Wednesday 20th of February 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 17:16

A new report makes the case that the fossil fuel industry prefers geoengineering as an approach for addressing climate change because it allows the industry to keep arguing for continued fossil fuel use.

In Fuel to the Fire: How Geoengineering Threatens to Entrench Fossil Fuels and Accelerate the Climate Crisis, the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL) warns that geoengineering, which includes technologies to remove huge amounts of carbon dioxide and to shoot particles into the atmosphere to block sunlight, potentially offers more of a problem for the climate than a solution.

Our research shows that nearly all proposed geoengineering strategies fail a fundamental test: do they reduce emissions and help end our reliance on fossil fuels?” said CIEL President Carroll Muffett, who co-authored the report with the support of the Heinrich Boell Foundation.

 

Read more:

https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/02/13/ciel-report-fossil-fuels-geoengineering-climate-risky-distraction

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 15:59


Intercepted by RT America correspondent Dan Cohen while leaving a conference in DC, US envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams did not seem in the mood to discuss his criminal convictions or Iran-Contra weapons shipments.

Cohen confronted Abrams, recently appointed point man for the US effort to oust the elected government in Caracas, as he exited a conference on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela hosted by the Organization for American States (OAS) in Washington, DC. The former Reagan official, who played a key role in securing US support for death squads in Central America during the 1980s, was not in the mood to chat about his past exploits, however.

“What do you say to people who are skeptical about you because of your history of using humanitarian aid to send weapons to contras in Central America? Do you have any comment about that?” Cohen asked Abrams as he walked out the conference with a female colleague.

Clearly unnerved by the line of questioning, Abrams asked Cohen to “leave us alone, please.”

 

 

Read more

https://www.rt.com/usa/451591-abrams-cohen-video-crimes-venezuela/

 

 

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Leave Venezuela alone, please...


by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 12:49

Congress has stared into the abyss of debt, and the abyss has stared back. The national debt just topped $22 trillion for the first time ever, yet barely a peep was heard in the halls of the Capitol. The debt-to-GDP ratio has more than doubled in less than 20 years, rising from 33 percent in 2000 to 78 percent today. Within 10 years, it will reach 93 percent, the highest level since just after World War II.

While currently the federal budget deficit is around $900 billion, beginning in 2022, it will exceed $1 trillion per year, every year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Over the next decade, deficits are projected to fluctuate between 4.1 percent and 4.7 percent of GDP, well above the average over the past 50 years.

Yet instead of discussing how we will afford what we are already slated to spend, Congress is debating how much more government should add to that. The national conversation is focused on Medicare for all, how many billions should be allocated for a wall, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Far from reforming our out-of-control spending, these policies would only cost more.

Based on the muted public response, you’d never know that a mere decade ago, the national debt was half of what it is today, or that the debt is projected to keep up its exponential rate of growth as the U.S. population ages. Even if Congress were to vote against every dollar of new spending, the debt held by the public will still be 150 percent of the total economy by 2047. And by the looks of this new spending bill, it will reach that ratio far sooner than that.

 

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https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/ignoring-americas-abyss-of-debt/

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 10:11

Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

That’s a natural reaction to the revelation of Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy FBI director, that top Justice Department officials, alarmed by Donald Trump’s firing of former Bureau director James Comey, explored a plan to invoke the 25th Amendment and kick the duly elected president out of office. 

According to New York Times reporters Adam Goldman and Matthew Haag, McCabe made the statement in an NBC 60 Minutes interview to be aired on Sunday. He also reportedly said that McCabe wanted the so-called Russia collusion investigation to go after Trump for obstructing justice in firing Comey and for any instances they could turn up of his working in behalf of Russia.  

The idea of invoking the 25th Amendment was discussed, it seems, at two meetings on May 16, 2017. According to McCabe, top law enforcement officials pondered how they might recruit Vice President Pence and a majority of cabinet members to declare in writing, to the Senate’s president pro tempore and the House speaker, that the president was “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That would be enough, under the 25th Amendment, to install the vice president as acting president, pushing aside Trump.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/do-you-believe-in-the-deep-state-now/

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 10:03

 

From Andre Vltchek

Enough is enough! There have been plenty of empty talk and peace conferences, more than enough of begging: “Please, West, stop murdering people, stop your genocides, stop robbing all continents of their resources, stop enslaving billions!”

Look where it has ended up! Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. The more people begged, the more they protested, the harder the West hit.

Rulers in Washington, London and Paris have no mercy. They have no sense of justice. They only know greed and power.

On February 13, 2019, RT reported [emphasis added]:


The US staked a claim on half the world, as Senate Armed Services Committee chair Jim Inhofe said Washington might have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia dares set up a military base not just there, but “in our hemisphere.”

 

“Our hemisphere”

Finally, it is all out in the open. The good old ‘Monroe Doctrine’. In the Western Hemisphere (which is obviously owned by the US), there is not one single ‘Latin’ country where the West has not overthrown the government, where it has not raped the will of the people, where it did not stop socialism. From the Dominican Republic to Chile!

Do you know why we have fascism in Brazil, Colombia and elsewhere? Because our left wing leaders have either been murdered, or imprisoned.

The record of human rights violations is monstrous. The cynicism of what has been going on is equally repulsive.

And now, Washington basically warns Russia and others: Do not dare to come close and help your friends and allies in the region! Just stay back and watch from a safe distance, how we rape one country after another. And if you dare to intervene, we will hit even harder at the victims. We will not only violate Venezuela: we will kick her with our military boots, we will put bullets through her arms and legs, chain her as we did the African slaves who built our country! We can do it, because Europeans, those colonialists whose blood circulates in our veins, and those South American elites, who are of the same stock as we are, would again sit in their cafes and on their couches, enjoying the show, applauding us from distance!

This should be the last drop. No, no more words, please. Action! This banditry, this terrorism has to be stopped.

Mr Trump, Mr Inhofe, damn you! People are not cattle and they are not slaves. You wish they were, but they are not! You treated them like animals, you fooled them, robbed them of everything; you and your kind, for decades and centuries. But even you yourself must be aware of this, or at least suspect: all this atrocity has to end; one day, very soon!

RT commented:

Inhofe said that a flow of Russian troops or weapons into the Western hemisphere “would be a threat to the United States of America.” The United States, meanwhile, reads from a different rulebook.

The US maintains nearly 800 military bases in over 70 countries worldwide, with a foothold on every continent. And, while Inhofe wants to keep an entire hemisphere free from Russian influence, the US is currently in talks to establish a permanent military base in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep. Given the long history of animosity between Poland and Russia, the Polish government has offered to cough up $2 billion towards setting up the base.

Further afield, no hemisphere is beyond the reach of the United States. The US military divides the globe up into six Combatant Command ‘Areas of Responsibility,’ which it maintains in times of peace and war. Russia, meanwhile, divides its territory into four military districts, all within its own borders.

Who agreed on this sick double standard? Who gave green light for this terror? France, Germany, U.K. and few other Western countries/beneficiaries? Is this what China wants, India accepts?

Venezuela is our sister. It is the sister of Russia and Cuba, of Iran, Bolivia and even China.

This is truly a decisive moment.

Compromises and weakness of the past broke the neck of the anti-imperialist struggle; compromises during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin eras led to the destruction of Afghanistan, of Yugoslavia, Iraq and several other countries. History should never repeat itself!

Reason is not what can be expected from the West. It controlled the entire world through colonialism, and it now tries to do the same by imperialist thuggery.

If it is not stopped, it will again subjugate our entire planet.

Russia, Cuba, China, Iran and others have to defend Venezuela! If necessary, they should fight for it! Decent people and decent countries should not negotiate with brutal and merciless bandits. They should not be told by brigands what to do and how to behave; what actions to take!

There should be no double standards, anymore, if we want our humanity to survive.

For years and centuries, the West has been pushing; it is trying to see, how far it can go and what it can get away with. If it is not stopped, it will take it all. If non-Western countries do not fight for their rights in unison, protecting each other, they will go back to where they used to be – to slavery. It is not a fantasy – just look at the world map of the very beginning of the 20th century! We have already had this situation on our Earth, before.

In Venezuela, if we have to fight, we will be fighting for Johannesburg and Moscow, Beijing and Havana, for Teheran, Damascus and Mexico City. We will be fighting against oppression, slavery and colonialism.

Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Inhofe! Your words sound very familiar: we heard them before, in London, Paris, Berlin and Pretoria.

And this is our reply to you: you are not a global policeman, you are simply a thug who has to be stopped! And sooner than later, humanity will curse you, and your bloody imperialist degeneracy will be put to an end!

 

 

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See also:

bringing back the brigands of the reagan era...

 

my game is freedom to be an arsehole — and to take the liberty to screw your ideals...

 

the big stick...

 

the "new" colonialists...

 

understanding andré...

 

 

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 07:48

 

Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around?

Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered "experts."

By TUCKER CARLSON


One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They’re happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there’s no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans. Max Boot is living proof that it’s happening in America.

Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn’t exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict.”

None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world’s Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don’t need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that’s required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you’re in. That’s good news for Max Boot.


Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled “The Case for American Empire.”

“The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition,” Boot wrote. “The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.” In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.

“Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul,” Boot wrote. “To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt.”

In retrospect, Boot’s words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.

Things haven’t gone as planned. What’s remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.

In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was “less than two years” from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot’s list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.

“If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family,” Boot wrote.

Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal, Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.

“Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces,” he wrote. “Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action.”

In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn’t that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. “The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones,” he wrote in the Los Angeles Times. When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there’s less political backlash at home.

♦♦♦

American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. “Qaddafi Must Go,” Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot’s telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. “The only way this crisis will end—the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya—is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won’t suffice.”

In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times, Boot laid out “Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now.”

Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would “diminish Iran’s influence” in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot’s advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran’s most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted “with little risk.”

Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that “it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes.” He didn’t seem worried.

Listed in one place, Boot’s many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. (“I’ll invade you!!!”) Republicans in Washington didn’t find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.

Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.

As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was “hard to imagine” the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as “cheerleaders” for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.

Boot’s stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper’s announcement cited Boot’s “expertise on armed conflict.”

It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. “We should never have been in Iraq,” Trump announced, his voice rising. “We have destabilized the Middle East.”

Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none.”

Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.

Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.

Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave.

Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that.

Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-are-these-professional-war-peddlers-still-around-tucker-carlson-max-boot-bill-kristol/

 

Peace is an unknown word while middle class Amerika has no idea what their leaders are doing...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 07:26


The rapprochement between Paris and Berlin

by Thierry Meyssan

This is an extremely serious matter – under the appearance of uniting their efforts to work for peace, Paris and Berlin are linking their foreign policies, and will soon be linking their Defence policies. In reality, this evolution is proceeding from the top down, without consulting the population, and is destroying their democratic acquisitions.

One of the founding principles of the UNO is that all states and all people are free, equal and independent. This is the major difference with the League of Nations which preceded it The League always refused to recognise the equality of peoples in order to allow the system of colonisation to continue.

Each state has a voice equal to all the others. Consequently, it was not possible for the United States to acquire membership for its 50 federal states, nor for the USSR to acquire membership of their 15 united Republics - only the two federal states were valid. It would have been unfair for the United States to have 50 votes and the USSR 15 when the other members had only one.

Thus, France and Germany, who are to preside the Security Council respectively in March and April, have just announced that they intend to exercise their mandates together. Although this is not clear, it would seem to imply that the two delegations will hold the same position on all the subjects presented to them. The foreign policy of the two states will no longer be free and independent from one another.


No organisation founded on the equality of its members can survive this type of coalition.

This subject has already been raised since 1949 and the creation of NATO. The member states agreed to react collectively to any aggression against one of them. But to do so, they have accepted a form of organisation placed under the authority of the United States, which systematically occupies the important functions, such as those of the Supreme Commander (of the Chief of Staff).

At that time, the Soviet Union denounced the creation of a bloc whose member states were no longer free and independent. And yet this is exactly what the USSR did in 1968 by invading Czechoslovakia on the principle that members of the Warsaw Pact should not distance themselves from the common doctrine of Communism. Today, Soviet totalitarianism no longer exists, but that of the United States is still present.

It was precisely because he was opposed to the idea that French armed forces would be submitted to US authority that President Charles De Gaulle left the integrated command of NATO, while nonetheless remaining in the North Atlantic Treaty. This wise decision was repealed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who re–incorporated the integrated command in 2009.

France claims that the joint exercise of the presidency of the Security Council with Germany does not mean that the two countries are preparing to unite their seats at the UNO. However, it is since the mandate of Nicolas Sarkozy that the Quai d’Orsay and the Wilhelmstrasse (in other words the French and German Ministries for Foreign Affairs) have begun to reduce their personnel and to task their embassies with sharing certain functions.

This rapprochement was interrupted by Presidents François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron, with a view to creating a military alliance with the United Kingdom, first envisaged by Jacques Chirac. But it was re-activated when it became clear that London was going to validate the Brexit, and was preparing new alliances.

The eventual fusion of French and German foreign policies poses several problems – first of all, it is only possible if the two armies also unite, without which the fusion would not be credible - Alain Juppé expressed this opinion in 1995. In this case, Germany would occupy a position of co-decider for the French strike force. This was considered by the Bundestag in 2017, and it is now the position of the director of the Security Conference in Munich, Wolfgang Ischinger [1]. This explains why Emmanuel Macron spoke of a European army in terms different from those of the European Defence Community (1954), in order that he might conclude in fine with a fusion of the French and German armies. Secondly, having the same Foreign and Defence policy supposes that the parties concerned are pursuing the same interests. This is what Paris and Berlin attempted by deploying joint forces, legally in the Sahel and illegally in Syria.

Far from creating a new state, the French-German rapprochement will seal the dependency of this new entity on Washington – today, the two armies are members of the integrated command of NATO, and obey the same Supreme Commander, chosen by the President of the United States. In fact, it is precisely this war-lord who achieved peace between France and Germany. Thus, not so long ago, the special forces of both sides were secretly fighting one another in ex-Yugoslavia, with the Serbs for one and with the Croatians for the other. The combat only ended when Washington imposed its point of view.

By hoping to unite Germany and France in the long run, their leaders are ignoring the human realities of their respective countries. Confusing the reconciliation of their people, realised by their predecessors, with the fusing of their interests and world view, they hope to create a new political system, without obeying any democratic control. In fact, why bother with these procedures since no-one is in charge?

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

 

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article205177.html

 

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2019-02-16 05:35

New documents obtained by Judicial Watch and the bombshell interview with former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe have shed new light on a double standard approach towards Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the part of high-ranking FBI officials, Wall Street analyst Сharles Ortel told Sputnik.

"The FBI must be run outside of partisan political considerations — yet, examination of FBI conduct tied to questionable and deeply suspicious activities of the Clintons suggests a two tier approach", says Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, commenting on the Judicial Watch's release of the Clinton emailgate documents.

On 11 February, Judicial Watch (JW), a conservative watchdog group, signalled that it had received 215 pages of records from the US Department of Justice.

The documents indicated that former FBI General Counsel James Baker had discussed the federal agency's Clinton email investigation with Hillary Clinton's lawyer, David Kendall. The Baker-Kendall email exchange followed then FBI chief James Comey's 28 October 2016 announcement of the discovery of new emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the husband of the Clinton campaign's then vice president, Huma Abedin. Kendall reached out to Baker and lashed out at the FBI for its "tantalizingly ambiguous" statement.

"It is big news that, just days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton's personal lawyer pressured the top lawyer for the FBI on the infamous Weiner laptop emails", stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

 

Earlier, Fox News turned the spotlight on Baker's testimony, which said that the former FBI general counsel had personally taken part in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on then Donald Trump aide Carter Page. Baker admitted that the practice was "unusual".

The records obtained by JW also shed light on the apparent "quid pro quo" deal offered by the Obama administration. Former FBI attorney Lisa Page wrote on 13 October 2016 that US State Department officials had offered the FBI more legal attaché positions "if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation 'from classified to something else'".

​"The most significant set of issues I see from the latest JW release is that certain persons may have been acting on behalf of unknown interests to limit the potential damage of an FBI investigation by offering the FBI perceived benefits (additional foreign locations for FBI staff) if the FBI agreed to downgrade the status of certain emails found on the Weiner laptop", Ortel said commenting on the issue.

He highlighted that the latest trove of documents released by JW should be examined in the context of:

1)      FBI Vault files on potential mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton;

2)      An FBI memo released on 3 October 2016 and saying that some 340,000 emails on the Weiner laptop contained "a significant number of emails between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton";

3)      A warrant obtained 30 October 2016 to search the contents of the Weiner/Abedin laptop;

4)      And, finally, US political commentator Paul Sperry's findings showing that the FBI may have only reviewed 3,077 out of hundreds of thousands of the aforementioned email

"What makes these revelations particularly significant is that they appear to have occurred in the heat and final moments of the 2016 general election campaign", Ortel stressed, echoing Fitton.

 

Citing the apparent "quid pro quo deal" between the FBI and the State Department concerning the Clinton email case, the Wall Street analyst assumed that it could be potentially be subject to three statutes, namely, 18 USC § 1510, Obstruction of a criminal Investigation; 18 USC § 1505, Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committee; and 18 USC § 1519, Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations or bankruptcy.

McCabe: 25th Amendment and Rosenstein's Wire

Meanwhile, Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director, revealed in his interview on CBS' 60 Minutes that after ex-FBI James Comey's resignation, top administration officials seriously discussed Donald Trump's ouster, according to CBS' Scott Pelley, who shared excerpts from the conversation on 14 February.

In particular, McCabe described the meeting at the Justice Department that discussed "whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president under the 25th Amendment".

Furthermore, the journalist noted that "it was also said at a previous time that the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, offered to wear a wire into the White House to record potentially incriminating conversations with the president".

 

According to Pelley, this issue was discussed "more than once and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it."

In September 2018, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement saying that he "never pursued or authorized recording the President, and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false".

The McCabe interview prompted a storm of criticism from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted: "Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel' when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin' James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of ‘insurance policy' in case I won".

According to Ortel, the thickening plot requires a thorough examination of all facts of apparent collusion between Obama administration officials, the FBI and the "Clinton camp".

​"The timeline as Donald Trump surged to become the presumptive Republican nominee while concerns mounted about Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and regarding possible corruption, charity fraud, and money laundering via Clinton 'charities' needs to be fleshed out using the full resources of the FBI and other relevant investigative agencies, ideally as one or more grand juries are empaneled", the Wall Street analyst emphasised.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker and the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201902151072466286-clinton-fbi-mccabe-trump/

 

 

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-02-15 19:10


by Stephen Lendman

The Trump promoted GOP scam was all about benefitting corporate interests and high-net-worth households.

Wage hikes attributed to tax cuts have been mostly hype. Big business gained hundreds of billions of dollars from the law - used mostly for stock buybacks and generous handouts to executives, workers getting shortchanged. 

Thousands got pink slips. The federal deficit is ballooning by over a trillion dollars annually, social benefits slashed to help pay for the tax cuts, a transparent wealth transfer scheme.

Analyzing the tax cut scam a year later, Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) said the following:

Corporations were the big winners. So were high-net worth households. "(S)old as a boon to the (disappearing) middle-class,(cuts) primarily benefit(ted) the wealthy."

"By 2027 when the law is fully implemented, 83% of the tax cuts will go to the top 1%." Little was done to end profit shifting to offshore tax shelters.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, about $300 annually is moved abroad to avoid taxes.

Corporations with accumulated offshore earnings got "a tax cut of over $400 billion on those profits."

The GOP legislation encourages offshoring of US jobs and production by taxing foreign profits of American companies "at half the rate on domestic earnings."

The so-called "small-business" tax cut has gone mostly to "wealthy owners of big firms. Most owners of pass-through businesses-sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations-are now generally allowed to exclude 20% of their business income from taxation," ATF explained.

By 2024, 60% of the tax breaks will go to America's 1%. The weakened estate tax widens the wealth gap. David Stockman estimates the great GOP tax cut heist will increase the federal debt to around $35 trillion by 2028.

Today it's $22 trillion, rising exponentially. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin lied claiming the tax cuts would pay for themselves through through increased economic growth generating more tax revenues from lower rates.

"(I)nstead the deficit is increasing considerably due to the tax cuts," said ATF - mostly because corporate tax revenue dropped by about one-third, almost $100 billion year-over-year since the December 2017 law took effect.

The GOP plan for checking the spiraling debt is by cutting social services for ordinary Americans - notably Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Increased corporate profits went mostly to shareholders and corporate executives, not workers.

Trump lied saying corporate America would use the windfall tax breaks by giving the average US household a $4,000 pay raise, "shower(ing) workers with bonuses," along with generating "massive investments."

A year later, "corporations are mostly using their actual and anticipated tax cuts and their rising profits to buy back their own stock, which principally further enriches wealthy shareholders and top corporate executives," ATF explained.

According to its database, "$853 billion in share repurchases" were announced in 2018 - "120 times more" than workers got in pay increases last year, a slim "$7.1 billion" for the entire 128.5 million US workforce - about $55 per worker if my math is right.

Contrary to Trump's promise, "worker wages are getting no boost from the tax cuts," said ATF. "(O)nly 4.4%" of them received a monetary benefit ascribed to the measure.

Year-over-year-through December, inflation-adjusted "average real hourly wages for all workers rose just 0.8%, while average weekly wages actually fell, because employees were working fewer hours," ATF explained, adding:

"Special interests are the GOP tax law's big winners" - what was predicted before the law was enacted at yearend 2017. 

Polls show most Americans know they were scammed. Benefits gotten are too meager to matter, and it gets worse. Millions of US workers expecting tax refunds either aren't getting them or will receive much less than they anticipated. 

Last week, the IRS said around 30 million US taxpayers will owe the agency money, three million more than before the GOP tax cut.

Average refunds going out are down 8.4% year-over-year so far. The American Institute of CPAs vice president Edward Karl said "(t)here are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month. Taxpayers want a large refund." Millions will be sorely disappointed.

Last April, Trump falsely said not only will Americans "save a lot of money," but the filing process will be simplified on "one page, one card," adding:

"You'll have a nice, simple form next year. This will be the last year (under the old system). So take pictures of it and enjoy it. This is the last time you'll have to file a very complex and big tax form. It will be much easier starting next April."

Tax code changes made things more complicated, along with ordinary Americans benefitting little from the great GOP tax cut heist.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/world/142251-tax_cut_heist/

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2019-02-15 18:52

Elliott Abrams (born January 24, 1948) is an American diplomat and lawyer who has served in foreign policy positions for Presidents Ronald ReaganGeorge W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Abrams is considered to be a neoconservative.[2] He is currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.[3]On January 25, 2019, he was appointed as Special Representative for Venezuela.[4][5]

He is best known[6][7] for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, which led to his conviction in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress. He was later pardoned by George H.W. Bush. During George W. Bush's first term, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. At the start of Bush's second term, Abrams was promoted to be his Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy, in charge of promoting Bush's strategy of "advancing democracy abroad." In the Bush administration, Abrams was a key architect behind the Iraq War.

 

Read more about this major bullshiter of the US political scene from the Reagan era till ... FUCKING TODAY...:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott_Abrams