to the unraveling of the modern Democratic Party?

Of course, President Trump couldn't resist taking a shot at his predecessor on Twitter:

Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?

 

By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

 


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