Friday, January 13, 2017

At his Jan. 11, 2017 press conference Trump gave his enemies the opening they needed when he said that Russia 'hacked' and Putin "should not be doing it". The Beltway is gearing up to remove Trump Watergate-style. If he doesn't turn over all his tax and business records, his claims of innocence are meaningless, says Washington Post-Pat Buchanan, 1/12/17

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1/12/17, "Trump’s Enemies See an Opening," Pat Buchanan

"“Fake news!” roared Donald Trump, the work of “sick people.” 

The president-elect was referring to a 35-page dossier of lurid details of his alleged sexual misconduct in Russia, worked up by a former British spy. A two-page summary of the 35 pages had been added to Trump’s briefing by the CIA and FBI — and then leaked to CNN.

This is “something that Nazi Germany would have done,” Trump said. Here, basically, is the story.

During the primaries, anti-Trump Republicans hired the ex-spy to do “oppo research” on Trump, i.e., to dig up dirt.

The spy contacted the Russians. They told him that Trump, at a Moscow hotel in 2013, had been engaged in depraved behavior, that they had the films to blackmail him, and that Trump’s aides had been colluding with them.

When Trump won the nomination, Democrats got the dossier and began shopping it around to the mainstream media. Some sought to substantiate the allegations. None could. So none of them published the charges.

In December, a British diplomat gave the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who personally turned it over to James Comey of the FBI.

On Jan. 7, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his colleagues at the NSA, CIA and FBI decided the new president needed to know about the dossier. They provided him with a two-page synopsis.

Once CNN learned Trump had been briefed, the cable news network reported on the unpublished dossier, without going into the lurid details.

BuzzFeed released all 35 pages. The story exploded.

Besides Trump’s understandable outrage, his Jan. 11 press conference produced related news.

U.S. intelligence agencies had for months contended that it was Russia who hacked the DNC emails and those of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. Putin’s objectives, they contend, were to damage both U.S. democracy and Hillary Clinton, whom Putin detests, and to aid Trump.

Trump had previously dismissed claims of Russian hacking as unproved conjecture, and also as being advanced to delegitimize his victory.

Wednesday, Trump conceded Russia did it: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” adding, Vladimir Putin “should not be doing it.”

The stakes in all of this are becoming huge.

Clearly, Trump hopes to work out with Putin the kind of detente that President Nixon achieved with Leonid Brezhnev.

This should not be impossible. For, unlike the 1970s, there is no Soviet Empire stretching from Havana to Hanoi, no Warsaw Pact dominating Central Europe, no Communist ideology steering Moscow into constant Cold War conflict with the West.

Russia is a great power with great power interests. But she does not seek to restore a global empire or remake the world in her image. U.S.-Russian relations are thus ripe for change.

But any such hope is now suddenly impaired.

The howls of indignation from Democrats and the media — that Trump’s victory and Clinton’s defeat were due to Putin’s involvement in our election — have begun to limit Trump’s freedom of action in dealing with Russia. And they are beginning to strengthen the hand of the Russophobes and the Putin-is-Hitler crowd in both parties.

When Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson went before the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio demanded to know why he would not publicly declare Putin a “war criminal.”

The more toxic Putin-haters can make the Russian president, the more difficult for President Trump to deal with him, even if that is in the vital national interest of the United States.

The sort of investigation for which McCain has been clamoring, and the Beltway drums have now begun to beat, could make it almost impossible for President Trump to work with President Putin.

The Washington Post describes the engine it wishes to see built: 

“The investigators of Russian meddling, whether a Congressional select committee or an independent commission, should have bipartisan balance, full subpoena authority, no time limit and a commitment to make public as much as possible of what they find.”

What the Post seeks is a Watergate Committee like the one that investigated the Nixon White House, or a commission like the ones that investigated 9/11 and the JFK assassination.

Trump “should recognize,” writes the Post, “that the credibility of his denials of any Russian connections is undermined by his refusal to release tax returns and business records.”

In short, when the investigation begins, Trump must produce the evidence to establish his innocence. Else, he is Putin’s man.

This city is salivating over another Watergate, another broken president. But President-elect Trump should be aware of what is at stake. As The Wall Street Journal writes:

“Mr. Trump’s vehement denials (of collusion with Moscow and corrupt behavior) also mean that if we learn in the future that Russia does have compromising details about him, his Presidency could be over.”

Yes, indeed, very big stakes."



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As if eliminating Islamic headslicers is a bad idea, US intel accuses Putin of thinking Trump would help form international coalition to fight the Islamic State (ISIS)-DNI report, 1/6/17, page 11

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Jan. 6, 2017, p. 11, "Russia’s Influence Campaign Targeting the 2016 US Presidential Election," DNI, CIA, Dept. of Justice, NSA...

"We assess Putin, his advisers, and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump over Secretary Clinton.... 

Moscow also saw the election of President-elect Trump as a way to achieve an international counterterrorism coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) [ISIS]."...p. 11 of 25



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Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's a historic moment when the U.S. intelligence community has deployed its extraordinary powers within the domain of U.S. politics to change the outcome of an election and the will of voters after the fact. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud-Robert Parry, Consortium News ('The intelligence community' is no doubt being cheered on by its pals, the Establishments of both Democrat and Republican parties, each of which is dedicated to preventing voters from having the candidate of their choice)

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1/12/17, "Pulling a J. Edgar Hoover on Trump," Robert Parry, Consortium News 

"Exclusive: President-elect Trump is fending off a U.S. intelligence leak of unproven allegations that he cavorted with Russian prostitutes, but the darker story might be the CIA’s intervention in U.S. politics, reports Robert Parry."

"The decision by the U.S. intelligence community to include in an official report some unverified and salacious accusations against President-elect Donald Trump resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I’d sure hate to see end up in the press.

In this case, as leaders of the U.S. intelligence community were pressing Trump to accept their assessment that the Russian government had tried to bolster Trump’s campaign by stealing and leaking actual emails harmful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Trump was confronted with this classified “appendix” describing claims about him cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

Supposedly, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan included the unproven allegations in the report under the rationale that the Russian government might have videotaped Trump’s misbehavior and thus could use it to blackmail him. But the U.S. intelligence community also had reasons to want to threaten Trump who has been critical of its performance and who has expressed doubts about its analysis of the Russian “hacking.”

After the briefing last Friday, Trump and his incoming administration did shift their position, accepting the intelligence community’s assessment that the Russian government hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta. But I’m told Trump saw no evidence that Russia then leaked the material to WikiLeaks and has avoided making that concession.

Still, Trump’s change in tone was noted by the mainstream media and was treated as an admission that he was abandoning his earlier skepticism. In other words, he was finally getting on board the intelligence community’s Russia-did-it bandwagon. Now, however, we know that Trump simultaneously had been confronted with the possibility that the unproven stories about him engaging in unorthodox sex acts with prostitutes could be released, embarrassing him barely a week before his inauguration.

The classified report, with the explosive appendix, was also given to President Obama and the so-called “Gang of Eight,”
bipartisan senior members of Congress responsible for oversight of the intelligence community, which increased chances that the Trump accusations would be leaked to the press, which indeed did happen. 

Circulating Rumors

The stories about Russian intelligence supposedly filming Trump in a high-end Moscow hotel with prostitutes have been circulating around Washington for months. I was briefed about them by a Hillary Clinton associate who was clearly hopeful that the accusations would be released before the election and thus further damage Trump’s chances. But the alleged video never seemed to surface and the claims had all the earmarks of a campaign dirty trick. 

However, now the tales of illicit frolic have been elevated to another level. They have been inserted into an official U.S. intelligence report, the details of which were leaked first to CNN and then to other mainstream U.S. news media outlets. 

Trump has denounced the story as “fake news” and it is certainly true that the juicy details – reportedly assembled by a former British MI-6 spy named Christopher Steele – have yet to check out. But the placement of the rumors in a U.S. government document gave the mainstream media an excuse to publicize the material.

It’s also allowed the media to again trot out the Russian word “compromat” as if the Russians invented the game of assembling derogatory information about someone and then using it to discredit or blackmail the person.

In American history, legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was infamous for using his agency to develop negative information on a political figure and then letting the person know that the FBI had the dirt and certainly would not want it to become public – if only the person would do what the FBI wanted, whether that was to reappoint Hoover to another term or to boost the FBI’s budget or – in the infamous case of civil rights leader Martin Luther King – perhaps to commit suicide.

However, in this case, it is not even known whether the Russians have any dirt on Trump. It could just be rumors concocted in the middle of a hard-fought campaign, first among Republicans battling Trump for the nomination (this opposition research was reportedly initiated by backers of Sen. Marco Rubio in the GOP race) before being picked up by Clinton supporters for use in the general election.

Still, perhaps the more troubling issue is whether the U.S. intelligence community has entered a new phase of politicization in which its leadership feels that it has the responsibility to weed out “unfit” contenders for the presidency. During the general election campaign, a well-placed intelligence source told me that the intelligence community disdained both Clinton and Trump and hoped to discredit both of them with the hope that a more “acceptable” person could move into the White House for the next four years.

Hurting Both Candidates

Though I was skeptical of that information, it did turn out that FBI Director James Comey, one of the top officials in the intelligence community, badly damaged Clinton’s campaign by deeming her handling of her emails as Secretary of State “extremely careless” but deciding not to prosecute her – and then in the last week of the campaign briefly reopening and then re-closing the investigation. 

Then, after the election, President Obama’s CIA began leaking allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin had orchestrated the hacking of Democratic emails and provided them to WikiLeaks to reveal how the DNC undermined Sen. Bernie Sanders’s campaign and what Clinton had told Wall Street bigwigs in paid speeches that she had sought to keep secret from the American people. 

The intelligence community’s assessment set the stage for what could have been a revolt by the Electoral College in which enough Trump delegates could have refused to vote for him to send the election into the House of Representatives, where the states would choose the President from one of the top three vote-getters in the Electoral College. The third-place finisher turned out to be former Secretary of State Colin Powell who got four votes from Clinton delegates in Washington State. But the Electoral College ploy failed when Trump’s delegates proved overwhelmingly faithful to the GOP candidate.

Now, we are seeing what looks like a new phase in this “stop (or damage) Trump” strategy, the inclusion of anti-Trump dirt in an official intelligence report that was then leaked to the major media.

Whether this move was meant to soften up Trump or whether the intelligence community genuinely thought that the accusations might be true and deserved inclusion in a report on alleged Russian interference in U.S. politics or whether it was some combination of the two, we are witnessing a historic moment when the U.S. intelligence community has deployed its extraordinary powers within the domain of U.S. politics. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud."







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Demonizing Russia was necessary to save Neocons from irrelevance-without threat or actuality of major foreign war they can't cash in. Can we get a USA! USA! The Yanks are coming! Second, the Democrat Party and in particular Obama needed to deflect their humilation after being so resoundingly rejected by working and middle class voters throughout Obama's time in office culminating in the historic 2016 shellacking-truthdig, Chris Hedges

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If the Democrat Party "was a real party, the entire leadership would be sacked. But it is not a real party. It is the shell of a party propped up by corporate money and hyperventilating media." Both Democrat and Republican Parties "however, belong to one party—the corporate party."...1/3/17, "Obama’s Administration Sold More Weapons Than Any Other Since World War II," motherboard.vice.com, Farid Farid

1/8/17, "The Real Purpose of the U.S. Government’s Report on Alleged Hacking by Russia," truthdig.com, Chris Hedges

"Some thoughts on “Russia’s Influence Campaign Targeting the 2016 US Presidential Election,” the newly released declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

1. The primary purpose of the declassified report, which offers no evidence to support its assertions that Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election campaign, is to discredit Donald Trump. I am not saying there was no Russian hack of John Podesta’s emails. I am saying we have yet to see any tangible proof to back up the accusation. This charge—Sen. John McCain has likened the alleged effort by Russia to an act of waris the first salvo in what will be a relentless campaign by the Republican and Democratic establishment, along with its corporatist allies and the mass media, to destroy the credibility of the president-elect and prepare the way for impeachment....

3. The third task of the report is to justify the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization beyond Germany, a violation of the promise Ronald Reagan made to the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Expanding NATO in Eastern Europe opened up an arms market for the war industry. It made those businesses billions of dollars. New NATO members must buy Western arms that can be integrated into the NATO arsenal. These sales, which are bleeding the strained budgets of countries such as Poland, are predicated on potential hostilities with Russia. If Russia is not a threat, the arms sales plummet. War is a racket.

4. The final task of the report is to give the Democratic Party plausible cover for the catastrophic election defeat it suffered. Clinton initially blamed FBI Director James Comey for her loss before switching to the more easily demonized Putin. The charge of Russian interference essentially boils down to the absurd premise that perhaps hundreds of thousands of Clinton supporters suddenly decided to switch their votes to Trump when they read the leaked emails of Podesta. Either that or they tuned in to RT America and decided to vote for the Green Party.

The Democratic Party leadership cannot face, and certainly cannot publicly admit, that its callous betrayal of the working and middle class triggered a nationwide revolt that resulted in the election of Trump. It has been pounded since President Barack Obama took office, losing 68 seats in the House, 12 seats in the Senate and 10 governorships. It lost more than 1,000 elected positions between 2008 and 2012 nationwide. Since 2010, Republicans have replaced 900 Democratic state legislators. If this was a real party, the entire leadership would be sacked. But it is not a real party. It is the shell of a party propped up by corporate money and hyperventilating media.

The Democratic Party must maintain the fiction of liberalism just as the Republican Party must maintain the fiction of conservatism.

These two parties, however, belong to one party—the corporate party. They will work in concert, as seen by the alliance between Republican leaders such as McCain and Democratic leaders such as Sen. Chuck Schumer, to get rid of Trump, silence all dissent, enrich the war industry and promote the farce they call democracy.

Welcome to our annus horribilis."
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Ed. note: The author uses the term "war industry" which of course includes "neocons," the group I referenced in the post's headline. 

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Added:

1/3/17, "Obama’s Administration Sold More Weapons Than Any Other Since World War II," motherboard.vice.com, Farid Farid

"President Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, will leave office in a few weeks with the dubious honor of having sold more weapons than any other American president since World War II. And experts say President-Elect Donald Trump will most likely sell even more. 

Most of the arms deals totaling over $200 billion in the period from 2008 to 2015 have ended up in the Middle East, according to a Congressional Research Service report published in December. The report, produced by the non-partisan government agency attached to the Library of Congress, breaks down the weapons sold which included surface-to-air missiles, tanks, and supersonic combat aircraft.

Focusing on arms deals to developing nations, the extensive report found that Saudi Arabia was the top arms importer with deals worth around $94 billion from 2008-2015. Under Obama the overall sales, pending delivery of equipment and specialised training for troops, to Saudi Arabia alone has ballooned to $115 billion....

What’s changed during the Obama administration is that increasing arms sales has become a standardized component of diplomacy at all levels of government, not just in the defense department,” Bockenfeld told Motherboard. “For US diplomats to become the salesmen, that has been a new element which really increased exports.”





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NY Times: Trump win was a replay of Brexit vote in June 2016 when old bastions of England’s Labor-left voted decisively to leave the European Union. His breakthrough among Northern white working-class voters not only erased the Democratic advantage but reversed it-NY Times, Nov. 9, 2016 (Did Putin hack the Brexit vote?)

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paragraph 10, NY Times: "Mr. Trump won low-income white voters to the Republican ticket, reversing a partisan divide along class lines that is as old as the Democratic and Republican Parties a replay of the “Brexit” vote in June, when the old bastions of England’s Labor-left voted decisively to leave the European Union. His breakthrough among white working-class voters in the North not only erased the Democratic advantage but reversed it, giving him a victory in the Electoral College while he lost the national popular vote."

Nov. 11, 2016, "2016: The Revenge Of The White Working Class Voter, And Where Millions Of Obama Supporters Flipped For Trump," Matt Vespa, Townhall

"In 2014, after the Democratic shellacking in the midterms, Obama pollster and Clinton strategist Joel Benenson said that winning the white vote, the male vote, and the white male vote wasn’t important. What Benenson and his cadre of Democratic operatives now seem to have missed is that white voters do count, and that the white working class vote was actually the linchpin of the entire Obama coalition. Moreover, significant shares of 2012 Obama supporters decided to jump ship and support Trump. Nicholas Confessore and Nate Cohn wrote about this middle class, white, and rural uprising that decimated liberal America: [11/9/16, "Donald Trump’s Victory Was Built on Unique Coalition of White Voters," NY Times, Nicholas Confessore and Nate Cohn]... 

"Mr. Trump’s coalition comprised not just staunchly conservative Republicans in the South and West. They were joined by millions of voters in the onetime heartlands of 20th-century liberal populism — the Upper and Lower Midwest — where white Americans without a college degree voted decisively to reject the more diverse, educated and cosmopolitan Democratic Party of the 21st century, making Republicans the country’s dominant political party at every level of government.

[…] Mr. Trump also won over millions of voters who had once flocked to President Obama’s promise of hope and change, and who on Tuesday saw in Mr. Trump their best chance to dampen the most painful blows of globalization and trade, to fight special interests, and to be heard and protected. Twelve percent of Mr. Trump’s supporters approved of Mr. Obama, according to the exit polls.

[paragraph 10] […] Mr. Trump won low-income white voters to the Republican ticket, reversing a partisan divide along class lines that is as old as the Democratic and Republican Parties a replay of the “Brexit” vote in June, when the old bastions of England’s Labor-left voted decisively to leave the European Union.
His breakthrough among white working-class voters in the North not only erased the Democratic advantage but reversed it, giving him a victory in the Electoral College while he lost the national popular vote.

Most strikingly, Mr. Trump won his biggest margins among middle-income white voters, according to exit polls, a revolt not only of the white working class but of the country’s vast white middle class. He did better than past Republicans in the sprawling suburbs along Florida’s central coasts, overwhelming Mrs. Clinton’s gains among Hispanic voters. He held down Mrs. Clinton’s margins in the Philadelphia suburbs, defying expectations that Mrs. Clinton would outperform Mr. Obama by a wide margin.

[…] Starting Wednesday, you could walk from the Vermont border through Appalachian coal country to the outskirts of St. Louis without crossing a county Mr. Trump did not win decisively. You could head south through rural and suburban Georgia all the way to South Florida, or northwest through the Upper Midwest, or make a beeline for the West Coast, skirting only the rising Democratic communities of Colorado and the booming multicultural sprawl of Las Vegas before finally reaching Mrs. Clinton’s part of the country."...

Okay—so who the hell are these [Trump] people? Well, they’re folks that Democrats have come to hate. They’re rural. They’re less educated. They don’t speak with learned diction. And they don’t live in places that matter, like the sprawling urban areas, the cities. They’re the people that Trump refers to as the forgotten Americans, who have been left to fend from themselves due to perceived threats from free trade, immigration, and rampant drug usage. The people that Washington, liberals, or progressives don’t care about—and they don’t....

(Nate) Cohn added:

"In this election, the polls will not end up being off by very much nationally. Indeed, Mrs. Clinton will almost certainly carry the popular vote — perhaps by more than one percentage point. The national polls gave Mrs. Clinton a four-point lead in the final stretch; the final New York Times/CBS News poll had Mrs. Clinton up by three.

Taken in totality, Mrs. Clinton probably did win Hispanic voters by a big margin, as pre-election polls predicted. She probably did make big gains among white voters with a college degree — though it’s unclear whether she won them.

But the polls were wrong about one big thing: They missed Mrs. Clinton’s margin in the Midwestern and Rust Belt states, like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The exact mechanism for the error is unclear. Perhaps undecided voters broke for Mr. Trump; maybe there really were “silent” voters for him, people who were reluctant to tell pollsters that they backed him. Perhaps it took a lot breaking Mr. Trump’s way: Maybe Republican voters came home to the party over the last week in well-educated suburbs, while undecided white working-class voters broke for Mr. Trump.
[...]
In the end, many of the factors that made Mrs. Clinton appear favored to win in these states simply weren’t there. She didn’t win heavily Hispanic counties in Florida by the wide margins that many expected only slightly outperforming Mr. Obama in Miami-Dade County and the Orlando-Kissimmee area, even as she outperformed in Texas and California. And she didn’t overperform in the Philadelphia area, even as she posted huge margins in the Chicago area and Seattle.

Whatever gains she made among well-educated and Hispanic voters nationwide either didn’t occur to the same extent in the key battlegrounds, or were overwhelmed by Mr. Trump’s huge appeal to white voters without a degree."

After the 2014 midterms
, I wrote about who stands up for middle/working class America. It was a reaction to when I quietly entered the left wing Netroots Nation event in Detroit, Michigan, where many there took pride in seeing themselves as middle/working class warriors. Exit polls from the 2014 races showed the GOP either competitive or winning the very folks these Democrats say they’re champions for, but privately trash as country bumpkins behind closed doors."...  







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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why are Democrats so unable to hear the truth? Because they're so accustomed to being agreed with that they literally cannot hear dissent-Rosa Koire, Democrats Against UN Agenda 21

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11/17/16, "Democrats who voted for Trump," Rosa Koire, Democrats Against UN Agenda 21

"I can understand Democrats who feel as if they were suddenly jettisoned from the driver's seat into a free fall of confusion. They've lost their sense of being in power and want to feel that intense camaraderie and joy of righteousness they had with Obama. They need to remain connected to their cohort. I get it. They're stunned. They meet at restaurants, in the check-out line at Whole Foods, at Starbucks, at street protests, and they look into one another's faces with a wide-eyed terror. They're like children at a scary movie.  They've succeeded in terrorizing themselves. Their own children are terrified and panicked as they watch their parents fall apart predicting mass deportations, loss of abortion rights, and global inundation from rising seas. And, in spite of the heavy indoctrination and social attacks, you know that many Democrats did vote for Trump. Even if they won't admit it....

Why are Democrats so unable to hear the truth?

They are so accustomed to being agreed with that they literally cannot hear dissent. If they're young people they've been schooled to filter out and block dissent. During the Occupy sleep-ins around the country we interviewed Occupiers and found them to be angered by mere questions that did not follow the accepted line. Anything that challenged their prepared script was too threatening and too dangerous for them to listen to. It's the New Man. It's Common Core. It's Agenda 21....

And as I've said to other Democrats: Ask yourself why half of the voters in this nation would vote for a President who has never even been elected to a city council. Why are people so desperate that they will elect an inexperienced billionaire to the office of President? People have been driven to this by the aggressive implementation of UN Agenda 21 in every area of America. It has to stop.

NOW TAKE THE BALL AND RUN WITH IT."...


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Austria will ask EU for permission to hire locals ahead of other EU workers. Center left chancellor says eastern European countries are exporting their joblessness to Austria-BBC, 1/11/17

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1/11/17, "Austria to ask EU for right to hire locals ahead of other EU workers," BBC

"Austria's centre-left chancellor has said he will ask the EU to let local employers hire Austrians before other EU citizens, unless there are no suitable candidates. 

Christian Kern made the pledge at the launch of a 10-year economic plan focussing on job creation. 

"These eastern European countries are exporting their joblessness to Austria," the Social Democrat said.

He was speaking in Wels, run by the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe).

Fears over immigration and unemployment have put the FPOe ahead in the polls.

The pledge is seen as a bid to win back support to the Social Democrats, who last year were eliminated in the first round of the presidential election, along with their traditional mainstream rivals, the centre-right People's Party. 

An independent candidate eventually won over the far-right nominee. Mr Kern's party is supported by roughly 27% of voters, polls suggest."


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hillary's pro-corporatist and pro-war candidacy lost her key Rust Belt states, not an incendiary Russian conspiracy theory that could end in the planet's nuclear annihilation. As neocons, McCain and Graham have never been right about any wars they've promoted, but they're helping gin up war with Russia. As luck would have it, there's already a massive buildup of US taxpayer funded weapons and tanks surrounding Russia-Consortium News, Norman Solomon (US taxpayers wonder why they can't get tanks on their own borders which are invaded daily)

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"The first of what Washington promises will be back-to-back nine-month rotations in the "foreseeable future." Beginning in February, U.S. military units will spread out across Poland, the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany."...

1/6/17, "US Tanks, Equipment Arrive for NATO Exercises in Eastern Europe," Reuters, Bremerhaven, Germany, via voanews.com 


(Comment: To Reuters: Is the US inaugurating a person named "Washington" on 1/20/17? Reuters says "Washington promises" many months of US taxpayer funded troops and heavy weapons across Europe and on Russian border. No one on 1/6/17 is authorized to "promise" confiscation of US taxpayer dollars for endless military actions in foreign lands after 1/20/17. US taxpayers are no longer global slaves. PS: Save the Fake News rap about Ukraine war.)

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1/10/2017, "The Democrats’ Russia-Did-It Dodge," Consortium News, Norman Solomon

"To avoid facing up to why Hillary Clinton’s pro-corporatist candidacy really lost key Rust Belt states, national Democrats are finding it easier to blame Russia, a dangerous and self-defeating game, says Norman Solomon at The Hill." 

"Two months after the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the most cohesive message from congressional Democrats is: blame Russia. The party leaders have doubled down on an approach that got nowhere during the presidential campaign — trying to tie the Kremlin around Donald Trump's neck.

Still more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency to Trump, top Democrats would much rather scapegoat Vladimir Putin than scrutinize how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters.

Meanwhile, the emerging incendiary rhetoric against Russia is extremely dangerous. It could lead to a military confrontation between two countries that have thousands of nuclear weapons each.

At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday on foreign cyber threats, ranking member Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, denounced “Russia’s rejection of the post-Cold War international order and aggressive actions against its neighbors, and he condemned “a regime with values and interests so antithetical to our own.” It was the kind of oratory that would have made John Foster Dulles or Barry Goldwater proud.

Like so many other senators on the committee, Reed seemed eager for a new Cold War while accusing Russia of digital aggression. “In addition to stealing information from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign,” he said, “and cherry-picking what information it leaked to the media, the Russian government also created and spread fake news and conspiracies across the vast social media landscape.’’"... 

[Ed. note: How is that different or worse than what the US media did 24/7, led by the NY Times and Washington Post, to try and tilt the election to its choice?]

(continuing): "The Russia-Did-It Conspiracy Theory 

The Russian government may have hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and it may have given those emails to WikiLeaks. But that’s hardly a slam dunk. 

Over the weekend, after Friday’s release of a much-ballyhooed report from the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the report underwent a cogent critique by former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry. Stripping the 25-page DNI report down to its essence, Parry pointed out that it “contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks.”

Parry added: “The DNI report amounted to a compendium of reasons to suspect that Russia was the source of the information — built largely on the argument that Russia had a motive for doing so because of its disdain for Democratic nominee Clinton and the potential for friendlier relations with Republican nominee Trump. But the case, as presented, is one-sided and lacks any actual proof.”

While stenographic accounts of official claims have dominated coverage of the Jan. 6 report, major flaws are coming to light in mainstream media. For instance, a piece that appeared on Saturday in the New York Times, by Scott Shane, reported in its ninth paragraph: “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack.”

The article reported: Under the circumstances, many in Washington expected the agencies to make a strong public case to erase any uncertainty. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to ‘trust us.’
There is no discussion of the forensics used to recognize the handiwork of known hacking groups, no mention of intercepted communications between the Kremlin and the hackers, no hint of spies reporting from inside Moscow’s propaganda machinery.” 

No Doubts

But Democratic lawmakers aren’t interested in doubts or caveats. They believe the Russian hacking issue is a political winner. 

Whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly a convenient way to evade the sobering lessons that should have been learned from the last election about the Democratic Party’s lack of authenticity in its claims to be fighting for the interests of working people.

At the same time, enthusiasm for banging the drum against Putin is fast becoming a big part of the Democratic Party’s public identity in 2017. And — insidiously — that’s apt to give the party a long-term political stake in further demonizing the Russian government.

The reality is grim, and potentially catastrophic beyond comprehension. By pushing to further polarize with the Kremlin, congressional Democrats are increasing the chances of a military confrontation with Russia. By teaming up with the likes of Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to exert bipartisan pressure for escalation, Democrats could help stampede the Trump administration in reckless directions.

This approach is already underway. It is worse than irresponsible. It is madness that could lead to a nuclear holocaust."

"Norman Solomon is co-founder of the online activist group RootsAction.org, which has 750,000 members. He is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. [This article originally appeared as a column at The Hill, at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/313295-democrats-are-playing-with-fire-on-russia ]"
 
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Added: As is the case with all neocons, McCain and Graham have never once been right. By their own words the Libya regime change they promoted was a massive failure. They've never even apologized.

""Ultimately, our intervention in Libya will be judged a success or failure based not on the collapse of the Kadafi regime, but on the political order that emerges in its place," the senators said."

Aug. 21, 2011, "John McCain, Lindsey Graham weigh in on Libya," LA Times, Kim Geiger

"The fall of the Kadafi regime is a victory for Libya, the Middle East and the world, said U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had been strong advocates for U.S. military intervention in the months-long conflict.

"Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Kadafi," the senators said in a statement released late Sunday night.  "But we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower."

The senators said the U.S. "must lead the international community to provide the support that our Libyan friends need."

"Ultimately, our intervention in Libya will be judged a success or failure based not on the collapse of the Kadafi regime, but on the political order that emerges in its place," the senators said.

"Today marks a big step forward for the Libyan people towards freedom and democracy. As they continue on this journey, America must continue to stand with them.""

 http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/21/news/la-pn-mccain-graham-on-libya-20110821

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Added:

In April 2011, McCain is given hero's welcome in Benghazi, Libya, where he brags that people should visit "free" Benghazi to see how great it is thanks to his intervention (meaning US taxpayer funded bombing): "Mr McCain called on critics of intervention to tour Benghazi to see a 'powerful and hopeful example of what a free Libya can be.'" Obviously, nothing good happened in Libya, least of all in Benghazi. Neocons exist only via their access to endless US taxpayer dollars and have never been right or "heroic" about anything. They create permanent misery and suffering wherever they go. They're basically a money laundering operation. Today Libya is home to countless terrorist groups. It's also a transit route for African "refugees" flooding to Europe.  How embarrassing for US taxpayers. Take a "tour" of "free" Benghazi.
 
4/22/2011, "'Let's get this thing over with,' says McCain as he calls for more help for rebels in Libya," Daily Mail

"A day after the U.S. said it was deploying drones in Libya, Senator John McCain called for more help for Libyan rebels so that can 'get this thing over with.'...

The former Republican presidential candidate toured the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on Friday.

He received a hero's welcome on his tour as rebel forces, locked in a deadly stand-off with forces loyal to strongman Moammar Gaddafi, gained ground in central Misrata.

Mr McCain said the drones would increase NATO's capability but not enough to make up a shortfall needed to break a 'significant degree of stalemate.'...

Mr. McCain called on critics of intervention to tour Benghazi to see a 'powerful and hopeful example of what a free Libya can be.' 

People waved American flags as a crowd of about 100 Libyans greeted McCain, the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee."...












 





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More about neocons:

6/20/2014, "Being a Neocon Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry," Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt 

"The neoconservative-liberal alliance in effect re-legitimates the neoconservative world view, and makes their continued enthusiasm for U.S.-led wars look "normal.""
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9/7/2015, "How Neocons Destabilized Europe" by Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com
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"The refugee chaos that is now pushing deep into Europe...started with the cavalier ambitions of American neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks who planned to remake the Middle East and other parts of the world through “regime change.”
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Instead of the promised wonders of “democracy promotion” and “human rights,” what these “anti-realists” have accomplished is to spread death, destruction and destabilization across the Middle East and parts of Africa and now into Ukraine and the heart of Europe. Yet, since these neocon forces still control the Official Narrative, their explanations get top billing – such as that there hasn’t been enough “regime change.”"...

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"(Hillary) Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations....Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger." ...

April 1, 2016, Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libya Mess,” Robert Parry, Consortium News

"Hillary Clinton’s signature project as Secretary of State – the “regime change” in Libya – is now sliding from the tragic to the tragicomic as her successors in the Obama administration adopt increasingly desperate strategies for imposing some kind of order on the once-prosperous North African country torn by civil war since Clinton pushed for the overthrow and murder of longtime Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in (Oct. 20) 2011.

The problem that Clinton did much to create has grown more dangerous since Islamic State terrorists have gained a foothold in Sirte and begun their characteristic beheading of “infidels” as well as their plotting for terror attacks in nearby Europe.

There is also desperation among some Obama administration officials because the worsening Libyan fiasco threatens to undermine not only President Barack Obama’s legacy but Clinton’s drive for...the White House. 

The continuing crisis threatens to remind...voters about Hillary Clinton’s role in sparking the chaos in 2011 when she pressured President Obama to counter a military offensive by Gaddafi against what he called Islamic terrorists operating in the east.

Though Clinton and other “liberal interventionists” around Obama insisted that the goal was simply to protect Libyans from a possible slaughter, the U.S.-backed airstrikes inside Libya quickly expanded into a “regime change” operation, slaughtering much of the Libyan army.

Clinton’s State Department email exchanges revealed that her aides saw the Libyan war as a chance to pronounce a “Clinton doctrine,” bragging about how Clinton’s clever use of “smart power” could get rid of demonized foreign leaders like Gaddafi. But the Clinton team was thwarted when President Obama seized the spotlight when Gaddafi’s government fell.

But Clinton didn’t miss a second chance to take credit on Oct. 20, 2011, after militants captured Gaddafi, sodomized him with a knife and then murdered him. Appearing on a TV interview, Clinton celebrated Gaddafi’s demise with the quip, “we came; we saw; he died.”

However, with Gaddafi and his largely secular regime out of the way, Islamic militants expanded their power over the country. Some were terrorists, just as Gaddafi had warned.

One Islamic terror group attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel, an incident that Clinton called the worst moment of her four-year tenure as Secretary of State.

As the violence spread, the United States and other Western countries abandoned their embassies in Tripoli. Once prosperous with many social services, Libya descended into the category of failed state with the Islamic State taking advantage of the power vacuum to seize control of Sirte and other territory. In one grisly incident, Islamic State militants marched Coptic Christians onto a beach and beheaded them.

Yet, on the campaign trail, Clinton continues to defend her judgment in instigating the Libyan war. She claims that Gaddafi had “American blood on his hands,” although she doesn’t spell out exactly what she’s referring to. There remain serious questions about the two primary incidents blamed on Libya in which Americans died – the 1986 La Belle bombing in Berlin and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

But whatever Gaddafi’s guilt in that earlier era, he renounced terrorism during George W. Bush’s presidency and surrendered his unconventional military arsenal. He even assisted Bush’s “war on terror.” So, Gaddafi’s grisly fate has become a cautionary tale for what can happen to a leader who makes major security concessions to the United States.

The aftermath of the Clinton-instigated “regime change” in Libya also shows how little Clinton and other U.S. officials learned from the Iraq War disaster. Clinton has rejected any comparisons between her vote for the Iraq War in 2002 and her orchestration of the Libyan war in 2011, saying that “conflating” them is wrong.... 

Though her (past) Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, hasn’t highlighted her key role in the Libya fiasco, Clinton can expect a tougher approach from the Republicans if she wins the nomination. The problem with the Republicans, however, is that they have obsessed over the details of the Benghazi incident, spinning all sorts of conspiracy theories, missing the forest for the trees.

Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger.

Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations."


 https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/01/cleaning-up-hillarys-libyan-mess/
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Feb. 2015: "ISIS beheadings of Coptic Christians on Libyan beach brings Islamists to the doorstep of Europe:"

2/16/2015, "ISIS beheadings of Coptic Christians on Libyan beach brings Islamists to the doorstep of Europe," UK Independent, Lizzie Dearden

"Former Libyan PM previously warned that they would reach Mediterranean."
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"Destroyed: There were at least seven strikes in Derna in the east of the country, which has become a hotbed of Islamic extremism since dictator Libyan Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011," twitter via Mailonline

2/16/2015, "Egypt retaliates with air strikes after ISIS marches 21 Coptic Christians along a lonely Libyan beach and beheads them en masse for their faith,"  Mailonline, John Hall, Sara Malm

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Comment: No amount of human suffering is enough for neocons who are now entrenched throughout US institutions.

"Neocons" were once just a few fringe, demented Republicans like George W. Bush and his cronies.






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