American Democracy: A Dead Man Walking

Trump’s ‘sell-out,’ as it is called, coming on top of Obama’s eight-year ‘sell-out,’ is instructive. We have now had a Democratic president who sold out the people who elected him and a Republican president who has done the same thing. This is a very interesting point, the meaning of which most people miss.
But not Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. At the Valdai discussion club, Putin summed up Western democracy, which I paraphrase as follows:
In the West, voters cannot change policies through elections, because the ruling elites control whoever is elected. Elections give the appearance of democracy, but voting does not change the policies that favor war and the elites. Therefore, the will of the people is impotent.
People are experiencing that they and their votes have no influence on the conduct of affairs of the country. This makes them afraid, frusrated, and angry, a combination of emotions that is dangerous to the ruling elite, who in response organize the powers of the state against the people, while urging them with propaganda to support more wars.
Obama promised to get out of Afghanistan or Iraq or perhaps it was both. He promised to reverse the police state created by the George W. Bush regime. He promised to focus American resources on American domestic problems, such as health care.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on May 2, 2017.

President Trump Responds To Hillary Clinton’s Blame-mongering

Following Hillary Clinton’s earlier proclamation that she “was on the way to winning before Jim Comey’s letter and ‘Russian’ Wikileaks… scared off late voters,” it appears President Trump has his own perspective on how he won the greatest upset election in US history…
FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 2, 2017.

Senate Quietly Drops Russian Sanctions Bill, Focuses On Iran Crackdown

Much to the likely chagrin of the mainstream media, and Democratic Party blame narratives everywhere, Politico reports that the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have reached a decision that’s sure to disappoint Russia hawks: They’re not taking up a Russia sanctions bill anytime soon.
‘We’re not going to do a Russia sanctions bill,’ Corker told POLITICO on Monday.
Instead, Committee Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland have agreed to move forward on a measure to counter Russian influence in Eastern Europe without using sanctions as well as an Iran sanctions bill.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 2, 2017.

Another Farce of Government-Shutdown Theater

On Wednesday, congressional leaders introduced a stop-gap measure to prevent the US government shutdown that would have begun after April 28, when the previous Continuing Resolution was set to expire. Congress and the president will still need to reach an agreement on a budget plan, but for the time being, federal services (and spending) will move forward without interruption. The chorus in Washington will shout ‘Crisis averted!’ and many people across the nation will breathe a sigh of relief.
If all this sounds familiar, that’s because it should. Federal Government Shutdown Theater has become a semi-regular staple on Capitol Hill since 1976, with almost annual threats of federal government shutdowns and 18 actual shutdowns over the past 41 years.
The actual shutdowns have lasted anywhere from as little as one day, on several occasions, to as long as 21 days during President Bill Clinton’s tenure in office. When the federal government has shut down, it has done so for an average of 7 days, and the last time it shut down, in October 2013, it did so for 16 days.
During the frequent occasions when politicians are threatening to shut down the US government, Americans are told that it will cost millions of jobs and that the markets will be negatively impacted because the government’s workers won’t be there to keep the economy and markets going, and that even Social Security checks will be at risk until after the machinery of the US government has been oiled with newly approved funding.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 05/02/2017.

SAVE LIBERTY, SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT

Congress ended the week by passing a continuing resolution keeping the government funded for one more week. This stopgap funding bill is designed to give Congress and the White House more time to negotiate a long-term spending bill. Passage of a long-term spending bill has been delayed over objections to Republican efforts to preserve Obamcare’s key features but give states a limited ability to opt out of some Obamacare mandates.
This type of brinkmanship has become standard operating procedure on Capitol Hill. The drama inevitably ends with a spending bill being crafted behind closed doors by small groups of members and staffers and then rushed to the floor and voted on before most members have a chance to read it. These ‘omnibus’ spending bills are a dereliction of one of Congress’s two most important duties – allocating spending. Of course, Congress long ago abandoned another primary duty – preventing presidents from launching military attacks without first obtaining a congressional declaration of war.
The uncomfortable question raised by Congress’s abrogation of these two key functions is whether a republican form of government is compatible with a welfare-warfare state. The answer seems to be ‘no.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MAY 2, 2017.

Hillary Clinton: “I Was On The Way To Winning Until Comey And ‘Russian’ WikiLeaks”

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
Speaking during an interview on CNN, losing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton explained why she thinks she lost the election…
“I was on the way to winning before Jim Comey’s letter and ‘Russian’ Wikileaks… scared off late voters.”
So to be clear – until the head of the FBI admitted to the world that many of your actions were under investigation for potentially breaking law and WikiLeaks published ‘proof’ of multiple mis-dealings and relationships – you were on the way to winning? So, other than that how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?
All of this is ironic given Democratic Party strategists recent comments:
After crunching numbers for months, a group of Democratic strategists have finally figured out why Hillary lost the 2016 election: “her base didn’t turn out.” Sure, it probably had absolutely nothing to do with all those criminal FBI investigations or the fact that Trump was able to flip some Midwest states that haven’t gone Red since Ronald Reagan. Per McClatchy:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 2, 2017.

Let’s Talk About Tax, Baby

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Evercore ISI’s Energy Policy & Geopolitics Conference in Washington, D. C., where I visited with senior staff responsible for infrastructure and energy decision-making. The meetings were encouraging and highly instructive, and they opened my eyes up to some of the lesser-known inner workings of the government. Among them is the reconciliation process, whereby Congress instructs a number of committees to report on any budgetary changes a new bill or spending package might trigger. For example, if President Donald Trump truly wishes to build a wall on the southern border, he’ll need to acquire the capital from other areas of the government’s budget. In other words, ‘the wall’ must turn out to be revenue- and distribution-neutral. It’s a highly complex process – all matters of policy are entwined in and affect various departments, after all – which partly explains why Congress often seems to have such difficulty getting anything accomplished, including repealing Obamacare.
As President Donald Trump admitted to Reuters last week: ‘[Governing] is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.’
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), part of the reconciliation process, is one such entity that’s notorious for standing in the way of infrastructure and energy projects. The agency has traditionally held the attitude that the best development is no development. However, the Trump administration has an ace up its sleeve: the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, signed into law in December 2015. According to the official website, FAST-41, as it’s known, ‘was designed to improve the timeliness, predictability and transparency of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for covered infrastructure projects.’ Project delays, therefore, can be combatted with transparency and accountability.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Tuesday, 2 May 2017.

Republicans Just One Vote Away From Failing To Repeal Obamacare, Again

While one can debate if last week’s failed attempt by Trump to pass the GOP healthcare vote before the expiration of his 100 days in office counts as attempt #2 by the administration to repeal Obamacare, the Republicans are now back to square one, because based on the latest whip count by The Hill, the GOP again appears to lack sufficient votes to pass its Healthcare bill in the House, despite earlier reports from GOP leaders and the White House that it might be approved by the lower chamber this week.
The Hill’s most recent whip list reveals 22 Republicans – mostly moderates – who oppose the bill, the maximum number of GOP defections that can be afforded, meaning the GOP is just one vote away from another failure.
The latest Republican to announce his opposition is Rep. Billy Long (Mo.), a staunch conservative who often says he was ‘Tea Party before Tea Party was cool.’ He told The Hill he wouldn’t support the bill because of the impact it could have on people with preexisting conditions.
‘I have always stated that one of the few good things about ObamaCare is that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered,’ Long said in a statement to The Hill. ‘The MacArthur amendment strips away any guarantee that pre-existing conditions would be covered and affordable.’
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Daniel Webster of Florida and Chris Smith of New Jersey will also vote against the current bill, making their decisions public in succession Monday afternoon.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 1, 2017.

Elizabeth Warren Blasts Ignorant Obama For Abandoning Working Class That’s “Getting Kicked In The Teeth”

Ever since the stunning 2016 election caught them off-guard, Democrats, who expected to quickly fall in-line behind their new leader Hillary Clinton, have been struggling to identify a new party leader or even a cohesive message to rally around. Meanwhile, in light of the sudden power vacuum and the fact that Bernie Sanders was clearly sabotaged during the primary process, the Democratic party, much like Republicans and the Freedom Caucus, seems to be splintering before our eyes with the more “progressive” elements of the party increasingly distancing themselves from the more moderate voices.
And, as the in-fighting ramps up, it seems that Elizabeth Warren is quickly emerging as the leader of the far-left movement. In fact, she has become increasingly critical of President Obama in recent days with her most recent attack coming via an interview with the Guardian in which she suggested that Obama was disconnected from the woes of the working class people of the United States who are “getting kicked in the teeth” after 8 years of his rule.
‘I think President Obama, like many others in both parties, talk about a set of big national statistics that look shiny and great but increasingly have giant blind spots,’ she told the Guardian. ‘That GDP, unemployment, no longer reflect the lived experiences of most Americans.
‘And the lived experiences of most Americans is that they are being left behind in this economy. Worse than being left behind, they’re getting kicked in the teeth.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 1, 2017.

Trump: US “Needs A Good Shutdown In September To Fix This Mess”

With Congress poised this week to approve a deal to fund the government through September, the first major bipartisan legislation of Trump’s presidency, after lengthy negotiations (which have appeared to signal numerous ‘folds’ by President Trump), apparently frustrated by the lack of tryannical powers that a simple majority grants him, President Trump has lashed out this morning at disagreeable Democrats, and in particular Senate Democrats.
But Trump has a solution.
As a reminder, the proposed government funding deal does not include funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the U. S.-Mexico border or include language stripping federal money from so-called sanctuary cities, both of which the White House demanded at the outset of negotiations. In fact, as we reported yesterday, the bill has been seen widely as a victory for Democrats, something which has been panned by the conservative press. While the White House also backed off a threat to withhold ObamaCare subsidy payments to insurance companies, Trump did secure increased military spending in the 2017 budget deal.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 2, 2017.

The British-American coup that ended Australian independence — John Pilger

Across the media and political establishment in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had ‘reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution’. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported ‘zones of peace’ and opposed nuclear weapons testing.
Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to ‘buy back the farm’. In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain’s colonisation of Australia, and the question of who owned the island-continent’s vast natural wealth.
Latin Americans will recognise the audacity and danger of this ‘breaking free’ in a country whose establishment was welded to great, external power. Australians had served every British imperial adventure since the Boxer rebellion was crushed in China. In the 1960s, Australia pleaded to join the US in its invasion of Vietnam, then provided ‘black teams’ to be run by the CIA. U.S. diplomatic cables published last year by WikiLeaks disclose the names of leading figures in both main parties, including a future prime minister and foreign minister, as Washington’s informants during the Whitlam years, but Whitlam knew the risk he was taking.

This post was published at The Guardian

Eve of the Trump and Russia hearings in Congress — John Batchelor interviews Stephen F. Cohen

The investigations of Russian involvement in the presidential elections are expanding into additional investigations. Batchelor mentions the statement from Senator Burr of South Carolina, who will lead the Senate Sub Committee Investigation on Russian involvement in the US presidential election, has gone on record that we are in a new cold war with Russia. Cohen, in turn, raises the point that he has yet to note all the complaints of the United States that could have Washington at war with Russia and proceeds to do so and to explain why this new cold war is more dangerous: in sequence they are Ukraine, the NATO build up on Russia’s border; Kremlingate (the DNC hack), the chemical weapons event in Syria (and Trump’s missile attack response), the perception of Kremlin involvement in European elections, and finally the new allegation that Russia is “colluding with the Taliban” against the US in Afghanistan. This too is a dynamic process as the list appears to be growing…..One cannot help but ponder that as there is no real evidence emerging from these various investigations. all are just public relations exercises designed to keep the hysteria at the heights. But are the failures of these investigations not seen as the failures of the narratives? Apparently not so much.
Cohen states that this process has lasted a decade and a general attitude of “Russiaphobia” and a new cold war. The intensity of this attitude, Cohen concludes, has somehow emerged as worse than that of the Soviet era, and he explains how. He reminds that during the Soviet era there was, at least, a policy of diplomacy operating – and this time all the various narratives in operation that could bring war are unsupported by any evidenc. This may be the most dangerous aspect of this whole process that there is much less talking between these countries. Also what is missing this time is a MSM that practices real journalism that functioned as a kind of safety valve in the past that would keep any developing narrative somewhat credible. But with the media complicit in promoting the anti-Russian accusations we have instead a partnership with government where the Fourth Estate is compromised – except for some few notable exceptions in the mainstream (Tucker Carlson is mentioned). And Cohen claims that these failures are being somewhat noted and commented upon.
Batchelor does comment, however, that the media discussion is beginning to take the position that Congress is too partisan to deal with the Russiagate investigation. Cohen maintains that this may go on for years and be a major platform for a new Hillary campaign then. (This writer also assumes an escalation – perhaps blaming Russia for a declining dollar or adverse economic realities.) And Cohen notes that virtually everone has bought into this – perhaps for cosmetic/political reasons and that at some point the lack of credibility, the lack of evidence – and serious omissions, for example, by the FBI in their “DNC hacking incident” – may interfere with the narratives. And Batchelor responds that the French now have their own Russiagate with their own presidential election. A Russian based hacker group called Pawn Storm is targeting E.U. elections and is now the new bogyman in Europe. Both pundits then begin to discuss what might be called the evolution of “allegation politics” where evidence of any wrong doing is completely unnecessary to achieve an outcome.
Cohen then brings Ukraine into the discussion. Kiev has now cut off electrical power to the capital of Luhansk as a means to provoke Russia. Also mentioned is the importance to Russia of the American presence in Afghanistan. Without the American presence, that country would become a centre for jihadism against that whole region and southern Russia and yet Russia stands accused of working with the Taliban against the United States.
So the allegation politics continue to support Western insouciance. At some point does one see the rest of the unaligned world just throwing up hands and accepting that any American president will have as much legitimacy (or as little) as the whole deserves to receive? This process has achieved that much. The perverse aspect of this speaks to how the rest of the world are even more intimidated by fear of becoming a target of America as the Russians have become. We have seen now what they have done to Trump, and we will have to live in this new dangerous world with this reality that is now in the open.

This post was published at Audioboom

Trump Is About To Do The Unthinkable – Episode 1268b

The following video was published by X22Report on May 1, 2017
Republicans make another attempt to push health care. Obamacare is dying, the strategy continually push garbage and it rejected and let Obamacare die. NSA has not stopped spying on Americans. Pentagon is mulling sending more troops to Afghanistan. North Korea pledges to sink a sub. Trump says he would meet with Kim Jong Un. Trump wants to meet with Duterte to discuss the situation in NK. Syrian opposition agree to attend the peace talks. Russia wants to set up zones to protect the people.

WHO IS MORE BIASED: LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES?

Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed. – Friedrich Nietzsche
When it comes to politics, there seems to be more division now than ever. Disagreements over how the government should handle (or refrain from intervention in) certain issues has reached fever pitch.
Liberals and conservatives have long argued about another issue: Which ‘side’ is more rational and less biased?
As it turns out, this is one issue on which both sides are on equal footing, according to two new studies on political bias.
The first study is titled At Least Bias Is Bipartisan: A Meta-Analytic Comparison of Partisan Bias in Liberals and Conservatives. For this study, the researchers meta-analyzed the results of 41 experimental studies of partisan bias involving over 12,000 participants who identified their political ideology. They found that overall partisan bias was ‘robust’. Liberals and conservatives showed nearly identical levels of bias across the studies, and the ‘relative magnitude of bias in liberals and conservatives differed across political topics.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MAY 1, 2017.

Portland Rose Parade Cancelled Amid THREATS OF VIOLENCE From Anti-Fascists: ‘You Have Seen How Much Power We Have… Police Can’t Stop Us’

For a bunch of peace loving, tolerance spewing social justice warriors, it sure does appear that the new ‘progressive’ movement in America is rapidly turning to Bolshevik tactics to force their will upon a free and non-violent people.
The latest example of a society on the brink of civil war comes to us from Portland, Oregon, where every year the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association kicks of the city’s annual Rose Festival with a family-friendly parade.
Except this year, there will be no parade. Organizers have cancelled the event amid threats of violence from groups referring to themselves as ‘Anti-Fascist.’ According to The Washington Post, the reasoning behind the threats is reportedly outrage over the fact that the county’s Republican Party was given one of the nearly 100 spots in the parade.
Then came an anonymous and ominous email, according to parade organizers, that instructed them to cancel the GOP group’s registration – or else.
‘You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely,’ the anonymous email said, referring to the violent riots that hit Portland after the 2016 presidential election, reported the Oregonian. ‘This is nonnegotiable.’

This post was published at shtfplan on April 28th, 2017.

The Real Barack Obama is Finally Exposed to Everyone

There is no reason for the Democratic Party to exist.
– Jimmy Dore
I’ve been surprised by the number of people who lived in total denial about who Barack Obama actually was throughout his entire administration, suddenly pointing out the ethical and demoralizing implications of his recent decision to accept $400,000 for a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
For myself and countless others, the writing was on the wall from virtually day one when he appointed Wall Street sycophants Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers to senior positions within his administration. Then came the policies, which were even more generous to Wall Street than any cynic could imagine. I posted countless pieces on Obama’s cronyism throughout his Presidency, constantly referring to him as an oligarch-coddling fraud, which his record unquestionably confirms.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Michael Krieger | Posted Friday Apr 28, 2017.

Colorado House Votes to Bar State Agents from Assisting Federal Police

The Colorado House of Representatives voted 56-7 on Wednesday to pass legislation mandating that “the state, a state agency, or an agency of a political subdivision of the state shall not knowingly assist or aid a federal agency or agency of another state in arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right.”
It is believed that the bill was introduced as a repudiation of the Trump administration’s repeated hints that it plans to crack down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana. In February, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer announced “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of [federal law against marijuana].”
Unfortunately, the Colorado legislation does contain phrases that soften the power of state law, which defines a “right” as “a right enumerated in the Colorado constitution that has not been declared unconstitutional by a federal or Colorado appellate court.”
This leaves an opening for opponents of the state’s marijuana laws who could still gain state-level assistance if they can get a federal court to strike down the state’s marijuana provisions. Nevertheless, in the absence of such action, this legislation does appear to tie the hands of state and local police.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 28, 2017.

End of empire

“Already, China dominates world trade. Her own economy is already significantly larger than that of the US on the PPP estimates. While being the largest consumer of raw materials, China also exports more finished goods by value than any other country.”…
In last week’s Insight article, America’s Financial War Strategy, I described how the Chinese government viewed the geopolitical scene. It is clear from earlier remarks by the Peoples Liberation Army’s senior strategist, Major-General Qiao Liang, that the view in Beijing is that America perpetuates her empire through the financial benefits to America from America’s actions against other nations, friend or foe. These actions can be either military or financial, or even both. This week, similar views were expressed in Moscow by Sergey Glazyev, a senior advisor to President Putin.i
There are many questions that arise from last week’s analysis that I chose not to address, in the interest of focusing on the main theme. It concentrated on geopolitics and economics as the Chinese see them, financial and currency issues mentioned in passing. This article addresses perhaps the most important subsidiary issue, and that is how China visualises the future, in terms of monetary policy.
China’s eventual objective
If nothing else, the Chinese have a sense of history and destiny. They have had a glorious past, stretching back millennia, and once controlled most of the Asian heartland in the days of Genghis and Kublai Khan. But even then, China was essentially inward-looking, protecting her own cultural values. Trade with Europeans in the centuries following Marco Polo’s visit was mostly at the behest of European travellers, not the Chinese. She exported her art and culture to visitors, and did not import European values.
This was a mistake, implicitly recognised by China’s current leadership. This time, China has embraced Western thinking and technology to further her own progress. The development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in recent years is the platform for China in partnership with Russia to embrace the Asian continent through peaceful trade, improving the lives of all the citizens of the many nations who are and will become members. The SCO promises a revolution in the wealth and living standards of over 40% of the world’s population, and associated benefits for its supplier-nations on the other continents.

This post was published at GoldMoney on APRIL 27, 2017.